Agents of C.H.R.I.S.T.

The Church has within its ranks double-agents, but Christ is still accomplishing His mission. They serve other motives which are not Christ-centric, but the weeding out of most of those double-agents right now would do more harm than good. Jesus taught this principle to His disciples when He spoke of the Parable of the Weeds:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.. but his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat… The servants asked the owner, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’

The owner said, ‘No,… because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…”

~ Matthew‬ ‭13:24-30‬

Double-agents within the church are like weeds within a wheat field. Their roots under the surface of the good soil are intertwined with the roots of the wheat. To uproot the weeds means to uproot the wheat, and if the wheat has not reached the harvest stage yet, it will be completely lost. Notice in the parable that the wheat is still able to grow and reach the harvest stage. It may not be as robust as wheat in a weedless environment, but it still reaches maturity. It also requires much more work at harvest time to finally separate the weeds from the wheat.

Similar to the servants in the parable of the weeds, we might wonder why Jesus doesn’t weed-out all the unfaithful, double-agents that have been planted within the Church and have grown deep roots. Both organizationally and spiritually they are undesirable for the Church, and they certainly shine a negative light on the reputation of the Church and its owner, Jesus Christ.

However, Christ in His wisdom has chosen the best approach for a maximum harvest. He will endure the subversive presence of most of the double-agents for now so that many in the Church who are tied closely with them will not be permanently lost in a premature clean sweep.

The Apostle Paul endured double-agents within the Church also:

“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble…

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice….”

‭‭~ Philippians‬ ‭1:15-18‬

If your local church or ministry has some ill-motived double-agents within it that you can’t seem to pray successfully for their removal, perhaps the Lord of the Church has some insight to share with you regarding the timing and method of His removal of them to minimize damage to the good wheat that is in close proximity to them.

In spite of the weeds, the wheat is still growing and the Lord of the Harvest, the Lord of the Church, is watching over the entire field and is preparing for the Harvest.

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#PastorsTip #Matthew13 #Philippians1 #ParableOfTheWeeds #DoubleAgents #Church #HarvestTime

The Key to Personal Happiness

“These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

~ ‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬

Generally speaking, the key to unlock the heart-gates for personal happiness is the Personal Choice to be a happy person. Without this key, even the sum total of all the blessings from God, family, and friends cannot force open the heart-gates and compel a person to be happy.

When we consider the above statement for our own lives, we may have a hundred exceptions come to mind. Things like: What about those who have chemical imbalances of the brain? Or, what about those who are in the middle of a traumatic event? Or, what if a person was born with a genetic predisposition to sadness?

While each question probably has an answer, let each one of us be transparent, honest, and sincere with ourselves, prayerfully considering whether we are holding on to any exception as an excuse for why we are not responsible for our own personal happiness.

Jesus taught [in the first half of the above scripture verse] that He inspires Peace in our life. Then in the second half of the verse He inferred that the tribulations in life inspire personal sadness (the opposite of good cheer). His solution to this state of personal sadness: choose to be inspired by Him for personal happiness instead of inspired by tribulations for personal sadness.

“Be of good cheer” is a call to action: to exert oneself, to put forth effort, to use energy to accomplish. Thankfully, the choice to become and to remain a happy person can be accomplished in partnership with the Holy Spirit. He always does His part, providing what we need by way of guidance, wisdom, and power. But, the key to our personal happiness remains in our own hand: our Personal Choice.

Choosing to be a happy person is not about being a fake or a phony. The choice for Personal Happiness that is spoken of here is one that involves the entire heart and soul. It’s a choice to change the tone and the tune of our life-song that we sing, both outwardly and inwardly.

Sometimes we have to sing a song out loud before we will feel it on the inside. Just as our singing worship songs outwardly begins to minister to us inwardly, so it is with being a happy person. Being happy outwardly will influence our happiness inwardly, and being happy inwardly will influence our happiness outwardly. It is a journey of effort and change, but it can start only after we turn the key, after we make the Personal Choice to become a happy person.

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#PastorsTip #John16 #Happiness #Choice #KeyToHappiness