Examine Ourselves

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test Yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

We have an age-old problem – a portion of the Christian community lacks the discipline to look at our lives with discernment.

We want to be given the Truth in ways that do not cause upset to our current way of thinking. If that be the case, then how do we “gear up” to grow in grace and knowledge? How do we learn to love?

As we examine our hearts today, will you do the same that we will be able to stand aright and tight in these difficult days?

Growing to Discern

“Exercise yourself toward godliness” 1 Timothy 4:7-10


Godliness can begin with physically taking care of the body through exercise. Our bodies are temporal temples and exercise does require discipline, training, being faithful, and even requires some sweat.

Those same qualities are also needed in knowing and understanding the wisdom the Lord Jesus taught for living a life of godliness.

Let’s compare how the short-term examples of exercise are a long-term guide to the benefits of godliness.

Defining Discernment

“Judge not that you be not judged” Matthew 7:1

Word matter and the way you use them can change a whole conversation.  We can never “judge” the person for condemnation, that belongs to God alone.

We are commanded to discern a person’s behavior, words, actions. We are exhorted to discern and deal with obvious sinful lifestyles.

Today’s conversation will help decipher when to discern, but not Judge.

Examine All Things

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 2:21


 

This mandate is in a list of requirements for being set apart to discern the current “teaching” of the day. They were to discern what was written and spoken was the truth or popular opinion, just words of men.

We still battle that same problem today with volumes of information coming out each day to “better ourselves” but may not be according to Scripture. Many apply their testing of all things according to logic, reason, history, or worldly opinions.

Our review today offers guidance in checking matters out from the ability to discern right from wrong. Join us!

Building Blocks

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:9

Life can start with wonderful words of wisdom and affirmation that the God we have trusted is giving us grace and peace. His divine power is drawing our hearts to be conformed to His  image. He supplies us with an outline of what is needed, step by step, in case we forget our provisions and remain as “newborns.” We will grow like a weaned child with his mother so our soul will be calmed and quieted so that God’s true love will govern our lives.

Adding Virtue

“Giving all diligence add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge” 2 Peter 1:5

This little nugget of truth tucked away in the progressive path of growth is a command to be fully committed to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; for without faith, it is impossible to please God. Once our faith is established the first attribute is to add Virtue, even before knowledge.

Now, why should we acquire the quality of virtue before adding knowledge? Seems like the opposite would be true.

Join our discussion today to see the importance of knowing:

What is virtue

How to recognize the characteristics

Then understand the characteristics.

And then, If we are applying virtue or just sliding by the best way we can with the “facts.

Walking Unified

“As a prisoner of the Lord, I beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Ephesians 4:1

Many have read this scripture numerous times not taking into consideration that
a calling is a part of your job, perhaps in ministry, or perhaps in different areas but
it is what you do. The request is to know what your calling is and then how to
perform with lowliness and gentleness. There is a strong outline here for how we
are to think. Our calling will involve some type of service for others.

Let’s evaluate the highs and lows in how to discover where our focus is to be
centered and make sure our heart attitude is in alignment with our calling, that
we may be well-pleasing unto Jesus Christ.

Walking Worthy

“I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Ephesians 4:1

Life is not to be lived in a sloppy casual indifference of selfish indulgence. This approach is not limited to any age group. We do expect, as growth and training take place, to see a maturity in thinking and knowing how to make good decisions.
The calling is already given to us and now, own up to the appointment in being faithful. Ephesians Chapter 4 suggest the manner in making known to others what is real in us. Check it out!

These are Hard Sayings

“If anyone does not come to ME and does not hate this father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Now that is really a hard saying about what love is all about.

Words have meanings and without hearing the heart of the speaker we can certainly come to the wrong conclusions. We all like to hear soft sayings that bring comfort and make the heart happy, but we draw back when tough words are spoken.

How can we find joy and purpose in hard sayings? Let’s talk!

The Shepherd’s Voice

“The sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3

The Shepherd’s Voice brings assurance and security when we hear Him speak. There are times in our walk where certain unknowns produce uncertain emotions that confuse hearing.

Fear will slip in and replace the sheep’s ability to listen to the Shepherd. Fear has many entanglements, and we get caught up in confusion, never realizing fear has replaced faith.

