Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 12, 2009
Part of real, genuine love is correcting others. God says in Revelation 3:19, Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. If God's spirit is correcting you, then that a sign that he loves you. God loves you enough to risk offending you so that he can guide you away from things that might harm you.
Don't get mad at someone who corrects you; rather, rejoice that you're given a chance to grow and change. If you're wise, you'll appreciate and love the people who correct you (Proverbs 9:8)
Parents aren't showing their children love if they never correct them. If your little boy is being mean to other kids, but you chose not to correct him, then he'll probably never change. However, if you love him enough that you want him to improve his behavior, then you'll correct him so that you can guide him in a different direction.
When someone corrects you, don't become angry at them. Recognize that they're simply trying to help you. Accept their correction as direction.
Many Christians are so enveloped in "church world" (i.e. a continuous Christian environment) that they have very few opportunities to reach out to nonbelievers. In such cases, the church turns into a social networking place to meet other Christians. Instead, the church needs to be a place where believers can be built up and strengthened in faith, and then encouraged and empowered to be sent out into culture for the ultimate cause of sharing Christ with all people.
That's exactly what Jesus was getting at in Matthew 28:18-20, when he told his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The Greek word for "nations" (ethnos) means a multitude of people. So, Jesus is simply saying that as you're living and as you're going about your business, make disciples of the people you're around.
Even back in the Old Testament, God was trying to get his people to spread his name, his glory, and his fame among the people of the Earth. In Psalm 96:1-3, the psalmist writes, Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
God calls us to share his story with people. That call requires that we be in the world in order that we have opportunities to witness. That's why the church needs to be a sending place for Christians.
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