Monthly Archives: October 2014

Gossips and Talebearers

“And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” 1 Timothy 5:13

God is good but people are funny.  I was sitting here this morning praying about something to write.  I was drawing a blank….then the phone rang.  A dear friend called me about some things that had been said.  They wanted me to be aware of the wolf in the sheep’s clothing.  God answered my prayer, although it wasn’t quite what I had expected.

Gossip is my subject matter this morning.  Proverbs 11:13 says “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”  I have written before on the power of the tongue and how we are suppose to pray blessings over our enemies.   Well, here is my test.  Surprisingly enough, it is a quite simple test.  The devil will use all kinds of tricks to draw you back into your old ways.  A couple of years ago I would have already been knocking on someone’s door to get to the bottom of this but instead today I will get on my knees and pray for this person.  God loves this person too!  I’m special to the Lord but so are you and so is he.

Rumors and gossip are nothing but the devil’s way of causing strife.  Each person is accountable to the Lord and He will be the one to judge.  We cannot go around worrying about what others may say and allow that to take our focus off of Jesus.  Some may find it strange that in the midst of this I just want to rejoice in the Lord.  For me this is confirmation that I’m not running with the devil but against him.  The enemy will be the first to sound the alarm when your breakthrough draws near.

Gossip brings offense and offense brings unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness will block your blessings.  God has not given us the spirit of offense “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. ” Galatians 5:22-23.  I choose to yield to His Holy Spirit.   I choose to “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14. 

This test was easy.  I will remain faithful to God’s Word and bless those who persecute me and continue to rejoice in the Lord.  “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  John 8:7.  We also can’t judge our enemies for stumbling or be prideful for “taking the high road”.  I am fully aware if it wasn’t for God’s grace I would be taking the dirt road; chasing them straight to the pits of hell just to get my point across.  Instead, I am thankful.  I’m thankful to the Lord for giving me the wisdom to enable me to stay on the narrow path.  I’m thankful to the Lord for the narrow path.  I’m just thankful to the Lord!  – Donna Warren

 

Division of The Gospel

“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’  When there is no peace.” Jeremiah 8:11

As I am learning to respond to the Holy Spirit, when I would normally say this verse “jumped out at me”, I now understand it’s my spirit responding to the unction of the Holy Spirit.  I love the process of how the Lord teaches us.  We are all different, therefore, He teaches us in different ways.  He knows how I’m going to react before He even acts.  He knows I may not get it the first couple of times but He’s patient and continues to work with me.

While reading in the Book of Jeremiah this morning my spirit “jumped” when I read the verse above.  In that scripture the Lord is speaking of the perils of false teaching.   Particularly in Jeremiah 8:11 the Lord is speaking of peace.  I speak a lot about peace; about the supernatural peace that can only come from the Lord.   There is a great peace in realizing  “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” Philippians 1:21.  All of us who know Christ, understand this and we want everyone to know His peace.  In love and compassion for others we just want them to know…like we know.

However, in the Bible Jesus speaks two different times about Him not coming to bring peace.  Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” and Luke 12:51 ” Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.”  In Him there is peace and love and in Him is the only place we will ever find true peace and love, but that is not why He came.  He came to bring division.  He came to divide good and evil.  Christ is not the cause of division but rather the rebellion against the the Gospel brings division.  The “event”, if you will, of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection which reconciled mankind with God is what causes the division.

The division brought by the Gospel saves saints and condemns sinners.  Peace comes to the saints through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is no way to come to peace then the Gospel.  While watching current events unfold all over the world; beheadings, bombings, kidnappings and on and on, there is no peace in this world.  Fear can take hold if our faith wavers.  Our faith is precisely what the enemy is targeting.  Our faith is the reason we are hated by so many terrorist organizations.  Fear counteracts our faith.  The Gospel divides and our faith is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our peace is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If our nation would rise up in the faith of God’s resurrecting power and not rebel against the Gospel of Jesus, terrorist would be called ignorant instead of terrorist.  They would understand the division of the Gospel and realize for us to live, is to live in Christ and for us to die would be to live with Christ.  Not all of the lost are our enemies.  Some of them are our children, parents, brothers, sisters and friends.  We pray for them, we pray for God’s continued mercy and grace on their lives.  We pray that during these hard times they seek the Gospel instead of rebel against the Gospel.  We pray they will find the peace they are looking for because we know it will only come through the Lord.  “We pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.   – Donna Warren

