Bullies and Believers

Defeating bullying in our midst

Shedding the old Person and becoming a new Creation!

Becoming a BETTER person

The threat and effect of bullying is very real

  1. Bullying is a very real and present danger
    1. It is not harmless
    2. It is not a minor problem
      1. One life lost is too many
      2. One person destroyed is too many
    3. com reported that over 60,000 kids miss school because of bullying
    4. The American Psychological Association reported that 90 percent of 4th – 8th graders report being victims of bullying in some form
    5. Several school violence events have been sparked by bullying
      1. Columbine being the most infamous
    6. Bullying is really individual terrorism
      1. Wrecks lives
      2. Brings a life of fear to people
      3. Breeds rebellion
      4. Leads to fights
      5. Leads to suicides
      6. Leads to low self esteem
      7. Destroys character
    7. Bullying can take the form of:
      1. Spreading rumors
      2. Teasing
      3. Exclusion
      4. Threats
      5. Gossip
      6. Mean words
      7. Name calling
      8. Causing trouble at school, work
      9. Twisting truth
      10. Marginalizing
      11. Pushing people to the edges of social circles/society
      12. Oppression
      13. Slavery
      14. Taking advantage
      15. Hitting
      16. Kicking
      17. Pushing
      18. Other physical violence
      19. Stealing
      20. Damaging property
        1. Graffiti
        2. Destruction
      21. other
    8. Social Media has erupted as a major platform for bullies
      1. Same methods used but removed from the opportunity for reprisals/accountability
      2. Fake profiles used to hide
      3. Provides a “safe” and easy platform to use
        1. Post in the dark of night
        2. Apply settings that do not allow replies or comments
  • Apply the bullies context to photos or statements
    1. Usually that are different from reality
  1. Ability to use the person being bullied own pictures and information to set up a fake profile in their name
    1. Post lies
    2. Post destructive comments and statements
  2. Seemingly no accountability
  1. So many just give into the bully
    1. Surrender their power and life over to them
      1. In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.
        Too many people feel it is easier just to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him.
    2. There is hope and help for those experiencing bullying and for the bullier
      1. One of my all time favorite TV shows, for having good moral lessons as plot lines, was the “Andy Griffith Show.” There was an episode where young Opie was having his “Milk nickel” bullied away from him and could not afford any milk for lunch. “You wouldn’t want me to get weak bones?” Well, Andy found out about the trouble and looked to find a way to help Opie without making Opie ashamed or dependent of his father’s help all of the time. In itself this is a good lesson to parents, children must learn, and earn, some things on their own in order for them to fully appreciate it later in life, but that is not our point in this illustration. Andy began to tell Opie about the time that Odie Snitch stole Andy’s fishing hole away from him when he was Opie’s age. Young Andy had to eventually face Odie Snitch to rid himself of his awful feeling of being “Lilly livered” and found that a punch in the nose didn’t really hurt when taken for a good cause and that bullies often can’t back up their words with deeds. Opie took the words to heart and faced down his extortionist the next day. Opie came away with a “Bute” of a shiner, but he didn’t even feel the black eye because the sweet feeling of the losing his trouble and regaining what was rightfully his.
        1. The point, you may ask? No trouble is as bad as it once seemed when completed than it did when we first dreaded and feared it.
        2. I would never advocate responding to a bully with violence, but it has proven worthy of our consideration. Not because of the violent act, but because of the empowering act of standing up for yourself, your person and your rights.
  • Taylor Swift said “If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.”
  • “Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.”
  1. Seek Help
    1. Counselors and Teachers
    2. Staff
    3. Law enforcement
    4. Pastors, Priests, Rabbi, etc.
    5. Friends
    6. Parents and family
  2. Get involved in team sports or activities
    1. Bands, athletic teams and other group activities promote acceptance, team work and family
    2. Being part of something positive is good for us
  3. Know who you are
    1. You are a masterpiece of God’s Creation
    2. You may not be perfect, but no one else is either
  4. Be patient, honorable and respectful
    1. Do not allow the bully pull you down to a low level
      1. You seek to improve yourself, to raise your character and reputation.
    2. Get to Know Jesus Christ
      1. He loves you
      2. He has a plan for you
      3. He took on the ultimate bully and was entirely victorious
        1. He did this for you!
        2. His stripes can heal your wounds
      4. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
        1. Many bullies are bullied
        2. Many bullies have a horrid home life
        3. Many bullies are poor
        4. Many bullies are jealous
        5. Many bullies have no power or control so they try to gain them over others
        6. Many bullies are raised or taught to be racist or sexist
        7. Many bullies are alone
        8. Many bullies are afraid
        9. Many bullies separate themselves from a mainstream they believe will not accept them and become involved in sub cultures
          1. Gangs

