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Posts Tagged ‘esteem’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And, in fashion as a man, he (Jesus) humbled himself and became obedient unto death – even the death of the Cross. – Philippians 2:7-8

– Serving our own interest to the neglect of Jesus is a very great sin.  It is common among Christians and ministers.  Many prefer their own credit, ease, and safety – before truth, holiness, and duty.  The things of their own pleasure and reputation before the things of Christ and giving honor to God. – Matthew Henry

After Jesus cleansed a certain leper, the leper was instructed to say nothing about it to any man – but only to show himself to a priest in a city where they both resided.  The leper did not listen.  Instead, he began to publish the event much, and blazed abroad about the miracle … to the point where Christ could not enter into this city openly (Mark 1:40-45).  There would just be too much attention centered on Jesus.

During the Feast of the Tabernacles, some of Christ’s brethren questioned his obvious desire to shun the public spotlight and remain unspotted as much as possible (James 1:27).  They said, “Go into Judea, so your disciples may also see the works you do.  For there is no man who does anything in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world (John 7:3-4).”

These words were all born out of unbelief (John 7:5). Jesus was not acting or talking like a king of earthly reputation would – much less an eternal king.  Christ did not show any cravings for notoriety, nor showed any desire for some sort of status in society.  Jesus simply went about his Father’s business quietly (Luke 2:49), humbly obeying Him all the way to the Cross. Dying there so we would learn to live the same way.

All reputations, good, bad, or in between are of this world.  They show God continued conformance to it, and not being transformed by truth (Romans 12:1-2). Positive reputations can bring a certain amount of prestige and praise, while negative ones can bring a lot of problems and pain.  People who have the latter can squander precious time attempting to repair and restore broken images by external methods or means.

Whatever reputations do or don’t do, they are all in direct opposition to God’s Word.  No matter how they are created or destroyed, they are not in alignment or agreement with His will.  Climbing up the corporate ladder to fame and making a name, or the Christian rungs to do the same, is not why God put us here on earth.  It is to stay humbly obedient to His way until death, so we might be saved (e.g. Hebrews 9:15).

Sadly, and with eternal consequences if not corrected, the modern church has been creating a idolatrous culture of celebrity Christian singers, writers, and speakers for decades.  Some of these people are of great repute and have attained cult-like followings. But, they are grievous wolves drawing disciples away for themselves.  Speaking perverse things for profit, and to preserve their reputation (Acts 20:29-30).

This all may seem new, but it’s not (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).  Moses dealt with 250 princes in his assembly who rose up against him and Aaron.  Men of renown, with reputations, and all famous in the congregation (Numbers 16:2).  Paul spoke of those who seemed to be somebody, but it made no difference to him.  They didn’t add anything to his teachings as God respects no man’s person (Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6).

God has several thoughts regarding all of this.  Read what the prophet Daniel writes about it: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing.  And, He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.  None can stay His hand and say to Him, ‘What are You doing (Daniel 4:35)?'”  Still, there is someone who wants us to think differently when it comes to reputations.

The deceiver of this world (Revelation 12:9) and its prince (John 14:30), Satan, does a very good job in convincing even the most steadfast Christians they must maintain a certain image in life to present to others; a religious reputation to uphold.  This is a device the devil uses to trick believers into thinking they’re standing firm in faith.  But, it’s only upon their reputation, and not the foundation of Jesus – if at all.

This is how Christians fall from repentance and grace (Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 12:15) – and can end up finding no space in heaven.  It is how they give place to Satan and fall into his same condemnation, as good reputations tend to puff people up in pride (Ephesians 4:27, 1 Timothy 3:6).  Having one pushes God to the sidelines, unless He seems to be helping them keep their high esteem and good standing before others.

Instead of having the same before Him.  What keeps us in our Father’s esteem, good standing, and favor, is repenting of things like desires to have a reputation – along with the haughty airs having one can bring. Yes, it is true we are created in His image, but this does not mean we are born with His attributes.  To obtain them, we’re commanded to produce spiritual fruits not usually esteemed among men (Luke 16:15).

The humble example of Christ is set before us in the Bible.  Learning Jesus is not a recommendation from God to contemplate (Ephesians 4:20-32).  It is not something to mull over, but a commandment to obey. Desires for the fleeting praise and prestige worldly admiration can bring, along with the advantage of reputations, are dangerous ways to defy God, and to face consequences for doing so (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– “And why do you call me Lord, Lord – and don’t do the things which I say?” – Luke 6:46

– Blessed are they that hear the word of God – and keep it. – Luke 11:28

Every time we call ourselves a Christian, we are invoking the name of God.  Being Christian is not a label or lip service – it is humble and obedient life service until death (Philippians 2:8).  Therefore, it is not a title we should use flippantly or toss around loosely.  It is a steadfast state of heart and mind; rooted and grounded in God’s love with Jesus as our soul’s anchor (Ephesians 3:16-17, Hebrews 6:19).

So, we repent of our sins and become new creatures in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Daily renewing and transforming our inner man into conformance with the Word – so the world’s ways are washed away by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost inside of us (2 Corinthians 4:16, Romans 12:2, Titus 3:5).  It is so Christ-like character becomes continual – and not conditional – as we learn Jesus (Ephesians 4:20-32).

