P A of Worldview: A Soft Answer

I was challenged the other day by stories of Christian martyrs. In the face of brutality many respond as Christ, speaking Life and Light. Many times they quite literally turn the other cheek.

This caused me to think even about the way I respond to strangers in normal settings. Like when your on a plane and the man behind you just can’t keep from wiggling the back of your seat.

I think I’m being so kind and patient to at first simply ignore the man, then I’m helping him be polite by sending looks over my shoulder but not snipping at the man.

But what if I had tried a soft answer?

What if I had spoken Jesus to that stranger instead?

Often times we make the excuse that we just haven’t had any opportunities to share Jesus. What if this is because during those opportunities we are too busy trying and failing to keep our flesh in check when in reality, if we paused, we might realize that God’s heart could not just handle the situation but actually give back Life in exchange for the frustration.

Pro 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I am much better at the ending of this verse than I am at the beginning. What if we started not just keeping back the harsh words but actually speaking out the soft answers.

Challenge: Next time you find yourself needing to exercise self-control, pause and look for how you can go beyond keeping back the harsh by speak that soft answer.

Posted in Worldview | 1 Comment

Practical Application of Worldview: God’s Promises

What is it God has placed in your heart as a promise/goal? What’s your idea of how it will be achieved?
We often have our expectations of how God is going to accomplish something, but God’s promises don’t always look or come about the way we expect.

God made promises to people in the Bible, and we read and see those promises fulfilled within a couple verses or chapters. But to the people who lived those promises, for some it took years or even huge portions of their lives before those promises were fulfilled. And, to a few, the promises they received did not come about in their life time at all but rather in generations to come.

God promises Abram He would make him into a great nation (Genesis 12:1). How do you think Abram pictured that being accomplished?

I’m guessing he probably did not picture a great nation coming about through only one of his children. I’m guessing he thought his children might actually be united to form a great nation. God brought about His promise to Abraham, but not until after even Joseph’s time. Sometimes we may not live to see the promises God had for our lives, yet without us those promises would not exist. Just because you don’t see a promise fulfilled does not mean it won’t be. God is faithful to keep His promises.

How do you think Joseph pictured the promise of ruling over his brothers to happen (Genesis 37)?

I think he maybe pictured it happening right there within his family. He would somehow gain position and notoriety over his brothers, perhaps via his father’s favor, and then maybe by ingenuity and hard work he would become the most successful of them all and have authority over them.

I’m guessing he never thought ruler of a foreign country. I’m guessing he never thought slavery to a foreign master for years before then. God brought about His promise to Joseph, but definitely not the way anyone would have expected.

David was promised that the throne of his descendants would be eternal (2 Samuel 7: 13). How do you think he thought that would happen?

I’m guessing it wasn’t through destruction, exile, a baby born to a young couple under Roman Law, or that grown baby killed before ever being crowned king. God’s promises are always accomplished, but often in far different ways than we thought.

Challenge: Trust that if God promises something He will bring it about. And don’t give up, because often the fulfillment of his promises happens in ways one would never expect. The journey you are on, that might looks like a really big waste of time, might in fact be the path leading you exactly to His promise. God uses all things to His glory.

Posted in Worldview | Leave a comment

P A of W: When the Going gets Tough

A couple of weeks ago I found myself quoting the English expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Then I paused and thought, “But what if someone isn’t one of the tough, then what?”

If we’re not one of the tough, does that mean we’ll just get left behind? Do we have to be tough to make it?

Interestingly enough, there are a lot of very impressive Christian figures who did incredible things within impossible circumstances. We might be tempted to list them as some of those people who when the going got tough they were the tough that got going, but actually that’s not what the Bible says about them in Hebrews. Rather, it says something quite the opposite.

Heb 11:32-34 “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

If they were weak then how were they made strong?

2Co 12:9-10 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We don’t have to be tough to make it through the tough times. Rather we need to look to Him who is our strength to be strength on our behalf.

Phl 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Challenge: Don’t give up because you’re not tough. Rather, have faith in He who is!

Posted in Worldview | 1 Comment

P A of Worldview: Changing Perspectives

Often times I get all caught up in stressful discussions about the future and money, and today I got to thinking about my perspectives and why I’m stressed. It made me stop and contemplate my whole reality from a different direction.

We get so easily caught up in the world’s perspective on so many things; and I realized I need to be reminded of the Biblical perspective to life.

A heavenly perspective on future gain:
Phl 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”

A heavenly perspective on our aim:
Mat 18:11 “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

Luk 9:23-25 “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?’”

A heavenly perspective on living life:
Mat 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

What if we reminded ourselves more often of God’s perspectives and goals? What if we really lived out loving God with heart, mind, and soul, then loving our neighbor? What if we focused on the lost, instead of ourselves? What if the knowledge of God meant everything to us?

Challenge: Take a moment today and re-gain a heavenly perspective.

Posted in Worldview | Leave a comment

P A of Worldview: Words Don’t Save

Have you ever wondered about those people who always seem to be reading their Bible yet who don’t seem any different from the world? Those people who raise their hands during worship but don’t seem to care a thing for God’s principles. Do you ever wonder how that’s possible?

Did you know, there were people like this during Jesus’s time too.

He said to the Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

The Scriptures aren’t what save you. The Bible isn’t what changes you. It’s God who saves and changes you. This is why the concept of being IN Christ is so important. Its not just about valuing something. It’s about actually being willing to come to Him.

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

Challenge: Do not just read the words. Be willing and come to Him who is Life!

Posted in Worldview | Leave a comment

P A of Worldview: Speak Truth

Don’t just know the truth. Speak the truth!
As Christians we need to be reminding ourselves and others of the truth. We need to be speaking the truth in ever situation, because God is truth!

Deu 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

1John 5:6 “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.”

Jhn 16:13 “…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…”

Pro 8:6-9
“Listen, for…my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.”

Eph 4:25 “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”

Zec 8:16-17 “‘These are the things you shall do: speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace…’ Says the LORD.”

Too many do not speak the truth, even those who claim to know God.

Jer 9:5 “Everyone will deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity.”

This is an interesting warning because of the word, “taught.” This isn’t happening accidentally. We are teaching our tongue to speak lies, and we are doing it in the church.

Challenge: Stop speaking lies. Put away lying. Speak truth! Each one to your neighbor, speak God, who is truth!

Posted in Worldview | Leave a comment

P A of W: Why Correct and Repent?

Your turn. Take a look at what we covered last week and ask yourself the question: why is correcting and repenting so important?

Posted in Worldview | Leave a comment