Today there is a way to keep this from happening. Let’s prepare to repair the damage fear does when it controls our hearts.

I Am Loved

“With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119: 10-11

How do you hide God’s word in the heart?

Romans 12 gives us a clue – Renew your mind in the mind of God – His word.

Why is it important to renew our minds? Because only there can we find our purpose in life. Only in God’s word do we find God’s design for us and how He wants to fashion us into being a part of His family.

John 17 tells us the purpose of our being a family. In the prayer between God the Father and God the Son, we hear their love for us as part of their family. Join us as we discuss their conversation.

Christ Character

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

In the season we are living, having a powerful authority you can depend on for wisdom, in walking through the waters of uncertainty every day, is a tremendous gift to each one who wants to be a part of God’s family.

God is love and wants those desiring to accept His gift to also accept His purpose in offering — “all that God is available to every man, woman, boy, or girl that is available to all that God is.”

Knowing His attributes and allowing the Scriptures to mold our thinking prepares our minds to be transformed into Christ-like character, which is pleasing to the Father. Let’s take a look at the riches of Christ’s character.

Trading the Old for New

“If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the Truth is in Jesus.” Ephesians 4:21

How we live is determined by what we believe. If Truth is in Jesus, then why do we have such corruption in our lives? Why do the daily struggles far out way the confident victories that are said to be ours?”

There is a saying, “There must be a cross before there can be a crown.” The cross we need to embrace includes giving up our plans for the greater plans of the Savior, bringing our opinions, priorities, and thoughts into alignment with the bigger picture, and knowing what that picture is.

The Bible has not left us overwhelmed as to how this is to be accomplished. There are really no excuses for believing a lie as truth when Jesus is our Truth. Study with us today as we see the provisions that we have in trading the old for the new.

Beliefs Revealed

“Believe in your heart that God has raised Him (Jesus) from the dead and you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Beliefs are vital to a person in establishing who they are and this passage deals with the belief of WHO God is. We have blended our beliefs with the cultural and secular world mixing percepts and concepts that will never work together.

It is like oil and water. Oil is lighter and floats to the top. Likewise, we enjoy the light and easy ways of blended thinking, rather than searching out what is really necessary for godly living.

Today we examine how to make right what is wrong in our thinking so that in everything we do we may be pleasing in God’s sight. For the person still searching find the foundation that offers a solid and fixed way of understanding.

Purpose of Heart

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them
out.” Proverbs 20:5

We know out of the heart proceed all the issues of life, but how does that relate to a heart purpose? Does the heart plan on good or evil? What influences the heart in revealing what is the priority on which the heart thinks? In the physical world a heart not working right brings trouble to all the body and a heart out of balance will also trouble our mind, will, and emotions. Take time out today to consider matters of the heart.

Tearing Down Defenses

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.” Proverbs 16:2

We think we have our lives under control from our perspective and need no other
help. A few bumps here and there, coping but never soaring, and often wanting to
hibernate to escape living with everyday life.

Whether it is relationships of being ignored, hassled, or living with the results of our own poor choices, we find a way to survive. We keep everything on the
surface but never dig down to the root of the problem.

Today we acquaint ourselves with some less obvious defenses while hoping to find a place to land that brings peace. There is a solution!

Recognizing Defenses

When you meet someone there is usually an introduction of your name and then something about what you do. It takes a name to make what you do important. Telling someone what you do without a name is incomplete to our identity.

Likewise, part of our identity as members of God’s family is our being an ambassador to show people what the family of God should look like in today’s world.

Many times, we are displaying a bad “identity” because we are attempting to make ourselves look good rather than reflecting our identity of being IN CHRIST. Who we are reflects what we do. How important is this in our understanding of living?

Self Defense Mechanisms

“The spirit of a man will be his support and sustain him when he is ill, but a broken and crushed spirit, who can bear.” Proverbs 18:14

How do you handle and react to frustration and troubling conflicts? Some explode,
some turn their backs and ignore the hurt and pain, others carry it inside and have
unusual Defense Mechanisms that are hard to recognize.
When we want to be strong in spirit we must be pure in heart. Learning to observe
what sounds good may be a cover for a heart that is coping and not really caring.
Don’t get trapped in Defense Mechanisms that substitute reality in relationships.
We have been given The Great Escape. Let’s use it!!

Repression

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay
aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with the endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

The importance laid out here is that we need to see how those who have gone before lived and overcame the snares of self.

If we go against the patterns of freedom provided by our Savior we can hold onto strongholds, and repress reality, but eventually will explode, making a mess for ourselves and those around us.

Clean-up of these defenses is messy. Are you building steam for an explosion?

Projection and Regression

“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things” Romans 2:1.

Defense mechanisms are ways that we react to conflict in order to maintain our self-esteem and avoid anxiety. They are used when we need to reduce emotional conflict or soften feelings of failure or disappointment.

However, when we use these mechanisms, they prevent us from moving forward in the joy of the Lord and spiritual growth.

 

Denial and Rationalization

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be healthy to
your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

Denial and Rationalization are two defenses we run to when we believe our own wisdom is the best choice for making decisions. This may not be a deliberate but a place to run to in need to survive and not wanting to work through the difficult disciplines required for change. When scripture is lacking in our life, one of the natural fallbacks is into a pattern of denial and rationalization.
You may be rather surprised as you listen to the comfort zone of unbelief!

Christian Psychology

“The wisdom of the prudent (sensible) is to understand his way but the folly (foolishness) of fools is deceit.” Proverbs 14:8

 

Christianity has cracked the door open to ways of the world becoming acceptable in the life of the Church, and we don’t even recognize the tangle web that has been woven into our thinking.

Rather than accepting the fact that we are called to lay down our lives for others in service and caring from a heart of sacrificial love, we protect ourselves from having to bear one another’s pain. We don’t know how to help others  carry the load that plague the soul and spirit. We are great on helping in the physical needs and we are thankful for that blessing. However, we are body, soul, and spirit. All three parts need to be growing and healthy.

Heavenly wisdom give us understanding in tearing down our walls of defense, as we allow the Spirit to make  the heart  of Christ real in our lives.

 

Modern Psychology

 

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

Modern psychology is the perfect substitute for God playing in our lives with our own intellect and reasoning. There are many different facets that mar our thinking, and some are so “reasonable” the modern-day church accepts and even endorses them.

The church family – The Body of Christ is the only source of light in the darkness of human reasoning and logic.

One positive note is that even with self-consciousness within weak or carnal Christians there are “pockets” of believers that are standing strong, growing, and ministering to others who are in need. For others.

Some are just too busy to get involved with helping someone with their entrapment of worldly values.

Some are too ignorant of God’s word and unable to assist in helping to set free people in bondage.

Some want to help but don’t know-how and fear keep them silent.

Some are being a witness to the Life of Christ within us – Where are you in this line-up?

Psychology

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

What is a simple definition of secular Psychology? A study of the natural, our natures, how they function, and how to fix what is wrong.  Sounds like a good idea except they want to solve all our problems with man’s solutions. The thought of seeking the God of Creation according to them is not rational or reasonable. Why, because we are smarter and have done away with those superstitions and myths about God. We are our own god and can make those decisions for ourselves, man can fix man. (no he can’t)

Grab pencil and paper to jot down a few ideas that are keeping us in turmoil and trauma in how modern psychology has crept into our church lives.  Know the facts as history describes and then see the pattern that leads us down the path of failure.  Do Christians have another option and can we mix secular psychology with a Biblical worldview? The answers may surprise you.

Tools of Vain Philosophy

“Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said. For in Christ there is all of God in a human body; so you have everything when you know Christ and you are filled with God through your union with Christ. He is the highest Ruler, with authority over every other power.” Colossians 2: 8-9

So what is the purpose of a Christian in these hard times? We talk about changing our troubled culture, but most do not have any idea  – how to and what to change.

As Christians, we are to know and understand the blindness and how we got these cultural views. We are to understand and explain to blinded hearts and minds how our lives are making choices that dethrone God Almighty. We cannot allow our faith and joy to bring us down into negativity, depression, and questioning; How Then Should We Live.”

As we reflect on man’s attempt to bring about a social society that resolves all man’s problems, let’s search for the real answers that are found in God alone.