Therefore, if we’re not consistently practicing what we preach (1 Corinthians 9:14), if we are not traveling down the narrow trail of His truth we teach (Matthew 7:14), or if our walk doesn’t constantly match up with our talk, then our hearts are still far from God and heaven (Mark 7:6).  We are merely deciding if we want to “be Christian” or not – choosing to play the part according to emotions or worldly conditions.  

Such a mentality means our faith is flawed.  It is full of holes – hollow and not holy.  Being Christian when we want to, or only when we feel like it – is building our belief upon convenience – and not the rock of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).  It is a shallow, shaky foundation set on shifting sands (Luke 6:47-49).  It’s a feigned show; maybe a charade to gain or maintain man’s admiration or advantage (Jude 1:16).

It is a “do as I say – not as I do” attitude to being a Christian.  We may believe we are walking as children of light – but we’re not if we are only shining it when we want to (Ephesians 5:8).  It means the light inside us – is still darkness (Luke 11:35).  We are still blind children of God trying to guide the lost unbelievers – whose minds are still being blinded by the god of this world (Romans 2:19-23, 2 Corinthians 4:4).

God’s love should be like a prism, instantly hitting our heart and shining out to the world in many different directions, without delay or diffusion.  This spiritual light was lit inside our heart when we were born again of the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5).  Regardless of where we are, or who we are with – everything we do and say should instantly reflect the presence of having learned Jesus Christ in our life (Ephesians 4:20-32).

“Being Christian” involves a multitude of things.  It means we are to esteem others better than ourselves, showing God we are using the mind of Jesus we have been given (Philippians 2:3-5, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  It means we love our enemies, bless people who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who may despitefully use or persecute us (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, Romans 12:14),

Otherwise, why in heaven’s name are we saying we are Christians – and what on earth are we calling ourselves such for?  All “being Christian” then means is we’ve been moved away to a gospel of our own creation – one perverting God’s Word for personal purposes or pursuits (Galatians 1:6-7).  It means our belief is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2), we’re using God’s name likewise, and Jesus died the same way.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– No lie is of the truth. – 1 John 2:21

– My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue – but in deed and truth. – 1 John 3:18

We can all publicly praise God – and pray to Him the same way.  We can make all the open proclamations of faith we care to (Romans 14:22).  We can all raise our hands sky-high to heaven and honor God in this manner.  We can all speak great swelling words of our worship of the Word – and of our Father in heaven. Others may long to have our same love of the Lord – based on what leaves our lips.

However, how can we say we love or honor God like this if we hate any brother, acting against them at any time, for any reason?  Even if we harbor such feelings in our hearts – is not hidden to the Lord (1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 4:12-13).  Whether openly or privately, we make God a liar – and His truth is not in us.  We are hypocrites like the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 6:5-7, Matthew 23:14).

For we are saying we love God whom we have not seen … but somehow cannot love a brother whom we have seen (1 John 4:20).  Our deeds and works are deceiving and wrong – for we are not receiving and loving another with the truthful type of love He commands (1 Peter 1:22).  It is contrary to sound doctrine, for we are not keeping this commandment (1 Timothy 1:10).  It is sin (1 John 1:10, 1 John 2:4).

We may have a pleasing voice, with persuasive lips as smooth as butter – and might sound like a person who can play a well-tuned and well-oiled instrument (Ezekiel 33:32, Psalm 55:21).  However, if we hate others for any reason as Christians – all we have become is nothing more than sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.  It all must be a very confused noise to unbelievers (Isaiah 9:5, 1 Corinthians 13:1).

It has to be an uncertain sound (1 Corinthians 14:8). They may hear about Christian love – but don’t see much of it.   This can make lost people unsure of what Christianity is supposed to be.  Because, even though we may we seem to be hearing all the words of Christ – we are not doing them (Luke 6:46).  They don’t see us loving and esteeming others in lowliness of mind like Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).

We have been given the mind of Christ as true born-again believers of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  However, we are neither minding or learning Jesus very well – if we would just prefer a lot of people we may not like very well – would just leave us alone much of the time (Ephesians 4:20-32). Although this can be a lot easier than loving people as we are commanded – it is not the truth.

We may be preaching and teaching the truth, but we’re living a lie if we hate anyone as Christians.  It is not in accordance, agreement, or alignment with the Word (Proverbs 10:12).  We are still alienated from His light and love – when we are not supposed to be anymore (Ephesians 2:12-13).  We are blind guides talking about one thing – but living another (Romans 2:19-23, 1 Corinthians 9:14).

If we hate others regardless of reason – we have sinned against God and wronged our souls.  We hate Him – and love death (Proverbs 8:36).  God made us of one blood, to live among all the nations (Acts 17:26).  We all only have one Father.  We trample on His truth if we deal treacherously (a betrayal of trust) with His covenant of love with us from the start (Malachi 2:10, John 3:16, John 14:6, Titus 1:2)

The first commandment is we love Him with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.  The second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).  So, if we say we know and love God, and do not keep His commandments because we hate someone  – we are liars without truth (1 John 2:4).  It’s not something I’d like to discuss with God on that day – would you (Romans 14:12)?

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