“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
This verse has sown my heart back together so many times I’ve lost count. But what is the context? Chapter 4 is the section of the Ephesians that talks about a believer’s walk. We start out as babes in Christ, not really knowing what we have and what to do with it. Then, we toddle along taking our first steps of faith with God. Soon we learn to fight off discouragement and error by standing for what we believe in. We start seeing results over and over. This verse is smack in the middle of all of that. It’s like a flower that blooms on the battle field of life. And sometimes even when nothing around us seems to be going right, there’s kindness. It melts, it soothes, it heals with that real deal love of God.
Try kindness it never goes out of style.
God Bless You Today!
Yesterday‘s post talked about what a truth intersection was. We also talked about the roads leading from that intersection. I promised to show you the error of heart.
Let me show you an example in the Bible, then I’ll show you the five steps leading up to an error of heart.
1 Samuel 15:1-3
“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee [to be] king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
These were Saul’s directions straight from God. Saul did go and fight them. Later in the verse we see that he spared the best sheep, the king, King Agag and the best of anything good. Was that his directions? No. He was supposed to get rid of everything.
“10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul [to be] king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.” vs 10-11
This was Saul’s opportunity to obey God. When he didn’t, God told Samuel to confront Saul. (Important key there. Never charge into a situation without hearing first from God.) It mourned Samuel so much that he cried all night about it and tried to intercede for Saul to God.
“13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What [meaneth] then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” vs, 13-14
This is the truth intersection for Saul. Here he has a chance to fess up to it and take responsibility. Which way does he go? (Keep an eye out for the road he takes.)
“15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” vs. 15
“For the people spared the best…” See how Saul denies any guilt?
“16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou [wast] little in thine own sight, [wast] thou not [made] the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?” vs. 16-19
What does Saul say at this intersection?
“20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. ” vs. 20-21
Wow, Saul is just not going to fess up to anything here. Did you see the swift side step? We did it so the LORD could have his sacrifices.
“22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. ” vs. 22-23
What is better the traditions or obedience?
“24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.”
Saul essentially says, Yes, I’m guilty but, but, but. Excuses again blurt out of old Saul. It was because of them, not me. He still refuses to take the blame and confess.
“26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, [that is] better than thou. 29 And also the Strength of Israel (God) will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent. 30 Then he said, I have sinned: [yet] honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.”
“ 35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” vs. 35
Did you see the five steps?
Here they are:
- Denied the guilt. Verse 13
- Belittles the error. Verse 15
- Justifies his error. Verse 15, b.
- Shifts the blame. Verse 21
- Admitted guilt but still tried to cover. Verse 24.
After this Samuel did not fellowship with Saul ever again. When you read the rest of the accounts of Saul’s life, you will see a dramatic decline, including devil spirit possession, jealousy and murder.
These five steps can be found when anyone who decides not to humble themselves before God. Like I said yesterday, everyone gets millions of chances to change. What they decide to do, is their choice. But what you must decide is whether you should continue fellowshipping with them. God can and will help you because you still have your own intersections, obedience opportunities and GREEN LIGHTS of change.
Make YOUR choice and God bless you today!
I read this amazing chapter in Psalms this morning and thought I’d share it with you. I added italicized words in parenthesis to help define some of the old English words.
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear [thereof], and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard [him], and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.
9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear (reverence) of the LORD.
12 What man [is he that] desireth life, [and] loveth [many] days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (bitterness).
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD [are] upon the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their cry.
16 The face of the LORD [is] against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 [The righteous] cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”
God Bless You Today!