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Bad Company

  • Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers; But his delight is in Yahweh's law; On his law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. Psalms 1:1 WEB

    Though it did not start out that way, or show itself immediately, we slowly became like them. First standing around talking, and then sitting and listening to the cynical, bitter gossip in church. Before too long, I felt just like they did and I could begin to hear it in my speech. I am not sure why I did not see all this negativity before, how could I have missed it? It was very subtle and creeped in. Finally we got a grip on it and moved away from that side of the church and life was better.

    Walking, standing, sitting is progressive and a gradual slowing in the speed of your walk. In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul wrote that bad company corrupts good character. While it is certainly relevant outside the church, we found that it can be pretty bad inside the church as well. The fruit of the Spirit is: 'Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control' (Galatians 5:21'23). None of that was present in the company that we kept.

    Choose your friends wisely and keep good company. Though to balance this message, I should tell you that we have had the Lord put people into our life as a test. As long as we resisted, they persisted. But when we submitted and loved them back, they left.

    Sylvia and I once attended a church where I was playing in the praise team and she was seated in the sanctuary. Sylvia loves her 'personal space' and I smoked for a decade twenty years ago, but now it makes me nauseous and gives me a headache when I am around it, so I try and avoid it as much as possible.

    A lady soon started sitting right beside us and we both could see that God had sent her. She wore thick furry long haired coats and smoked like a locomotive. The smoke would permeate every fiber of her clothing and hair. She would then sit tightly beside you, throw her arm around you, completely enveloping you in an overwhelming mixture of nausea, light headedness, and mild suffocation. A few times I began to heave during one of her enveloping embraces as if I were licking an ash tray.

    She was as clingy as silk on a winter morning. I could see Sylvia from the stage leaning further and further away and the lady leaning in closer and closer. She became a magnet and Sylvia's best friend, even following her to the bathroom, but was overall a sweet person. Finally we just surrendered and hugged her back just as enthusiastically as she hugged us. Soon she was gone from our lives. God can put the unlovable right in front of you and then ask you to love them anyway. My heart goes out to the people that experience this but as you walk with God, you will probably face this test. Jesus touched the lepers, the sick, the lame, the unloved, even His enemies, and He allowed people to touch Him back (Matt. 8:3, Matt. 20:34, Luke 22:51, Mark 5:27, Luke 7:39, Luke 18:15).

    The company that you keep will affect your view on life. They can bring out the best in you, or the worst. They can inspire you, or depress you. Many are happy where they are and will not want you to grow. Do not hang out with bad company as they will bring you down to their level. When God places an unlovable person in your life, be nice and love them back. It works.

    Prayer: Father I thank You for loving me and ask that You help me love others. Put Your love in me for mine is lacking. Help me see people through Your eyes and separate me from those that I should not be around, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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49 comments
  • 2
Necie Mc
Necie Mc Yes heavenly Father, help to me see people through your eyes and separate me from those that I should not be around. Thank you for this timely message.
September 30, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, guide us Jesus to where You want us to be and go.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
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Susan P
Susan P I use to think that loving the Lord meant I was obligated to be friends with everyone and go through whatever damage ensued. Thank you instead Lord, that you are wise and have a plan with each situation. 
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Oh yeah, that would be a horrible, praise God for the wisdom to get beyond that! 
September 30, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, God bless your sweet precious heart.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson Amen!  Dear Lord, thank you for showing me the way by lifting my prejudices by allowing me to take that step back and seeing the good in others no matter what because, every person on this beautiful earth has something good inside of them. We just have to ask you to help us weed out the bad and always look for the good.  
September 30, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams Amen.  Praise God!  Thank you! Father I thank you for loving me and ask that you help me to love others.
September 30, 2015
  • 3
Joan Joseph
Joan Joseph Wow, it's amazing how the Lord will send you a message that relates so much of what your going through. I'm dealing with this at work and it can get a little uncomfortable at times. It is only the strength of God that pulls me through each day. Thank you Lord for your power, love, guidance, strength, and using Pastor Todd to deliver this encouraging message. 
September 30, 2015
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Penelope Rhome
Penelope Rhome thank you amen
September 30, 2015
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flavio garcia
flavio garcia Amen.2
September 30, 2015
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Liz Perry
Liz Perry Another message that hits home today! I need to love the unlovable in my life right now. Thank you for the reminders. May God continue to bless your ministry.  
September 30, 2015
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Debbie Bible
Debbie Bible Liz, that's what I took from this message, too.  
September 30, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, me too.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
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Deanne Rascas
Deanne Rascas I understand what you are saying in this message today Pastor, but there is a person who has been in my life for 25 years. He is married to my daughter and has such deplorable actions! He is very abusive verbally to my daughter and grandkids and Ive never met a more selfish person in my life! My husband won't have anything to do with him. I still talk to him when I see him because of my Christian faith. My daughter doesn't love him and wants to leave but she is afraid to. Even the kids who are teen agers beg her to leave him. I feel that he has mental illness but his selfishness has been learned by his mother. There is so much to this that I could fill a book! I need to know, how do I walk in love with him after all that he's done. In my case, he won't go away! 
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Deanne, that sounds exactly like the one who is married to my sister! They separated after he became physically abusive , but she still keeps him around, for the sake of the kids, I guess. When we see him, we are civil to him, for the sake of my sister who continues to make the choice to have him there. I have told her directly that is the only reason because someone like that should not be around her or the kids. Nevertheless, out of love for my sister we tolerate it, and perhaps that's all you can do as well. We pray for the family each day and I pray for yours as well!
September 30, 2015
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Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor Wow....so appropriate in my life right now!  My boyfriend just gave me a dig about being unemployed and it really upset me.  I'd LOVE to have a job and have an income! He wants someone to take care of him and I do, yet it seems like it's not enough.  
September 30, 2015
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Susan P
Susan P Why are you suppose to take care of him, Mary? 
September 30, 2015
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Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor Well, since I am unemployed and he is supporting me unitl I find work, it's my way of helping out. And then, he also finally admitted to me what I had suspected over the years..that the main thing he wanted in a girlfriend was someone to take care of him. He does have some physical issues, (he walks with crutches) though I do more than just things he cannot do physically. 
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Father, I lift up Mary Pat to you and pray that you grant her strength, healing, discernment and provision to follow in your path. Please show her very clearly what your path is for her and let the open doors be unmistakable. I thank you and pray this in the name of Jesus, amen!
September 30, 2015
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Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor Thank you, sis! (((hugs)) <3  
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd (((HUGS))) <3!
September 30, 2015
  • 3
Sean Miles
Sean Miles I can definitely relate to this devotional. Unfortunately, I have immediate family that thrives off of gossip towards others which I feel keeps them from looking at themselves. I also am employed through my fathers business and have to be around all this negativity. I certainly do not want to and try to make the best of it by being of Christian faith and using love as the grand tool. Also one of the bigest traits is for me to be consistent in who I am regardless of whom my company around me is. So many people throw on a mask. A different mask depending on who they are around. I feel these people really do not know who they are and are still searching for their true identity. I thank the Lord that I now know who I am. I am a child of the living God and he loves me so much. Have a blessed' day everyone!
September 30, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, we must always be honest and true to whom we are, because Jesus see's into our deepest parts of our hearts. God bless you for being a living example for others to see Jesus in you. Love and prayers and many many blessings.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Sean, sometimes you will have to stand in the place that God placed you and change the environment around you! I pray that He grants you strength, patience and wisdom to carry out His plan for you, in the name of Jesus!
September 30, 2015
  • 3
Debbie Bible
Debbie Bible The smoker lady struck a nerve with me! At times when I was having chemo, I'd have to sit next to a smoker and it made me quite nauseous and irritated. This devotion made me think of the person on the plane who had to sit by chubby me on a flight across the "pond". I need to be more aware of MY imperfections.
