This is going to be a redirect to another site, but it is a phenomenal read! Michael Hyatt has written a great article on Leadership. In this article or blog, he speaks on the #1 rule and that rule is… “Never publically criticize your boss”. This is a must read for any leader in the local church! Enjoy.
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I have had a lot of questions regarding Ephesians 4:26…
26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Because anger and jealousy are frequently attributed to God in the Bible, we must agree that not all anger and jealousy are evil. Pressing the matter further, if we are to imitate God, then there must be times when we should be angry.
Our text in Ephesians 4:27-28 is about righteous anger.
I want to show the difference between righteous and unrighteous anger, and how it is that we can express righteous anger in a way that brings glory to God.
You will notice that Paul’s teaching in Ephesians chapter four is similar to that found in the Book of Proverbs:
Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit (Proverbs 26:4-5, KJV).
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity … .
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32).
In Proverbs, we are first instructed not to answer a fool according to his folly. In the very next verse, we are instructed to answer a fool according to his folly. Both statements are true, and are to be taken seriously. In the first proverb, we are taught that we ought not respond to a fool on his level, we ought not to allow ourselves to be brought down to the level of a fool by answering him as foolishly as he has spoken. On the other hand, we are to answer the fool in a way that gives him no dignity, no satisfaction, lest he take himself too seriously. A fool is to be deal with as a fool, but we should not be made fools also in the process.
So, too, in Ephesians chapter 4 we have two seemingly conflicting statements. In verse 26, we seem to be commanded to be angry; in verse 31 we seem to be commanded not to be angry. The solution is to be found in the fact that there are two kinds of anger. The anger which is a manifestation of our old self (the flesh) is to be put off. The anger which is a manifestation of God’s righteousness is to be put on.
Let’s focus on the righteous expression of anger. When we come to verses 31 and 32, we will turn our attention to Paul’s command to put off unrighteous anger. Let’s consider why Paul would appear to be commanding us to be angry. Let’s consider some examples of righteous anger, in God, and in the lives of some of the saints. We will give attention to the ways in which anger can lead to sin, turning once again to the examples provided us in the Bible. We will also consider the consequences of unholy anger. We will conclude by identifying some principles which should guide us in distinguishing between holy and unholy anger.
“Be Angry!” (4:26)
The command, “Be angry!” just doesn’t sound right, does it? We are uncomfortable with a command like this. We find ourselves trying to avoid or explain this command away, because anger does not sound godly. But we must remember that there are two kinds of anger. There is the “anger of man” which “does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20) and the anger which is an expression of God’s righteousness. We are commanded in our text to be angry in a way that is righteous, that is a reflection of God.
Let’s look at some examples of righteous wrath in the Bible. We will begin by looking at some instances in which God was angry. Then we will look at times when Jesus was angry. Next, we will consider the righteous wrath of godly men in the Bible. Finally, we will seek to identify some of the characteristics of righteous wrath, which distinguishes it from the wrath of man. So hold on… this is deep… haha.
God was angry at the unbelief of Moses, which caused him to resist obeying the command of God to go to Egypt and confront Pharaoh, insisting that he let God’s people go (Exodus 4:14). God is angered by the mistreatment of those who are helpless, the strangers, the widows, and the orphans (Exodus 22:21-24)).God was also angered by men turning from trusting and worshipping Him, to the worship of idols (Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 6:14-15; Judges 2:13-14; Ezra 8:22). God is angered by the grumbling and complaining of His people (Numbers 11:1, 10), which is often expressed by resistance to His appointed leadership (Numbers 12:9).
All of these offenses which arouse God to anger seem reasonable enough, but there are times when men may commit offenses which seem minor to us, and yet which provoke God to anger. One such case is described in 2 Samuel chapter 6. The ark of the covenant had been captured by the Philistines, and was kept for a short time as a trophy in the house of their god, Dagon. The problem with this was that God shamed their “god” and caused a plague to fall on those in whose city the ark was being kept. Eventually, the ark was returned by the Philistines, transported on an ox cart.
One could expect the Philistines to transport the ark this way. They did not know any better. But God had stipulated in the Law that the ark must be carried by the Levites, by means of poles that were place through rings in the ark. The Israelites forgot this and began to transport the ark on an ox cart, like the Philistines. When the ox stumbled and the ark seemed in danger of falling off the cart, Uzzah reached out to stabilize the ark and was struck dead by God. This angered David, who could not understand this outburst of anger at first. Only later, upon reflection, did he realize how important obedience to God’s instructions was. And then, when the ark was transported, it was done as God had instructed.
Jesus was also angry. We are told of His anger at the Pharisees for their hardness of heart (Mark 3:5). That same anger seems to be expressed in the cleansing of the temple (John 2:13-22), and in Jesus woe’s to the Pharisees in Matthew 23. I believe it is also implied in Jesus rebuke of Peter, when he chided Him for speaking of His sacrificial death (Matthew 16:23).
