#SpeechTherapy | Season 2 | Forgiveness (Part 1)

Hi BCU family!

As usual, you can enjoy the audio podcast (by clicking on the icon below) read the transcript notes or both! Either way, be encouraged by the Word of God and share this with a friend! God bless you!

Welcome to SEASON 2 of #SpeechTherapy!

So in season 1 of #SpeechTherapy, we talked through the contents of the heart, understanding that our heart meditations govern our speech and actions. The lust of the flesh, eye, pride of life, excessive talk and overstatements are all part of what we are in therapy for. This season, we want to dig a little deeper and study some areas that can hinder our efficacy in the Body of Christ, hinder our ministry and turn souls away– areas  that make the words of our mouths and meditation of our hearts UNACCEPTABLE. Recall that “strange fire” from one of our past sessions? We can’t offer any ol’ thoughts, words or actions to God. On that wise, let’s talk forgiveness. Let’s look at Matthew 18:

1) At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2) “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,”

3)And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5)And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7) Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

8)Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

9) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

10)Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

11) For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

13) And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

14)Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19) Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”

22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23) Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24) And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25) But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26) The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27) Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29) And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30)And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31) So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33) Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

We need to break this whole chapter down to understand the magnitude and importance of forgiving. Let’s look at Matthew 18:1.

Starting in verse 1, the disciples asked about greatness…do we do that? Look for that? Or do we have a servant attitude? Is the position you or a leader hold a position of “greatness”, meaning you have are visibly noticed and applauded? Jesus immediately  chose a child (verses 2-5) as a visual for a few reasons:

–Conversion is needful only because our old nature can be puffed up and proud—it wants to be served, admired, be the greatest rather than be humble or serve others.

–The audience at the time regarded children as property and people who should be seen and not heard; people to be cared for; looked after and subject to elders rule. Imagine the disappointment that it wouldn’t be the one who healed the most, listen to the most sermons, sold the most at the chitin’ strut, gave the most money, shouted the loudest or clapped the hardest—it was a child.

Think about the faith and trusting nature of a child. I used to watch Sesame Street as a youngster and my dad watched it with us. In the intro, there was a montage of kids, playing running, interacting– I don’t recall the whole thing, but I do recall the back/profile of a little brown girl with her hair done in three little braids. Anyway, she was playing hopscotch for a few seconds I think and my dad told me “that’s you! Now he likely meant it figuratively, but as a 4, 5 or 6 year old, I didn’t have the presence of mind to rationalize it! I took it literally like any child would. HAAAAAAAAAAA!

You KNOW I cheesed up and was SURE to watch that beginning EVERY time Sesame Street came on to see myself. I believed my dad, trusted his word, never thought …”hmm when was a camera ever outside to film me?” “I didn’t have that outfit”, “I don’t know the tree in the clip”, “when was the last time I played hopscotch?” He told me that was ME! My dad TOLD me it was so, it was SO and I did not question it. You all see where I’m going. That childlike nature in doing what God says and taking Him at His word it what gets us into the kingdom of heaven.

Also, think of the forgiving nature of most children. They are angry about something one minute and off the play with the same kid in the next. We can learn something by that. In fact, Paul said, “brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:20)‬, which ties back to my story. When Sesame Street came on one day, I happened to be watching with my mom. I couldn’t wait to show her me, and when “Blen” came on I proudly told her “that’s me”! Ms No-Nonsense no-spoonful-of-sugar-to help-the-medicine-go-down BLUNTLY told me “that is NOT you.”  Period. [insert blank stare]. I don’t remember my reaction—probably confused, but I didn’t question my dad and if he was “mistaken” I forgave him, because he loved and took good care of me. Now, we know God does not say things that are not SO–my point I forgave my dad—he was still cool to me. That’s what kids do.