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Very true, Debbie, though I can't even imagine how bad that would be to experience nausea like that during chemo :(.
September 30, 2015
  • 3
Carol Pady
Carol Pady Amen! 
September 30, 2015
  • 3
Laurie Gabrio
Laurie Gabrioedited: September 30, 2015 Wow, this is for me and my family today!  God's timing is always perfect!!!!    the last week has been the  toughest ever, sad, angry, scared, devistated, confused, sick, unloved, and feeling pity for my sister and her husband.  My sister Joyce and her husband Steve need prayer about the darkness that has engulfed them, last week it was shown to us, the lies given from them to our family, they are wolves in sheeps clothing but they cant hide it from us anymore, even though we haven't talked in 4 years we had to see them visiting my Mother who is 91 yrs old had a heart attack and seeing them opened everyone's eyes, so devastating for us all, very tragic, I have felt like I am mourning the death of my sister, and have received threats from her husband which she knows about to not even speak of them to anyone, we are not letting fear take over us, no weapon will ever form against the Gabrio families!! please pray that God has this and he is working on opening doors to reveal things and do a great shaking, we have had a prayer family meeting and we are now feeling peace, but we need daily prayer that God is going to reveal the darkness covering Joyce and Steve!!! we live in the same town, we pray that God is going to protect and keep us from running into them. I can't understand such hatred, this has been like death to me, and my husband Mark. WE can't understand how she is the only one in the family like this, sometimes I feel so confussed.     John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.        Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
September 30, 2015
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Kim Dalton
Kim Dalton Will be praying for you & your family.
September 30, 2015
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member I will be praying for you and your family. Love and prayers, Tamara
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Father, I pray that you move on the hearts of this family, especially Joyce and Steve. Please let peace reign over all members of this family and show them how to each have a heart to follow in your path, in the name of Jesus, amen!
September 30, 2015
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Karen Pasquinelli
Karen Pasquinelli AMEN!          
September 30, 2015
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Joey Smith
Joey Smith Amen, thanks for sharing the word of the Lord Pstor Dion.
September 30, 2015
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Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler Great experience/advice.  Thanks!
September 30, 2015
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
  • 1
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, that is so true, we should always love the unlovable, because many times, they really don't have anyone that truly loves and cares for them. Jesus loves us no matter what.
September 30, 2015- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Kate Bergin
Kate Bergin My brother is one of the most stubborn prideful and money-centered person I think I've ever known. And yet he is not wealthy, nor does he seem to have much to be proud of. He picks on me about my faith and I really believe that deep down, he wants to have it but is afraid of the humility part. Of admitting he's not really in control-God is. Of course He wants us to help ourselves in this world. My brother has currently taken me in temporarily, as I decided my life was at a standstill where I was-after the death of my grandson was overwhelming me with emotions and thoughts I knew were unholy. Is my brother "bad company" or just a lost soul who was hurt too much (as a child) by those who were supposed to love and cherish him? Does he think there's no way that God would love him even more than he could ever imagine? I just can't imagine giving up on him. Ever.
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Kate, when it comes to which choice is correct in general, I think that only the Lord can tell us, but when we're talking about family, I don't know if we can ever truly give up on them. In our own families, there are times when we step away for a while, because no one has unlimited stamina, but family is still family. In the case of the "bad company" that was described in the post, the Lord eventually just moved us out of that church anyway.  I pray that the Lord melts the heart of your brother and that He grants you strength and the right words and attitude to be a positive influence on him, in the name of Jesus, amen <3.
September 30, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Seriously, the Lord will put the most amazing things in our lives to test us! In addition to the fur-covered persond described in today's post, the funniest one to me was one time when we were at a friend's house for a Bible study, with about 8-10 people in the room. Our friend had a large dog and that dog somehow chose me to sit with, hopping on the sofa next to me and sticking his nose right in my face! I looked around at all of the people he could have done that with, including the owner, and just had to laugh and shake my head :).
September 30, 2015
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Jane Lee
Jane Lee Love the devotionals. Every single one has an awesome message. Shalom all...:)!
September 30, 2015
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Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt This is what happened to us with several different people. God brought these people that needed love so badly, we loved on them and then God moved them on. I do think God wanted to see how we handled being around others that wern't real clean, and had a lot of promblems. God wants us to handle things like Jesus would, and Jesus taught us a lot about that.
September 30, 2015
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Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander Praise God for He will have to work in and through each of us to do so
September 30, 2015
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Shelby Casey
Shelby Casey Thanks Pastor. I love it, its all about the fruit.
September 30, 2015
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Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann Thank you Pastor Todd.
September 30, 2015
  • 2
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you dear Pastor, for the great message!
September 30, 2015
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Rosemary Marsh
Rosemary Marsh Amen. Thank you Pastor Todd.It is so wonderful how God teaches us in so many ways how to adjust,handle and lead and guide us through all situations by The Holy Spirirt.The prayer I have prayed many times.Praise God for His Love Grace. And Mercy.He has shown me how to over come all situation.Thank you Heavenly Father knowing that you are there for us always,and knowing you are in control.Help us to keep abiding in you,and remain in you, always In Jesus name.
October 1, 2015
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Natasha Scott
Natasha Scott Love this!
October 1, 2015
  • 1
Jeanne Hill
Jeanne Hill I've been there in those situations and the Lord helped me love them, praise HIS NAME.
October 3, 2015