Time for a DNA Test: Part 5
Time for a DNA Test: Part 5

SLBC of Danville • August 31, 2021

You are reading part 5 of Time for a DNA Test, if you have not read the first four please read them and return to this article.


I recently listened to a missions podcast where the speaker was a former missionary to Islamic countries. He related how many of the people in non-Christian countries generally associate everyone from a Christian country as being "Christian". He shared his experience of being in one of those countries and people assuming he is Christian simply because the recognize he is American. The missionary found it necessary to ask them: "when you assume I am Christian what comes to mind?" or, "what do you think it means for me to be Christian"? He discovered many of them associate his nationality with Christianity. We may find it understandable that Muslims in a third world country are unable to discern the spiritual difference between a devoted Navy chaplain and a man who "cusses like a sailor"; however, there is no excuse for the number of church members in America who are unwilling, or unable, to identify a Christian by the fruit of the Spirit.


The DNA test is a way of allowing the bible to discern between those who associate with the religion of Christianity and those who share the DNA of God. This article takes a look at the term "forbearing one another in love" from Ephesians 4:2. Paul urged the Ephesians to walk worhty of their calling. Furthermore, he described what "walking worthy" looks like: to begin with Christians are humble; second Christians are meek; and third, longsuffering.


Finally, Paul calls on the Ephesians to practice forbearing one another in love. While longsuffering and forbearing are similar in thought there is a way to know the difference. Think of longsuffering as enduring a circumstance, such as a hardship or trial; and forbearing as being patient with a person.


Thankfully, God is both able and willing to forbear with us. In comparison to God, we are sinful, immature, ignorant, and often speak when we should be silent. Why does God forbear with us? He does it to give us a chance to repent of sin, mature in our faith, and grow out of ignorance unto godly wisdom. This may be difficult but take a moment to consider how many church leaders, church members, and Christian friends have demonstrated forbearance with you in love just to allow you to grow, keep you connected to the church, and let God develop your walk. The way Jesus forbear with the disciples is a great example of how forbearance in love allows others to develop and grow.


No church can develop more disciples of Jesus unless they are willing to forbear with them. The type of forbearing Paul is speaking of requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit to enable us. He says we are to do this in love. Anyone can say "I love my church family", but only those who share the DNA of God can forbear with immature Christians, and help mentor them to maturity, gentleness, and wisdom.


Just for fun, or maybe not so much fun, how would you rate yourself in forbearance (in love)? 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10? What is your number and what can you do to increase that number? If you think this is not worth the effort just consider two things? (1) God forbears with you even today? (2) you would not be the Christian you are today without the forbearance of others toward you. Now you share Gods DNA and you can do this!

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Time for a DNA test: Part 4
Time for a DNA test: Part 4

Clayton Murphy • August 29, 2021

You are reading part four of a series of articles, if you have not read parts 1-3 please do so and return to this article.


Thank you for continuing to read these articles. By now you are aware that the body of Christ shares His DNA and that means individual Christians should all share the character of Jesus.


The DNA test will continue with Pauls letter to the Ephesians. In Eph 4:2 Paul was identifying what it looked like to walk worthy of the calling of God. This means he was identifying the character that identifies God's children. In part 3 we discussed the character of lowliness (humility). This article will discuss longsuffering, which can also be called patience. Again it is not possible to identify as patient, but being patient in action will identify you as a patient person. I was curious to find some biblical examples of longsuffering/patience. Some suggest it means being slow to avenge a wrong.


How are you doing in the DNA test so far? Does longsuffering identify you as a child of God. Look further at the biblical examples of this character. Exodus 34:6 reads "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,". Most Christians are used to talking about Gods mercy, grace, & love; but rarely speak about his longsuffering. Consider how patiently God endured your sin while lovingly building a bridge for you to come to Him. God suffered your sinfulness and may be continuing to suffer long with you as you are misrepresenting Him in this world. Are you identifying as a Child of God while failing to demonstrate patience and longsuffering with others?


Be careful not to dismiss or excuse your lack of longsuffering because the people you are attacking, mocking, or speaking evil toward are deserving it. Consider 1Thessalonians 5:14 "14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." There is not BIBLICAL mandate to belittle people, or mistreat them. Perhaps you are saying well that is all good for those who can do it but I am just not able to be longsuffering with them. Then it is possible you have failed the DNA test and the Spirit of God is not in you! Are you willing to accept that conclusion? God's Spirit dwelling in you, will live through you. In other words, He will generate longsuffering/ patience in you.


