“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 29:8-9 NAS
The prophet Jeremiah lived in similar times to ours today. His was a lone voice calling out for repentance and a returning to the Lord. On more than one occasion he was physically threatened because of his message of impending judgment.
There were competing prophetic voices in Jeremiah’s day that proclaimed a message diametrically opposed to the one true message Jeremiah received from God. It is important for us to note that God declares clearly that we are not to listen to the voices of false prophets because they do not represent Him.
Of course this requires us to know the voice of the true Shepherd doesn’t it? This is the point Jesus made when He said that the sheep will know the right voice to follow as recorded in John 10. Clearly then, we can and must be able to distinguish between true and false messages today.
One way we can do that is by comparing the message of the false prophets of our day to God’s Word. A second way is to listen to the leading of God the Holy Spirit. We can rest assured that God will never lead us into error but always lead us into the light of His truth.
With the cacophony of voices today it is imperative for the Christian to stay “tuned in” to the voice of God and thus avoid the myriad and convoluted teachings that have clearly departed from the one true gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.”
John 8:7-9 NAS
Let me ask you a question. If you were to look at your fellowship through the eyes of a visitor, what would you see? Would you see stiff and mechanical people, going through the familiar but phony motions of hand shaking and smiles? Would you see the barely masked smirks and the thinly veiled sneers of people who want to be accepted but fear letting their guard down even for a moment?
The obvious point in the event described in John 8 was that the accusers were themselves as sinful as or worse than the accused. It is quite possible that Jesus pointed that out by the things He wrote in the dirt. Jesus was about forgiving the hurting and pointing out the sin of the prideful.
It is no coincidence that in John 8 Jesus offered forgiveness in the temple. Our fellowships must be places of healing. Jesus offered healing wherever He found the hurting. Shall we do anything less?
WHEN GOD SMILES
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17 NAS
Are you consumed with Jesus? Is Jesus pouring out of every pore? That is the thought expressed to the Colossian believers in the verse above. Have you considered how exhaustive everything we do in either word or deed is? What is left unsaid is assumed here – our thoughts are included in “whatever.”
We know that our thinking results in our words and our deeds so Paul is saying that in everything you do, say, or think do it all because of Jesus in you. Hold every word, deed, and thought captive to the Savior. Elsewhere the Bible instructs us to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
When we come to this place in our relationship with the Lord we can praise God in the good times and in the bad. We can praise Him when the sun is shining and when the storms are raging. The writer to the Hebrews knew this well and stated, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (13:15-16).
Brothers and sisters, I pray that your lives will be continually yielded to God through Christ.