Spiritual Greatness

 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

One of the beliefs we entertain and promote is the religious lie that to be spiritual and useful in our walk with the Lord as believers, we must be spiritual giants. The greater the gifts, the more powerful the preaching and teaching, and the more popular and well-known our own ministry qualifies us as Christians living with a 4-star approval rating. RUBBISH!

Our Bible is filled with calling our attention to daily dying to self, decreasing in the importance of “MY” ministry, being willing to suffer, and allowing Christ and His character to take center stage in every aspect of our lives.

Settle back in quietly waiting on the Lord for His mind as we look at how God is shaping us into His image through ways that differ from the popular belief that “Bigger is always Better.”

Lies in Relationships

“Do not lie one to another since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” Colossians 3:9

How many of us have experienced, The Blame Game:

“It’s your fault”, “You made me so mad”

”You hurt my feelings or you don’t meet my needs”

Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind and you used the silent treatment to make someone feel guilty?” How about lashing out in a verbal frenzy assuring the other person they are wrong?  Sounds crazy but many do this?

As we accuse one another do those same pitiful arguments go back to our God for His “mistreatment” of us? Living lies is the surest way to the door of misery, anger, anxiety, and blinding us to the Truth.

Is it a lie that we must earn God’s love? Is it okay to get impatient with God’s timing on how He is working in other lives?”

Come investigate how we accept lies to avoid pain and suffering. Learn how we are bombarded daily with lies to keep us under the control of the enemy. Don’t let lies believed as truth affect you as if they were true, even though they are lies.”

Secular Lies

“Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before.” Colossians 3:9

Biblical meaning of a lie: To practice deceit, falsehood, and treachery either by word or action. It is the exact opposite of the truth.

The sanctity of truth is fundamental in biblical teaching since it is based on the nature and character of God. Therefore, to despise truth is to despise God, and the Scriptures treat this topic with profound seriousness.

“A LIE BELIEVED AS TRUTH WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE AS TRUTH EVEN THOUGH IT IS A LIE.”

Some in Secular Society will give you a half-truth – misguided facts – still a lie

Some in relationships will color the “facts” so as not to anger or offend – still lies

Some will pass on “information” that is not checked out and pass it on as truth – still a lie

Some cannot stand the light of Truth – so will speak from a heart of darkness – filled with lies.

The Bible says Satan is the Father of Lies. There are many avenues where a person can tell “lies” and believe no harm will happen. Look deep into your heart today as we discuss the “lies of the world” that are not limited to those outside of Christianity but find our old sinful lifestyle still “living a lie.”

Goals of Secular Humanism

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” Colossians 2:8

What comprises vain philosophy and empty deceit? At the entry-level is Humanism – traditions having basic concepts that make man a law unto himself.  He can solve all problems and there is no need of God.

We are not sure just how this is working. Tune in and help evaluate the goals for “good” through Humanism.

Secular Humanism

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Our world in general has lost or denied the fear of the Lord. Without that wisdom, we are opened to man’s wisdom and the most common definition is “Humanism: faith in man, in science, in education.” Man will use reason, not divine revelation, as the guide for moral action and education; resulting in deception…

Trusting in man is seen in many practical examples. Many Christians buy into humanistic thinking and have weakened their moral fiber, allowing a double standard within the Body of Christ, the true church.

We are digging into how this has crept into believer’s lives. Many sincere Christians are not wanting to follow after strange doctrine or are in known rebellion in their walk with the Lord. Nevertheless, denial of Truth is running at an all-time high.

Today, we attempt to expose lies believed as truth, thinking we are growing in grace, when actually not fearing the Lord is grieving the Spirit and our guidance is hindered. There is a shock value as we discover the results of leaving our first Love; so open your ears to hear what WISDOM from God declares.

Jesus is the Word

In John 1:1 The Word of God is declared to be GOD – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:14 The Word became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 14:6 Confirms life that lasts comes through Jesus Christ from God the Father – “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 6: 48-58 offers an illustration of how this works, but the explanation did not make “sense” to some of his disciples that were listening. John 6:63 adds additional understanding to the process via the Holy Spirit. But, still not understanding they were offended and simply did not trust the words of Truth.

