Sunday, July 12, 2020

Four things to Guard Against and Three Things to Do During Global Troubles

There are four things we need to guard against during times of global troubles.

1. Complacency
In this condition, we are unaware of what's going on around us. We have our head in the sand and are naive. The solution is to wake up.

2. Anxiousness
Once we wake up, we will see the condition of our world and there is a tendency to fear and be anxious. The solution is to trust in the Lord. Repent where we need to, and get our heart, mind, and life in line with Him.

3. Viciousness
Once we get our faith in the Lord right, we see that other people's behavior still affects us. There are consequences to what others are doing. We may want to attack them as a way to get them to stop. The solution is to pray to the Lord, and intercede for the others. Direct your energy into boldness to speak the truth, and to speak it in love.

4. Arrogance
The wicked will reap the consequences of their actions. When they do, there may be a tendency for us to snicker at that--or to all out laugh at them or mock them. This is not God's way. The solution is to humble ourselves and have mercy. 

Remember that there are wicked people who intentionally do evil things, but there are also those who do wicked things because they are deceived. They may not intentionally be trying to hurt God, or His people, but they are deceived. The strong delusion Paul spoke of to the Thessalonians is sent to those who don't love the truth and take pleasure in wickedness. Love of the truth is the answer, along with not taking pleasure in those things which are wicked.

We ourselves need to always make sure we embrace and seek truth. Proverbs tells us to buy the truth and not sell it. Truth costs something. It may cost us repentance or admission of wrong. 

During global troubles, it rains on both the just and unjust. The godly and the wicked live on the same planet and what one does affects the other to varying degrees. The Bible tells us of three things--Faith, Hope and Love. Our own lives, and the lives of those around us, can be affected by these three things.

Hope---After we awake in a state of anxiousness, we receive hope and speak words of hope to others.
Faith—We replace our anxiousness with faith and trust in the Lord so we will not attack others, but intercede, and boldly speak the truth.
Love—We are not arrogant and laugh at the calamity of others, but are merciful and humble.

2 Thessalonians 2
Proverbs 23:23
Matthew 5:45
1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Third Thing

4: One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.
5: Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Corinthians 14:4-5
In the church, we pray with our understanding so we, as a people group, are edified and built up. We speak in the common language so we can gain knowledge, learn, and bring our thoughts into line with the Lord’s.

We can pray in other tongues when we are gathered with other believers, and we ourselves will be edified, but the church will not be unless we interpret--or put into the common language--what we are saying. What this tells us, is that if people don’t understand with their mind what they are hearing from the realm of the spirit, it won't build up the group into what the Lord desires it to be. It is as “speaking into the air.” 

Language has meaning. It’s purpose is to bring understanding to the mind. This understanding enables the group to see their purpose which will cause them to think in line with that purpose, and then act accordingly.
6: But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?
7: Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?
8: For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
9: So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
10: There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning.
11: If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.
12: So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:6-12
When we gather, each of us has something to offer, and we should seek to give from the spiritual gifts we have, that which will edify the others.
26: What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1 Corinthians 14:26
When the church comes together, they become something corporately that is separate from who we are individually. The church is edified when we come together with the purpose of speaking intelligently to gain understanding and knowledge of the ways of the Lord. But what occurs is not just for the personal benefit of each one of us. It's not just you and me--a third thing happens. A corporate identity is birthed, and this corporate entity becomes built up into what the Lord desires it to be. The third thing is what the Lord is creating and birthing--the thing that He wants the corporate group to do/be.

There is power when people speak and understand each other. We see this at the Tower of Babel. The  Lord divided the language of the people because they were intending to build something as a group that was against His desires. They had the power to do it because of their common language. He scattered them because what they were intending wasn’t right. Common language enables building--the building and birthing of something new--the third thing.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to be our teacher, He gives us insight and understanding into the Word of the Lord.
26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
He teaches and reminds us of all that Jesus has said. When we come together with the goal of gaining a corporate understanding of what the Lord is saying, we will be able to build the church into what He desires it to be. Let's keep that in mind when we gather, and use the individual gifts each one of us have towards that purpose. We need more discussion, not lecture, so every part of the body is able to give the piece they have to share in building what the Lord is doing.