Be a lighthouse, a beacon — lighting the way for others.
Thought I’d share a scripture with you today that really ministered to me on my way to work the other day. I hope it encourages you to walk boldly for Jesus in this world with a new attitude.
“….work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, …..” Philippians 2:12b – 2:16a The Amplified Version
For those of us who have met and fallen in love with Jesus on a personal level and dedicated our lives to Him and received Him into our hearts as Lord, Savior and Soon Coming King, these words should spur us on to repentence from acting like the world does, and thinking we can get away with it.
Yes, Jesus was and is loving, kind, caring, merciful and all that stuff, but He also prayed for guidance and boldness to do what was right when it was time to “throw the bums out” for desecrating the House of God! (Flashback to the scourging of the Temple where He threw out all the money changers, merchants, consumers, those buying and selling their wares inside the temple for gain. Mark 11:15-16.) We often think nowadays about those types of folks in our society that we would like to “throw out”, but maybe there is really more to it than that, something more personal and intimate in fact.
Whether we realize it or not, we have allowed the “bums” to desecrate His temple yet again! WE are His temple in human flesh and on a daily basis we let such things as greed, intolerance, unholy speech (that’s a big one for a lot of folks and they don’t even realize they’re doing it!), arrogance, grumbling, complaining, unforgiveness, and other sins (bums) too numerous to mention, to saturate our lives. And that’s not even close to talking about the so-called “BIG” sins like, murder, rape, sex outside of marriage, stealing, etc.!
We have been seduced by media (social and otherwise), the printed page, our families and friends, and those ever-present evil whispers into our very ears from the enemy of our soul, and they all play a part in clouding our judgment. Our behavior sometimes is anything but Christ-like and it is high time to THROW THE BUMS OUT!!
The most obvious way to start, I suppose, is to read the Bible, New Testament especially, to find out what God expects a believer to act like. Then, while reading, search your own heart–deeply– for areas where you may not match up. (Don’t worry. He’s a forgiving God and He loves you tenderly, more than you could possibly imagine. He’s also waiting to forgive you, if you will ever just show up.)
Repent. You may think, after reading how God wants us to behave, that you’ve gone too far. You haven’t. But, if you will take this step of repentance, He can help you to do better.
Resolve to consciously work on the areas that God points out to you. When you feel tempted by the “bums” to swear at someone, or get into a heated political argument (so common nowadays at least), turn away, tell them “Jesus loves you and He has everything under control. I’m trusting Him to bring His will to pass in my life and to take care of all of us.” When you are offended, vow to take that forgiveness road instead of harboring the “grudge and hate bums”. They are dangerous, deadly and out to ruin your life. As Joyce Meyers talked about in a conference years ago, once they have been thrown out, don’t let them try to talk you into inviting them back into your life “just for a cup of coffee and a nice chat”, because they will try, trust me!
We’ve allowed the spirit of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and money changers (“bums”) to take root in our lives for so many years that it is hard sometimes to see that they are even there, but I assure you they are. You see in the news, both on TV and the internet, stories involving “Christians” who are really behaving badly and sullying the name of Jesus. Although the Bible tells us this is going to happen in the end times, it still saddens me to the core. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HIS REPRESENTATIVES FOR GOOD ON THIS EARTH! We should be different from the world, but many times, we are just like everyone else.
It is time to be the beacon of light, the light on a hill, the salt of the earth! I encourage you to throw out the bums in your life and live for Jesus with renewed vigor! He is worth whatever energy you will expend in telling those bums they can’t stay in your temple any longer. If you will trust and lean on Jesus, you will be successful! God bless you!