Forgiveness: make allowance for each other’s faults Colossians 3

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Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 

This song has been chasing me around all week.  Everytime someone has really got me mad or upset, suddenly this song is playing…and it’s one of those songs that stays in your head forever! It’s driving me crazy! I can’t stay mad, the song convicts me until I’ve completely forgiven the person. All my plots of sweet revenge have been smothered out.

 If we want the Lord to forgive our sins, we must forgive others:

 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.Mark 11:25

       I remember the strength of the Lord Jesus. He walked in silence as His accusers lied about him, accused Him, and said horrible things about Him. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing “. Could you have walked that walk with love?  Isaiah describes that moment:

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished Isaiah 53;7

Luke 23 records that moment: The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.  They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”  A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it  Luke 23

   I’m going to honest with you…I don’t always want to forgive. I sometimes want revenge and other times I think I just want to be mad a little bit longer and then I’ll forgive. I’ve gotten better, but I still run into situations/ people that disturb me. I’ve noticed the Lord’s blessings in my life for all the times I’ve forgiven. The Lord blesses me when I forgive and keep peace.

God Chose you to be Holy – so we need to act like it

       Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15

 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark 26:27

70 x 70
Sometimes we need forgive the same thing a million
times:
(you know when you forgive someone from your heart, and it pops back in again… we have to forgive again….oh here it comes again…. forgive again and again and again until you know you have completely forgiven that person- and it’s more than lip service – God checks your heart. You can’t sneak out of this one)

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! 
    
Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
     “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
   Jesus taught us this parable on Forgiveness: “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
  “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
      31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.  “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

   Okay TWO things in this parable are really important!

  1. We have to forgive from our heart- just saying it without a heart change is worthless
  2. This says if we don’t forgive, we aren’t forgiven. That scares me. I saw another verse that says unforgiveness can interfere with healing. We need to ask the Lord to search our hearts for unforgiveness, I may have a few things hidden in there that I’m not aware of. 😦

Revenge belongs to the Lord
Proverbs 20:22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter

Love your enemies

 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
          “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

 “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.  Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive Luke 17

Reality Check: Sometimes I have hurt others 😦 Say your Sorry!
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23

Remember what Jesus did for you

It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.Luke 24:47 

I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. 1 John 2:12

 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts 1 John 1:9

  For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. Hebrew 9: 21-23

For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:15

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases Psalm 103:3

More lessons the Lord has taught me on this: God wants us to live in unity – the Power of unity ,  Unity- can’t we all just get along? and a vision the Lord gave me as I struggled to forgive : Don’t let the sun go down on your anger and wearing the shoes of peace
 
 

 ” In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.  We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.  We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.  We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.  Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.Related articles 2 Cor 6:5-

A cloud of witnesses Hebrews 12 : The Lord watches you and KNOWS YOUR MOTIVES

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But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

      Two years ago I had a dream about my uncle, who at the time, had just gotten into a very bad accident and barely made it out alive. I dreamt that I was watching a conversation about his life. The conversation was between a great angel that was charge over him and three beings who I could not see as clearly. The angel was standing in the room (or through the room because he was taller than the room) facing my uncle. I was watching and listening to conversations between the angel and three others. They were back and forth in discussions over my uncles life.  I could plainly see my uncle sitting on a couch in a living room (when I drew the dream out for my aunt with details like bookshelves, couches, doors, etc, she said it was exactly the picture of the living room of her house where he was staying after surgery) The angel was invisible but I could see it’s dimensions and understand what was said. Walls and doors made no difference- it’s as if they weren’t there at all. The angel was huge and it’s height reached over the roof, so I’d say the angel was over 12ft tall. Off (and higher up) to the right – almost in another dimension, I could see three others in discussion about my uncle’s life. The three were located just over the roof on the right, but also in the heavens- they were there, but not. There were three of them, I was more limited in what I saw with the three. With the angel, I could see an invisible shape, it’s height and it’s movements. With the three, I could only tell that there were three and from my limited allowance at the time, they seemed as if they were more like men, not angels- but not men – but not angels.

   The three were discussing, analyzing, reviewing my uncle’s life and I could hear them. They were making decisions and it seemed to take a while; they were discussing whether to allow my uncle to live or not. They went on in discussion, the three making a decision, telling the angel and the angel would respond to them. This went on for a while, back and forth, back and forth between the three and the angel -still discussing if my uncle should be allowed to live any longer.

