Sunday, September 14, 2014
At this point I could just say "shame on us" (as I have in past posts) and move on.
Instead let's explore this just a little and each of us can examine our own hearts as the Apostle Paul encourages us to do and perhaps we ourselves will sense the prick of Holy Spirit conviction and move in a more positive fashion concerning the members of the Body of Christ.
To support the work of the ministry, the pastors of Turn the Tide Ministries do home improvements and renovations.
Often, in order to build a more beautiful room, we must deconstruct the room or elements of the room that currently exist. Tearing apart a wall or ceiling or fixture is messy, dirty and not at all beautifying! If you took a look, you would most likely comment:
"It looks more like they are making a mess rather than creating a beautiful room!"
and you would be correct, if you had no idea what we were doing or why we were doing it or what the next steps would be. Personally, the tearing down is, in my opinion, the easy part of the job. The hard part is the building up.
In the Body of Christ we who have declared Jesus our Savior are all members in particular of ONE BODY with Christ as the Head. Interestingly enough, we see only a small part, our part, in the Body. And tearing down remains much easier than building up!
In a recent Facebook post, Christian singer Carmen took up the cause of Joel Osteen and his lovely wife, Pastors of Lakewood Church in Texas. Joel is what I term a "celebrity Christian figure" as he is well known generally more widely than local church pastors. Some cannot stand him or his methods. Some love him and every word he says is book selling gold.
Whether what he says, the books he writes or the sermons he preaches are good or bad is for God alone to judge. Whether he is "truly saved" or a huckster is also Gods business alone. According to the word of God, we are only to judge the FRUIT produced or the lack thereof. The heart of a man only God can know. The heart of a woman only God can know.
The same for celebrity styled persons everywhere, like Joyce Meyers or Creflo Dollar. People will always take every word and tear it up and tear it down because of whatever it is that motivates them. Even we have been dismissed as missionaries for the Lord by some, simply because our mission field is our home country or because we don't seek funds from others to do the work of the ministry!
It isn't up to "us" to judge words or judge hearts or judge ministries or methods of ministry. ONLY GOD KNOWS THE BIG PICTURE AND WHAT HIS PURPOSES ARE!
There is only one question any of us are allowed to ask.
Is there FRUIT? Fruit that glorifies God? Fruit that increases Gods Kingdom? Fruit that leads others to a saving knowledge of Christ? These are the only things we have any right to judge according to the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus.
Otherwise, we are all called to do the HARD PART. BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST IN LOVE. Tearing down is easy. The much harder part is to get on your knees and pray. Pray for the light of the Holy Spirit to shine. Pray for TRUTH to be received and given. Pray for hearts softened toward God and yielding to His commands. Pray for the Body to grow in Love and Peace and Joy and Goodness and Mercy.
We will all give an account of every word we speak. NOT to each other, but to Almighty God alone who is worthy and able to judge. I tremble at the thought. I know I've spoken words I wish now I could take back, say differently, or speak with more LOVE infused in them!
Well did our Apostle Paul warn us!
GALATIANS 5:15 ~ BUT IF YOU BITE AND DEVOUR ONE ANOTHER BEWARE LEST YOU BE CONSUMED BY ONE ANOTHER!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, no matter what "name" you call yourself, what labels you or others have put on yourselves, if CHRIST is your Lord, we are ONE BODY. Protect our Body, bless our Body, honor our Body, give God the Glory and let God, who knows and sees be the JUDGE. Where there are wolves masquerading in sheep's clothing, He can and will provide safety.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!