Being True Believers In Practice
Let’s do the maths and take inventory. Let’s do this prayerfully. Are you ready?
What do 1 Co 13 Hos 6:6 and Phil 4 have in common? Let us see today!
So often I have found through the years that a Christian will act one way with Him and a different way with others or someone they don’t like much or disagree with. Have you encountered such behavior? I have been a recipient of such and have known family members or Christians who have also.
I suggest these offending ‘Christians’ need to take their rose tainted glasses off when they read their bibles because the Scriptures have much to say about behavior. If we act ‘holy’ with The Lord and poorly towards others - be it family members, Christians or unbelievers - it is Not a good thing! As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit brought a verse to my attention today and unveiled it’s meaning along the lines of what I have believed a long time concerning unacceptable behavior of Christians and it’s found in the very love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. I was reading DLNT (Disciples Literal New Testament) and a verse stood out that proves my point and sheds light on something many of us have missed when hearing or reading this chapter.
It goes like this: Many Christians can relate to “I am not proud or envious...I do not brag…...I’m not easily provoked or take pleasure in unrighteousness (around them)” but they do behave poorly towards someone or others. When something or someone is not suited to their liking, they reflect that in their words and manner.
The best of us tend to pick or choose what Scriptures we like to read often, don’t we? We like to read chapters or verses that make us feel good - that’s ok, it’s in keeping with human nature to do so but we need to venture a little and explore the extras we’re not covering, what they say to us, hey? Did you know that certain behaviors hinder our prayers? Yes, that’s right. I believe for a long time now that the apostle Paul’s words to couples concerning their spouse applies to our behavior towards each-other as Christians too because our relationship in Christ is also a sacred bond. That may not agree with you, however Paul gave us much counsel on how we are to relate together - that which is appropriate, as Children of God, and that which is not.
I suggest we need to look for these verses when we desire to “please The Lord” because it’s amazing how many of us leave those things out of our Christian walk or have not even noticed them. Other things it says in 1 Corinthians 13 are: Love does not behave itself unseemly (it is not rude or impolite) it behaves becomingly as is befitting to a child of the Most High and confers honor on others like He would/does. But some of us are even prepared to make comments or remarks of disrepute, are we not? The DLNT version says “does not behave-dishonorably” that applies, I believe, to the way we behave AND casting a shadow on someone’s honor, acting disfavorably towards them, defaming or upsetting them. Such words or actions show us up for how acceptable our godly character really is. In other words, if our words or actions with others does not match our behavior towards Him, we dishonor Him as well as that person we offended and in doing so, we actually sow dishonor to ourselves.
Yes, this is maybe hard to accept but it’s true. In fact, Philippians 4:8 even goes so far as to address even our thoughts towards others “whatever is of a good report….think of these things” That and accompanying words in two other verses give us a perfect recipe for “the God of Peace to be with us” (to sense and experience His Presence) and position ourselves for His blessings. Yes, as a matter of fact, verse 6 “Not to be anxious” but “Always Rejoice” verse 4, rather than getting upset and voicing discontents AND “Being Gracious and Gentle” in our manner (not just when we wish to) verse 5, together with verse 8 is Paul’s Recipe for Living in Victory, we can practice daily.
In verse 3 of 1 Corinthians Love Chapter, Paul says we can “give up our possessions” (for God) and even “our body” (be a martyr for Him) and if we do not practice Love (without favoritism) towards others “I am nothing” (I am not acting as the child of God I deem myself to be) my “holy walk” counts for nothing - it is not acceptable in His Sight. Paul is saying here “we are kidding ourselves”........we are told “not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought and to practice sober judgement” (in the light we see ourselves in) are we not? Romans 12:3
May I suggest to you that “holiness” is something many of us have misconceptions about? We’re just as religious as religious folks, when it comes to the reality of our “Walk with Jesus” failing to express it in Practical Ways when it comes to how we conduct ourselves in communications with this one and that one. Much as to say this one is a favorite and I’ll treat them well, that one is not, so I’ll treat them anyhow……..forgetting our God is hearing and watching the entire time.
Hebrews 4:13 "Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Yes all things are bare and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do and we will give account." Yes it's so true, we may not care now but we most surely will then.
So what the Holy Spirit showed me today to share is: You can “Love God” as much as you like - even go without things for Him and even give yourself as a martyr, but if your Love for Others is not there (only with the ones you like) that’s favoritism - that means nothing, you have not pleased Him at all. He would say to some of you when Jesus Comes “I did not ask you to do those things but to love and respect each-other and bestow honor. You did not do that.” You find this clearly in the Scripture “I desire Mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6) Mind you, there’s a message in the secular song “There’s no sacrifice at all”.......that speaks of apathetic or lethargic commitment.
As I wrote in a prophetic post last year "most Christians don't know the difference between liking and love" (that's the way they act). We must come against careless behavior in Christianity - our own first would be good.
So God is not saying He wants a Walk with Him without any sacrifice, but to place a priority on Practicing Mercy because in Hosea’s time, they were actually practising half-hearted sacrifices. And do you remember David once saying “I will not give to The Lord that which costs me nothing? (1 Chronicles 21:24)” Yes, it should cost us something to Follow The Lord - especially the way we treat others if we are not treating someone well. That’s right, Salvation is a “Contract” you could say, when you made Jesus Lord of your life - He did say to “Love Him with all your heart and mind and strength and treat others as you wish to be treated”( Mark 12:30) not poorly, not nasty, not anyhow, hey? But rendering Mercy when there should be mercy, love and respect at all times, bestowing honor, having honorable intentions. Showing gentleness of heart like Paul instructed us. Yes Jesus gave His All - sadly most Christians are giving what "costs them nothing"
A True Believer’s Life is not paying your dues (figure of speech) by attending weekly services…...maybe daily bible reading and doing whatever you ‘prefer’ and being nice to who you prefer, the rest of the time. That takes no commitment at all - little really or limited.
Let’s go back to prayer again and see what we can best do about this on a continual basis. We need to pray continually (start each day in prayer, setting our expectations for our conduct and lean on Him for His Strength to live in practical holiness, rather than religious) Well wishes to all, I’m included in this.