Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
The Definition and Causes of Shame
Let’s start with a dictionary definition of shame. Shame is the painful emotion caused by a consciousness of guilt or shortcoming or impropriety.
Let me illustrate each of those causes.
- First, the cause of guilt. Suppose you act against your conscience and withhold information on your tax returns. For a couple years you feel nothing because it has been put out of your mind, and you weren’t caught. Then you are called to account by the IRS and it becomes public knowledge that you lied and you stole. Your guilt is known. Now in the light of public censure you feel the pain of shame.
- Or take the cause of shortcoming. In the Olympics suppose you come from a little country where you are quite good in the 3,000-meter race. Then you compete before thousands of people in Seoul, and the competition is so tough that by the time the last lap comes up, you are a whole lap behind everyone else, and you must keep running all by yourself while everyone watches. There’s no guilt here. But the humiliation and shame could be intense.
- Or take the cause of impropriety. You are invited to a party and you find out when you get there that you dressed all wrong. Again, no evil or guilt. Just a social blunder, an impropriety that makes you feel foolish and embarrassed.
Well-Placed Vs. Misplaced Shame
One of the things that jumps right out at you from this definition of shame is that there is some shame that is justified and some that isn’t. There are some situations where shame is exactly what we should feel. And there are some situations where we shouldn’t. Most people would say that the liar ought to be ashamed. And most people would probably say that the long distance runner who gave it his best shot ought not to feel ashamed. Disappointment would be healthy, but not shame.
Let me illustrate from Scripture these two kinds of shame. The Bible makes very clear that there is a shame we ought to have and a shame we ought not to have. I’m going to call the one kind, “misplaced shame” and the other kind “well-placed shame.”
Misplaced shame (the kind we ought not to have) is the shame you feel when there is no good reason to feel it. Biblically that means the thing you feel ashamed of is not dishonoring to God; or that it IS dishonoring to God, but you didn’t have a hand in it. In other words, misplaced shame is shame for something that’s good—something that doesn’t dishonor God. Or it’s shame for something bad but which you didn’t have any sinful hand in. That’s the kind of shame we ought not have.
Well-placed shame (the kind you ought to have) is the shame you feel when there is good reason to feel it. Biblically that means we feel ashamed of something because our involvement in it was dishonoring to God. We ought to feel shame when we have a hand in bringing dishonor upon God by our attitudes or actions.
I want to be sure you see how important God is in this distinction between misplaced shame and well-placed shame. Whether we have a hand in honoring God or dishonoring God makes all the difference. If we want to battle shame at the root, we have to know how it relates to God. And we DO need to battle shame at the root—all shame. Because both misplaced shame and well-placed shame can cripple us if we don’t know how to deal with them at the root.
So let’s look at some Scriptures that illustrate misplaced shame and some that illustrate well-placed shame.
Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God.
What this text says is that if you feel shame for testifying about Jesus, you have a misplaced shame. We ought not to feel shame for this. Christ is honored when we speak well of him. And he is dishonored by fearful silence. So it is not a shameful thing to testify, but a shameful thing not to.
Secondly the text says that if you feel shame that a friend of yours is in trouble (in this case: prison) for Jesus’ sake, then your shame is misplaced. The world may see this as a sign of weakness and defeat. But Christians know better. God is honored by the courage of his servants to go to prison for his name. We ought not to feel shame that we are associated with something that honors God in this way, no matter how much scorn the world heaps on.
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Shame is misplaced when we feel it because of the person or the words of Jesus. If Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” and others laugh and call it unrealistic, we should not feel ashamed. If Jesus says, “Fornication is evil,” and liberated yuppies label it out of date, we should not feel shame to stand with Jesus. That would be misplaced shame because the words of Jesus are true and God-honoring, no matter how foolish the world may try to make them look.
If one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God.
Suffering and being reproached and made fun of as a Christian is not an occasion for shame, because it is an occasion for glorifying God. In other words in the Bible the criterion for what is well-placed shame and what is misplaced shame is not how foolish or how bad you look to men, but whether you in fact bring honor to God.
