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

“A Part-time, Sunday Angel, Full-time Devil… If the Shoe Fit, Wear It!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Jesus said that you cannot serve both God and the things of man {Luke 16:13). Let us dissect this verse, allowing the chips to fall where they may, and the conviction of God to fall where it will. The picture of the double-minded person. Jesus taught us that no one can serve two masters. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say it is a “love-hate” proposition. In His words, “You can’t play both sides of the fence.” This has been true all through God’s Word. Elijah asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” Joshua proclaimed, “Choose you today!” One translation says, “You can’t have it both ways.” James 4:4 (NLT) speaks about double mindedness in terms of adultery, “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?”  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

At some point you have to make up your mind. If you keep going back and forth you are doomed to the erratic existence of the double minded! If you don’t make up your mind you will be plagued by doubt and fear. If you don’t make up your mind you will be tossed like a cork on a wave. If you don’t make up your mind God will never trust you! Did you catch that? Were worried about trusting God, but God doesn’t know if He can trust us with the most precious of truths! Why would He put his treasure (his people) into our hands if we won’t commit? Why would He ever trust us with anything?

Listen, we don’t have the option of picking and choosing when our walk is with God. We don’t have the option of serving God today and not serving Him tomorrow. The Word says, “Choose ye this day, whom you will serve.” Just as the Lord issued a call through Joshua, all those centuries ago, for His people to make up their minds as to whom they would serve, so He issues the same call to His people on this day. Hear the call God is giving to you. Oh, I feel like preaching. It’s Time To Make Up Your Mind! And, it is! If you are reading this article, God has granted you another opportunity today to decide who will have your worship, your love and your obedience: God Almighty, or you and all the things that want to capture your minds.

Joshua’s command to the people was three-fold {Joshua 24:1-28} they were commanded to “fear” God; clean up their lives by putting away their other gods; and they were to serve the Lord. This would put them in a position to put God back in the forefront of their lives. This is a command that we need to take heed of today! We need to 1.) Fear the Lord – That is, we need to reverence and honor Him for Who He is. He deserves to be respected and loved by those He has redeemed! 2.) We need to – put away our other gods! All those things in our lives that come ahead of the Lord need to be put away forever! 3.) We need to – serve the Lord with sincerity. We are His possessions and should live as such, {1 Cor. 6:19-20.) The implication for us is that God does not want His people to live lives of hypocrisy! He wants us to be what we claim to be! Joshua challenged the people to choose who they would serve and to get about it! The same choice stands before us today! It’s about time we get off the fence and make up our mind who’s team we are on. We cannot have both God and the world! We cannot have Him and all our distractions. Either He is in first place, or we have a different god! You have been confronted by a challenge.

Joshua set the example and laid down the gauntlet for us by stating his clear intention to serve God. We need some Joshua’s in our day! We need some men and women who will settle it in their hearts that Jesus Christ and His Word and Will, are going to come before everything else in life! We need some who will set the example for others. We have too many who, by their lives, give justification for slackness in life. We need some who have a backbone of steel and who would rather die than let something come ahead of God in their lives. (Ill. Daniel – Dan. 1:8-19; the 3 Hebrews – Dan. 3:1-30; Daniel – Dan. 6:1-28; Ruth – Ruth 1:16-17.)

Don’t you know that, of all spiritual states, lukewarmness is most abhorrent to God, and grieving to the Holy Spirit. ‘[Revelation 3:15-16]. Thus has God declared his utter detestation of this state. You do not need to settle for a lukewarm lifestyle. Repent and trust in the Word of God who’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and to live godly and righteous lives. Full time- not sometime. Full time- not half time. Full time – not part time. Full time, because God is full time to us. He loves us full time. He cares for us full time. He provides for us full time. He does this even when we don’t. He made a plan for us that would give us full time help. He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us so we would be saved full time from the gates of Hell. He gave us full time help when He empowered us with the Holy Ghost that came to comfort and empower. He gave us full time help when He said when you fall down I will help you get back up again. So why would we want to be anything but full time?

One of the most frightening group of verses in the Bible is found in Rev 3:14-19, when Christ is talking to the Church of Laodicea. He is addressing the people of a city known for its wealth. But despite its financial prosperity, it was spiritually impoverished. He says to the people “You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing. You don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” What’s frightening about this statement is that a lot of people in this world who call themselves Christians are lukewarm. They fall into the category of sometime or part time Christian. Yes you might go to church on Sundays, make an appearance, but the real question is have you given yourself completely to God? If the Lord be God, then serve Him. If He isn’t, then go ahead and serve whatever has your heart. But whatever you do and choose, stop trying to have the best of both worlds! Choose whom this day you will serve!

“Shout-Out to all the Haters!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Thanks for the love!  We’ve all got some haters among us. We all have had enemies or so-called friends who have stabbed us in the back.  These are called “Haters.” I too am not immune to haters, drama seekers or the occasional bully! Every now and then I get hated on.  And what is most aggravating and annoying is the fact that you can mind your own business and still get hated on.  Even though you are not in their business and you don’t concern yourself with what they are doing, it seems like they are always in your business and always concerning themselves with what you are doing? And you ask yourself why are they hating on you? Instead of wondering why they are hating on you, as a wise friend once told me, “Let your haters be your motivators.”

