People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

Daily Spirit & Word: 785: “God’s Not Fair”

That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”

Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.

In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”

Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:

Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV)
25  “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27  Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28  Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29  Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.

However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:

“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.

Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”

First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.

Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.

Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.

Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.

For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.

We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.

Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.

One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…

My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.

It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.

God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.

God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.

  • He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
  • He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
  • When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?

From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.

I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.

Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV)
17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

Motivated by Love

Holy Spirit Empowered by LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 739: Motivated By Love.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 3: How The Holy Spirit Moves You.

If it doesn’t affect your hands, feet, and thinking, it isn’t Christianity.

Good morning my friends, what an AWESOME day we had yesterday. Prayer in the morning and Alpha in the evening. “Why and HOW to share the Good News”…

After you’ve trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour something happens to your heart, mind, will and emotions. It’s all just a part of the RENEWAL taking place within you as the Holy Spirit takes up residence. However, unlike the UK Government that’s only elected for five years, He’s with you forever. One of the personal PROOFS that you are a Christian is to look for this evidence within yourself; “Am I changing day by day to become more like Jesus?” If not then what might have happened is that you’ve just gotten ‘religious’ rather than saved. Because if it doesn’t affect your hands, feet and thinking, then it isn’t Christianity.

  • The indwelling Holy Spirit produces the fruit of righteousness within every Christian.
  • The indwelling Holy Spirit FILLS you with God’s Love: that love will motivate you. It’s not just so that you can feel good or know that God loves you. You should know that anyway, but His love compels us to do stuff for God daily.
  • The indwelling Holy Spirit MOVES us to obey God’s will.

We should exhibit in increasing measure; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Righteousness, Gentleness and Self-Control. 1 Corinthians 13 is all about real LOVE and you’ll know if you are loving God and people more. Jesus summary of the Ten Commandments: Love God and Love Others: The Golden Rule: “Love the Lord Thy God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself”… You can’t do it in your own strength, you need the Holy Spirit within to make this fulfilment of Jesus command possible.

Now, you can put it to the TEST this week.

You’ve got an excuse, because it’s Pentecost Prayer Week. So now you can do or practice some of these things. The Holy Spirit is always prompting us to do it anyway.

Hands: Do some good with your hands: i.e. Be a practical Christian, let it affect your service towards others. Do more, do nice things for people, especially the people you are praying for every day on your OIKOS list. After praying for them, do something nice; make something for them, take them for a coffee, go for a walk with them, talk with them, ask them how things are going in their life. Don’t just have friends for what they can do for you, but be a friend for them too. If we see that they have a NEED in life, then ask God HOW you can help to solve their problems for them. It might mean you’ll just need to pray more for them or it might mean you have to put your hands into your pocket and give them so of your treasures.

Feet: Go the extra mile for others. Go where the Holy Spirit prompts you. Use your feet to avoid areas of temptation by running away. The Bible tells us to flee temptation. We’re praying the Lord’s prayer every day this week and part of that prayer says, “Lead me not into temptation, deliver me from evil”… We can co-operate with the LORD by running away from tempting things. And running towards the areas of His service. Let your feet be fitted with those Gospel shoes mentioned in the Armour Ephesians 6:10-20. i.e. let your feet take you to where you’ll be prompted to share the Good News of Jesus.

Thinking: We mentioned this yesterday in regards taking others captive for Jesus, but we must also take every thought captive in our own minds and put them in a strong tower of God’s making. Imprison our thoughts and use our minds to think God’s thoughts. Romans 12 begins with an instruction about having our minds being renewed by the Holy Spirit. We’re not to think or react as the world does. So when someone cuts you up whilst driving, bless them. When someone jumps the queue when your shopping, allow them to go before you. When someone forgets to repay a debit or a loan, let them off, forget about it, cancel their debt. When you see them, tell them not to worry about it. Lending money to people makes them your servant, they are bound to you because of the outstanding debit, so release those captives and let them go. You’ll be like God if you can begin to think like this. Jesus came to set the captives free and if we’re filled with the same Holy Spirit so will we. It will be a JOY to our hearts to let people go. If someone offends you in some way, think about it, forgive them, because God has forgiven you so much. In these ways you can practically change your thinking and have your mind renewed. I’m sure there are many more ways our thinking can be transformed by God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. These are not exhaustive, just some examples.

