What do you hear?
I was recently reading "God Is More Than Enough" by author, Jim Berg. His chapter entitled Unmasking the Source Of Your Noise had some great ideas about what it is that stirs inside of you. What makes noise inside of your heart and mind? He references 2 Peter 1:2-3. Here, Peter explains to us that increased and multiplied peace has something to do with the knowledge of God and the truth of God. This means that in some way, our noise problem is related to the absence of this knowledge and the absence of what is true about God in our belief system.
(paraphrased from Jim Berg's "God Is More Than Enough")
What can we do?
As believers in Christ, we have a unique relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. We can worship the Lord through prayer, singing, study of the Bible, and through the service to others. David Platt explained at a recent worship conference that our worship is a response to a strong God that loves us. Our worship fuels our witness and fuels our drive to share the Gospel all around the world; In our living rooms, prisons, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and remote villages. There are people that have never heard the noise of Jesus' name or the noise of the words of the Gospel. We can hear the noise of truth of our God, but what good is that if we don't share the noise. We do this to build God's kingdom, not to merely entertain our emotions and feelings. What do you accept to be true? What is your belief? What have you encountered in life that makes a noise in you heart and mind? Are your beliefs rooted in fantasy, hatred, or divisiveness? Or, instead, are your beliefs in love, service, and kindness to all people that are made in the image of God?
I'd love to hear your answers to these questions!
Email me if you feel led to share.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. Romans 14:19
The Christian faith should help model the change that is possible in the lives of the people around us. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we become an example of what it means to live a holy life. Instead, we have recently seen people identifying with the Christian faith, but they are divisive and militant. We have to learn what it really means to love our neighbors in this current culture. We have to be aware that in order for this to happen, God needs to truly touch the hearts of people that are filled with hate, deceit, addiction, etc...
Certain world crisis issues are complicated and difficult to wrap our heads around. Other world crisis issues are not as complicated. There is a difference between compassion and justice; between grace and tolerance. Grace and compassion are simple. This is a conversation we should dig into in the church during our small group discussions. We need help from our pastors and elders to share with one another on how to make a positive impact in our communities.
Here are a few questions to ask to yourself, your spouse, your family, your church leaders:
What if we believed and lived like we do when we sing songs of praise in our churches?
What if we prayed to live life the way we proclaim that we do in our churches?
What if we prayed for a life of being brave and bold enough to set a better example for humanity?
What would it look like if we realized that our actions could have an impact on God's kingdom here and now?
How much could we influence the presence of peace if we lived a life like Christ?
Jesus modeled what it looked like to be dependent on God. He modeled what it looked like to depend on God's will and desire for us. He prayed to God and showed the need for prayer in our relationship with Him. We have the opportunity to experience this through prayer and our daily walk when influenced by the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to take some time to pray. Pray for eyes to be opened and hearts to be softened for the sake of learning what it means to be human. We have so much potential. Let's meet that full redemptive potential that is available to us. There is so much grace to be had. All we have to do is ask for it with a sincere heart.
I also urge you to be hyper-aware of your own attitude. As 1 Peter 3:9 says, "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
Wisdom from Above - James 3:13-18
"Who is wise and understanding among you?
By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual,
demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will
be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits,
impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown
in peace by those who make peace."