Grown Up Christians

It’s not about age, it’s about spiritual maturity

Ephesians 4:1-3
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In 1787, walking out of Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin was asked the question as to whether or not we had a republic or a monarchy? Franklin replied “A republic, if you can keep it.” Our nation has struggled to keep a republic ever since.

In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul challenged the church at Ephesus to “endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The challenge is “if you can keep it.” UNITY and PEACE in the body of Christ are two things that every member of the body must strive to KEEP. Satan knows how difficult this can be, so what he does is work to sow discord and division through doctrinal, political, and racial strife.

While the world will always struggle with these things, the body of Christ was established to demonstrate what a UNIFIED and PEACEFUL BODY looks like to a lost world. When we allow the things of this world to infiltrate Christ’s body, then we have become a friend of the world, and the scripture says:

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4

Paul gave a solution to our delima:

Ephesians 4:14-16
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

It’s time for us all to GROW UP!

Ray Stewart is Senior Pastor of Grace and Truth Baptist Church in Independence, MO. Devoted to the doctrinal teaching of the Word of God, he sees the church as a place … “Where the People are the Church”

From the Rising of the Son

Jesus can relate to your feelings

Psalm 50:1

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

This morning as I walked the five blocks from my parking spot to my job, I was captivated by the skyline view of downtown Kansas City. It provoked thoughts of sitting on a balcony with coffee and toast, a cool breeze blowing across my skin, making me feel alive and refreshed. At that moment, I wished I was not on my way to work. I would much rather have been on a Hawaiian beach watching a vibrant sunrise dismantle the rain clouds with a bright and striking sun moving across the sky.

And what would I be doing at 6:30 in the morning under the conditions described above? I would be sitting in the early morning splendor ruminating about how life imitated nature. I would be thinking of the dark times in my life and remembering how the power of the Son evaporated my cloudy days. The beauty of the sentiment would, without doubt, cause tears to flow as I lifted my voice in praise for the rising of the Son in my heart.

Jesus does that, you know? He sees through our cloudy days, and just at the right moment, He illuminates His love to let us know He is with us in the dark. The Psalms give a divine image of this. David, the man after God’s own heart, records his emotions in the struggles he faces. Taking his complaints to God, he questions and accepts the sovereignty of the Creator. And through every up and down scenario, we see the mind of God toward David demonstrated in his faithfulness to help David. We are afforded a glimpse into the prophecies of the life and struggles the Son of God would endure on earth and his forthcoming emergence as the victorious, reigning King on earth.

Like David, we should bear our very heart and soul to God. No matter what the emotion, talk to him about it. Because of who he is, he will always bring us full circle to praise Him.

And therein lies the beauty of the Rising of the Son!

Psalm 113:3

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.

Cry Not, My Sistah

Some wonder…

When does the bleeding stop?

When does the ache fade?

When does the memory disappear into oblivion?

I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. All I have is a heart that prays, and a pen that showers words upon pages … waxing poetic upon the mind … and Emotionally Charged:

 CRY NOT, MY SISTAH!

Cry not my Sistah, for you are not alone.

The hardships in this life were not made for you to own.

Cry not my Sistah, for I’ve seen your many tears.

I know your weeping in the night has been for many years.

Cry not my Sistah, for I know how hard you continually try.

Yet, no matter your will, some things still pass you by.

Cry not my Sistah, for your inner strength remains.

The broken dreams cannot deny what you have gained.

Cry not my Sistah, for I also hear your prayers.

How I wish to convince you that somebody out here cares.

Cry not my Sistah, for the burdens that weigh you down.

A beautiful smile is waiting, in time, to replace your frown.

Cry not my Sistah, for your best is never in vain.

Our God is a witness to the scars of your pain.

I tell you to cry not my Sistah, for it will be okay.

A time will come when all your misery will wash away.

The strength of your character will provide all you need.

Time will come be the rewarder for all your good deeds.

And all your troubles will vaporize into the distant past.

Just continue with faith in the Lord; remaining steadfast.

The JourneyWomen are expected to multi-task (family, work, & more). Though equipped helpers, remember, even God rested from his labors.

~page 16, from my book, “Emotionally Charged“~

 

Sisters, in those moments when you feel most unloved, alone, or afraid, encourage yourself with the words of this song by Switch, and KNOW that you are GOD’S:

SYMPHONY

Joseph: A Picture of Remaining True

When a man’s ways please God…

It starts from birth.  Children start out tender and sensitive to their environments.

Genesis 37:4 (KJV)

And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

  • A parent’s affection or lack of affection begins the building blocks of their foundation. When parents show favoritism to one child more than others it sets up an ungodly competition and causes discord between siblings. Every child should feel loved by their parents, even when they make poor choices and/or behave in ways not pleasing.
  • At our spiritual birth, we are hated like Joseph was, because of God’s love and favor towards us. Satan, once the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-15), hates us because we have becomes God’s heirs to the throne, the place he wanted to be, and the reason he was kicked out of heaven. And because he hates us, he continually seeks to make us stumble and fail at pleasing God so he can accuse and shame us before God as he has been shamed. The Story of Job is our picture of this truth.

 Don’t expect everyone to rejoice in God’s plan for you.

Genesis 37:8 (KJV)

And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

  • God has a plan for every Believer’s life. There are ones common to all of us such as “to love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37), and to ‘go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • Your service gifts are specific to you and how God has shaped you to be. Not everyone will be able to accept God’s vision for how He is using you to serve. So, don’t let other’s ridicule or rejection of sharing Christ and serving Christ affect you in a negative way.
  • Jesus was hated for proclaiming himself as the Messiah and saying he was sent by God the Father to do the will of His Father, even though it was true. Don’t expect to get a pass on being/doing what God is shaping you for, because Jesus didn’t, and he was Messiah (John 10:30-32).
  • Don’t feel bad when people reject the truth you speak from God’s Word. They have been blinded, and only God can remove the cover from their eyes. It’s our job to provide the torch that is lit by the power of God’s Spirit within us.

031219-HolyBibleLessons on our character, resisting temptation, unfairness, patience and God’s faithfulness.

Genesis 39

  • 1-5 – (v2) the Lord was with him; the Lord made him prosperous (v3, 23; it is God who gives us power to get wealth – Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.; Psalm 1:3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.);
  • 6b) He was a goodly person (He practiced living right… Proverbs 16:7When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.)
  • 7 – He was tempted to sin;… 1 Corinthians 10:13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  • 8 – He refused to sin;… – 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • 9c – He shows discretionhow then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? [Discreet: Prudent; wise in avoiding errors or evil and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; cautious; wary; not rash] (also, Genesis 41:33, 39; Mark 12:34And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.)
  • 10 – He resisted the temptation (hearkened not unto her) (James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.)
  • 11 – He didn’t avoid the temptation – (Proverbs 4:14-1614 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.)
  • 12 – Yet, he was delivered (And she caught him by his garment, … and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. [God will deliver us: 2 Peter 2:9 – The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:]

green click pen on a white graphing notebook

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and, there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]