Before we conclude that you have failed the DNA test, it may be that the Holy Spirit does live in you and wants to live through you. Will you be willing to take another test? Come on it is worth your time. Here we go: Does this teaching convict you? Do you hear the voice of God calling you to repent of your behavior? If so I have good news for you. The choice is yours, you can yield to the Holy Spirit, repent of your mistreatment of others and determine to practice patience with them. Love your enemies as the Bible teaches (not in theory, but in action). In Galatians 5:22 longsuffering is named as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Decide today that you will submit to the Holy Spirit in this area.


Does this mean you are not allowed to call out sin? Not at all, 2 Timothy 4:2 says "...reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." These articles are examples of calling out sin, reproving, rebuking but with longsuffering and doctrine. Longsuffering does not ignore sin, or wrong it seeks to gain influence to correct it rather than destroy those who are in error.


The next article will examine forebearing one another in love from Ephesians 4:2

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Time for a DNA Test: part 3
Time for a DNA Test: part 3

Clayton Murphy • August 28, 2021

You are reading part three of Time for a DNA test, if you have not read parts 1-2 please do so and return to this article.


It is time to take the spiritual DNA test. For starters we will test your character against what Paul stressed to the Ephesians in chapter four of his epistle to them.


"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;" - Eph 4:1-2


Look at the word lowliness in verse two. It means humble. Perhaps you are like me and you take much pride in being the humblest person you know (excuse my humor). As you can see it is not possible to identify oneself with humility, however the characteristic of humility identifies those who belong to God. Philippains 2:5-8 tells us to have the mind or character of Jesus who humbled Himself. Paul was speaking in that section of the act of Christ, not the attitude. Professing Christians sometimes try to present the attitude of humility, but Jesus performed a humble action. He set aside His glory to become a human. He not only became a human He submitted Himself to the cross where He accepted the cruel treatment of the Roman soldiers and the rejection of His fellow Jews; He also took your sin on Himself and became sin for you and me. He absorbed the wrath of God while taking your punishment for sin.


The bible teaches says love our enemies because God loved you when you were His enemy. So looking down on those who oppose God, or who are different than you in race, nationality, or ethnicity, or politics is not humility, or biblical love.


Disclaimer: The conduct of professing Christians who are following the behavior of political leaders in disrespecting, mocking, name calling, speaking evil, etc... scares me. Paul called on the Ephesians to walk worthy of their calling. I am calling on Christians to walk worthy of the name of Christ. I suggest it is time to take a DNA test. The evil characteristics being demonstrated do not belong to Christ; and God is not responsible for those who are not His. Please take the test, repent, make changes where necessary. You can not simply identify with humility you have to perform acts of humility. Lay down the pride, stop drawing a line in the sand, cross over that line and be a friend to sinners. I Pray from this point on your humble actions will identify you as one of Gods children.


The Holy Bible: King James Version., electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. (Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Eph 4:1–2.

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Time for a DNA Test: Part 2
Time for a DNA Test: Part 2

Clayton Murphy • August 27, 2021

The previous article discussed the idea of taking a spiritual DNA test to determine if we belong to God. Professing Christians who have doubts about their salvation are often told to re-pray a prayer for salvation and get re-baptized to settle the doubts. I also stated in the previous article that the bible does not give us examples of this method to settle doubts. Rather the bible does give us something to test if we belong to God. We know from the bible that the Holy Spirit produces fruit in the children of God (thus we are calling this fruit His DNA). The bible also expressly says in Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." How serious do you consider this statement to be? Very serious I hope. The biblical test of salvation is to examine the fruit (DNA) of the Spirit in our lives.

It stands to reason that if the Holy Spirit living in us produces specific fruit then those who are "born again" will possess the DNA, or fruit of the Holy Spirit.


In Galatians 5:22-24 Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, & temperance. I find it necessary to state that salvation does not occur by identifying with the fruit (DNA) of the Spirit. Rather, the fruit (DNA) of the Spirit identifies those who belong to God. Perhaps this illustration will clarify my point. Pretend someone knocked on your door and said "hi I am your daughter". While you may be certain that she is is not your daughter she may continue to insist she is. Furthermore, she wants you to take responsibility for her. That right she wants all the benefits of being your child. Now she is wiling to take you to court to get you to take responsibility for her. What options do you have? First you may contact an attorney to represent you, and he will likely advise you to order a DNA test. If the girl in question possess your DNA then the judge is likely to conclude she belongs to you and order you to take responsibility for her. This means she not only identifies herself as your daughter but her DNA identifies her as your daughter. However, if the DNA test concludes that she does not posses your DNA then the judge will conclude that she is not your daughter and order her to cease identifying as belonging to you.


Many people identify as belonging to God. They even want God to take responsibility for them. They pray and tell God what they need/want from Him. They expect God to respond and answer those prayers. In this case they are identifying with God's family; however God has given us a DNA test to administer to see if our DNA identifies us as His children or not.


