The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Have you ever started to prepare a recipe and then realize that you were missing one of the key ingredients? Ugh, it's so frustrating. 
Now you have two options:
Continue without it which leaves you with an unsatisfactory version, that may or may not resemble the real thing or stop what you're doing and wait until you can get that one ingredient.
If you're like me neither option is a good one. 
Recipes should be followed exactly for best results. And once I decide to try it, I want to do it right and do it right way.

It almost seems the "modern" church practices "tolerating" certain behaviors.
We don't want to offend anyone or have anyone stop coming. So certain topics are avoided or danced around. 
Whatever happened to 
“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:2-5 ESV?

It may not be popular for people to hear what they need to hear. Maybe they will stop coming. 
I, myself, would rather lose people after telling them the truth than for them to go to hell because they never heard the truth. 

It would be fantastic if everyone readily accepted the word of God, and followed God's plan of salvation.
But most would rather pretend to know Jesus, without the true repentance and confession needed.
Repentance is an ingredient to salvation. Being full of sorrow for your sinful self, so much so that you know you must change. 
The early church knew what repentance meant.
And then they came together and divulged their practices. Wow, how humbling that would be! But they were so repentant that they felt compelled to divulge their shameful behavior through the confessing of their sins to one another. 
This is another ingredient of faith that some leave out today. 
We don't really want anyone to know just how awful and black that we were/are.

Maybe in today's churches people wouldn't run from the truth if they knew that ALL Of US came out of shame. 
Lord, help me to be bold in speaking Your truth. But Lord, help me to be gentle and loving, always remembering how very black my heart was before You. Teach me ways of speaking, teaching and sharing Your grace and mercy without pushing people away because of self righteousness. Lord, it may not be easy or popular, but help me to speak You wherever I go.

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