Sunday, May 29, 2011

THE POWER OF TRUST

There is a national and international crisis which very few people are aware of its importance. What kind of crisis are you talking about Bro. Storts? It is a crisis of trust.

What is the definition of crisis?
WEBSTR’S DICTIONARY: CRISIS: 3 a : an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome

What is the definition of trust?
WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY: TRUST: 1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed

We surely have a problem with trust in our nations families, congregations, communities, businesses and governments. People do not leave the doors of their homes open like they did in the past. People are entering into marriage with numerous pre-nuptial limitations set forth in legal documentation. People do not know their neighbors and they do not trust them. People have lost their trust in preachers, parents, physicians and politicians.

If people do not trust each other, what kind of relationship can they have? If you do not trust each other, it can not be a relationship of unity. You can not work together for the same cause or the same goal if you do not trust one another.

Trust is a very important part of any relationship.
What kind of marriage do you have when the couple does not trust each other?
What kind of congregation will we have if the people do not trust each other?
What kind of relationship do you have with Jesus, if you do not trust Him?

I want you to think about the importance of trust. Who do you trust?
I also want you to think about the difference in trusting God and trusting man. What does the Bible say?

I want you to trust me when I speak or write to you. But I want you to trust me with carefulness. I can fail, but God can not. I want you to learn from my instructions, but I want you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I want you to have confidence and respect in my opinion and judgment, but I want you to examine and prove all things by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It is not wrong to question what I say, but it is wrong to reject truth and the commandments of God. When you disagree with a minister or teacher, you must not be disrespectful or despise the instructions.

Having stressed the importance of trust in a relationship, I want to teach you by the word of God that there are two different levels of trust. There is the level of trust which we put in God and there is a lesser level of trust that we put in man. There are two different words used in the Hebrew which differentiate between these two levels of trust.

2 Samuel 22:1-7
1 And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
2 And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: (SEC: 2620) he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
4 I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
7 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

Psalms 5:11-12
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: (SEC: 2620) let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Psalms 146:3, “Put not your trust in princes, (SEC: 982 ) nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”

Proverbs 31:10-12
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, (SEC: 982) so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Let us examine closely the different meaning contained in these four scriptures.

Two different Hebrew words have been translated into the one English word “trust.”

OT:982 batach (baw-takh'); a primitive root; properly, to hide for refuge [but not so precipitately as OT:2620]; figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:

OT:2620 chacah (khaw-saw'); a primitive root; to flee for protection [compare OT:982]; figuratively, to confide in: KJV - have hope, make refuge, (put) trust.

PRECIPITATED: 1 a : to throw violently : HURL b : to throw down

By these definitions we see that there is a difference in the trust we have in God and the trust we have in each other. We should trust God without carefulness. We should trust each other carefully.

Is there a difference found in the New Testament with the word “trust?”Yes, there is.

Matthew 12:18-21
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (SEC: 1679)

The word trust here means to hope or to expect. This trust is not an expectation which carries the same strength as in having faith in God. Having faith in God is a complete abandonment to the keeping power of God. The expectation of this “trust” is on a lesser level of perfection. It is a good trust, but it is man’s part of his reaching out in hope. It is not that perfection of faith which is inspired by God through the experience of salvation.

2 Corinthians 1:7-10
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (SEC: 3982)

The word “trust” in this verse is yet another Greek word which conveys the thought of being convinced by evidence or authority.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-4
2 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

The word “trust” in this passage is yet another Greek word differing from the other two already mentioned. This level of trust is the highest level of trust and is the same as the word “believe” or “faith”. The Greek word “pistis” which is the root word for the entries SEC 4100 and 4102 occur 241 times in the NT as believe/believing/believeth/ and 245 times as faith.

If I am innocent and you judge me falsely, you will lose trust in me.
If I am not innocent and you realize that I am not innocent, you will not trust me.
Whom you trust, God or man, is based upon your judgment of their trustworthiness.


The day in which we live is fully described by the prophet Micah.

Micah 7:1-7
7 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.
4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Be careful about putting your trust in men. I did not say, “Don’t rust men.” I said be careful. But don’t be careful about trusting God. Trust in Him with all your heart, mind and strength.

Be as the man Job who is often quoted but seldom followed.

Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RIGHTEOUS COUNSEL

Psalms 55:12-14
12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

Satan likes to destroy the fellowship of God’s children.
Satan will stir up strife and conflict, doubts and disagreements.
He wants to destroy your trust and confidence in one another.
He does not want the people to trust the pastor or the pastor to trust the people.
Just because you are among friends does not mean that you do not need to be careful, courteous and, considerate.