Knowing Who We Are in Christ

This is yet another statement I didn’t understand for a long time. I always thought to myself “Well yea, I know He loves me!” Then I would do something, write something or say something and worry….should I have really said this or done that. As it turned out I didn’t know who I was in Christ because knowing who you are in Christ breeds confidence and courage.

The confidence of knowing who we are in Christ doesn’t mean He loves us only when we are right. Our confidence is in HIM and His love, not in our actions. It doesn’t mean con‐fidence that we’re always right. God knew what He was getting when He chose us. We don’t have to be “perfect”, just available.

So, now that I finally established “who” I was in Christ, not perfect but available knowing He would love me regardless of my failures, I was then led to this scripture 1 Cor. 8:9-13 “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

The liberty we have in knowing who we are in Christ also brings a higher responsibility. We know His love and forgiveness but we also know the sacrifice made by Jesus. We now hold the responsibility of not exploiting God’s grace. Just because we know who we are in Christ and understand we will be forgiven when we fail does not give us the right to “flaunt” His grace in the presence of others. Yes, we are given grace freely and abundantly but it is only because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Showing off God’s grace and forgiveness without showing off the sacrifice made by Jesus can lead both believers and unbelievers to only knowing who they are in grace – not in Christ. The liberty of knowing God’s grace and forgiveness can mislead others if we are not responsible with what we have been given. God holds us accountable when we mislead His children. As a child of God we walk boldly in who we are in Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled with God but we know at what price that came – Jesus and the Cross. To sin against others is a sin against Christ. Therefore, we must consider how it affects others in every‐thing we do. We must give to them the same grace and forgiveness given to us and tell them by whom and from where it came, Jesus. Give His grace and preach your Jesus! –Donna Warren

Who’s Mantle Do We Wear?

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

As I logged onto my computer this morning, I was sidetracked by an article on the FBI director’s warning of an eminent attack on the U.S.  In the article, Director Comey was speaking of yet another terrorist group called Khorasan and said “They are both vicious, sort of the inheritors of a lot of the mantle of al Qaeda and present different threats in a lot of ways,”.

My point here is not the terrorist groups but the word “mantle”.   In Biblical times the word mantle was referred to as a cloak or an article of clothing.  A person’s mantle also represented the call of God on their life.  As a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, a steward of His grace and mercies we wear a mantle of a royal priesthood.  In the eyes of the Lord we are a chosen generation to proclaim His name and His Word to the lost.  None of us are the same but we all have the same commission.

“Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’.  They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.” 1 Peter 2:7-8.   Sinners and the disobedient are appointed to stumble.  As long as we reject Jesus as our Saviour, we wear a mantle of disobedience; a mantle appointed to failure.

At my church this month we are studying on how to study the Bible.  One of the things my Pastor spoke on was Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” and Revelations 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth…”.  So often we tend to go to the Bible to see how it pertains to our life.  We look up a specific scripture and make it fit.  Instead, we need to look in the Bible to see where we fit…where we find our mantle; our cloak of righteousness.  From the beginning to the new beginning is where we will find ourselves.  The Word of God is where we find the Lord.  It fills the gnawing dissatisfaction with a flowing river of life.  Once the river begins to flow we are no longer appointed to failure but to life.

While Director Comey warns us of pending attacks, let us warn the enemy that God is raising up His army to reap the harvest.  The Lord’s remnant will be cloaked in the mantle of His righteousness and grace.  The remnant, the harvest, the Lord’s army – we are the “apple of His eye” and are appointed to declare His praises.  Let the enemy be warned, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,” Philippians 2:10.  What mantle will the Lord see you covered in while bowed down?  This question is not meant to condemn but to provoke.  Director Comey’s words spoke of the mantle of al Qaeda which provoke fear in some.  However, God’s Word speaks of the mantle of righteousness, which provokes boldness….I chose the mantle of righteousness.  – Donna Warren

Slothful Servant

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”           Matthew 25:21

A steward is a person whose job is to manage the land and property of another person.  I have always been told to be thankful for what I have because the Lord can take it away from you at any moment.  I was also taught everything belonged to God.  While I knew in my mind this was true, I don’t think I every realized this as a blessing but more of a threat.  My perception was more of me working hard for something and if I didn’t “do right” God would come take it away.  There was no room for grace in my worldly perception.  It’s amazing how much we think we know but when God begins revealing things to us our perception is so far from the truth.

I understand this is Bible study 101 for some and for others it’s a revelation…for me to REALLY understand this, it was a revelation.  The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 portrays the stewardship of 3 servants.  One servant was given 5 talents, another 2 talents and the third was given 1 talent.  The servants who received the 5 talents and the 2 talents worked and doubled their masters goods.  The servant who received one talent was fearful and went and buried his talent.  So when the master came to settle his accounts with them, 2 were profitable and 1 was not.  What do we do with unprofitable things?  Would we not withdraw what was ours and put it where it was profitable?    “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. ”  Matthew 25:29.

Yes, I have always understood the Lord created the earth.  Everything on this earth belongs to Him.  However, I can honestly say I never realized my responsibility to take care of these things.  Throughout my life I’ve had a little and at other times I’ve had more.  For the most part I would say I have always been “thankful” for what I had but did not realize I was not “responsible” for what I had.  Usually, when we borrow something we take much better care of it than we would if it belonged to us.  On the other hand, if we let someone borrow something and they don’t take care of it we don’t let them borrow it anymore.  The more responsible our children are determines the amount of responsiblity we give them.

All of this sounds very rudimentary until we look at it on a grander scale.  What we have today, everything we have is a blessing from God.  The cars we drive – whether old or new, the jobs we have – whether we like them or not, to the clothes we have on our back God has made a provision for us to have them.  When we don’t take care of the “1 talent” the Lord has given us, He will never trust us with 2.  The Lord wants to bless us, He wants to give us the Kingdom of God but like a child, we have to learn and not be slothful with what He has provided us.  The enemy is constantly in our ear trying to accuse God’s provision as being lack, then he’s at God’s throne accusing us of being unappreciative.  When we truly begin to see “our” things and “our” surroundings as belonging to God; we also begin to be thankful for Him allowing us to have them or use them…we begin to see them as the blessings they truly are, we begin to see His grace.  – Donna Warren

 

Power of Agreement

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

When we are afraid of what may happen we are doubting God’s ability.  Personally it makes me crazy when someone comes to me for help then questions the way I do things.  For instance, I like to paint.  I’ll paint walls, furniture, clothes…you name it and I’ll paint it.  I’m not saying I’m the best painter but I can paint.  God has blessed me with the patience and the ability to paint.  If you ask me to paint a wall hot pink, I will paint the wall hot pink.  However, just don’t tell me “how” to paint the wall hot pink nor doubt my ability to paint the wall hot pink if I’m doing all of this at no cost to you.  Do you see my point?  No matter the circumstances, God has the ability to change them if we will just believe in Him.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.  God’s Word tells us He has thoughts of peace and not evil toward us, so why should we doubt His ability to provide such.  It is up to us to believe His Word if we want His peace which surpasses all understanding.

Now that we believe His Word for our lives, we have His peace which surpasses all understanding, the world around you is spinning into chaos and YOU are rejoicing in the Lord.  Don’t even bother trying to explain this to them, they must believe for themselves.  OUR faith won’t get them into Heaven but it may provoke them seek the Lord and His peace.  We explain the Gospel of Jesus and proclaim His Word but we can’t explain His peace.  It’s not that we don’t want to but we just can’t, it’s unexplainable – it surpasses all understanding.

So, back to the subject at hand (sorry, I get a little excited).  We are steadfast in our faith.  We are standing on solid rock.  We believe the entirety of the Word of God.  We do not limit His Word, we do not conform to this world but we are transformed by His Word.  Then you read in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”    Here we are talking about our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is speaking of the value of a friend.  This scripture speaks of how two are better than one.  If one falls, the other picks them up; they keep each other lifted up.  However, if two or more, a threefold cord comes into agreement on God’s will….strongholds WILL be broken.  There is no reason for anxiety, there is no reason to fear.  If one can set a 1000 to flight and 2 can set 10,000 to flight, there is no devil in hell that can withstand the power of agreement in God’s Word declared over your life, your nation and this world.  Can you imagine if every Christian stood steadfast in their faith and agreed in the power of the Lord?  I’m not talking about agreeing they “want” to see His glory but absolutely declaring His glory.  When we start declaring His glory, the lost will “see” His glory. 

“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God” Romans 4:20.  Do not waver.  Be steadfast in faith.  Come into agreement with the Word of God and give glory to God.  Love the lost and show them the mercy and grace that was so freely given to all.  Tell them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ if they don’t know.  Provoke them to want to see His glory.  Grab a hold of a brother and/or sister in Christ, throw your hands in the air and AGREE!  Agree in the Lord’s power to change lives and hearts!  “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,
all you who hope in the Lord” Psalms 31:24  Yes, yes He will.   – Donna Warren

Don’t Marvel

Jesus told Nicodemus, a Jewish Rabbi who was one of the 3 richest men in Jerusalem “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” John 3:7.  I have read that verse before but yesterday the term ‘marvel’ really popped out to me.  Marvel accord to Merriam Webster Dictionary means to be surprised or astonished.  Nicodemus didn’t understand how one could be “born again”.

Once we are born again, there is no explanation necessary and until we are born again, it cannot be explained.  It, being born again, can be shown to others but can’t be taught to others.  Being born again is not a one time experience at the altar.  It is a process of God creating in you a clean heart and steadfast spirit (Psalms 51:10).  When we are born again our spirit is born into the body of Christ and becomes a life of hope and grace  We are in Jesus and He in us.  Again, this cannot be explained to those who are not born again.

So, what then is my point you may ask.  If we don’t try to “explain” being born again to the lost how will they know Jesus if we don’t explain.  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17.  Only through Jesus Christ can one be saved; only through Him can our spirit be born again.  Once we are born again it is only “through” US that the lost will see Jesus.  Then it is up to us to tell them where we found Jesus and that is at the Cross.

Sometimes when we marvel we miss the meaning.   We tend to be astonished that the Cross of Jesus and the convicting power of Holy Spirit still works in this dark and evil world.  We unknowingly limit God by unbelief in His power.  I am here to tell you, the same Holy Spirit that convicted Nicodemus is the same Holy Spirit that convicted Donna Warren.  When I see lost friends and loved ones and see all of the evil influences around them my flesh wants to think there is no way.  No way this person will ever see the light of Jesus!  Then I remember.  I remember how I was surrounded by those same circumstances.  I remember people telling me about Jesus, and seeing the grace and love of Jesus through others but did not know it was Jesus until the Holy Spirit convicted me.  What if those people would have given up showing me the love of Jesus?  Jesus didn’t give up.  What if someone never told me about the Gospel of Jesus?  What if my Grandmother had not prayed and believed in the convicting power of the Holy Spirit?

We all watch the news.  There is no time to try and “sell” the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   We must not marvel but press on in the commission we are given as born again believers.  As born again Christians we must BELIEVE in the power of the Gospel.  We must allow God to do His work through us by telling the lost of Jesus and showing them the love of Jesus.  If the Lord is “sold” to others for His prosperity and grace we are not helping the Kingdom but instead becoming a stumbling block to the Kingdom of God.  The light of Jesus shining through us glorifies the Lord in a dark world.  The light of Jesus will always expose the truth.  Keep your light on. – Donna Warren