The Message (MSG)
15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
4 But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared,
5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus 3:4-6
All of these things come to us by faith. But it must be faith that works by love. (Gal. 5:6)
The most important thing you must learn in life is Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to heaven! The second most important thing is how to get faith to work for you in life! Everything you receive from God, every blessing, healing, prosperity in finances, protection, promotion, all your needs in general, comes by God to you THROUGH faith. What is bad is when you can’t receive because you don’t have faith actively working in your life to the highest degree.
Faith works by love, just as a car works by an engine. Physical laws came from spiritual laws. If you want to fly, you must enforce the “law of lift and thrust”. If you don’t, the law of gravity is going to have you crashing! It is the same with spiritual laws. When we put those laws in place, we get a result every time! For instance, the law of seed, time, and harvest is going to produce a crop of something in your life depending on what you have planted. Seed, time, and harvest is where you plant something through either negative words or positive words. If your mouth is always complaining then you are always going to get more to complain about. You are harvesting negativity. If you are speaking words of praise and faith, you are going to get more to praise about! You are producing what the word has promised. BUT!! If you are not walking in love toward people, you have poured sawdust in your oil! No matter how many scriptures you confess, if you aren’t practicing love toward all, you are going through a motion!
If you know anything about mechanics, sawdust mixed with oil, increases the viscosity, which then buffers most of the
noise from worn bearings! It won’t be long until your engine will sputter and you will be calling for a tow truck or you will be walking! It is an old trick people use to sell a clunker of a car!! The same thing is what happens when we mix criticism, anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness with faith. It just does not work!
We all know out of the abundance of the heart (mind) the mouth speaks. You cannot think negative thoughts toward people and then walk in God’s love toward them. If you do allow your thoughts to head in negative directions, you will be a negative person wondering why everyone else around you is blessed and all you seem to have is trouble. Check your thoughts!
There is a lady who is immature in her walk with the Lord. I have not always been as patient as I should be with her. Her mouth is not renewed with the word of God because she is a baby Christian. Just like babies need patience when you teach them new skills and ideas, baby Christians need this, too. I had begun to notice she was ALWAYS complaining. She would say things like ”I don’t have this, I don’t have that, if anything can go wrong, it is going to go wrong with me! Why me, why me, why me???” I noticed the more she talks this negativity the more really DOES happen to her. What is she doing? She is cursing herself with her own words! The more she talks, the more she plants, and the more she plants, the more she harvest! She is getting exactly what she is thinking because she is voicing her thoughts! Oddly, she is a very angry woman and you can set her off and offend her easily. Why? Because a cycle of negativity has been set in place giving place to anger, which is negating her love walk where her faith cannot work! She is her worst enemy, and can’t we all be?
You cannot love people if you think badly of them! If you think critically of others, it will effect your love walk and your faith will literally shut down the blessings, as well as what you have been asking God for. It isn’t that God is withholding it from you. God said He gives ALL good things LIBERALLY! Are you seeing results in prayer? If not, check your attitude toward others. You will most likely find a root, just like I did!! Thank God we find it so we can uproot it and learn from it! When that happens, look out, we are about to be abundantly blessed and so will others because without the stinking thinking, WE won’t be stinkers anymore!
Blessings to you, precious reader! Go with God, as He surely goes with you!!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
10 And Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity.
2 Now these are the names of the twelve apostles (special messengers): first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 Philip and Bartholomew [Nathaniel]; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus [Judas, not Iscariot];
4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
5 Jesus sent out these twelve, charging them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and do not go into any town of the Samaritans;
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand!
8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.
9 Take no gold nor silver nor [even] copper money in your purses (belts);
10 And do not take a provision bag or a [a]wallet for a collection bag for your journey, nor two undergarments, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the workman deserves his support (his living, his food).
11 And into whatever town or village you go, inquire who in it is deserving, and stay there [at his house] until you leave [that vicinity].
12 As you go into the house, give your greetings and wish it well.
13 Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your peace [that is, [b]freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your peace return to you.
14 And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet.
15 Truly I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
Many years ago, I went to hear a speaker in Houston, Texas. This lady was at a very large church and she was very well-known. She had a regular program on the Gospel stations and she was very dynamic in her delivery. There did seem to be answers to prayers and miracles in her meetings.
