Monday, September 19, 2011
Now, this may rub some Christians the wrong way. If you can, focus on the point of the message and hear God's heart within the matter. Instead of looking at me or yourself, let us both seek to clearly look at and listen to God. With that said and with no further ado, God wants holiness to come forth through our lives. But he wants HIS VERSION of holiness to come forth and not our own. In Leviticus 20:26 and I Peter 1:16 God desires for us to be holy, EVEN AS He is holy.
Holiness is based upon His standard and on His terms. And we CANNOT meet His standard of holiness apart from Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Therefore, we should STOP trying to become something we already are.
You're not trying to become holy, you're already holy..., so just be yourself---the real you that is, according to I Corinthians 5:17. Easier said than done, hummm! Why?
Because many people don't know who the real them really is. How does it look? How does it act? What does it like? Many Christians are trying to become Godly right now, when they never became Godly in the first place. They never died for anyone's sins, not even their own. Their good deeds of sacrifice and service don't impress God one bit---the monk, priest, archbishop, pastor, deacon, prayer warrior, nun, tither, missionary, or even simple Christian.
Some people are religious extremists and will blow themselves up, killing innocent people, for their holiness. Others will pray for an hour 3x a day and fast 5 days a week for theirs. Also, others will bathe in sacred rivers, worship trees, or become devoted to a cult or masonic order for theirs.
Okay, what am I really getting at? It's this, we need God in order to live for God---in order to be holy. IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH IN AND OF YOURSELF! In order to meet His lofty standard of PERFECTION. In order to truly give Him what He desires from us. See, God is love. I Corinthians 13 makes it pretty clear that, even if we do Godly things, without it being done in HIS DEFINITION of love we're wasting our time. Without God is doing things without His direction and you heeding to His leading through loving obedience. This obedience thing is key. The Bible says, that to God, ...obedience is better than sacrifice... (I Samuel 15:22). Seek to obey what He's telling YOU to do, not so much what every other Christian is doing, even if it's Godly. For example, Hebrews 11 reveals many Christians who God honored for their faith. And each one of them were approved for their specific obedience to what God called THEM to do. None of them followed God quite the same---one may have built an ark in order to save mankind, while another led a nation out of bondage into a promised land. The list goes on and on.
Being overly religious for Godly respect is a waste of time. Those who you impress with "ohs" and "ahs" will rob you of the major and eternal heavenly reward God has for you (Matthew 6). The holiness that God wants to respect is your simple obedience to Him.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A genius is, basically, known as someone with high intellectual ability. Sometimes, they're often referred to as nerds, geeks, or individuals with top tier IQs. Another labeling for this word is denoting someone as being "smart." This is a bit misleading because smarts are based upon knowledge, and most knowledge has to be learned. In others words, smarts are mainly taught and not automatic. For example, if I begin teaching one individual mathematics (along with test-taking skills) at the age of 3 and another at the age 7, when it comes to a second-grade math exam, which individual do you think will perform better? If they are both age 7 at the present time, the individual who gained knowledge much earlier would perform better and be deemed gifted or smart. The underlying notion associated with smarts or geniusness is them being in high demand. Many corporations want to have someone with genius ability making major decisions for their company. Many educational institutions of higher learning (Princeton, Standford, Harvard, M.I.T, and Yale) prefer having at least a few genius professors on their faculty. The list can go on and on. Like what was stated earlier, they're in demand!
Therefore, many parents want for their children to reach a genius level of intellect, or close to it. They'll pressure their children to study relentlessly, anything less than all "A"s is unacceptable. They'll pressure their children to have no social life, spending much of their time researching and reading. They'll pushed their chidlren to get into the leading colleges matriculating through some of the most difficult majors (astrophysics, histology, and nanotechnology). Once everything is said and done, the child is depleted from seeking to live up to the lofty expectations.
See, the main problem lies in the fact that we believe, "the more intellectual knowledge you possess, the better off in life you'll be." In other words, you'll reach that apex of genius-level respect and be in high demand. But smart people can do awfully dumb things! There is a distinct difference between book knowledge and Godly wisdom. Often, superior book knowledge is used to impress others with information that few people understand. Jesus didn't mainly advocate book knowledge but rather Godly wisdom. Scriptures like I Corinthians 1:19, 27, I Corinthians 3:18-23, and Romans 1:22 reiterate this point. Some of the apostles were even known as unlearned men or uneducated men, and God used them mightily. So much to the point that it baffled the minds of those who were schooled all their lives, they knew that these men had been with Jesus. But true wisdom comes ONLY from God (Proverbs 2:6). In addition, that very wisdom is pure and peaceful, not arrogant, pompous, and seeking to impress others (James 3:17).
The focus I'm getting at is not to denounce learning knowledge, rather it is not to seek knowledge as an avenue for respect. It is not to defined your significance by how much complicated information you may know. None of these things bring about Godly wisdom. And none of these things are the key source of respect. They are just there to make one seem over-impressive and verbally confusing. Gain knowledge, but more importantly seek out Godly wisdom!