Instead, they chose to reply in their own understanding and walked with the Lord Jesus NO MORE. They turned away! They decided that their logic was better and higher than the God who created them.

However, there was another group of his followers, his close disciples. They chose to ask
more questions to understand the “hard sayings.” They wanted to trust the Giver of Truth.

What are we doing today when we are faced with hard sayings? Do we seek and search to know?

Many today are murmuring and complaining about the difficulties we are going through. They are NOT asking questions to know more. They are accepting their own thinking, closing their hearts and minds to the Way, Truth, and Life.

As you listen today, examine your heart and be open to the Truth that Jesus is the Word, to receive Him is to also receive His Word.

The Word is Enough

 

Isaiah 30:15: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

The closing portion of that verse says BUT YOU WOULD NOT. Why would anyone want to reject that counsel? As believers we want a secure relationship with Almighty God and enjoy all the blessings He provides for His family.

When we read this counsel from the Bible but will not apply, we lack understanding or simply do not believe it is our final authority. We then turn onto a detour that takes down a winding road to destruction.

Let’s get grounded in the sufficiency of scripture as it was written to and for us.

Everlasting Truth

 

“And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” JOHN 17:3

To know everlasting Truth you need to know who and what is Truth, according to the author of Truth. Many today know about the God of Truth without having a personal and intimate relationship with Him. Facts are great but they will never hold up in difficult days without having the life of Truth in our hearts and minds.
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Without the Word as our constant companion, we will remain in infanthood for growth.
Be a part of our discussion today regarding the divine desire that has been given to all of us to hide His Word in our hearts, that we might not live a sinful life.

Sufficient Truths of Scripture

 

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

 

The definition of “sufficiency” is adequate to do the purpose intended or to meet a need. 2 Peter defines this as “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
The scripture is the best book for offering guaranteed promises filled with hope, but they also instruct us with rules of accountability. In world culture we find resistant to authority that demands any control where we want our “freedoms.” Many look at the scripture as being deficient or inadequate. Therefore, they ignore the Bible as being a guide they want to trust.
Let’s do a “fact check” in affirming the Bible is not just an extra accessory to aid our model of living with philosophy and methodology; it is the REAL DEAL

Progression Towards Maturity

Romans 5:3-5 “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Mentoring Matters, Janie and Sharon discuss the process we all go through as we mature in Christ. Maturity is not an instant quality we can claim. Our lives are all about learning in every growth stage. Before we can begin our growth toward maturity we must have a relationship with God as He supplies the necessary Truths that are used in establishing our foundation.

There are at least four basic percepts we need to know as we gain an understanding of how to apply them to our thinking and behavior.

Testing and tribulations are a part of this maturing process. Without the God of Scriptures guiding each step, we will find a road rocky filled with many potholes and we will stumble along the way.

Confirm today you have started this adventure or open your heart’s door to begin your Progression Toward Maturity.

The Scriptures Plus

 

The culture that we live in contributes to shaping our worldview, which is why the Bible tells us to be separate from this world. But, the results of a recent Gallup Poll showed that 76% of Christians do not believe the Bible is the foundational absolute truth.

Psalm 19 tells us what the Scriptures will do to help us establish a Biblical worldview and find those places in our hearts where we have been blind.

So, listen with a willing heart as we look at the subtle ways we have replaced God’s Word in our lives.

Building a Biblical Worldview

 

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

As we establish a Biblical Worldview there are principles we use to decide what builds us up and what can tear us down in knowing the mind of God. Many folks are greatly influence by what others think and so we gather our information from unreliable sources.
Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” They bring healing but many fail to build a biblical worldview because they are unskilled in the word of God.
WORDS MATTER as they reveal what is in our hearts.
Allowing the mind to trust in its own understanding opens the door of deception which can lead in paths the Lord Jesus never said to walk. Scripture must be our final authority; they are the only words we can trust.
God’s word is full of living power and is a guaranteed guide in building a biblical worldview.

Foundations in a Worldview

Colossians 2:8 “Beware, lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

To have a foundation that will stand on solid rock and not be sifted like wind-blown sands, we need to see areas where compromised thinking can get us into some real trouble. Whether it is rational applications as your final authority, logic according to changing facts or media madness consuming a large part of our days, and some nights, we find our minds will be in a state of overload with options that profit nothing in securing a solid foundation. We will always be on a search for satisfaction to shore up confused conclusions on “How Then Do We Live.”

