Archive for the ‘Anger & Bitterness’ Category

“MURMURINGS & DISPUTINGS”

(Philippians 2:12-18)

Philippians 2:14-16 – Do all things without murmurings and disputings:That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

INTRODUCTION: The Bible tells us in verse 14 to do all things without murmurings and disputing. This means we are to do all things without a complaining and confrontational spirit. We are to do all things with a good attitude. We are to work willingly, happily and with a servants heart for our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:) When we work for someone or serve in the church, do it as if you are reporting directly to Christ himself, because in a way, you really are.

Let’s look at the definitions of these words:

Murmurings – comes from the Greek word “gong-goos-mos” which means to grudgingly grumble about something.

Disputings – comes from the Greek word “dee-al-og-is-mos” which means a doubtful discussion, consideration or debate about the purpose, reasoning or thought.

So you could say the verse this way – “Do all things without grudgingly grumbling about it and without doubtfully considering or debating the purpose or reasoning behind your instruction to do it.”

I would say it this way “Follow the leadership you are under whether that be Christ or your boss or your Pastor. Without having an attitude about what you are told or asked to do, without constantly complaining about everything and without doubting and debating the request or command.”

Have a servant’s heart like the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGSWe need to not have murmurings and disputing toward things we do for God and our Church or for things we do at our secular jobs. (I Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.)

I am going to talk about 3 areas where we need to watch our attitudes or our “murmurings and disputing”.

Secular Job

  • We need to maintain a testimony where we work. Especially since we are Christians and hopefully those you work with know you are a Christian.
  • We need to maintain a good testimony of having a good attitude and not complaining about everything at work, because we represent Christ. If people we work with see a negative complaining, insubordinate attitude from us, they are not going to want anything we have. We will turn them off to Christ and that may end up sending them to a Christless eternity.

Church life

  • We need to have a good, a non complaining attitude in things we do for Christ and in our church life. Constantly complaining about things is a sin. A very discouraging sin to the leader that has to hear it all the time.
  • We need to support and enthusiastically follow the leadership of our Pastor. God put him in the leadership position in our church “for such a time as this”. God gives him the vision and we need to follow and support the vision God has given him.
  • Of course if the leadership of the church is leading in an unbiblical path we are not obligated to follow it in those circumstances nor should we. We should follow the biblical guidelines given in those circumstances as found in Matthew 18:15-17. Our ultimate allegiance should be to God and His word.

To the brethren

  • The Bible warns us over and over again about causing problems among the brethren. Of the seven things listed as what the Lord hates in Proverbs chapter 6:16-19 the last one mentioned and considered an “abomination” is that “he that soweth discord among the brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16, 19 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:, vs.19 – A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.)
  • Don’t be guilty of what the Lord considers an abomination!
  • How do you sow discord among the brethren? – With murmurings and disputings. With a complaining attitude. With an attitude of seeing just how much you can get away with or trying to get special treatment for yourself. With a critical spirit. With an aggressively disrespectful spirit. Complaining about others without full knowledge of situations or reasoning. By complaining about church functions instead of supporting church functions.
  • Don’t be guilty of this sin, the Lord says is an abomination. We are commanded in the Word of God to mark those which cause division among fellow Christians and to avoid them. (Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.) – Don’t make fellow Christians have to avoid you.

WHY SHOULD WE NOT BE GUILTY OF MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGS? HOW DOES NOT COMPLAINING BENEFIT US? (Philippians 2:15a That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,)

4 Specific Benefits are listed in the first part of verse 15:

  • “Blameless”So we will not have any guilt, or be the one to blame because of problems within the church or in the world. Make sure you are never the source of “discord among the brethren”, but the solution to that discord.
  • harmless” Never be the one guilty of causing harm or hurt feelings to other Christians or other people in general. Strive to live a life that does not cause harm to others. The Bible tells us to cut out the murmurings, disputing and the gossiping in order to cut out the harming of others.
  • “sons of God” – We are Christians, if we are saved we are the “sons of God”. We should want to act like our Heavenly Father and live and set a good example and not act like the father of this world the devil.
  • “without rebuke” – If we don’t let ourselves murmur, dispute or gossip about things we will have no rebuke coming to us.