Proverbs 1:23-33
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

It is a dangerous and serious thing to reject counsel from those whom God has set in place over you. God put a father and a mother in the home to guide the family. God put a pastor over the congregation to guide the children of God.

Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

We live in a day when people do not like to be counseled and they do not seek counsel. God never has intended for men and women to be independent. We need each other. When you know something is good, true and just; and, you see that someone would benefit from knowing what you know, then you ought to share that counsel with them. Share your knowledge and experience with love, wisdom and mercy. It is not your duty to judge and chastise; but, you can be a teacher of those things which you have learned from God.

Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

A foolish person will not listen to someone who disagrees with him. He will not consider their counsel. The fool views any disagreement with his own opinion as foolishness. The wise person will listen and carefully consider. Perhaps what he is being told is correct and proper.

Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”

Failure is often the results of not seeking counsel from those who know more than you do.

Proverbs 19:20-21
20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

The older you get the wiser you ought to be. I pray that God will help me to be wise enough to recognize the day when my age is more against me than it is to my benefit. There are physical conditions which can come with age which hinder our ability to give wise counsel. Some people think an older person is too old to be wise and they are wrong. Some older people think that they are still as perceptive and discerning as ever and they are wrong.

Proverbs 20:5-7
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Wise counsel is to be sought after. However, be careful of the person who thinks that all his ideas are good and is quick to tell you what to do.

Proverbs 20:18, “Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.”

Prepare yourself for the battle ahead by seeking good advice from those you know to be wise and trustworthy. Make yourself accountable to another person whom you know to be righteous and wise.

Proverbs 27:9, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.”

The word “hearty” as it is used in this verse means “spiritual”. It is that vitality, the living Spirit, that can only come from God. Good counsel should be given with a sweet spirit, not critical and condemning.

Isaiah 29:14-15, “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?”

You may think that God does not see the counsel you share with others, but He does know all about what you believe and teach others. All of us will give an account for what we teach others.

Acts 20:27, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
A faithful minister, a faithful parent, a faithful friend will tell you the truth in love.

True and faithful ministers who are full of faith and the Holy Spirit are inspired and anointed to give counsel to others. The confusion and danger comes when a Spirit filled minister loses the anointing of God and yet still has the gift of preaching. What value is the knowledge and the gift without the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit?

Revelation 3:14-19
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

God has given us good counsel. Will we listen to His counsel?

The Holy Spirit will help you to know who to listen to and who not to listen to.
When the Holy Spirit puts up a caution flag in your mind, slow down and listen.
Don’t be so cautious that you don’t take heed to godly counsel.
Don’t be so careless that you listen to the wrong counsel.

And finally, don’t be hasty to condemn the person who gave you the wrong counsel. It may be that they did not know all the facts needed to understand the situation. Ministers of God are not infallible. They can make mistakes and still be holy. Let brotherly love continue. When you overcome together, your unity will be stronger because of the experience.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

DELIVERED FROM THE PEOPLE

There is a bond which is good and there is a bond which is evil.
The song poet said “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.”
And then there is the Bible warning us about being in bondage to this world.
We need to ask ourselves this question: What am I tied to?
Is there anything or person which has the power to stop me from doing the perfect will of God?

Colossians 2:1-3
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The Love of God is a binding power. We need to let the Love of God bind our hearts together.

We need to let the Love of God restrain us from doing anything which would hurt the children of God. The chords of God’s love are long enough to give you room to run away from evil and short enough to prevent you from running over one another.

Acts 26:12-19
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

Your decisions and actions must be in response to the will of God and not the will of the people.

Why do you do the things which you do?
Are you trying to win the favor of people more than the favor of God?
Do people’s opinions carry more weight with you than God’s opinion.

Luke 14:16-20
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

How much influence does your companion have over your decisions?
You ought to respect them and honor them according to their station in life.
You must not allow their desires to cause you to disobey God.

Luke 18:29-30
29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

The Bible does not teach us to neglect our responsibilities to our family. Jesus does teach us that the desires of our family must be in subjection to the will and call of God upon our life. God does not break up homes; but He does sometimes call a family to make great sacrifices for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The work and labors of saving souls is more valuable than the comforts of the family.

1 Corinthians 7:32-33
32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

It is very important to please your wife. It is more important to please God. It is very important to take care of the needs of your family. It is more important to take care of the needs of the Kingdom of God.

It is a common thing for men to enlist in the military and server our country in foreign lands for one or two years. They leave their families to defend and protect the homeland and we praise them for their service. However, it is an uncommon act for men to leave their families to serve in the Kingdom of God to save the souls of men and women in foreign lands. Those who make this sacrifice for the souls of men are often condemned for neglecting their families. I know what I am talking about. I have been personally condemned and accused of neglecting my home congregation by making brief three to five week missionary journeys to Africa. I made these trips not more than once per year and always with visiting ministers scheduled to encourage the congregation each week during my absence.