Anatomy of a Bully

  1. Afraid
  2. Socially awkward
  3. Jealous
  4. Weak
  5. Selfish
  6. Arrogant
  7. Angry
  8. Liar
  9. Deceitful
  10. Trouble maker
  11. Hurting
  12. Lustful
    1. Lust for power
    2. Lust for control
    3. Lust for people
      1. A boy usually teases the girl
    4. Killer
      1. Character
      2. Reputation
      3. Person
    5. Eager to do wrong
    6. Sow discord
      1. Cause division
      2. Break couples up
      3. Get someone fired

Scriptures

Proverbs 6:12-21 “What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars, signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers. Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble. But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing. There are six things the Lord  hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck.”  NLT

Living above Bullying  /  Believers Beating Bullying

Leviticus 19:17-19 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord . “You must obey all my decrees.”   NLT

  1. Don’t carry hate
  2. Talk to people you disagree with – DIRECTLY
    1. Not behind their backs
    2. Not gossip
  3. LET IT GO! Don’t seek revenge
    1. There is no prize for the amount of wrong you hold on to
  4. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
  5. Obey God

Christians should be working hard to teach and encourage:

  • Better friendships
  • More confidence
  • Individual courage
  • Servanthood – helping others
  • Being ok with who you are – being the person God made you to be
  • Better grades
  • Better health
  • Doing the right thing
  • Character
  • Citizenship
  • Morality
  • Unity

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  NLT

  1. Love your neighbor
  2. Love your enemies
  3. Pray for those who attack you
  4. Do not take the easy road (love those easy to love)
  5. Rise above the culture and their influence
  6. Dare to be different

Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  NLT

  1. Watch your mouth
    1. If you cannot say something good about someone then don’t say anything at all
  2. Do not use foul language. Profanity
  3. Do not use abusive language. Gossip, hate, lies, crude
  4. Use your words to encourage, not discourage or destroy

Micah 6:8 “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  NLT

  1. Do what is Right – by God’s standards – not mans
  2. Love mercy – love treating people right, whether they deserve it or not.
    1. You do not know their life
    2. You do not know their stress
    3. You do not know just how close to exploding they are
  3. Walk humbly with God
    1. Realize that you are far from perfect yourself
    2. You are flawed, faulty and failing
    3. Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. “

Romans 12:9-18 “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” NLT

  1. Really love others
    1. Don’t be fake
    2. Really care
    3. Be really committed to others
    4. Love is COMMITMENT – SACRIFICE – PASSION
  2. Hate what is wrong
    1. Hate bullying, not the bully
    2. Ephesian 6:10-12 “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
      1. Our bigger problem is not the people who are our problem
        1. They are but tool/weapons
          1. You do not blame the gun: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people
          2. You don’t blame the pencil: pencils don’t misspell words, people misspell words
          3. Behind every drug smuggler caught is a drug gang and leadership that enticed him, tempted him, threatened him and used him.
          4. Behind every murderer, liar, misspeller, and drug trafficker there is:
            1. A demand for drugs
            2. A darkness willing to provide them
  • A greed willing to exploit people and destroy lives to get rich.
  1. Our bigger problems are
    1. Satan and his minions
      1. Satan is the ultimate bully
        1. The “Anti Jesus”
        2. He is hate and destruction
        3. He is NOT on your side
        4. He wants to destroy you
      2. The “behind the scenes” dark rulers
        1. The ones who are pulling the strings
        2. The influences and addictions that spread darkness
      3.  Sin/flesh
        1. “The heart wants what the heart wants”
        2. Temptation to satisfy our flesh
          1. Food
          2. Sex
          3. Power
          4. Control
          5. Drugs/alcohol
          6. Arrogance
          7. Self
          8. Pride
    2. Honor each other
      1. Recognize other accomplishments publically
        1. Applaud others
        2. Build them up
        3. Look for the good
        4. Deal with their problems privately (Lev 19)
          1. Management says to reward publicly but discipline privately
  1. Be patient in Trouble
    1. Don’t “Fly off the handle”
    2. Don’t “lose your temper”
    3. You DO HAVE CONTROL
      1. You just may not want it
        1. So you let it roar.
      2. Keep praying
      3. Really help those who are in need
        1. Help the Bullied
        2. Help the bully
      4. Be hospitable
        1. Friendly and welcoming to strangers or guests
      5. Bless those who persecute you
        1. Be nice and helpful to the one bullying you
      6. Do not curse people
      7. Empathize with people
        1. Luke 10:30-37 “Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.  The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
          1. Bullying will happen
            1. Violence and meanness are reality
          2. If you see someone being bullied or hurting from a bully’s attack – HELP THEM
            1. Don’t go out of your way to ignore them
            2. Don’t look and ignore
              1. “Looky Loos”
            3. Get involved
            4. Help them
            5. Love your Neighbor
              1. The one you have come beside of
  • Stand up to bullies – on line and in person
    1. Be nice
    2. Be proper
    3. Challenge the lies
    4. Challenge the purpose
    5. Challenge the heart
    6. Accountability
      1. Own your words and posts
      2. Challenge them to own their
      3. Ask them the hard questions
      4. Ask why theirs is the only correct interpretation
      5. Ask why
    7. Live in harmony with people
      1. To be in agreement
      2. All the parts working together
      3. Romans 12:17-18 “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.” NLT

