Tag Archives: sermon on the mount

Do You Mourn? Be Comforted…

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.  (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

Are you grieving?  Has your heart been broken?  Do you long for the pain to stop?  Take heart, beloved, for the Lord of all mercy hears your cries.  He knows your pain.  Indeed, He has suffered your pain, and He promises that we who mourn are blessed, and that we will be comforted…

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  (Hebrews 4:14-16  NLT)

Jesus knew what it was to grieve and mourn.  He mourned the death of His cousin, John the Baptist…  He mourned the death of His friend Lazarus…  He mourned for those of us who were lost in sin, pain and suffering…

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed His powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance,
nothing to attract us to Him.
He was despised and rejected—
a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!
But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him
the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet He never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
He was led away.
No one cared that He died without descendants,
that His life was cut short in midstream.
But He was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But He was buried like a criminal;
He was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him
and cause Him grief.
Yet when His life is made an offering for sin,
He will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in His hands.
11 When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish,
He will be satisfied.
And because of His experience,
my righteous Servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for He will bear all their sins.
12 I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because He exposed Himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.  (Isaiah 53  NLT)

mourn-sorrow

Beloved reader, you do not suffer alone.  He knows your pain.  He has suffered for it and from it, and He offers His comfort to all who would receive it.  Are you thirsty?  Are you weary?  Are you worn out from trying to carry the burdens of life by yourself?

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

Beloved reader, if you are in the midst of grief, come, drink from the fountain of life.  Seek Jesus, our great Savior and Comforter.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

In His first recorded sermon, Jesus tells us that those who mourn are blessed, and they shall be comforted.  It’s also interesting to note that His first scripture reading in the synagogue, after He had been in the wilderness for 40 days, also dealt with the brokenhearted…

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me,
for the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent Me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for His own glory.  (Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT)

Beloved, you  are not alone in your suffering.  If you will seek the Lord with all your heart, He will comfort you…  Shalom.  Peace be with you.

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

~ Matthew 8:5-7 — NLT ~

I really do love this scripture, and all that the Lord reveals to us in it. When I first began to write about this encounter of the centurion and Jesus, I thought I would just write a simple post about the great faith of the centurion, and as great as that is, the Lord has revealed so much more to me in this passage. Let’s examine these verses…

Image Credit: http://searchingforthelightonthepath.blogspot.com/ 2011/01/roman-centurion-had-faith.html
Image Credit:
http://searchingforthelightonthepath.blogspot.com/
2011/01/roman-centurion-had-faith.html

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, (the place where His ministry was located, and the place where He performed many miracles, signs and wonders) He was approached by a Roman officer, who said to Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Look closely at this conversation between Jesus and the Roman centurion.

Do you see a question mark at the end of the centurion’s statement? Certainly, it is obvious that the centurion was concerned about his servant, by the way he humbly and reverently approached Jesus. And yes, it seems evident that the centurion wanted Jesus to heal his servant. But here is what made my heart pound… Immediately after the centurion told Him about his servant’s terrible pain and paralysis, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

~ Matthew 8:5-6 — NLT ~

Image Credit: http://jenwilton.com/general/ does-god-still-speak-today-part-two/
Image Credit:
http://jenwilton.com/general/
does-god-still-speak-today-part-two/

I love when the Lord speaks directly to my heart through His word. It gets me all excited and wound up as I begin to ponder what He is telling me. Then, as I begin to wrap my mind around things that I’ve read many, many times before, suddenly, He opens the eyes of my heart so that I can see what I didn’t see before, and my ears begin to hear what I didn’t hear before. I’ve read this story many times in the past, and have heard many teachings on it, but now, the Lord is speaking directly to my heart again, and I am taking note of things that I didn’t see before.  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…

Words of Jesus – Undiminished Authority

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come into my home. Just say the word from where You are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to those who were following Him, He said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

~ Matthew 8:5-13 — NLT ~

This passage of scripture is rich with wisdom, and I pray the Lord gives me the words to share the message He wants us to learn from it. In order to glean as much as possible from this passage, we’ll camp here for however many posts it takes to share all the Lord gives me on this particular passage… Meanwhile, today, I want to talk about Jesus’ authority. Continue reading Words of Jesus – Undiminished Authority

