Revelation 2:20 Bad Tolerance

 

Accepting hands

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. Revelation 2:20

Tolerance is something that people want shown to themselves, while not necessarily showing it to others. The world wants believers to be tolerant of their practices and ways of living. No one wants to be judged as being wrong or ever needing to change.

Many people in the church have become tolerant of others, following the ways of the world. They have begun to accept people who they are, just the way the are. This in and of itself is not necessarily bad, but people are allowed to stay that way as they continue to ‘follow’ Jesus.

People are allowed to continue in the church as leaders and good believers while still living in purposeful sin. They are being tolerated for their ways. Many in the church have begun to accept many of the beliefs and practices of the world, because they are tolerant and ‘loving’. Sexual immorality, drugs, greed, jealousy, pride and more sins are all being accepted inside the church, in trying to be tolerant of others.

A person who has become a new believer is to change his ways of acting and thinking. He is to become a new person, not remain in his old ways of sin and death. Yet, people want to be tolerant and stay the same.

God spoke against a church in Revelation for doing this very action. They did not hold to God’s standards of living and became like the world, while claiming to follow God.

Jesus set a high, separate standard for believers in the church. As a believer, you must strive to attain those standards. It will mean that you will not be tolerant of sin and accept it. You will still love people and accept them, but you will aim for living the higher standard for God.

Take a look at your life and see if there are any areas in your life you have compromised in being tolerant of sin. Turn your focus back on to God and His ways of living. Seek to live like Jesus in every area of your life. Do not allow sin to reign in your life as you seek to be tolerant. Love but remain separate.

I pray today that you will know God’s standards of living; that you will not accept the ways of this world in your life; that you will point people to live as Jesus lived; and that you will be a witness of God’s standards in this world. 

Advertisements

John 20:21 Not Judgment, But Peace

Lion and Lamb

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He began to show Himself to different people. The disciples were in a locked room when Jesus first appeared to them. They were scared, but His first words to them were to be at peace. Then He sends them out to do a work for God.

When a person is going through a difficult time, the last thing he wants is for all of his friends to reject him, or walk away. He needs the help and support of his friends.

While some get the needed support, many have a lot of friends who walk away. They do not support. This is especially true if the situation is very negative.

Very often when a person is accused of a major crime and sentenced to prison, most of his friends reject him. They do not understand how he could have done such a crime. Many people do not want to be associated with someone who has committed a major crime.

People who have been abandoned by another person in great time of need, will often come back later with accusations against that person. He will be angry for being rejected and left alone to suffer.

Jesus did not do that with the disciples. Every disciple had abandoned Him as He was being accused, beaten and crucified.

Later when Jesus rose from the dead and met with them, the first thing He told them was to be at peace. He was not angry with them for abandoning Him. Jesus forgave them and gave each one a chance to start over. There was no accusation or blaming done at all. They were forgiven.

You may have had a friend who has hurt you or abandoned you in your time of need. Instead of throwing accusations and judgment upon him, forgive him and make peace with him.

There may also be times you have let God down and abandoned Him. Allow Jesus to forgive you and make peace with Him. He is there to bring peace, not condemnation and judgment.

God wants you to have peace in your life with Him. Do not be afraid to meet with God after making a mistake and sinning. He is there to forgive you and restore the peace.

I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus brings; that you will go to God when you make a mistake and sin against Him; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will make peace with those who have done wrong to you.

Luke 22:50-51 No More Violence

sword-strike.jpg

And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51

Jesus and the disciples had been in the garden praying. Judas had left and got the high priest to arrest Jesus. As the high priest and some soldiers came to arrest Jesus, one of the disciples draws his sword and cuts off the ear of a servant. Jesus stops him heals the servant’s ear.

When a person is getting arrested, it is very common to see him fight back and resist the arrest. People do not want to get arrested. In the process of resisting the arrest, often it can get very violent. Often innocent bystanders are the ones who get hurt the most.