Jesus took the Bullying so we would not have to!

Jesus was bullied by the government, the temple elite, the community business people, everyone

  • Matthew 26:47-56 “And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. 50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”  Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. 52 “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54 But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”  55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56 But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.”
    • One of His own inner circle turned on Him
    • The temple enforcers came to be instruments of bullying
    • Another of Jesus’ inner circle lashed out in anger against those attempting to take Jesus
      • Jesus told him to stop
    • Jesus challenged the bullies who were after Him
      • Why here?
      • Why now?
      • Why out of town and out of the public view?
        • They were afraid to go after Him in public
      • In the face of this attack on Jesus, His closest friends FLED
        • Good friends don’t run
        • Good friends got your back
      • The “Sin Business” people were attacking Him (Paul and Silas…whatever you do to the least of these you do to Me) because they lost money
        • Acts 16:16-24 “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”  This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”  A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.” 
      • Temple Elite were attacking Him because they lost power and influence
      • The government leaders were attacking Him because they felt they were losing power and control
      • The kings were attacking Him because they did not want their people worshipping anyone except them
      • The people were attacking Him because He was upsetting the “Status Quo”

Their bullying did not work out so well for them then, and it doesn’t work out so well today.

Romans 3:23-26 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”  

John 3:16-17 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”   NLT

Jesus is the Anti-Bully

Philippians 2:5-11 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead,  he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.  When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself  in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  1. Have the mind/attitude/love of Christ
  2. Follow Christ’s example
    1. He was EQUAL with God
    2. Yet, He CHOSE to lower Himself to our level
      1. He gave up the perfection of Heaven
      2. He came humbly to us, to the hog pen we had turned His earth into
  • Became human
    1. Think about that
  1. Humble
  2. Obedient
  3. Faithful
  1. Allowed the very ones He had created destroy His Human flesh
  1. You may think you are better than someone else but you are not

The Good News of Heaven

  1. There are no bullies in Heaven
    1. Every one there will bow before Jesus Christ
    2. He will be primary
    3. You will say He is the Ultimate and you are His humble sheep.
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November 5, 2017            Servant Leadership

Luke 22:24-30 “And they began to argue among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the coming Kingdom.  Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’  But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.  Normally the master sits at the table and is served by his servants. But not here! For I am your servant.  You have remained true to me in my time of trial.  And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in that Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”   NLT

