Thursday, March 12, 2015

DO NOT JUDGE - Zac Poonen

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 
How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" ( Matt.7:1-5 ).
There is a need for all of us to be constantly reminded to judge ourselves always and never to judge others.
We must all have discernment - but discernment is a spiritual quality, vastly different from judging others, which is acarnal activity.
Romans 14 is a chapter that we must all meditate on frequently - so that we are reminded again and again of the freedom that God gives His children in many areas.
Here are a few examples of where we may be judging others - outwardly or inwardly. We should not pass opinions (or even have opinions in our minds) about others in such matters:
- Whether someone can own a car or not (or two cars!) - or what make it should be.
- How big or grand someone's house should not be.
- Whether someone can have expensive gadgets in his home.
- What level of education someone should give his children.
- Whether someone can move elsewhere to get a higher salary, or migrate to another country.
- How much property someone can own or how much savings he should have in his bank account (Note: We are not to save up treasure for ourselves (Matt.6:19); but we are commanded to save up for our children (2 Cor.12:141 Tim.5:8)).
- Whether someone can stay in (or eat in) expensive hotels/restaurants.
- Whether a sister can wear jewellery, or expensive sarees/dresses (Who is to decide how much is "expensive"??), or asalwar-kameez, or women's pants. (The Bible commands women to be modestly dressed - and so we must warn sisters against wearing revealing, tight-fitting, provocative dresses).
- Whether men can have long hair. (Nature says "short hair", but God doesn't say anything about this -1 Cor.11:14. And who is to decide what length is "long" or " short").
- Whether women can have short hair. (Long hair is her glory, but this is not commanded by God -1 Cor.11:15. And who is to decide what length is "short" or "long").
- Whether someone can dye his/her hair.
- Whether a sister can wear any type of make-up.
- Whether someone can watch sports on TV or not (Excessive watching will hinder a person's walk with the Lord, for sport becomes an idol very easily - and we must warn people about this).
- Whether someone can have a TV or not (What he watches is the issue).
- Whether someone can consider social, economic and educational levels when choosing a marriage partner. [Note: Since there must be "an equal yoke" in all areas (spirit, soul and body), sensible believers will consider these "soul" factors as well.]
- Whether someone's wedding was too lavish and grand.
- Etc., etc.,
These are just a few areas. I am sure there are many others. Many of these decisions depend on the income of each family - and income varies considerably among believers. A very simple car, house, education, job or wedding in a big city would be considered extravagant and luxurious by the standards of those living in a poor village. So we cannot judge one another.
The scale of a wedding is determined by the wealth as well as the wholeheartedness of parents on both sides. For the sake of peace, the opinion of even one half-hearted parent or bridegroom or bride may influence the final decision in this matter. So we must not judge anyone as to how he conducts a wedding.
We have a tendency to judge the lavishness of others only in those areas where we ourselves are simple. Many who judge others in one of the above areas often fall short themselves in one of the other areas - but because their judgmental spirit blinds them, they cannot see their own shortcomings. So it is best to avoid judging specks in the eyes of others.
We must learn to "mind our own business" and avoid telling others what they should do in such matters. Otherwise we will become self-righteous Pharisees who are "busybodies in other people's affairs" (1 Pet.4:15). It is best to let each person act according to his/her own conscience.
In the church, we are to speak primarily against sin and against the love of money; and we need to give advice ONLYwhere someone asks us for it, unless of course, it is a matter of obviously sinful conduct that is affecting the church.
In financial matters however, we should encourage all believers to stay within their financial walls. Getting into debt is like breaking through the financial wall God has built around us. See Ecclesiastes 10:8b. [The Hebrew word used for "snake-bite" there is "nashak", which is very similar to the Hebrew word for "debt" - "nasha".] We must encourage believers to avoid debt, as far as possible, except where it is unavoidable (such as for emergencies and medical treatment, or when buying/building a house or buying a vehicle, etc.,). And if they do borrow, they must be encouraged to repay their debts as soon as possible (Rom.13:8).
This does not however mean that we should not teach clearly what the Bible teaches about matters such as:
- the church going through the tribulation -
[See http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article27 ],
- women wearing a head-covering when praying/prophesying -
[See http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article39
and http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article56 ]
- Etc.,
If some believers have different views on these matters, we will not judge them. But we will still teach in the church what the Bible teaches clearly.
Consider Titus 2:4,5 which states clearly that wives should primarily be "workers at home". We must teach that. But the Bible does not forbid a wife from working outside the home. So we must not forbid that either. There are many cases where a wife going to work becomes a necessity, because her husband is an invalid, or is unable to find employment, etc., So we should never judge a wife who goes to work.
Or consider the celebration of Christmas and Easter. We ourselves may be convinced about the pagan origin of these festivals. But some other believers may be totally ignorant of this fact.
[See http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article54 ]
We must hold on to our convictions. But we should not judge those who celebrate these days. Romans 14:4-6 states that very clearly.
Any church that does not give its members the freedom given us by the Holy Spirit in Romans 14 is legalistic.
It is important to note that judging is different from proclaiming the truths of God's Word. We must preach the whole counsel of God in our churches. We must not keep quiet on any part of God's truth, fearing that we will be labeled as"legalists". But if some do not accept and practice what we teach on these non-central matters, we must not judge them. We must leave their judgment to God, unless their actions are affecting the church.
One great danger however is if we become more passionate about some of the non-central matters mentioned above than about Jesus Himself and conformity to His likeness.
The matters mentioned above are external matters. But God looks at the heart - and we cannot see that. Therefore we must fear God - and then we will not "judge by what our eyes see, or our ears hear, but will always judge with righteousness(Isa.11:3, 4).
If we earnestly "pursue after love" (1 Cor.14:1and earnestly seek to "learn humility" from our Lord ( Matt.11:29), we will be saved from this pitfall of judging others.
The happiest people in the world are those who always judge themselves and never judge others.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Where Christianity Becomes Profiteering by Br. Zac Poonen

