Friday, July 27, 2018

Some Things to Watch for

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secretand shamefulways; we do not use deception, nor do we distortthe word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.  2 Corinthians 4:1-2

Sometimes secrets are fun.  For example, it’s fun to plan secret surprises for people we love, or to have someone confide in you a secret they haven’t told anyone else yet.  But there are secrets that we may find ourselves in the middle of that are not fun, and anything we feel that we have to try to keep secret from God or His people is never good.  
Four words stand out from the verses above: secret, shameful, deception, and distort.  Look at the original Greek meaning for these words:
·     Kryptos:  Hiddenor Secret – Concealed, private, inward
·     Aischyne: Shameful, disgraceful, shamefacedness, shameful deeds
·     Panourgoa: Deception, crafty, cunning, false wisdom, shrewdness,
·     Doloo:  Distortion, to corrupt, to ensnare, to handle deceitfully, to lure, 
When there is something or someone in our life that we feel we need to keep secret, we become prisoners held captive by our secret.  We are held captive by shame and fear, trading in our freedom.  Sin makes us believe we are free but actually its chains of bondage are wrapped tight around us before we even know what has happened.  It keeps us there, locked up tight, secretly in shame.  
Freedom comes when we realize that God sees our heart and we cannot hide it from Him, even though we are hiding it from the rest of the world. Nothing is hidden from Him.  Everything is laid bare in His sight.  He still loves us, pursues us, and values us in spite of our deepest, darkest secrets. The good news is that we can be free from our secrets.  We can be free from the prison of shame.  No matter what you are hiding, or what you are struggling with, Jesus still waits for you with open arms.  
Part of the verse above was in reference to false teaching by some of the teachers in Corinth.  Paul was talking to the believers in Corinth about how he did not distort the Word of God but some of the false teachers there had been teaching untrue facts.  People tend to interpret the Word of God to fit their needs and desires, the most common being distorted to condone a behavior that it actually doesn’t.  Some may read only what they want to see and try to build a case to others.  Some can distort the Bible to condemn others’ behaviors that it really doesn’t condemn at all.  We need to carefully and responsibly discern the words of the Holy Spirit and know what the Bible says so we can see it when distortion is used.  
We can guard ourselves from falling into the false teachings and from secrets we shouldn’t be a part of by abiding in Christ.  Every decision we make, whether to partake in some activity or who we listen to teach the Word of God, should be made with careful consideration of the outcome.  We have free will but using that free will irresponsibly can bring devastation to our lives.  Truth sheds light on secrets and false teachings and in the sight of God we are safe from both.    

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.  1 Corinthians 4:5

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