Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fruits of the spirit 4: A little honest love.

    1 John 4:8
    He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love
    Galatians 5:22-23
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truththy word is truth.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the waythe truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Today we hear a whole lot about "haters." Usually it comes out something like this. A person disagrees with something someone says, or how someone dresses, or how they live. The other person then responds with: "Don't be a hater." 

Simply put, in today's society, any type of correction towards righteousness is considered hate speech. 

Preachers, teachers, writers, etc have been fined (and, in some cases- imprisoned) for hate crimes due to what the world says is hate speech. As a result, many people live their lives in fear of being called "a hater." It's grown so out of control that men are being fired from companies because they gave money to support traditional righteousness. One preacher was put in jail for holding Bible studies in his own home.

Let's face it. We live in a world that is doing it's level best to stamp out truth. Their version of love is to be patted on the back and told it's ok, regardless of how perverted their lifestyle is. 

Truth has become relative to the hearers viewpoint. Our world asks, as Pilate did years ago, "What is truth?" But rather than that being an honest quest for knowledge, it has become a sarcastic remark intended to say, "That's true for you, but not for me. Leave me alone."

Yet, if we are to truly be Christian, then we are to be like Jesus. In so doing, we need to take a hard look at how he taught. Was Jesus concerned with political correctness? Was he concerned with gathering as large a following as he could by watering down his message? 

The answer, of course, is no. Jesus was (and is) God in human flesh. His mission was simple. He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) His declarations were clear and concise. He always told the truth- even when the truth wasn't popular.

Jesus called some of the leaders of his day, vipers! Not exactly what folks consider a loving statement.  

His true, but controversial words caused folks to ridicule and revile him, to mock and belittle him, to lie about and (ultimately) to beat and crucify him. 

However, Jesus told us (his followers) that we would be hated, afflicted, and killed for his names sake. (Matthew 24:9) He told us through the Apostles that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) 

Why did Jesus say this? Because the devil knows that the true disciple of Christ may be able to reach the lost- continuing Jesus' mission. After all, Jesus prayed for all those that would believe on him through (the Apostles) word- and by extension- our words. (John 17:17)

The devil is not going to give up his captives easily. He does not do this defensively. Instead, he has gone on the attack. He tries to intimidate believers into silence and (hopefully- for him) into turning away from Jesus. 
He has changed laws and culture to the point where (as one preacher put it) "right is wrong, wrong is right, and whatever's grey, have a happy day!"

Yet, Jesus tells us that if we "endure unto the end (we) shall be saved." So, what's a believer to do? FOLLOW JESUS. Tell the truth.

It's not hate to tell the truth. In fact, it's true love to tell the truth. Jesus is God. God is love. Jesus is truth. God is truth. TRUE love always tells the truth. It doesn't matter how much the world rails against us. God's word does not change. 

Society may say it's right. But, if God says it's wrong, then it's still (and always shall be) wrong. If society says it's wrong, but God says it's right, then it's still (and always shall be) right. Let God be true, and every man be a liar. 

This will not make us popular. This will not make us rich. This will make us targets for the worlds thought police. They will call us haters. They will drag us before judges and cast us into prison. But, it's all for HIS name's sake! And it's all to try and save a lost soul. 

Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness. Not, the worlds righteousness. So, we are to tell the truth without fear or favor. 

Proverbs 23:23 tells us to "buy the truth and sell it not..."

Ephesians 4:15 tells us to "(speak) the truth in love..."

It doesn't matter what the world may say. We are to speak the truth. Because if we truly have the fruit of God's love in us, we will speak the truth. God's Love ALWAYS speaks the truth.