Posts Tagged ‘deception’

Wheat or Tares? Who Could Really Judge..

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Happy Monday, friends! Be blessed today as you make the purposeful decision to show love to those who may not share in the same sin as you.

-Sarah
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Today’s devo selection:

Be Careful of Who You Judge
By Calvary Chapel Boise/Bob Caldwell

Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 13:36-43

Key Verse: “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” –Matthew 13:38-40

It is critical for each of us to understand how the Kingdom of God operates in this age of rebellion against God. It is common for believers to try to separate themselves from the “world” in a way that at times can be counter-productive. In this parable of the sower, there is a reference to tares. They look similar to wheat and, in this parable, are growing among the wheat the sower planted. The wheat represents the people who belong to the Kingdom of God and the tares represent those who belong to the Kingdom of Darkness. Jesus warns us not to try to separate the tares, lest the wheat be uprooted as well.

Yet often well-meaning believers do just the opposite. We sometimes try to use our limited ability to judge the true nature of a person and then try to “weed them out” of the Kingdom of God. “Who are the wheat? Who are the tares?” become the questions we want answered. Yet if we pursue this process we often see genuine believers uprooted and deeply hurt. Conversely, we may honor some people who may in fact be “tares.” Humility requires us to defer to Christ as the only true judge. Of course, this doesn’t mean we compromise truth. Obviously some people by their own words and deeds make their status as “wheat” or “tares” very obvious. But often a person’s heart condition—in relationship to truth—may not be as easy to determine as we think.

By God’s grace, His “wheat seeds” are sown throughout the world to bring revelation of the knowledge of Him. As this occurs, Satan will inevitably sow among us “tares.” These are people who try to appear to be believers but in fact are not. Over time it’s impossible for many of these counterfeit believers to hide who they really are. But we must let this process play out without our interference for two very important reasons. First, if we deal graciously with all people, some of these counterfeit Christians will become sincere followers of Christ. Authentic believers who live a genuinely Spirit-filled life of faith may influence them. The contrast between the life of the Spirit and the life of the flesh can often cause hypocrites to repent of their life of self-deception. Secondly, this careful approach protects new believers who are babes in Christ. In certain areas of life, these immature believers may appear to be nonbelievers. If we judge them as “tares,” they can become overwhelmed with discouragement. They may conclude that their baby steps are not enough for them to belong to the family of God.

Therefore, let us not pretend to be God. We’re not Him! Only God knows the true heart condition of each of us. God will in His own time separate the wheat and the tares, at the Second Coming of Christ.

The Ministry Opportunity in Heartbreak

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If you’re struggling today, know that my love and prayers are with you. The sun will shine on you again, this isn’t the end of your story. Look up!

Blessings and love,

Sarah

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In Love’s Service, Only Broken Hearts Will Do
Written By Sheila Schuller Coleman

“(Jesus) answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” -Luke 10:27 (NIV)

I have heard my father say throughout my lifetime, “In love’s service only broken hearts will do.” In other words, we can only empathize with others who are going through heartbreaking times if we have had our hearts broken, too. We can empathize, we can be sensitive, we can truly understand – or stand under them and hold them up while they are going through their heartbreak.

So very many people today are going through heartbreaking times. And they need someone to lean on – someone to stand under them – understand what they are going through. They do not want someone who has had an easy life, who has not walked in their shoes. They want someone who truly knows how they feel – someone who has been there – lived to tell about it.

What is your heartbreak? That heartbreak is your ministry. God did not allow you to go through it just to get through it – He helped you go through it – He helped you grow through it – so you can stand under others who are now going through something similar.

Your divine purpose is to use your broken heart in love’s service. You are uniquely qualified to provide loving service to others who are going through the same heartbreak. In so doing, your heart will become stronger at the broken places – you’ll heal even more as you reach out and love, and someone will make it through – because you were willing to let God use you!

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Prayer:

Lord, I didn’t want this heartbreak. But I can’t turn back the clock. I can, however, choose how I will react to it. I can resent You. Or, I can trust You to use it to help others. My heart has been broken. Show me the person You want to heal through my heartbreak. Amen.

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Reflection:

What is your heartbreak? How can God use it in love’s service to help others?

Exaggeration…Lying…Is There Really a Difference? Nah.

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Let’s work on being honest, even when it’s not easy.  Even if we have to say, “Wait, I’m sorry..I exaggerated a bit there.  This is what I really should have said…”  The people in our lives will respect us so much more when they know they can trust the words we speak.

Whenever Jesus spoke, people could take His word straight to “the bank”.  They could know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what He said, it was true.  I want to be just like Him, don’t you?

Have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Sarah

Today’s Devo selection:

“Harmless Little Lies”

By Glynnis Whitwer

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 (NIV)

My job was overwhelming, yet I was desperate to appear competent. With each passing week, I found myself giving misleading responses to my boss. All right … they were lies.

As a young college graduate, I was grateful for the position. It included writing, which I loved, plus answering the phones, which I didn’t love quite so much. But the owners promised the position would develop as the company expanded.

Over time, both the company and my work level grew … but I still answered the phones. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn’t manage everything, at least not well.

My boss was very hands on and often called me into her office for an update on my projects. I found myself dreading those meetings, knowing she’d be displeased with my lack of progress. I could feel myself getting anxious as I fell further behind.

And that is when the lies started:

“Yes, that project is coming along nicely.” “I’m almost finished.” “Just waiting for a few more pieces of information.”

After our meetings, I’d rush back to my desk and frantically try to make my progress match the inaccurate response I’d just given. Over time, the lies and truth became jumbled.

I’d crossed a line of personal integrity that nagged at the edges of my conscience, but not enough to make a change. Until one day my boss gave me another request: to lie for her.

She hadn’t gotten something done, and asked me to give false information to a person on the phone. I felt sick to my stomach. This wasn’t right. She hadn’t even started the project. And now I was supposed to cover for her? It was as if God made me do a 180 and stare at the line of integrity I had already crossed.

I’d compromised my character one half-truth, one excuse, one rationalization at a time. But no more. I had some decisions to make. I needed to determine on which side of the line I would stand.

Would integrity be a mask I put on at church and took off at work? Was my career more important than my character?

Those were heavy questions for a young woman. Especially one who desperately needed a job. But they were necessary. God was using this situation to help shape the person He wanted me to be.

It was a defining moment, and I knew where I wanted to stand.

Knowing I could lose my job, with humility and respect I told my boss I couldn’t, no I wouldn’t, lie for her. Amazingly, she didn’t fire me. With a huff and a sigh, she accepted my decision.

While I wasn’t up to confessing all my lies to her, I did confess them to God. And I made a commitment that day to honesty, no matter how personally difficult it was. Luke 16:10 reminds us that God cares about what may seem like a harmless little lie: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

Compromise is easy, but character takes work. Yet with God’s help, I’m making progress to become the woman of integrity He has called me to be.

Dear Lord, You are the source of all truth. Please forgive me for the times I’ve twisted the truth to manipulate the opinions of others. I want to be a woman who is filled with Your truth and in whom there is not a shadow of a lie. Help me to uncover whatever stands in the way of becoming that woman. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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