I didn’t know she was coming to Houston, but a friend of mine wanted to see her and asked me to go with her. I really didn’t have a good feeling about going, but I went with her anyway because it was a drive and it was at night.
The praise and worship team opened the service and in grand style this lady was introduced to the audience. She just seemed to own that platform from the moment she got up there! I had listened to her in her early days and this lady really seemed to be sincere, loving and very caring for wounded people in the body of Christ. As I listened, and oddly I cannot remember what she taught on, I noticed unnatural wide sweeping gestures, tones of voice that are used when people are trying to sell something, and I really fussed at myself for thinking like that! I gave myself a good “dressing down” and still I could not shake the images and thoughts, nor did I feel guilty for having them. In fact, I knew God was revealing some things to me.
She talked about how her time in the United States was coming to an end and God was moving her and her ministry to Europe. She talked about how she needed money to get there. She said God was not going to keep her in the United States and this would be some of the last days she would ever live state side. She told us how desperately Europe needed Jesus and it would be a lifelong committment on her part. God spoke to me as I reached for my checkbook to wait. He said, “She is not leaving the United States and she has no intention of living in Europe. You may not give tonight.” God has never told me not to give! My husband and I have always supported missionaries and ministries that send missionaries to other countries to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We don’t think twice about writing a check, or digging into our pocketbooks to give all we have if God speaks that to us.
She had the elders of this church count the money on the platform right in front of her as she continued to stress if we didn’t dig deep then God’s will may not be accomplished. She told us she needed a certain amount to go. That amount did not come in. Suddenly, she said, “God says if you are dealing with an area you need a breakthrough in and have not been able to obtain that breakthrough, if you will write a check or give a cash offering of one-thousand dollars or more, you will receive your miracle within 24 hours!” My jaw dropped and I thought, “Surely no one is going to fall for that!” But they did! People began to clamor for their checkbooks and wallets. Checks were being written and torn out, and I am sure it was music to her ears! I asked God, “Father, what is wrong with this? Am I having the worst attitude in my history of life or is something really wrong with this?” I always weigh things with the Word when I feel something is off, but I have to ask the Holy Spirit to show me so I don’t misinterpret something myself!
Jesus spoke to me and said, “Remember when I told the disciples to go forth and take no provision with them? They were to speak peace to a household and if they received them with peace they could stay and they would be provided for as they proclaimed the Gospel? If they weren’t received they were to walk on, but they were to ask for NO money. No one charged them for salvation, healing or deliverance. It was obtained by faith in Me and My words.”
God had spoken this scripture to me before. I was a speaker for many years and NEVER did I take an offering or tell the people if they didn’t pay me a certain amount I wouldn’t be able to continue in the ministry! I didn’t DARE!! I knew if God was in it, His provision and blessing would be, too. I don’t think there is one thing wrong with a pastor taking up an offering for a missionary or an evangelist. They have to eat just like we do. But, I see a great deal wrong with people who exaggerate their need and take advantage of God’s children! I see a great deal wrong with people who tell other’s they can BUY A MIRACLE! Not only is this not Biblical, it is dangerous to use God and p0rtray Him in such a manner! Everything you need is bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus! Our debts are marked in red and they say, PAID IN FULL!
Did this woman ever leave the United States? No! She is still here and that was over ten years ago! Did my friend that paid the thousand dollars get her forever breakthrough? Sadly, no. Why? Because she was putting her faith in this speaker’s words and not God’s. She was already free! Whom the Son has set free is free indeed! Her miracle had been paid for 2, 000 years ago with the blood of Jesus Christ. She was trying to “buy” what Jesus already bought for her!
Unfortunately, we see this all too much. We see people using God as an excuse to promote our agendas. If THEY are well-known, THEIR books are bestsellers, THEIR name is known, then they can proclaim God in a more successful way THEY say! God has carried Christianity this whole time without OUR fame and fortune and believe me, He will have no trouble carrying it without us! Make sure the ministry is about the right person. Make sure it isn’t about us and our agenda and reputation, but God’s agenda and reputation!
How do we know when it has become about us instead of about HIM? Ask yourself these questions…
1. Am I more concerned with numbers instead of people?
2. Do I get excited when my name is mentioned or when the work God has called me to is promoted?
3. Do I brag when certain things are happening to ME, or do I give God glory because what has happened is furthering the Kingdom?