Today, we are shining some light on choices that prevent us from building a solid Biblical worldview.

Culture Influences Beliefs

 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” Galatians 5:1

 

The word entangled intrigues me as it means to become twisted together or caught up in a trap, a snare, jumble, muddled.  In our world, this may include anything from a spider web, fishing nets, traffic jams, or even relationships involving different worldviews. We have been given by Jesus Christ liberty and freedom to stand fast in how we live, but we find ourselves entrapped is missing this freedom and failing to show what others need to see.

Our world has enticed us to accept their values and in doing so we have walked into the trap of entanglement and not being aware that we are trying to live in two different worlds. We struggle to understand ourselves in this dilemma and wonder why there is confusion and looking for escape methods.

Let’s check out a simple definition of a worldview and then unravel the entangle blending that sets us up for contentions, struggles, failing to give our children a solid foundation, and living in this maze of compromise, not aware of our choices.  Cultural priorities, education, acceptance of differences in life focus, and why that bothers us so much will be highlights for today.

Culture Invades the Church

“Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15

This week on Mentoring Matters, Janie and Sharon discuss how the world’s culture has invaded the church.
We have become comfortable with simply inviting people to church so they can hear the gospel rather than being responsible to share the gospel ourselves. In the conversation we discuss the reasons why we have become afraid to share in the marketplace.

As you listen, look for ways that fear may dictate how you speak to others and the compromise it may be causing in your Christian walk. Examine your foundation to find where you can be strengthened in Christ. Using God’s word to apply Biblical principles, position, instruction, and conformation of Biblical truth and develop Biblical-based beliefs.

Pause for the Cause

 

“You are God’s building…Jesus Christ is the foundation…take heed how you build on it…you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you” 1 Corinthians 3:9-16.

Knowing that we are God’s temple and Jesus is our foundation on which all things in our life are built, to take heed means that we are watchful, careful, and prayerful in what we allow to be added to our character development.
Sometimes the good of life can rob us of the best life which comes through the valley of suffering, the fire of trials, and the pain of difficulties.
So as we grow, build, mature; take heed to pause for the cause of prayer, for the cause of growth, for the cause of Christ, to be a wise master builder according to the grace of God.

A Seasoned Saint

 

“Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Luke 14:34:35

Salt is beneficial to everyone; whether for preservation, for healing, or for flavor, salt can be used to benefit all people.
However, in using the analogy of salt in a way that illustrates how we, as believers, present ourselves to others around us, we can determine if we are flavorful, healing, or preserving others with our words and attitudes.
Salt will lose its flavor after it has been used so everyone needs a fresh measure of salt that comes from the Holy Spirit as we keep our center at the cross.
Much the way a pan is seasoned in the oven, a saint will find that through the trials of life, joy is found in the fire, producing a seasoned saint.

Purpose Our Heart

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” John 17:3

With all the chaos going on in the world today, many in the Church have become anxious to fix everything that has gone wrong and make sense out of sin.

We can’t fix sin; Jesus made a way of escape from sin at the cross, we are no longer bound by sin (Rom. 8). At the cross, we were crucified with Christ, so we no longer have to obey our fleshly desires (Rom. 6). And, at the cross Jesus defeated death (Rom. 6). In anxiety we nullify the work of the cross in our testimony to others.

We are called to know Him and to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). But to know someone requires spending time with them. So, let’s lay all other things aside and purpose in our heart to know Christ and conform to His image so others might know Him by our testimony.

Seek the Lord

 

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while he is near” Isaiah 55:6.

 

Current culture has created a “hurry-up” society that must have everything right now, so we live in a panic pace which causes health issues, emotional overload, poor choices and a deterioration of life. 

Christian culture has adopted this same lifestyle and waiting on the Lord becomes a tedious task rather than tranquility and trust. So, we get busy attempting to solve problems right now and fix culture before it falls apart. 

We were never called to fix culture or solve sin; Jesus made the way at the cross and said “it is finished”. We can find all the answers with tranquility and growth at the cross.