People will fight arrest even more when they are innocent of doing anything wrong.

They will even fight for someone else who is innocent and getting arrested. Jesus had been completely innocent and one of the disciples decided to fight for Him. However, that was not the way Jesus wanted things to go. He was willing to be arrested.

In fact, He needed to be arrested. Getting arrested was a part of God’s plan to have Jesus crucified, which was a part of God’s plan to bring salvation to the world.

There are times when believers today are falsely dealt with. In many countries they are arrested, while in some countries, they are not arrested but are dealt with in a bad manner.

Each time something occurs, a believer must choose what to do. He must be in tune with what God is doing and what God wants him to do. Jesus knew that He had to be arrested, so there was no reason to fight back. He did not show violence, but love and care.

When someone falsely accuses you or treats you wrong because of your belief in Jesus, what will you do?

If you are like the world, you will fight back with violence and a vengeance.

Acting like Jesus, you will go forward and love the enemy and do good to them. You will not show violence to defend yourself. Be willing to accept what God has placed in your path, instead of fighting back. Fight with love and care, not violence, it does no good.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all enemies; that you will know God’s plan for your life; that you will accept all God puts in your path; and that you will be a witness for Jesus in every situation.

Psalm 141:5 A Rebuke is…Good

Let a righteous man strike me–that is kindness; let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers. Psalm 141:5

Very few people like to be criticized or rebuked. Most do not like to be told that they are doing something wrong.

When a person is told that he is doing something wrong, usually he will rise up in defense of himself and fight back. People will go to extreme lengths to justify what they said or did in order to look good. No one wants to look bad or be cut down.

This type of problem even occurs inside the church. Over the years many people have left a church because of a rebuke the pastor or someone else in the church has made. They do not like the rebuke and refuse to stand there and listen to it, so they leave.

David would not run away from a rebuke, especially if it came from a righteous person. At one point some men were cursing David and his men wanted to kill them. David said not to, because maybe God told them to curse him. He accepted the curse.

When a person, who is righteous and living for God, makes a rebuke to you, it can be a good thing. God could be using that person to get your focus back on Him. God will go to extreme measures to bring you closer to Him.

It is easy to allow yourself to slip into some type of sinful habit and not realize the damage it is doing to you and others. When you are in the situation up close, it is difficult to see what is happening. Someone on the outside may be able to see it and should say something.

As a believer, listen to what the other believer has to say. Then seek God about it. If it is true, then seek God’s help to change. If it is not true, ignore it and pray blessings on the other person.

Look at the rebuke from believers as a kind act to attempt to get you closer to God. Do not look at it as an attack on you. God uses others to get your attention.

Do not allow yourself to overcome with sin, because you did not listen to a rebuke from a righteous person.

I pray today that you will hear God speak to you; that God will speak to you through other people; that God will help you know when He is speaking to you through others; and that you will seek to always get closer to God.

Psalm 38:18 Troubled By Sin

I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Psalm 38:18

No matter where a person looks, that person will see sin. Sinful practices are an epidemic in this world, regardless of where one lives. Sin can be seen in the huge cities, and in the small little country village of a population of 60, including the cats and dogs. Sin is everywhere.

It is easy for believers to be troubled by the sin that they see around them. Many believers take a stand against sinful practices. People try to get the laws to change to stop various sinful acts from occurring, such as abortion, drugs, pornography, and many other things.

This even occurs in the church. Churches split or people leave a church because of some action or belief that they believe is wrong in the church. Arguments occur all the time in church board meetings about what is right and what is wrong.

Although all of these things may be legitimate sins and give proper reason to be troubled by them, they are not the most important sins to be concerned about. It is easy to point fingers at others and their sin, but it is more important to look at one’s own self.

David was troubled by his own sin. He was confess what he had done wrong and was not pointing out the sins of others.

You must take an honest look at your own life. Take a look at how you are living your life. If you look at your life closely, you will see that there is some sin, somewhere in your life. Some may claim to be without sin, but James said that if we claim be without sin we are deceiving ourselves.