 Where Christianity Becomes Profiteering by Br.Zac

Topic: Money
Scripture(s): 1 Corinthians 9:12  
Description: So few are giving these clear messages of warning of using the Gospel for financial profit.Br. Zac shares clearly from Scripture and the burden of the Holy Spirit how many in Christendom are making profit from the Gospel. He calls for brethren to be set apart from serving mammon in anyway in the work of the Gospel.

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=25569&commentView=itemComments

Two Reasons for Not Being Broken by Watchman Nee

Why is it that after many years of dealing some remain the same? Some individuals have a forceful will; some have strong emotions; and others have a strong mind. Since the Lord is able to break these, why is it that after many years some are still unchanged? We believe there are two main reasons.
First, many who live in darkness are not seeing the hand of God. While God is working, while God is breaking, they do not recognize it as being from Him. They are devoid of light, seeing only men opposing them. They imagine their environment is just too difficult, that circumstances are to blame. So they continue in darkness and despair.
May God give us a revelation to see what is from His hand, that we may kneel down and say to Him, "It is Thou; since it is Thou, I will accept." At least we must recognize whose hand it is that deals with us. It is not a human hand, nor our family's, not the brothers' and sisters' in the church, but God's. We need to learn how to kneel down and kiss the hand, love the hand that deals with us, even as Madame Guyon did. We must have this light to see that whatever the Lord has done, we accept and believe; the Lord can do no wrong.
Second, another great hindrance to the work of breaking the outer man is self-love. We must ask God to take away the heart of self-love. As He deals with us in response to our prayer, we should worship and say, "O Lord, if this be Thy hand, let me accept it from my heart." Let us remember that the one reason for all misunderstanding all fretfulness, all discontent, it that we secretly love ourselves. Thus we plan a way whereby we can deliver ourselves. Many times problems arise due to our seeking a way of escape, an escape from the working of the cross.
He who has ascended the cross and refuses to drink the vinegar mingled with gall is the one who knows the Lord. Many go up to the cross rather reluctantly, still thinking of drinking vinegar mingled with gall to alleviate their pains. All who say, "The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?" will not drink the cup of vinegar mingled with gall. They can only drink of one cup, not two. Such as these are without any self-love. Self-love is a basic difficulty. May the Lord speak to us today that we may be able to pray:
"O my God, I have seen that all things come from Thee. All my ways these five years, ten years, or twenty years, are of Thee. Thou hast so worked to attain Thy purpose, which is none other than that Thy life may be lived out through me. But I have been foolish. I did not see. I did many things to deliver myself, thus delaying Thy time. Today I see Thy hand. I am willing to offer myself to Thee. Once again I place myself in Thy hands."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

TOTAL DEPENDENCE by David Wilkerson

“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills . . . a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it. . . . Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God . . . lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses . . . and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied . . . then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage . . . and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:7-14, 17)).

The Lord is speaking here not only to Israel but to us today. The purpose of their test in the wilderness was never in doubt: it was “that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Deuteronomy 8:16). He had to teach Israel how to handle all the goodness He was about to pour out upon them. And God will test us the same way He did them.

You see, although the children of Israel were blood-secured and delivered, supernaturally guided and the object of God’s love and miracle-working power, they lacked one thing: They were not dependent upon God!

The blood can cover your sins, but it does not make you dependent on Him. Miracles can deliver you from Satan’s power, but they can’t make you dependent. You can be led by God and still not lean wholly upon the Lord.

God has to strip us of all self-assurance and destroy all that remains of self-righteousness, spiritual pride and boasting. He must (and He does) humiliate all who are destined to inherit His great spiritual blessings.

He will take a Saul of Tarsus—self-assured, self-righteous, consumed with a knowledge of the Scriptures, full of God’s zeal, ready to die for Jehovah—and strike him blind! Saul had to be humiliated before the world, led around like a child and waiting helplessly for days, until God moved. He was humiliated to a point of total dependence!