    Finally a decision was made. I could see a 17 over his head- the allowance for his life. The three and the angel finally came to an agreed decision – he could have 17 more years to live. At that moment I saw the angel lean forward bending toward my uncle who sat on the couch. I saw the angel put forth his hands the same way I would if I were trying to talk some sense into someone. I heard the angel say “Well, are you going to do what is right? ARE YOU FINALLY GOING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT? Everything you do from now on- good or bad will be written down and recorded –EVEN THE very MOTIVES FOR THE THINGS YOU DO” I could sense the angel was a bit…..annoyed.

 

The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. Isaiah 33:13-14

The Bible tells us :

1-The Lord watches us :  The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race.God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. Psalm 53:2  Psalm 14:2 Psalm 33:13 

 2- The Lord sees us : (everything)  :  Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.“For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do Job 34:21.Matthew 6:18 Matthew 6:6  Proverbs 5:21 

 3- He knows our motives :  But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”  He alone examines the motives of our hearts. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives  Proverbs 16:2 Jeremiah 17:10 Matthew 22:18 1 Corinthians 4:5 Proverbs 20:27 1 Thessalonians 2:4

4- He hears us :  And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.For the LORD hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people.Psalm 69:331 John 5:14Proverbs 15:29 
 

5-Our Works (and life) are recorded in the books (and tested) : I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books Revelation 20:12 Psalm 56:8 Revelation 20:12  Psalm 139:16

 6- Our life is tested and purified  : These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-5  1 Peter 1:7  1 Corinthians 3:13 

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire .Matthew 5:22 Matthew 12:36 Romans 14:12

 Three men? ( I thought this verse was interesting on the three men in the dream I had, but I really have no other explanation other that what I’ve shared above)Genesis 18:2 The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.“My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey

  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Revelation 1:5    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, 

       Hebrew 12:1:  Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us, So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.

          There are two important message in this verse.  First we know we are being watched, and second, we are warned to get rid of anything that could slow us in our walk. We also know from other scripture that we are accountable for all we do and every word we say. The things we do are written down and the bible says the Lord hears us, He see’s us and records our conversations.  I know that the Lord’s message today -to me -is that I have things in my life I need to eliminate. Things I need to crucify, things that slow my walk, and ways in my life where I could easily fall into the desires of the world making me lukewarm. What? You may ask…well a lot. My thoughts, my actions, my anger, my words, and things I do. I may have slacked a bit in protecting my heart, so it’s time to do some cleaning and get back on track. (getting 40 new free channels from directtv didn’t help- oh and an ipod4-with all kinds of fun apps- these things are new distractions

  A Cloud of  Witness?????(Hebrews 12)

          “You have not come to a place like Mount Sinai that can be seen and touched. There is no flaming fire or dark cloud or storm or trumpet sound. The people of Israel heard a voice speak. But they begged it to stop,  because they could not obey its commands. They were even told to kill any animal that touched the mountain.  The sight was so frightening that Moses said he shook with fear.
What does this verse mean?  It’s telling us to remember the Israelites in the Wilderness and how terrifying it was for them to come close to the Lord. His Holiness left them trembling-“The sight was so frightening that Moses shook with fear” It could not be seen or touched.

Read on……  “You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate. Here you will find all of God’s dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.  And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God’s new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel”
 What is the message here?  We are told that we go to Mount Zion in the heavens.  You see, when we pray, we enter His gates- we are there before His throne. Jesus has now made a way for us to enter this Holy Place, that was impossible to enter without our Lord Jesus. If you only knew where you where when you are praying and honoring and worshipping Him – you would fall to your knees before the His Holy Presence. Sin cannot stand before Him, It runs from His Presence. He has a place for each of us there before His throne – but so many of those spaces remain empty. Go before His throne and enter His gates with Thanksgiving.
 Who are the witnesses? There are many  theories, but I believe this scripture could answer this question for us. We are told that we are surrounded by witnesses. But where? And who? This verse tells us in the heavens- and when are we here? When we pray and worship. And who is there? God’s dearest children, God himself, spirits of those good people who have been made perfect, and Jesus.

      So let’s break this down– when we go and pray or worship  the Lord in the name of Jesus, we enter into His Holy Place. This holy place is in the heavens before His throne. The Mount Zion from where the Lord roars.(look it up-Joel and Amos) It is here where we bow down in reverent fear and bring our requests before him, where we praise His name and give Him the honor He deserves. In these heavens there is a great cloud of witnesses- even Jesus! What a wonderful gift and privilege to be able to enter His gates.