WHY SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT BEING BLAMELESS, HARMLESS, SONS OF GOD AND WITHOUT REBUKE? – THAT IS ANSWERED IN THE NEXT PART OF THE VERSE – BECAUSE WE LIVE– in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” VERSE 15B.

  • We are to be a light to the world that we live in. How can we be that light if we are complaining, gossiping, murmuring and disputing? We need to be the lights we are commanded to be. (Matthew 5:15-16 – Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)
  • The world we live in needs our witness. Paul says we live in the “midst of a crooked and perverse nation”I think that accurately describes our nation today. So because of that, more than ever, we need to be living right as Christians and not murmuring or disputing. We need to be setting the example on how to live right not being an example of how to live wrong and sinfully.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO BECAUSE WE ARE A LIGHT IN THE WORLD? – VERSE 16a TELLS US WE SHOULD BE – “Holding forth the word of life”

What is the “word of life”? – The Gospel is called the “word of life” because it reveals to us eternal life and shows us how to have eternal life. It is called the “word of life” because it has the answers to all of life’s issues and problems. If you can’t find the answer keep looking. Sometimes the answers come as a result of the hours you spend in study and prayer in the looking for them.

  • Holding forth the word of life” – are you holding forth the Word of God? Are you doing as we all are commanded to do in Acts 1:7-8 – “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. 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.”
  • Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
  • Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord said in Luke 14:23 – “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

IN CONCLUSION : Why should we not be murmuring, complaining and disputing? – because of the benefits God’s Word tells us we will receive in verse 15  to be “blameless, harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke”

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we live in a “crooked and perverse nation” that needs a light, a light of hope, a light of love and light of victory through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we are commanded to hold “forth the word of life” the gospel to the world.

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing so we can say as Paul did in the last part of verse 16 “that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” So we can have joy at His appearing and know we have not lived in vain and to know that are labor has counted for Him and for eternity.

***This is part 3 of a 6 part blog series on Racism, the World & the Bible***

RACISM & ABORTION

Psalm 100:3a – “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;” & Ephesians 1:4a – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,)”. God is the Author and Creator of life. God created us and the Bible says He knew us even before the “foundation of the world.” We need to respect life; we need to respect the life of the innocent unborn children especially.

One cannot over emphasize the seriousness of the subject of abortion today; and one, more than ever needs to be able to defend what the Bible says on this subject and defend the unborn’s right to life. Since Roe v. Wade over 55 million boys and girls have been barbarically slaughtered in America. That figure dwarfs the number of people killed by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin combined. The very moral foundations of our society have been crumbling for some time. One of the biggest evidences of this is the erosion of the concept of the sanctity of human life.

LET’S TAKE A BRIEF LOOK AT ONE OF THE MAIN FOUNDING PROPONENTS FOR LEGALIZED ABORTION IN AMERICA – The Founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger was a proponent of an effort to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing the reproduction of those who were considered unfit according to “People & Events: Eugenics and Birth Control” PBS. Retrieved August 6, 2015. Sanger also was for the compulsory segregation or sterilization for the “profoundly retarded“(Sanger’s words not mine) source “The Sanger-Hitler Equation, Margaret Sanger Papers Project Newsletter, #32, Winter 2002/3 New York University Department of History. Some more of her infamous quotes are below:

On immigrants and the poor:
…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”  Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization

On the purpose of birth control:
The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

On the extermination of blacks:
We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

As you can see the founder of Planned Parenthood had some serious issues regarding minorities, immigrants and the value of human life. She had very non-biblical and evil views on these issues. She unfortunately has a strong influence on the society we now live in today. We need to be studied in the Word of God and be ready to give a Biblical and logical answer when the question of abortion and the sanctity of human life come up. We need to be ready to defend our faith in this issue. (I Peter 3:15)

The main motivation of Margaret Sanger was racist in its very core. She had a deep disdain for minorities and immigrants. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Sanger espoused the thinking of eugenicists — similar to Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” — but related the concept to human society, saying the genetic makeup of the poor, and minorities, for example, was inferior. Pivot of Civilization, by Margaret Sanger, 1922, p. 80.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said this about Margaret Sanger “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision, I am really in awe of her, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life” Secretary Clinton was the 2009 Margaret Sanger award winner.

NOW LET’S LOOK AT WHO CREATED HUMAN LIFE(Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) The Bible says He is our God even before we are born. (Psalm 22:10 – I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.) God is our maker. He formed us. He designed us. (Isaiah 44:2a – Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb,).

