But A Sword

God has been showing me of late how we as believers are called to confront sin as acknowledging Him.

Matthew 10:32 Therefore, everyone who acknowledges Me before men and confesses Me [out of a state of oneness with Me], I will also acknowledge him before My Father Who is in heaven and confess [that I am abiding in] him. 33 But whoever denies and disowns Me before men, I also will deny and disown him before My Father Who is in heaven. 34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  AMPC

Many have the wrong impression of what we as Christians are called to do.  I often hear people defending their heart convicting them with responses like; I don’t have to do works to be right with God.  Very true, but, some things we do need to do are not works but choices and with those choices come actions.

Jesus came to separate, to cut between right and wrong, to teach us there are not two sides to our faith, but one.  Therefore we have to make a choice, Him and His way or live our way, by our feelings.  

Our flesh will enslave us to do what is comfortable, but our spirit what is uncomfortable.  The word comfortable reminds me of the Message translation of verse thirty four.  

Matthew 10:34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.  

Jesus is making it clear that we are going to do some things according to our faith in Him that may not always be cozy.   It is easy to prefer our loved ones over Jesus and especially if they don’t understand our commitment to Jesus, but, speaking from experience those not so cozy times do prevail!   Doing the right thing in the midst of the pressure to stray from our commitment to our faith works.   As we commit to God we are showing, in fact proving God’s good and perfect way which leads many to salvation!

When we let the pressure from the enemy overtake us, we not only have compromised, we haven’t sown seeds for our loved ones salvation.  They can’t see God unless we show them God by living our lives according to God‘s will.

Matthew 10:38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

All that said, it is clear God is calling us to be bold in confronting sin to save those in error.  Exactly what Jesus did when He was here, He confronted sin.  Yes He sat with sinners, but He didn’t join them in sin, He confronted their sin. Some turned away from Jesus, but some turned to Him and accepted Him.  Jesus carried a sword to divide, to clearly state what is sin and what isn’t. 

The same will happen as we do His work, as we are bold enough to confront sin with His truth some will turn Jesus away, but some will repent and turn to Him.

Jesus has not returned yet, but we know that is the plan—after all have heard the gospel.

Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.  AMPC

It is not only your Pastor’s part to tell the good news, but all of us who claim to be His.  There is no way your Pastor can do your work and his.  We all are called to teach those who don’t know right from wrong, what is right and what is wrong—through whatever avenue we walk, through each and every opportunity we have.

If we sit quietly and just observe those people who don’t know what is right, we are not a light in the dark, but we are barely lit.   If we don’t tell those who don’t know what the Word of God says, what to think, or what to do, they won’t know.

Many times we’re quiet because our own heart condemns us.  The answer to that is to get it right.  Do what you need to do to make things right between you and God.  Repent (change your way) and ask God to help you get the sin out of your life and keep it out.

1 John 3:20 Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him]. 21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, 22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.  AMPC

People don’t know how to live or even how to be Christians because there are few models.   We not only need tell them what is right and wrong, but live what is right, not what is wrong.  Otherwise we’re in the category of having a plank in our eye, working to get the speck out of our brother’s eye.  

Jesus didn’t say shy away from helping your brother.  He said FIRST get the beam of timber out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.  

Matthew 7:3 Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.  AMPC

When Jesus was here He taught right from wrong; He was bold and there was no question.   His boldness came from His sinless life, knowing who He was, His Father, and His mission.  

If there was a question He answered it.  Are we equipped to teach right from wrong, can we answer questions that need answering, or are we in the dark as well?

God is asking that we get off the church benches we have warmed far too long —get rid of the sin in our lives and then be witnesses of sin free lives walking in His power. 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. AMPC

God is separating and planning for His return and we as His have a major part in that plan.  

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.  AMPC

Find your part in that plan and start doing it.  Although the plan has rewards for us individually, it also has some not so cozy parts to it.   It is a commitment and a press to live that separated life, but we will be richly rewarded!

We the righteous are apart of God’s plan to save those erring ones.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].  AMPC

Our mission is the same to go save the sinners from their sin, not just ignore them, thinking it is none of our business.  Jesus made it our business when He asked us to do His greater works.

John 14:12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. 13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as [presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. 14 [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am].  AMPC

James 5:19 [My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God], 20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].  AMPC

Let’s do this!!!!!