The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"His Heart Matters More"
God calls born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to "be of one mind" (II Corinthians 13:11). He desires that we agree on matters of Scriptural doctrine, practice, and how we respond to Him as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We do, however, disagree at times with each other, including some issues that seem fairly significant. We find this in the New Testament, particularly in the book of Acts wherein we see the early church progressively discovering God's will regarding matters of grace as it pertained to ritual and the essence of what it means to walk with God "in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" (Acts 15:1-31; 21:17-25; Galatians 5:1). Through the ages, numerous other issues have challenged believers to maintain the attitude to which God calls us as we sometimes fail to achieve the "one mind" agreement He desires (an agreement that will only be perfectly fulfilled when we are all glorified in His direct presence).
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (II Timothy 2:24-25).
If we have Biblically considered and pondered an issue enough to have an opinion (certainly, a most valid question) we may "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3). We can and must, however, do without being contentious. The word "gentle" in the Apostle Paul's counsel to Timothy means affable, or kind. Clearly, the Lord calls us to maintain a countenance and demeanor that reflects His heart, even as we seek to affirm the truths that properly communicate His mind. Indeed, I can damage the heart of another human being by my attitude, even as I change his mind by my argument. No winners go forth from such an encounter because I left the character and nature of the Lord Jesus behind while supposedly affirming His truth. And if I leave the character and nature of the Lord Jesus behind, I am wrong even when I am right.
One day, we will all agree on every matter of God's truth (although even in Heaven to come, we will doubtless have unique views of God's infinite light, as personally revealed unto and within each of our glorified hearts and minds). This is not that day. Today, we agree on many things with fellow believers, and disagree on some. How we agree and disagree matters every bit as much as seeking to rightly understand the truth together. Let us then earnestly contend, and let us also "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). We must do so without being contentious, seeking always to maintain lovingkindness, humility, tendermercies, and the refusal to be disrespectfully or sarcastically dismissive of the brother for whom the Lord Jesus shed His blood. Because his mind matters much. But his heart matters more (Proverbs 4:23; I Samuel 16:7). The Spirit of God will lead and enable us to fulfill this challenging calling as we devote ourselves to both the character and content of the living Christ and His living Word.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
Weekly Memory Verse
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.