Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

DRESSING FOR CHURCH MATTERS

(Exodus 28:1-5, & 39-43)

 Exodus 28:3 – “And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”

 INTRODUCTION: The Bible establishes guidelines and principals for us to live by when it comes to how we are to dress. There are different circumstances and different styles of appropriate dress for each occasion. While the Bible may not give certain specifics about dress standards for some things, it does give us clear standards and instruction in the area of how we should dress so that we “may minister unto” the Lord. It also gives us clear instruction in the matter of modesty and purity in our standards of dress.

STANDARDS OF APPEARANCE FOR GOD’S HOUSE. (Exodus 27:16-19 – And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service hereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.)

  • As you can see by these verses, God sets a high standard for the appearance of His house. We should be very concerned with the appearance and upkeep of our church building. God wants our church building to look the best it can look. We honor the Lord by keeping our church building as beautiful as we have the means to make it.
  • God wanted His Tabernacle to look beautiful because this is where his people would come to worship Him. This is where the priests would come to “minister unto me” as the Lord said.
  • God wanted His Temple to look the best it could look because people knew this is where His Holy Spirit would dwell. It was literally the Temple of the Holy Ghost.
  • What does the Bible say is the Temple of the Holy Spirit now? – We are. We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19-20 -What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.)
  • Our bodies are that temple if we are saved. Shouldn’t we put as much effort into the appearance of our Temple that was put into the appearance of the Temple of God back then when we are serving and worshipping God? Yes, we should.
  • We should strive to look the best and dress the best we have the ability to for the Lord especially when we are doing service for God in this Temple, our body.
  • Like the Bible says in Exodus 28:1 – “that he may minister unto me in the priests office”. Minister means to serve. When we are ministering unto God the Bible demonstrates unto us this principle we should want to look the best we can for the Lord because we are His Temple. When we are serving the Lord we should want to be dressed in the best that we have for our service to Him.

STANDARD OF DRESS FOR THE PRIEST THAT MINISTERED UNTO GOD. (Exodus 28:1-5 – And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him,that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.)

  • The Bible tells us 3 times in these 5 verses why the garments of the priests were to be the best they could make them. Why? – “that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office” – The priests’ garments were to be the best they could make them because they were ministering or serving God while they had them on.
  • They were to honor God with the best garments they had while they were serving Him. The Bible does not say they had to dress like this all the time, only when they were serving the Lord, because it was a special and holy privilege to serve the Living God.
  • They could dress down, they could dress in a relaxed manner; but this Biblical principle in these verses clearly demonstrates when it comes time to serve the Lord we should be trying to dress up to honor Him as we serve Him.
  • So how do guidelines about how a priest in the Old Testament was to dress as he served the Lord apply to me? – Good question. The answer is found in I Peter 2:5-9 – “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
  • These verses describe to you the principle of the priesthood of the believer; which essentially means we all as believers can offer spiritual sacrifices or service to the Lord, and we can get access straight to God through our great High Priest. As we are serving the Lord this way, we should follow the Biblical example of the Old Testament priests, and where practical and possible represent our Savior the best we can.
  • So who is the great High Priest in New Testament times? – The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:14 – “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
  • The Bible gives us the example here of dressing up to serve the Lord, dressing up when we go to church to hear His word preached and taught, dressing up while we minister to others, dressing up while we go out to visit and witness to the lost.

STANDARD OF DRESS TO HONOR GOD (Genesis 35:1-3 – And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.)

  • God told Jacob to go to Bethel and build an altar to honor Him there; that is where God had appeared to Him. So Jacob then spoke to his family and told all that were with him to get ready to go to where God had visited Him and helped him in his time of trouble. He said he was to build an altar there to honor God.
  • Jacob began this faith journey with recognition of how much God had done for him, and how much he needed God in his life. He wanted to get himself ready and his household ready to experience God too.
  • Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean” – this signifies the need for repentance and coming clean to God about our sins. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)
  • change your garments” – this implies a change of our hearts toward sin. Our outside should be a reflection of our inside, our outside appearance when we journey to the physical place of worship of God should, to the best of our ability, reflect the holiness and pureness of God.
  • God looks at our heart; however, what we wear to worship our holy and pure God may be an indication of our heart condition. Getting dressed in our best helps prepare our hearts and minds to the worship of God.
  • There can be many legitimate exceptions to this. Those coming straight from work may not be dressed in their best but did not want to miss the church service, those who do not have the physical ability to dress as sharply as others, and those whom to the average person may not look like they are dressed in their best but they really are. It is not up to us to judge those who come to church, however they are dressed for the service. It is up to us though to teach the whole council of God, and God’s Word clearly teaches the principle of dressing up in our best for God when we come together in corporate worship. (Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that ye be not judged.)

IN CONCLUSION: How we dress for church and for the corporate worship of God at the physical location of our church does matter. It matters because the Bible teaches us that we are to present the temple of the Holy Spirit as best as we can when it is involved in the worship of God. The Bible teaches us that we are priests, and as priests, we should dress up in our best to honor God as we worship Him. Jacob set an example with his family and household in that when it was time to go up to Bethel to build an altar of worship and thanksgiving to God, he had them get clean and change into nicer clothes to get ready for what was to come. The Bible gives us several clear principles about dressing in our best when it comes to going to church to worship and hear from the Lord, and we need to be following those principles in our life.

***Yes… It Does Matter – the preceding post is chapter 10 in the book – Yes… It Does Matter***

That they may go forwardExodus 14:15  Or Contrasting living by sight vs. living by faith

(Exodus 14:10-15)

Introduction: The setting of this text is when the Israelite’s led by Moses have finally left Egypt and are being chased by Pharaoh. They are on the edge of the Red Sea and the Egyptians are at their back  and the Red Sea is in front of them.

“Lifted up their eyes”  – LIVING BY SIGHT – verse 10. The Israelite’s were living by site and not by faith here. II Corinthians 5:7 tells us “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF LIVING BY SIGHT & NOT BY FAITH?

  • They were sore afraid” vs. 10 – FEAR – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • The Bible tells us a spirit of fear does not come from God! – II Timothy 1:17For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  • If you have a problem with fear and worry, take it to the Lord he will help you overcome it. – Psalm 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
  • Children of Israel cried out” vs.10 – COMPLAINING – having a complaining spirit is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • Having a complaining spirit displeases the Lord. – Numbers 11:1 – And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
  • And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?vs. 11 – DOUBTING GODLY LEADERSHIP – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • People who have a doubting spirit are unstable the Bible tells us and easily led astrayJames 1:6 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
  • “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” – 12 – THINKING YOUR WISDOM IS BETTER THAN GOD’S WISDOM – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • We need to learn to trust in God’s wisdom and quit thinking we know better. If God is leading us in a certain direction don’t think you thought of something that He didn’t think ofProverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
  • And Isaiah 55:8-9 tells usFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

NOW LETS LOOK AT LIVING BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT. Remember what II Corinthians 5:7 says “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

SO WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF LIVING BY FAITH & NOT BY SIGHT?

  • “Fear ye not” vs. 13 – LACK OF FEAR – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • If we are God’s children we can place our trust in Him and not fear what lies ahead of us.Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
  • Stand still” vs. 13 – CONFIDENCE IN YOUR POSITION – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • If we are His children we have nothing to fear. We can have confidence in our position with Him. John 10:28-29 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
  • See the salvation of the Lord” vs.13 – SEEING THE HAND OF THE LORD WORKING IN YOUR LIFE – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • Philippians 2:13 – For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.God’s hand is at work in your life – have faith and trust His sovereignty over you life.
  • the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” 13 – THE LORD MEETING YOUR NEEDS – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • He is our Heavenly Father “Stand still” and have confidence in His ability to do anything or meet any need that might arise. Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • “The Lord shall fight for you” 14 THE LORD WILL FIGHT OUR BATTLES FOR US – is as result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • The Lord will be with you in the heat of the battle. He will fight for you in the battles of life on your behalf. Deuteronomy 20:4 – For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
  • “Hold your peace” – 14 – PEACEFULNESS – a sense of peace that passes all understanding is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – If you are living a life of faith the Lord can give you a sense of peace in the midst of your trials.

“That they go forward” – vs. 15 – The end result of living a life by faith and not by sight is MOVING FORWARD for the Lord.

  • The Lord wants us to be constantly moving forward for Him.
  • He does not want us to rest and be content where we are at in our walk with Him.
  • We should be constantly striving to conquer new challenges and take new ground for His Kingdom.
  • We should never think we have arrived or our church has arrived – the minute we do that we are no longer living a faith life.

In Conclusion: We should always keep in our thinking that the Lord is in control of our life. He sometimes brings circumstances about or trials in our life for a purpose for a reason. He controls a chain of events from start to finish with the goal in mind to help His children to be constantly doing one thing for Him, He will bring about events so “That they go forward” like it says in the last part of verse 15.