In the next article we will look closer at the DNA test and its results

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Time for a DNA Test: Part 1
Time for a DNA Test: Part 1

SLBC of Danville • August 26, 2021

Recently the idea of DNA testing has been on my mind. No, not to see if I belong in the the last will and testament of a recently deceased wealthy person. In fact, the type of DNA testing on my mind is a spiritual one. Many times over the twenty-two years of ministry at Shining Light Baptist Church people have asked to speak to me about their salvation. Regardless of age or gender they all seem to make the same statement "I just don't known if I am truly saved". Ironically, most of the time the people with this concern demonstrate more fruit of the Spirit than many of the church members who seem unconcerned with the genuineness of salvation.


I also have given much consideration to the DNA of our church. I hope you would agree that if a church body shared the same DNA then it would share the same characteristics. After twenty-two years of ministry I am just learning that a church should take a regular DNA test to see if it is connected to God's DNA or not.


So what does a spiritual DNA test look like? The Bible holds the answer to that question. Ephesians 4:4 says "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" Clearly God wants us to know that we belong to one body, and our spiritual life is through one Spirit. Not only do we belong to one body, but we make up the one body of Christ. Romans 12:5 says "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." 1 Corinthians 12:27 says: "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." Thus we are the body of Christ, which means we share the same DNA with Him.


A spiritual DNA test is measuring our character to the fruit of the Spirit and the character of Christ found in the Bible. Consider the first paragraph where I mentioned professing Christians come for counseling because they want assurance of their salvation. I know many Christians who simply tell this person if they doubt their salvation they should pray again asking God to save them, then get baptized again and have it all settled. While I respect these Christians for their efforts I find no biblical examples of the church telling people to re-pray a prayer, and get baptized multiple times to settle doubts of their salvation. In fact, my experience with people who attempt to settle their salvation by this method is that they often repeat the process multiple times in their life, and rarely live with any lasting assurance. The method I have found most helpful is to talk to these people about the fruit of the Spirit. Because the fruit of the Spirit is the DNA of God, it is biblical evidence of the Holy Spirit indwelling and empowering a believer. On the other hand, when there is no fruit of the Spirit (spiritual DNA) there is biblical reason for concern, and evidence that the person who does not have God's DNA does not belong to God.


In the next article we will further discuss spiritual DNA, and how yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit produces His fruit, and assures us that we belong to God.


The Holy Bible: King James Version., electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. (Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Ro 12:5.


The Holy Bible: King James Version., electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. (Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Eph 4:4.


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Hey Christian, Did You Forget Me?
Hey Christian, Did You Forget Me?

SLBC of Danville • October 08, 2020

I apologize for interrupting you, after all I can see you are very busy with all the Christian things you have going on. I realize the upcoming elections are keeping most of you busy with reading and posting on social media, going to rallies for your political party, and arguing with those who disagree with you. I thought you might add me to the churches prayer page, but I could not expect to take priority over the upcoming surgeries, sickness, and/or the latest, most urgent "unspoken" request. Honestly, I would not mind if you just fit me in during your private prayer and devotion time but I realize now that time has been pushed aside to make room for watching debates, and worrying about the latest news topic. I was hoping to benefit from some of your passionate demands to change the world, but I am afraid that energy is fully dedicated to the latest hotly debated conspiracy theory, or propaganda. Well anyway when you get time, and if you don't forget, at you convenience, would you pray for me? I really do need it. ~ the unsaved soul.


Obviously the above paragraph is not meant to criticize the church for praying about sickness, national leadership, or social injustice. It is however meant to awaken and remind Christians that God gave us one mission and that is to go into all the world with the gospel. Every church has a circle of influence inside it's perspective community and we serve God best when our energy and resources are focused on taking the gospel to the unsaved.


The members of SLBC thank you for reading this post. We recognize the challenges of staying focused on the mission God has given us to evangelize the world. We desire to work with other churches and Christians to take the message of God unto all the world. We practice praying to God about our nation, sickness, and many other issues. Currently we are intentionally evaluating our focus on God's instruction to evangelize the unsaved souls of our world. We welcome working with other churches and Christians, because together we accomplish more.

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Prehab not Rehab
Prehab not Rehab

SLBC of Danville • April 29, 2020



"Prehab not Rehab"

By: 

Noah Campbell

with

Jessica Campbell


      As we go through these tough times right now, such as dealing with covid-19, it can get us down and stressed out. With churches not being able to hold services at this time, it makes it hard on everyone especially if you're a person of habit such as myself. I was feeling the effects of this and was needing the motivation to prevent me from backsliding. I went to the Lord in prayer and HE reminded me something I read in a book recently. The book was "Meb For Mortals" written by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas. In one part of this book, it talks about to "Prehab not rehab". GOD was reminding me that I could apply this to my life now. Rehabilitation is the act of restoring something to its original state. Prehab simply means to do things to prevent from having to rehab.

