Blameless and Innocent
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation…”
Right now we are going through a difficult time in our nations across the globe. Some people and some nations have it much worse than others, though for those who were used to their freedoms, having their freedoms taken away from them has been a hard blow. For trials and tribulations come in all different forms and at all different degrees of toughness.
So, what should be our response to these difficult times? We should not grumble and complain about them, and we shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves over them, either. For, that is a horrible witness for Jesus Christ.
But, does that mean that we bow down and worship those in authority over us, and that we believe everything they tell us, that it is truth? NO! And, should we live in fear of germs the rest of our lives, and should we go to extreme measures to try to protect ourselves from coming into contact with germs? And, should we believe that if we take all these extreme measures that we are now going to be safe? NO! Our trust has to be in God alone!
We should use common sense, yes. I am not saying to be stupid or careless. And, we should be considerate of others and respect their feelings in the matter, and not purposefully do what we know might upset them or cause them harm. For, some people are living in fear over this, and we don’t want to make them more afraid, if that can at all be avoided, that is.
But, we need to not be sheeple, either, who just believe everything we hear in the MSM (mainstream media), and from our government leaders, and even from some leaders in some institutional churches. We need to use the brains that God gave us to test everything we see and hear and read, in prayer, against the Word of God, and in the wisdom of God’s Spirit living within us, asking the Lord to show us what is true and what is false.
But, and this is really important that we get this… We are not going to be discerning of good and evil if we are taking evil into our minds on a daily basis, and if we are giving in to that evil in any way. If the world and its junk is what is mainly occupying our minds and hearts, there is no way we are going to see clearly to hear from God and to know good from evil.
Yet, do we obey our governing authorities? Absolutely! But, with exception. We do not worship them. We don’t believe everything they tell us, and we don’t practice what they practice, if what they are doing is evil. We test what they tell us to see if it is true. And, God always trumps! His word trumps! We must obey God rather than man, if what man requires of us opposes God and his Word, and if it opposes God’s divine will and purpose for our lives.
Shine as Lights
Philippians 2:15-16 ESV
“… among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Ok, so we are to shine as lights in the world, in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.
So, what is this saying? It is saying that not everyone is who he or she says they are. Not everyone tells the truth. Many liars and deceivers exist among us. And, the Bible tells us, too, that the closer we get to Jesus’ return, that the worse it is going to get. And, the Bible prophecies about the evil, the wickedness and the massive deception that is to take place in these last days. It tells us about how crooked it is, and it warns us of deception.
So, why is that so many people who call themselves Christians just believe everything they hear in the news? Or, from a particular political platform? Or, from their government leaders? Or, from pastors and preachers?
What happened to discernment? What happened to critical thinking? Have we forgotten how to think and reason? Or, have we gotten so dumbed down by TV, movies, the media, the internet, gaming, and the like, that we no longer use the brains God has given to us, and we no longer tap into his Holy Spirit for wisdom to know truth from lies?
We aren’t supposed to be sheeple who just blindly go along with everything human beings tell us. We are supposed to be lights (truth, righteousness) to shine brightly in this evil world. We are supposed to be those who discern evil, and who expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and who call people out from among the world to follow Jesus Christ in purity of devotion to him.
We are supposed to be discerners of Biblical error and the manipulation of God’s Word. But, so many are just following whatever some preacher tells them without even checking it out to see if it is true.
Do you know that you can use the Scriptures to teach what is false? Yes! If you take them out of context, you can. That is how many false doctrines are formed, and how many cults are formed, too, by people taking Scriptures out of context to support whatever belief or practice they want to adhere to.
And, that is how so many people today have bought into the cheap grace gospel, because they didn’t check it out in prayer, in sincerity of devotion to Jesus Christ, and in the Word of God, studied in context. And, that, too, is largely because so many people who call themselves Christians are living no differently from the people of the world, and so they like the cheap grace message, because it gives them freedom to keep sinning without guilt.
But, we have to stop following men and women! And, we have to start following the Lord Jesus Christ. And, he says that if we want to come after him that we must deny self, and take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. And, this means daily dying to sin and self, and daily putting on Christ and his spiritual armor. And, in the power of God, we live holy lives, pleasing to God, and we shine the truth of his gospel to the world around us (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
We have to come out from the world and be separate (unlike, different) from the world and its philosophies, values, morals, practices and entertainment, too. And, we need to bathe our minds on the Word of God, in prayer, seeking God’s face, and then we need to be DOERS OF THE WORD.
A Drink Offering
Philippians 2:17-18 ESV
“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”
So, why do I do what I do every day? Why do I write the things that I write? It certainly is not to win public approval or to be voted most popular. I write what the Lord gives me to write each day because I love my Lord, and because my desire is for him, and my desire is to obey him.
But, that is not the only reason. I do what I do each day because I love the people of this world, and I love my brothers and sisters in Christ. And, I am deeply concerned that so many of you are following after liars and deceivers, and that you are being led in the wrong direction. And, I know that many of you are trapped in sin’s deceitfulness, and/or you are living in fear because you believe the lies, and you don’t embrace the truth.
So, my hope here is that you will take what I have shared with you today to heart. I am not asking that you follow me. I don’t need followers. I don’t need “likes,” either, to keep me going. I am not looking for your approval of me, either. I will continue doing what I do each day, by the grace of God, as long as God has me doing this, whether I get human approval or not.
Thus, my hope is that you will stop and think, and that you will examine what you are listening to, and what you are believing every day, and how what you believe is impacting your life both now and for eternity.
I am asking you to really pay attention to what is being said in the news, with critical thinking, and in prayer, but to also listen for what is not being said, too, for that speaks volumes, as well. And, I am asking you to pull away from the world, and to get alone with God, and to ask the Lord to show you truth from lies, to reveal to you the lies you are believing, in particular.
And, be willing to let go of any “sacred cows” you may have if they don’t line up with the Word of God (in context). If the Lord helps you to see through all the “smoke and mirrors,” to see what is going on in the world, much of which is being covered up with lies and manipulation, I pray you will reject the lies and embrace the truth. For, the Lord wants you to know the truth and to not follow the lies. So, I pray you listen to the Lord.
Matt Redman / Jonas Myrin
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name
The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
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