It’s Tough To Be Tactful

Romans 12:15

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

This section of Romans sets out the moral and ethical demands of the Gospel. God is not satisfied with just forgiving our sin, He wants to transform our lives. Salvation has to make a difference and requires active response to show in our Christian conduct towards others. God’s love, grace and mercy lavished upon us must show up in our character as sensitivity, tact, kindness, compassion, joy and honor for others with a genuine love for them, working hard, being enthusiastic in the Lord’s work, faithful in prayer and ready to help in time of need. We are to bless our enemies with these good Christ like qualities that lie within us. There’s nothing any more tactless than throwing a wet blanket of complaint over someone’s success or jumping for joy about our good fortune in the face of another’s adversity. Either one is like pouring vinegar on a wound.

Can you take it if your enemy or perhaps your friend does well? Can you rejoice in their success and their gains and mourn with them over their failures, setbacks, losses, discouragements, and disappointments? Sometimes our pride and jealousy make it’s tough to be tactful, but friends that’s our calling and only by God’s grace can we succeed in it.

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A Beautiful Day to you!!

Living Free

Galatians 5: 13.

” You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

Let’s put this verse into it’s context and read farther.

Galatians 5:13 – 18.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say let the Holy Spirit guide your lives, then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians proclaims that that salvation comes by faith alone and is not based on our performance and now he goes on to address the question, “What happens if we don’t keep the law?” What guides our conduct? Remember Christ didn’t come to abolish the law or do away with the Ten Commandments but rather He came to fulfill it and He did! By being the perfect, spotless, sinless lamb of God, He became our living sacrifice so that we are no longer under obligation to sacrifice an unblemished animal for our sin. You can imagine a world without any kind of rules. With our sinful nature, it would be chaotic and violent with all manner of evil. The commandments serve as guidelines or boundaries over which we dare not cross, or the consequences of sin will catch up with us, however, we are not under it’s law of spiritual condemnation if we fail. Christ’s once and for all sacrifice and shed blood paid for our sin, and places us, as believers under God’s grace and forgiveness. Hallelujah, we are free from the law of Moses!

Righteousness comes from the Spirit indwelling us and we in Him. Christ’s holiness living in us spurs us on to passionate obedience because we simply love Him. We are free in Christ, but that freedom can be a slippery slope to our moral ruin if we don’t use it wisely. Freedom is great isn’t it? It’s wonderful to be free, not have to answer to anyone, make our own rules, live our own lives. Enjoy the day, the moment! Ahhh, but if that freedom is used for selfish desire to get what we want, to indulge in the pleasure of the moment at all cost, it quickly becomes our bondage, our addictions and our destruction. Freedom is not a license to sin, because sin is bondage, ruin, misery and death. A true Christ One with a heart of obedience out of love for our Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, Sustainer and Provider, will live to please Him and strive serve others out of love, as we press on in abundant life, to our eternal, heavenly goal.

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A Mighty Weapon Of Warfare…Peace!

James 3:17-18

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Spiritual wisdom..the kind that God gives of freely to those who ask Him, is not motivated by personal agendas or selfish schemes. That’s the world’s way of wisdom. God’s wisdom is completely pure, humble in spirit, peace loving, considerate, compassionate, merciful and kind. It considers the best interest of another brother or sister first and sows good seed accordingly. Godly wisdom will strive for peace in all areas of life. It will desire to maintain right relationships with family and friends alike. It will desire to sow peace in the home, the community, the school, the church and the work place and enjoy the benefit of a bountiful harvest of abundant life in Christ. A fruitful, productive life, free from strife and discord, and the chaos and unsettled circumstances that it brings.

If you have strife and discord in your life, ask God to speak His peace into your circumstances and into your unsettled situations. Ask Him to speak “peace” into your own heart and give you His wisdom in dealing with the issues at hand. Chances are He’ll tell you to take your hands of the problem, sit quietly and let Him work it out, while you remain still and peaceful. Peace in our heart is a mighty weapon of warfare in the spiritual realm because it can’t bring argument, or fear, or distrust, which are some of the the enemy’s tactics for throwing us headfirst into strife! He doesn’t know what to do when we’re at peace with our situations. Peace in our storm, will calm the waves and the Creator of the universe will cause the the winds of turmoil to die down and dissipate very quickly!

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Confrontation? Maybe, Maybe Not!!

Matthew 18:15

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

Confrontation is not easy is it? If we find it easy, we most likely have the wrong idea of what it’s all about. Have you ever confronted someone only to be rebuked with angry words that hurt and cut deeply. Perhaps it has cut off all communication with that person. Was it worth it? Probably not! Sometimes we ‘re quick to point out others faults before we take a good look at our own. Sometimes, we confront with the idea that what they’ve done is far worse than anything we’ve done. That’s when it’s wrong to confront anyone about anything. To go and confront another harboring resentment towards them is not only a bad idea it’s not what Jesus said to do! If we proceed like a bull in a china shop the words will only escalate and blow up in our face. To go confronting, parading a self -righteous attitude that will condemn another is not only asking for drama, it’s clearly not what this verse is saying.

Rather than being quick to point out another’s sin to everyone else, we must take care to keep, what we believe is an offense, confidential. To discuss it with a best friend is close to gossip and to talk behind backs is getting close to playing politics to gain support for our side. It’s wrong and can cause so much damage of reputation. Chances are it will say more about the kind of person we are, more than the one we complain about. Politics can and will quickly split churches, as members are manipulated into taking sides with ideas, that might not even be accurate. How unfair is that?

When offended, our highest priority should be taking the issue to God and bathing it, ourselves personally, and our offender in prayer. We must take care to make sure that we ourselves are in a right relationship with God and ‘set apart’ from the world and the selfishness that motivates us to retaliate. When all is well with our soul, and we then hear from God that we are to ‘Go indeed’ in love, to the person, we need to make sure that God has communicated the same idea to our offender, through a soft, receptive heart. If He hasn’t, then we need to hold off because to manipulate another into confrontation is wrong and should be postponed until it fits smoothly into place.

When the time is right Go to your brother/sister, and if you can make your point without offending, God has definitely blessed the moment. Accept forgiveness if need be, extend grace and take action to re-establish your relationship quickly and efficiently. If there is still a refusal to listen, Jesus, in Matthew 18: 16, goes on to say to take two or three others along to establish credibility in the content of what is said and to prevent slanderous accusations from being presented to the congregation. Truth can never be established with one word against another. Lies are never honored by God, but I have seen Him turn a lie around to bless a humble spirit that didn’t deserve the malignment they received. I love how He does that!

A major offense needs to be dealt with and if church leadership has to become involved, it might get ugly, especially if a church has to take action against an unrepentant heart living a sinful lifestyle! Jesus’ idea of Discipline by exclusion is rooted in the conviction that God’s people are to be holy and that sin corrupts fellowship between people and between the people and God. The goal of such action is neither vindictive retribution or a display of power, but rather restoration of the wayward to holiness and fellowship.

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