Bullies AND   Spiritual bullies

  • Trying to affix blame where it doesn’t belong
    • YOU did this (no evidence required)
  • Trying to make themselves out to be better than you
    • I am the BEST – You are the WORST
  • Trying to make others bend to their will/plan
    • even if it means betrayal and bribery
    • even if it means arguing an fighting with your friends
  1. This all sounds so very…human
    1. One minute we are pointing fingers and assigning blame
    2. The next minute we are preening around like peacocks saying we are the greatest.
      1. Your horrible and I am great
      2. Sounds like election time!
    3. We need to see that we are NOT THE KING!
      1. Ours is to serve, not to be served
    4. The election “early voting” has begun.
      1. So many candidates arguing over who among themselves will be the greatest in the current kingdom.
        1. I would be better that they
      2. We shouldn’t be surprised
        1. Even the disciples argued who was the best, the greatest
        2. We play games like “King of the Hill” when we are little
          1. Our goal is to reach the top rung of the ladder
  1. Jesus sets them straight
    1. In THIS world it is the political leaders (Kings and great men) that order the people around and EXPECT everyone to BOW to them and meet their every DEMAND
      1. But they are called our friends
        1. They raise taxes – our friends
        2. The pile on regulations – our friends
        3. They can exempt themselves from these laws – our friends
      2. MOST are not our friends – SELFserving
    2. A true leader willingly takes the lowest place and holds up others
    3. A true leader sees everyone else as their priority
    4. A true leader sees those who elect them as their betters
    5. A true leader sees themselves as SERVANTS
    6. Jesus is the PRIME example of a Servant Leader
      1. He is God
      2. Yet, everything He did on earth and does now is FOR US!
        1. Teach
        2. Lead
        3. Suffer
        4. Bleed
        5. Die
  1. Jesus was a servant to His disciples (even Judas) and to us
    1. Christians are to stay faithful
    2. Our faithfulness as servants is seen by God
      1. He grants us eternal life
      2. He grants us blessing upon blessing
      3. He grants us whatever power/authority we have
  1. WE need MORE SERVANTS in positions of LEADERSHIP
    1. But we have a greater need for SERVANTS
      1. In our pews
      2. In our families
      3. In our communities
      4. A servant asks “how can I help”
      5. A servant sees a need and works to meet that need

January 28, 2018         Luke 22:1 – 6          Betrayed

Luke 22:1-6  “The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which begins with the Passover celebration, was drawing near.  The leading priests and teachers of religious law were actively plotting Jesus’ murder. But they wanted to kill him without starting a riot, a possibility they greatly feared.  Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them.  They were delighted that he was ready to help them, and they promised him a reward.   So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him quietly when the crowds weren’t around.”

  1. The Passover celebration was approaching.  Celebrating the night the people who were protected by the blood were spared.
  2. There are people who we would THINK would be on God’s side, serving Him, doing things His way
    1. But are they?
      1. Leading Priests (elite, top, Boss Priests, senior)
      2. Teachers of the religious Law
        1. “Actively plotting Jesus’ murder”
      3. Sure sounds like they are ENEMIES of God
    2. Add to that group a DISCIPLE (follower) of Jesus Christ
      1. Filled with Satan
      2. Actively seeking ways to betray Jesus
    3. We quickly see that NOT everyone who looks, acts and talks the part of a Christian are indeed Christians.
      1. Not everyone you come across in life will have your best interest at heart
        1. No matter how “nice” they look
        2. No matter how much you seem to have in common
  • No matter if their goals seem to line up with your goals
  1. There are a lot of FAKE FOLKS out there and many are FIENDS!
  1. Have you ever had to deal with betrayal?
    1. Someone who told your deepest personal discussions
    2. Someone who turned you over to an enemy
    3. Gossip, lies, backstabbers, disloyal FAKE FRIENDS
      1. You wonder if you were set up from the beginning
    4. The saddest thing about betrayal is that in never comes from your enemies! It comes from friends and loved ones!
  2. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’”  NLT
  3. When Satan enters into Lost folks he can twist and pervert their lives towards his ultimate cause to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY!
    1. NEVER doubt that satan is out roaming the world looking for people to tear down, trap in his trap and bring to death.
    2. Never doubt that satan is also out in the world looking for people to help in his evil.
    3. Christians cannot be “possessed” by satan or his evil
      1. Christians are a new creation – 2 Cor 5:17
      2. Our Spirit, Soul and Body are preserved for God blameless – 1 Thess 5:23
      3. Light cannot exist in the same space as dark
    4. This does not mean we do not sin, because we do
      1. It simply means that every Christian is a child of God, not satan and not the world.
      2. Satan will push you, confuse you, twist you, lie to you, challenge you, tempt you, and do whatever else he is allowed to do to USE YOU!
      3. But He CANNOT steal your soul, keep you or steal your salvation from you.
  4. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU SPEND TIME WITH!
    1. They may look ok, especially at first
    2. They may be being used by satan to EASE you away from God and His Love
      1. Its just a piece of fruit
      2. God didn’t surely say…..
      3. You can skip church one day….maybe two…
  1. Seek to spend time with GOD 1st then with HIS CHILDREN who have a lifestyle of faith and obedience…a TRACK RECORD of serving God. Good Fruit!
  2. DO NOT GIVE HATERS AUTHORITY TO HURT
  3. DO NOT GIVE BETRAYERS PERMISSION TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE!
    1. RISE ABOVE
    2. You BE You
    3. You be the VERY BESY YOU GOD MADE YOU TO BE
  4. Reject the hate and lies
    1. Reject false friends
    2. Here is where it gets hard
      1. PRAY FOR THEM
    3. Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot
      1. He was betrayed by the Temple Elite
      2. He was betrayed by the Teachers of Religious Law
      3. He would be betrayed by the people who were WORSHIPPING HIM just a few days before
      4. He would be betrayed by billions through histories pages
      5. He is betrayed by US still today
        1. Yet He still loves us
        2. He still continued on the path HE KNEW would lead to His death and burial
          1. I would not have stayed that course
          2. Jesus’ love is greater than ours

