Wolves in the Midst

In this last hour, we as believers and followers of Jesus Christ need to be alert to the tricks of the enemy. The enemy is cleverly deceptive. He will not pass up any opportunity to strike at God’s children. We proclaim “that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”; that the Lord has promised much to his children. We need to rest on those promises.  Still, we must not put ourselves in compromising situations, of which there are many, some innocent, but just as deadly. We need to test the spirit of those teachers, preachers and pastors whose teaching, discipleship, or leadership we choose to follow. There are many wolves among the sheep. Can you single them out? Could you tell the difference?

Many are known as motivational speakers and they have taken over the pulpit, the airwaves and your thought life. That’s not to say that all pastors are motivational speakers, but clearly many rely on lines from their best sellers to encourage their congregation, and, or followers. You may have heard of positive thinking, something that sounds scripturally sound, but truly is not the same as trusting in God and thinking of, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This thinking comes about from a renewed mind and only God, because He gave His one and only Son to pay for our sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit can renew your mind.

I am of the opinion that motivational and encouraging words minus the Word of God equals to empty rhetoric.  The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. It cuts deep into the soul when it is appropriately applied,  We should be striving to be content in all things, more so in this last hour. Phil. 4:11  Whether we love it or not…because by His grace we stand.

We are living in a very confused and chaotic world. If you are not reading, or hearing the Word of God, you may just be listening to a different gospel.

Part 1: Ground Zero: The Mind

Last Sunday, at church, I heard a message that compelled me to share something the Lord has been showing me. Some people will not understand the message, others will not agree and others will judge, but read it, glean what you can and toss the rest out. Hopefully, you will take away something the Lord has been putting in your heart. The message is about the spiritual battle for the mind, aptly titled Ground Zero: The Mind. This message is in five parts.

What is Ground Zero?  Our mind, the battlefield where we, as Christians, combat against every evil thought that seeks to destroy our faith in the only true and living God.  Fighting of evil thoughts is easy for most people, because most people consider only the most horrendous, unforgivable evils against humanity, and truth be told no one would admit to entertaining such thoughts, even in jest.  We consider those evils that society has deemed reprehensible such as murder, stealing, adultery and other such crimes against humanity.  However, as our unbelieving counterparts, most Christians give little thought to the “innocent sin” like a haughty spirit, or a gossipy tongue, or selfishness.  These sins are written off to personality, or character traits.  Nevertheless, the battle waged against us begins in the mind; it is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces in the dark recesses of our mind, whose only mission is to destroy our witness for Jesus Christ.  The Word clearly states that if you hold hatred for your brother, you had better go make it right, because God makes no distinction when it comes to sin.  I John 3: 15, says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him”.  It is time for believers to wake up and stand against the evil coming against the children of God.  Take heed.  The “unforgivable” and the subtle evils that encompass the content of our character is nothing more than firepower for the weapons of the enemy.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

The days of judging people by the color of their skin is behind us, or at least that’s what most Americans are content to believe. However, the day where all Americans will be judged by the content of their character is a day that is quickly nearing. Unprepared, it will be more than we bargained for. I find it interesting, yet doubt that Martin Luther King, Jr., ever realized the prophetic message in his “I Have a Dream” speech. I doubt anyone in secular circles much less Christian circles has given the phrase any thought. As Christians, however, what is the content of our character? What does that mean? What will it mean for Christians, a.k.a. Jesus followers to be judged by the content of their character? I have to admit I have met all kind of Christians and the only common factor is their belief in God and Jesus Christ. This I surmised by their presence in church, and their participation in the various church activities. Compassion, love for mankind, generous, self-sacrificing, selfless,  humility, faithful, kind, altruistic, even honesty and integrity, these attributes are not common to all Christians.

Defining Character

Webster’s dictionary defines character, as moral excellence, and firmness, as in a man of sound character, or a person marked by notable or conspicuous traits. An acceptable definition for “content of your character” is living by a consistent set of values, revealing a personal integrity, sometimes referred to as an inner compass.

These are some examples of the sort of behaviors that reveal the content of your character:

  • Courage to do the right thing in the face of opposition whether, physical courage, intellectual courage, or moral courage
  • Admitting mistakes
  • Respect and consideration for others
  • Honoring commitments
  • Caring for family and friends
  • Faithful
  • Honesty and sincerity
  • Plays by the rules
  • Has a desire to serve
  • A good work ethic

How many people do you know that possess all these qualities? Are there other qualities that are more important to you?

Stay tuned…Cont. on next post.

Finding Faith in a faithless society

Recently, I was sharing a conversation with a woman who had found her lost faith in Christ. She was in the process of looking for a church home, but since she had yet to find one she felt strongly lead to attend, she was reading her bible daily and faithfully, and daily she said, the Lord was showing her many wonderous things. The conversation went on, but I could not help but be encouraged by her enthusiasm and eagerness to search the scriptures, to learn all she could about Jesus and to learn to recognize the voice of God. It was just her and God.  It was a breath of fresh air in today’s megachurch mentality. 

Megachurches have become nothing less than feelgood places. Positive thinkers in a negative world, forever preaching the word of God, but never grasping the life changing power of His majesty.

Matthew 9:36 Jesus was moved by compassion
Matthew 9: 2 Jesus saw their faith
Mathew 4 Jesus knew their thoughts

Christians are supposed to love others as themselves. However, harshly judged, but correctly judged Christians can be greedy, lack compassion, selfish, complacent, judgmental, lack self control, and self examination. So where is the body of Christ?