Tag Archives: separation

RELATIONSHIPS: A Blessing or a Curse?

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. —Proverbs 13:20

Life is about relationships. The company you keep will have a great deal to so with your conduct (Ps. 106:35; Prov. 22:24-25; 26:4; 1 Cor. 15:33). The friends you choose matter. The places you go matter. Your co-workers and class-mates matter.  RELATIONSHIP’S WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE CAN DESTROY YOU!

That is why separation is so important (Ex. 23:31-33; 1 Kings 11:1-2; Acts 2:40; 2 Cor. 6:17; Eph. 5:11; James 4:4).

  1. When God wants to bless you, He brings a person in your life—A companion, a spouse, a neighbor, a new church member, etc.
  • When God wanted to bless DAVID, He put JONATHAN in His life!
  • When God wanted to bless PAUL, He put BARNABAS in his life!
  • When God wanted to bless MOSES, He put AARON in his life!
  • When God wanted to bless RUTH, He put BOAZ in her life!
  • When God wanted to bless JEREMIAH, He put BARUCH in his life!
  • When God wanted to bless ME, He put BARBARA in my life!

God usually sends His blessings through people.  One person God has used to bless my life many, many times is Pastor Ken Blue. Thank you, Lord!

  1. When Satan wants to hinder you, He will also brings a person in your life! To be honest, there are some people who came into my life that I would rather they did not.
  • When Satan wanted to stop SOLOMON, he sent the DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH in his life.
  • When Satan wanted to hinder JEHOSHAPHAT he brought AHAB into his life.
  • When Satan wanted to hinder THE FARMER IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER he sent an ENEMY to sow tares in his field!
  • When Satan tried to stop PAUL he put ALEXANDER the coppersmith in his life!
  • When Satan wanted to destroy MORDECAI he put HAMAAN in his life!
  • When Satan wanted to destroy DANIEL he put the Persian PRESIDENTS in his life!
  • When Satan wanted to destroy JOHN the Baptist he put KING HEROD in His life!
  • When Satan wanted to stop Jesus, He put JUDAS in His life!

Consider each person in your relationships.  Ask God, “Lord, did You plant this person in my life; or did the enemy plant this person in my life?” Ask yourself— Is this person helping me in my walk with Christ, or hindering my walk with the Lord?

Getting Adjusted

“Be not conformed to this world” —Romans 12:2

To adjust something means to change it so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate something else.  We usually think of making an adjustment to make something better like adjusting your diet for health reasons or having a “back adjustment.” But, not all adjustments make us better, especially when it comes to accommodating our walk with God to the philosophies of this world (Col. 2:8; Ex. 23:2; James 4:4).

I fear as our society becomes more and more secularized, Christians succumb to the pressure to adjust their lifestyle to “fit” in with the rest of the world.  As a Christian adjusts his behavior to correspond with the ways of the world, their impact for the Lord Jesus Christ is greatly reduced.  The more we live like Jesus, the more power our witness and testimony will have in the world.  On the other hand, the more worldly we become, the less influence we have upon the unsaved.

Beware of getting “adjusted” to this world.  James 1:27 admonishes us to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world.”  Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4).  So why would you want to be adjusted to what God has delivered you from (2 Pet. 2:20)?

Beware of Compromise

Be not unequally yoked thought with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? —2 Corinthians 6:14

Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord? —2 Chronicles 19:2

Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. —2 Chronicles 20:37

Jehoshaphat was a good king, but he will always be associated with compromise. Three times he compromised by making alliances with the wicked—First with Ahab (2 Chron. 19:2), later with Ahab’s son, Ahaziah (2 Chron. 20:37), and later with Jehoram (cf. 2 Kings 3:1-14). His compromises had far reaching effects on Judah.

ABC News recently ran a report about a fungus beneath the soil of the Malheur National Forest in Oregon that has been gradually weaving its way through the roots of the trees for centuries.  It has grown to be the largest living organism ever found. The Armillaria ostoyae (honey mushroom) started from a single spore too small to seen with the naked eye. It has been spreading its black shoestring filaments through the forest for an estimated 2,400 years, killing trees as it grows. It now covers 2,200 acres.