Today, we are called to build each other up and continue to grow in Christ as Hebrews 5:12-14 exhorts. “Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” Hebrews 5:14

Living Among the Tares

“First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” Matthew 13:30

According to this parable, believers and unbelievers will be rooted side by side; serving, singing, and even teaching in the church. We don’t know those who are genuinely searching to know Christ from the pretenders who are really there to destroy.

There are little subtle signs that say the heart is not right, but we cannot truly know their heart. The Lord knows and we are warned that we will be living among them, so it is important that we have the discernment to live among the tares without being destroyed by them.

Today, we are encouraging believers to open their eyes to the truth of scripture so they will not be deceived as they live among the tares.

Wheat and Tares

 

“First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” Matthew 13:30

 

Jesus is using the example of the wheat and tares to describe how believers and unbelievers will be rooted side by side; serving, singing, and even teaching.

Many times we are spiritually unaware of the invasion that is going on around us. We get comfortable with the programs, traditions, activities, and routines of Christianity.

Today we are encouraging believers to examine their hearts, evaluate their surroundings, and pray for discernment to confidently grow among the tares.

How Great is God

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”  Psalm 139:23-24.

David doesn’t see God as a historical figure or a distant entity, he knows Him as his creator who formed him in his mother’s womb. There’s no place he can go that God is not there, no thought he can think that God does not know.

David is asking God, in Psalm 139, to expose anything that is in his heart that he can’t see. He doesn’t want anything to rob him of the sweet fellowship that he has with his Lord.

We must recognize our need to ask this same question; that the Lord would expose anything that would contaminate our relationship and some things only the Lord can see hidden deep in our heart.

Garbage Removal

 

2 Corinthians 15-16 “For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ (which ascends) to God, (discernible both) among those who ae being saved and among those who ae perishing, to the latter one an aroma from death to death (a fatal, offensive odor), but to the other an aroma from life to life (a vital) fragrance, living and fresh” – Amplified Bible

 

A sweet pure smell can awaken your senses, draw you to another person or aromatic surroundings. A sweet smell with just one pollutant can be a real “turn-off” in wanting to be near that smell. Sometimes the pollutant may be even good for your health, such as garlic, but it will not produce a sweet blending of aromas. 

There are many ways to offer up pleasing aromas through joy, peace, sacrifice, knowledge and prayer. How do we prepare our minds & thoughts, our personalities, to release the drawing power of the love of Christ? Today, let’s ponder the practical ways to be a sweet fragrance, ridding all the worthless values called garbage.  

  

Identifying the Root Problem

 

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Cor. 3:16.

Do we know that we are the temple of God as 1 Cor. 3:16 so rightly asks? It seems that there’s a lot of wishy-washy living in the Christian society today. What causes our wishy-washy living?
Matthew 7:24 says that a wise man, who hears God’s word and does what His word says, is like a man who builds his house on a rock. But a foolish man will hear God’s word but not do what it says, and he is like a man who builds his house on the sand.
The root problem for wishy-washy living is found in the foundation. Jesus Christ is the Rock that we build on; solid, unwavering, and secure, so we will not be tossed to and fro by every wind that blows our way.

The Old to Young

The older women admonish the young women to love, be discreet, to be chaste, good, obedient, home-makers that the word of God may not be blasphemed – Titus 2.

There’s a trend in the culture to do away with the old, do away with history, do away with the old-fashioned ways of living. So, if we do away with anything that makes us “feel” bad then we can “feel” good and the world will be a better place, which is a total lie. Rewriting history does not change history; it only causes us to repeat the same mistakes that our ancestors made.

With this trend, the Christians have rejected the mentoring established in Titus 2. Instead of the younger clinging to the older for encouragement in the faith, they are pushing them out of the church and out of their lives for the more trending ways of living. Some churches have decided to have 2 services; a traditional for the older, and a contemporary for the younger, separating them even further from each other.

The older are being impacted by the rejection, resolving to keep their wisdom quiet in order to avoid strife; resulting in the younger being more influenced by the trends of the world. We could easily insert today’s Christian into Galatians 3:1, Oh foolish Christian! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?

So, today, we encourage the old to encourage the young, and the young to embrace the old as we stand together in Christ.