Sunday, August 3, 2014

Contained Zeal

In our love and service for the LORD let us be gracious to one another and put up with each other -- long suffering and kind even when treated badly. We are ALL flawed specimens, are we not?

Sometimes in our zeal for Truth we can be impatient with others who are not as far along as we are in our discovery of revelation in Scripture. The newer believer has a lot of cobwebs from his/her past life that the LORD is still working on. It can become frustrating trying to talk biblical sense into such a person, but that's where patience comes in.

"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions." - Rom 14:1

The Apostle Paul must have felt like he was trying to communicate with barbarians, yet he bore with them without putting them down for their inferior wisdom.

"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able" - 1 Cor 3:1-2

Knowledge certainly puffs up. The more we know the more we need to guard against pride. I've seen some very evolved Christians walk away from their daily study in the Word because they've read the Bible so many times they think they know it all. God's Word has been given to us not just to gain knowledge, but to know Him and in response to love and worship Him from our grateful hearts. Even Bible scholars apostatize:

"My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though they call to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him." - Hos. 11:7

As people of discernment we also have to guard against treating harshly brothers who have sinned publicly or have expressed ideas that we think are contrary to our understanding of the Bible. We must differentiate between errant brothers versus wolves in sheep's clothing. I have found some on facebook calling a minister a false teacher because he has missed it regarding Bible prophecy or has messed up in his private life.

All that means is that he is human and makes mistakes. We restore brothers -- yet we must expose heretics. When I criticize a public teacher for setting a bad example, for instance when I see compromise with those who air their services on wicked networks like TBN, that does not mean they are wolves. It means they are not wise in their choices. I may boycott their ministries, but I'm not saying they are outside the faith.

God's Word says we will be judged as we judge others. As Christians we are no longer under judgment. We who are in Christ have passed out of judgment into life. However, the standard we set is the standard that others will most certainly judge us by.

As the days get darker, we all need to return to our first Love. Let's lift Him up and exalt Him --- as we do, our love for Him and for others will increase.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." - 1 Cor. 13:1-2

"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” - 1 Pet 4:7-8


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