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Living To Make A World Of Difference


"Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men."
Good Morning My Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so very grateful for our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we are so thankful that you are all with us today. We continue to lift all of you up in prayer, and ask that you would also pray for us. 

Those of us who know Christ must speak with authority and conviction! A hurting and doubting world needs to hear the truth, and desperately needs to have it presented clearly and confidently, with authority of Scripture. Those of us who love Christ, are to follow our Lord's example. He spoke the truth lovingly, compassionately with conviction and authoritatively.

It is my belief, that if you believe what you say, then what you say, will inevitably be more believable. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit , you will speak with more authority. Our Salvation began by grace and is to continue by grace. The grace that initially saved us will also sanctify us and bring about a completely new way of life. This life of grace will be brought to its culmination of fulfillment when our Lord, Jesus Christ appears. Since this purified life is our goal, its what we strive for, we are to long for Christ's return to bring us to perfection in the Grace and Glory of Christ Jesus.
In Colossians 3:16-17, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father, 
Father, we give You thanks and praise for Your Word for us. We thank You for this time that You have so graciously blessed us with today, we thank You and praise You for those You have chosen to assemble with us, whom You have prepared their hearts. Help us to take Your Word seriously, cause us to want to live the kind of lives that You would have us us to live, lives that demonstrate what a truly transformed life looks like. Lord, we pray that You would help us to live holy lives, lives of compassion and love, lives of grace, live of kindness and mercy that they might see in us, the loving and compassionate One whom we serve.
We pray this in His name and for His sake
Today's Message: Living To Make A World Of Difference 

The Christian life should reflect the confidence we have in our heavenly Father and in His Word! Because we are citizens of the eternal kingdom, we can live and earthly life with hope and serve people in the physical realm. Christians today, understand obedience to the Word of God in different ways: I believe that all Christians agree that we are to live at peace with the world, as far is dependent upon us and as allows us to live by our convictions. I believe that we all understand that.

However, there are some Christians, who believe that the world is so corrupt that we should have as little contact, have as little to do with it as is possible. They understand, that they should be good citizens as long as they can do so without compromising their beliefs, helping others, so long as those people believe as they believe.

Other Christians believe that they can be loyal to both and can do God's work for either. They should not, however, confuse the two. In this view, church and the world are concerned with two totally different spheres; the spiritual and the physical. 
However, I believe that Christians are never to violate the moral standards revealed to us by God in His Word. And, that above all we must remember our true commitment to a holy God. We do this morally, by serving as an influence for good in society.
Open with me your Bibles to Titus chapter three. As we continue in our study of the Apostle Paul's
letter to this young man in the faith, who was given the task of ministering to the people of Crete, in a way that would bring honor and glory to God. Today, the world is still striving to change people's nature by education, by legislation, and by a change of atmosphere or environment. However, I believe there is only one way to change the nature of people, and that is through the truth about salvation, and the teaching of sound doctrine about the redeeming work of our Living Savior.

I would like to encourage you to follow along with me, as I read the text to set it in our minds, as we prepare our hearts and then we will walk through it together. Titus 3:1-2

"Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men."
So very often in our society, those who claim to be most offended by others are quick to label others using hateful and disrespectful terms. Christians are to be in the world but not of the world. Christians need to interact with the world to reach the world with the gospel. We are to reflect the grace and mercy which Christians have received from God and point others to God.  
As believers, we are to go out of the way to see the other person’s point of view. Believers could show gentleness to unbelievers in their neighborhoods by offering help without strings attached. When we help unbelievers, we open a door for the gospel; our help should be offered even when the door remains closed.
Humility is a very elusive character trait in our culture today. Yet, the Bible regards it as a highly important quality. Jesus referred to himself as "humble in heart." The Apostle Paul, described humility as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Humility, then, comes down to having an honest estimate of ourselves before God. We show false humility when we project negative worth on our abilities and efforts. We show pride when we inflate the value of our efforts or look down on others. True humility seeks to view our character and accomplishments honestly. Recognizing that we have succeeded in an effort need not be pride. 
The Apostle Paul gives best definition of humility apart from Christ's own example demonstrated by His life "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."  
I often fear that the attitudes that now characterize this broken and fallen world, have been to a large extent, adopted by the professed people of God. We have made violence our entertainment, biting sarcasm our amusement and self our god. We have become so overly sensitive, that every little annoyance, real or imagined, incites our outrage toward others. We no longer teach our youth to ignore unpleasant remarks, allowing them to continue to throw temper tantrums in order to get their way. Universities and colleges no longer challenge students to think for themselves, or to consider differing views. Rather, these institutions have forsaken the mandate to provide higher education, having become little more than glorified nursery schools where students are indoctrinated and treated as precious snowflakes. 
The anonymity of social media enables us to slander, castigate and threaten virtually everyone who disagrees with our opinion, even those who are deserving of our respect. I believe that most tragically, Christians are increasingly undifferentiated from the fallen world in which we live. Worse, we act this way, then attempt to justify those actions, despite being cautioned against such behaviors in the Word of God. 
In verse 1, Paul writes, "remind the them" this implies that we should know, what is coming next, "to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed." Christian courtesy is a virtue, one should be taught from earliest days in this holy faith. As Christians, we are to be godly in our speech and in conduct. All throughout the New Testament, there are multiple admonitions, for how Christians are to conduct themselves before the watching world. Our behavior and speech reveals the reality of the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives.  
In Colossians 3:1-17, Paul instructs the believers in Colossi, "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—  a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all."

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

I believe Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, is yet another well-known example of such moral instruction. In this letter, the Apostle Paul writes, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them;"

I believe the point that Paul is making here is very clear, no Christian should ever be guilty of slanderous speech against those in government. While we may not agree with their policies or think much of their character, they rule with God’s permission. I would like to point out that at the time Paul wrote Romans 13:1-2, Nero was the Emperor at the time Paul wrote this Letter to Roman Christians. 

"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves."

Consequently, this teaching complements what Peter has written in I Peter 2:13-15, to the Jewish Christians scattered abroad by persecution. "Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men." Christians are "to be obedient." Surely, Christians are to be obedient to those whom God appoints to direct the congregations as well. 

In fact, the writer of Hebrews 13:7-8, says "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." The eighth verse is not often quoted in concert with the seventh; however, the intent of what is written is to remind readers that it was the Lord who appointed those who lead. Therefore, Christians are to respect His appointment and to render respect to them. 

And, in the same chapter, verse 17 it says "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you." Christians are to be obedient, until those who lead attempt to move into realms that are immoral, unethical or ungodly. At that point, we must obey and honor God, Who is our higher authority.

When we cultivate a spirit of obedience before the Lord, we will fulfill the admonition of  II Timothy 2:21 "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."

Christians are "to be ready for every good work." In context, this would appear to mean that Christians should keep the civil law. Christians should be the best citizens in any community. If possible, they are to be engaged in the process of governing. They are to be supportive of sound government, encouraging participation where possible. They are to encourage good governance, commending those who lead when they act in commendable manner and holding them accountable when they do not. Paul's intent of the verse however, extends far beyond this, meaning that we must also do good whenever possible to our neighbors. We are to be amiable to all people, seeking opportunity to do good.

Paul then his attention to the broader aspects of society, "to malign no one." Christians would do well to recall the Apostle Paul's instruction in Ephesians 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." The attitudes, behavior and speech, that so prevalently marks this fallen world should never characterize what comes from the mouth of believer’s. We see the example of slandering those with whom we disagree politically. No Christian should in good conscience engage in speech that is derogatory or slanderous.

In I Peter 3:9, Christians have received the command, "not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." When we engage in such speech we do not glorify God, therefore, we must always speak the truth in love, always seeking to turn those who hear to righteousness.

However, by avoid combative speech, we cannot be silent concerning evil. Neither can we allow the world to define what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in speech. In our broken world, people wish to identify themselves by lifestyle choices;  are often resentful of those who do not agree with their choice. Consequently, Christians are often accused of being mean, of deliberately attacking sinners with their "hate speech,", because they will not agree that the choices are innocuous or even good. We are told with increasing frequency that the Bible is politically incorrect because God pointedly condemns sinful conduct as destructive and damning. We are to care about our culture, therefore, we cannot simply ignore behavior that leads to spiritual death. Yet, because we live in a world in which many have decided that if a Christian does not agree with their self-destructive behavior, that we are mean spirited and are hateful. To persist in this attitude, lashing out in rage at anyone who disagrees, demonstrates that individuals have nothing in common with God Who is gracious.

In Closing..

Pursuing a life of pleasure and giving in to every sensual desire leads to slavery. However, many today think that freedom consists in doing whatever they want, when they want. Yet,t this path leads to a slavish addiction to sensual gratification, where a person is no longer free but becoming a slave to what his or her body dictates. Jesus Christ frees us from the desires and control of sin. No matter how much love the world tries to create without God, the overriding power of sin produces a greater amount of hatred and discord. There is no hope for sinful humanity apart from the holy God Who created it all.

As followers of Christ, rather than condemning others, we are to take delight in commending others. Rather than to tear others down, we are to seek to build them up, following in the example of our Lord and Savior.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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