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Concerning mob mentality: What would Jesus do?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018 in Book of Luke, Prayer Perspective | 2 comments

…the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say. Luke 11, last two verses

Take note of three phrases in the final two verses of Luke 11:

  • began to be very hostile
  • plotting against him
  • to catch Him in something He might say

Under these circumstances…[of targeted hostility and ill-intent] He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Luke 12:1

Under the circumstances of blatant resentment and plots of violence against Him, what did Jesus do? Did He acquiesce with the demands of the mob—did He think perhaps He’d been too harsh, and in His loving way, wonder if they had a point? NO. He boldly exposed the root of this brazen hostility:  Bona fide, Grade A hypocrisy.

The Lord uncovered a principle here: Targeting an individual with hostility propelled by an intent to destroy his reputation or life reveals more about the character of the “targeter” than it does the one being targeted—they are a bald-faced hypocrite.

The Oxford Dictionary defines hypocrisy this way: “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.” It’s the old speck in the eye caution—if you seek to remove (or expose!) a speck in someone else’s eye, get the log out of your own, first. (See Matthew 7:3-5.)

Do you passionately seek to expose someone else as flawed or evil, worthless or unfit? Then first take a checkup from the neck up yourself! When you engage in undermining the reputation of someone—no matter how righteous you feel about it or how much satisfaction you derive from it—you are placing yourself in a precarious position before God.

The leaven of hypocrisy

Jesus likened hypocrisy to leaven.

Many of us consume a little leaven—or yeast—every day in baked goods. That bit of yeast added to recipes gives the whole loaf, cake, or batch of cookies a fluffy, chewable quality. Most dictionaries define leaven—in addition to its use as a fermenting, rising agent in bread—as a pervasive, permeating influence of change for the better.

Yet when Jesus stated, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”, He was highlighting the subtle, negative influence of hypocrisy—the outward display of a moral high ground which masks raw ambition and hatred toward anyone who dares to stand between them and their secretly held lust for power. Jesus knew that mingling and mixing with such power-driven hypocrites would infect the culture with unthinking, blind corruption…and the whole lump of connected humanity would “blow up” with hypocrisy, hostility, and attempts to destroy anyone who remained “unfermented” by the prevailing trend.

What would Jesus do? Quite simply, expose hypocrisy. He didn’t seek to destroy hypocrites; He didn’t shout over them or call for their humiliation or demise; He simply revealed Truth concerning them.

Cover ups

But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops. Luke 12:2-3

Jesus recognized that these religious/political leaders wanted nothing other than to destroy Him, His message, and His influence on the world. Despite all of that, He maintained His peace; a higher principle was at play and He knew it:

All cover ups would be revealed. Hidden things would be made known. Conversations in dark, private meetings would become public knowledge. Whispered secret agendas would soon be broadcast on the airwaves far and wide.

What would Jesus do? What should you do?

First, beware the leaven of hypocrites. Is something trending that grabs the minds, emotions, and passions of the many, transforming cultural thought into a lump of rage, hostility, and indignation? Beware of it. At its root is hypocrisy—the mask of moral superiority covering someone’s unseen lust for power, manipulating those with good intentions to destroy a manufactured enemy…and in Jesus’ day, that manufactured enemy was Him.

Secondly—and this is my passion—use the mind God gave you. Question mass movements and popular trends, especially the ones that seek to destroy others. Ask yourself, “Where did this start? Who ultimately benefits? What is the end game?” God never demanded that you check your brain at the door of the church, school, university, or evening news. Invite Him to reveal the agendas behind societal thrusts; compare trending ideologies to the Word of God. If it doesn’t feel right, you have the right to question it and ask God about it.

And third, pray. You may not discern who or what is behind everything going on in prevailing movements, but God certainly does. Therefore, if it feels weird to you, take Jesus’ lead: Pray for cover ups to be exposed; ask that hidden intents will be made known; request God to cause private meetings in which participants plot someone’s ruin to be uncovered and become public knowledge; and pray that all whispered agendas will be exposed and broadcast on every available media.

Again, you have the right to question. You have the right to take an unpopular stance. You have the right to use critical thinking concerning every movement and ideology that comes along. And you have the right to go God’s way even if everyone else throws in with the “lovely” façade and hidden agendas of hypocrisy.

Beware the leaven of hypocrisy!

Dorothy

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 Timothy 3:1

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13

But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all… 2 Timothy 3:9a

© 2018, Dorothy Frick

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Obey anyway

Posted by on May 14, 2018 in Everyday Observations | Comments Off on Obey anyway

Here’s what I just posted on Facebook:

A little something I saw while reading Hebrews 11:7 (I capitalized the part in question): “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, BY WHICH HE CONDEMNED THE WORLD and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
 
Here’s what knocked me over the head: Your obedience to God CAN result in someone–even MANY–feeling condemned. You yourself are not condemning them, but your obedient actions are.
 