When you see that sin in your life, how are you reacting to it?

Many just ignore it, or accept it as part of being human. As a believer, those are not acceptable views. God does not want sin in the lives of anyone.

Be willing to confess to God your sin. If you confess your sin, God is willing to forgive your sin. He will remove it.

Do not allow yourself to be indifferent towards your sin. Keep yourself in a way that you will be troubled by the sin in your life. Then go before God for forgiveness that He freely offers you. You will find freedom and forgiveness in Jesus.

I pray today that God will reveal sin in your life; that you will turn from that sin; that you will confess to God your sin; and that you will accept His forgiveness for you sin.

2 Chronicles 34:19 Reaction To God’s Word

When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 2 Chronicles 34:18

Josiah had become king of Judah at a very young age, but had followed God his whole life. He led the nation into serving God again by removing all the false idols and temples. He had the priests repair the temple of God. In the process of the repairs, the book of the Law was found. It was read to Josiah. When he heard the words of God, he tore his robes because he knew how the people had turned away from God and the judgement that God was going to bring upon them.

When the world hears God’s word, most will just ignore it or ridicule it. They look at it as some old time religious superstition and do not believe it. This can be expected since they do not know or follow God in any way.

At the same time, there are many Christians who hear the word of God and ignore it. Every Sunday they go to church and hear a sermon preached. Some will just think that the sermon was for the other person, while others will agree to it, but go home and forget about it and not change. The words heard are not applied to one’s life.

When Josiah tore his robes at hearing the word of God, that was a sign of humility and extreme remorse for a wrong being done. He realized the problems that the people had caused and the sin they had done against God.

Each time you hear God’s word there will be a reaction. You will either accept it, or ignore it. The accepting of God’s word is not just accepting it for someone else’s sake, but for your own life.

As you hear God’s word, whether in a sermon, as you read it, or from someone else, you must apply it to your life. When God’s word points out sin in your life, you must repent of that sin and turn back to God. When God’s word points out ways to live for Him, then you must change your ways in how  you live for Him.

Do not allow yourself to remain indifferent to His word. Allow it to change you to be more like Jesus everyday.

What is your reaction to God’s word for you today?

I pray today that you will listen to God’s word; that you will accept God’s word for your life; that you will live according to God’s word; and that you will let God’s word change your life.

Acts 14:14 Not Taking The Credit

“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:” Acts 14:14

The apostles Barnabas and Paul were in the city of Lystra. There they met a man who was lame. They prayed for him and he was healed. The people then started giving them gifts thinking that they were gods. Instead of accepting the gifts and taking the credit, Barnabas and Paul tore their clothing and told the people that they were just regular men just like everyone else and that it was God who healed the man, not themselves.

People love to take the credit for doing things. They want praise for when they do something good. Yet, often the credit really belongs to someone else.

In some businesses, when the business does really great, the top management will take all the credit for how it is doing. Usually it will be with one or two of the management personnel. They point out how the business is doing because of what they individually had done for the company. They forget to give credit to the bottom worker. If the bottom worker had not done his job the business would not have succeeded.

In churches, the same type of credit acceptance happens also. The major difference is that often it is not giving the credit upwards to God. God is the one who heals, saves, and changes people. Not people. Taking the credit is personal pride and pride is a sin.

You are only the instrument that God uses to reach people to heal, save and change them. You are His spokesperson, His voice. You are His hands and feet. Without God you are nothing and have nothing.

When a great miracle happens when you prayer, point the credit to God. Do not look at yourself as someone special or with a special ability. Let God have all the credit. Give God all the praise.

Are you giving God all the credit for what He has done in your life? Are you giving God all the credit for what He is doing through you?

I pray today that you will realize all that Jesus is doing in you and through you; that you will give God all the credit; that God will receive all the praise for works done; that Jesus will do mighty works in and through you; and that Jesus will draw many to Himself through you.