Brohter TJ and NLONG, thanks for the refreshing testimony! As a "young" Christian and a mother of young children, I am toubled and saddend around Christmas time too. I didn't want to celebrate the birth of my Lord in the pegan way, but was too weak to stand up and speak up. I didn't know what to do when my son learned about santa and gift exchange from his preschool. I don't want to lie to him but thought that he's too young to be exposed to such conflicts.
I long to become a "fanatic" like Jesus!
There are many here at Sermonindex with much more wisdom than I that could help you in your situation. I will pray for you.
| 2007/1/4 13:38||Profile|
With love I say,I'm not sure I want much forebearance.
I certainly know how you feel. I have struggled with these kinds of feelings for a few years now. I have to say that as the years have passed, I have more 'forebearance' now, even though I still have 'zeal'.
1 The act of forbearing.
2 Tolerance and restraint in the face of provocation; patience.
3 The quality of being forbearing.
4 Law. The act of a creditor who refrains from enforcing a debt when it falls due.
Zeal and restraint definitely require balance, but
Tolerance in the face of blasphemy
Tolerance in the face of mockery of God
refrains from enforcing sounds like the anything goes motto of the so called new churches
1 Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance.
It would seem to me we need much more zeal. As with all, and anything, we do we should always do it in love, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I enjoyed the article.
It sounds as if Keith Green had a serious problem, that many of us have been through in our spiritual journey. I dont think zeal was his problem, just the spiritual immaturity of being a new Christian. Im sure many of us shudder when thinking of the silly(maybe dreadful?) and misguided things we said and did in the name of God during our spiritual infancy.
I hope you do not feel as if this was attacking you. The word forbearance just struck a nerve with me. I was just picking on the word forbearance.
God Bless You
P.S. I like your website. Some GREAT articles!
| 2007/1/4 14:36||Profile|
I certainly understand what you are saying. As I grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, I want to grow in the fruits (peace, kindness gentleness, etc...) as well as keep my fire for Jesus. Have you ever looked up forbearance in the bible? Our Heavenly Father has/had forbearance:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4
Quite a few years ago, I was very zealous and I actualy hurt alot of people close to me. I had such a fire and passion for the Lord and the Lord spoke to me so clearly one day as I was reading about the ministry of John the Baptist (thinking that I would be like him is some way) and so loud and clearly the Holy Spirit prayed in me "O, Lord I need forbearance for this". I had no idea what forbearance was but I knew the Lord was showing me that I needed it before He would use me in some kind of "Preparing the way of the Lord' kind of way.
The very next day I received a devotional from Watchman Nee's daily devotional site and guess what? It was called "Forbearance: An Expression of the Living Christ"
Forbearance: An Expression of Living Christ (1)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bible Verses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Phil. 4:5 Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord
is near. (6) In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by
prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be
made known to God.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Part 1 of 2)
The first aspect of the expression of a life that lives
Christ is forbearance. Philippians 4:5 says, "Let your
forbearance be known to all men." Later we shall see that a
second aspect is the absence of anxiety. In a life that lives
Christ there will be forbearance, but no anxiety, no worry.
Paul considers forbearance and the lack of anxiety as the
first two aspects of the expression of a life that lives
A life that lives Christ is calm, tranquil, peaceful, and
quiet. A life of turmoil, on the contrary, is a life that
lives Satan. Forbearance is the most important element of a
tranquil life. Forbearance is reasonableness and
consideration in dealing with others. To have forbearance is
to deal with others without strictness of legal right. If we
would live a calm life, we must have forbearance.
Forbearance includes patience and moderation, but goes beyond
them. If you have forbearance, you will not argue with
others, fight with them, or debate with them. You may have a
great deal to say, but you will have patience and moderation
in dealing with others and will not say anything in response
to provocation or irritation. Forbearance is versus rivalry
and vainglory, two negative things mentioned by Paul.
Forbearance is also opposed to murmurings and reasonings.
Whenever we have rivalry, vainglory, murmurings, and
reasonings, there is no calm, no tranquility, no forbearance.
