Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Who's Right?

This week Michael writes: Do you need to be right?  It's a good thing to be right, however, what is the standard for what is right?  The problem is that when we seek for others to recognize that we're right, then we're wrong. It gets worse when we think to ourselves that there's no possibility that we're wrong. Strife and contention result when we demand that others recognize that they're wrong and that we're right. The question to ask ourselves is, "Have I died to myself in order to live to Christ?"  If we seek the praise of people and recognition for our actions, then we have not died to ourselves. 

In Israel, one pastor met with an Israeli to understand why Israel stands alone in the Middle East against the other nations surrounding them. He understood that to minister in this region of the world, you need to minister both to the Israelis and the Arabs. The Israeli said, "We'll start thinking about forgiveness when we get our rights and justice." According to the Word, this is not forgiveness.  Forgiveness is when we've been wronged, to release the other party from that wrong. Jesus Christ himself is the picture of forgiveness when He prayed while hanging on the cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

In the midst of an argument, even if we perceive that we're right, God will show us that our argument is not with the other party but with God himself. Jesus was right about everything, but He never begged others to acknowledge that He was right and they were wrong. Rather, He died to give them his righteousness.  In that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.  For He who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him.  By his actions, Jesus proved that He loved them by giving His life on behalf of sinful men and women. When Jesus confronted the woman who was caught in adultery, He told her, "Go and sin no more." His advice is to forsake the evil which is ready to devour us. This is the purpose of the cross: to connect God to His people through Christ's full payment for our transgressions.

Real theology is to keep our mouth shut and to let the Holy Spirit do the speaking through the power of the Love of God. They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care ... for it is the love, mercy, and grace of God that calls a man or woman to repentance. We are called to be a sweet smelling fragrance to those who are called to be “born again” of the Spirit of the living God. The way to bring others to Christ is to pray for those who persecute you and despitefully use you, for great is your reward in heaven. We're called to deliver the message by being the message. Our opinion does not matter, only God's opinion matters. Edward McKendre (EM) Bounds (1835-1913) said that “the vital urgent truth is one our age of machinery is likely to forget. What the church needs today is not more machinery or new or novel organizations and methods, but rather men and women of prayer. The Holy Spirit does not work through machinery and technology but through people who pray. We don't need another strategy plan. We only need men and women of prayer who are on fire with the Holy Spirit to speak the truth in love.”  

Jesus called us to be a living sacrifice and to die to self so that we can live to Him. For I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Who's right? He's right, for we have been made the righteousness of God in Him.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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