Sunday, December 23, 2007

Love Enough to Tell the TRUTH

To GOD be the glory!!!

I weep at the state of the Church. So many of God's people have been lied to for so long that they now reject TRUTH given in love. How many of us have professed that we desire truth, but become offended when it is shared? I would say that most, if not all, have had moments like this at one point or another. Yet, the Word of God encourages us to receive the TRUTH. It is essential to the spiritual well-being of every believer, and to preach TRUTH is the duty of every minister of God.

Throughout this year and the last, God has dealt with His people about worship. Still, many of us have missed the mark. The tragedy is that we're not missing because we lack the knowledge. We are missing because we have REJECTED knowledge - TRUTH.

Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

This Scripture is often quoted, but we have not embraced it's true significance. The prophet is speaking to the LEADERS of the church. They rejected truth, choosing instead to live by their own ideologies and thoughts. For this, God rejected them AND THEIR WORSHIP. Such is the case today, as the Word of God is still true:

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Why do we feel that we can worship through lies... false doctrine... false prophecies...? People of God, not only are we missing God, but we are costing others effective worship when we fail to preach the TRUTH. When we preach that which is pleasing to the flesh, but not ordered by God, we guide others into sin.

I am rejoicing at this very moment, because I've learned to sacrifice for the sake of the truth. Any true leader who has not learned already will soon realize that truth must be spoken in season and with a right spirit. Yet, even with all that, persecution will always follow those who dare to challenge the lies of tradition, religion and the devil himself. It's amazing how the people of God will fight to defend comfort and complacency, even when that comfort lies in error. For this reason, I want to encourage those people of God who are being persecuted and abused because of the message you carry:

Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you

In order for a person to be righteous, or in right-standing with God, that person must understand worship, which is rooted in OBEDIENCE. They must understand truth and stand for the Word of God. To be persecuted for such is a blessing and an honor. Though you have a heart for God an His people, it is important to understand that truth will not be accepted by everyone all the time. Do not take it personally, and certainly do not allow your Gospel to be "watered down" because of it.

Yes, we must minister with compassion. Yes, we must operate in love, mercy and gentleness. However, these things do not require lies or deception. The church is already full of too many tricks. People are dancing on a promise of financial prosperity while their souls are bound for hell. People are leaping and shouting over a new husband when God wants them delivered from fornication and pornography. A message of peace is too often preached when God is seeking repentance and a pure heart from His people:

Mic 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Mic 3:5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

As prophets, leaders and ministers of God, our first priority is to please the Father. Our ministry is one way we worship Him. We must first be true and loyal to the Father. Then, we must care for God's people. They have been placed in our care in one form or another. It is our job, just as Jesus said,

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Such is accomplished through the truth. The TRUTH is what frees God's people:

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This week, I have been challenged by more Christian leaders than ever before. Yet, God has truly encouraged my soul. I've been ridiculed for not lying to my children about Santa Claus. I've been accused of being mean and rude for encouraging the saints to be doers of the Word - not hearers only. I have been rebuked for answering questions according to the Word of God rather than the tradition of one's denomination. AND I REJOICE! There was once a time when I would have cried and even repented, but I thank God for my own deliverance. Knowing that I've been in God's will, and receiving ridicule as a result is an honor. It is not my desire to see anyone hurt or offended, but I know the Word of God does both. Still, it is necessary. Ministry is not about me and the number of friends I can make. Nor is it about you. It's not about how we think or even our emotions or feelings. It's about the Gospel. Speak the truth, saints of God. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts the giver and the receiver. Yet, it pleases God. Such is the price that must be paid. Pray for those who are not able to receive, but never compromise God's truth for the opinions of others.

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged

No comments: