Friday, May 25, 2018

THE BABY AND THE BATHWATER (NOT JUST FOR WOMEN)

"Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." The earliest record of this phrase is in a book written in 1512. It is German in origin and was used in the writings of many well known authors including Martin Luther. It basically means the good should not be thrown out with something bad especially due to inattention or haste. This expression has crossed my mind and I have used it on many occasions. One in particular. I know many wonderful Christian people who love Jesus with all their hearts yet do not want to "go to church". Most of the time, the reasons they use seem to be of consideration. "This person criticized the way I disciplined my child." That person acts like I am not even there." "These  people never invite me to go out to eat with them." And the list goes on. Of course, some of the reasons are a lot more serious in nature and challenge the principle of Forgiveness and Healing. I believe the thing we have to watch out for is "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". The early disciples learned the importance, need and joy of being together. In Acts 2:46&47, we are told they met together every day, not only in the Temple (large corporate gathering) but also, in their homes (smaller groups) and ate together and had fellowship. This was a wonderful thing for them. They had so much persecution and hardship that they knew the need and also the joy of being together to encourage and strengthen one another. Sure, they had "issues" at times. However, they learned through Godly teachings how to work through them. They had already been told by Jesus that the world would know they belonged to him by the love they had for one another (John 13:35). They had already been told the world would hate them because of him (Mark 13:13). They had an amazing comradery. An authentic "Band of Brothers" (and Sisters) you might say. I believe the early church knew the depth of relationship to one another when the Bible tells us they were in "one accord". This love Jesus talks about is a love that says, "I would give my life for you!" That is why I have a concern when real Born Again, Bible Believing, Jesus Loving, God Worshipping Christians say "I don't want to go to "church" because..." I am concerned that it is another ploy of the enemy to divide and conquer. If he can keep Believers divided by all the things that divide in this day, then he is winning. He loses in the end but it is up to us to do damage control in the process. The other area of concern is that as the disciples met together in this deep meaningful relating they called "fellowship" the Lord added to them daily "those who were being saved". Hebrews 10:25 is quoted often and partially:  "...not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some...". Without the prior verse 24 and the remainder of verse 25 it sounds like the "letter of the law" or a rule or a point of condemnation. Verse 24 says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to LOVE and GOOD WORKS..." then part B of 25, "but encouraging one another and all the more as you  see the Day drawing near (the coming of the Lord)" Our Gathering together, our Fellowship is for US to put our arms around one another's shoulders and say, "YOU CAN DO THIS" "KEEP FIGHTING"; "WE ARE ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE"; "DON'T GIVE UP". We all know there is strength in numbers. We must not allow the Enemy of our Souls, the Thief that we know comes to "steal, kill and destroy" to cause us to throw out the GOOD with the BAD. Jesus has made every provision for us to get along and love one another. 2 Peter 1:3&4 "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." So, if you have issues that need to be resolved... go to your brother or sister. Work it out. Forgive. Put the past behind. There is nothing God can't work out for the good in your life. We need to Bind our Hearts together in Unity and Stand firm against the onslaught of the World and the Enemy that attempts to abort the life God is trying to "add to the Church daily". Please, "Don't throw out the Baby with the Bathwater". That Baby means life and Victory for the Kingdom of God as we await the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our Faith and await the ushering into Eternity in Heaven! Semper fi! Keep the Faith! It is Finished!