October Memory Verse: Isaiah 60:1-2
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"Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 28:31
This verse is the very last verse of the book of Acts. I cannot even begin to describe what this book has done to my heart , my love for the Lord and His Word.
Before thoroughly reading and studying this book of the Bible, I didn't have a whole lot of affinity for Paul. Hold on, don't leave me. Let me finish.
I thought Paul was very brash, harsh, and without a lot of compassion to the people he was teaching.
I was so absolutely wrong.
His love for others was evident by the Truth he so desperately wanted to convey. If Paul had not loved others and had compassion for others, he would not have risked his life daily to teach them the Way of Christ.
This is love. This is compassion This is passion for others to know the Truth and to be set free by the Truth of Christ.
Do we have this same love for others?
Do we long to tell others about Jesus and how He died for us?
Do we risk our pride to talk to others and teach others about our faith?
Do we believe what we are telling them enough to not just teach this way of life, but to live it?
There is this new thing that young people do. It's called "TBH". It stands for "to be honest". When someone posts a post on instagram or twitter, they comment by putting "TBH", and then they write something they feel about that person. For example..."TBH: you are very smart."
As women, we often get by with saying things such as, "I am just being real" or "I am just being honest about the situation."
Here's the problem when we say this....
Our "honesty" is based on our feelings. It is based on what we perceive or what we think. Or it could be based on past experiences that skew our perception. It also can be a way that we manipulate others in believing what we think. It's a powerful tool to deceive or lead others to a certain way of believing based on what we desire them to believe.
Are you following me?
The bottom line is this: Who cares.
Who cares what we think anyway?
What does God think? What does God say about this situation?
Paul is a perfect example of sticking to the facts. Sticking to the Truth of Who God is....not just Paul's perception of Who God is.
The problem with "being real" or "being honest", is that it takes the spotlight off of Christ, and spotlights it right onto us.
We don't even realize we are doing it most of the time, because we are so encouraged by the world to "say what we feel", or "TBH". We get applauded for our boldness and honesty. We are looked at as "truth tellers."
True Honesty comes from the Source of Truth itself...God's Word.
"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." Romans 8:32
True love and compassion for others comes when we point others to Christ instead of our opinions.
Imagine how our circles of friendships would change if we started to point each other to Christ and to God's Word instead of filling each other up with our "thoughts" and "opinions" in our effort to "TBH".
We must as women, be very cautious with whom we seek counsel. Many people want to tell us what to do, or how to do it. Few people steer us to "What does God's Word say about this?".
"And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6
We don't need to live a life of spilling our "feelings" and our "honesty" out all over the place. Let's be like Paul, and spill the Gospel of Christ out everywhere we go. Not just in words, but in action.
"But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." James 1:32
Paul was gut-honest about the Truth of God. He was bold in his words for God, and not for self-promotion. When we want to "tickle someone's ears", it doesn't stick. It will not resonate in the spirit. However, when we speak the Word of God to others, it resonates. God's Word sticks to the marrow of our bones.
"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.." Isaiah 61:1
He is Truth.