Mark 4:18-19
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Have you been delivered from the people? Do your secular responsibilities to people and your desire to enjoy pleasant relationships cause you to neglect the fields of your Lord Jesus Christ?

Revelation 17:15
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

False religions are in bondage to their people. Their ministers and teachers are drowning in the waters of an ocean of people who demand conformance to their opinions and desires.

Revelation 8:11
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

The third part of the waters is the third part of the people. These became bitter as wormwood and they died in the waters of people’s desires.

Revelation 9:12-14
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Thank God for a time when the angels of God, the ministers of God, which were in bondage to the people, are loosed to preach the truth and bring the message of full salvation to the people.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

God has given us a important object lesson by comparing the bondage of the people to an example of two oxen being yoked together. When two oxen are yoked together they will pull in the same direction. It was a common practice to put a young ox with an old ox until the young ox learned to submit to the demands of the yoke and the master who commanded their actions.

Many young ministers have been brought into subjection by older ministers until the young ministers conform to demands of the people. Instead of being “delivered from the people” they are delivered “to the people”.

Revelation 6:5-6
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

The “yoke of bondage” in Galatians 5:1 and the “pair of balances” in Revelation 6:6 are references to the same thought. It is that of bondage to a false religion. The Greek word “zugon” is found five times in the New Testament and it is translated “yoke” each time except here in the Revelation where the influence of the following statements cause it to point to a different thought of measurement instead of bondage.

A pair of balances is used to weigh the equality of two things. A false balance will give a false report of this equality. So it is when ministers weigh two things and say they are equal when they are not equal. The people are cheated and they do not get a just weight of spiritual food necessary to sustain spiritual life.

The Greek word “zugon” can be interpreted either way without doing harm to the truth. My personal preference is that it be used in its common sense which is a “yoke” that restrains ministers from laboring under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, ministers will starve the people with a spiritual famine.

Matthew 21:24-27
24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

The Jewish priests knew the truth and did not obey it. They used the people for their own benefit. And they were in bondage to the limitations which the people put on them. They did not walk in the liberty of truth and righteousness.

Do you fear the people?
Do you let people control your service in the Kingdom of God?
Pray for the ministry that they will be loosed from the people.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT?

It is good to take inventory of yourself and see if you are equipped for the trials and tests which are to come. Do you have what you need to make it? God has made provisions for us. Everything we need is available, but we must seek for it and ask for it. We must be obedient so that God will be pleased to give us what we need at the very time we need it.

Luke 14:25-30
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

SEVEN THINGS YOU NEED MORE OF TO ENDURE TO THE END

GRACE

2 Corinthians 9:8-15
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

FAITH

Luke 17:3-10
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

PATIENCE

Romans 8:24-28
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

HOPE

Romans 5:1-5
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Our hope is in the sure promises of God and we will not be ashamed of our hope that God will supply all our needs. Failure makes a person ashamed. There is no failure in God.

JOY

John 15:10-11
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 16:24
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
We have great joy in the fellowship of the saints. We have great joy when someone turns from sin to Christ.

LOVE

Luke 6:27-35
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

John 5:42
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Romans 13:8
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

HOLY GHOST

Acts 1:4-8
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

2 Timothy 1:11-14
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift we need to enable us to hold fast to all other gifts from God. The Holy Spirit is the divine influence of God working in us to perform the works of God. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit all others gifts will fail.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

JUSTICE IN JUDGMENT

The key to justice in judgment is “love.”

We want to examine the principles of justice and judgment, to understand the nature and work of divine law. Divine Law is wrapped in a garment of love, because God is love. Everything that God does is wrapped in love.

Love is more than a warm, fuzzy feeling about some person or thing. Love is a deep, internal commitment to do justice and show mercy toward all others. Love is a controlling principle which, when adhered to, prevents every act of unrighteousness. In every unrighteous act there is the failure to see “the way of the Lord.”

Genesis 18:19, “they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment;”

Proverbs 10:29, “The way of the Lord is strength to the upright:”

JUDGMENT: SEC: OT:4941 mishpat (mish-pawt'); from OT:8199; properly, a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or [participant's] divine law, individual or collective), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, including a participant's right or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style:

Judgment is therefore a favorable or an unfavorable verdict which is pronounced for the purpose of informing others of an opinion or decree. When one person or a group of persons pronounce a judgment, it may be righteous or unrighteous. Judgment may be right or wrong; it may be good or evil.