Remember we said a living a life by sight results in:

FEARThey were sore afraid” it says in vs. 10

 COMPLAININGChildren of Israel cried out” vs.10

 DOUBTING GODLY LEADERSHIP And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” vs. 11

THINKING YOUR WISDOM IS BETTER THAN GOD’S WISDOM vs. 12

And we said living a life by faith on not by sight results in:

LACK OF FEARFear ye not” vs. 13

CONFIDENCE IN YOUR POSITIONStand still” vs. 13

SEEING THE HAND OF THE LORD WORKING IN YOUR LIFESee the salvation of the Lord” vs.13

THE LORD MEETING YOUR NEEDS “the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”  Vs. 13

THE LORD WILL FIGHT OUR BATTLES FOR US“The Lord shall fight for you” vs. 14  

PEACEFULNESS“Hold your peace” – vs. 14  

Moving forward – “That they go forward” – vs. 15 – The end result of living a life by faith and not by sight is MOVING FORWARD for the Lord. – trusting the Lord with the next step not just being content where you are at.

SHOWING RESPECT

(I Peter 2:13-23)

INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.

I Peter 2:17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)

In this 2 part series we are considering the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we examined  the “why” and in part #2 we will examine the “how”.

5 PRACTICAL WAYS TO SHOW RESPECT – In a world that’s full of rudeness and disrespect, how can we show respect to others in a practical way?

When We Speak, Be Tactful, Not Just Truthful. Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

What is tact?

  • Tact is the ability to make a point without making an enemy.
  • Tact is when you tell someone to go jump off a cliff in a way that makes them look forward to the journey.
  • Tact is treating everybody as if they knew what they were talking about.
  • Tact is the art of telling someone he’s open minded when he’s really just got a hole in his head.

The primary way we show respect is with our words.

  • ‘Wholesome‘ carries with it the idea of healing or curative.
  • This verse reminds us that we need to give attention to how we speak. Paul admonished us to ‘Speak the truth in love’
  • The way we say something will go a long way in determining how well it’s going to be received. Learning how to be truthful and tactful at the same time is an absolute essential of being respectful.
  • People with tact often have a lot less to retract. We don’t have to eat our words as often if we say them in a kind way.
  • Many people today don’t understand this; they often confuse rudeness with frankness. “I just tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may!” That’s not being frank; that’s being mean and disrespectful to people.

The Power of the tongueSolomon wrote about the power of the tongue in (Proverbs 18:21 –  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.)

“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.)
  • Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)

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. (Colossians 3:9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
  • A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
  • Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
  • Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people.
  • 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?

When We Are Served, Be Understanding Not Demanding. Luke 6:31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

  • One of the greatest tests of our character is how we treat people when they serve us. Waitress, waiters, clerks, employees, even family!
  • When people are doing something for us, are we understanding or are we demanding?
  • It takes no intelligence at all to be rude. But it takes great character and great maturity to be understanding, and not demanding, of people. The best place to practice this is at home.
  • I know people who treat their families in ways they would never consider treating a stranger. They say hurtful things to their families or people they know that they would never consider saying to someone they didn’t know. That’s not right. God says even in our families we need to be understanding, not demanding.

When We Disagree, Be Gentle Not Judgmental. Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  This verse reminds us that ultimately we will all give an accounting before the Lord.

  • I am going to give an account to God for myself and everyone else will give an     account for themselves.
  • Judgment belongs to God, not me.
  • I can disagree with you on any number of issues, without becoming disagreeable or judgmental.
  • Remember, telling the truth is not being judgmental.
  • But if I use the truth to attack and beat people down, then I am wrong. (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.)
  • Paul reminded us that if we don’t have love, then people won’t hear the message of truth that we want to proclaim. (I Corinthians 13:1 – 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.)
  • We can be right on an issue but if we’re rude about it, we’re wrong!

When We Share Our Faith, Be Respecting Not Rejecting. I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

  • We cannot argue people into heaven.
  • We won’t see them come to Christ if our attitude is wrong when we are talking to them about God or the Bible.
  • When we share our faith we must do so with gentleness and respect.

When People Are Rude, Respond Politely. Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Don’t retaliate by being rude back.  That only makes things worse. A good rule of communication is “Act, don’t react.” God expects us to react to every situation, every individual, in manner that is biblical. (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.)

IN CONCLUSION: We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. The Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection on your true heart condition to God. How about you? What could people glean from how respectful or disrespectful you are to others in your life? Would they determine that you have a good heart relationship with the Lord or a bad heart relationship with the Lord? (Mark 7:6 – 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.)

SHOWING RESPECT #1

(I Peter 2:13-23)

I Peter 2:15-17 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Adam Clarke said this about this passage “God, as their supreme governor, shows them that it is His will that they should act uprightly and obediently at all times, and thus confound the ignorance of foolish men.”