“Make sure that you obey the one who speaks to you. The people did not escape, when they refused to obey the one who spoke to them at Mount Sinai. Do you think you can possibly escape, if you refuse to obey the one who speaks to you from heaven?  When God spoke the first time, his voice shook only the earth. This time he has promised to shake the earth once again, and heaven too. The words “once again” mean that these created things will someday be shaken and removed. Then what cannot be shaken will last.  We should be grateful that we were given a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And in this kingdom we please God by worshiping him and by showing him great honor and respect.  Our God is like a destructive fire!

 Revelation 3:16 : But since you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.

You are being prepared for God’s Holy Kingdom.  Our trials and tests here are preparing us and bettering us for the Kingdom of God. Remember to count it all joy when trials come our way. The Lord is preparing a place for us (I think it’s ready). He created us to be Holy like Him, but we have so much more learning to do. Let us keep running the race with all joy. Knowing that through all our tests and trials, the Lord is still with us. It’s like the song says “all I know is Im not home yet, this is not where I belong, Take this world, and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong”

 

      Lord,  Make me despise the things you despise.  Forgive me for my worldly ways and falling into a lukewarm state. How easily this happens- the current seems so strong. But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Because of your unfailing love,  I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. Lead me in the right path, O Lord or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love  your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord, you surround them with  your shield of love.   We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

  Pray for the lost (and salvation for my uncle)

Related articles

Power of Unity – Preparation for the revival- becoming One in Christ Jesus Amos 3:3 (Part 1 of 2)

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Let there be no divisions among you.1 Cor 1:10

  
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
 Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws.
Our hostility toward each other was put to death by means of his death on the cross. Eph 2-13-18John 17:20-26Psalm 119:79  Amos 3:3
 
 

“I do not pray for those alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word’ That they all may be as one, as You, Father , are in Me and I in You. That they also may be one in Us, that the world May believe that you sent me”

 

 Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand

    The bible makes it very clear that we are to conduct ourselves in love- and love is the glue of this oneness!  Peace and Love keep us knit together. Why is it important to be one? Because it is a  testimony to the world- so that all would believe in Jesus and understand how much the Lord God loves them. 

 Jesus came to make us one, taking away the dividing line of jew and gentile. How can we be one body if we continue to fight? 

   Oneness is the work of the Holy Spirit– He gathers us together as one and filling us together with His Holy Power to do good works.  How can the toe go off by itself and what good is the mouth if it has no hands? And what good is the hand if it has no mind! 

 What does Christ want of us?  That we live pure and holy lives, gathering in the lost and preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. 

   Consider what the disciples did to those who caused much confusion and strife– these trouble makers were not of God’s spirit, even though they sat among them in the congregation.  They let them go back to Satan in hopes of them coming to their senses and repenting. That can’t be easy to do- arguing a biblical truth with someone who does not have the spirit of God in them is like arguing with a wall.  I have found that sometimes silence is best instead of flipping out, keeping calm and bringing it captive to the Lord.

     We need to gather in the lost and prepare ourselves and those around us for the coming of the Lamb of God. It is time to unite and be strong together with One Mind- the Mind of Christ and with One Spirit- the Holy Spirit. We can no longer be divided as the world falls into darkness. We must stay united as One for Christ- not wavering in any way, making sure we are not living lukewarm lives.  As we live accordingly, the World will see the Power of God in us. The works Jesus did will flow out from us like rivers of running waters. Stand together, warning others in love, spend time in the Word and pray in the Spirit at all times for all believers everywhere.

   As the days draw closer to the Lord’s return, we will see clearer than we did before- for the light shines out of darkness and woe to those who think their darkness is light. Seeking out those who have fallen off the path- now we will see it more clearly, and as you do, you must reach out and help them- do not hate them or become proud – but bring them back.

   Of course we have people who don’t agree with us, but with opposition, the Lord has taught me a good thing. – to be loving and compassionate with those who angrily disagree. As I prayed to the Lord about how to handle these situations, the Holy Spirit brought this prayer out of my heart : Dear Father,  I forgive the words of this person, fill me with love and compassion for them. Help me understand why they believe this and give me understanding as you understand each one of us because you made our hearts. ” Suddenly it disappeared from my thoughts and I continued on, amazed at the lesson the Lord just taught me-be considerate of others with love and compassion- even if we don’t agree on some things.