October 30th    Hope for the little guy!  When the little things become great things!  God makes MOUNTAINS out of MOLE HILLS

Luke 13:18-21 “He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”  And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”  ESV

One of my frustrations in our politics and in our world is when people attempt to make people look small and weak.

A second one is when a person ALLOWS someone to make them feel small and weak!

Never let anyone push you down or marginalize you!

Most often that is just the efforts of a insecure person trying to build themselves up by making you feel small.

Now, I am not blind.  I am a big guy.  And there are folks who are built smaller than I am.  There are also folks built bigger than I am.  That is Gods business.

We need to understand that it is NOT OUR PHYSICAL SIZE that limits us, NOT is it how big or small others MAKE US FEEL that limits us!

It is OUR FAITH that limits us!

  1. Mustard Seed
    1. Tiny
    2. But not its only scripture reference
  2. Luke 17:5-6 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
  3. A tiny seeds that can produce a HUGE plant when turned over to God
    1. A tiny seed brings a great change
    2. The tiny mustard seed grows to provide shelter for other, larger critters
  4. Leaven
    1. a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it ferment and rise.
    2. a pervasive influence that modifies something or transforms it for the better…..”
    3. Leaven is spread by contact
    4. Leaven is widely diffusive
      1. One little bit of leaven can leaven a whole lump
    5. Leaven changes the particles it comes in contact with into its own nature
    6. A little leaven is a small part but it can bring great change
  5. People will try to tell you or make you feel like a little insignificant person
    1. DON’T LET THEM! Reject the LIE!
    2. Because in God’s Hands a LITTLE THING is capable of GREAT THINGS!
  6. We may feel so tiny when compared to the world or the universe
    1. God has planted us here to make a BIG impact
    2. God has planted us here to do His work
    3. God can use our Little faith and move Big Mountains
      1. I am not sure what MOUNTAIN is obstructing your LIFEPATH right now
        1. But with a little faith take that MOUNTAIN to God and let Him either:
          1. Shrink it
          2. Move IT
          3. Remove it
        2. You may THINK you have little RESOURCES but with a little faith take it to God
          1. Watch God make your resources go farther than you ever thought
          2. Trust God with what you have!
        3. KNOW that when your little GRAIN OF FAITH is multiplied through Jesus Christ YOU BECOME A GIANT!

Philippians 4:13-14 “For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.”  NLT

There is hope for the little guy!  HIS NAME IS JESUS!

Bullies and Believers                              Defeating bullying in our midst

Shedding the old Person and becoming a new Creation!

Becoming a BETTER person

The threat and effect of bullying is very real

  1. Bullying is a very real and present danger
  2. It is not harmless
  3. It is not a minor problem
  4. One life lost is too many
  5. One person destroyed is too many
  6. Crosswalk.com reported that over 60,000 kids miss school because of bullying
  7. The American Psychological Association reported that 90 percent of 4th – 8th graders report being victims of bullying in some form
  8. Several school violence events have been sparked by bullying
  9. Columbine being the most infamous
  10. Bullying is really individual terrorism
  11. Wrecks lives
  12. Brings a life of fear to people
  13. Breeds rebellion
  14. Leads to fights
  15. Leads to suicides
  16. Leads to low self esteem
  17. Destroys character
  18. Bullying can take the form of:
  19. Spreading rumors
  20. Teasing
  21. Exclusion
  22. Threats
  23. Gossip
  24. Mean words
  25. Name calling
  26. Oppression
  27. Slavery
  28. Taking advantage
  29. Hitting
  30. Kicking
  31. Pushing
  32. Other physical violence
  33. Stealing
  34. Damaging property
  35. Graffiti
  36. Destruction

