Thursday, March 20, 2008

Do I Poison anyone’s Mind?

DAY 19 of our 21-day Daniels fast! We are almost there gang. God has really been purging my life of some things, and I know that He has you as well. As I laid in bed this morning (around 3:30) I couldn't sleep because the Lord was speaking to my heart. He was burdening my heart with the question of, "Have you every poisoned anyone's mind?" In other words, have I spoken against someone because of frustration and bad intentions in my heart? You see, God has called us to be builders of His kingdom, not destroyers! We can become careless with our words, especially at home, and find ourselves on the wrong team, working for the wrong god…the god of this world, who is satan himself! It happened to Jesus…by the religious crowd. Let me share some Word with you today…

Matthew 21:8-11 Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him (Jesus) a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. (9) Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, "Hosanna to David's son!" "Blessed is he who comes in God's name!" "Hosanna in highest heaven!" (10) As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, "What's going on here? Who is this?" (11) The parade crowd answered, "This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee."

The crowd was so excited about Jesus, the Messiah, coming to town that they were taking off their garments and throwing them down on the road in front of him. They were crying out, "Hosanna, to the one who comes in the name of the Lord." The word Hosanna means "save now," or "save, I beseech thee." It is a Syriac word, and was a form of acclamation used among the Jews. It was probably used in the celebration of their great festivals. The crowd WELCOMED Jesus with open arms. Now notice these next few verses:

Matthew 26:55-56 Then Jesus addressed the mob (CROWD): "What is this--coming out
after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I have been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. (56) You've done it this way to confirm and fulfill the prophetic writings." Then all the disciples cut and ran.

The crowd went from having palm branches in their hands, to clubs and swords! What happened, in less than seven days?

Then this:

Matthew 27:41-43 The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: (42) "He saved others--he can't save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We'll all become believers then! (43) He was so sure of God--well, let him rescue his 'Son' now--if he wants him! He did claim to be God's Son, didn't he?"

Wow! What a change. The crowd went from honoring Jesus as a KING and crying out, "Save us, I beseech thee" to going after Him with clubs and weapons, then to mocking Him with cries of, "He can't even save Himself." All of this change in LESS THAN A WEEK. What happened? I believe the answer is found in Matthew 27:20:

Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

The reason the crowd changed so quickly from being pro-Jesus to anti-Jesus was that there were people working very hard, behind the scenes to POISON THE MINDS of people against Jesus. They were "sowers of DISCORD" and God says this about sowers of discord:

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (19) a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Think about that for a moment. God, who is LOVE, hates a man who stirs up dissension (or discord) among brothers. It was the seeds of discord that led to Jesus' death over 2000 years ago, and it STILL leads to the death of Jesus' influence in our lives today. We can see it in so many places and ways. The Bible tells us that Barnabas was an encourager of his brothers. His name literally means son of encouragement. Everywhere he went, he left a harvest of encouraged, exhorted people. People who felt better about themselves. He brought medicinal benefits to people's minds and relationships through encouragement. They would leave his presence feeling better about themselves and others.

However, the opposite of Barnabas are the people who poison the minds of people with constant criticism of people. You feel dirty and unsaved when you leave their presence. They talk negative and bad about everyone and everything. They don't seem happy unless they are unhappy about something or someone. They also believe it is their obligation to tell you every dirty detail that they have heard about individuals. When the church wants to believe God for something miraculous the dispensers of poison are the ones who go around telling everyone why it won't work. Yes, they are poisoning the minds of people, just like what happened to Jesus.

So my question today is this: "Are you a sower of discord, or a sower of encouragement?" Do you poison the minds of people against certain individuals and God's plan? If so, you are the complete antithesis of who God is and what He is all about. And…you just might be killing "Jesus" in someone's life while you are at it. After people spend time with you, when they think of Jesus, do they want a palm branch to wave in praise towards Him, or a club to swing in protest at Him?

James 1:26 (CEV) If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.

The Holy Spirit has convicted me about this during our Daniel Fast. I want to be a sower of ACCORD and not DISCORED. I realize that when I sow seeds of discord, I am being used of the devil. Lord forgive me, and help me to be a Barnabas (encourager) and not a Pharisee (discourager).

My prayer is that you have a PALM BRANCH-filled day! Blessings.

Pastor Rusty

Today's "Through the Bible in a Year" Bible reading: 2 Kings 14:1 – 2 Kings 17:41

This week's memory verse to "HIDE IN MY HEART": Romans 10:9-10

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.