  He will not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets, a bruised reed he will not break. Isaiah 42:2 Matthew 12:19

 A bruised reed he will not break means that we are to consider the weakness in others. Sometimes we may get angry at someone and not realize that on the inside they are hurting badly. These are the bruised reeds we are not to break- consider their feelings even though it may not show on the outside

Guidelines for Biblical Oneness

1-      Love one another. Love binds us together Col 3:14, Col 2:2 (Love is Longsuffering & Patient)
2-      Agreeing wholeheartedly with each other with one mind and one purpose Phil 2:2
3-      One body in Communion. We are united when as we break the bread, sharing in the body of Christ. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?  And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body.  Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 1 Corinthians 1;16 -18 
4-      Live holy lives as citizens of heaven Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News of Christ
5-      Being one in spirit and in purpose– fighting together for the faith, which is the good news (Phil 1:27)Be united in Christ – not in the World and the concerns of this world. Remember you must therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and “no soldier gets entangled with civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him”
6-      Put on your Shoes of peace.  Peace binds us together and it is also protection from demonic attacks (eph 4:3)
7-     Let each one do it’s special work so other parts may grow – in other words You are not the only one assigned to work- let each one do his part in the body of Christ.  One person can’t be the hand, the food, and the mouth. Let the Lord assign each man his place and work hard so that you will please the Lord. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28
8-    Be united in Christ – not in the World and the concerns of this world. Remember you must therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and “no soldier gets entangled with civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him”
9-      There is power in unity. Gen 11:6, Numbers 16:3, This is a powerful way we can fight the darkness that has come upon our land. There is power in oneness. Consider this verse: “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!” If the enemy uses this tactic against God’s holy one’s, how can we fight back unless, we, too, are united as one people. Remember Jesus said – – Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand Matt 12;25. (see matt 3;25)
10- United with Christ brings  spiritual blessings  : Ephesians 1:3  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ11-  Be united with others to Fear the Lord and know His laws Ps 119;79
12–     It is a testimony to non believers : Oneness , unified as one people with one mind and one purpose is a testimony to the World of Jesus Christ and the love of the Father. Notice Jesus’ words after he prays that we be one together so that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me Father” John 17:6-26 and “And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me
13–   Christ holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it Col 2 :19, Jesus died for this reason -to bring together and unite all of God’s children  Mt 19:5  Jesus wants us to be unified and one as He and the Father are one- John 17:6-26 Jesus prays to the Father and 4x in one prayer He requests that we be one together and unified.
14- Be united in prayer with others Acts 1;14
15- Having the same mind and same judgment.  Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. I Corinthians 1:10
16-  Jew and Gentile = One, Slave or Free= One, male and female = One!
For we are all ONE in Christ Jesus Galatians 3:226-29 and Eph 2:13-18 “He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.  He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 
17-    There is only ONE body! It’s not you alone against the world J    There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6  
18-  Live for others – not ourselves – For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14,15 (This reminds me of a verse in Jeremiah when the Lord says to Baruch, the scribe “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!”- that lesson goes deeper, but just something to think about)
19–  That totally annoying person you’ve been arguing with is a fellow citizen with you, the saints and members of the household of God (hopefully) and you both are being fit together growing into a holy temple of the Lord. and you both also, are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
20- Unity is sharing all you have. “ All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.  The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.  There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them  and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.”
21We were joined with Christ in baptism and in His death:  (and remember peace and love keep us together) “have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was…. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:1-14 and Galatians 3;26
22–   We are united with Jesus and now we can produce a harvest of good deeds Romans 7:4  So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God
23–       Christ has not divided us into factions to quarrel over what teacher we do and do not follow. 1 Cor 1:10-17    Be of One mind, united in thought and purpose “My pastor is better than yours”=not unity. “ I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.  For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters.  Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!  I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,  for now no one can say they were baptized in my name.  (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.
24–     God united us with Christ 1 Corinthians 1:30:God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin   
25- . We are all true children of Abraham through faith in Christ, united in baptism,  : For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Gal 3:26-29  
26-       Oneness is also a tactic of the enemy ; Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one 
27–         Consider the power of unity and oneness when the Israelites gathered together to rebuild with Nehemiah, consider the power of oneness in the book of Ester when all the people fasted and prayed to the Lord, consider the power of Oneness when the apostles gathered on the day of Pentecost  Nehemiah 10:39The people and the Levites must bring these offerings of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the storerooms and place them in the sacred containers near the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers. “We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.”Esther 4:16“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

BEWARE OF DIVISIONS:

Division brings chaos and confusion. Remember the Tower of Babel…. Their divided language caused division and confusion. If you search the scriptures you will find division and confusion go hand in hand with noise- too much talk!   This confusion is deadly and needs to be taken out of our churches.  WARNING: “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught.  STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Romans 16:17-18

  Hear the Word of the Lord
               
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect. Agree wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  You must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.  You must stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.  All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.  
                         Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm. We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.  Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.
Colossians 3:14 Philippians 2:2 Philippians 1:27 Ephesians 4:3 Ephesians 4:16 Romans 8:17Acts 4:26 Acts 1:14Acts 2:1  Acts 2:44 Acts 2:462 Corinthians 1:24   2 Corinthians 4:14 1 Corinthians 3:8 1 Corinthians 3:16 1 Corinthians 14:261 Corinthians 12:27 Ephesians 2:21 Ephesians 2:20 Acts 1:14 Ephesians 2:16 Ephesians 2:14 Ephesians 5:32 Ephesians 4:4 Ephesians 2:15

Oneness used as Enemy tactic :  The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Messiah.’“Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the LORD’s people?” “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.  Genesis 11:6  Numbers 16:3 Acts 4:27

 Oneness in Old Testament Prophecy:   But the LORD will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel .Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel —when God will again plant his people in his land Isaiah 14:1Hosea 1:11  
 

Spurgeon quote CHSpurgeon Sermon #668 “Unity in Christ Jan 7, 1866

“There are in the visisble churches a certain number of God’s elect, and these are of the body of Jesus Christ. But their fellow professors, if unconverted, are not in the mystical union. Christ’s body is not made up of denominations, nor of presbyteries , nor of Christan societiesit is made up of saints chosen of God from before the foundation of the world– redeemed by blood, called by His Spirit and made one with Jesus. …. They have all been quickened by the same Spirit and made to live by the same energy. And though they knew it not, they were still one. No, more. All true believers are supported by the same strength! The live which makes viatl the prayer of a Believer today is the same life which quickened the cry of a Believer two thousand years ago. And if this world shall last so long as another thousand years, the same Spirit which made the tear trickle from the eyes of a penitent then is that which this day makes us bows before God Most High.

Tell to sinners round

What a Savior you have found

Does God dwell in you, and do you dwell in Him? Then, my dear Brother give me your hand! Never mind about a thousand difference if you are in Christ and I am in Christ! We cannot be two, we must be one. Let us love each other fervently with a pure heart. Let us live on earth as those who are to live together a long eternity in Heaven. Let us help each other’s spiritual growth. Let us aid each other as far as possible in every holy, spiritual enterprise which is for the promotion of the kingdom  of the Lrod.

     And let us chase out of our hearts everything which would break the unity which God has established. Let us cast from us every false doctrine, every false thought of pride, enmity, envy, bitterness that we, whom God has made one, may be one before man as well as before the eyes of the heart searching God.

   May the Lord bless us, dear Friends as a Church. May He make us one and keep us so. It wil be the dead stuff among us that will make divisions. It is the living children of God that make the unity! It is the living ones that are bound together. There will be no fear about that – Christ’s prayer  takes care of us, that we shall be one. As for those of you who are joioned with us in visible fellowshop and are not one with Christ, may the Lord save you with His great salvation, and His shall be the praise.

 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

 

John 17:51- He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world

Jesus Prayed : “Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” John 17:20-26

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character 1 Cor 15:33

Comments 6 Standard

Bad company corrupts good character. Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Company: Homillee-ah=companionship, to be friends with, partnership (strongs)

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.

How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God.


As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD.

Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you
And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty. 2 Cor 6:14-18

If God is walking with you, does He approve of the company you are with? The words spoken? The places you go?

We are 4 given commands:
1. Come out from unbelievers
2. Separate yourself from them
3. Do not touch or get near their filthy things
4. Do not team up with unbelievers

I Considered the questions Paul asked…
1. Can righteousness partner with wickedness?…well…no
2. Can light live with darkness? Uhmmm impossible
3. Can there be harmony with Christ and the Devil? Never
4. Can there be union between God’s temple and idol? No way!
5. Then why do you think a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? Because I’m wrong

This verse reminds us:
1. You are the temple of the Living God
2. He is your Father
3. You are His sons and daughters

Separate yourselves and you shall be my sons and daughters.

