Peter 1:23-25 (New International Version)
23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
Just in front of my kitchen window there is a TALL weed that shot up. It was green and looked vibrant at first and because of the heat that weed has turned dark brown and has died. It just teaches as I stand there. When I was in seventh grade, I went to a lock-in at a small baptist church. As long as I live I will never forget that time. A precious girl named Melanie told me about Jesus. She sat in one chair facing me and me in the other. She held my hands and prayed with me to receive Christ. I recently found her on facebook and was able to finally thank her. She had no idea the impact that this would have on my life. I was so on fire for a year and because I never got discipled and did not know how to grow in God's word the passion I had fizzled out. Praise God I walked smack dab into a bible believing church where the word of God was preached. I have heard of a lot of churches lately that are reaching out in the Name of the gospel, yet I am afraid (from me listening to the teaching) that the people are not getting taught the full counsel of the Word of God. It scares me to death. In this day we have so many different gospels going around. Turn on the TV and you will see a whole host of TV preachers telling you to send in your money and God will do this and that for you. It is all about you. I even heard a preacher tell people to send in their unpaid bills and they were going to have a huge bonfire and burn those bills. A lot of good that is going to do. Then, you hear of the "lets make the church more relevant" type deal. I am sorry but the true Body of Christ is the only thing that has stood the test of time. We are not called to use methods of this world to attract people who are lost. I will not apologize at all for that statement. Then, how often do you and I take the backseat in the name of not wanted to offend anyone when people are so caught up in false teaching? I could sit here and give some of you a list a mile long of teachers that day in and day out teach nothing but prosperity and your best life now. If this is my best life now I am in for trouble. I love life...but I am in trouble if this is as good as it gets.
I have first hand witnessed someone follow this kind of teaching and it does not work. The gospel works. The Word of God works. I have shared this numerous times...it was 4am and I had one of my doctors sitting at the foot of my bed breaking the news to me as best as he could that my child was going to die. Bless his heart. He was so kind, humble, and you could tell that his heart had never grown hard over the years. It was not easy for him to come in and tell me this. I wanted him though to spit it out so I could just take it in and be alone with the Lord. I literally put my hands over my ears and starting quoting scripture and singing because I wanted him to just discuss whatever he needed to with Rod and let me deal with things. I am the type that wants you to spit it out. Don't drag things out on me. So, I kid you not a word stirred up in me that I had not even been studying or thinking on because it was stored in my heart. Mary, Martha and Lazarus was the word. The Lord revealed to me on that bed that He alone holds the keys to death because of His death on the cross. He was not crying just because Lazarus had died. He was about to bring him back from the dead anyway. It was almost (of course He didn't speak audibly to me) as if the Lord was showing me that He was crying and experiencing the external and internal forms of grief for the "Mary's" and "Martha's" of this world. The ones who are feeling the sting of death. We just were not made for separation. No wonder the last enemy to be destroyed is death. Oh death where is your sting? It will be swallowed up. I use this story and I could list so many others to say that His word works. Time spent in His word is never void.
Do you want to build up your faith? Go grab a copy of "Daniel" by Beth Moore. You throw yourself into that study and you will walk away with your faith built up. A faith that understands that persecution brings purification. You will see the God of the Bible who allowed Daniel to be thrown into a den with hungry, ferocious lions ready to rip the flesh off of any soul to satisfy their beastly hunger. Then, see that God shut their mouths. I don't know about you but I would be wigging out to even come close to a lion, much less spend the night with one.
Then, the fiery furnace the three men in the fire get to see the glory of God. Literally, a fourth man shows up in the fire. The fire is so hot that people that get next to it are killed and these dudes are dancing in the fire and come out of it not even smelling like smoke. Then, you see the prophecy given to Daniel regarding the statue. It was given way before the history books were written. You can go back in history and literally see most of the prophecy fulfilled through history to the tee. We still have some to go on that statue regarding eschatology but God's word is true and relevant. It is amazing.
The point of me telling you about Shelby is that if I had not been rooted and grounded in the Word of God and I got a trial like the one I had dealt to me I would have indeed withered up like that weed in my front yard. I have watched a woman completely live in bitterness and selfishness for as long as I have known her, yet she follows this doctrine of Jesus wants you to be happy, give you money, and allow you to be the spoiled princess that you are. We are in this big princess movement. Everywhere you turn princess this and princess that. We are indeed daughters of the King. We are heirs and co-heirs with Christ. Yet, His kingdom can not be inherited by flesh and blood. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to be spoiled princesses without a stinky aroma. We need to know who we are in Christ to be secure. Yet life is still not all about us in the here in now. There is glory at stake in our trials, failures, and persecution. We are called to a life of servant hood not a life of us being served.
I got way off here but one thing that spurred this is that I am really, I mean really struggling to get along with someone. REALLY struggling! So, based on God's word proving true in the past when I have battled this and wallowed in unforgiveness, I became bitter and that root of bitterness sprung up and true to the word it defiles many. My sin doesn't just effect me. Not only that when I choose to not forgive it eats me alive and hardly even bothers the person I am struggling with. So, been there done that, I am going to pour out my heart to Jesus. Memorize me some scripture and pray for this person that I am struggling to love. In the process God will change my heart. He does it every time. Yet I still have to work at it and do my part.
Guard your heart and mind, watch your doctrine closely, and don't allow things to spring up in your heart by fostering sin and it's deceitfulness.