iii.      other

  1. So many just give into the bully
  2. Surrender their power and life over to them
  3. In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.
    Too many people feel it is easier just to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him.
  4. There is hope and help for those experiencing bullying and for the bullier
  5. One of my all time favorite TV shows, for having good moral lessons as plot lines, was the “Andy Griffith Show.” There was an episode where young Opie was having his “Milk nickel” bullied away from him and could not afford any milk for lunch. “You wouldn’t want me to get weak bones?” Well, Andy found out about the trouble and looked to find a way to help Opie without making Opie ashamed or dependent of his fathers help all of the time. In itself this is a good lesson to parents, children must learn, and earn, some things on their own in order for them to fully appreciate it later in life, but that is not our point in this illustration. Andy began to tell Opie about the time that Odie Snitch stole Andy’s fishing hole away from him when he was Opie’s age. Young Andy had to eventually face Odie Snitch to rid himself of his awful feeling of being “Lilly livered” and found that a punch in the nose didn’t really hurt when taken for a good cause and that bullies often can’t back up their words with deeds. Opie took the words to heart and faced down his extortionist the next day. Opie came away with a “Bute” of a shiner, but he didn’t even feel the black eye because the sweet feeling of the loosing his trouble and regaining what was rightfully his.
  6. The point, you may ask? No trouble is as bad as it once seemed when completed than it did when we first dreaded and feared it.
  7. I would never advocate responding to a bully with violence, but it has proven worthy of our consideration.  Not because of the violent act, but because of the empowering act of standing up for yourself, your person and your rights.

iii.      Taylor Swift  said “If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.”

  1. “Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.”
  2. Seek Help
  3. Counselors and Teachers
  4. Staff

iii.      Law enforcement

  1. Pastors, Priests, Rabbi, etc.
  2. Friends
  3. Parents and family
  4. Get involved in team sports or activities
  5. Bands, athletic teams and other group activities promote acceptance, team work and family
  6. Being part of something positive is good for us
  7. Know who you are
  8. You are a masterpiece of God’s Creation
  9. You may not be perfect, but no one else is either

iii.      Be patient, honorable and respectful

  1. Do not allow the bully pull you down to a low level
  2. You seek to improve yourself, to raise your character and reputation.
  3. Get to Know Jesus Christ
  4. He loves you
  5. He has a plan for you

iii.      He took on the ultimate bully and was entirely victorious

  1. He did this for you!
  2. His stripes can heal your wounds
  3. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
  4. Many bullies are bullied
  5. Many bullies have a horrid home life

iii.      Many bullies are poor

  1. Many bullies are jealous
  2. Many bullies have no power or control so they try to gain them over others
  3. Many bullies are raised or taught to be racist or sexist

vii.      Many bullies are alone

viii.      Many bullies are afraid

  1. Many bullies separate themselves from a mainstream they believe will not accept them and become involved in sub cultures
  2. Gangs

Anatomy of a Bully

  1. Afraid
  2. Socially awkward
  3. Jealous
  4. Angry
  5. Liar
  6. Deceitful
  7. Trouble maker
  8. Hurting
  9. Lustful
  10. Lust for power
  11. Lust for control
  12. Lust for people
  13. A boy usually teases the girl
  14. Killer
  15. Character
  16. Reputation
  17. Person
  18. Eager to do wrong
  19. Sow discord
  20. Cause division
  21. Break couples up
  22. Get someone fired

Scriptures

Proverbs 6:12-21 “What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars, signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers. Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble. But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing. There are six things the LORD  hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck.”  NLT

Living above Bullying  /  Believers Beating Bullying

Leviticus 19:17-19 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD . “You must obey all my decrees.”   NLT

  1. Don’t carry hate
  2. Talk to people you disagree with – DIRECTLY
  3. Not behind their backs
  4. Not gossip
  5. LET IT GO!Don’t seek revenge
  6. There is no prize for the amount of wrong you hold on to
  7. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
  8. Obey God

Christians should be working hard to teach and encourage:

