ARE YOU LISTENING?

I would hate to have a hard count of how many times I have interrupt people in conversation and how many times I jumped ahead with my thoughts expressing the wrong conclusion to someone else’s words.

We miss so much in life because we will not listen.

One author once found himself with too many commitments in too few days. He got nervous and tense about it. He recalls, I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day. Before long, things around our home started reflecting the patter of my hurry-up style. It was become unbearable. I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, “Daddy, I want to tell you something and I’ll tell you really fast.” Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, “Honey, you can tell me – and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.” I’ll never forget her answer: “Then listen slowly.”

Inspiration declares, “That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels…Hear instruction, and be wise, And refuse it not…Hear counsel, and receive instruction, That thou mayest be wise in thy latter end…Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, And apply thy heart unto my knowledge…Hear thou, my son, and be wise, And guide thy heart in the way” (Pro. 1:5; 8:33; 19:20; 22:17; 23:19). Our Lord’s brother taught, “But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (Jam. 1:19).

Are you listening to what the Almighty has revealed in His written word? Are you listening to your family and friends? Are you listening?

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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BEWARE OF THE SAWDUST

A story is told of a man who, resisting the cost of oats he fed his mule, decided to gradually substitute sawdust in its diet. Everything went fine for a while but by the time the mule was satisfied with sawdust, he died.

The same is true spiritually. The changeover from truth to error is sometimes a slow process, and the people don’t always know the difference. But, before you know it, they are dead.

Sadly, many preachers today are beginning to add the “saw dust of false doctrine” into the diet of their listeners. Beware!

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”(2 Cor. 13:5; ESV) “Buy the truth, and sell it not…” (Pro. 23:23).

Shake or Nod!

Have A Great Day!

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”
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COTTON CANDY PREACHING

If I were to ask you what would be worse, to give your children cotton candy or poison, what would you say? In answer to this question most people would very quickly say that poison would be the worse thing to give our children. But consider this, what if all we gave our children to eat was cotton candy? What if cotton candy was their favorite food and that was all they wanted, and any time they received anything else they would throw a fit? Would we only give them cotton candy? Would we be loving and concerned parents if we only fed our children this cottony pile of sugar? Most assuredly not! We understand that our children could not survive only on sugar, for they would soon grow weak and sick, and would soon die. So, what is worse for us to give our children, only cotton candy or poison? The truth is that both will eventually kill our children.

Now let us make a spiritual application. Is it worse to teach in the Lord’s church false doctrine or to teach simple pleasant truths from God’s word? In answer to this question most people would quickly say that false doctrine would be the worst thing of all to teach. But consider this, what if we only taught concerning the loving story of Ruth, or about benevolence, or about the need for loving families, or about the need to feel good about ourselves? Now these are topics that we should be concerned about and are issues of interest, and should be taught. But, can a Christian survive spiritually solely on this kind of diet? Can a child of God mature and be grounded in the faith solely on these kinds of meals? The answer is no!

There are many preachers and teachers in the Lord’s church who are not teaching error, but neither are they being distinct in their preaching and teaching. Many are given more to proclaim what the brethren want to hear than what they need to hear. Concerning the people of Isaiah’s day, the Lord declared, “For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah; that say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:9-10). Many today are clamoring for the same things as the Israel of old – smooth things, and sweet and pleasant words. And what is even more disturbing are the preachers and teachers who are giving into their cry with sermons and lessons filled with nothing but “lovey-dovey mush.”

Many preach to please men and tickle their ears with what they like to hear. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Paul warned Timothy about people who have “itching ears” and warned that such people will gather around those who will scratch their ears by teaching lies (2 Tim. 4:3-4). The whole counsel of God must be preached, regardless of how it is received (Acts 20:26-27)! The truth is truth and must be preached! I didn’t write the book (Bible) and have no right to “water it down” to please men.
The apostle Paul declared, “I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house…Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:20, 26-27). If we really care for our families and brethren the actions of Paul will be true of us! Furthermore, Paul also said, “Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). You will notice that good gospel preaching demands positive and negative proclamation of truth. But as already mentioned, some “will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). But we must not allow this attitude to influence us away from preaching the whole counsel of God.

There are too many “cotton candy preachers” in the brotherhood who are “sugar coating” the brethren into spiritual decay! Tell me, which are worse, false teachers or cotton candy preachers? The truth is they both will cause the spiritual demise of their listeners.

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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MEDIOCRITY

Some scientist took a frog and dropped him in hot water. The frog hopped out – fast! They dropped him in a second time with the same result. Then they dropped him in a vat of cold water and he relaxed. What the frog didn’t know was that the vat of cold water had a fire beneath it. While the frog relaxed the water was heated ever so gradually. The frog sat there, the temperature of the water rose slowly, and before long the frog had been boiled to death.

Isn’t that a parable we all need to hear? We don’t know how it is in the frog world, but in our world it fits us to a “T”. Mediocrity is the fire. Man, represented by the frog, sits and relaxes until his mediocrity destroys him. Let him stay content with out goals and motivations just so long, and one day he will no longer care to move.

Therefore, “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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ACTING LIKE OUR FATHER

INTRODUCTION

When Jesus spoke about “Responding to Evil”, He laid down two principles:

  1. Do not resist an evil person (Mt. 5:39a)
  2. Respond to evil by doing good (Mt. 5:39b-42)

This is certainly a challenging task Jesus put before His disciples…

  1. It is tempting to respond to evil with evil
  2. Especially when the mistreatment comes from an enemy!

But in the text for this lesson…

  1. We find Jesus teaching concerning the treatment of our enemies
  2. We are told why we ought to act in the manner described in Matthew 5:38-42

Matthew 5:43-48

INTRODUCTION

THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION

  1. The Law did NOT say “hate your enemy”…(“Ye have heard that it was said”)
  2. It did teach to “love your neighbor as yourself”… Leviticus 19:18
  3. But it also taught kindness was to be shown to your enemy…
    • Exodus 23:4-5 
    • Proverbs 25:21-22

The traditional interpretation had misappliedthe law

  1. Though it did enjoin the command to “love your neighbor”…
  2. The Pharisees inferred from this command that one had the right to “hate his enemy”…Matthew 5:43
  3. “This phrase is not in Leviticus 19:18, but is a rabbinical inference which Jesus repudiates bluntly. The Talmud says nothing of love to enemies.” (Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol. I, Robertson)
  4. “The rabbis corrupted Leviticus 19:18, which sums up the Law of Israel, by adding ‘and hate your enemy.’ By thus tampering with Scripture, they intended to define their neighbors to include only Jews and to exclude Samaritans and Gentiles.” (Believers’ Study Bible)

Having noted the difference between what the Law actually taught and the wrong interpretation given by the scribes and Pharisees, let’s now consider what Jesus taught on…

HOW TO TREAT OUR ENEMIES

Jesus requires that we:

  1. “Love” our enemies
    • Not hate them
    • Rather, show “active good will” towards them
  2. “Bless” those who curse us (KJV)
    • They may speak evil of us
    • But in response we are to speak kindly of them
  3. “Do good” to those who hate us(KJV)
    • They may either ignore us or do evil things to us
    • Yet we are to treat them kindly in either case
  4. “Pray” for those who spitefully use us and persecute us
    • Notice, we are to pray FOR them, not just about them
    • I.e., pray for their well-being, salvation, etc.

This is an expansion of the principals in verses 39-42

  1. Don’t seek vengeance!
  2. Don’t resist an evil person!
  3. Instead, react by manifesting aggressive love!

Why should we respond to our enemies in this way? Jesus goes on to provide…

REASONS TO REACT IN THIS WAY

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5:45a)

  1. That is, to demonstrate ourselves to be truly His children!
  2. What is our Father like?
    • He gives material blessings to both the evil and the good, both the righteous and the unrighteous… Matthew 5:45b
    • He is kind to the unthankful and evil… Luke 6:35-36
    • He offered His Son while we were yet sinners and enemies!… Romans 5:8, 10
    • He loved us before we loved Him… 1 John 4:10

As taught elsewhere, we are to imitate our Heavenly Father…

  1. 1 John 4:11
  2. Ephesians 4:31-5:2

We are to act as Jesus taught…

To be different than the “Publicans” or Tax Collectors

  1. In Jesus’ day, the Publicans were despised by the Jews, because they made themselves rich by collecting taxes from their fellow-men for the Roman governmenT
  2. And yet, these tax-collectors would…
    • Love those who loved them
    • Greet cordially those who greeted them
  3. We are no different if our love is limited to our “brethren” or “friends”!… Matthew 5:46-47
  4. We are to act as Jesus taught…

To be “Perfect” as our Father in heaven is perfect

  1. The word “perfect” means “brought to completion, full-grown, lacking nothing”
  2. In this context, it has reference to the matter of showing love and mercy; note the parallel passage:
    • Luke 6:36
    • Matthew 5:48
  3. When we display love and mercy to our enemies…
    • We are “complete,” “full-grown” in demonstrating love
    • Just like our Father when He shows kindness to evil and unthankful men!

CONCLUSION

If we really want to be…

  1. children of your Father which is in heaven
  2. perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect

It is imperative that we be influenced…

  1. More by the teachings and example of the Son of God
  2. Than by the attitudes and example of the “tax-collectors”!
  3. Are you “Acting Like Our Father” who is in heaven? Or do you emulate the most carnal people around us?

May the “sayings” of our Lord provoke us to consider the proper way to respond to our enemies and to any who might abuse us!

Matthew 7:28

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”
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UNDER CONTROL

There was a certain preacher, in the horse and buggy days, who had two horses named Pride and Prejudice. He said on one occasion that people thought it was awful that a preacher should be drawn hither and thither by Pride and Prejudice, but he reassured them that it was a wonderful thing that a preacher would have Pride and Prejudice under control.

That’s a wonderful thing for any of us. It is the test of our manhood and womanhood that we are able to deny ourselves. The world says that to be a real man or a real woman we must give in to pleasure, but that’s absurd. Any creature can give in to natural impulses.

Solomon declared, “Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Pro. 16:18).

Shake or Nod!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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SUCCESS

Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time. This is especially true in the Lord’s church. TRUE Success comes from doing things God’s way – the right way (Col. 3:17; Heb. 8:5). We must call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways. We must speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent (1 Pet. 4:11). Remember, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro. 14:12). “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).

Shake or Nod!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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