Obey God anyway.
Dorothy
© 2018, Dorothy Frick
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God’s response to me at year’s end

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Prayer Perspective | 4 comments

During the last week of 2017 I was seeking the Lord about seeking the Lord. I realized that I had drifted away—again!—in my fervency toward Him in my daily life. Yes, I loved Him; yes, I sought to live by faith; yes, I endeavored to keep a clean conscience toward Him; and yes, I attempted to walk in love in my interactions with others.

That morning as I prayed, I heard the still small voice I’ve grown to trust and to love. The depth of correction and comfort His words brought to me may help some of you—who like me, have walked a long time in the things of God, yet who (like me) have painfully recognized some staleness in your pursuit of Him.

May you find comfort, strength, and whatever correction you may need as you read.

 

“You can be genuinely sweet. You may be extremely moral. You may walk in true kindness and have keen discernment between truth and error, good and evil.

“But you can be all this and still forsake your first love; and those things—if you do not repent and turn back to that first love—will eventually ring hollow and become more and more lifeless.

“To the good. To the kind. To the champions of My Word. To the discerning. To the giving. To the moral. To the sweet. To the embracers of Truth:

“‘Remember what I said to the beloved church in Ephesus through My apostle John in the Revelation he received from Me:

“‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

“‘And you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.

“‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

“‘Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent’ (Revelation 2:2-5).

“What are the deeds you did at first? You hungered for Me. You pursued Me. You thirsted for My Word and for the knowledge of My Word, simply because you loved Me and all that I said—and you wanted more and more of it—of Me.

“Your hunger was not to prove yourself right. Not to appear spiritually profound or proficient. Not to be seen of others as being a fountain of wisdom or truth. No. Simply because you wanted more of Me you pursued Me hotly and with a sincere heart. Simply because you had experienced how wonderful I am.

“Now that you’ve attained much knowledge, some insight, some discipline, some success over bondages and habits, some skill in articulating My Word, some acclaim because of your connection to Me and you have some experience of My deliverance, help, and presence in trouble…you have grown complacent in your seeking. You’ve grown complacent in your pursuit. You’ve become complacent in your sheer delight at finding Me and watching Me show up. It’s as if you think My supernatural presence and involvement is normal (and it is), but the complacent normal becomes common. The complacent normal becomes average. The complacent normal becomes humdrumand if you continue to allow driftage, it all begins to slide into ‘so what’.

“When that happens, the blessing on your life becomes an entitlement to you (after all, you’ve become ‘so skillful in the things of God’). You become self-satisfied and your felt-need for connection with Me fades.

“To My sweet, My kind, My discerning, My moral, My giving, My embracers of Truth, and My champions of the Word:

“Remember your first love! Pursue Me as purely as at first and allow Me to cleanse those motives that have been tainted by pride, by wanting to be seen, by wanting to be first…or best…or foremost…or most accurate.

“Let Me cleanse you of any motive that feeds self-honor and let Me recreate in you the desire to please Me—Me alone.

“As you submit to My correction, I will rework those things—attitudes, views, motives—within you which have facilitated slippage from your first love; and I will render you down to the purity of the beginning of your fervent walk with Christ.

“It is time to purge that most insidious brand of complacency from your life and heart—complacency concerning your private, intimate pursuit of Me.

“It is written in Proverbs 1:32-33:

“‘For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to Me shall live securely and will be at the ease from the dread of evil.’

“Always I give a choice. Always. I allowed you to choose or reject My Son. And now, I allow you to choose or neglect continued intimacy with Me…that intimacy which only comes by pursuit of Me—even now, even as you grow older in Me.

“Continue to pursue Me privately. Continue to pursue Me intimately. Continue to place yourself before Me—alone—where I can correct and comfort you, discipline and direct you, fill you and free you.

“I am your God. Even now, as you have acquired years and depth and experience in Me, you still need Me as desperately as ever you did when you began your walk with Me.

“Let Me delight in you as at the beginning, for I delight in your hunger, your thirst, your pursuit, your readiness to enter in to hear from Me.

“Set yourself in this place before Me as you did in the beginning; get your sustenance and solace from Me; and you will indeed see the salvation of your God all over again with new, cleansed eyesight.

“All the other things you’ve done in a more outward pursuit—these are goodbut neglect not the first things—and everything else will fall into its proper place.”

 

Thanks for reading,

Dorothy

© 2018, Dorothy Frick

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Born again; what next?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on Born again; what next?

I had been born again, not due to the prodding or preaching of men, but by the longsuffering, interactive invasion of the Living God into my confused but seeking life.
 
I had little training outside of my mainline denominational church as to what to do next; but a Christian friend back in high school told me years before that I needed to “get into fellowship”. I’m so thankful she planted that seed in me, because it was about to bear fruit. Here’s what happened next:
 
Sometime in January, 1975, I was back to Mizzou after Christmas break. But nothing was the same. Over break, as you know, I had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ; my day-to-day life as I knew it was about to undergo a sweeping overhaul as well.
 
