Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Pride

Short Rant on Devotions, Praying, and Posting

Every since I became a disciple of Jesus, reading my Bible and prayer have been priorities in my life.  I by no means am perfect at them.  I am thankful for the gospel and the fact that I don’t earn my righteousness before God through my works (Romans 10:4; Philippians 3:9; Titus 3:5-7).  There have been good days where I have been in the Word and in prayer and it seemed the Lord was near.  There have been days where I was in the Word and prayer and it seemed the Lord was distant.  Thankfully, I am not saved by my feelings but by faith (Romans 5:1).

Let me rant then just for a moment about devotions, praying, and posting them on social media sites.  I have seen this pattern for a while.  The great satire site, the Babylon Bee, ran a great post on a woman completing her quite time without Instagramming it.  That was pure gold because it is true!  I go on social media sites and people are posting pictures of their Bibles open, a notebook, a cup of coffee.

Even open air preaching posts drive me crazy.  I’m all for preaching the gospel in the open air.  I also understand that some of these guys receive money from people and so they want them to see that they are serving just as they said they would.  I find it ironic that missionaries don’t often feel the need to post them serving to prove they are actually doing what they said they would do if you supported them but I’ll let that go.  Open air preachers are notorious for posting pictures or videos of themselves preaching or asking for prayer as they go to share the gospel.  Again, I understand that for some of them, the prayer requests are real and their posting is simply to encourage people to follow their lead in evangelism.   Yet for some, I fear, they are posting out of pride (“look at me going to share my faith while you read this blog”).  God knows our hearts.

In Matthew 6 Jesus had strong words about doing things for the glory of God and not telling others about them.  There is no doubt that God knows our hearts (1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 17:10; 23:24; Romans 8:27).  The Lord sees through our posts to know our hearts whether we are truly posting for His glory or for ours.  In Matthew 6 Jesus states that our good works should be done in secret so that we might receive a reward from our Father.  Again, nothing wrong with posting about our devotions, our church, our evangelism but God knows our hearts and whether we want the applause of men or not.  Jesus states that our giving (Matthew 6:2-4), praying (6:5-8), and fasting (6:16-18) should be done in secret and not for the applause of men.  Our Lord states that if do them for men, we receive our rewards (6:2, 5, 16).

Pride is dangerous.  I have battled pride my entire life.  I always will.  We all like for people to pat us on the back and tell us “good job.”  We want others to notice the good we do.  It’s human nature I suppose.  But Jesus tells us to do our good works for our Father.  Ephesians 2:10 even states that our Father has prepared the works for us to do.  This would include our prayer times, our fasting, our evangelism.  Our works should glorify God, however, and not us.  The temptation is to post on social media sites so that our good works glorify us even though we claim it is to the glory of God.

Finally, is it sinful to post our prayer times, our Bible study, our evangelism?  It can be.  It doesn’t have to be.  Again, the Lord God knows our hearts.  We can’t hide from Him.  Like Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, the Lord knows if we are hypocrites or not.  In Acts 4 we read that Joseph called Barnabas (son of encouragement) sold a field and brought the money to the Apostles’ feet.  This must have impressed Ananias and Sapphira so they did the same but unlike Barnabas, they withheld some money for themselves (which was their right) but they claimed to be giving all to the Lord.  The Lord saw their hypocrisy and He judged them before the church so that fear came upon the saints of God (Acts 5:11).  Ananias and Sapphira wanted the applause of men but were not willing to truly glorify God like Barnabas had done.  They wanted to cheat but the Lord saw their hearts (Acts 5:3).  The Lord knew the heart of Barnabas and He also knew that Ananias and Sapphira were not willing to pay the price that Barnabas had paid though they wanted the applause of the Apostles too.  Their story is for our example.

The Lord knows our hearts.  He knows if I post a picture of me sharing my faith if I’m doing it for me or for His glory.  He knows the same for people who use social media to brag about their devotions or their street preaching.  I have no doubt that the Lord loves us beyond words even in the midst of our hypocrisy and pride but I pray that He would sanctify us so that social media is not our place for our hypocrisy and pride.

Now let me go post this on various social media sites along with some pictures I have of me praying before blogging this.  Prayers appreciated.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/31/2016 at 10:32 AM

Let the Gospel Upset People, Not Us

There is no denying that the gospel makes people upset.  I have watched it with my own eyes as I explained the gospel to a lost person and then they turn into this ugly, ranting, mean-spirited person who hates God and hates the gospel.  Up until I explained the law of God, they were pretty nice to me and were cordial but when I begin to explain the justice of God Almighty in pouring out His wrath on humans who violate His just laws, it was here they turned on me.  People hate the gospel and more than that, they hate the God of the Bible (Romans 1:18-19).

With this in mind, I pray that we who preach the gospel to the lost would remember that people can get upset with the gospel or with God but let it be because of the truth of the gospel and not us that make them mad.  In other words, yelling a person or simply calling them names is not befitting for the disciple.  I seek to be a 2 Timothy 2:24-26 model when it comes to evangelism.  2 Timothy 2:24-26 reads (NIV):

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Notice verse 25.  Opponents are to be gently instructed.  This is not yelling at them.  Pointing a finger at them.  Accusing them.  This is preaching the gospel to the them in grace and love.  1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV) expounds:

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Notice that Peter the Apostle says that we are to give our answer for the gospel with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.  And he adds that people are to see our good behavior in Christ.  I pray that the crowds who hear us preach in the open air would see our good behavior in Christ as we deal with mockers.  I pray that those whom we give out tracts to would see our gentleness and respect.  I pray that those who are offended would be offended at the gospel and not at us.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that God saves people through the folly of what we preach.  Let that be true.  May it not that people see us as the folly by our actions.  They may think the gospel foolish and they may think we are foolish for preaching, handing out tracts, standing with a cross, etc. but let it be the gospel that they find foolish and perhaps our actions for the gospel but not our own foolishness in our yelling, hurling insults, etc.

I write this because I rejoice that so many people are now rising up to preach the gospel in the open air.  There are more street preachers today than ever.  More people are going out to hand out tracts.  I rejoice that there are many people who are becoming passionate to share the gospel with the lost.  But let it be that our hearts are broken for the lost (Romans 10:1) and that our burden comes from the Lord (Matthew 9:37-38).  Let it not be our pride that drives us out to preach.  Let it not be our own self-righteousness that drives us out to preach.  Let us plead with the lost through tears.  Let us preach the gospel and leave the results to the Lord.  Let us exalt Christ and not ourselves in our preaching and pleading (2 Corinthians 4:5).  Oh may people leave our preaching angry at God or angry at the gospel but let them not take offense because of our actions toward them!  Let us preach the gospel remembering that we too once were just as lost, just as dead in our sins, just as blinded as they are now (2 Corinthians 4:4; Titus 3:1-3).  It was the mercy of God that saved us (Ephesians 2:4).  Take no pride in your salvation but humble yourself before the Lord (Romans 11:20-22).  Remember your chains that He broke off.  Don’t allow pride to rob you of exalting Christ even in the midst of harsh opposition to the gospel (1 Peter 4:12-19).

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