The word “silence” in verse 15 signifies to muzzle, i.e., stop their mouths, leave them nothing to say; let them assert, but ever be unable to bring proof to support it.

The word “honour” in verse 17 means to fix a high value on, to revere to value with respect. We are to honor and revere and show respect to fellow Christians.

The word “love” in verse 17 is translated from the Greek word “agapao”. We are to love the brethren with a perfect love in a social and moral sense.

INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.

But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. The Scriptures go on to instruct wives to respect and reverence their husbands and husbands are to respect and reverence their wives. And if we think that someone doesn’t fit the above categories, the Lord tells us that we should respect and honor all men.

I Peter 2:17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. So we are going to begin to look at this missing characteristic. We will consider the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we will examine  the “why” and in part #2 the “how”.

4 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD RESPECT – Let’s begin by looking at four reasons why we should respect everybody regardless of their lifestyle, regardless of their decisions, regardless of their behavior or beliefs. The Bible says every person should be treated with respect.

Because God Made Everybody. Psalms 8:4-5 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

  • Everybody is created by God; and God doesn’t make mistakes or make things we can be flippant with or disrespectful with.
  • There are no worthless people. There are people who do worthless things. There are people who do wrong things, but they are all created by and loved by God.
  • Even the most unlovable person is loved by God.
  • Honor and respect doesn’t mean we embrace or endorse what they do or even what they believe, but we respect the individual as a creation of God.
  • God isn’t finished with any of us, is He? (Philippians 3:13-14Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)
  • We are all a work in progress.
  • So let’s not forget where we came from…let’s remember that we are all made of the same stuff…we are all flesh.

Because Jesus Died For Everyone. I Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

  • We may not think much about somebody, but God does.
  • In fact, He says they are worth dying for. (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 cross shows how much people matter to God.
  • Jesus died for all… people who don’t believe in Him; people who reject Him; people who choose to disobey Him! (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • Jesus died for me, but He also died for the world. (John 3:17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.)

Because It Shows We Know God. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection of your true heart condition toward God.  I John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

  • The Bible says that God is love and if I know God then I’m going to fill my life with love.
  • Love always treats people with respect.
  • If you look at the life of Jesus Christ, He treated everyone with respect; the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Nicodemus, even Judas and Peter.
  • If I am a believer, a Christian, then I’m going to treat other people the way Jesus did.
  • I’m going to treat them with value and with dignity. (I Corinthians 13:5 – [Love] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;)
  • That verse says that love is not rude and selfish.
  • When I’m rude I’m basically saying, “I’m the only one that matters.” So if I treat you with disgust or disrespect – I treat you rudely.

Because of the Law of the Harvest. Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

  • Whatever goes around comes around. Whatever you give out, you’re going to get back. (Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.)
  • It never pays to be rude. Treat others how you wish to be treated, treat others with respect. The way you treat others, according to God’s Word, will eventually circle back around to you. (Proverbs 11:17 – The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.)

IN CONCLUSION: There is no excuse for rude and disrespectful behavior in the life of a believer. We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world. One important value that we must build our lives upon is the value of showing respect. We need to show respect for ourselves, we need to show respect to our family, we need to show respect to our church family and we need to show respect to the world at large.

Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will affect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of being disrespectful to someone, especially a fellow brother or sister in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will affect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.

Strong’s definition of fool: a stupid, wicked, foolish and vile person.

  1. Calling someone a fool – Psalm 14:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” – The Bible here tells us that a fool has denied God in their heart, that they are corrupt to the core, that they do “adominable works” – which means they do utterly detestable works, and that no fools do any good works or good acts. When you call someone a fool or you are inferring in someway that they are a fool, be mindful of what you have done. It is a very degrading and extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool when they are not. Jesus could refer to people as fools because He has perfect knowledge of their hearts, we as sinners do not have this perfect knowledge, that is why Jesus Himself warns us against this action, Jesus warns us against calling someone a fool in no uncertain terms. Calling someone a fool, when they are not, is in itself, a very foolish thing to do.
  2. Do not call someone a fool  – Matthew 5:21-22 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 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.” – Keep in mind that when God expressed His contempt for someone by calling him a fool, He did it with complete, accurate knowledge that the one to whom He attributed foolishness was, in reality, a fool. Accusations made by God (through the Bible writers) are not born of unrighteous anger, but of intellectual knowledge, divine consideration, and a desire for fools to turn from their foolish ways (II Peter 3:9). We, however, must restrain ourselves when, in frustration or anger, we consider calling someone a fool. The Bible is crystal clear in that warning of restraint. We should keep the teaching of Christ in our minds and take careful consideration of labeling someone a fool who is not. “but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” – this is a pretty strong  and clear warning given by Christ about this subject.
  3. The disrespect that is given – it is an extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool, especially to call or insinuate this to another Christian. We should, as Christians, have more respect, or at least more respectful use of language and God’s Word then to use it to refer to other brethren as “fools”. As you can see as found in Proverbs 14:1 a fool has denied God, so a fellow Christian according to Proverbs 14:1 would not fit that definition. It is also a great, appalling and disrespectful thing to do to a fellow laborer in Christ to insinuate in someway that they are a fool. Christ makes the seriousness of that accusation crystal clear in Matthew 5:21-22.
  4. Setting things right – Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will effect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of labeling someone a fool, especially a fellow brethren in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will effect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.