This is so important to grasp! Because much of what makes us feel shame is not that we have brought dishonor on God by our actions, but that we have failed to give the appearance that other people admire. Much of our shame is not God-centered but self-centered. Until we get a good handle on this, we will not be able to battle the problem of shame at its root.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
The reason shame in the gospel would be a misplaced shame is that the gospel is the very power of God unto salvation. The gospel magnifies God and humbles man. And so to the world the gospel doesn’t look like power at all. It looks like weakness (asking people to be like children and depend on Jesus, instead of standing on their own two feet). But for those who believe it is the power of almighty God to save sinners.
Jesus said (to Paul),
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly exult in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Now ordinarily weaknesses and insults are occasions for shame. But for Paul they are occasions for exultation. Paul thinks that shame in his weaknesses and shame at insults and persecutions would be misplaced shame. Why? Because the power of Christ is perfected in Paul’s weakness.
I conclude from all these texts that the biblical criterion for misplaced shame is radically God-centered. The biblical criterion says, don’t feel shame for something that honors God no matter how weak or foolish it makes you look in the eyes of unbelievers.
The same God-centeredness will be seen if we look at some texts that illustrate well-placed shame.
Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
Here Paul says that these people ought to feel shame. “I say this to your shame.” Their shame would be well-placed if they saw their deplorable ignorance of God and how it was leading to false doctrine (no resurrection) and sin in the church. In other words well-placed shame is shame for what dishonors God—ignorance of God, sin against God, false beliefs about God.
The Christians were going to secular courts to settle disputes among themselves. Paul rebukes them.
I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood?
Again he says they should feel shame: “I say this to your shame.” Their shame would be well-placed because their behavior is bringing such disrepute upon their God as they fight one another and seek help from the godless to settle their disputes. A well-placed shame is the shame you feel because you are involved in dishonoring God.
And let’s not miss this implication: these people were trying their best to appear strong and right. They wanted to be vindicated by men. They wanted to be winners in court. They didn’t want anyone to run over them as though they had no rights. That would look weak and shameful. So in the very act of wanting to avoid shame as the world sees it, they fell into the very behavior that God counts shameful.
The point is: when you are dishonoring God, you ought to feel shame, no matter how strong or wise or right you are in the eyes of men.
And you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple and its appearance and plan, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities.
God says Israel ought to feel shame for its iniquities. Sin is always a proper cause for shame because sin is behavior that dishonors God.
We can conclude from all these texts that the biblical criterion for misplaced shame and for well-placed shame is radically God-centered.
The biblical criterion for misplaced shame says, don’t feel shame for something that honors God, no matter how weak or foolish or wrong it makes you look in the eyes of men. And don’t feel shame for bad circumstances where you don’t share in dishonoring God.
The biblical criterion for well-placed shame says, DO feel shame for having a hand in anything that dishonors God, no matter how strong or wise or right it makes you look in the eyes of men.
Now how do you battle this painful emotion called shame? The answer is that we battle it by battling the unbelief that feeds its life. And we fight for faith in the promises of God that overcome shame and relieve us from its pain.
Three Instances of Battling Misplaced Shame
Let me illustrate with three instances.
1. When Well-Placed Shame Lingers Too Long
In the case of well-placed shame for sin the pain ought to be there but it ought not to stay there. If it does, it’s owing to unbelief in the promises of God.
For example, a woman comes to Jesus in a Pharisee’s house weeping and washing his feet. No doubt she felt shame as the eyes of Simon communicated to everyone present that this woman was a sinner and that Jesus had no business letting her touch him. Indeed she was a sinner. There was a place for true shame. But not for too long. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). And when the guests murmured about this, he helped her faith again by saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (v. 50).
How did Jesus help her battle the crippling effects of shame? He gave her a promise: “Your sins are forgiven! Your faith has saved you. Your future will be one of peace.” So the issue for her was belief. Would she believe the glowering condemnation of the guests? Or would she believe the reassuring words of Jesus that her shame was enough? She’s forgiven. She’s saved. She may go in peace.
And that is the way every one of us must battle the effects of a well-placed shame that threatens to linger too long and cripple us. We must battle unbelief by taking hold of promises like,
There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared. (Psalm 130:4)
Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked man forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord that he may have mercy on him and to our God for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6)
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)
2. Feeling Shame for Something That Glorifies God
The second instance of battling shame is the instance of feeling shame for something that is not even bad but in fact glorifies God—like Jesus or the gospel.
