Self-Piety of the Brethren

Sufferings….from abusers, criticizers, liars, revilers, the dispassionate – and that’s just from Christians. Just because Christians are saved and spirit-filled does not give them carte blanche to ‘righteously’ sin against the unsaved OR the brethren. We are either achievers or perceivers; the say-ers or do-ers of the righteousness we have as Christians. The perceivers are outnumbering the achievers.

These sufferings we encounter from other Christians are keeping us from being the achievers we are meant to be. Why aren’t we praying more? Why aren’t we giving more? WHY AREN’T WE EVANGELIZING MORE? Because we suffer at the hands of the Brethren that persecute us.

My husband says, “The Church has the only army that kills its own wounded.” Nothing could be truer.

We are hurt, we are tired; we are nearly an inanimate Christian among other Christians that are medicating themselves with church attendance instead of service and worship. Yes, we have the knowledge of saving grace and faith in an eternity with Him, but like the lady said in the commercials…. “WHERE’S THE BEEF?” Where is the meat of the wisdom and LOVE we should have in Christ?

Should we suffer until Glory? We will have tribulations but to suffer because the Brethren ‘righteously’ sin against other believers is not a prerequisite of Heaven. The Apostle Paul said: ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18

Thank God for the Hope we have in Christ and the Glory that will be revealed. Even though we suffer, we still get the prize.

The Everyday Christian

Can we be so unaware of what life is doing to others every day around us? Jesus said the poor (of spirit and of circumstance) will be with us always, until the end. Christians aren’t supposed to step over them to get to church. But life is happening every minute of every day and nothing is getting done by the Church to put a dent into issues like abortion, homelessness and hunger – and that’s the short list.

I believe in correct doctrine 1000%, absolutely. Christians should have proper teaching from the pulpit regarding the Word of God that we can go out into all the world, as the Bible says, and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. It is our commandment from Christ to be aware of correct doctrine that we would evangelize the lost. Nevertheless, His other commandment is this: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Should a church have walls? The answer is yes and no.

The Bible says, ‘And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.’ We are commanded to strengthen each other so that we can endure until the end, whether that is our natural death or the Rapture. We need to worship together and fortify our love for the brethren. But is going to church more important than extending a helping hand to those that need it? Some say yes.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me…. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”

While re-re-re-re-re-re-rereading the Gospels, I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to take notice of the many good works that Jesus did and gave us power to do. He didn’t sit on His doctrine. I was also impressed with the way Jesus and the Apostles evangelized and taught; they went to the people. What Jesus taught and what Paul continued to teach is this: a Christian’s pulpit is in ‘all the world’ every day. Our works are set before us and was known even before we were born. We are intended to be an Everyday Christian, every day.

 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

The Giving Christian

What about ME, the local Church says.

It’s been bitter cold outside and recently snowed. I wonder about who is on the streets with nowhere to go and hungry. The local Church and other charities are funded by their local members to help supply a warm place to sleep and have a meal. Jesus said we would have the poor with us always but He did not say to ignore them.

‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

I know a man that gave many thousands of dollars to a ministry that is not in his home town. I saw this man turn around when one of his $5000 gifts was received and looked right into the camera. I was ill with disgust and grief. This man would rather give to be seen than to give to his local church for local outreaches that actually help clothe, house, and feed the helpless, hopeless and homeless in the city that he lives. I wonder how his $15,000 could have really helped real people in the worst time of their lives. He has received his reward for man to see here on earth.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

One Christmas Day a couple of years ago, our daughter made sandwiches and took them to people that was on the street and hungry…“but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Great will be her reward in Heaven.

We need to take our Salvation and give back to those that really need the Brethren instead of sitting idly by thinking someone else will do it. Are we so lazy? Are we so haughty?

What about ME, the local Church says….what about me?

Who do you think you are?

Psalms 51:13 says, ‘Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’

A man so broken for breaking God’s heart wrote that bit of scripture during the worst time of his life. But even in his darkest moment, David knew what he is supposed to do for the Lord. Regardless of his horrific sin, he is to teach the transgressor the way of God because he transgressed. David believed God, not the sin he committed. It was David’s service to the Lord that made him a man after God’s own heart.

I see way too often how badly Christians treat each other. You have to wonder what the non-believer thinks when they witness a Christian acting badly. You may be the only Jesus that person will ever see and might have just blown it for that person to ever trust a Christian that they may know the Lord.

What happened to your responsibility to the Lord? This hyper-grace attitude of doing NOTHING or it looks like WORKS is getting real old. As a blood bought child of God you have a responsibility to pray. You have a responsibility to read the Bible. You have a responsibility to witness to others. And that’s just the beginning. There is nothing wrong with holding out your hand to another in the name of Jesus whether it’s dishing out food at the mission or helping the homeless.

These new responsibilities are not bondage because it is not law-keeping; this is being a Christian that matures instead of acting like spoiled child. If someone is hungry, feed them. Is someone is thirsty, give them something to drink even if it’s a bottle of water. If they need to get to the store or doctor, give them a ride. Further:

1Corinthians 3:1-3 states, ‘(v1)And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (v2)I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (v3)For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?’

Some Christians may have a lot doctrinal knowledge, and still be beginners in the life of faith and experience – service; arguments about doctrine is a miserable fact of carnality.

Faithful service to the Lord involves commitment, not an excuse. Extend a hand. Be the Christian that the Lord wants you to be and wants the world to see.