HOW POLITICS REVEALS WHAT’S IN THE HEART…

Who are you? Who’s the private-at-home you? Who’s the at-work you? Who’s the at-church you? I hope it’s the same person.

People aren’t always what they seem, but God knows who we all really are. We can act a certain way in public, but God knows and sees what’s in our heart…

1 Samuel 16:7  (NKJV)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, sometimes we reveal to the world what we are really hiding in our hearts. One such way is through politics. Political opinions about social, racial, economic, sexual and religious issues invoke such levels of anger that it divides marriages, friendships, families and even leads to job loss.

Why?

Because politics reveals what is inside of us…

Selfishness…

Greed…

Pride…

Hatred…

Unselfishness..

Generosity…

Humility…

Love…

Politics emboldened those who supported gay marriage during the Obama administration and white supremacists during the Trump administration. This is not an observation, opinion but a fact. Why? Because they felt those politicians best supported what was inside their hearts.

POLITICS WILL TURN PEOPLE AGAINST PEOPLE THEY’VE KNOWN ALL OF THEIR LIVES TO SUPPORT SOMEONE THEY’VE NEVER MET, AND MAY NOT EVEN LIKE THEM IF THEY REALLY KNEW THEM…OR VICE VERSA!

Politics reveals when people really care about those who are poor and disadvantaged and those who care much less or not at all.

Politics reveals who places money over people and people over money.

Politics reveals who is truly concerned with equality and equity, and who’s not.

Politics reveals what is prioritized. That yes, someone may claim to care about social issues and helping the disadvantaged, but may feel they aren’t as important as being favorable to big corporations.

Now this article isn’t saying which issues are right and which are wrong, it is just pointing out that when someone begins to let you know where they stand politically…what makes them angry…what they’re passionate about…what they are willing to fight for…they are letting you know what’s in their hearts.

For example, I recently criticized President Trump for promoting a culture of insults through his behavior at press conferences and numerous insulting statements and tweets…that is a fact, not an opinion. Someone I attended high school with years ago said that I was ‘stirring the pot’ to say that. Hmmmm…why doesn’t he feel President Trump is stirring the pot by hurling insults at those who disagrees with him. This person revealed what was in his heart, however I revealed what was in mine as well.

I’m convinced that the devil, the enemy, the accuser of the saints, satan ( I didn’t capitalize his name on purpose) uses politics to divide people who should be on the same side…and we play right into it.

Remember, we have got to learn to disagree without insults or becoming enemies.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD OR IS IT JUST THE RIGHT THING TO SAY?

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Most people who grew up in or around church, or were raised with a belief in God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or those who have come from unbelief to belief will all quickly proclaim, “I love God!”


But, do you love Him? Or do just feel it’s the right to say? You may even be afraid not to say it. Which is a healthy fear and reverence of God, but still isn’t love.


When you love someone, you want to be in their presence as much as possible, in fact you look forward to it. When you love someone you want to know what’s important to them. When you love someone you don’t want to hurt them, intentionally or unintentionally.

When you love someone you want to grow closer to them. When you love someone, you enjoy talking about them. Many people when they are honest with themselves love their favorite team, their car, their guns, their _____________ more than they love God because that’s what they love talking about.

When you love someone you aren’t afraid to show affection for them in public. I’m not talking about kissing…I’m talking about holding their hand, hugging them…you aren’t ashamed to let the world know you love them. Some of the same people who get hoarse at a ball game are ashamed to praise God publicly even in worship. Too many Christians are too ashamed to even bless their food in public. Are you ashamed to lift up your hands in public and say ,“Hallelujah, I love you LORD!” Or, are you afraid people with think you’re crazy. Do you reason that, “It doesn’t take all of that to love God”.  But, when you love someone, you aren’t concerned with what is minimal or necessary. You’re more than happy to do what is ‘extra’ for them

When you love someone you aren’t just in relationship with them for what you can get out of them. You aren’t just in the relationship for the benefits. When you love someone you can talk to them for hours. How often do you talk to God and fellowship with Him prayer, just because it’s peaceful…not asking for anything, just spending quality time with Him?

When you love someone, you love listening to ‘mood’ music with them. You love listening to music that makes you feel closer to one another. You love sharing ‘your song’. I’m not saying you have to listen to Christian music all of the time, but I wonder how many Christians are perfectly comfortable never listening to some form of Gospel music…except when they are in church.

When you really love someone, what they think about you matters to you more than anyone else in the world. You want their love…their respect…their devotion…their affection.