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible
and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of
Philippians, pp. 227-228 Both are published by Living
Thank you for your kind comment about my site. May you continue to grow in His grace and stay afire for Him.
| 2007/1/4 15:31||Profile|
EDIT: sorry about the repeat
| 2007/1/4 15:52||Profile|
The forbearance you speak of is what gets me through every single day. I should clarify about my earlier post. I was speaking of tolerating blasphemy and the trampling of things Holy. This tolerance should not be confused with forbearance. I very much enjoyed your last post, and look forward to the next installment.
| 2007/1/4 15:55||Profile|
I am fairly young in the Lord also. I've been tolerant and silent for many years. I spoke out little by little against the things I felt the Lord was speaking to me. It was difficult at first to deal with paganness in my own home. It took 3 years to phase-out the tree, it had a great grip on my wife and I. Some was easy though, santa went right away. As you can imagine, it's much harder to deal with paganness in someone elses home, especially family. We just finally decided that they could either fellowship with idols or with us. What a freeing time this year. As we mature in Christ we become stronger, more able to do and share the truth. Be encouraged and grow in the Lord.
As for children, I would not lie to them. They will find out some day and they will be much less forgiving than God. This is the testimony of my wife. She defended the santa lie until middle school and was scorned and ridiculed for believing a lie, which she defended holeheartedly. Trouble was, it was her parents that thought her that, like mine taught me. She didn't think her parents able to lie. It rocked her little world and her faith in her parents when at last they were liars. I spend much time in the word of truth with my little ones. At times they can be judgmental, I just direct thier hearts to be gentle, loving and kind at these times. Of course, my family thinks "those poor little dears, what will those Pharisee's do to those poor children." I hope lead them to the Savior of thier souls.
Keep believing in Jesus and His Word, being cleansed from sin through repentance. Before long, they will despise you as they despised Him. Thats one of those bible promises that doesn't make those cute little books you see in Christian bookstores. :-)
Blessings to you and your family, sister!
| 2007/1/4 15:57||Profile|
| Re: tolerant|
This tolerance should not be confused with forbearance
| 2007/1/4 18:48||Profile|
I'm 17 and my mother calls me a fanatic and she says im obcessed with the Bible. I tell her shes right. How can I look at something in the Bible and not go mad? How can I read that Christ died on the cross for me and not either sink to the lowest pit of hell or ascend to the hill of God?
Sometimes I begin to think maybe she is right because even my own grandmother who first told me about the Bible when I was 13 says the same things. This hurts me so much and makes me feel so horrible. I cannot tell you how frustrating and confusing it is when it seems as though the devil turns the tables on you and tells you through your own family that you are judgemental, you are hateful, you need to see a phycatrist, you have no right to point out sin, you dishonor your mother, your a fanatic, you sound like your going out of your mind and with all this, what grieves me the most is they will say these things about me but yet why do they not madly, insanely love the One who suffered and died on that tree? Oh this is so horrible and it makes me suffer horribly because they will not live in Christ and love Christ and follow after Christ.
I think if I might be wrong and they might be right and am terrified and tormented by not knowing. I feel as though I have no foundation...Just confused and darkened and unaware as to what is true and what is not....and most of all doubt greatly whether there is any love for me in Christ.
When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
I feel as though I just am so wrong and am not saved even at times.
| 2007/1/5 3:17|
What a tactic of the Devil. This happened to me as well in my Christian infancy. I was told that you'll be zealous for a little bit, but it'll soon wear off and you'll be like the rest of us. God forbid we should lose our fervor to do His good pleasure!
Continue, brother, to walk by faith and not by sight! And definitely not by feeling. I agree, it's hard when family betrays you with the whole your-a-Pharisee routine. However, the bible says REJOICE IN THAT DAY!
Also, above all else, make sure that if you are convicting others of sin, you're not also a partaker in that sin. Reprove kindly and gently as "a hard word stirs up wrath." Love will conquer the things that mere words cannot. Don't fight back! Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use you. Don't revile when reviled, but bless! Vengeance is the Lords and his alone.
Believe on the Lord and in His word. Many twist and turn scripture to suit their wicked ways. Take His word for what it says. If others aren't willing to live by God's word that's between them and God. It's not wrong to tell them that. How many of the apostles were what people would call fanatical today? How bout all of the true ones, they all were martyred for their following Jesus Christ, save John. How many that wrote books of our bible would be considered judgemental by today's standard--all of them. They constantly are reproving believers to live a life of repentance, a life in the nature and by the Spirit of Christ. That would be interesting to study!
Something I've been doing with my children is reading missionary stories every night for devotions. Others have given their all, and though many Christians today aren't willing to do that doesn't make it the way it ought to be.
Bless you Paul, may our Lord strengthen you and teach you and confort you in this time. Lean on Him. May you be a man after your namesake!
| 2007/1/5 14:11||Profile|
Thanks Neil for what you wrote.
| 2007/1/5 17:07|