SOMETHING TO STOP

(Colossians Chapter 3:1-9)

Colossians 3:8-9 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

INTRODUCTION:If ye then be risen with Christ”, if we are saved, we should be living like it. We have been made free from the penalty of sin. Because of this, shouldn’t we walk as closely to God as we can? We must have a heavenly mindset. We need to change our way of thinking to a Godly frame of mind. Christ sits at the right hand of God. He has secured our eternal happiness in Him. We need to believe the Lord has something better planned for our lives than we do. We need to be seeking out what God has for our lives. We need to “seek those things which are above.” Do not dwell on your present state in your life. Get your eyes off of self and start seeking out the things of God. In the seeking, the Lord gives us some things to stop.

SOMETHING TO STOP (Colossians 3:8 – But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.) Stop the wrong that you are doing. Listen to the Holy Spirit as He draws things to mind for you to stop doing. The Bible lists some specific sins for us to stop doing. Paul says here for us to “put off all these; anger, wrath”. We need to learn to control our anger. Pray to the Lord about this. He will help you overcome this sin.

  • 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.
  1. Love your enemies – Following this command of our Lord can be challenging 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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 pray for them.
  • 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 6:14-15For 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.)
  • Someone once said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • How can I learn to control my anger? (Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.)
  • Everyone has a “right” to an opinion as long as it lines up with God’s opinion on the subject. Everyone has a “right” be treated with dignity and respect. But remember if Jesus had demanded “his rights” He would not have died on the cross for you and I and we would be condemned to an eternity in Hell. So be careful with this. What you say may be “right”, but the attitude and spirit of anger will make it wrong.
  • Do not interpret everything as a personal offense. Because it in all likelihood is not. It might not even be directed at you. So slow up your responses and control the speed at which you get angry. (Proverbs 14:17 – He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.)
  • Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)

REALIZE CHRISTIANS MUST COPE WITH TWO NATURES – We must learn the “Put off – Put on” principle found in Ephesians 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  • Put off” – your old self, your old reactions to situations, your old attitude, your old angry spirit, your old desires for revenge, put off the bitterness toward others. (Jude 16 – These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; )

&

  • Put on” – the new self. We were created in the image of God. We are in the family of God. Let’s act like His children. Put on forgiveness, put on patience, put on respect for others, put on respect for those in authority over us, put on love for the brethren. (Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.)
  • The Apostle Paul tells us here to stop our blasphemy. Stop twisting the Lords words. Stop using His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.)

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE” – Solomon wrote about the power of the tongue in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

  • “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.)
  • Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)
  • “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. (Colossians 3:9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
  • 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.)
  • A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
  • Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
  • A lying tongue hates and afflicts people, and flattering lips cause ruin. (Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.)
  • Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people.
  • 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?

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…)

CONCLUSION: 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.)

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 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 5:39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

LEARN TO LOOK FOR A BIBLICAL VIEW ON ISSUES – AND NOT JUST A TRADITIONAL VIEW

Titus 1:9 says “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Notice the verse says “by sound doctrinenot by tradition of men but by well thought out, researched, studied and reasoned teaching based on God’s Word and God’s Word alone.

We always need to be thinking toward a Biblical view and not just a traditional view. (Mark 7:8a & 13) To get a proper view on any subject we must take into account both God’s terrible holiness, and His gracious forgiveness in view of the sinfulness of man.   To find the Biblical position on issues, we must:

  • Approach the Scriptures open-mindedly. We all have the tendency to believe what we’ve always been taught, without looking at our views critically to see if they are consistent with Scripture. The person who desires to know God’s mind must always come to the Word with a pure heart and an open mind, leaving prejudices and preconceived ideas behind. What is most important is that we find out what God’s Word says not what our traditions or culture say.
  • Look at all of Scripture as a whole on a subject. We cannot just rely on those verses which support our cherished positions.  That is how we so often argue Scripture.  For a view to be Biblical, it must fit every Scriptural text into the view without denying or doing interpretive violence to any position.
  •  Look at each Scripture in its context. The context of a passage will never change the meaning of a verse, but it will clarify the meaning. Each text must be studied on its own, faithfully understanding it in context.  Then, we seek to put all the verses together into a unified and consistent whole.  If the Bible is God’s Word, then every verse’s clear meaning will fit just like a puzzle piece perfectly in the whole of His Word.
  • Dr. C.I. Scofield had a great thought on the proper interpretation of scripture ““Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one and never use an if to contradict a verily.”