God is the Author and Creator of life. God controls the timing of our birth. He wanted us born when we were born, where we were born and to whom we were born. He has a reason and a purpose for everyone. At the moment of conception God already knows us. Before anyone else even knows us, God already knows us and loves us and gave His life that we might have life eternal with Him in Heaven. What is conceived in the womb is a “child” — a baby human being however very small. We should understand that destroying what has begun to form in the womb is taking the life of a child. We could not justify such action before God. Only man was created in God’s own image. Not animals, man did not evolve over millions of years. God created us in His image and God breathed the breath of life in us. All life comes from God, but human life is set apart from all other life, in that it was God Breathed. (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.)Our bodies are not our own. Neither is someone’s body that is unborn. Not one has a right over their own bodies or the bodies of the unborn. We all belong to God. We are created in his image. We must honor and respect the sanctity of God given life.

This subject may have disturbed some people; it can be a difficult subject to study. God is willing and ready to forgive, and to cleanse anyone from all unrighteousness. Jesus died on the cross for the sin of abortion, for the sin of taking human life unjustly, and all sin. Three of the greatest men in the Bible are Moses, David and Paul. Did you know that Moses was guilty of the killing of an Egyptian? David was guilty of the killing of Uriah. Paul was guilty of the killing of Christians. Yet look at our Bible. The first five books of our Bible were written by Moses. Most of the Psalms were composed by David. Perhaps half of the New Testament was written by Paul. All three were guilty of murder, but they had been saved by the grace of God. There is good news. You too can be saved and you too can be forgiven just like these men; and those guilty of the sin of abortion can also be saved. God’s grace is greater than all our sin. All you need to do is to repent of what you have done, confess it as sin, and turn to Jesus for forgiveness. (I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. & II Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.)

Related Links:

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part 1

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part 2 – Darwin & Racism

***This is part 1 of a 6 part blog series on Racism, the World & the Bible***

I Samuel 16:7 – “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Notice what the Lord is saying in this verse. God does not judge us based on our outward appearance, He does not look down on us for being too short or too tall; He does not judge us based on our skin color. God looks at the heart and judges us according to our heart condition. To God all lives matter, no matter your skin color. If your heart is full of racism or hate how do you think the Lord sees it? What is the condition of your heart today? Do you judge others, maybe not on their race, but do you judge them on other outward characteristics? Do you think all lives matter?

Racism is a deeply held belief that one’s ethnicity or racial heritage makes them superior over those of other ethnic backgrounds; this usually results in discrimination and can and has resulted in segregation and unjust treatment by those who consider themselves superior to those who they consider inferior. What everyone needs to understand is that all of mankind was equally created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

God loved all of mankind, not just the Jews, not just the Caucasians, not just the Asians or Africans, but He loved all of mankind so much that He sent His only begotten Son down to earth to equally die for all of mankind no matter what color his skin may be. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) The Lord also has given us a commandment to love all men and all ethnicities as ourselves. (James 2:8 – If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:). There are people in the world that may try to say the Bible contains racism and will try to give you a few examples. This is why we need to know what the Bible teaches about racism, verses what the world may try to say it teaches. We need to be ready to defend our faith on this front. Like I Peter 3:15 says we need to be ready to give that answer.

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

David went through a lot of trials and trouble in his life. He faced the giant none other was willing to face and he killed Goliath – with God’s help and guidance. What giants are you facing right now? What obstacle has presented itself in your life? Perhaps it is a financial giant, a problem relationship giant, a trial at work or school giant, a health concern giant or perhaps it is the giant of guilt or the giant of losing someone in your life that was dear and beloved to you. (John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.)

David went on to be hunted by Saul for doing nothing wrong but willing to live his life according to God’s plan and purpose. David lived in caves in the wilderness; but David kept his faith. What trials are you going through that are no fault of your own? – give those cares and give those concerns over to God; and don’t lose your faith in Him. Just like David did, though under heavy persecution and facing many trials he kept his faith in God. Don’t lose your hope or faith, with the Lord there is always hope for a better tomorrow. (Lamentations 3:22-24 -t is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.)