This sets us up for some of the coming verses, (specifically verses 6-7)and we as believers need to pay special attention to because Jesus himself said that offenses WILL come. Offenses meaning snares, traps, trap-sticks, stumbling blocks, temptations, entrapment, enticers, obstacles, etc. All these things are considered OFFENSES and some will come from the enemy, old flames, new flames, smoldering flames, you own self and it’s old nature, well-meaning friends, enemies, strangers—like the guy that cut you off this morning, acquaintances like the receptionist that snapped at me for wanting to come get my glasses adjusted before closing time family—yes, mama, popsy, kids, Cousin Junebug, dear, sweet Ida Mae, spouses, significant others, church family, confidants, co-workers—the list can go on. And those offenses can be something as simple as you reacting to a bad attitude, getting in your flesh about a missed deadline, to kids acting up in school, marital issues, being lied on, finding things out at the last minute, your car breaking down—OFFENSES WILL COME. God allows them to teach is to stay in the Spirit and not react in the flesh, the enemy brings them to get you out of Spirit and KEEP you in the flesh. If you stay in the flesh about offenses, it breeds an angry, revengeful unforgiving spirit.

Jesus promises to deal with the offenders—it’s better that a millstone is hung around the neck and they cast into the sea. If they offend and do not repent and get the Holy Ghost, once they leave this world, a “sea” is what they will want. Think of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar in Luke 16. The rich man was tormented so in the flames that he wanted Abraham to have mercy and dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue. How much water is on a tip of a finger? That little bit would have brought him relief, but alas it was NOT to be–not a good ending at all.  While we may be clapping for the impending punishment for the offenders, let’s keep two things in mind:

1)Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him (Proverbs 24:16). God said not to, so we don’t with His help.

2) Let’s check ourselves to make sure we are not practicing offenders mentioned in Matthew 18. The onus is on US. Not THEM.

We do not want to be repeat for practicing offenders. Mind you, practicing or offending on purpose is very different from occasionally stumbling or struggling with something rather than succumbing to it. Again, it’s one thing to mess up occasionally, but choosing to lie on someone, being the marital issue, to have a bad attitude because “you don’t care today”, intentionally, maliciously, willfully, spitefully doing, saying or acting or retaliating, in ways that offend someone (whether or not they “deserve it”) is just wrong.

In verses 8-9 of Matthew 18, whatever the offending part is, hands busy sowing seeds of discord; feet swift to run into mischief or eye that is looking at things it should not,(check out Proverbs 6:12 for details), our job is to cut and pluck–that means take extremes to make sure you are not a willful offender.  Verses 10- 14 of Matthew 18 says God’s will is not that ANY of His sheep perish–He goes after the one. Some of us are that one sheep—we may be saved according to Acts 2:38 and have Jesus down on the inside, yet we may not handle the offenses the Bible way. Sheep, we can’t practice maliciousness, wrath, hatred and such and expect to make it into the kingdom of God. Romans 1:29-32 says so!

29″Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful,

32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:29-32).

When you practice offending, it shows the condition of your heart and how closely you are walking with God. Additionally, we are not allowed to retaliate because they “deserve it.”  God says no! Romans 12:19 says, to never avenge ourselves, but leave the path open for God’s wrath, for it is written vengeance is mine, I will repay, requite, says the Lord. And that is a promise–God always keeps His word!

So limp, come with the eye patch, cast—with God’s help, let’s just do what He says so we can make it into the Kingdom of Heaven.

BCU Family, I have to warn you, you will be tested in this area…I know I was and it took every ounce of the Holy Ghost to keep my flesh under subjection! It can be done if we yield to the Spirit like He wants us to do willingly.

On that note, we’re going to wrap up this podcast and Lord will when we come back, we’ll start talking about HOW to handle offenses like Christ wants us to. I want to thank you so much for tuning in and sharing with a friend! God bless you and until we meet again, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Series: #SpeechTherapy..it starts in the heart!

