Political Anger

Some Christians claim that angry words about politics are justified. 

They point out that Jesus angrily threw the money-changers out of the temple (Matthew 21:12), and He called the Pharisees hypocrites and blind guides (Matthew 23).

But we must not forget this fact: Christ knew every secret motive and every secret sin of every heart. He understood issues fully from every perspective, especially the eternal perspective. His knowledge, character, wisdom, and conclusions were absolutely 100% perfect.

That's not true of us. 

We must stand up for Scriptural values, but how we do something is as important to God as what we do.

Scripture commands us to show respect for political offices even if we don’t respect the values of those who fill them (Romans 13:1-7).*

Scripture commands us to pray for leaders, whether we agree with them or not (1 Timothy 2:1-4).*

And whether we speak about politics or any other subject, Scripture commands us to have gracious speech (Colossians 4:6), without unwholesome words or contempt (Ephesians 4:29).

If we want to be heard, humility always speaks louder than rudeness, mockery, or pride.
* Please note that when these passages were written, the governments in power were very ungodly. Christians are commanded to obey civil authorities unless they command them to violate Scripture (Acts 4:5-20).

You might also appreciate the thoughts in these 1-minute devotions:
Government Courts Shouldn't Be Fairer than Christians
5 Types of People Christians Are Commanded to Respect

7 Characteristics of Modern Christians

7 Characteristics of Modern Christians

Today is my 67th birthday and this month is Bible Love Note's 7th birthday, so please allow me to depart from my usual format.

I'd like to share some of my observations after 40 years of Christian ministry, leading Bible studies, teaching Bible seminars, working with Christian women’s groups, doing overseas Christian work, editing devotions, writing a blog, doing ministry on social media, and being a wife, mother, and grandmother.

1. Christians aren’t the same, and it’s a good thing.
I love the diversity of the Body of Christ: "every nation, tribe, people and language" (Revelation 7:9). 

It is my prayer that I will fully appreciate and enjoy how Jesus is honored in different cultures and different denominations.

2. Some Christians are growing and some are perpetual babies.
Those who mature in Christ are regularly studying Scripture and letting it shape their lives (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6). Immature believers aren't serious about growing in their faith (Hebrews 5:11-13).

It is my prayer that I will always be deliberate about my walk with the Lord, always seeking to know Christ better.

3. Christians view Scripture differently.
Some Christians form their beliefs based on Scripture, just like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11). Some hold fast to half-truth errors even when Scripture refutes them (2 Timothy 4:3).

There are many popular beliefs in Christian circles that are simply worldly philosophies repackaged using Christian words. They do serious damage to our walk with the Lord. The only remedy is a deeper respect for God’s Word and a commitment to check all teachings, no matter how popular, against the words of Scripture. 

It is my prayer that I will not be taken captive by human philosophies that contradict God's Word (Colossians 2:8).

7 Characteristics of Modern Christians
4. Christians don’t disagree the same.
Some state their opinions kindly and humbly (Colossians 4:6). Others state their views rudely (Proverbs 15:18). 

It is my prayer that I will hold my tongue unless I can share my views in love (Ephesians 4:14-15).

5. Christians don’t view culture the same.
Some stand on Biblical principles, no matter how unpopular (Galatians 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:2). Some change their beliefs to accommodate culture (Proverbs 29:25; Psalms 12:8; John 12:43).

Culture tests Christians daily. Will we stand up for the "hard" parts of the Gospel or buckle under the pressure? The pressure comes not only from the world but also from compromised Christians. 

It is my prayer that I will stand firm so one day Jesus may say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23).

6. Christians view Jesus differently.
Some know Him and realize He spoke about sin and judgment as well as grace and love (John 15:18). Some don’t know Him and think His purpose was to make people feel good about themselves (2 Corinthians 11:14). 

Misunderstandings about God’s character are the source of many false teachings. 

It is my prayer to genuinely know Christ even if involves hardship and persecution (Philippians 3:10).

7. Christians don't have the same committment. 
God's love is wonderful and it should inspire deep committment. Some Christians, motivated by His great love, are focused on glorifying God no matter the cost. Some are focused on personal gain, health, wealth, and comfort.

Everyone loves the benefits of Christian faith – and there are many. But genuine believers also submit to the responsibilities and difficulties of faith (John 14:21).

My prayer for this coming year is that my devotions will not only encourage others to love Jesus more fully, but they will also encourage me to love Him more fully.

I feel incredibly blessed by my readers who give me the opportunity each weekday to share truths from God's wonderful Word! Thank you!  Gail
For 1-minute devotions related to each point:
1. Did You Know Your Brother is a Songwriter? 
2. Solid Food Faith.
3. Don’t Believe Anything that Contradicts Scripture. 
Half-Truths Many Christians Believe and I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.
4. 3 Aspects of Gracious Speech and Ad hominem.

Let's Not Ignore Our Hypocrisy

hypocrisy is a byproduct of most sins.

We often link hypocrisy with legalistic religion, but hypocrisy is a byproduct of most sins.

Bitter people become like the ones who’ve hurt them.

Angry people often act worse than the ones who made them angry.

Proud people can’t stand anyone who steals their glory.

People who claim to tolerate all sexual lifestyles are intolerant of those who support God's design.

People who misuse the phrase “judge not” typically use it to judge others.

That’s the nature of sin. We approve it in ourselves but condemn it in others (Matthew 7:1-4).

Jesus strongly opposed the self-righteous religious leaders, but they were not the only hypocrites.

We become the worst kind of hypocrites if we claim to love Jesus but disobey His commands.

Jesus says so: John 14:15, John 14:21, John 14:23, John 15:10.

Let's recognize our sins and hypocrisy and confess both to our Lord. 
To read more about these common forms of hypocrisy:
Bitterness: Sin Looks Attractive, But it Stinks
Anger: Satan Uses Our Anger to Get a Foothold
Pride: 3 Stages of Pride
Tolerance: Tolerance Isn't Approval
Judgment: To Judge or Not to Judge

hypocrisy is a byproduct of most sins.

God's "Crazy" Solution

I’ve sometimes had to fight bitterness. Have you?

It begins with unforgiveness, and can lead to obsessive, negative, and vengeful thoughts.

Bitterness pleases Satan. It’s one of his “schemes” to ruin our lives (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

He loves seeing a bitter root strangle our souls, he enjoys epicaricacy, and he savors broken relationships (Hebrews 12:15).

Bitterness is dark, blinding, and damaging (1 John 2:9-11).

The answer?

God’s answers so often seem crazy to our fallen human nature, but they are wonderful, life-giving solutions.

God commands us to pray for those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44-5).

We don’t pray for them because they deserve our prayers. We pray for them because we are God’s children and He gives life and breath and good things even to the ungodly.

In the end, the ungodly will be held responsible for their sins, but our prayers will dissolve our bitterness.

What a wonderful miracle!
You might also appreciate 5 Things to Do When Someone Mistreats You

How Can You Shine Today?

How Can You Shine For the Lord Today?

When we lived in Budapest, Hungary, we regularly rode public transportation.

One evening while riding the tram, I started thinking about “shining.”

At each stop, we picked up lost and confused people.

An immodestly dressed woman boarded at one stop. Her thick make-up couldn’t disguise the sadness in her eyes.

Behind her was a man with painful-looking piercings on his face and evil emblems on his clothing. He looked defiant, but I wondered what was in his heart.

At the next stop a group of young people boarded. Holding bottles of wine, they were laughing and flirting. I wondered what emptiness their laughter was hiding.

God commands us to shine like stars in a "warped and crooked generation" (Matthew 5:16Philippians 2:14-15). 

I asked myself how I could "shine" on that tram ride.

I'm not going to share the answer to my question, but I'm going to ask you a question.

How can you shine today in your circumstances? 
These devotions might help you answer this question:
This Little Light of Mine
Good Listeners Shine
7 Ways to Shine
Shine Like Stars in Our Fallen Culture

How Can You Shine For the Lord Today?

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