David later went over to the Philistines, he continued to suffer many things. Many times he did not have anything to eat. – Why? Have you ever asked why? Why must I go through this trial, this tribulation, this hardship or this loss? The Bible tells us God does everything for a purpose – why didn’t God make David’s circumstances easier for him? Because God was training David to be a king! What could God be training you for with the circumstances you are currently facing? What could you learn from that trial? How could God use you in the future as a result of that tribulation? What could that loss you are facing lead you to in the future? We do not know the answers to these questions. We must though, however difficult in can be at the moment, we must, like David did, keep our faith in God. Trust in Him, rely on Him and continue to look for how what you are going through can be used for His honor and Glory. (I Peter 1:6-9 – Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)

In Acts 13 verse 22 the Bible says “he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. How is your heart lining up with God’s? Are you willing to fulfill His will in your life? David in his life made many mistakes, caused many of his own problems when he strayed from God and God’s will for his life. Do not allow yourself to make those same mistakes of straying from God in your time of trial, don’t try to do it alone, do not allow yourself to become bitter at the situation. As hard as it is to hear, as hard as it may be to think, as hard as it may be to believe – but God does work everything out for the good to those who are called according to His purpose and those who confess Him as their Savior. God is our safe haven, He is our strength in time of weakness and trouble. (Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. & Romans 8:28 – 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.)

 

BITTERNESS & BONDAGE (Acts 8:9-24)bondage

Acts 8:21-23 – “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Sin hurts, it hurts us and it hurts those around us. Sin starts in the heart, it then can lead to bitterness and bondage and sins answer is repentance. Simon the Sorcerer sinned in wanting to buy the power the Apostles had. He coveted something that was not his to have. He thought lightly of the things of God. He did not honor God but wanted to bring honor and power again to himself. All this wanting, coveting and seeking self honor and self power started in his heart. We need to understand and see the hurt and problems sin brings. The Bible does tell us there is pleasure in sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). But after that comes the results of sin, the bitterness and the bondage. The season of pleasure is not worth it. Living in sin is not worth it. Sin hurts yourself and can hurt others around you too.

SIN STARTS IN THE HEART (Acts 8:21 – Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.) Think of David – He did not wake up one morning and decide to commit adultery and then plan a murder. He first conceived the sin of adultery in his heart. He did not check this sin. He gave into it. Then this sin progressed unto other sins. David’s sin hurt himself; but it also hurt Bathsheba, it hurt Uriah, it hurt David’s unborn child. Sin hurts; don’t think you sin in a vacuum. Sin hurts and your sin hurts more than just you. The Bible teaches us there is a progression to sin. (James 1:15 – Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death) – Sin is first conceived of in our heart, and then we outwardly act on that sin and when we do that, sin can have damaging effects to us and to others. Mark 7:6 says “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Where is your heart? – Is it close to God like it ought to be or are you far from Him? – Are you allowing sin to conceive itself in your heart and lead you far from God? Jesus goes onto say later in Mark 7:21-23 – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

SIN LEADS TO BITTERNESS (Acts 8:23a – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness). Sin can make people bitter. Some of the most easy going, happy people you could know, once they get started into a life of sin can become some of the most bitter people you may ever know. Sin is a terrible thing which the Lord hates. Sin in our life is the root of bitterness in our life. Don’t let bitterness take root in your life. (Deuteronomy 29:18 – Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;) Bitterness can be the result of unresolved anger in your life. You may be thinking I am not letting sin dwell in my heart – well do you have unresolved anger with someone? – Then you are letting sin dwell and take root in your heart. If you are not already there you are heading toward bitterness. (Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.) Judas Iscariot is a prime example of one’s sin leading to bitterness and hopelessness. Judas sinned and became bitter at himself and the circumstances he found himself in and took his own life. Don’t let sin take root in your life, don’t let anger or hurt dwell in your heart – get it resolved and forgiven and move on for God.

SIN LEADS TO BONDAGE (Acts 8:23 – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.) – Notice sin not only leads us into bitterness but it also leads us into bondage. Sin first is conceived of in your heart – you then can become bitter over this sin – sin can also enslave you. You will do anything and everything just to get to do that sin or experience that sin one more time. YOU IN EVERY SINCE OF THE WORD WILL BE ENSLAVED TO THAT SIN. Nothing else will matter in your life anymore but that sin. (Genesis 19:4-11 –  But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. ) Notice even after being made blind they still did not stop in their pursuit of their sin. – They were in bondage to their sin – they were enslaved by their sin. (Genesis 19:11 – And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.)