Hey BCU family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

As we begin, think about a crowded refrigerator—I don’t know about you, but cleaning out the fridge is my least favorite chore!  If you don’t stay on top of it, things start to accumulate! Things like the containers with the leftover ziti, or a half of rotisserie chicken, or the package of ground turkey–those are big, up front and easy to see. Then, there are some of the other things, like that half carton of pork fried rice, the small bowl of cooked carrots you intended to eat or the carton of flavored creamer that was not your favorite. And let’s not forget the old orange or dried up potato that rolled in the back, the spilled milk, the mystery packages that have cake from the last church function (somehow that fell between the 2nd shelf and veggie crisper), the soggy veggies in the Ziplock bag, the half sandwich you brought home from work or the orange juice from last month.

And of course, you go to shop for NEW groceries—more milk, yogurt, produce, eggs, bacon, etc. I mean it’s a big fridge and you can sort of shuffle some things around for now. Then it gets late and you JUST do not feel like fooling with it at the moment. Rather than cook, you all may decide to go out for dinner and that is okay—you’ll have leftovers because the restaurant serves HUGE portions. And they go in the fridge.

You may not feel like a big meal the next night so you have some cereal, the night after that you have Bible study, so you get something on the road.  Next thing you know a month goes by and when you go by the fridge–it has a slight stench. Someone is going to clean it out right?! It doesn’t smell THAT bad. Plus, you are working late all this week, so you have NO time to clean it out. Then after that late work week, you know you need to get in there, because the stench is getting worse and when you open the refrigerator door—BAZINGA! Since no one else sees how crowded the fridge is, or is complaining about the fridge, or you live alone, you have to muster up the courage and go in to clean it properly.

When you first start, you are hesitant! I mean it STINKS and just looking at the green/white “fur” on some of the items, like the rice, the withered up orange, the cake and half-sandwich is a bit gross—ugh! You have to clean out the container with the ziti and cooked carrots, never mind the sour milk and orange juice containers, the slimy pork fried rice and withered produce. EWWWWWWWWWW! It’s difficult, and takes some time and a lot of scrubbing, rearranging and tossing things, but once you get in and get it done, you look at the finished work and you’re like, this looks MUCH better and feels good to complete the task.

What’s the point of my long fridge story? At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a fridge that has been been neglected to a point where out of necessity, overcrowding or the stench –you were URGED you to tend to it. The first step #SpeechTherapy is evaluating what is in your heart, since the Bible says out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).  Just like there are SO many things in that fridge, there are MANY things in the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above ALL things and desperately wicked: who can know it? Additionally, Matthew 15:18-20(a) says, but those things which proceed OUT of the mouth comes from the HEART and they DEFILE a man, for out the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man.

These passages of Scripture are NEEDED reminders that our speech is a reflection of what is going on inside the heart. And THIS is the point of necessity—with God’s help we have to deal the overcrowding, the things hidden, covered, obvious—the stench of a heart that comes out in impatience, hurtful words, slaying someone (even with your words or a look), sexual immorality, taking things (maybe from work),  blasphemies (talking the Lord’s name in vain)—all these things defile (spot, stain or soil) or as my niece says “wrinkles up” your garment. We all (myself included) need to be spot and wrinkle free. Since God is giving us the time to do that, we want to get on it and stay on it. Time to clean “heart”.

It behooves us to pay close attention to what we feed and dwell on in our hearts. Of course, and I mention it every broadcast, we NEED the Holy Ghost down on the inside on order to even begin this task, hence the need for salvation through Acts 2:38—we HAVE to start with repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus and being filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost. As we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, we begin to understand why the Word warns us about the “accumulations”of the heart.

So, your mind and heart are linked together. The ancient Greeks believed that the heart, the most noticeable internal organ, was the seat of intelligence and memory, as well as emotion. As we truly think about our anchor Scripture, let the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be acceptable  in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14), looking at the latter part of the verse, what idea are you mediating or thinking on? What’s occupying your seat of intelligence and memory? What do you dwell on day and night? Whatever that is comes out of your mouth and that can get defile you as Jesus mentioned in Matthew. Did anyone’s meditations cause trouble? Yes indeed!