  • Better friendships
  • More confidence
  • Individual courage
  • Servanthood – helping others
  • Being ok with who you are – being the person God made you to be
  • Better grades
  • Better health
  • Doing the right thing
  • Character
  • Citizenship
  • Morality
  • Unity

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  NLT

  1. Love your neighbor
  2. Love your enemies
  3. Pray for those who attack you
  4. Do not take the easy road (love those easy to love)
  5. Rise above the culture and their influence
  6. Dare to be different

Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  NLT

  1. Watch your mouth
  2. If you cannot say something good about someone then don’t say anything at all
  3. Do not use foul language.Profanity
  4. Do not use abusive language.Gossip, hate, lies, crude
  5. Use your words to encourage, not discourage or destroy

Micah 6:8 “No, O people, the LORD  has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  NLT

  1. Do what is Right – by God’s standards – not mans
  2. Love mercy – love treating people right, whether they deserve it or not.
  3. You do not know their life
  4. You do not know their stress
  5. You do not know just how close to exploding they are
  6. Walk humbly with God
  7. Realize that you are far from perfect yourself
  8. You are flawed, faulty and failing
  9. Matthew7:1-5 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. “

Romans 12:9-18 “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” NLT

  • Really love others
  • Don’t be fake
  • Really care
  • Be really committed to others
  • Hate what is wrong
  • Hate bullying, not the bully
  • Ephesian 6:10-12 “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
  • Our bigger problem is not the people who are our problem
  • They are but tool/weapons
  • You do not blame the gun: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people
  • You don’t blame the pencil:pencils don’t misspell words, people misspell words
  • Behind every drug smuggler caught is a drug gang and leadership that enticed him, tempted him, threatened him and used him.
  • Behind every murderer, liar, misspeller, and drug trafficker there is:
  • A demand for drugs
  • A darkness willing to provide them
  •                iii.      A greed willing to exploit people and destroy lives to get rich.
  • Our bigger problems are
  • Satan and his minions
  • Satan is the ultimate bully
  • The “Anti Jesus”
  • He is hate and destruction
  •                iii.      He is NOT on your side
  • He wants to destroy you
  • The “behind the scenes” dark rulers
  • The ones who are pulling the strings
  • The influences and addictions that spread darkness
  • Sin/flesh
  • “The heart wants what the heart wants”
  • Temptation to satisfy our flesh
  • Food
  • Sex
  •                iii.      Power
  • Control
  • Drugs/alcohol
  • Arrogance

vii.      Self

viii.      Pride

  • Honor each other
  • Recognize other accomplishments publicly
  • Applaud others
  • Build them up

iii.      Look for the good

  1. Deal with their problems privately (Lev 19)
  2. Management says to reward publicly but discipline privately
  3. Be patient in Trouble
  4. Don’t“Fly off the handle”
  5. Don’t “lose your temper”
  6. You DO HAVE CONTROL
  7. You just may not want it
  8. So you let it roar.
  9. Keep praying
  10. Really help those who are in need
  11. Help the Bullied
  12. Help the bully
  13. Be hospitable
  14. Friendly and welcoming to strangers or guests
  15. Bless those who persecute you
  16. Be nice and helpful to the one bullying you
  17. Do not curse people
  18. Empathize with people
  19. Luke 10:30-37 “Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.  The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
  20. Live in harmony with people
  21. To be in agreement
  22. All the parts working together

Jesus took the Bullying so we would not have to!

Jesus was bullied by the government, the temple elite, the community business people, everyone

  • The “Sin Business”people were attacking Him because they lost money

o    Acts 16:16-24 “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”  This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”  A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.” 

  • Temple Elite were attacking Him because they lost power and influence
  • The government leaders were attacking Him because they felt they were losing power and control
  • The kings were attacking Him because they did not want their people worshipping anyone except them
  • The people were attacking Him because He was upsetting the “Status Quo”

Their bullying did not work out so well for them then, and it doesn’t work out so well today.

Romans 3:23-26 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”  

John 3:16-17 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”  NLT

Jesus is the Anti-Bully

Philippians 2:5-11 “5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6

Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

Instead,

he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and      was born as a human being.

