Throw Out The Bones

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. Don't quench the Spirit. Don't despise prophesies. Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 WEB

While traveling through Milwaukee Wisconsin, we stopped at an old smokehouse restaurant and ordered some wood-smoked baby back ribs. They were nothing short of amazing, but were of course, full of bones which we had to slowly pick through. It was so worth the effort and years later I still remember eating there. We ate the meat, and threw out the bones.

In our church experience, I have heard great men of God say things that I did not understand or really even agree with. I used to try and make it all fit somehow anyway, but that led to a mess in my mind. In the end, I had to start over and only keep the simple things that I understand, and let that slowly build. Albert Einstein said: 'If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.' When I hear something that does not seem to fit now, I put it on the shelf and think about it a while, and it may just get thrown out.

On the other hand, there have been sound biblical truths abused and now mentioning them is almost 'taboo.' Yet the truth will always be the truth. Our enemy loves to blacklist the blessings of God and to gently erase them from our messages. In order to rob us of the blessings, he will make something that God intended for our good, look bad. What could have been a blessing, is turned into a curse.

'Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)' will always work, regardless of how many charlatans have abused it in the past. By hiding this truth, and removing it from our messages, the enemy essentially hides the key to the cell door of poverty prison and keeps God's people locked inside. Many begin to agree with him and believe 'Keep it all for yourself and you will prosper.' Yet, that is not what Jesus told us. The truth has been reversed, and the blessing made into a curse.

Another important truth that has been neglected is that we are not to 'quench' the Spirit of God. This essentially means 'Putting out the fire' and it is talking about the Holy Spirit, not about people who may be speaking out of order. The Holy Spirit brings warmth and light to the Christian life and came on the Apostles as 'tongues of fire' (Acts 2:3, Matthew 3:11).

Paul especially singled out one gift with 'Do not despise prophecies' (1Thessalonians 5:20). When you enter a church that is spiritually dead, water has been thrown on the fire and what you are left with is a cold, dead, religious experience. I know the hair on your neck is probably rising but I am only writing what the New Testament teaches as the truth. We cannot treat the Bible like a buffet and silently drop the parts that our denomination disagrees with, or even reverse their meaning into 'Despise all prophecies.' The Holy Spirit is still alive today and the book of Acts is still as relevant as ever.

Be open to new things. Keep what is good, throw out the bad. None of us are as smart as all of us combined. None of us have the entire truth, only parts of it, but all together we make up the body of Christ. Do not try and keep what you do not yet understand. God is able to quicken His word and make it understandable, when He chooses to.

We are to test all things and keep what is good. We cannot ignore truth because someone abused it in the past. We cannot limit God to our church experience so far. Jesus could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their unbelief, though He did miracles everywhere else (Matthew 14:57). What if we are like them?

Prayer: Heavenly Father I believe, help my unbelief. Lord do not pass me by but include me in what You are doing today. I want more of You in my life. Teach me what I need to know and fire me up God. Dry up the water that has been thrown on my life and make me a torch for You in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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