Seek Biblical answers not traditional answers, not good sounding answers, not even at first glance what would appear to be “Biblical” answers, but seek to actually examine the Scriptures for what they truly and actually say. Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and remember and keep at the forefront of your mind that our Lord strongly condemns placing mans traditions above His Word. Learn to always make sure the position you are taking or the stand you are making on an issue is based on God’s Word and not just mans tradition. (Mark 7:6-8a & 13 – 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. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.)

“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.

THEY SPAKE WITH BOLDNESS

Acts 4:31 – “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”

 INTRODUCTION:  Acts 3:1-8 – “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God”. Peter and John went into the temple. Peter, by the name of Jesus, had just healed this man that had been lame from His birth. Then Peter starting preaching in the temple. We pick up this story in chapter 4 at the conclusion of Peter’s message and the reaction of the priests and the Sadducees.

We need to boldly proclaim the word of God in our community. We should not be afraid to witness for our Lord – He gave us access to “All power” we therefore have no reason to be scared about “Go Ye” (Mathew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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.)

We are going to look at several questions and we are going to get our answers out of God’s word.

WHAT DID THEY GET IN TROUBLE FOR?  (Acts 4:1-3And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.) – THEY GOT IN TROUBLE FOR TEACHING AND PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD!

A time is coming when we may get into trouble for preaching, teaching, and living by what the Word of God says. In fact, it is already beginning to happen in this country. I read, not long ago, about a baker in Colorado and another one in Oregon. Two homosexual men in one case and two lesbian women in the other case came into the bakery wanting to order a cake to celebrate their wedding ceremony. The bakers, who believe what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality, refused to make a cake for them. They would bake a cake for other events for them and had, but they just could not bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. They are now facing criminal and civil prosecutions and verdicts, all because they did not bake a cake, all because they acted on what they believed.

Are you willing to act on what you believe come what may?

  • Would you still be willing to preach God’s Word, teach God’s Word, be a witness of God’s Word, believe and act upon God’s word if it meant a prison sentence?
  • Acts 4:31 AND THEY SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS”
  • Notice in Acts 4:4 the prison bars did not stop the power of God’s word and His message. They laid hands on them, put Peter and John in prison, but that could not stop God. I love verse 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”
  • What are you willing to sacrifice for God?Your plans, your dreams, your freedom?How about your pride? Your comfort zone? Are you willing to sacrifice your Saturday to get His Word out to our community?

WHAT AUTHORITY DID THEY HAVE TO PREACH GOD’S WORD? (Acts 4:7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? ) – Notice the question that was asked of Peter and John.

Now notice Peter’s response, look at Acts 4:8-12 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

So what authority or by what power did Peter and John preach and teach and witness? – The same authority and the same power we preach and teach and witness by. By the power of God through Jesus Christ His son, enabled by the Holy Spirit himself who lives in all of us that are Christians. Go Ye into all your community preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and compelling them to come in!

Don’t hesitate to proclaim the word of God, and to be a witness for Him. We have all the authority we need. God will bless your efforts. I know I am nervous every time I knock on a door. I just trust God and pray as I am knocking on the door for Him to give me the words to say, and you know what? Sometimes I stumble over my words, but the Lord blesses our efforts. We are commanded to go. The Lord will take care of the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7 – So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.)

WHAT DID THE PRIESTS AND THE SADDUCEES SEE?Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled;“ – They saw boldness. Peter and John had boldness. They boldly proclaimed the word of God.

Do you have boldness? Do you need boldness? Well just ask God for it and, if you are of a sincere heart, He will give it to you. (Mathew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.) We get our boldness to share God’s word through Jesus Christ His Son. (Ephesians 3:11-12 – According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.)

