Spiritual amputees

In all our lives we can feel weak. We can feel emotionally or spiritually disabled. The sin that we’ve been born with has caused us to loose a part of ourselves. We are all, in a sense, spiritual amputees. We cannot love. We cannot have faith. We cannot do good.

Romans tells us, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

“They are together become unprofitable”

Basically everyone on this earth is useless.

But we don’t all feel that way do we? The rich man feels that he is better than the poor man. The strong man feels  he is better than the weakling. The ruler feels he is better than the commoner. In our own little world, we give glory to those who we see as wise or strong. We erect these measures of status and profitability for our own comparisons among each other. We become disillusioned and blinded to the true measure and standard of God’s power and worthiness.

God doesn’t want to leave us in this false world of fake and useless status, so He shakes things up a bit.

In Corinthians we find, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

God basically reveals himself by taking those considered weak, and making them strong. He takes the poor man, and uses him to show up the rich man.

He takes a bunch of lowly fishermen, and transforms them into apostles who revolutionize the demographics and belief systems of the entire world. He chooses Gideon, who was lowly in status, to lead an army of very few to defeat a massive army. He takes a life as common and lowly as yours or mine and uses it to make a difference for His glory.

So next time you feel as if you have nothing to offer God. Or that you don’t measure up. Or that you don’t have the tools to succeed. Realize that might just be what God is looking for. God can use anyone. He can use the strongest person in the room. But He seeks out the weakest. He chooses the foolish. He plans to use the ones no one would ever expect, to do the things they could never do on their own. And why? So the world can know all the things they value and esteem worthy of praise are worth nothing. They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable. Everyone is useless without Him. There is not exception. There is no comparison worth making between us.

“That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:29

 

Advertisements

God wants you to judge . . . only certain people

Do you know that the Bible actually expects us to judge people?

 

But not everyone.

The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 5. In this chapter, Paul is writing to a church that has allowed many of their members to remain members while they lived with obvious sin. These sins that the church tolerated were so terrible Paul says that such sins weren’t even found among the heathen.

Christians were behaving worse than unsaved people!

Obviously, there was a major problem. Paul essentially tells the Corinthians that they need to start making judgments about the people in the church. In this passage, we see that Christians have the authority to tell other Christians to either change their behavior, or leave the church.

One Bible version says, “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.”

Did you catch that? We aren’t supposed to judge people who aren’t saved. Only those who are.

How do you enact judgment? Do you speak to a brother in Christ when they are losing their way? Do you encourage them to get on the right path?

How do you behave towards the unsaved? Do you cast judgment and condemnation on them? Or do you allow God to judge them?

Let us always remember that we are responsible for holding the Church accountable to God’s commands. It may not be fun, or politically correct, but if someone continues in open sin without changing, we need to send them away. On the flip side, people who do not claim to be Christians, are not for us to judge. God judges them.

Let us show God’s love by encouraging Godly lives in our fellow Christians, and allowing God to be the one to judge the world.

It’s a very small thing

A young man hunches over his desk poring over data and the materials of his job. He’s trying to find a solution to please his boss, but he doesn’t see one. He’s wondering how that will affect his standing in the company. Without hesitating, his mind goes to what his boss with think if he doesn’t find a solution. What will his wife and family think if he doesn’t get that promotion.

A little child stands on the playground with her peers behind her. They dare her (against her mother’s instruction) to climb to the top of the structure and walk dangerously on a thin pole several feet from concrete. She feels the stress of their jeers and thinks. What will they think if I don’t? Will I have any friends?

A suspect sits on the witness stand. He is asked to answer a difficult question. The truthful answer will throw him in questionable light even though he is innocent. Should he tell the truth and expose himself to a greater risk of being convicted? What will the jury think when they here the answer? What will his family think if he is convicted?

I’m sure you have been in this position. I know I have. We wonder, “What will __________ think?” We play over all the outcomes and people’s possible thoughts and judgments and we become stressed. We imagine being judged and condemned before we even are. Our worry of another’s possible thoughts, causes alarm. And we are left with cloudy judgment and a lack of conviction on what we should do. We allow another’s thoughts of us, dictate or influence our decisions.

This is not God’s way.

I would like to show you just a snapshot of Paul’s motivation in life. He was speaking to the Corinthians on a subject matter somewhat different from ours when he said,

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self  . . . he that judgeth me is the Lord.”   1 Corinthians 4

Think with me. Our motivation for living is Christ.

He is our all in all.

If our purpose is to please Him, what does it matter when others think ill of us in the most trivial or serious matters?

Christ is the only one we must please. Throughout history, God has called up men to speak on behalf of truth and righteousness- and they were not always well received. Could they have accomplished their calling by coddling the whims of men?

I challenge you, realize that it is a VERY small thing that someone on this earth should judge you. It doesn’t matter what your teachers think. What your boss thinks. What your friends think. What the general public thinks. Even on occasion, what your family thinks.

It matters what Christ requires of you.

The man at his job could solve the problem best if he sought divine guidance. Or maybe his boss knew he couldn’t solve the problem, but wanted to see how he acted under stress. Seeking God is always less stressful. That girl on the playground could have pleased her friends or broken her arm by accepting the dare. Perhaps by refusing, she would make the best choice and find some better friends. If the man on the witness stand lied, he would be sowing corruption in his life. If it came out later in the investigation he lied, it would go badly for him. If he told the truth, he would please his God in heaven and accomplish His supreme will.

When we strive to please man, we put our quest to please God on hold.

Don’t compromise.

Allow your desire to please Christ motivate your every action.