Even after they received a physical hardship as a direct result from their sin, they had let themselves become so enslaved by their sin of homosexuality that it did not matter, they kept pursuing their sin. Paul warns us to not let ourselves become enslaved to sin in Romans 6:12 – “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” – Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life. Sin can take many forms, it can be obvious forms of sin such as physical sins or sin can take the form of unresolved anger or the form of spending too much time on games or other activities and not enough time in your Bible. Whatever form sin takes in your life it will eventually hurt you and can hurt others around you. Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life instead let Christ have that preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)

SINS ANSWER IS REPENTANCE (Acts 8:22 – Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.) Repentance is the best advice for those in sin. – We should not be accepting of others sin, we should not condone others sin, we should not ignore others sins; instead counsel them, instruct them and point them to the things of God and the need for repentance. – This needs to be done however with an attitude of love and a goal of getting them closer to the Lord. You don’t do anyone any favors by being accepting of their sin. If someone’s house is on fire will you just be accepting of it and think well that is the lifestyle choice they made to live in a burning house – no you would be doing all you could to get them saved from that fire. We need to be doing all we can to get those living in sin around us to the Lord, inviting them to church, going door knocking, teaching them repentance of their sins and if they are not saved how to accept Jesus as their Savior. He is the one that can save them from the eternal fire.

Notice how Peter worded verse 22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness” – our repentance to God needs to be specific. Peter said “this they wickedness” – We need to get specific to God about our sins and repent of those sins specifically. Also notice what Peter called it “wickedness” when you repent to God you must call it what God call’s it. Don’t explain away your sin to God or try to justify it somehow just pray and repent of it specifically and call it what God calls it. Notice one more word Peter says in verse 22 “perhaps” – Peter doubted the sincerity of Simon the Sorcerer. This tells us we need to be sincere when we ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Our repentance must be sincere, it must be specific and our sins must be called by what God calls them. We need to understand our need of repentance. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – If we have never accepted Jesus as our Savior the wages of those unrepented sins is our eternal death and torment in Hell.

Sin hurts, sin not only hurts us but it can hurt others around us. Sin starts in the heart it is first conceived in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)
Sin starts in the heart, Sin leads to bitterness, sin leads to bondage but sins answer is repentance. Our repentance needs to be sincere, it needs to be specific and it needs to honestly portray our sins as they really are not as we may wish they were.

36012440The Lord searches our heart according to Jeremiah 17:10 – “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” The word “search” in this verse means to penetrate, to examine intimately, to find out what is in it. The Bible says in Matthew 12:34b – “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”What comes out of your mouth can be a reflection of what is in your heart.- WHAT IS YOUR REFLECTION REVEALING ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS? – How is your reflection? Is is a good reflection or is it an ugly hideous reflection? Does that which comes out of your mouth indicate a bad heart condition?

Do your best to not ever hurt others with your words, let the reflection of your heart be good and encouraging and not destructive. If the Lord were to search your heart and examine it intimately what would He find? (Because He is doing this all the time whether you know it or want to admit it) The Bible tells us that our hearts apart from Gods indwelling control are wicked and not trustworthy. (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) So all this lets us know we need to work hard at guarding our hearts and keeping them pure. This also lets us know to trust God’s word and His counsel in making decisions. We can’t always go by how our heart feels about things. The Bible tells us in the multitude of counselors is safety as long as the lead Counselor is the Lord and we listen to Him above all others.(Proverbs 11:14 – Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.)

II Peter 2:14 gives us another dismal picture of our heart condition. Guard your heart, work hard at keeping it pure. Trust God with your heart. (II Peter 2:14 – Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:) Take a moment today and “search” out your heart. Intimately examine it,  so you can really find out what is in it. You may not like what you find, but the Lord can help you improve your reflection. Those around you in your life will be glad you took the time to improve your reflection. May your reflection be one of encouragement, peacefulness, brotherly kindness, love, and patience.

THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Fires don’t start out big and destructive. Fires start out small, but have tremendous potential for destruction. So too are the words we say with our tongues. The tongue is a small part of our body but it can cause tremendous havoc and problems for us and for the innocent people around us. (James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.)