WHERE HAD PETER AND JOHN BEEN?Notice verse 13 againNow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”)

  • They had been with Jesus. Have you been with Jesus today?
  • Can people around you tell you have been with Jesus?
  • Can people tell you are a Christian?
  • If we are saved, we should have testimony of our Savior. It should be obvious to those around us that we are a Christian. It should be obvious that we have “been with Jesus”.
  • Is it obvious to those around you that you are Christian and that you have a relationship with Christ? If not, you need to ask your Lord for forgiveness and work at being a better witness for Him.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE OF PETER AND JOHN? Acts 4:16-18 – “Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

  • They threatened Peter and John, and told them not to teach or preach in the name of Jesus again.
  • The day is coming, if it has not already, that you will be told to keep your faith to yourself. You will be treated rudely by someone. You will have a door slammed in your face for witnessing for your Lord. You may be cussed at or ridiculed for being a Christian, or as the case of the bakers in Colorado and Oregon, you may face prison time and enormous fines for your beliefs.
  • Acts 4:31- “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”
  • Are you willing to speak the word of God with boldness come what may?

WHAT WAS PETER AND JOHNS RESPONSE? Acts 4:19 -20 – “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”I love their response: “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They were not going to intimidate Peter or John. Want to know why? Verse 13 tells us – because “they had been with Jesus”

  • They were saved by the blood of the Lamb of God. They had been with Jesus. They were obeying His command of “Go ye”. They had boldness from God.
  • They could not help themselves, they had to speak and teach and preach about Jesus, just like they had to breathe air to live, and they had to teach Jesus!
  • Is this the way you feel about your Lord?

WHAT WAS THE CHURCHES RESPONSE?  – Acts 4:23-29 – “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,”

  • Peter and John gave a testimony of what had happened to their church.
  • The churches immediate reaction was to turn to God in prayer.
  • They quoted scripture in their prayer to God.
  • They praised God in their prayer.
  • The last thing they did in their prayer was to ask for something.
  • It wasn’t for some material need or possession; there was nothing selfish about their request.
  • They prayed for more boldness so they could do a better job of spreading Gods word to their community and the world.(Acts 4:29 – And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,)

CONCLUSION: What was the end result of all of this? – The end result of their boldness? The end result of their going and sharing the gospel of Christ? They were blessed twofold. (Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.)

  • A multitude believed.
  • How did a multitude believe? By power of God’s word and by the early church obeying Jesus command to “Go ye”
  • How did they obey that command? The Bible tells us how Paul obeyed that command in Acts 20:20 – “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,” – Paul went house to house.
  • Acts 5:42 – “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” – Not just in the Temple or the Church but in every house, they went house to house.
  • Unity in the Church – God blessed their church for going and witnessing to those around them with unity. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” – Do you want unity in your church? – Start a vigorous soul-winning and witnessing ministry.

The Lord will give us the boldness we need to share His Word with those around us. He will bless our efforts. He will bring the increase. He will bless our church with multitudes saved. He will bless our church with unity. And all we have to do is just obey His command in Mathew 28 and “Go”!

“WHAT MOTHERS DESERVE”

Proverbs 1:8-9 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

This is a general exhortation to receive the instructions, and submit to the authority of your parents. And not only hearken to thy father when he teaches you; but these verses are telling us to let our mother’s commands be a law unto us. One of the great steps to wisdom is to give great reverence to your parents, both natural and spiritual; especially reverence to your mother. God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God, in His Word, takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general.

Verse nine is telling us, if we heed to the good things our mothers teach us and observe them as if it is the law, that it will metaphorically be “an ornament of grace” on display for the world to see. Those around you can tell if you are respectful and obedient to your mother or if you are not. It will show in your countenance, in your conduct or in some other way in your life negatively, if you are forsaking the instruction of your mother.

INTRODUCTION: The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, but by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The next day, May 9, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Billy Sunday speaking on the love mothers have for their children said this “A Mothers love is unselfish, and has no limits this side of heaven.

ON MOTHERS DAY WE SHOULD REFLECT ON WHAT OUR MOTHERS DESERVE:

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR OBEDIENCE (Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. & Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.)

  • Children, obey your parents” – the duty of children to their parents is obedience.
  • In the Lord” – we are to obey our parents “in the Lord”, we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by God.
  • For this is right” – we are to obey our mothers and fathers simply because it is the right thing for us to do.
  • Even Jesus obeyed His mother growing up. (Luke 2:51 – And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.)
  • Are we giving our mothers the obedience they deserve? The obedience we are commanded to give them by the Lord? The obedience we are told in God’s Word that is just the right thing to do?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR RESPECT (Ephesians 6:2-3 – Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. & Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.)

  • Solomon warned of dire consequences to those who disrespected their parents in Proverbs 20:20 “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”
  • In the Old Testament times, children that disrespected their parents were put to death under the law. (Leviticus 20:9 – For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.)
  • In Proverbs 20:20 it says their “lamp shall be put out” in other words they will have no prosperity, they will live an unblessed, by God, life.