Jehoshaphat’s compromise was like that. An alliance with a wicked king… then another king, and later by giving his son in marriage to a wicked woman, Athaliah, who turned Jerusalem into a butcher shop nearly wiping out the Messiah’s seed (2 Chron. 22:9-11).  All because Jehoshaphat compromised and helped the ungodly.

Beware of compromise! It’s starts out small and spreads until your entire testimony is rendered ineffective.  “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2 Cor. 6:17).

BUILD WALLS

BUILD WALLS

“…build thou the walls…” —Psalm 51:18

Non-denominational organizations advocate tearing down denominational walls.  One contemporary Christian song says, “Let the Walls Come Down” referring to removing walls of doctrine that divide one religion from another.  The world urges us build bridges. “Let’s bridge the generation gap.” Another song refers to “a bridge over troubled waters.”

However, God emphasizes WALLS, not bridges. There is not one reference to “bridges” anywhere in the Bible.  On the other hand, there are over 250 references to “walls” in the Scriptures.

God likes walls. The New Jerusalem, our heavenly home, has WALLS around about her!

The entire book of Nehemiah centers around the rebuilding of the broken down wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah motivated the people of God saying, “Come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach” (Neh. 2:17).

Why are walls so important?

1.   Walls speak of SECURITY. We are protected by walls. Would you live in a house without walls? Would you put your money in a bank that had no walls?

2.  Walls speak of SEPARATION.  Walls separate and divide. A wall draws a line and makes a border.  Walls say to it’s occupants: “Stay inside” (safety zone); Walls say to its enemies: “Stay out” (combat zone).

God wants His people to be separate (Luke 15:51-53; 2 Cor. 6:14-17). I will not remove the doctrinal distinctives that make me a Bible believing Baptist. I must maintain the walls of moral purity that keep my conscience clear.

3.  Walls speak of STRENGTH. A city’s walls was a testimony of it’s strength. God told Jeremiah, “Behold, I have made thee this day a DEFENSED city, and an iron pillar, and  brasen WALLS against the whole land…” (1:18). You will only be as strong a Christian as the walls you have established around your spiritual life.

Let’s maintain our spiritual walls, not tear them down!

Minor Issues That Divide the Saints

Minor Issues That Divide the Saints

And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other…” —Acts 15:39

Paul and Barnabas were great friends and co-workers for God. However, they let a minor issue regarding a weaker brother lead them to a “parting of the ways.”  This was not one of Paul and Barnabas’ finer moments.

Two of the most powerful preachers of the Gospel in England were Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker.  Early in their ministries they fellowshipped and even exchanged pulpits.  Then they had a disagreement.  Spurgeon accused Parker of being unspiritual because he attended the theater.  Spurgeon, on the other hand smoked cigars, a nasty practice Parker condemned.

Isn’t it interesting how Christians use the faults of other Christians to alibi for their own sins?  Often, some Christians part company over some minor issue of disagreement that is not specifically addressed in God’s Word.

I recently read a story about a conflict between a father and his son. It was so intense, it was at a breaking point.  In the middle of the night the son had trouble sleeping, so he went to the kitchen to fix himself a sandwich, and there was his father, who couldn’t sleep either.

After they fixed their sandwiches they began to reminisce about the past—about the years in Little League, about their hunting and fishing trips, and about their swimming together.  It looked like some healing was taking place in their strained relationship.

The son said, “Dad, do you remember the time we were out on the lake in that green boat?” His father said, “The boat was blue, son.” The son said, “No, it was green.” The father said, “You are mistaken—it was blue.” “Green.” “Blue.” “Green.” “Blue.”

And his son left, never to return.

Somethings just are not that important.  We must ask ourselves, “Is this an issue to break fellowship over?” I would hope I’d be spiritually mature enough to recognize what really matters and what doesn’t.

Don’t make a big deal over minor issues (Mt. 23:23-24).