How can one really love God and either never, seldom or randomly read His word? God knows we have the opportunity to fellowship with Him in His word whenever they please. Many claim they don’t have time, but that’s simply not true. Many people, when their honest with themselves, love social media, their favorite fiction or non fiction book, or whatever else they love to do in their spare time more than they love the word of God. What’s the first thing you check each morning? Your social media? The news? The weather? Your horoscope? Or, God’s ‘status’ and what He has ‘posted’ in His word.

It’s in His word we fellowship with Him. It’s in His word we find out what pleases Him. It’s in His word that we find out what He loves and what He hates. His word gives us both comfort and correction.


When you love someone, living to please them is not a burden, but a blessing…

1 John 5:3  (NKJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.


I challenge you today to ask yourself, “Do I really love God, or is it just the right thing to say”. Yes, you believe in Him. Yes, you fear Him. Yes, you respect Him. Yes, you reverence Him. Yes, you pray. Yes, You, go to church…

But do you love Him?

And finally, think about this…

Most people quickly claim that want to go to heaven or live eternally in His presence, but I contend that if you don’t genuinely enjoy reading His word, fellowshipping with Him, worshiping Him, being in His presence, even going to church now, what makes you think you will want to do it forever?


Remember, real love isn’t just state, it’s demonstrated…

Romans 5:8  (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU THINK OF A GOOD RESPONSE 5 MINUTES AFTER THE ARGUMENT IS OVER…

We’ve all been there in marriage, family, with friends or with an enemy…

You’re in a heated exchange…

An extremely contentious argument…

You’re going back and forth…

You walk away, or hang up, or get interrupted, or…

They make a point that leaves you speechless, or…

Your response, your ‘come back’ is just weak

Then, 5, 10, 15 minutes or maybe even a day later the most awesome response pops up in your mind! “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT THEN” you think to yourself.

The moment is gone. It’s like a ruined punch line. You can’t go back, call back, or snap back, “Yeah, and another thing!” It’s too late! How can you bring it back up? Do you try to get the argument started again?

DONT!

Maybe it’s God’s will that you couldn’t think of that response at the time.

Maybe it was God allowing you both the time to cool down…or just let it go.

Once words are released, they are impossible to take back, and can cause permanent damage to a marriage, relationship, friendship, employment, or in the case of enemies, could lead to retaliation.

Maybe God helped you hold it in. Maybe His Holy Spirit restrained you.

Pray about it.

If it’s a point that REALLY DOES need to be made, wait and talk about it when neither of you are angry.

Wait until it can be both said and received in love.

Remember this…

Proverbs 15:1  (ESV)

15 A soft answer turns away wrath,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

MAYBE THIS IS WHY GOD ALLOWS YOU TO FEEL ALONE SOMETIMES, EVEN WITH PEOPLE ALL AROUND YOU…

Have you ever read the word of God, or spent time devoted to Him and was truly comforted by His presence?

God wants us to be THAT CLOSE to Him. He wants to be THAT REAL to us. Too many times we say we love God, but we aren’t truly comforted until we have talked to a REAL person.


That’s why God puts us in situations sometimes where the only person we can depend on is Him, and the only comfort we can find is in His word.


Look at what God gave us through the Apostle John while he was exiled on the Island of Patmos. Look at the powerful? God-inspired letters we received because of Paul being placed in prison.

God made a promise to never leave us or forsake us….

Isaiah 41:10  (NKJV)

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Deuteronomy 31:6  (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Remember this beautiful fellowship with God comes with responsibility on our part…

Hebrews 13:5-8  (NKJV)

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

But that promise is only as real to us as we allow God to be real in our lives. And that level of relationship only comes through spending real, quality time with God.

Just the same as when we tell people “Shhhhhh, I’m on the phone…” or “Not now, I’m busy.’ We need to do the same thing when we’re spending quality time with God.

God would rather you willingly make quality time for Him rather than force us to have it.

WHEN ONLY GOD’S WORD CAN COMFORT YOU…

How to REALLY ‘Cast your cares’, ‘Give it to God’, or ‘Let Go and Let God’…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE SHOULD STOP SAYING IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE FAITH…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

My Senior Pastor, W. Michael Martin taught a profound series on this subject a few years ago…

We have all heard it or said it. “It only takes a little faith” based primarily on Matthew 17:20 when Jesus says that with the faith as a grain of mustard seeds we can move mountains. But, if you will notice, He didn’t say faith OF. Jesus said the faith AS a grain of mustard seed.


The implication here is that it takes great faith for a little grain of mustard seed to grow into something great…


Matthew 13:32  (NKJV)

32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”


 So, a mustard seed DOES NOT have LITTLE FAITH, but GREAT FAITH.

The truth be…

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