Sunday, July 11, 2010

Correction builds God's fruit into our lives- if we let it!

" All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 timothy 3:16-17

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
Proverbs 22:15

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Hebrew 12: 6-11

There are many people leaving the church these days. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a preacher that says you have to stay in the church you were born again in, or your a sinful church hopper. It is my belief that we are the body of Christ. God knows the best place for each part of his body to be. If he is leading someone to leave one good church and go to another, it is for the benefit of everyone involved. Go with God!

There are also some bad churches out there. If they are not teaching the truth, if they are getting worldly and allowing ungodliness to come in, pray for them- say something to the pastor (respectfully) if God wants you to. If, it gets too bad, AND God gives you the go ahead, leave there and go somewhere else.

My problem is with the ones who break with churches- and Christian friendships- for bad reasons. Namely, correction. Our society hates correction! Scripture says for us to spank our children in order to drive the foolishness far from them. That used to be an accepted practice in our world. Now, kids are told to call the police if their parents spank them.

The results of this nonsense has been devastating to our country. Murder is way up. Armed robbery is way up. Rape is way up. Divorce is way up. Homosexuality is not only accepted, but you can face legal problems if you stand against it. Our prisons are filled to overflowing and our society is spiraling out of control. All because we've left God and his ways!

We're seeing similarities in the church. If God leads a preacher or a brother/sister in the Lord to say "Be careful...", "Thus saith the Lord...", "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God..." and the like, many "Children of God" get offended and act like spoiled brats. HOW DARE THEY SAY THAT TO ME! You can almost hear the unspoken "Don't they know who I am? I'm a child of the king!"

Well, princes and princesses, scripture is replete with warnings to preachers to correct the saints and warnings to God's children to accept correction. I'll admit that some "men of God" have gone overboard. Some of us may actually misunderstand some of God's words. Some of us aren't as tactful as maybe we should be. We are "men of God", but, in the end, we ARE men. As such, we are not perfect and stand in need of correction from time to time, just like any other child of God.

However, Scripture tells us all that if we will endure his correction, from wherever he chooses to bring it, it will bring forth HIS righteousness (not ours) and HIS holiness (not our own) in
our lives. I didn't enjoy the spankings I got from my parents when I was growing up, but I'm now glad I received them. I don't enjoy it when God spanks me, either, but I KNOW it's for my good and HIS glory.

Through it all, I MUST "Buy the truth and sell it not". I MUST receive a LOVE for the truth, an unconditional AGAPE' love for his holy words. That kind of love will allow me to submit my will to God and allow him to continue to mold and make me into the "man of God" he wishes to make me to be. That kind of love will allow me to accept a gentle word from a concerned fellow Christian, or from a concerned preacher, with meekness of heart.

Instead of getting all bent out of shape about it, I can go home and enter my prayer closet with Bible in hand saying, "Lord, are you trying to tell me something here?" Instead of breaking fellowship, I can allow God to show me my own heart.

If I'm wrong, I can repent and ask forgiveness of whomever I need to ask it. If I'm right, I can then know that I'm standing on solid ground, look my accuser dead in the eye (with a heart filled with love) and tell them, "I understand where your coming from, but you're wrong on this one and here's why"- always with a heart towards reconciliation.

If it becomes a spiritual must for us to part ways, I can do it with a clean conscience towards God and love in my heart for my accuser. Always, we must strive to keep the unity of the faith. In order for this to happen, however, we must learn to humbly accept correction- for the greater good of us all!

After all, correction shows us our spots and blemishes. Repentance allows the blood to cleanse us and God to mold us into the image of Christ. No spots will enter heaven. It's that simple. It really is that simple.