Words of Jesus – The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock

24″Anyone who listens to My teaching and obeys Me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. 26 But anyone who hears My teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”

~ Matthew 7:24-27 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.emmanuelsfoundation.org
Image Credit:
http://www.emmanuelsfoundation.org

A house builder knows the importance of a good foundation. While you may be able to cut corners elsewhere, if the foundation of a building or house is not firm, it will begin to erode over time, eventually ruining the house. If a foundation begins to erode, walls will begin to crack, and the house will even begin to crumble and fall apart.

When Jesus was talking to the crowds who had gathered for the Sermon on the Mount, He told them that if they were wise, they would listen and obey Him, just as a wise man who built his house on a rock, and that anyone who hears His word and ignores it is foolish, like someone who builds his house upon the sand. One thing Jesus wasn’t — He was never politically correct. Continue reading Words of Jesus – The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock

Truth or Lie? Give and it Will Be Given to You…

Last night, when I wrote the introduction to the Truth or Lie? category, in which I will address the importance of knowing God’s Word, and some of the lies that we have been taught, I already knew what my first topic would be.

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
(Luke 6:38 NKJV)

 

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I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been in a church service and heard this scripture quoted before tithes and offerings are collected. Nor can I tell you the number of times I’ve heard this same scripture verse quoted by televangelists as they urge their viewers to give to their ministry, if you want to receive a blessing. To be very honest with you, I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve felt pressured to give money that I don’t even have, in order to receive God’s blessing according to this scripture verse… that is, until I actually read the scripture in it’s entire context.

Let’s read this verse in the proper context, and see what Jesus was talking about when He told us to give and it will be given to you…

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
(Luke 6:37-42 NKJV)

To help put this in context, you need to understand that this was part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Look at this scripture passage again. Did you see any mention or reference to money in this scripture passage? Did you see any mention or reference to tithes and offerings here?

As you can see, in this scripture passage, Jesus was telling us not to judge or condemn anyone. Instead, He instructed, “… Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

My friends, this is important. Read that passage again. Do you see what Jesus was telling us to give? Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give (forgiveness, mercy) and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. Do you see it? As you give forgiveness, forgiveness will be given to you, my brothers and sisters, so much forgiveness will flow into your bosom that that it will run over… 

Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/overflowing-lyn-deutsch.html

Have you ever seen what happens when your sink or bathtub overflows? The water soaks everything it comes in contact with. The same happens when we forgive. As I forgive those who have harmed me, God pours His mercy and forgiveness into my bosom – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, so that it begins to spill over onto others that I come into contact with… You see, when I am merciful and forgiving, the same measure of mercy and forgiveness is measured back to me…

Brothers and sisters, do you see why it is so important to examine the scriptures for yourselves? There are so many men and women preaching and teaching false doctrine, and living lives contrary to the will of God, that many people are deceived, and I don’t want you to be deceived. Study the word of God. When you hear a sermon, take the time to prayerfully look up the scriptures and read them in context, so that you will not be deceived.

And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.
(Romans 16:17-18 NLT)

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Don’t Give What Is Holy To Unholy People

 “Don’t give what is holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6 NLT)

http://www.laportecountysheriff.com/jail/jaildiv.html

I had a horrible experience when I ministered in jail in August. As I was sharing the Word with the women, several, who were in the back of the room were quite noisy and disrespectful. I’ve been doing prison ministry since 2003, and I can usually deal with it when some of the women become loud or disrespectful, and it doesn’t usually fluster me, but this time was different.

I had to stop several times and ask them to be quiet, as they mocked me while I ministered. Then they began asking questions. Questions don’t upset me either, when someone is seeking answers, and if I don’t have the answer, I let them know that up front, and I try to get the answers to their questions when I minister in jail the next time. But again, this was different. You see, there was one woman, the ring leader, who was questioning me, not because she wanted answers, but because she wanted to argue.

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She informed me that her grandmother was a pastor, and that she had never heard of the things that I was teaching. Then she would shoot me another question, only to disagree with the answer. Honestly, if I had said the grass was green, she would have argued with that, and I saw this, so I told her that I didn’t want to argue with her. Then I prayed against any spirits that would hinder the word of the Lord from going forth.

That’s when this woman got up and went to the door, demanding to leave. I was more than happy to oblige and call for an officer to take her and her following out. After they left, the atmosphere changed, and the women who were left in the room (only 7 remained) worshiped freely, asking me if I would return. I assured them that I would be back, Lord willing, in 2 weeks to minister.

And I was there again, 2 weeks later, to minister. Before allowing me to go in and minister, an officer informed me that several of the inmates, (those who had left the service early 2 weeks prior) had filed a grievance against me. I was stunned. I’d never experienced that before, and so I was asked to give a written statement of what had happened in that church service, which I did.

After completing my statement, I went to the room where the church service is normally held, and within a few minutes, the women were led to the door. When they saw that I was the one ministering that day, all of the women decided to return to their cells and not attend church. Wow. I was hurt and confused, because even those women who had remained in the church service the last time, the ones who asked me to please return, turned around and left. But then, 3 of the women decided to stay for the church service.

When I saw who had decided to stay for church, my heart dropped, and I felt an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. It was the ringleader, and 2 of her cohorts. I started praying, and determined to share the word, but I was nervous and very uneasy. The relentless questions began almost immediately, from Ringleader, and you could see that her friends were becoming very uncomfortable, as she began to speak doctrines and things that are not in scripture.

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One of her friends tried to tell her that what she was speaking was untrue, but she gave her a look that cowed her into silence. The other friend was a “yes” person, but you could see that she was uncomfortable too. I tried to share what the bible said about the things she was claiming, but she had control of the service, and that’s when it hit me.

This was no longer a worship service for the glory of God. It was a one woman show, that she was running. These 2 friends of hers were being indoctrinated with her rebellion and her false statements, and I couldn’t talk over her. Indeed, I didn’t want to talk over her. I came to minister, and she wouldn’t let me minister. So, I very calmly said, “I came here to minister today, and I’m not going to argue with you.”

“See?” she said gleefully. “I told you, she don’t know nothing.”

With that I walked over to the phone, called for an officer to take these 3 women back to their cells, and I left after being there for only 20 minutes. In all the years that I’ve been doing prison ministry, this was the first time that I didn’t complete a service, and I was devastated.

I immediately began questioning myself and the Lord. “Lord, are You trying to tell me that my season for prison ministry is over?” And, “Oh God, how should I have handled that?” Then, “Lord, what did I do wrong?” There’s only one thing that I did wrong, which may have prevented this whole thing… I didn’t pray enough.

http://diggingtheword.blogspot.com/2010/08/dont-cast-your-pearls-to-pigs.html

But the Lord also let me know that I did the right thing by refusing to argue, and that it would have been pointless for me to try to share the scriptures with this woman, and He spoke these words into my spirit,  “Don’t give what is holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” 

Brothers and sisters, there is a difference between someone sincerely seeking answers to questions about the Lord and His word, and someone who merely wants to argue. Discern that difference in people, and if you can’t discern, ask the Lord to give you discernment and wisdom. “Don’t give what is holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

Words of Jesus – Judge Not

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)

A conversion of Image:Scale of justice.png to ...
A conversion of Image:Scale of justice.png to an SVG. The previous version was an automatic trace, whereas this version is a manual trace and of a higher quality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This has got to be one of the most controversial things that Jesus said. It’s one of those scriptures that many quote, but few truly understand. Even the secular world quotes these verses, often as they judge Christians for being judgmental. So what exactly does Jesus mean when He speaks those words?

Look at this closely. It’s really important for us to know and understand. You see, we need to look at the words of Jesus and all scripture in its context. Therefore, in order to gain understanding, we need to look at the whole paragraph as we answer these questions…

  • Who was Jesus talking to?
  • What was He saying to them?
  • When did He say this?
  • Where did He say it?
  • Why did He say this?

Now that we’re armed with these questions, let’s look at the whole paragraph:

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)

  • The answer to the first question, (Who was Jesus talking to?) is found in verse 5. He was talking to hypocrites in the crowd, who were judging their brothers, without first judging themselves.
  • The second question that we need to answer is, What was He saying to them? The answer to this question is found in the whole text, but I’m going to paraphrase it. Jesus was telling them not to judge others for committing the same sins they were guilty of committing. He was telling them to straighten out their own lives before they condemn others, because they were going to be judged in the same way they were judging their brothers.
  • The third question we need to answer is, When did Jesus say this? To answer that question, we need to go back to Matthew 5. 1 Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, 2 and He began to teach them, saying: (Matthew 5:1-2 NIV) Jesus spoke these words on the day He gave what many call His “Sermon on the Mount”
  • The answer to the fourth question is also found in Matthew 5:1. Where was Jesus when He said this? While the name of the mountain isn’t given, we do know that He sat on a mountain and taught the crowds.
  • The final question, Why did Jesus say this?, is found in the entirety of the paragraph.  There were hypocritical people who, in the midst of their own sins, were passing judgment on others who had committed the same sins, and Jesus cautioned them, saying, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)

So you see, Jesus wasn’t telling people not to judge. Rather, He was telling them not to

http://www.realmofdarkness.net/pc/calls/judy/sat

judge unjustly and without mercy.

There are many places in scripture that tell us that we are to judge:

  • But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:15 NKJV
  • When you have something against another Christian, why do you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter, instead of taking it to other Christians to decide who is right? Don’t you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we Christians will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disagreements here on earth. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why do you go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these arguments? (1 Corinthians 6:1-5 NLT)

There are other scriptures which talk about judging in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, also. Just think about it for a moment. What would this world be like if there were no judgments against sin and against evil people?

Since there wouldn’t be any judgment, people would be free to do as they please. If someone was offended by something you said or did, they could kill or maim you without fearing any consequences, because consequences and penalties only come with judgment. Crimes such as robbery, rape and murder would no longer be crimes, because there would be no judgments outlawing such actions.

One thing I’ve learned since I became a Christian is that when the world quotes that scripture to me, Judge not, that you be not judged…” it is usually they who are judging me.

The Lord does not call us to be tolerant of sin. He hates sin. Remember, it was sin that

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nailed Him to the cross. He hates sin, because sin kills. It destroys lives. It condemns people to eternal damnation. He hates sin and calls for us to cry out against it boldly.

However, when we cry out against sin and evildoers, it is equally important for us to remember that although Jesus hates sin, He loves sinners. That’s why Peter says, The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9 NLT) It’s also why Paul cautioned all believers to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) 

The Lord wants us to cry out against sin for the sake of a lost and dying world. Remember, He commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations. We are called to be watchmen on the wall. “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from Me, pass it on to the people immediately. If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs. If you warn them and they keep on sinning and refuse to repent, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved your life because you did what you were told to do. If good people turn bad and don’t listen to My warning, they will die. If you did not warn them of the consequences, then they will die in their sins. Their previous good deeds won’t help them, and I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs. But if you warn them and they repent, they will live, and you will have saved your own life, too.” (Ezekiel 3:17-21 NLT)

Brothers and sisters, it’s extremely important for us to judge sin and to cry out against it. Just make sure that you’re not committing the same sins you’re crying out against, and make sure you extend the same mercy toward sinners that you want God to give to you.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – You Are the Salt of the Earth

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matthew 5:13 NLT).

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http://dl.creationswap.com/15139.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I love salt! Oh, I know, most doctors say that it’s not good for you, but did you know that there’s really no evidence to support this? Even though the CDC and the FDA purport that too much salt intake shortens your life, there is evidence to suggest that we have been deceived about this for the last 40 years. (Check this recent NY Times article out: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0As a matter of fact, according to this article, there is even evidence that suggests a low-salt intake can actually lead to premature death!

When I read this, it made me think of how the enemy of our souls deceives people by leading them to think that what is bad is good and what is good is bad. Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter (Isaiah 5:20 NLT). We’re living in evil times, and it is extremely important that the people of God rise up and share the truth with this darkened world.

Jesus told us, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matthew 5:13 NLT). It’s no coincidence that He said this right after He talked about persecution. It’s a sad fact that people don’t want to hear what is right. They don’t want to hear what is true.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB). And sadly, people who call themselves men and women of God are afraid of being publicly ridiculed or persecuted, and some are afraid that donations to their ministries will end, so they sell out and preach a watered down version of the truth.

Texas Monthly Joel Olsteen
Texas Monthly Joel Olsteen (Photo credit: Houstonian)

Doesn’t this speak of the world today?This may offend some of you, but I have to address this. Let’s look at the mega churches and some of today’s church leaders… Joel Osteen seems like a very nice person, but a man of God is called to be so much more than that. He preaches nice inspirational messages, but when given the opportunity to share the gospel to the masses on national broadcasts, he waffles and he won’t come out and say that JESUS is the only way to come to the Father. It seems that he’s more interested in selling books and making people feel good about themselves.

http://www.eurweb.com/2012/06/bishop-t-d-jakes-and-deepak-chopra-on-own-sunday/
http://www.eurweb.com/2012/06/bishop-t-d-jakes-and-deepak-chopra-on-own-sunday/

And let’s look at Bishop T.D. Jakes. His words are often very motivational, and he talks about changing our lives and our minds, but as inspiring as he is, he doesn’t preach the unadulterated truth of the gospel. He even shared the stage in July with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, not to proclaim the gospel of Christ, but to share “Living From the Core,” a program designed to help you reach your greatest potential. How do combined messages from new age speakers Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey promote the gospel of Christ? And Bishop Jakes’ message about self-realization does nothing to draw the lost to Jesus. Again, as nice as Bishop Jakes seems to be, when given the opportunity to preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, he seems much more interested in promoting self-awareness, himself and his many books.

The same can be said of so many of today’s church leaders. Oh, many of them are very charismatic and inspiring, but they’ve lost their saltiness. They’ve lost their flavor. Too many of today’s church leaders are afraid of offending people, so they don’t cry out against sin, because people might get angry and quit giving to their ministry. Look at Paula White, and Juanita Bynum! There’s so much more fame, fortune and recognition if we just continue to tickle people’s ears and motivate them to give more money to our ministry. And dare I say it? Look at the Rev. Billy Graham, who is revered by so many!

English: Billy Graham Crusade in Cleveland Ohi...
English: Billy Graham Crusade in Cleveland Ohio, in June 1994. (PHOTO/PAUL M. WALSH) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at this statement he released in a full-page ad that ran last week in the USA Today, after a meeting with Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney“I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.” On the surface that sounds really nice, and Graham claims he’s not endorsing Romney or anyone else. However, what is really interesting is that after his meeting with Mitt Romney, Graham’s organization removed a page from their website that referred to Mormonism as a cult. Really? Does the Mormon religion practice and advocate biblical principles?

Deuteronomy instructs us, “Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you from the LORD your God. Just obey them” (Deuteronomy 4:2 NLT). The Mormons believe that the Holy Bible is not the inspired word of God. They believe that their Book of Mormon is to be obeyed first and foremost.

When I hear of these false prophets and false teachers espousing lies, I am reminded of the word the Lord spoke to the prophet, Jeremiah. Then the LORD said, “These prophets are telling lies in My name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore,” says the LORD, “I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in My name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!” (Jeremiah 14:14-15 NLT)

Men and women of God, Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the world, and then He tells us what will happen if we lose our flavor… But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” I’ve got to tell you – if I shake some salt onto my potatoes and it’s lost its saltiness, it’s going straight to the trash can! Jesus is telling us the same thing! If we water down the Word of God and preach only the parts that we deem palatable, we become worthless!

You are the salt of the earth...
You are the salt of the earth… (Photo credit: Harshad Sharma)

We must preach the whole TRUTH, not just the bits and pieces we like, taking them out of context, like, “God causes all things to work together for good…”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that – even people of the world like that one, but the truth is, And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT). Please note that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. That word isn’t all-inclusive! Do you see what happens? When we preach only part of the gospel or take it out of context, it loses its flavor.

If we don’t share the truth with people, God will hold us accountable for their death. Wake up church and remember the words of Jesus! “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matthew 5:13 NLT).

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers