The Impact

Everyone who will read this is part of my community of friends. Everyone who reads what you post is part of your community of friends.

I wonder how often we consider the impact our words have on that community of friends?

When we reach out with our words of anger, of offense, of forgiveness, of confession, of love, of truth — do we consider that there are ears to hear and hearts to receive what we are pouring out?

Or is more important that we have an outlet and a platform to be heard and seen, no matter the cost?

“With their words, the godless destroy their friends,
but knowledge will rescue the righteous.

The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;
they shout for joy when the wicked die.

Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,
but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor;
a sensible person keeps quiet.

A gossip goes around telling secrets,
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.” – Proverbs 11:9-13 NLT

Even if you are not yet a believer in Christ Jesus, you cannot deny in your heart the truth, guidance, and instruction found in His Word, even if your mind fights to excuse it, dismiss it, and ignore it.

“Professing Christian”, if you are foolish and will not listen, if you will not receive correction, if you have chosen your sin over God’s instruction, remember that we are told they those who receive His correction are his children, but those who do not are illegitimate and are not children of God (Hebrews 12:8). I say these things while there is time for you to truly turn to God and learn to love God (Joshua 24:15). If you do what is right and trust and believe the Lord, you will be accepted and forgiven — but if not, sin and death wait at the door to devour you (Hebrews 10:26-27).

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:37‭-‬47 ESV

 See No Evil

“​I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.  A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” – Psalms 101:3‭-‬4 ESV

We live in a world where dishonesty, perversion, cursing, vulgarity and all kinds of godlessness is not just tolerated but is celebrated. 

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15‭-‬17 ESV

Yes, as we learn more of the ways of God, it seems like the world and sin has been allowed to take so much of a hold on the things around us. We can find ourselves consuming TV and radio programs that glorify violence, where immoral people demonstrate life examples of indecency and drunkenness and selfishness, where swearing and using the Lord’s name in vain is considered common place, where adultery and deceit and sexual immorality is glorified. And when this is what we choose to consume, it will impact our minds and our lives. 

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. – 1 Corinthians 15:33‭-‬34 ESV

“Do not be deceived.” 

“Do not go on sinning.”

“For some have no knowledge of God.”

“I say this to your shame.”

Do we live in a time where even those who call themselves “Christians” fear guilt and shame and separation from the ways of the world they love — more than they have any fear or love for God?

Are we careful about what we let our eyes see on television and Internet and books and the company that we keep? 

Some will hear this message and refuse to let it fall upon their hearts. They will say that I am lifting up heavy burdens because they see godliness as a thing to be despised – they see it as a heavy burden because they have no love for God and His ways. Their only strength is in self and their slavery is to the heavy chains of sin that bind them. 

I am telling you that the sin is the burden – it is the poison that is leaving you weak and dying and with a cold and hardened heart. But we can repent,  we can confess or sin and be forgiven,  we can believe in His promises and walk free, empowered by the Holy Spirit given to those who believe, to those who are reborn as a new creation in Christ.

What needs to be laid down today? 

What influences do you need to begin refusing in our lives today? 

How can we fill our lives with more of His guidance and instruction and direction and presence?

Pray – heartfelt, humble, contrite prayer surrendering, dying to self and dedicating ourselves to discipleship, sanctification, holiness, godliness, obedience, forgiving others, being a living example of godly love. Turn off the distractions of the world and talk to God, listening for His still, quiet voice. 

Read – get into the Word of God, and when conviction comes, decide that you will choose to not just hear the instruction but to obey. Decide to follow, to put your hand to the plow and to not turn back. Turn off the worldly TV programs and Internet and consume the Bread of Life,  the Word of God.

Listen – listen to some praise music or hymns or sermons that are about glorifying God. Switch the dial on the radio away from those other influences to one that reminds you of who you are in Christ.

Praise – thank Him for your mammy blessings, sing a song to Him,  let your heart be filled with gratitude for His love and for the price paid at Calvary.  Switch your mind off from anxiety and worry too trust that He has the best in store for those who love Him

Worship – I’m not talking about a Sunday gathering – I’m talking about a life lived in love, providing for the needy, bringing hope to the imprisoned, isolated and afflicted, sharing the testimony of your life lived out day by day, moment by moment as a testimony and add our reasonable service

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:2 NKJV