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April 2018

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Esther 8-10:3

What I’ve learned after my “Esther” melt-down (see August 18th) is this: God is in control no matter who is on the throne. God is in control even when “His” people, the Jew or Christian fail to acknowledge Him and act like His people. (The Book of Esther is a secular book whose main characters, thou Jewish, are secular.) God can take any situation and use it for His glory even when the participants do not know they are being used to bring about God’s purpose.

Because God’s Word is “incorruptible” (You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Peter 1:23 NET.)), even when used wrongly by those who call themselves His people, the integrity of His Word can still take root in a heart that holds “Good Soil,” and give root to a 30, 40, and yes even a 100 fold harvest (Matthew 13:8).

I Corinthians 12:27-13:13

The church at Corinth had been operating fully in the gifts of the Spirit, they had wonderful teachers in the body that they fought over. They used the gifts of the Spirit as a point of pride and warred over which one was the best proving they were immature Believers. The kind you can see on any schoolyard during lunch or after school. In the schoolyard you can hear “My daddy is bigger than your daddy,” or “My mommies prettier than yours,” but in the church at Corinth you heard, “ …"I am with Paul," or "I am with Apollos," or "I am with Cephas," or "I am with Christ." (1 Corinthians 1:12 NET.)

Paul is essentially telling the church they are 1) not acting in love which is a fruit of the Sprit and not a gift of the Sprit. Fruit and Gifts are two different things fruit is a by-product of seed, soil and the interaction of the environment (air, rain and fertilizer). Remember we are the branches of the Vine, Jesus Christ, and we produce fruit by being attached to that Vine.

We can operate either out of the works of the flesh, or the Fruit of the Spirit, we have a choice. However as Paul points out, Love, a fruit, is the better way. We are to operate in the gift or gifts God gives us through the Holy Spirit, they don’t belong to us and we cannot manufacture them.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another. (Galatians 5:19-26 NET.)

Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self; lust desires to benefit self at the expense of others. Mature people always look out for others no matter how old, young and no matter the size. While babies, immature people, are only out for self, “What can I get out of this?”


Psalm 37:1-11

7 Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don't worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop your anger!
Turn from your rage!
Do not envy others--
it only leads to harm.

Ah, “Don’t worry about evil people.” We humans worry about everything, we grumble when we see people doing wrong, we grumble when we do something wrong and get caught, “Why didn’t they catch Janie speeding,” or “They saw that yellow Toyota speeding why didn’t they stop him/her why did they have to stop me?”

The rage, the envy we exhibit against all those wrong doers does nothing to them but it absolutely kills us. We do it because we think God is not looking out for us or that He is senile and forgotten about us. We may even think that God is out to get us because we are always being caught when we do something wrong then we think wrongly that others do not. What we need to do is stop doing the things we know that are wrong especially when we do what is wrong because the well renowned “They” and “Mr. and Ms Somebody” gets away with it.

Those who know better, do wrong, and are caught should rejoice at being caught because the punishment for that one infraction will be less severe than the punishment for a multitude of wrongdoing. We reap what we sow, that is a universal law; sow a lot of wrongdoing, you will get a great harvest, and remember: the crop harvested looks nothing like the seed sown, and it’s bigger.

Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, (Galatians 6:7 NET.)

Proverbs 21:23-24

23If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble.

I love it when scripture defines scripture,

The evil person is ensnared by the transgression of his speech, but the righteous person escapes out of trouble. (Proverbs 12:13 NET.)

AND

If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. (James 1:26 NET.)

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