One HUGE example is in Genesis 6:5 where God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. God destroyed EVERYONE except for EIGHT people: Noah, Mrs. Noah, their three sons Shem, Ham & Japheth and their wives. That’s serious business, Family–let us not have this testimony names among us!

In another example, in Esther 3, Haman got this BIG promotion—in fact all the king’s servants at the gate bowed and reverenced Haman at the king’s command, all the servants, except Mordecai, older cousin of Queen Esther. Notice in verses 3 & 4, the servants on a daily basis kept asking Haman why he didn’t bow. The Word did not mention that Haman even noticed Mordecai not bowing– until the servants brought it to Haman’s attention.

First off, this tells you where the thoughts/hearts of the servants were. “If we bow, why doesn’t he bow?” “If I listen to the music and it doesn’t bother me, why can’t you listen to it?” Someone bugged me at work years ago—and told me I could wear pants, like I was 19 and it was my first job ever. I know what I CAN do, I had no intention on doing it (that’s MY personal conviction). The person even got other people to notice and mention it to me in passing. “Do you know Blenda never wears pants?” “Why don’t you dress up for Halloween (as if) in pants and shock everybody?” What did my attire really have to do with anything? Would slacks help me answer the phones better? Why try and “slack-shame” me?  The fact was, with God’s grace, I wasn’t bowing to that pressure to be like the crowd and they didn’t like it. On the same wise, Mordecai did NOT give into the pressure—he KNEW who his God was and he was not about to bow to a mere mortal.

Next, the busybodies went to TATTLE on Mordecai to see if this behavior would stand, AND they got to telling about him being a Jew.  If we go the the 5th verse, Haman payed attention this time,  now noticing that Mordecai was not bowing or reverencing Him and the Word says Haman was FULL of wrath.

See how the thought was planted in the mind? Haman could have rejected the thought, but he entertained or mediated on it until he was FULL of wrath. The mediation of his heart continues because in verse 6, it says “and he THOUGHT scorn to just lay hands on Mordecai—no…that wasn’t good enough—since busybodies had told about his nationality,  and they likely would behave in the same manner (meaning dedicated to God) and not bowing, now Haman sought to destroy ALL the Jews.

Verse 7 says Haman even went so far as to  cast Pur or “cast lots”to carry out his plot…daily and monthly from month one to month 12—just to find a good day to carry out his plot.  Let’s stop here. Historically, in all likelihood, lots or goral originally referred to a bunch of small pebbles or similar objects used to make decisions by chance: they would be cast down on the ground or put in a vessel of some sort, from which one would be drawn at random. The casting of lots expresses the idea that one has passed beyond the realm of motive and reason–whatever matter must be surrendered to forces that are beyond one’s control and comprehension. Mediations of the heart.

Haman’s mediations went into a ESCALATION mode when went on to involve and DECEIVE king Ahasuerus (Aa-soo-Rare-Us) by telling him about ALL these people whose laws were different, they did not keep the king’s laws and they did not profit the king, they needed to be destroyed Haman would pay to get it done. Next thing you know, the king agrees (without asking for the whole story, he likely trusted Haman), letters are sent, for the day to be set for these people to be destroyed. All because of two busybodies planted a seed of contention planted in a heart with pride for soil, (Haman thought off himself more highly than he ought to have thought (Romans 12:3), and sprung up deceit and murder. Meditation of the heart. We’ll stop here for now.

This week check out Esther and pay close attention to Haman, his actions and his end! Also, let’s start to think about how Psalm 19:14 applies in our general lives, and ask God to help you clean out the things in your heart. Next time we’re together, we’ll plan to keep the #SpeechTherapy conversation going in the next post/podcast.

Thank you SO much tuning in, may God bless you and until the next time we’re together, #StayOnTheWall.

Love,

BCU