When   he appeared in human form,

8          he humbled himself

in obedience to God

and      died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore,

God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and      gave him the name above all other names,\

that                              at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and      every tongue confess

that      Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

  1. Have the mind/attitude/love of Christ
  2. Follow Christ’s example
  3. He was EQUAL with God
  4. Yet, He CHOSE to lower Himself to our level
  5. He gave up the perfection of Heaven
  6. He came humbly to us, to the hogpen we had turned His earth into

iii.      Became human

  1. Think about that
  2. Humble
  3. Obedient
  4. Faithful
  5. Allowed the very ones He had created destroy His Human flesh
  6. You may think you are better than someone else but you are not

The Good News of Heaven

  1. There are no bullies in Heaven
  2. Every one there will bow before Jesus Christ
  3. He will be primary
  4. You will say He is the Ultimate and you are His humble sheep.

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We stand WITH those who are different, who we disagree with, who do not believe as we believe.

“FBC – A Place Where Nobody Stands Alone”  “There is No Difference!  We Are All Dirt”

Those who do not believe as you do are NOT your enemy.

Our enemies are not the homosexuals, the addicts, the prostitutes, the homeless or the liberals.  Those dealing with physical or mental issues are not against us.  Those who belong to or even lead any of the various cults and false religions around the world are not the enemy.

They are sinners – JUST LIKE YOU!

They may need salvation but that does not make them our enemy.

They may not live a fully Biblical lifestyle – BUT NEITHER DO YOU!

Ephesians 6:10-14 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” ESV

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  ESV

Take a stand with those populations who are being marginalized or bullied

Tolerance does not mean acceptance

Love those who are different than you

Matthew 22:34-40 “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus made it very simple for us:

  1. Love God with everything you have
  2. Love your neighbor as you love your self
    1. Most of us think we are pretty good
    2. Some of us think we are AWESOME
    3. We do not perceive our skin tone as an issue

i.               Reality shows us that we all want to be darker or beach tourism, swimming pools and tanning salons would be closed.

  1. We love, well maybe like…or sometimes just tolerate who we are

i.               We should love others the same

  1. What if you were treated badly because of where you came from?
  2. What if you were marginalized because of someone else perceive you to have a disability?
  3. What if your skin color were a barrier to an education or employment?
  4. Love your neighbor JUST LIKE you love you!

Church. Some think it is a social club. What church should be is a hospital for the broken, the beaten and the belittled. A place of healing

Real church is not about denominations, pastors or people. Real church is about connecting people with Jesus and His Word. Find His Love.

Church is not a place of business. Church is a place for the overloaded and burdened to find rest for their souls and peace for their heart.

If you are a bully, in action or words, please stop. You are not perfect either and there is someone bigger. Light will shine your way. B +

Religious bullies point out the sins of others while ignoring their own faults.

Reach out to people who care about you, they are out there and will help, if you allow them. You are not alone. You are loved. You have hope!

No one can influence, belittle or control you if you refuse to let them!

Seek friends who are positive, enriching and helpful. Live happy!

Sometimes this old world is tough! Sometimes bad stuff happens. Christian, remember that you are an alien here. Your God is bigger. TRUST GOD

I am often amazed at man’s ability to condemn each other when none of us are perfect. Jesus was perfect and He does not condemn; Jesus is Love

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God! – 8yr old wisdom

It takes work to build something

The more people that participate in the process of building, the easier the building becomes.

When a church is fitted together in the Body of Christ and actively loving God and loving others the body grows and builds itself up in love.

We can know our fellow believers by their LOVE

Genesis 2:5-9  “When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord  God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord  God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord  God planted agarden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord  God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.The tree of life was in the midst of the garden,and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”   ESV

Colossians 3:5-17 “Put to death thereforewhat is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity,passion, evil desire, and covetousness,which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But nowyou must put them all away:anger, wrath, malice,slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing thatyou have put offthe old selfwith its practices andhave put onthe new self,which is being renewed in knowledgeafter the image ofits creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ isall, and in all.  Put on then, asGod’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,compassion,kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other;as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put onlove, whichbinds everything together inperfect harmony. And letthe peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were calledin one body. Andbe thankful.  Letthe word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Andwhatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  ESV

  • Greek and Jew (non-Jew or Jew…Country)
  • Circumcised and uncircumcised  (law or not law…Religion)
  • Barbarian (Foreigner)
  • Scythian  (Savage)
  • Slave  (under bondage)
  • Free   (not under bondage – un restrained)

God formed us from the dirt of the earth and our skin color reflects that creation.  We are all formed by God, we are all of His creation.  To be a racist is to deny God’s sovereignty over creation.

Our skin color has ZERO effect on our CHARACTER!

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.