Christian

An “Annoying Distraction”?

Did you know even that if you’re the most eloquent preacher on the planet and thousands attend your conferences and buy your books, if you don’t show God’s love to people, God says you are only an “annoying distraction”?

And if you have such a strong faith that you can perform miracles, but you don’t love your fellow man, you’re just a nobody.

Not only that, if you sell everything you own and give it all to feed the poor, but you don’t spread God’s love, it does you no good at all.

Read 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 from the Amplified Bible, (AMP).

 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.”

Many years ago, the Lord showed me the tremendous importance of showing His love to others. I was questioning something I was being taught in my church and decided to re-read the New Testament. I read it three times in a row as I searched for the truth.

I was looking for the answer to this: What’s the main idea of the New Testament? What is most important to God? Is it prosperity? Is it faith to heal the sick? Is it abundance in this life? Is it praying for revival?

I kept track of the number of times each topic was presented in the Word of God. Every time faith was taught, I tallied it. I did the same for every topic that came up including healing, prayer, prosperity, hope joy, mercy, love, and many others.

Do you know what I discovered? Overwhelmingly, the main message of the New Testament, and the most mentioned topic, was love! If love was the most talked about subject, it must be really important! I knew that if I understood nothing else, I must understand what matters most to God – love.

Back then we didn’t have Google, but now I know that the Bible mentions love 686 times in the New International Version. Thanks, Google!

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 6 NIV

With the discovery of this truth and knowing that walking in love was of utmost importance to God, I began on a journey to learn how to walk in love. The Old Testament and New are full of insights that teach us to love as Christ loves.

 “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

How can you show God’s love to someone today?

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

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Christian

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Are you a Christ-follower or a Crowd-follower?

Today, I want to share what the Bible says about false teachers. I don’t call out anyone by name. You’ll have to make those decisions for yourself. I have not expounded on the Scriptures. I ask only that you consider what God’s Word has to say. Then, in case you think these Scriptures don’t apply to the Church of today, I provide a link in the last section to an excellent study of how New Age thinking has influenced Christianity.

In the following sections, we read the words of Jesus.

The Narrow and Broad Roads

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:24

And From the Letters …

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers ] “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20,

Dealing With False Teachers ] “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus said,
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

New Age thinking has greatly influenced much of Christianity. I encourage you to study this phenomenon for yourself. The following blog post, written by my brother in Christ, Bruce Cooper, contains a wealth of information. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

My prayer is that you know God’s Word and are fully equipped to fight the good fight of the faith. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Blessings!

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian, women

The Skill of Discernment

I call discernment a “skill” because, like any other skill, it can be developed and improved. This is how you develop discernment: READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE. Understand the Bible as a whole. Read all of it. Don’ pick and choose the verses that you like and that support your belief.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 NIV Read full chapter

Spiritual discernment is good for more than just making monumental decisions according to God’s will. It is an essential, day-to-day activity that allows thoughtful Christians to separate the truth of God from error and to distinguish right from wrong in all kinds of settings and situations. It is also a skill – something that any person can develop and improve…”

Tim Challies, Canadian Blogger and Author

As I researched the topic of discernment this week, I found many instances where someone already said what I want to express, and it seemed prudent to quote that person, rather than saying it in my own words. It just couldn’t be improved upon. So you will find several quotes in this post. I hope they will give you something to think about.

Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.”

Charles Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892)

That’s an interesting quote. Especially when we consider today’s movement to be more ecumenical and to embrace unity in the Church. Yes, God wants us to be in unity, but not at the expense of good theology, and certainly not at the expense of staying true to the Word of God.

You see, almost right sounds really good. It sounds so close to the truth that it can be easy to mistake it for the truth. It might even come packaged with Bible verses and sincere sermons/speeches from the pulpit. It tickles ears because it sounds Christian. And when it comes from a person in authority, such as a pastor or professor, it’s not questioned because, “Hey, he studies the Bible a lot more than I do.”

Jason Foster, Christian Journalist

“For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires…” 2 Timothy 4:3 NASB Read full chapter

The Bible teaches that there are many false gospels out there. They aren’t always obvious because many of them are, yes, almost right.

Jason Foster, Christian Journalist

The first step to developing your discernment is to love the Truth, to love God’s Word and hold it dear. We can’t have discernment if we don’t study the Bible.

 “And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may [a]display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment],10 So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].” Philippians 1:9-10 AMPC

Spiritual discernment is the great need of our day. Jesus Himself warns us:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

Many books have been written that claim to teach new insights into God’s Word. Some of them are Best-Sellers. Some are written by people with a huge following. But none of that makes them true. Only when the teaching clearly lines up with God’s Word can it benefit you. The need for discernment is paramount. Make sure you are developing yours by being a student of the Bible. Only then can you discern what is false and what is true.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

100 Bible Verses About False Teachers

Christians Must Be Discerning by Jason Foster

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

 

Christian, women

CS Lewis Called It “A Mistaken Preference”

Being popular doesn’t make something right. (I can think of a lot of popular ideas that aren’t right. Can’t you?) Yet, Women’s Bible Study groups often delve into the latest Christian Best Seller. How do we know if these books are theologically sound? C.S. Lewis wrote a profound passage about this very thing.