What I have come to understand is that the difference is that it is just something about you that they just can’t quite put their finger on. 1 Peter Chapter 2 call it “Peculiar.”  Which also means “Set Apart,” or Different from the rest.” We have a special, unique calling from God to do good works. So I say, rejoice in the Lord when you are being hated on. Why? Because haters never hate on somebody that is not doing anything.  You’ve heard that saying before. Haters only hate on folks that are doing something.  If David would have never defeated the giant then the women would not have had anything to sing about and Saul would not have started hating.  But because David was doing something then David was attacked. It was in the text that David had slayed the giant Goliath and it was a time of celebration in which the nation of Israel had overcome the Philistines.  But just as everyone else was celebrating over the victory, the Bible declares that King Saul starts hating because he felt threatened because of the response from the women who sing, saying that Saul killed his thousands and David killed his ten thousands.  I bet they didn’t hate on you as long as you were working at McDonalds, but the minute they heard that you were enrolling in college they started hating.  They had no problem as long as you rode the bicycle, but when they found out you had a Benz, they started hating.  They were okay that you were their co-worker, but when they found out that you were their new supervisor, they started hating. Hater’s you got to love them!

If you are in a similar situation of haters, remember that people do not define who you are, you do! “Let your haters be your motivators.”  When you come across haters in your life, let that motivate you to press on and do what you’ve set out to do. The problem with haters is that they see your glory, but they don’t know your story.

Remember, the battle is not yours. You must understand that whenever the haters attack you they are not fighting against you, but they are really fighting against God.  And I know that there have been a lot of people that have tried to fight against God and lost.  Goliath tried to fight against Him and he lost his head.  Pharaoh tried to fight against Him and drowned in the Red Sea.  Herod tried to fight against Him and the worms got him.  It is not your job to take care of the haters. That’s God’s job.  Your job is to stick with the mission.  If He took care of Goliath and He took care of Pharaoh, then I just believe that He will take care of your haters. Stop fusing and fighting with that other brother that is hating on you.  Stop going toe to toe with them.  Save your energy for the work. Never argue, confront, or struggle with haters.  When you engage the hater, you give them the power to control and manipulate you.  Wisdom is too high for a fool. Do not answer fools according to their folly, or you yourself will be just like them. As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

No matter what the hater does or says remember and practice The Golden Rule, treat them the way you want to be treated, despite how they treat you or what they say about you.  It can be difficult, especially when what they are saying is not the entire truth.  But take the high road, and know that they will continue to drown in their own negativity and jealousy and people will begin to see them for who they actually are. What goes around comes around, you will reap what you sow; Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  {Matthew 5:10-12}

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  What an amazing, astounding, and unexpected statement from the lips of Christ.  Haters, got to love them!

“Boo Hoo… Poor You!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

For some time now, the Holy Spirit has been saying to me, “No more pity parties!”  We are not victims.  It’s time out for feeling sorry for ourselves. Is God saying this because He has lost His compassion?  No.  God is saying “no more pity parties” because He has already released us from every trap.  We are agonizing over matters that God has already resolved. Stop It!

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God made an important promise.  He told us that we could never be backed into a corner.  In every temptation and challenge, He has already given us a way out.  That means that whatever we are facing right now, we have a righteous way out.  We are not waiting for a way out – we have the way out.   Why should we ever feel depressed or overwhelmed when God has already given us the way out? Choose Gratitude. It’s so much more empowering than feeling sorry for yourself. Chew on that one for a while!

Our problem is that we think that the world revolves around us. Well, I got some news for you. The world does not revolve around you. You are not the center of the world; you are a part of it. There are people out there who think the world revolves around them; that everything somehow ends up being about them.  They drive us nuts. Yet there are times we drive ourselves nut thinking the same thing, even if with less vanity.  We take things too personally; we don’t think about the other person, just our own part in whatever the situation, thinking it’s either all our fault, or that it has something to do with us, even when we end up finding it has nothing to do with us. Let’s call a spade a spade…. Selfishness…..that’s what having a pity party is all about…. and if you didn’t know, let me just tell you that  “Selfishness,” is the enemy of God. The enemy of God’s sovereignty and His mercy.

Listen, Jesus serves as an example of someone who if anyone could have warranted having a pity party for himself. He faced what no one will ever have to face. What no one else could bare to face….

and yet Christ went to the cross not deserving it, but taking the weight of our sin upon Himself as He was about to die an agonizing death upon the cross for which He did not deserve, but He took our place of guilt in order to remove our sins. He did not sing a song of pity words of”.. Troubles…I’ve got more than anyone.” He did not whine or complain or pout about the cross. He did not ask for…… or throw his own pity party!

The conclusion of the matter and our response is clear: We need to recognize we all are capable of self pity. We need to let adversity lead us to God and not lead us to whining, complaining , quitting or having pity parties. If you sense that you are slipping into self pity… take rest in knowing that God will lift you up if the weight of pity begins to bring you down., but  only if you  let Him. Stop wasting your time complaining. Stop throwing your pity party.  Just praise the Lord.

May the God of truth enable us to carefully and rightly dissect His precious Word, allowing God’s Word to say what it says, remembering that God says what He means and means what He says.  May we be those who tremble at His Word (Isaiah 66:1-2).