An old Chinese proverb says “Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.

  • The Bible, God, and common decency, demands that we respect our parents, especially our mothers. Are you respecting your mother like you should? Do you need to apologize to her for any disrespect you have showed her?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR AFFECTION (I Kings 19:20 – And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?) – Elisha here in this verse demonstrates the kind of affection that is due our parents.

  • Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them?
  • Such affection can be an “I love you Mom!”, or hugs, or gifts.
  • Do we give our mothers the affection they deserve? Have you given your mom the affection she deserves recently and consistently?
  • Elisha here was a grown man going to be a mighty prophet for God; and we see he is begging for the opportunity to run back and hug and kiss his father and his mother. Do we have this kind of love and respect that Elisha demonstrated for our parents? Do we cherish our father and mother like Elisha did? If we do not, we need to get that right with God, and with them.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE INCREASING IN WISDOM (Proverbs 10:1 – A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. & Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.) – We have an obligation to our parents to strive to increase in wisdom throughout our lives and in our decisions we make.

  • Jesus increased in wisdom as He grew from childhood to adulthood, we are to be conforming to His image as we go through our life, this is a key area we need to conform to, and our mothers need us to conform to Christ in this area of wisdom too. (Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.)
  • Mothers worry enough about their children; we should not be giving them any unnecessary grief by our foolish actions or direction.
  • Much of our wisdom, if we will really listen, accept, and apply it, can come from our mothers and what they tell us, teach us, and show us.
  • Are you growing in wisdom in your life? Or are you heading down the path of foolishness? For your mothers sake you should strive to be as wise as you can be in the Lord.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS DEMONSTRATED IN OUR LIFE (Proverbs 23:24-25 – The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.) – More important than any other achievement we could do in our life for our mothers is the achievement of a righteous character in our life.

“There is no greater joy a parent can have than to see his son take virtuous courses.–Let not thy father and mother then want this singular pleasure; but by thy well-doing fill the heart of her that bare thee with joy and triumph, who, for all the pains and care that she hath had in thy birth, and about thy education, desires no other requital but only this.” – Bishop Simon Patrick (1626 – 1727)

  • Nothing makes a mother happier or prouder than to have a good (righteous) son or daughter.
  • We can get true righteousness in our life by our faithful following of Jesus. (Romans 3:21-22 – But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:)
  • Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, through whom God manifests His combined righteousness and mercy, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too.
  • Any righteousness we have in our life is of God; and how we live in accordance with His Word. We are, according to His Word, justified by our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The benefits of whose obedience and death are obtained not by human works or merit, but by receiving Him as our Savior, and trusting in Him for our salvation. (Romans 5:8-11 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.)
  • Jesus Christ is to whom God commands us to commit our souls, with all humble and obedient regard. This way of obtaining righteousness and life is now made available to all, and is put upon all them that believe, for there is no respect of persons with God. “Whosoever will”, have the chance to get save, will have the ability to have His righteousness imputed onto them. And no greater joy will our mother have then to see us walking after God and serving Him with our life. (Romans 4:22-25 – And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.)

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR CARE AND CONCERN FOR THEM (I Timothy 5:4,8 & 16 – But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.) – Our parents, especially widows, deserve our care and concern.

  • It was God’s original intent that children were to be their parents “social security”. Our parents, as they get older, deserve the best care we can afford to give them.
  • Some as they age may require professional medical care, but we should not simply drop them off at the nursing home for just convenience, our parents are ultimately our personal responsibility and we should honor and care for them as in a way to thank them for all they did for us.
  • Ways you can care for your mother while you and her are still young, is by doing the dishes, helping with the laundry, taking out the trash, helping with the cleaning of the house and you should show your respect to your mother, that she deserves from you, and do all of these chores without prompting and seek to do them all to the best of your ability.
  • Are you caring for your mother like you should? Will you make the decision to start caring for your mother like you should today if you are not? Will you make the commitment to God now to care for your mother as she ages?

IN CONCLUSION: God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God in His Word takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general. We are to obey our parents “in the Lord”; we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by the Lord. Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them? Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too. (III John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.)

We may choose to give our mothers flowers, cards or gifts on Mother’s Day; but we need to keep in mind that all the other days throughout the year she deserves something from us to, our mothers, year round, deserve our:

  • Obedience
  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Wisdom
  • Righteousness
  • Care

Are we practicing all these things that our mothers deserve from us all the days throughout the year or do we just act a little extra nice to her on Mother’s Day?