This mistaken preference for the modern books and this shyness of the old ones is nowhere more rampant than in theology.

CS Lewis (1898 – 1963)

Lewis explains why this preference for the new books is a mistake. His words are even more applicable today than when they were written.

I found this passage, when reading Pam Larson’s excellent blog, Knowing God Through His Word … Day by Day. I found it so applicable to today’s Christian woman, I was compelled to repost it. It is definitely something we should think about.

This mistaken preference for the modern books and this shyness of the old ones is nowhere more rampant than in theology. Wherever you find a little study circle of Christian laity you can be almost certain that they are studying not St. Luke or St. Paul or St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or Hooker or Butler, but M. Berdyaev or M. Maritain or M. Niebuhr or Miss Sayers or even myself.
Now this seems to me topsy-turvy. Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet. A new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in a position to judge it. It has to be tested against the great body of Christian thought down the ages, and all its hidden implications (often unsuspected by the author himself) have to be brought to light.

Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them.

CS Lewis

This is from CS Lewis’ Introduction to the book, Athanasius’ On the Incarnation. You can read the entire introduction here.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:9-10 ESV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo of Kentucky, USA, Joshua Michaels on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

How To Change The World

Today my daughter said to me, “God teaches us through lots of different people, sometimes from someone we don’t expect.”  That’s just what I was thinking…

The author of Bitchin in the Kitchen, a popular blog I discovered recently, tells about her “chance meeting” with an American veteran. I was moved to the core. This is a perfect example of how we should love people in the world around us.

Oh, and remember:

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Excerpt from: How To Change The World In The Time It Takes To Read This

By Britchy¹

… Then I met her polar opposite. I was back in town to see an endocrinologist so I bought a few things while I was there to save another trip. I decided I was going to walk up the hill to the Five Guys burger place and treat myself to lunch. It was a lovely day again and you know I love being out in the sun.

There was a homeless guy sat outside an empty shop. He wasn’t begging, just sat there… so on impulse I asked if he was hungry. He was stunned so I asked again if he’d like some lunch. He stammered Yes please so I gestured to Five Guys and said come on!

He said that place is expensive, you can get me McDonalds that’s okay. I’m crying again writing that. That anyone can think they’re not worth a nicer burger..

We went in and I got him a burger and fries and I had the same. I asked if he’d like a milkshake and he just beamed and said yes please! He wasn’t very old, maybe 28 or so. I could just about have been his mum.

Again he was stunned when I wanted him to sit with me to eat. This was breaking my heart in about a million pieces. We were chatting and he was a vet. He came home from a years deployment to find his wife with a new baby, obviously not his so he left and basically ran away from his life.

I told him that was what we called a Grudge Pregnancy in England. He said ‘A what???’ So I told him it was someone else had it in for you!

He burst out laughing, he really found that funny bless him. We kept talking and he mentioned his mum. I asked if he missed his family and he said yes so I handed him my phone and said “Call her”

That was the first thing I said he didn’t question! He called his mum. They were both crying. He’s from Ohio so his mum was going to drive and pick him up and take him home.

I’d gone through two packets of Kleenex by this time!

She was going to take 5-6 hours to get to him so I got him a couple of bottles of soda and some peanuts for while he was waiting. Honestly, I would have stayed but I thought he needed time to think and adjust. He has my phone number and he said he’d call when he got home. (He did)

Before I left him he asked if he could give me a hug and said ‘Thank you for treating me like a normal person’

I can’t even type that again without getting a huge lump in my throat and getting leaky. It cost me less than $20 to change someone’s life. I’m not telling this for praise because this should be normal. It shouldn’t be ‘amazing’ or a ‘wow’ story and none of you know me in real life so it stays anonymous. It’s very special to me and I don’t want to ruin it by telling my family or friends. It’s mine.

It’s not the big things in life that matter, it’s the little things. Those little things can be momentous in their own way. You won’t get rich or famous, you won’t change the world.. or will you?

Changing the world is easy – it happens one person at a time.

********************

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him …. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:16 & 19

Thank you, Britchy, for sharing this beautiful story of loving kindness in action. I will never forget it!

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Fan Into Flames the Gift God Gave You

Paul was languishing in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal, and he knew his death was near. “This ancient prison could have been called the “House of Darkness.” Few prisons were as dim, dank, and dirty as the lower chamber Paul occupied. Its “neglect, darkness, and stench” gave it “a hideous and terrifying appearance.”¹

This is where Paul wrote these words, Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NLT

I can’t keep reading. I have to stop and read his last letter with the realization that the Apostle Paul used his waning strength to pen these words. I want to understand it fully.

