Why We Should Keep Silent

Currently in smallgroups, we’re going through Jerry Bridges’ “Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.” A really convicting read of sins that many Christians overlook and like in the title, tolerate. Usually we study a passage in the Bible that goes along with that week’s “respectable sin” and this week’s chapter is on self-control, discussing self-control in eating and drinking, personnel finances, and temper. More specifically, the author brings up the point that “anger, in most instances, is sin, but with the short-tempered person, there is the added sin of a lack of self-control.” I thought if not in all of us, certainly myself, needing to be careful and have self-control in my words towards other people.  What better example could we have than of Jesus Himself, displaying self-control while being accused. First, you hafta read Matthew 26:57-68 and 27:11-26. For the lazies, all you gotta do is just click the links and the passages will come up in a new window!

In reading these passages, I realized that “Jesus remains silent.” I thought, well cool, Jesus shows a lot of self-control by not saying anything back to either the priests, elders or Pilate. Lesson noted. But then I also realized that Jesus  doesn’t always keep silent, but that He does answer sometimes too. So obviously there are times we are to keep silent, and also times when it can be appropriate to speak. I saw that Jesus never answered when He was being accused but did answer when the people asked of who He was. Specifically in 26:63-64 Jesus tells the people that yeah He is “Christ, the Son of God” and in 27:11 that He is indeed the “King of the Jews.”

I thought this was an incredible example of self-control with the words that come out of our mouths. Think if you were in a similar situation of being accused. My first reaction would be anger, which no where does it even say Jesus getting angry. Then I would immediately think of some excuse or reason to shoot back at the accuser. But Jesus chose to remain silent. Jesus chose to answer the people when they would inquire who He was. When have you only spoken for the purpose of sharing who you are? A lot of times, I realize what I had just said was helpful to neither those around me (it didn’t build them up in any way) or even myself (being angry and then not having self-control to hold my tongue).

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may givegrace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

How we can keep silent? By simply remembering that Jesus kept silent. The Son of God, being accused, chose to not say a word at times. So really, who do you think you are? Who do I think I am to believe that I have some right to lash out whenever I want? Who are we to not keep silent?

Break My Heart

“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”

Most of you reading probably know these lyrics are from Hillsong’s Hosanna. If you’re not familiar with it, check it out:

I just wanted to point out what we sing when we sing this popular song. Do we actually even know what we’re singing? Or are we letting the cool buildup to the bridge overcome us realizing what these words mean? Do we realize the depth of of what we are asking here? Because I sure didn’t.

I know it’s cliche when people say “let it not just be lip service”.  But let us not leave it as a cliche statment and  remind ourselves that we are singing to our God here.

I just want to emphasize one of the lines, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours”. All of a sudden, it just hit me what a huge request this is that we are making to God. But I hope that this can be all of our request and prayer to God. That the things that break our God’s heart, would also break ours. The things that God is disappointed in, we would also be disappointed and not satisfied in. That my heart would be aligned with God’s.

How Far Can I Go God?

It doesn’t say in the Bible that I can’t do that, so technically it’s not a sin. If I don’t go that far, it’s alright. For a good while, I found myself asking God, how far can I go? What exactly can I do? Many times we have this attitude in life where we want to know exactly how far we can go before we get in trouble. How close we can stand next to sin without sinning.

While some things aren’t necessarily sins, God always reminds me of our purpose. Our purpose to ultimately glorify Him in all that we do. A thought that I keep close to my heart is this, how much can I do for God because I love Him? I’m not saying we must not do these “things” because they can totally be alright to do, we just need to ask ourselves for what purpose are we doing these things? A pastor said this during a sermon,

“A heart that’s willing to stand next to sin, is willing to sin.”

At first, I thought that’s not necessarily true. It sort of depends on the situation. And I still think it kind of does. However when I examined my life and my situation, and saw myself trying to justify certain actions, this for sure was the case. We need to read His word, be in prayer, be focused on Him. And when we do this, we set our minds on things above and not of this world.

It’s not how much we can get away with, but how much we can do for Him. How much we can do for God to glorify His Name, and His Name ALONE.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.” -1 Corinthians 10: 31-33

God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Hold it. God gives us more than we can handle? Doesn’t it say in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that

He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. -1 Corinthians 10:13

This morning, the pastor at the church I attended made a good point of this well known verse. A lot of times when I read this verse, it encourages me. Anything that comes my way is never too much because God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. Seems pretty self explanatory? Maybe not.

The truth is that God does give us more than we can handle. Just look at the times you were in over your head. The list goes on for how many times I couldn’t handle something. The cool thing is that God carries us through these times. He gives us more than we can handle, so that we may rely on Him and Him alone. It isn’t God giving us just the right amount before we crack, but giving us just that little bit more so there’s nothing else we can do but go to Him. It is through Him that we are able to overcome. It is in Him that we must trust.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

No Worries, God Has Got It Covered

Every week at the Friday night fellowship back at home in SB, there is a time to share blessings. People are able to give a shout out to God for how He has blessed them during the week. Since I’m not able to share with the SB folks in person, I figure I could post here and maybe someone will come across it. Otherwise, I hope that in reading this, you are encouraged by seeing how God actively participates in our lives. From things that we have absolutely no control over, or even the things we think we’ve got down.

One of the many things I thank God for is providing brothers and sisters up here at Cal Poly. For those of you reading who either go or have gone to CEFCSB, I think you would agree with me that the fellowship you experience there is crazy awesome. It’s definitely hard for me to explain. It’s one of the things that I knew before leaving, I would miss the most. I even thought to myself, there’s no way that I’m going to be able to find people like this at SLO. I decided that I would “settle for less” if I had to. And when I would return home, I’d realize how thankful I should be for these great friends. But how the Lord loves to prove us wrong. God definitely answered my prayer for finding brothers and sisters to fellowship with. Hanging out, I didn’t realize it at first, but it felt like I was with the people from home (not that I’m trying to replace you guys or anything haha). There is just a comfort in knowing that the people around you believe and worship the same God as you. I am so thankful for the friendships that I’ve made while at home and because of them, am able to look forward to how God will work in these new friendships here at SLO.

I really thank God for this experience so far. He has definitely blessed me with a smooth transition and I find myself enjoying it here.

“Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” Nehemiah 9:5-6

Praise God.