Godly men were also angered by unrighteousness. Moses, who was initially unshaken by Israel’s worship of the golden calf, became angry when he finally came down from the mountain and saw the extent of Israel’s sin (see Exodus 32:1-20). Earlier, Moses was angered by Pharaoh’s hardened heart, and his refusal to listen to God and to let the Israelites go (Exodus 11:8). While the text does not say so, it would appear that David was angered by Goliath’s blasphemy (1 Samuel 17). David was later angry when Nathan told him the story of the rich man who stole a poor man’s little lamb, not knowing that he was the villain (2 Samuel 13:21).
Paul was angered when he learned that false teaching had reached the saints in Galatia, and that some were embracing it. The whole epistle of Paul to the Galatians is white hot with Paul’s expressed anger and outrage. One example of Paul’s anger in Galatians can be seen when he rebuked Peter and others for their hypocrisy in dealing with their Gentile brethren.
Characteristics of Righteous Indignation
Anger is not always wrong. Anger that is righteous has certain earmarks, by which it can be distinguished from unholy wrath. Consider the following characteristics, which are evident from the examples cited above.
(1) Godly anger is God-like anger, it is an expression of the anger which was toward the actions of men. Godly people are angry when God is angry. It is anger which is consistent with the holy and righteous character of God.
(2) Godly anger is legal anger. It is wrath based upon men’s violation of God’s law, and it is anger which is lawfully expressed. The Old Testament Law not only revealed that conduct which was unacceptable to God, making Him angry, but what the consequences of God’s anger would be. Godly anger is not vigilante justice, it is legal justice. Those who hate abortion but express their anger in the burning of abortion clinics (and thereby endangering other lives) are not expressing their anger legally.
(3) Godly anger is not explosive, but is only slowly provoked.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6). Repeatedly, God warned sinful Israel through the prophets before pouring out His wrath on them. God’s anger does not have a hair trigger.
(4) God does not take pleasure in expressing His anger in the judgment of men.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
(5) Godly anger is always under control. Godly anger does not lose its temper. Ungodly anger is excessive and abusive; godly anger never is. Godly anger is always under the control of the one expressing it, rather than anger taking control of them.
But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath (Psalm 78:38).
Because of the length of this post I will break it into two parts… just too much to write in one post. Check back in later for part 2.
Is your church Messy or Nesty? In America you will find these two types of churches. The Nesty church is the kind of church that is like a mother bird in her nest. She creates this nest out of sticks and branches, and then places cotton and fabric and leaves to soften the nest. She is making it comfortable and pleasant for HER BABIES. This nest is not about other birds… it’s not intended for other birds… the comfort is for her “4 and no more”. She isn’t concerned about what other birds are doing. She isn’t concerned about what they are facing or if they even have a nest… this nest is all about her and the ones she loves… her family.
Then there is the messy church! Now I don’t mean chaoss and a lack of order… a messy church is one that is not about itself but focuses on those who are outside of God and who are in need of Him. A messy church is one that says we are not here to make a nest for our “4 and no more”, but we are here to GO get those lost without God and bring them into His house. When a church is focused on the lost… they become a messy church. They have a Lawyer sitting next to a lawbreaker… Messy church! They have a Doctor sitting next to a patient dyeing of Cancer… Messy church. They have a well put together family sitting next to a family on the brink of divorce and financial ruin.
The point here is that a Nesty church has very few MESSED UP PEOPLE! It is full of SAVED folks and no LOST folks who are messed up. A nesty church is one who becomes possessive of the church and when MESSY people show up, they run them off because they don’t want them messing up their nice soft nest, which in their eyes was made for just them and their families.
Just visit a church and within minutes you will know what kind of church it is… Nesty or Messy!
A Messy church understands it was created to have sinners and MESSY people sitting and participating in the church, after all it was a sinner woman who fell at the feet of Jesus and he never felt out-of-place… just the NESTER’s felt out-of-place.
In the last several months the heart of our church, Greater Life Church of Sherman TX, has really turned its focus on the lost in a much more intense degree. You can walk in our church and see a lot of people who don’t have it all together. They don’t have an understanding of holiness yet. They are still dealing with some things of the world. There is still small influences of the world fighting them. They don’t look like Pentecostals, they don’t act like Pentecostals, they don’t smell like Pentecostals, and they don’t talk like Pentecostals… and you know what… I wouldn’t want it any other way… I like that we have MESSY folks calling GLC their home church… I like that we are a MESSY church!
I love that our people embrace the people who show up to visit and even those who stay, that have Messy lives. I love that I look around and see some of our very seasoned saints hugging and smiling and embracing people who don’t get it yet! I love that our church people include the messy folks right along with the folks who Get it!
Some pastors and some church folk get nervous when the MESSY folk start showing up and staying. Some pastors and some church folk get uncomfortable when the MESSY folks numbers start increasing… but I have to admit… I never feel more Christ Like than when I look out and see so many MESSY people sitting in the midst of our church folk. I actually LOVE IT… and so does Greater Life Church, because they are a MESSY church, not a NESTY church.
