He answered nothing

Christ answered them not again. Consider here the self-control of our Savior! Accused of many things, before Anna, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, and finally Pilate again, he answered nothing. As a sheep before his sheerers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. How long would we have been able to hold our tongues? How long would we have even attempted to? Jesus had complete control over his spirit, emotions, and temper. Innocent and charged with all sorts of nonsense, He did not respond. We see here Christ set forth as an example of self-control. In these things, he demonstrates something that is highly esteemed throughout the Scriptures.

Galatians 5:22-23  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

2 Peter 1:5-7 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity”

Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

Christ was moved with compassion many times. He was moved to anger at points. He allowed righteous emotion to move him. Yet, he was not controlled by it. There are times, places, and emotions that are good and right to express. But we are to rule our spirit. We are not to let our spirit rule us. Our fear, grief, anger, pity, or happiness (to name a few) should not be the thing that controls us. If we are to let righteous emotions move us, and not all emotions, we must have a control over ourselves to filter them. We should not allow our spirit to control us. The Holy Spirit should control us.

I think often times we have a mistaken mindset that we are exercising self-control (temperance) and walking in the fruit of the Spirit as long as we don’t “lose our temper.” But losing our temper is the extreme form of not ruling our spirit. We are not ruling our spirit if we allow ourselves to act in anger/frustration/fear/etc. The difference in my children when they “throw a fit” and scream yell and kick their legs or when they silently turn their heads, avoid eye contact, and refuse to eat is noticed by the senses. My ears, eyes, and often hands and arms struggle when one of my children throws a fit in anger. When they stew in anger it is much quieter and less disruptive. Regardless though, they are acting in anger and sinning. We adults do the same thing. God does not excuse our actions in anger because “I didn’t lose my temper.” God doesn’t excuse our lack of panic when we are still acting out of fear. God doesn’t excuse a perversion of justice because we feel sorry for a person.

Over and over in the Scriptures we are told to control ourselves. This can only be done by walking with the Lord. And walking is only done over time. There is no easy solution if you are prone to anger. There is no easy solution if you are prone to fear. There is no easy solution if you are prone to depression. A walk is a daily, moment by moment thing. It is a continual step by step. And when we say we “missed a few days in the Word/prayer,” we need to be honest that we have stopped walking.

It may not be easy, but it is simple. Read your Bible and pray every day. God loves you. God will give victory. So, read His Word. Talk to Him. Ask Him to rescue you from these things that control you. Ask Him to give you the control of your spirit. Ask Him to take control of your spirit. Thank Him for His faithfulness to do these things as we walk with Him.

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What God is doing

At my work meetings each week we begin with a section titled “what God is doing.” This is usually presented by one person, asked before hand to share something. But I’m a literal person, and without the added modifier of “in your life” I find myself considering this question with a very broad scope.

God is saving souls. He is maintaining the heavens and the earth. He is holding our lives in His hand. He is watching everything that takes place and is currently and at all moments present with us. He is laughing at the wicked. He is sorrowing over sin. He reigning omnipotent. He is giving grace. He is bestowing mercy. He is answering prayer. He is judging sin. He is restraining evil and the devil. He is convicting of sin. He is opening eyes. He is growing believers. He is loving His own. He is forgiving sin. He is pardoning iniquity. He is seeing us with Christ’s righteousness. He is holding us in His hand. He is healing the sick. He is teaching the church. He interceding for me.

God is busy. But never too busy for me, and you. God is a personal God. While God is doing all these things, He cares for you (and me). It is one of the most simple yet powerful truths. God cares for you. Consider that this Lord’s day. It can encourage your heart and bring your soul to worship.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

What’s the point?

About a week ago I was in a discussion about a popular conservative blogger. This discussion bloomed, as many things often do, into a discussion of the current trends in blogging. 

A simple understanding of people is all that is required to realize many posts are just attempts at getting attention. You don’t need to understand SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, tags, hits, or Google’s set of rules for these things in order to recognize that many posts are titled purely for their shock and awe factor that will get you to click on them. Current popular methods in conservative circles (I wouldn’t know other circles. It could be similar but I’d guess it is bigger in conservative circles) include:

– writing a title that seems immoral and contrary to conservative values. Example: “couple spots man on date with someone not his wife, leaves note.”

– writing a title full of conflict and drama. Example: “this man follows his wife to work every day. The reason? Tore my heart up.”

– sharing or promoting the above stories within conservative circles to make more conservatives, who normally wouldn’t dare read such a thing, curious “why their good conservative friend would ‘like’ such a thing.”

Simply put, I’m not a trend follower. I’m tired of seeing these things in my feeds. I don’t want to read them and usually ignore them. The grammar is regularly poor, depending on what site you eventually find the story on. The writing isn’t thorough, and in reality there isn’t usually more to the story than the punchline that follows the title. It’s like a very long typed out joke. And I’m not laughing.

Regardless, a conversation like the one I had causes me to evaluate, again, why it is I blog. I don’t blog for the attention. I have three current titles in my head of modern relevant issues that would be good to hear and the titles would be sure to deliver the “shock and awe” factor. But I don’t write for that. I don’t want to manipulate like that. That really bothers me.

(And I’ll try to be clear, I don’t shy from trying (doesn’t always happen) to make my titles accurate yet appealing. Isn’t that learned in high school English? If I’m going to write I should do so for others to want to read. I’m not opposed to SEO and the diligent work of gaining readership. That is often wise stewardship and I could learn from some of that. But manipulation and false pretenses do bother me.)

So, why do I write? 1. I write because God has given me the ability and the desire to do so. I believe that I’m responsible for that and so I write. 2. I write because there are things that need to be said. There are all sorts of things going on in our families, churches, government, and world and they need to be talked about. 3. I write because I should be one of the people to deal with all these things that need to be addressed. I have a sphere of influence and within that sphere of influence I’m going to do my part to convey the things God lays on my heart. 4. Because this media belongs to my generation. Sure, not just my generation but I went from dialup to FIOS. I recall taking 30 minutes for five queries. I’ve seen and been part of the evolution of the Internet and I get it. This is the media of today and I’m going to engage in it.

That is the point.

So, what about you, the reader? Maybe I’ll address your responsibility sometime. But for now, I’ll just say I hope that you gain something from reading anything you are reading – here or elsewhere. Finally, let me add what is referred to as a “shameless plug.” But in reality it could just be informative information. Often my posts get linked to Facebook. Sometimes they do not. If you enjoy reading or think you could profit from reading from someone who writes for the above reasons I recommend you subscribe. This is the best method to guarantee you see the posts. Facebook is unreliable and you could miss it in the feed or it could glitch on this end and never make it. Many different ways to subscribe, but you might want to consider it.