Because my entire perspective on life and living had just been radically altered, I was not quiteshall we sayas celebrated by my party friends upon my return to school as I had been when I left for break.
 
Alone and feeling dejected after a post-party Friday night accusatory grilling by peers (you see, I had the audacity to drink Sprite and not liquor throughout the party), the next morning I wandered the 3rd floor of my dorm where I knew some Jesus freaks lived, knocking on doors. Finally, a door opened, and who should answer but one of those Jesus freaks!
 
I announced, “I am a Christian now and none of my friends like me anymore. Will you be my friend?”
 
She was prepping to take a bus back to her hometown for the night but offered me an invitation that would set the stage for the stability and depth of my faith for the remainder of my life.
 
“Bible study is Tuesday and Thursday nights. This week it’ll be in Rick’s room up on 6th floor Hatch. Be there.”
 

I went; I continued to go until I graduated two and a half years later; and I experienced what real community and care among believers was all about.

The foundation I received in those dorm meetings established my faith with biblical, rock solid anchoring; the atmosphere that prevailed of love, acceptance, and celebration of each individual soul in that ever-growing group of youths remains to this day my measuring stick of what true Christian community looks like.

I am forever grateful to God for His marvelous and timely intervention in my life!

Dorothy

© 2017, Dorothy Frick

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Jesus to the rescue

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on Jesus to the rescue

The Bible says that God is longsuffering. He patiently presents His truth to us throughout our lives in a variety of ways. He is the Supreme Teacher, and He provides individualized instruction to each of us. Sometimes we “get it” and sometimes we don’t. Still, He persists in His patient pursuit. On December 29, 1974, I finally “got it”.

My testimony part 3:

Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2, Good News Translation

Repentance is a funny thing. It demands that you recognize your own sin; but it is also accompanied, very often, by an abhorrence of what you have allowed, done, or become; and true repentance will birth a change of heart and behavior in you as well.

When I was in high school and quit drugging and drinking due to the heavenly “vision”, some may have considered this to be an act of repentance, but it wasn’t. Yes, I changed my behaviors; yet I, myself, remained unchanged.

Later, in college when I recognized that I had become an alcoholic, I grieved terribly about the control I had allowed drinking to gain over my life and told God how sorry I was, but even that was not full repentance. I sorrowed, but my behaviors remained stuck, unchanged.

After crying out to God in November, 1974, I continued drinking but didn’t enjoy it; I felt enchained by it and couldn’t get free. In fact, a couple of days after Christmas, once again, I was getting drunk in a bar while my friends partied away with glee. As I sat alone, absentmindedly watching the band play song after song, I noticed that many of the folks on the dance floor were swaying with their arms lifted up to the sky. Just then I heard a voice in my ear: Lifted hands are a sign of worship.

I dropped my head and said, “I’m in hell.” I had acknowledged my sin but had no idea where to go from there.

But God had a plan, and He came through for me in the most unexpected way.

Two evenings later, on December 29, I received a phone call. I took it in my parents’ bedroom on their princess telephone while standing next to their full-length mirror. (For those of you much younger than me, princess phones were quite the thing back then.) My friend on the other end wanted to know if I was planning to get drunk on New Year’s Eve. Now remember, I had gotten smashed just two nights earlier and desperately wanted to quit but felt utterly unable to do so.

Out of nowhere, I heard my mouth saying, “Haven’t you heard? I quit drinking.”

“You WHAT?!” she bellowed. I WHAT?! my mind echoed.

“What are you talking about?” she persisted.

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and gave myself a puzzled look. I also noticed a small smile tugging at the corner of my mouth.

“Drinking is so un-ecological! Think of it! You drink and drink and drink, and all those resources are just wasted! Trashed! It’s just not good for the environment!” I could feel my mind scrambling for some sort of excuse to cover for what my mouth had just announced.

“Oh man, are you ever messed up!” and with that our conversation abruptly ended.

There I was, standing before my parents’ full-length mirror, and two things happened. First, I felt something literally leave my body, making me feel about two thousand pounds lighter. Second, as I looked into that mirror, my face was glowing. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Something very profound had just happened to me, that’s for sure, and I had a feeling that Jesus was in the middle of it.

I went to my bedroom and found a daily devotional I had just bought sometime in November to make sense of my spiritual condition. Instead of opening it to December 29, I opened it to my birthday page. And there, in bold Living Bible terminology was Hebrews 10:19-20. It said, “And so, dear brothers, now we may walk right into the very Holy of Holies, where God is, because of the blood of Jesus. This is the fresh, new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us by tearing the curtain—his human body—to let us into the holy presence of God.

And then I saw Him. There in my bedroom, all alone, I saw Jesus opening His chest with His two hands and beckoning me to enter through Him into the presence of the Father. And as I wept in gratefulness to Him, I said, “I must be a Christian now!”

And thus my journey ended; and so my journey began.

Dorothy

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:13-14a

…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10, 13

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017.

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