Our text shows how Paul battled against this misplaced shame. In verse 12 he says, “Therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
Paul makes very clear here that the battle against misplaced shame is a battle against unbelief. “I am not ashamed FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED AND I AM SURE OF HIS KEEPING POWER.” We fight against feelings of shame in Christ and the gospel and the Christian ethic by battling unbelief in the promises of God. Do we believe that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation? Do we believe that Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness? The battle against misplaced shame is the battle against unbelief in the promises of God.
3. Feeling Shame for Something We Didn’t Do
Finally, the last instance of battling shame is the instance where others try to load us with shame for evil circumstances when in fact we had no part in dishonoring God.
It happened to Jesus. They called him a winebibber and a glutton. They called him a temple destroyer. They called him a hypocrite: He healed others, but he can’t heal himself. In all this the goal was to load Jesus with a shame that was not his to bear.
The same with Paul. They called him mad when he defended himself in court. They called him an enemy of the Jewish customs and a breaker of the Mosaic law. They said he taught that you should sin that grace may abound. All this to load him with a shame that it was not his to bear.
And it has happened to you. And will happen again. How do you battle this misplaced shame? By believing the promises of God that in the end all the efforts to put us to shame will fail. We may struggle now to know what is our shame to bear and what is not. But God has a promise for us in either case:
In other words, for all the evil and deceit judgment and criticism that others may use to heap on us a shame that is not ours to bear, and for all the distress and spiritual warfare it brings, the promise stands sure that they will not succeed in the end. All the children of God will be vindicated. The truth will be known. And no one who banks his hope on the promises of God will be put to shame.
like us on https://www.facebook.com/ChesedAP
Question: “What should we learn from the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?”
Answer: The amazing story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three young men defying the mighty KingNebuchadnezzar and thrown into a fiery furnace, has captured the hearts of young children as well as adults for centuries. Recorded in the third chapter of Daniel, the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego provides believers today with strong and lasting lessons.
For their refusal to obey the king’s decree to bow down to the idol, three charges were brought against them. They paid no heed to the king and his commands, they did not serve the king’s gods, and they refused to worship the golden statue the king himself had set up. The penalty for their actions was death. Their response to the king was profound:
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:15-18).
We cannot but be astonished by their faith in the one true God. At the very outset, their response in the moment of trial confirmed three things: their unswerving conviction of the God of the Bible, their confidence in the God who is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, and their faith as revealed by their reliance upon the only One who had the power to deliver them from evil. Their acknowledgment of God over the world’s most powerful king resulted in God’s supreme power being revealed to unbelievers. Their faith demonstrates that God is able to deliver us from our own problems and trials.
As believers, we know that God is able to deliver. However, we also know that He does not always do so.Romans 5 tells us that God may allow trials and difficulties in our lives to build our character, strengthen our faith, or for other reasons unknown to us. We may not always understand the purpose of our trials, but God simply asks that we trust Him—even when it is not easy. Job, who endured incredible pain, almost insurmountable agony, and suffering, was still able to say, “Though He may slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15).
We also know that God does not always guarantee that we will never suffer or experience death, but He does promise to be with us always. We should learn that in times of trial and persecution our attitude should reflect that of these three young men: “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). Without question, these are some of the most courageous words ever spoken.
Jesus Himself said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Even if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to suffer a horrible, painful death in a burning oven, they refused to abandon God and worship an idol. Such faith has been seen innumerable times throughout the centuries by believers who have suffered martyrdom for the Lord.
Nebuchadnezzar was astonished that the fire did not consume Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He was even more amazed when he saw not three, but a fourth person with them: “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25 NKJV). The point here is that, when we “walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), there may be those times of fiery persecution, but we can be assured that He is with us (Matthew 28:20). He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22; Psalms 147:6). He will ultimately deliver us. He will save us … eternally (Matthew 25:41, 46).
The chief lesson from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is that, as Christians, we will never be able to bring the world to Christ by becoming like it. As did these three men, so should we in revealing to the world a higher power, a greater purpose, and a superior morality, than the world in which we live. If we are put before the fiery furnace, we can reveal the One who can deliver us from it. Remember the powerful, yet comforting words, of the apostle Paul:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Our hope when experiencing illness, persecution, or pain lies in knowing that this life is not the end—there is life after death. That is His promise to all those who love and obey Him. Knowing that we will have eternal life with God enables us to live above the pain and suffering we endure in this life (John 14:23).
New King James Version (NKJV)
Take the Lowly Place
7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
The values of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish were radically different than those of His day. The Pharisees and teachers of the law clamored for the spotlight and sought the adulation of the crowds. Many of us still do this today. We want instant gratification from peers and outsiders. We want our praise now, WOW!!! Lord please send your glory upon us to replace our selfishness, purify our hearts and breath new life upon us.
In Luke 14, Jesus told a parable taught His followers not to be like that. The parable talks about people who chose the most honored seat for themselves at a wedding feast (vv.7-8). He said they would be embarrassed when the host asked them publicly to take their rightful place (v.9). Jesus went on in His story to talk about whom to invite to such dinners. he said they shouldn’t invite friends and family, but “when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame , the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay” (vv. 13-14).
Are you disappointed because you have not broken into the more elite group in your church or neighborhood? Or because you are stuck down on rung two when you’d rather be on rung eight or at least climbing the social ladder? Listen to what Jesus said: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (v.11). That’s the radical and upside-down way of God’s kingdom!
Blessed Savior, make me humble,
Take away my sinful pride;
In myself I’m sure to stumble,
Help me stay close by your side.
In Christ’s Kingdom, humility trumps pride every time………….
From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. What part of “no” do you not understand? Or better yet: What part of “do not” do you not understand? Who said those words? It’s probably not the person you thought it was.
The phrase got a wider audience when it was used as the title of a popular country music song in 1992 recorded by Lorrie Morgan:
What part of no don’t you understand?
To put it plain and simple
I’m not into one night stands
I’ll be glad to explain it
If it’s too hard to comprehend
So tell me what part of no
Don’t you understand?
There are other versions of this question, such as: NO MEANS NO! Or no thanks. Or no way, Hosea! Never. Nix. Not at all. Not on your life, etc.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. What did John mean?
Billy Graham is quoted as saying: “Our interests are in ourselves. We are preoccupied with material things. Our supreme god is technology. Our goddess is sex. Most of us are more interested in getting to the moon than getting to heaven. We are more dedicated to material security than to inward purity. We give much more thought to what we wear, what we eat, what we drink, and what we can do than what we are….”
He was right. We all have our worldly side or worldly desires that often capture our attention more than God or Christ.
II Timothy 4:10 “Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.”
If Demas fell in love with his world then we can do it too. In fact, I think it’s a whole lot easier today to fall in love with the things of this world than it was for Demas. WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH!
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
God said clearly, “Don’t love the world. If you do, my love is not in you.” Wow! When and where do we cross the fence from loving God to loving the world? God knows and we all need to find out.
What is so bad about the world that we are told not to love it? Why is the world so evil?
1- The lust of the flesh
2- The lust of the eyes
3- The pride of life
I. THE LUST OF THE FLESH
For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
This worldly temptation deals with the fleshly appetites: food, sex, excess in various ways, etc.
Jackson Brown Jr. (American author best-known for his book Life’s Little Instruction Book which was a New York Times bestseller) said: I’ve learned that if you give a pig and a boy everything they want, you’ll get a good pig and a bad boy.
If we got everything we wanted in this world, we’d be in trouble.
A man said: While my wife and I were shopping at a mall kiosk, a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. My eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, my wife asked, “Was it worth the trouble you’re in?” This is just one temptation of this verse.
May and I enjoy watching TV’s DANCING WITH THE STARS. We have often commented on the dress of both the men and the women, but mainly the women and the lack thereof! Some of those professional female dancers don’t like to wear much clothing. I assume they think it enhances their dance, but in reality, it may only enhance the judges’ eye!
If we’re normal, we all can be tempted with the lust of the flesh. If we were put in the wrong place at the right time most of us would fall. We may be guilty anyway.
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ’Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
The lust of the flesh deals with others things too.
Did you know there is a new Sonic drive-in on Cajalco road just down the street fromone of the houses I used to own? I know this probably does nothing for you but it does for me! They had a daily special while back which I liked very much. It’s a chicken strip basket with french fries, a cup of white cream gravy, a piece of toast, one delicious onion ring and a drink of your choice for only $4.31.
Again, I know that this might not turn your crank but it does mine. I happened to like chicken strips and these are just about as good as I’ve ever had. The fries are good. The gravy is good. The toast is ok but better when it’s dipped in the gravy.
WE DO LOVE OUR FOOD! We all love some kind of food. In fact, sometimes we love it too much!
Do you eat to live or live to eat? Many people live to eat food and many times a day. And living to eat could well be a part of the lust of flesh, especially, if it controls us.
Did you read about that 600 lb. woman who wants to weight 1,000 lbs.? Donna Simpson, 42, of Old Bridge, N.J., already tips the scales at 600 ounds but says she won’t be satisfied until she’s up to 1,000 – to grab the title of world’s fattest woman. She eats 12,000 calories a day!
Philippians 3:18-19 “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”
I don’t think we want to be categorized with the enemies of the cross! However, we can become something of an enemy to the Lord if we allow the lust of the flesh to control us!
II. THE LUST OF THE EYES
For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
A gentleman mugger has been jailed despite his elderly victim’s pleas for him to be let off because he was so polite. The pensioner told the court in Salzburg, Austria, that she had not come across such a well mannered criminal for a long time.
The man grabbed the old woman’s bag and ran off but returned when he noticed she had fallen to the ground. “When he saw me fall, he came back. Criminals just don’t do that any more,” she said. “He was very neat and well mannered and asked me not to report him. He said he was really sorry, but was just desperate for money,” she told the court.
The 27-year-old, who has not been named, then helped his victim search for her keys which had fallen out when he grabbed the bag. Police arrested the well mannered mugger after being called out by a passer-by who had witnessed the incident. He was jailed for two-and-a-half years despite the pensioner’s testimony after it was revealed it was not his first offense.
INTERESTING STORY. We all know that stealing is wrong and stealing is a matter of lust of the eyes. It’s the idea that we want what someone has and if we can’t get it by paying for it, we might steal it. SOME WOULD.
The lust of the eyes deals with money and materialism. Both grab our hearts and minds. Some people live for making money and others live to spend money…that is, on material things. Both are the lust of the eyes. Some hoard and some spend.
Most of my life I’ve been spender. I’ve been spender out of necessity: food, clothing, shelter, transportation. However, there have been times when I’ve spent and didn’t need to spend or didn’t really have the money. THAT’S THE LUST OF THE EYES. Buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Or something like that.
A few years ago I was on a Corvette kick, that is, I thought if I could find a decent Corvette for a decent price it would be a decent thing for me to have! But I never did find one. Most are far too expensive. To buy a 1997 to 2004 Corvette will cost around $20,000 up to $35,000. And that sort of killed it for me.
Occasionally, a person might fall into a good deal. My friend Michael Best didn’t tell me about a good deal on a beautiful Red Corvette in his town of Oxen Hill Maryland. I was sick when he told me about it since I missed out on it.
I think it was a 1998 model, in excellent condition, with only about 50,000 miles on it. He said it sold for around $15,000. Had Mike told me about it I probably would have drove asap to Maryland and bought it.
I am now thankful I didn’t buy it, because I want to be a better steward with the Lord’s money, meaning what He has given me.
The lust for either gaining money, making money, and keeping money OR spending money on material things that we don’t need is the lust of the eyes. And it’s also idol worship!
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I Timothy 6:6-10 “6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
III. THE PRIDE OF LIFE
16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. THE MESSAGE reads: wanting to appear important.
The pride of life deals with or can deal with fame. Most of us will never be tempted this amount of pride, because we’re just not that talented. We’ll never make it in Hollywood but some have
and we wonder what happened to their faith.
I think Denzel Washington is a good actor. Did you know that his daddy was a gospel preacher? Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, near New York City, in 1954. His mother, Lennis, was a beauty parlor-owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem.
His father, Reverend Denzel Washington, Sr., was an ordained Pentecostal minister and also worked for the Water Department and at a local department store, “S. Klein”
Washington and his wife, Pauletta of 26 years, attend the same church as actress Angela Bassett at LA’s West Angeles Church of God.
Washington’s big break came when he starred in the popular television hospital drama, St. Elsewhere from 1982 to 1988. He was one of a few actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run.
In 2000, Washington appeared in the Disney film, Remember the Titans, which grossed over $100 million at the United States box office. AND he was nominated and won an Oscar for Best Actor for his next film, the 2001 cop thriller, Training Day, as Det. Alonzo Harris, a rogue LAPD cop with questionable law-enforcement tactics.
As far as I am concerned, Denzel Washington went downhill when he played in that movie (and some others) because of the horrible language that he used or had to use to do the part. That makes me think less of Denzel Washington as a Christian man.
And it also makes me think that he did it for money and fame, which is a part of loving the world. And I don’t want to be too hard on him, because if I were in his shoes I might be far worse! Let the truth be told I was in worse shoes than his, I compromised in the worse way in falling in love with the world. I probably still do when it comes to living my life by these new standards, but we have to immediately repent and stand for righteousness when conviction hits the mind and heart.
Fame or attention can come in many areas or arenas even if we are not in Hollywood.
I think many preachers are tempted in this area, particularly those in large churches or are in TV. These preachers get a lot of attention and adulation and praise. And pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
However, we all can be tempted in this area when we do something good and we are praised or patted for it. We like attention but IF IT’S GOOD, IT’S FROM THE LORD. Even when it seemingly comes from us. He alone is the author of good in our lives.
I Peter 5:5-6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
All of us can fall into the sin of pride, desire for fame, desire for praise and accolades.
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
One time a man said at a church meeting, “Mr. Chairman, I move that we move the world.” Instead of letting the world grab us, we need to move the world by living the Christian life, by letting our lights shine, and by preaching the gospel of Christ!
Instead of being in love with the world, we need to be in love with the God who created and the Savior who died for us. This world will pass away but whoever does the will of God lives forever. How’s that for a deal? Do not love the world!
You can’t relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle.
Green Lantern is the name of multiple superheroes from the DC Universe, all of whom are characterized by a power ring and the ability to create solid constructs with the ring.
The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).
Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and power lantern that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. The ring is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe and can be very dangerous. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) is magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns are technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.
After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of Alan Scott as the Green Lantern. In 1959, at the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane to revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In 1970, writer Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed Green Lantern with archer Green Arrow in groundbreaking, socially conscious, and award-winning stories that pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Green Lantern with the populist Green Arrow. Several cosmically-themed series followed, as did occasional different individuals in the role of Earth’s Green Lantern. Most prominent of these are Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner.
Each of the Earth’s Green Lanterns has been a member of either the Justice Society of America or the Justice League of America, and John Stewart was featured as one of the main characters in both the Justice League and the Justice League Unlimited animated series. The Green Lanterns are often depicted as being close friends of the various men who have been the Flash, the most notable friendships having been between Alan Scott and Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash), Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash), Kyle Rayner and Wally West (the modern-age Green Lantern and Flash), and Jordan also being friends with West.
As a Navy Seal I was put into several harmful positions. My team was my hero especially the team that rescued me from the prison I was in for seven months in a strange land. They risked their life to save mines. Several team members received injuries, but some died as well. This real life story is nothing compared to the hero that conquered death. I prayed to Jesus several times in those passing months of darkness and He heard my cry.
“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.” (Romans 15:1-3, The Message).
BEING A SUPEHERO ILLUSTRATED: THE GOOD SAMARITAN:
“30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, F82 he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ’Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” (Luke 10:30-35).
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A SUPERHERO?
1. Get into the Word. The Word of God is powerful, and when it is working mightily in you, your faith is strengthened! (Aquaman gets his strength from being in the water)
2. Pray. The more time you spend with Jesus, the world’s greatest superhero, the more you’ll become like Him. (Acts 4:13). (Superman gets his strength from the yellow sun)
3. Refuse to do nothing! Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.”
STORY: Of the couple on the flight from Calgary. She was freaked out to fly. Introduced myself to them and prayed for her. She said after, “That was the best flight I ever had!” Just a simple gesture, but part of refusing to do nothing!
WHY DO WE NEED TO BECOME SUPERHEROES?
1. Our highest calling as believers is to love God… and love people.
“Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39).
2. If we don’t love other people WHY DO WE NEED TO BECOME SUPERHEROES?
3. Being a superhero – helping people – is the surest sign that revival is upon us!
“Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, How can I help?” ( Read Romans 15 Scripture).
– You show me people who really love & care for one another, I’ll show you revival!
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: How do we do this?
Make a commitment to focus on relationships & loving people
1. Talk to people! Find out what’s going on in their lives.
2. Give them lots of hugs – the healing touch.
3. Speak kind words to people – words that bring life.
4. Never pass up an opportunity to pray for someone.
CHALLENGE: Let’s all commit to being the superheroes God wants us to be!