4. Am I jealous when others experience “success” I don’t seem to be experiencing?
5. Do I only contact my “friends” when I can brag or because I truly take a concern in them?
6. Do I compare my ministry calling, gifting, talents and abilities to someone else’s and think mine is more important and of greater value?
7. Do I try to make others look less and what they are doing for God than what I am doing?
8. Do I promote other ministries, or do I expect others to promote my own because I am the only one who “really knows the truth”, therefore I and my church should be followed?
9. Do I talk speak critically of other ministers, authors, or people? Do I try to make sure everyone knows I am more rooted than others and they should stay away from certain ones, because they just don’t get it like I do?
Keep your name from being sullied by gossip (your own) and the ministry from having the appearance of being laced with greed. More than anything keep your motives pure and your focus God centered! Don’t use God for YOUR platform instead of the platform of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we don’t, God will humble us and we all know it is better to do that ourselves! It is much less painful and much more peaceful to keep our attitude in the right place. No one wants to be “sat down” by God, but because of His great love for us, He will do it if we force Him to.
Stay humble, precious reader. Stay God focused and love others with an undaunting, everlasting love such as our Father has showered upon us! I will see you soon! Simply, Juliana
4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in the truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. 5 So now I urge you, dear lady—not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk according to His commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love.[c]
7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.[d] This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves so you don’t lose what we[e] have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don’t say, “Welcome,” to him; 11 for the one who says, “Welcome,” to him shares in his evil works. 2 John 1:4-10
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 1 Corinthians 5:11
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord. Proverbs 17:15
We don’t hear a great deal about these scriptures do we? Why? Because people want you to accept what Jesus does not accept.
In our day and age of “tolerance” there is much intolerance. Jesus loves EVERYONE, just as we are to love EVERYONE. But, as our scriptures show us, love is defined in the Bible by walking in God’s commandments, love is not to accept sin. If we do, we too can be tricked into a viewpoint, a sinful attitude that the Bible is clearly against. Jesus went to the home of many “sinners”, but as you can see when He left they were “sinners” no more.
The Demoniac of Gadara, the home of Zacheus, the evil tax collector, the woman at the well that had many husbands, the woman caught in adultery by the Pharisees who demanded she be stoned are just a few of the examples. But let us not stop there! In EVERY single one of these cases, they all were changed the very day they met Jesus and turned their lives AND their LIFE STYLES around!
The man possessed of so many demons they called themselves “legion” because there were so many, was saved and transformed by Jesus. He is the first recorded pastor in the Bible! Zacheus, who taxed beyond the proper measure so he could fill his own pockets, gave back all plus more than he had taken from the people. He became a very generous giver instead of a taker! The woman who had, had multiple husbands and lived with one who she wasn’t married to, was told to “Go and sin no more” and that is what she did! She left her perverse sexual lifestyle. The woman caught in adultery was so moved by the love of Jesus, she cried out to Him and He saved her soul and body from death! She was moved by His compassion, not by tolerance of sin!
If Jesus had tolerated the wrong, He would have made it look like it was right. No way could Jesus do that or even consider it. I find it so funny that today, we are expected not to tolerate sin but to ACCEPT it! If we don’t, we are “haters”. But oddly, the very people who cry foul the loudest tend to be the least tolerant of all!
Tolerate me in my sin, but you offend me if you pray, speak the name of Jesus, post the ten commandments, speak openly of your Christianity, yet if you don’t give me rights to my sin you have been unjust! You have violated my rights! You are judgemental!! Let me openly and freely practice what I believe as a non-Christian, but you are not allowed to do the same! Is this tolerance? Is this equality? Where and how is this fair?
In becoming “tolerant” the door has been opened to a grave “intolerance”. I will do to you what I don’t want done to me! Tolerance? I don’t even see common sense in this!
A Christian is responsible to the Word of God. I don’t condone any form of rejecting someone for their beliefs and opinions, BUT the Bible says to give the love of Jesus, give the Gospel and if they refuse it to go IN PEACE and take it to a household that will receive it with peace!
Be careful in your “tolerance” it doesn’t turn to leaving the soundness of the Word and turn into acceptance and approval. And, if you aren’t a Christian, be careful you do not practice and become what you have accused others of being and doing. Think about it for a bit and see if you are giving the same respect you have wanted to be given to you.
Blessings, dear reader. Go in peace, and go in wisdom! I will see you next time! Simply, Juliana