Archive for the ‘Communication’ 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.

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

Knowing Him is believing Him, it is trusting in Him, it is fellowshiping with Him, it is doing all we can to live for Him. Knowing Him is having an experimental knowledge of Him, of His attributes, of His love, His compassion, His power over our problems and difficulties. Knowing Him is anticipating His strength to help you, it is leaning on Him in the storm, it is acknowledging your helpless and sinful state and trusting Him with your eternal soul. Knowing Him is intimate, it is reassuring, it is comforting. Knowing Him enables us to do things we never thought possible. Knowing Him is letting Him have full control over your life, your desires, your ambitions and your plans. Knowing Him is such a sweet and peaceful place to dwell. Why don’t you make the decision today to get to know our Savior better, that would be one decision you would never look back on with regret. Know Him!

Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 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.”

Jesus is not content for Christians to just be one of the crowd or blend in with the world. We are commanded to influence those around us toward Him. Salt is noticed when it is added to something. People should notice we are Christians and we should be changing the status quo toward Christ. Light makes things easily seen. Our influence should be readily noticed.

It is now time in our nation to take a stand for right. To stand out in a crowd for Christ. It is time to make our light, our salt our influence noticed in the world and pray earnestly it is not too late.

Exodus 4:10 “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Moses endeavors to excuse himself by pleading that he was no good spokesman. God is pleased sometimes to make choice of those as His messengers who have fewest of the advantages of art or nature. Christ’s disciples were not orators till the Spirit made them such” – Matthew Henry

“Eternal Purpose” – Ephesians 3:10-19

Are you living according to your Eternal Purpose God created you for?

Ephesians 3:11 – “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Think about your life. Why God created you. Are you living according to the Eternal Purpose that God created you for? Are you living in contrast to that purpose? Do you care either way?

What is our Eternal Purpose? (Ephesians 3:11 – According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:)

  • We are here to bring Glory to God. (Romans 11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.)
  • C.S. Lewis said “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
  • Glorifying God should be a joyous occurrence for us.
  • We are here to have fellowship with God and each other. We should not hide within ourselves we should fellowship with the Lord and fellow Christians. (I John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.)
  • We are to share the Gospel with a lost and perishing world. (Mathew 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.)
  • We are here to minister to the needs of the Saints to the needs of fellow Christians. (Romans 12:13 – Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. & I Corinthians 16:1 – Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. & II Corinthians 9:12 – For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;)
  • Is your eternal purpose to teach a Sunday School class, help in Children’s Church, lead music, sing specials, share the Gospel with someone, or could your eternal purpose be to preach the Gospel of Christ? (I Timothy 1:12 – And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry)
  • God will enable you to fulfill your eternal purpose for Him whatever that eternal purpose may be.
  • Don’t doubt God. If you feel Him leading you into the ministry follow His lead. He will enable you to fulfill that calling.
  • Is your eternal purpose perhaps sharing your testimony with others on how God helped you through a rough time in your life so you can minister to others in a similar situation? (Hebrews 11:5 – By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.)
  • Do you even have a testimony that is pleasing to God?
  • Could your testimony be used by God to help someone? If so are you letting God use it?
  • What are you going to live for? Are you going to live to fulfill your eternal purpose for God? Or are you going to live for self and all your selfish, self-centered wants and desires? We have to choose. Are we going to live for God and His eternal purpose in our life or are we not? (Joshua 24:15 – …choose you this day whom ye will serve; …but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.)
  • Are you doing your Eternal Purpose?

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.”