Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.” Matthew 19:11
Every time a leader speaks, there will be many things being said. Out of those words there will be things that people will accept and things people will reject. Some people will accept everything, while others will reject parts of what was said.
The amount accepted comes from determining how much a person knows and trusts the speaker, and how much information the person already knows. Often things are rejected because of past experience or lack of understanding.
Jesus had just told the Pharisees that God was against all divorce. They had a problem with that. Jesus then told them that not everyone can accept that word.
God’s ways are always far above the ways of sinful, selfish man. He sets the perfect standard for every person to live by. When people hear the standards that God has set, many reject them. In the eyes of the world, and many believers, it is difficult to accept.
In the eyes of God, every believer is expected to live a perfect, holy life as God has set. The bible is very clear as to how a person must live his life for God in this fallen world. However, many believers have taken on the mindset of this world and rejected parts of God’s word.
There is a remnant of believers who will accept of all of God’s word, regardless of how difficult it may be. They have the understanding that God is in control and knows what is best for them. These few- will not cherry-pick what they like or don’t like, but will accept it all. All of God’s commands are for every believer, not just some of His commands.
You may see some of God’s commands as tough to understand or to follow. Rather than toss them out, seek God’s Holy Spirit to understand them and the strength to obey them.
God’s love for you is perfect and so He will only ask you to do what is best for you. Instead of rejecting His word, embrace it and live it. Find out how it is the best way to live, regardless of how difficult it may be. God’s word brings life, not death, as does the ways of this world.
Can you accept God’s word to you?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you know God’s word to you; that you will accept and live by God’s word and standards; and that God will give you strength to obey all of His commands.
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing either good or bad.’ Zephaniah 1:12
Most people feel as if their actions or reactions are only about themselves and do not affect anyone else. They feel that they can do, think or say whatever they want and that they will be safe, because no one else can see them or do anything about it.
With having this attitude, it is common for many to not do or say anything when they see something bad occurring. They accept the bad as just something normal.
God warns of a time when He will go through Jerusalem and punish those who are complacent. They are compared to the dregs of wine leftover.
Allowance for sin and sinful lifestyles has come into being a commonplace feeling inside the church and the lives of many people. It is common for people to look past sin as being evil and hatred towards God, to it just being who someone is. There is no call to repent or turn from sin in the world or in the church.
Many have become complacent about sin in their lives or in the lives of others, thinking that God will do nothing about it. Since Jesus has not returned in nearly two thousand years and done anything, people feel that they are free to do what they want. Sin is allowed to run rampant and unchecked by many inside the church.
Very few will stand up and call out sin within the church, not wanting to offend anyone or drive them away. They have become complacent about how horrible sin is in the life of a believer. They feel as though God will not punish the believer for sin in his life.
There is coming a day when Jesus will return to judge the world and those in it of sin. It may take time to arrive, but it will arrive and those who are complacent about sin in their lives will be punished.
Take a moment to examine your life and see if you are complacent with sin. Are there areas that you have accepted as that it is just who you are and you cannot change?
Seek God and His Holy Spirit to reveal how you may be complacent. Seek to have a heart that burns after God and His ways. Do not allow yourself to become complacent, but be on fire for God’s holiness.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength to flee all sin; that you will repent of sin in your life; and that you will live on fire for God.
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:10
When things are going good, people are happy. They are satisfied and ready to keep on going. However, when trouble comes, many people crash into depression and anger. Often they question why something bad is happening. They want to know why things are no longer going well.
At this point judgement starts to occur. They blame themselves, others or God for what is going wrong. Bitterness sets in and their life takes a downward spiral.
Shortly after loosing all of his livestock, servants and children–his material wealth–Job came down with sores covering his entire body. He would sit in ashes, scraping his skin, trying to find relief. His wife told him to give up on God, to curse God and die. She thought suicide would be the way out of all the suffering Job was going through.
Immediately Job told her that she was being foolish. He said that just as they accept good from God, they should also accept trouble from Him.
Accepting trouble in one’s life is very difficult, because it is painful and difficult. Often it does not make any sense. A person can be doing everything right, yet everything is going wrong.
However, God works all things out for the good of those who love Him and trust Him. God allows bad things in the lives of His people for a reason. It can be to build the person up, encourage others and build others up, or for them to be a witness to others.
Jesus did everything perfectly, never sinning, yet He had the greatest trouble put on any man of all time–the sins of every person, but it was for a purpose. It benefited Him and all mankind.
As you are going through a struggle, and you will, if you are not going through one right now, trust God in it. Give Him all the praise for who He is. Praise Him for knowing what is best for you. Praise Him for how He is going to bring you through that trouble. Praise Him for how He is going to use that trouble for your benefit.
Don’t fight against trouble and fall into depression or bitterness. Allow God to use it and change you. In the end you will have eternal life with no more troubles.
I pray today that you will know God’s faithfulness to you; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will trust God’s choices for you; and that you will praise God in every circumstance.
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.