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No Corners Cut, No Pacifying, No Round-About Way

“A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Man I must have been told that a thousand times growing up.  Talking about somebody grateful for those twins; Grace and Mercy… Boy, am I glad! God gave me another opportunity to be obedient. He said to me; “I will not tolerate this stubborn, hardhead stiff-necked spirit any longer. Repent and do right… Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Can I tell you, I got me some get right real quick! See the Bible says it is of God’s mercy that we are not consumed. It is by His goodness that we are led to repentance. It is by His intercession that we are delivered. It is by His grace that we are sustained. It is of His love that we have been drawn to Him. It is because of His everlasting arms being under us that we are kept. It is by His faith that we are saved. It is by His blood that we are cleansed. It is by His righteousness that we are clothed and it is by His indwelling Spirit that we are filled and by His power that we are kept. I tell you PRIDE is a sin to be hated, a sin to be confessed, a sin to mourn over, a sin to flee, and a sin to fight against. It defiles God. It defiles man. It divides society. It dishonors life and it destroys souls. Pride ultimately destroys all that it controls. It is such a deceitful sin. It is the road to ruin and it will escort you straight to Hell. Pride, its pervasiveness cannot be overstated. Haughtiness, arrogance, conceit, inordinate self-esteem, and vainglory are as common as the air we breathe. DO NOT, fool around with Pride… Because the Bible repeatedly warns of pride precipitating a fall. “A mans pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:23) Yes, everything might go your way for weeks, months and even years. But make no mistake about it, the day will come when God’s hand will be upon you and you won’t be able to do as you please anymore. In that day you can cry and fight all you want, but there will be nothing you can do, because God’s Mighty Hand would have taken a hold of you.

Listen, pride was the first sin to destroy the calm of eternity. It was pride that cast Lucifer from Heaven and it was pride that cost our first parents their place in Paradise. No sin is more offensive to God than the sin of Pride. It militates against His authority, His law, and His rule… I tell you God and pride are like oil and water— they don’t mix! Pride is dogmatic in its antagonism to God and God is absolute in His opposition to pride. God never has and never will compromise with pride. Dont Get It Twisted!

The saddest thing about pride though is that many people who are infected and infested with pride have no idea that they are. As a matter of fact, the proud person is often very proud of his humility…  and that is why I implore you to look again at the man in the mirror.  If we hear God’s Word when it tells us that we are sinners and do nothing about it, then we are exactly like the man who looks in the mirror. And you know what they say about the man in the mirror…. “He gets up in the morning looks into the mirror and sees that his hair is messy. He promptly walks away without combing his hair and the rest of the day he thinks he looks great. This man is either denying what he saw in the mirror, or he does not believe it.” When we look at God’s Word without letting it impact our lives then we are either pretending that we don’t know what it says, or denying that it is true. As is true with the man in the mirror, any failure to respond cannot be blamed on a lack of understanding. This man made a foolish mistake with his natural face, how much greater a mistake would it be for us to make this mistake with our souls? God’s Word, is a mirror in which we can see who we truly are in light of who God is. We must not look at this mirror and walk away. (James 1).  Check yourself before you wreck yourself because pride is foolish and it will only set you up for a fall.

Don’t let pride creep in.  Clothe yourself with humility; Do not think more of yourself than what you ought to; if you are clothed with humility God will give you grace; even the grace to overcome sin in your life.  But if you don’t, make no mistake about it, God will humble you if you don’t humble yourself. Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself in Leviticus 26:18-21. A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind!

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

“You Got to be Kidding… Tell Me It’s Not So!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Folks will hug and kiss you on Sunday morning and come Sunday night they are on the phone talking behind your back. “Tell Me It Is Not So!” People are hypocritical. You think that they are with you, but you find out that they are tearing you down.  Jealousy, gossip, lying, backbiting, cheating, criticizing, slandering is not only in the world but it is happening in the Church. So many Church people; Christians have become notorious for this. We speak ill of our brothers and sisters. We critique our leaders, but not to their faces. We whisper in the corners to one another trying to get our homeboys, home girls to sympathize with us. “You Got to be Kidding… Tell Me It’s Not So!” Have we forgotten Proverbs Chapter 6 that says, “These things does the Lord hate, these six things, yea seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies and he that sows discord among brothers.”  Not to mention, Ephesians 4:29 which says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Don’t you know that God hates false witness and spreading lies and He hates stirring up conflict? Even if something is true it can still stir conflict and create disunity amongst us. And just because something maybe true, doesn’t make it okay to spread around. Our words should build up, encourage, instruct, maybe provide godly and gracious correction if necessary. Public shaming and spreading information about someone never helped anyone. We are called to protect the dignity of our neighbors.  We should take a cue from Jesus. He gently told sinners leave that path. He didn’t publicly shame people for making mistakes or being in sin. He never said “Hey Matthew, did you hear what Mark did last week?” But for whatever reason Christians somehow get sucked into it and we destroy each other. We drive people away from the church, and we cause divides, and we leave people feeling discouraged, hurt, angry, and humiliated. We talk about others like they’re somehow vile offenders. Like they’re somehow worse than us. “I can’t believe so and so would do that. That’s terrible!”  We are just as guilty of this sort of thing as everyone else or even more so. No wonder the Church has little influence upon the world compared to what it might have. The Church has become worldlier than the world itself.

How can we use our mouths to praise God on Sunday then cut down our neighbor on Monday? How can we be people who praise God while using that same mouth to attack someone made in God’s image. (James 3:9-12).  We should be treating all people with the same level of respect and dignity. After all Jesus said, “Let the one without sin, be the first to throw the stone.”[John 8:7} If we claim to be the beloved children of God and the body of Christ but spend our time and energy ripping each other apart, well, that sends a very clear message doesn’t it? If our claims of being a place of love coexist with hostility and backbiting, basically we’re just a bunch of lying hypocrites. Yes, the truth hurts. It’s like medicine. It does not always taste good, but we need it!  I tell you, we have to do better. Too many people give up their faith because of the mean gestures of Christians. We must not forget why the Church is in the world. Our words should spur one another towards Jesus not away from Him.

I’m not trying to be critical nor harsh. I’m calling for us to become more like Christ. I’m calling for us to have a renewed commitment to speak with grace. To use our words to build up. To Stop and Think when we speak.  Consider what will happen if people actually listen to you. I don’t have that problem. I know most of what I say isn’t listened to. But let us be imitators of God, who love like Jesus did, and use our words to glorify God like Jesus did. Let us refuse to participate in gossip, criticism, slander, and defamation. Let us be known as a people who speak well demonstrating grace. Let us use our mouth for God’s glory and the church edification. Never forgetting that we will be held accountable before God Himself for the things we do and say. It’s a terrible thing to see gossip, jealousy, pride, failure to love the brethren, etc. Let us love one another as Christ loves us!

 

“Don’t Get It Twisted… It’s Not about You Boo Boo …. It’s About God!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Yeah, I said it! It’s Not about You Boo Boo… It’s About God! And one day you may really find that from God’s point-of-view, It Really Isn’t about You at All; It Is All About Loving Him. If you and I decide to put these puny little lives of our ahead of God then some day we may hear God declare, none of these shall taste of My supper. Radical? Perhaps. Scriptural? It is! And so, with that knowledge and understanding, remember this about your life. It’s not about you!  Yes, you are God’s beloved person, but in Ezekiel 36:22, God says, “I am not doing this for you, Israel; I am doing it for my own Name’s sake.” And, there are scriptures like that throughout the Bible to give us a hint that even though God delivers us, even though God gives us great things, He gives us grace, and He offers us salvation, He wants to give us glory in His kingdom, ultimately and predominately salvation is about God and His Glory. Don’t Get It Twisted!

Sometimes in life we get so caught up in doing things in order to achieve certain things that WE FORGET that God is in control. We need to recognize and accept that our purpose here on earth is to glorify God and that is not really done through our own achievements but rather through what God is able to achieve through us.  We must understand that as we come to the understanding of our place in the kingdom of God that we must be willing to decrease so that Jesus can increase, because it is so easy to get trapped in promoting self rather than God. Why do we not yet see all things submitted to Him? When Paul said, “No, I but Christ,” he was saying “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Just as all things are working together towards God’s purpose of increasing Christ, so all things are working together towards decreasing us. It does not matter if we understand it or comprehend it. It does not matter if you believe in it or agree with it. You are being decreased just the same, and Christ is being increased. It MUST be so, therefore it IS so.

I tell you it is better to relinquish everything now, on a voluntary basis, and lose your life in order to gain your real Life. It is more glorious to enter the Kingdom out of a desire to give Christ the preeminence than to enter kicking and screaming and crying because you love yourself too much. Make no mistake, if it is the Kingdom you seek, the Kingdom you will find, but you must be changed in order to enter therein. If you seek power from God you will have to accept weakness in yourself. If you want to rule with Him you must suffer with Him; If you want His life you must give up your life. You can have either one you want, but you cannot have both. There is no increase without decrease, and there is no decrease without increase.  Don’t Get It Twisted!

It was with considerable grace and humility that John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). What can we learn from this statement? Like John we will always be inferiority to God.  John reminds us that the gospel is more important than any one person.  When you realize that people are talking more about you, than the God you serve, then you have increased and  God is decreasing, and that’s a big problem, and God is definitely not pleased with that. Don’t allow the wrath of God to come down on you, because of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6); it will get worse before it gets better.

Listen, we are in the last days, where scoffers are walking after their own lusts(2 Peter 3:2)  “See then that ye walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise redeeming the time because the days are evil, wherefore be not unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is(Ephesians 5:15-17). Besides, when you refuse to decrease so God can increase it shows that you are of the world and an enemy of God.

I don’t know who this message is for, but to God be the glory, praise, honor, and thanks for using me to write it. It is not bashing, it is truth. Don’t Get It Twisted!

May the Son be increased through these words.