“The power of the tongue” to do Good.
• The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
• The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
• The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
“The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
• In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; he mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin.
• A person who does not control his tongue will bring destruction to himself. (Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth verswide his lips shall have destruction. & Proverbs 17:20 – … and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
Your tongue has a lot of potential. Potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?
“Know what is acceptable” Are you speaking what is acceptable? Common sense should let us know if what we are saying, messaging, texting, or Facebooking is good or if it is evil. (Proverbs 10:32 – The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.) “frowardness” in this verse means perverse or fraudulent. In other words, are you speaking what is good, right, and edifying; or are you speaking what is perverse or untrue? We are warned in Proverbs 20:19 not to hang out with someone who has a filthy mouth, someone who likes to gossip or is a liar. (Proverbs 20:19 – He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.) Those who speak first without thinking are referred to as fools by Solomon. (Proverbs 29:11 – A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.)
WRONG COMMUNICATION AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD (I John 1:5-6 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth)
Our fellowship with God is maintained as we walk in light. How can we have a proper relationship with God if our communication is perverse, dark and sinful? “God is light” this is describing an attribute of God. Light is purity, it brings clearness, it shows beauty. As light is necessary for life, our communication needs to reflect God’s light instead of reflecting the perverse darkness of the Devil. If we walk in obedience to our Lords commands concerning our communication, we will be able to have great fellowship with Him. (I Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice...)
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THE VICTIM OF “corrupt communication”? IT HURT DIDN’T IT? (Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.) To have someone lie about you or spread a rumor about you can hurt. The Lord Jesus has experienced all of that too. He can help you get through the hurt. He can help heal your wounds. Just give it to Him. Let Christ take the burden of that from you. (Psalm 118:6 – The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?)
Don’t let that hurt take you over. The Bible tells us to not allow sin to control us no matter whose sin it is. Choose to have joy in the Lord no matter you circumstances. (Psalm 119:133 – Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. & Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.) Learn to control your reactions to sinful hurtful communications. Learn to follow our Lords example. Learn to go by the words he gave us in Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

In conclusion we learned that the words we use can cause a lot of damage. Our words come from such a small part of our body, our tongue, but can cause such serious harm to others. (James 3:5-6) We learned that our tongue has the power to do great good and to do much evil. We need to “Know what is acceptable.” Are we speaking what is acceptable? Are we messaging, or texting, or Facebooking what is good or what it is evil? We learned that our “corrupt communication” will affect our relationship with God. Because we cannot be living in the darkness of “corrupt communication” and be having fellowship with God at the same time. We need to learn to control our reactions to false accusations and sinful hurtful communications. We need to follow our Lords example and to go by His words he gave us in Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Dealing with Anger & Bitterness Biblically
James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
We need to learn to control our anger and not let it control us. Don’t hold on to your anger and let it turn into bitterness. A Christian is to be slow to anger and quick to get rid of it (James 1:19-20). Jesus gives us four ways to help us resolve our anger in Luke 6:27 -28 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
“Love your enemies” – how many of us could honestly say we love our enemies? The Lord Jesus tells us to in these verses. Following this command of our Lord can be a challenging thing sometimes, but it is the right thing to do and the thing that will help us not to harbor anger and let it turn into bitterness.
“Do good to them which hate you” – again also another commandment from our Lord which could be challenging to implement. Our old sin nature just wants to get even with those we are angry at but Jesus tells us to “do good to them”. (Romans 12:20 – Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.)
“Bless them which curse you” – we are to bless them which curse us. Is that a natural reaction to bless someone who curses you? – No it is not. We have to suppress our old sin nature to do this. We have to exercise self control. The Lord Jesus is an awesome example of this. He was falsely arrested, falsely tried, falsely convicted and falsely sentenced. He could have called down 12 legion of angels and wiped out all them that did this but instead He blessed them by dying on the cross for the very sins they were committing and giving them the opportunity to go Heaven with Him. (Mathew 26:53 – Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?)
“Pray for them which despitefully use you” – Have you ever been used by someone? Or at least felt like you were used? Did you pray for that person afterwards? We are told by Christ we are supposed to.
Forgiveness is how we get rid of the anger. Forgiveness is to occur every time an offense happens. (Luke 17:3-4 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 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.) As a Christian you must forgive because you have been forgiven. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)God will forgive Christians as we forgive others. (Mathew 6:14-15 – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.)