Exodus 24:3, “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.”

Leviticus 18:4-5, “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.”

Nehemiah 9:13, “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:”

The judgments of God are right judgments. The judgments of men are right only if they conform to the righteousness and justice of God. Some men err through lack of knowledge and understanding of the righteousness and justice of God. Some men transgress the laws of God when they are motivated by selfish or fleshly objectives. When we use the term “fleshly” we mean those things which come forth from self-serving human interest as opposed to godliness and divine law. The way of the Lord and the law of the Lord is forsaken, when the law of love is set aside in the human effort to support and advance man-made creeds and traditions.

Beware of the way of men. Pray, study and diligently seek the way of the Lord

Psalms 119:1-12
1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.

The heart and soul of David was hungry and thirsty for understanding and wisdom in the righteous judgments of God. His desire was to know them for himself and that he might teach them to the people of God.

Isaiah 26:9, “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”

There will be peace and joy instead of contention and strife when the judgments of God are made known to the people.

Revelation 19:1-2, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.”

By these scriptures we know that all the judgments of God are righteous and just. Justice must be a vital element of righteous judgment. All of God’s judgments are holy, just and righteous. Justice is the moral virtue which is characteristic of every divine judgment. If judgment is lacking in justice then it is not of God; it is of men and devils.

JUSTICE: SEC: OT:6666 tsedaqah (tsed-aw-kaw'); from OT:6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): KJV - justice, moderately, right (-eous) (act, -ly, -ness).

We see then that “judgment” must work in combination with “justice.” If you fail to achieve justice in all your judgments, then you have failed to do the work of God. Judgments must be weighed in the balance of love. Love identifies to the presence or absence of justice in judgment.

When judgment is righteous, then mercy and chastisement will produce holiness.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 gives us the parameters of God’s love necessary to render righteous judgment. Remember that “charity” is the English word used to identify the “agape” love of God. Charity is the benevolence of God; it is the love of God for mankind. It is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts towards one another.

Before we read First Corinthians chapter 13, let us be reminded of the words of the Apostle John in his letter, First John 4:20-21, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth [detest or persecute] his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

First Corinthians chapter 13: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

These are the requirements of justice in judgment. If you are weak or lacking in these divine virtues, then you are lacking in the grace of God to render righteous judgment.

Let us then summarize the elements of righteous judgment as it is outlined by the law of love:

• Righteous judgment is achieved by long suffering. It is not arrived at hastily. It takes the time to consider all the facts and evidence. Proverbs 14:29
, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Proverbs 29:20, “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

• Righteous judgment will not work contrary to kindness. This kindness is both beneficial and useful in the attainment of holiness. Kindness is careful not to use any unjust hurt.

• Righteous judgment is not corrupted by envy. It is not self-serving. It does not operate with any respect of person. Righteous judgment does not allow unjust anger. Envy will cause a person to act with unjust anger when disagreements arise

• Pride has no place in righteous judgment. When a person becomes puffed up and exalted in his own mind; when he assumes a superior attitude over his brethren, justice is cast aside. When pride rules, carnal motives and objectives become more important than the perfect will of God.

• There is no misbehavior in righteous judgment. When the holy law of love is at work, misbehavior is not found in the conduct and conversation.

• Righteous judgment is not about winning an argument. It is all about discerning the difference between what is right and what is wrong. It is more about the “what” than the “who.”

• The judge in a courtroom must always be in control of his emotions. We must not let our actions be controlled by the conduct of others.

• Evil surmising and thinking evil of others without a just cause is not found in the searching inquiry of the righteous.

• A righteous judge does not rejoice in the occasion of condemning another person. Condemnation is always a grievous act.

• A righteous judge is happy that truth is lifted up; not that the guilty is punished.

• In our search for righteous judgment we have the grace to endure hardship and discomfort brought to us by the actions of others.

• The righteous judge believes the report of men who have a good reputation until it is proven wrong. We believe and hold confidence until a diligent search proves that wrong has been done.

• In righteous judgment there is the hope of innocence.

• In righteous judgment there is the will and grace to suffer and forgive.

• Righteous judgment is never wrong or inappropriate

Justice must always be the ultimate objective in the judgment of every matter.
If it is not just, then it is not righteous.
Justice is the rightness and the morally right verdict in judgment.

Is there justice in your judgment?
You can not please God if you pervert judgment.

King David asked this important question in Psalms 82:2-3
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

If your judgment is unjust, you will give an account to the Righteous Judge, Jesus Christ.

If you need to repent of being unjust in your judgment, do it quickly before He comes.

Let the law of love control all your judgments and you will not need to repent of being unjust.