Have you ever been on a camp out and couldn’t get a fire going? Maybe you get a little spark, but it goes out. If you blow on it just right it starts to catch. You carefully add more kindling and fan it some more. If you keep fanning it, eventually you will have a bon fire!

This is the metaphor Paul used to encourage Timothy to develop his ministry.

Do you know what gift God has given you? Is it to proclaim His glory through the written word? Has He put a desire in you to write about what He has done?

I don’t mean: Are you a gifted writer? I mean: Has God put a deep desire in your heart to write and share what He has done for you? Has He asked you to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God?” 2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV

If you aren’t a professional writer, your efforts may start like that little spark, but eventually you will see the bonfire you desire. How? Practice, learn, do, never give up. You’ll keep getting better!

I still have a lot to learn. I spend a lot of time studying the craft of writing. I certainly haven’t “arrived”, but these are the things that have helped me most:

  • “The aim of writing is to move the reader to tears or to laughter, and to a new point of understanding.”
  • “People want inspiration and application.”
  • Study the writing of an author you admire.
  • After I write the first draft, I rewrite, rewrite, and edit ruthlessly.
  • Stay focused on the message. Don’t ramble.
  • Look at each sentence. Can I say it in fewer words?
  • When you think it’s perfect, wait and read it again the next day. If you’re happy with it, then hit publish.

Now go fan into flames the gift God has given you!

INSPIRE! ENCOURAGE! TEACH!

SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THE WORLD!

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

¹Historical Background of Paul’s Final Imprisonment, by Derrick G. Jeter, Insight for Living Ministries, August 14, 2017

Photo by Arnau Soler on Unsplash

Christian

Spiritual Warfare: Are You Alert or Asleep?

During the Viet Nam War, the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly dissapear.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.

When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.

Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand?

It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)

What is the “belt of truth”?

Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is an essential part of the “Armor of God”.

Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking someone, when they don’t even know it? The Bible says,

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

That verse tells me a lot. In a battle, it is important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!

There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This can be more subtle than you might think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word.

Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?

Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse.

For example, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Let’s say I told you, “ All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”

Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.

Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength.

In verse 11, he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.

But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!

You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”

Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is one way to stand firm.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18 

As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Take this passage at face value. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible so that you can stand.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Are you a Christ-follower or a Crowd-follower?

Today, I want to share what the Bible says about false teachers. I don’t call out anyone by name. You’ll have to make those decisions on your own. I have not expounded on the Scriptures. I ask only that you consider what God’s Word has to say. In the following sections, we read the words of Jesus.

The Narrow and Broad Roads

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:24

And From the Letters …

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers ] “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20,

Dealing With False Teachers ] “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus said,
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

My prayer is that you know God’s Word and are fully equipped to fight the good fight of the faith. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Blessings!

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Jesus Talks About Wealth

Our Sunday School lesson was taken from Luke 16:1-9.  It can be difficult to understand, depending on which translation you read. We grasped for the true meaning with some difficulty and interesting discussion. I couldn’t wait to get home and search for understanding. Perhaps you studied the same lesson.

Jesus told His disciples a story about a rich man whose financial manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So, naturally the rich man fired his manager.

Worried about his future, the manager took immediate action by reducing the debts of the people who owed money to his master in hopes they would like him and invite him into their homes when he was out of a job.

Jesus said, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with people of their own kind than are the people of the light.” Luke 16:8

He is saying, “Look, the people of this world are clever. They think about how to prepare for their future. They’re shrewd. But the people of the light (believers) aren’t shrewd in their dealings with money. What!?

Jesus is prompting His disciples to be shrewd, not dishonest, shrewd (wise) with how they use wealth. He tells them that the dishonest manager used money to prepare for the future, and so should they.  Then, He compares the people who will welcome the manager into their homes with the new converts who will welcome us into Heaven.

Jesus continues, “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9

In the blink of an eye, this life will be gone, and so will all our money. But eternity is forever. Jesus is saying the disciples should use their wealth to bring unbelievers to Christ so that these converts will welcome them (the disciples) into their homes in eternity.

In other words, if they were shrewd (like the people of this world), they would be shrewd in preparing for their lives in eternity. They would use worldly wealth to build the kingdom of God.

How do I know this? Because Jesus goes on to say, “… So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11

What are “true riches”? Well, it’s not worldly wealth. That we know. I believe “true riches” refers to treasure we will receive in Heaven.

In Matthew 6:20 Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...”

Click the link below to read this parable in the Amplified translation.

Luke 16:1-14 AMP

  • What do you think Jesus is teaching us with this parable?
  • Do you think we focus on this present life more than the life we will have with God in Heaven when we leave this world behind?
  • Do you think Christians make God’s work a priority in their lives?
  • Doesn’t everything we have really belong to God anyway?
  • How will we use it?
  • Do we love money?

Please share your thoughts!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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