Take a look around in your church… is it hard to find someone who doesn’t look and act and talk “Pentecostal”? Your church might be NESTY! But if you do see people who don’t look, act and talk “Pentecostal”, calling your church home… your church is a MESSY church and Jesus Christ couldn’t be more excited for that church!!!!
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Gen 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
Gen 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
Gen 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Gen 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
1. If we are going to Carry the promise, we have got to match the promise
The promise was given to Abram that he would be a father of many nations. But the man standing in front of God didn’t match the promise. So God said if your going to carry this promise and see it come to pass… you are going to have to match the promise. So God said the one thing that represents everything that you are is … your name! If you are to match your promise, I need to change your name!
Abram = High Father
Abraham = Father of a multitude
He went from a man were the accolades where about him, to a father where the accolades where about what he would produce. Look at what God told Jacob about matching the promise
Genesis 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Jacob= Heal grabber
Israel= He will rule as god
The promise was that he would have power with God and with men, but he had to match the promise. He will rule as god, didn’t mean he would be God but that the power and authority that God had would flow through Jacob.
If God has given you a promise… start matching the promise!!! If he said our going to be healed… even though you know your sick, start speaking words that have faith in them and let that start matching the promise.
I might be broke… but I’m going to get a better job. My marriage isn’t so good, but we will be the example of greatness to all those in need of marital help. They had their names changed to match what was coming down the road… change your attitude and words and start thinking and speaking to match what is coming down the road!
The number 40 holds particular significance in the Bible and refers to a precise number, not just a long period of time. There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where 40 occurs, either in days or years.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights…
Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights…
The Israelites wandered 40 years…
Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and was seen on the earth for 40 days after His crucifixion.
A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of stretching, trials, decrease and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.
Thankfully, God is consistent, so the meaning of a number in Genesis remains the same all the way to the book of Revelation. Sometimes the spiritual significance is not revealed directly, but in the case of “40″ and its many examples throughout the Bible, we can be certain of its importance and significance.
Because of this prophetic number… Greater Life Church is stepping out in faith and for the next 40 days, will be pursuing God by decreasing of ourselves. We have so appropriately named this… 40 days of “Decrease So He Can Increase”! This is a great time in the life of GLC and truly any church for that matter. 2012 is a year that will be marked as “That Year That Changed Everything” for so many people and churches. With this understanding of where we are standing as a church… we want to begin this year with 40 days of surrender and pursuit of God. Fasting is taking place everyday of the 40 days… Prayer at the church is taking place everyday of the 40 days… surrender, sacrifice, pursuit of HIM is taking place everyday of the 40 days!
It’s often said it doesn’t matter how you start, only how you finish… true, but sometimes how you start determines how you finish! We are determined to start with 40 days in pursuit of God! It’s going to be a great year! The foundation is being poured… everything else is relying on this!!!
It is not by any coincidence that the first day of the year in 2012 was on a church day! 2012 is a prophetic year for God’s people. 2011 was a year of great struggle and battles… but this year will be marked not by how many trials we had but by the great triumphs we will have. Sunday’s services were tremendous. Sunday morning was the first service of the year and it was full! Never have I felt like I have done so much in one service. It seemed as if God stopped time.
Sunday night was a great time in the altars with so many pouring out their hearts and lives to God. If Sunday was any indication of what’s to come… I can’t wait!
2011 – 11 is the number of no order, mis-alignment
2012 – 12 is the number of divine order & alignment
Jesus had 12 (order & alignment) disciples and after Judas betrayed Jesus there was 11 ( no order & disruption)… later we know that 1 more was added making it back to 12… back from disruption and lack of order to a place of alignment! 2012 is a year where God steps in and divinely places things in order! Looking forward to a great year!
Looking back over 2011, I must say that there have been some days… even weeks that I fought it seems, every type of enemy! There were big mountains that I experienced great victories, but also some deep valleys that I just had to keep walking before I saw any break. There are definitely some battles I care little to return to in my mind, but there are so many more great victories that I can’t help but look back at and remember that if it hadn’t been for Jesus… well, let’s just say I stand here today because of the anointing.
Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
Chronicles tells us to give God thanks. It says to make known his deeds among everyone we know. Sure we have some bad times and some hard truggles… but the bible tells us to give God thanks for the things he made happen for our good. We are told to look back at 2011 and find the good in it… to find that one miracle, that one testimony, and give God thanks for that. We can talk about all the bad of 2011… but the truth is that as long as we live, each year will bring with it some bad things.
The bible tells us that in this world we will have tribulations… so we see that each year will bring some areas of testing and strecthing of our faith… but in that we will see many more times of God’s blessings and hand on our lives. I look back on 2011 and thank God for the Mountains!!!
2011 was up and down… but I’m still thankful! Now bring on 2012