Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Does A Person Respond To False Accusations?

HOW DOES A PERSON RESPOND TO FALSE ACCUSATIONS?


BIBLE READING: Daniel 6:1-28

KEY BIBLE VERSE: So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion.” (Daniel 6:5)


SILENCE IS OFTEN AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO FALSE ACCUSATIONS.

At this time, Daniel was over eighty years old and one of Darius’s top three administrators. He was working with those who did not believe in his God, but he worked more efficiently and capably than all the rest. Thus, he attracted the attention of the pagan king and earned a place of respect. He also attracted the envy of coworkers. These jealous officials couldn’t find anything about Daniel’s life to criticize, so they attacked his religion. If you face jealous critics because of your faith, be glad they’re criticizing that part of your life-perhaps they had to focus on your faith as a last resort! Respond by continuing to believe and live as you should. Then remember that God is in control, fighting this battle for you.

BIBLE READING: Psalm 35:1-28

KEY BIBLE VERSE: Malicious witnesses testify against me. They accuse me of things I don’t even know about. (Psalm 35:11)


PRAYER IS AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO ACCUSATIONS.

This is one of the “imprecatory” (cursing) psalms that call upon God to deal with enemies. These psalms sound extremely harsh, but we must remember: (1) David was fleeing from men who were unjustly seeking to kill him. As God’s anointed king over a nation called to annihilate the evil people of the land, David found it difficult to understand. (2) David’s call for justice was sincere; it was not a cover for vengeance. He truly wanted to seek God’s perfect ideal for his nation. (3) David did not say he would take vengeance, but gave the matter over to God. These are merely his suggestions. (4) These psalms use hyperbole (or overstatement). They were meant to motivate others to take a strong stand against sin and evil.

Cruelty is far removed from the experience of many, but it is a daily reality for others. God promises to help the persecuted and bring judgment on unrepentant sinners. David cried out to God to defend him when he was unjustly accused. When we pray for justice to be done, we are praying as David did. If you are unjustly accused, your natural reaction may be to lash out in revenge or to give a detailed defense of your every move. Ask God to fight the battle for you. He will clear your name in the eyes of those who really matter. When Christ returns, the wicked will be punished.

BIBLE READING: Matthew 5:1-16

KEY BIBLE VERSE: God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. (Matthew 5:11)


JOY IS AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO ACCUSATIONS.

Jesus said to rejoice when we’re persecuted. Persecution can be good because (1) it takes our eyes off earthly rewards, (2) it strips away superficial believers, (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure, and (4) it serves as an example for others to follow. We can take comfort in knowing that many of God’s greatest prophets were persecuted (Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel). Our persecution means we have shown ourselves faithful. In the future God will reward the faithful by letting them enter his eternal kingdom where there is no more persecution.



Taken from iLumina's Life Application Article

Friday, October 23, 2009

WHAT OR WHO ARE THE SOURCES OF ACCUSATIONS?

WHAT OR WHO ARE THE SOURCES OF ACCUSATIONS?

Zechariah 3:1 . . . Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. Satan was there at the angel’s right hand, accusing Jeshua of many things.
Job 2:1 . . . One day the angels came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan the Accuser came with them.
Revelation 12:9-11 . . . This great dragon-the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world-was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has happened at last-the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth-the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night.”
Satan is the ultimate false accuser. He makes believers doubt.
John 7:7 . . . The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of sin and evil.
Jesus is the ultimate true accuser of a sinful world. He helps doubters believe.
John 8:9 . . . When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
Our own conscience can be our accuser, rising up to confront us in our sin.
Deuteronomy 19:16 . . . If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime.
Ezra 4:6 . . . Years later when Xerxes began his reign, the enemies of Judah wrote him a letter of accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Our enemies often become our accusers, hoping we will stumble and fall.


HOW DO WE ACCUSE THE RIGHT WAY?
Matthew 7:3-5 . . . Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
John 8:7 . . . They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!”
Self-examination should precede accusation. Perhaps then we will accuse ourselves of our wrongs instead of accusing others of lesser wrongs.
1 Timothy 5:19 . . . Do not listen to complaints against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses to accuse him.
Deuteronomy 19:15 . . . “Never convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of just one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
Multiple witnesses are necessary to more equitably determine the facts. Each succeeding witness reinforces the credibility of former witnesses.
Leviticus 19:11 . . . Do not steal. Do not cheat one another. Do not lie.
Proverbs 3:30 . . . Don’t make accusations against someone who hasn’t wronged you.
We should never make false accusations. Accusing another falsely may cast suspicion on a person’s reputation, cheating that person of something precious.
What are the consequences of falsely accusing others?
Deuteronomy 19:16-20 . . . If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime, then both the accuser and accused must appear before the priests and judges who are on duty before the Lord. They must be closely questioned, and if the accuser is found to be lying, the accuser will receive the punishment intended for the accused.
False accusations are as bad as the crime itself. Don’t accuse someone falsely. God may punish you with the punishment you intended for the other person.
Jeremiah 37:13-16 . . . As he was walking through the Benjamin Gate, a sentry arrested him and said, “You are defecting to the Babylonians!” . . . “That’s not true!” Jeremiah protested. “I had no intention of doing any such thing.” But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took Jeremiah before the officials. They were furious with Jeremiah and had him flogged and imprisoned. . . . Jeremiah was put into a dungeon cell, where he remained for many days.
1 Kings 21:10, 13, 19-21 . . . “Find two scoundrels who will accuse him of cursing God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.” . . . Then two scoundrels accused him before all the people of cursing God and the king. So he was dragged outside the city and stoned to death.
1 Peter 3:14 . . . Even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry.
Although false accusations sometimes lead to unjust earthly punishments, the ultimate judge, holding both punishments and rewards, is God. As the just Judge, God will always bring justice. Sometimes his justice is swift. Sometimes it is deferred beyond this earth.


HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ME?
Psalm 35:20-24 . . . They don’t talk of peace; they plot against innocent people who are minding their own business. They shout that they have seen me doing wrong. “Aha,” they say. “Aha! With our own eyes we saw him do it!” O Lord, you know all about this. . . . Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and my Lord. Declare me “not guilty,” O Lord my God, for you give justice. Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
Realize that God has full knowledge of the accusation and the truth, and that he has the authority and ability to handle the situation. If you are innocent, leave justice with God.
Psalm 119:78 . . . Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
Nehemiah 6:8-9 . . . My reply was, “You know you are lying. There is no truth in any part of your story.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could break our resolve and stop the work. So I prayed for strength to continue the work.
Don’t become so focused on the accusation that you forget about God. Take the matter to him and get strength from him.
Genesis 3:11-13 . . . “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?” “Yes,” Adam admitted, “but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “How could you do such a thing?” “The serpent tricked me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Hosea 4:4 . . . “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! Look, you priests, my complaint is with you!”
There are times when we should accept the blame that is rightfully ours.
Luke 12:11-12 . . . “When you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there.”
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in responding to accusations. He may give you help you never thought possible.
Matthew 27:12-14 . . . When the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear their many charges against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus said nothing, much to the governor’s great surprise.
In some instances it is best to remain silent. There are times when your silence shouts your innocence.
Matthew 5:11 . . . “God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers.”
Jesus was mocked and persecuted. His followers should expect the same. But God will bless us when we are persecuted for Jesus’ sake.
1 Peter 2:12, 15 . . . Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world. It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you.
Continue to live an honorable life before your accusers. Christlikeness is magnetic. You may attract the accuser to the Savior.


PROMISES FROM GOD:
Romans 8:33-34 . . . Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.
1 Peter 3:16 . . . Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
Colossians 1:22 . . . Now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
 
Taken from iLumina

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Word Of God on Jealousy!

Jealousy is one of the most common emotions, but we often fail to see how it can also be one of the most dangerous. We’re jealous of those who have better houses, nicer cars, more vacation time, more attractive spouses, happier families, more talents. Jealousy is an emotion of passion, and jealousy uncontrolled leads to passionate hate. If allowed to go that far, it can drive an inflamed person to kill, as Cain killed Abel. Short of that, families have been broken, businesses poisoned, relationships destroyed through jealousy.


WHY IS OUR JEALOUSY SO DANGEROUS?
Proverbs 14:30 . . . A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away.
Jealousy brings decay to our lives because it causes us to focus on anger and bitterness.
Proverbs 27:4 . . . Anger is cruel . . . but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?
Genesis 13:7 . . . An argument broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot.
Jealousy tears families and friends apart. Jealousy drove Lot’s herdsmen to fight with his uncle Abram’s herdsmen.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT GOD IS “A JEALOUS GOD”?
Exodus 34:14 . . . You must worship no other gods, but only the Lord, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.
Deuteronomy 5:9 . . . I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!
Deuteronomy 32:21 . . . They have roused my jealousy by worshiping non-gods.
Zechariah 1:14 . . . This is what the Lord Almighty says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.
When people give their honor, praise, and love to other things, God is jealous that the honor due him has been squandered elsewhere. Because God deserves all our honor, praise, and love, this is an honest recognition of what he deserves.


WHERE DOES JEALOUSY TAKE US? WHAT CAN HAPPEN NEXT?
Proverbs 12:12 . . . Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, while the godly bear their own fruit.
Thieves steal from others in response to their jealousy and lust for someone else’s money. Generous people, on the other hand, love to give and that becomes their driving force in life.
Genesis 4:4-8 . . . The Lord accepted Abel’s offering, but he did not accept Cain’s. This made Cain very angry.
Acts 17:5-6 . . . The Jewish leaders were jealous, so they gathered some worthless fellows from the streets to form a mob . . . They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas . . . Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason.
Jealousy for attention or affection can drive a person to extreme action, even seeking to harm or kill others.
Galatians 5:22-26 . . . When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us.
When we seek the character traits that come from the Holy Spirit, we are spared from petty human jealousy and the hard feelings that come from the competition for honor and popularity.


NOTICE THE PROGRESSION OF JEALOUSY IN THE LIFE OF KING SAUL.
1 Samuel 18:7-8 . . . This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry.
Saul suddenly became afraid David might replace him.
1 Samuel 18:9-10 . . . From that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David . . . A tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul.
Saul was tormented by a jealous spirit.
1 Samuel 18:10-11 . . . Saul, who had a spear in his hand, suddenly hurled it at David.
Saul’s jealousy led him to uncontrolled rage.
1 Samuel 18:12 . . . Saul was afraid of him.
Jealousy brought great fear to Saul. The selfish pursuit of harming David became Saul’s lifelong passion.


PROMISE FROM GOD:
Mark 11:24-25 . . . Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Taken from iLumina's Life Application Article

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We Must Be Spiritually Dressed In The Full Armor Of God Daily!!!

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints


(Ephesians 6:11-18)