Monday, March 3, 2014

In a day when zero is sacred anymore or worthy of respect, choose to be different from those in the world.

Keep it simple, straightforward, considerate, and others-oriented. Most'll keep it self-oriented, but Christ empowers, and guess what.. self-control is still a fruit of the Spirit He gives. So opt to behave, to show people proper respect. Slow down, listen, get their door, let em go before you, ask if they need assistance—be very respectful even of family members that we daily rub elbows with. It's imperative! Duh. Choose to take none for granted. It's so easy to do that, and to take too many things personal or to react in the flesh. I've reacted in the flesh before, not proud of it ..like out there in rush hour traffic when someone is wavin' me half a peace-sign backwards for not going 85. Reacting doesn't help. Could escalate things real ugly..and real fast. 

It's almost Easter time, so let's think about what Jesus did when they spat upon and insulted Him etc. Did He follow the Holy Spirit's leading then, or just go-off-on people He could have snuffed out in a sec? You already know the answer. And you know that the Bible-God is a wonderful Person of great grace, mercy, agape love and full understanding. Do you remember the kinda of respect that Jesus showed to those two guys dying to the left and to the right of Him there at Calvary? Hey, those two were no choir-boys. But that's how He witnessed for the Father all through His life. He is our example today. Christ is still so full of grace and mercy, far beyond what you or I can comprehend or even fathom. In the same way, we should be and act as He did ..and does.. minus all spiritual compromise.. as we extend His kinda unearned grace on to others in need of it. Foolish-enabler or doormat like, Kurt? Naww not that way, but wisely show respect.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:22-25

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Eph. 5:8-11

It's simply a good witness to the world. We as believers might not agree on everything 100% of the time, that's more than understandable. But we can agree on biblical Essentials and on showin' respect to all persons that we meet. In today’s perverse fame-worshippin'-world, what does this even mean.. practically speaking? Well, to me.. just think about how you would help or treat your kind grandparents when they asked or needed you. Go do that kinda thing to others before they ask. It might surprise em.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" ~ Jesus, Matt. 5:43   

Careful how you communicate face to face. It's of course okay to share your feelings, or how certain behaviors ill-affected a spouse or another friend's feelings or life,..who you care about. It can literally bring out the worst in a rude person who only wants you to be blind to all their base selfishness and aweful hubris. Next time someone behaves really rotten, is totally rude beyond belief, and is rad-disrespectful to a friend or to you as a Christian (it happened to me just last week), simply choose not to take it personally. Sinners sin cuz they're sinners and need a new nature inside. Perhaps the person was in a big rush, or they have the wrong best (rude) friends that influence them, or were feelin' kind of convicted about their stubborn evil way. Hey, God knows and wants to win them over as well. Do you always have to remain silent before them? Nope. Christ didn't always. The Apostle Paul didn't always and God can give you the right words if you simply ask. There have been several times when I say, Stop that, you're hurting em.

So many were very rude and disrespectful to God. So many still are today.  

You might run into some of them this week. Ask the Lord to give you His love for them today. I have to, cuz there are times when I feel like punching dudes. Remember, worldlings hated Jesus in His day because they really loved their own sins more than our heavenly Father. Christ's holy presence convicted them to the bone ...of their evil deeds, and wicked hearts. The darkness still hates the light, but walk in the light as children of the light. Yeah, shine His light anyways. Love always protects and that's so important for those you are responsible for, but also seek to wisely show respect to all people in spite of how you feel, in spite of what they deserve, inspite of what they say or do. Does showing respect and forgiving em in your heart mean you're saying they were right? No. Does it mean that you auto-remove all the consequences for their bad decisions ..always? No. Often times it's wiser not to. God loften leaves em in tact as teachers. It simply means you showed respect, were graciously kind, and in your heart.. you fully forgave em because Someone on Cross back in the day.. forgave you when you didn't deserve it.  facebook.com/shareJesus 
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