They can “shipwreck you”
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness. Jude 1:12

Enjoy the company of those who call on the Lord with Pure hearts
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.  Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22

Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they receivedfrom us.  For you know that you ought to imitate us. 2Thes 3:6

Stay away from them, but warn them as you would a brother or sister
Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister 2 Thes 3:6

“Stay away from people like that….
in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!  They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence ofvulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres

I call it “Keeping a healthy distance” 1 Cor 5:9-13

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.

Associate: soon-an-am-ig-noo-mee: means to mix with, associate with, and keep company.

       This is different from the meaning of words used in other scripture (1 Cor 15:33/ Ps 106). which implies creating friendships, marriage, partnerships with unbelievers and those living in sin. It would be impossible to avoid every non believer. We do associate with them, but the scripture warns us not to joined in a relationship that could destroy our walk with the Lord. Be an example of the love of Christ and remember the people that Jesus came for – the sick, the lost, the captive, the sinners- be an example of Christ – but stay away from the sin that binds them. Putting all the scripture together, we can see that there is a line we are not to cross. We can associate with non believers living in sin, but we are not to team up with them or mingle to the point where we corrupt ourselves. Now about the believers who live in sexual sin- what would that say to the world if you were to form a partnership with them? Just think about it..on to the rest of my post…..

I teach my children that if their friends choose to be bullies and hurt others, they need to back away and find new friends to associate with. They still associate with them at times and are nice, but they are not to take part in the things they do.

What about marriage??? 1 Cor 7:12-23
 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.) Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments. Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you.

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20

You must influence them; do not let them influence you! Jeremiah 15:19

But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works Psalm 106:33-42
Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

Mingle : aw-rab – to intermix, have fellowship with, mingle, partnerships

What was the trap? The snare that destroyed them? They were mingled among the heathen and learned their works.

What were the sins that they learned and lived? (nlt version)
1. They learned and adapted their evil customs
2. they worshiped their idols (worshipping things of this world –Eph 5;7-11)
3. sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons
4. shed innocent blood
5. polluted the land with murder
6. defiled themselves by their evil deed
7. adultery – their love of idols.

 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 2 Thes 3: 6 

As a Christian, I find that sometimes I have to step back and stay away from certain circles of people even though I like them and enjoy their company. I cannot stand with them when they make fun of others, when they mock the weak, gossip about friends, get drunk, use filthy language, live promiscuous lives or hurt others with their words. At times I can feel sad about this and feel left out, but Psalm 1 encourages me. The words remind me of His promises for me and lead me along the path that pleases Him. My life goal is to live a life pleasing to Him. When I stop to remember 2 Cor 6:14- that He walks me, it makes me really consider the people I mingle with – would the Lord approve of this conversation?

Psalm 1- Blessings for obedience

 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And 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. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 1 instructs us:
1. Do not walk with the ungodly
2. Do not stand in the way of sinners
3. Do not sit in the seat of the scornful

Don’t participate in the things these people do Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.  Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them Eph 3-11

Don’t participate and don’t have it AMONG YOU –OR AROUND YOU.
 What should you keep away from? What is not for you?
1. obscene stories
2. foolish talk
3. coarse jokes
4. impurity
5. greed (idolater)
6. sexual immorality

Here’s our warning: Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.
Warning: Some want to lead you astray from your fellowship with the Father and the Son 1 John 2:24-27

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul Prov 22:24

Instructions: 
1. Love others. 1 J 2:9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
2. Be careful that we don’t fall into idolatry and begin to worship the things of this world. 1 J 2:15-17: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
3. Be Patient with others Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.Eph 4:2
4. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 9:12-16

Hear the Word of the Lord

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20

So this is what the LORD says to his people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.” Jeremiah 14:10

The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. Isaiah 8: 11-13

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness. Prov 12:18-23

All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:20-21

Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted. Proverbs 2:20

If you have ever had to separate yourself from certain things, events or people because of your beliefs, you can understand how Jeremiah felt: Jeremiah 15: 15

I said “LORD, you know what’s happening to me.
Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!
Please give me time; don’t let me die young.
It’s for your sake that I am suffering. 
When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name,
O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. 
I never joined the people in their merry feasts.
I sat alone because your hand was on me.

I was filled with indignation at their sins. 
Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable?
Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,
like a spring that has gone dry.” 
This is how the LORD responds:
“If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!  They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the LORD, have spoken!  Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.” 

  But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.  So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

Dear children,
   Don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.  But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.  So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. o you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

    May the grace of the Lord be with you. May He fill you with all knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Be a light in this world. Work hard to please Him. He loves you.

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