So my friends, today, shall we let the Holy Spirit loose within ourselves and let Him affect our; Hands (service for God and others), Feet (going out for Jesus into this world and fleeing temptation), Thinking (being renewed by what we dwell upon and think about).

Because, if it doesn’t affect my hands, feet, and thinking, it isn’t real Christianity. and I’m not really following Jesus.

Do not merely listen to the WORD, but be obedient to it.

Remember COSTA COFFEE:

COSTA = Christ, Offers, Salvation, To, All.

COFFEE = Christ, Offers, Forgiveness, For, Everyone, Everywhere.

So take someone for a COSTA COFFEE today 🙂

Scriptures to Meditate Upon Today:

Be Protected:

Ephesians 6:10-20 (NLT)
10  A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19  And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
20  I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Let God’s LOVE Motivate You Towards REAL Love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NIV)
1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10  but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

You Were SET FREE to LOVE

Galatians 5:13-15 (NIV)
13  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
14  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
15  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

LIVE by the HOLY SPIRIT

Galatians 5:16-26 (NIV)
16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

HOW To LOVE Practically: Sincere Active Love.

Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)
9  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves.
11  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.
12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.
14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

BEING RENEWED IN OUR THOUGHT LIFE:

Romans 12:1-8 (NIV)
1  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
4  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5  so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
7  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
8  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

DON’T JUST ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT ONCE; KEEP ASKING TO BE FILLED.

Luke 11:9-13 (NIV) Heavenly Father Is Longing to GIVE you Holy Spirit.
9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Life Through The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:1-17 (ANIV)
1  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

CONCLUSION:

As you seek to serve both God and Others, with LOVE and sincerity, you’ll become aware of the NEED to be constantly FILLED with His Holy Spirit. Jesus knew you’d never be able to do it without His help, so He’s encouraging you to KEEP ASKING and to KEEP BEING FILLED with Holy Spirit.

As you PRAY for your OIKOS (Everyone who knows you and that you are a committed Christian who loves following and serving Jesus).

as you pray for them all, be practical today, because LOVE must be sincere.

Remember COSTA COFFEE:

COSTA = Christ, Offers, Salvation, To, All.

COFFEE = Christ, Offers, Forgiveness, For, Everyone, Everywhere.

So take someone for a COSTA COFFEE today 🙂

 

Remove your FAVOURITES and LOVE and SHARE Jesus with EVERYONE. Don’t be put-off by outward appearance, sometimes the softest hearts are inside the hardest exteriors. Jesus is offering SALVATION to everyone.

I’m praying for my own OIKOS today.

LORD fill them with Your LOVE.

Move them by Your Spirit.

Love let me be a practical follower of Jesus.

Let me LOVE in Word, Deed and Thought. Amen.

 

The Secret of GREAT Fellowship & Revival.

The Secret of Kingdom Fellowship: Love.

Daily Spirit & Word: 681: Great Fellowship & Revival

The Root of Bitterness.

Don’t Get Bitter; Get Better.

We had a wonderful PCC (Parochial Church Council) Meeting last night. PCCs are not known for being fun, friendly or faith-filled, but you should have been there. Members arrived and were all chatting away with one another, we had coffee / tea and biscuits. People were catching-up. You know something, that’s wonderful, when you know that people are really just glad to be there and to see one another.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Jesus said that is by our sincere love for one another that people will KNOW we are His disciples. That love was obvious last night.

Secondly, we listened by a short teaching from Adrian Rogers on; “The Root of Bitterness”: How bitterness can creep into a church fellowship. I shared last week how someone in our Evangelism team had gotten upset by another member, it was a mistake, but the hurt and offence were real. If it had been left to fester it would have spoiled the church. Bitterness, hurt or offence must be dealt with quickly. If not, as the verse above tells us “it causes trouble and many are defiled”…

God tells us, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”… If we’ve been hurt by someone in fellowship, be it real or imagined, it causes offence and if we don’t sort out our anger quickly it can turn to bitterness. Bitterness reveals it’s ugly head in many different ways. It’s like a deadly snake hiding in the long-grass.

How do you know if you are feeling bitter towards someone in church?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t want to be with someone?

If there is anyone in your fellowship that you don’t want to sit beside, perhaps because you’ve been upset by them in the past, then there’s a danger you are bitter. When you don’t want to talk with someone after the service or when you turn you head pretending you didn’t see them – are you not bitter? Bitter people spoil genuine fellowship. Note that it says “DEFILE MANY”. It doesn’t just affect you or the person who’s upset you, it can infect and defile a whole fellowship over time. It’s like a deadly disease to genuine fellowship.

Bitterness Can Come As A Shock:

Just like this new virus in South America; Zika virus, you sometimes don’t know you’ve been bitten.

You know, BITTERNESS is deceptive too. We don’t know our hearts sometimes. It can creep in unawares. Satan loves it when we’re hurt or offended by others in church. However, God hates it, because He wants to BLESS his people, but until we’re UNITED in love and unity, He can’t bestow His blessings. Revival can’t happen in a fellowship where there is division. No wonder Satan loves it when we’re angry, upset, feeling hurt and getting bitter about each other.

Of course there are sometimes wonderful moments when the Holy Spirit shows up in our gatherings, that just His GRACE and MERCY, but imagine what He could do with a fellowship that was totally free from any bitterness? What blessings would flow, what JOY we’d know, how we would love to be with one another as the PCC was last night.

My friends, if you’ve been hurt by someone in church, then don’t try to hide it, deny it or cover it up. It will not go away all by itself. They say that “time is a healer and you’ll feel better in time”. Well let me tell you a Kingdom Secret: Time is not a healer. Time is just something God created for us to live in. It’s NOTHING: It has no powers what-so-ever. No my friends, we’ve got to face-up, own-up, fess-up to our anger, hurts and bitterness.

  • First we do it with the Lord: Ask Him to show us. When He does, don’t try and excuse it or deny it. Instead, confess it, own it and turn from it.
  • Then as far as we can, we are to live at PEACE with everyone. “Make every effort to live in peace”…
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
  • God wants to bless your fellowship so much. Much more than you can imagine.
  • He wants you to KNOW His presence, power and REVIVAL.

“If a tree is bad, it will produce bad fruit” When the root is rotten, there won’t be much fruit at all. The fruit of course is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You’ll notice if you are feeling bitter that these fruits are in short supply, you’ll be found wanting. Wondering why you are being so; unloving, unkind, angry, have no patience, are rough in the way you answer people, the peace of God leaves your life and home-life. My friends, you are BITTER: Don’t let the root of bitterness linger too long in your life. It will “DEFILE” many.

Don’t GET Bitter; Get Better. 

Of course it may not be within your church you’ve been hurt or offended: It might be; home, work, school, college, out shopping, etc… Check your heart condition with God.

Let the living water (holy Spirit) flow over your soul today, check yourself out to see if there is a ROOT OF BITTERNESS within your heart today. Come afresh to Jesus and be healed. Forgive the one who offended you. Bless them with a gift of kindness. Greet one another with a kiss of friendship.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

We all want to see our churches growing, healthy and strong and that REVIVAL will break out amongst us, but it won’t until we deal with the deadly roots of bitterness in our life. Where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands His blessings.

Walk in Jesus today. Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

P.S. Back to Revelation tomorrow.

P.S.S. Alpha is starting soon in St Luke’s Church. Who are you going to bring along so they can discover Jesus?

LINK: Adrian Rogers “The Root of Bitterness” Love worth finding.

You can also watch his great teaching here: Adrian Rogers.