      When I prehab in my personal life, I like to think positive and learn from my life lesson. I focus on my weaknesses and try to strengthen them. One of my weaknesses is vulnerable muscles and tendons. I put time and effort to strengthen them, so I do not have to "rehab" later on. We can do the same in our own Christian walk. My personal Christian weakness would be reading.

One way I have learned to motivate myself in this area is to find Christian athletes and read about them. A few examples are Ryan Hall, Tony Dungy, Meb Keflezighi, and Josh Cox. They all talk about how God helped them with their hobbies. Before reading anything, I pray to GOD to help me focus on what I am reading and how to use it. This then motivates me to read the bible to see the verses that helped them. I would encourage you to find a Christian that is involved in your hobby and read about them.

      Another prehab method for me is my mental state of mind. If I always think negative or about how weak I am, then I will lose motivation and think I am never good enough. We do need to know what our weaknesses are to be able to get better, but do not dwell on them. We will never be perfect (only GOD is), but as a child of God, we can have hope. When feeling negative, pray to God for him to help you see the positives.

      We all have life lessons that we can learn from. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. Our growth comes from how we handle them. When I was younger, I had a very bad accident. I could have given up and lived a unhappy life. But instead, I was saved by God and did not give up. I went on to play sports and become very active in church. Without this bad experience, I may never have found God or to help others. Another example would be oversleeping. When I was younger I would over sleep and not make it to church and would feel bad all day about it. I learned from this by making changes in my daily life and prioritizing. My wife has a saying that she tries to live by, "Always find the positive in the negative." What she means by this is that a positive usually comes from a negative. It may not happen that day or even a year from the day, but you will see it. We may not always see what God is doing, but he will eventually show us. We need to learn to trust God and his timing.

      In conclusion, our main goal is to prevent rehab by practicing prehab. We should strive to be a Christian that is a leader to the believers and the nonbelievers. One who follows Christ and motivates others to do so. We should love others as GOD loves us. "For God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life." (John 3:16) We should not let our weaknesses, mental state, or life lessons cause us to have to rehab our Christian life, but to motivate us to be the best we can be and practice prehab.


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Easter Beyond Church Walls
Easter Beyond Church Walls

SLBC of Danville • April 12, 2020

Today is Easter Sunday but the services are not the same as they have always been. Some churches are hosting drive in church, while others are streaming the sermon over the internet. While the necessary change is disappointing, it can also remind us that the gospel is not limited by our temporary restrictions. The very successful ministry of John the Baptist was not dependent upon keeping religious traditions; he even overcome preaching from a non-traditional location. Jesus was known to preach from a boat, or from open fields, and He even shared the love of God from a hill called Calvary. The gospel, has found success inside prison walls, out in jungle villages, throughout desert lands, tucked away in underground churches, and from inside gloomy hospital rooms. While this does not alleviate the disappointment of missing our church family, this truth gives us hope that still today God's message will renew our hope in eternal life, as well as His eternal love.

Happy Easter! He is risen! Celebrate this wherever you are!

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Canceled Services; One Pastor's Perspective
Canceled Services; One Pastor's Perspective

SLBC of Danville • April 01, 2020

While people around the word are practicing social distancing, and an increasing number of Americans are ordered to shelter-in-place, covid-19 temporarily cancels our church services. This article is one pastors perspective on the positive effect of canceled services in American churches.


Covid-19 forces Christians to realize the truth pastors have preached for years: the building is not the church. This is a good lesson, with a potentially positive effect on Christians. And covid-19 has created a perfect opportunity to learn what this looks like in real-life. When this pandemic is behind us, churches may see their members gather for worship and leave to serve.


Covid-19 forces pastors to preach to souls, not faces. As our congregations are replaced with a camera lens and microphones an irony occurs. We are simply preaching to souls not to faces. The irony is that an empty room is the humble reminder that our sermons must change the condition of the heart not the expression of the face. Covid-19 is useful in reminding us of this truth.


Covid-19 reminds pastors to feed people and starve our egos. It may not be a pastors intention to use his sermon to feed his ego but pride has a way of hijacking even the best of intentions. Empty rooms offer no emotional response such as verbal amen's, lifting of hands, or smiles of approval. The empty room and camera lens reminds us there are people at home tuning in for biblical truth and spiritual healing. When the sermon is done there are no pats on the back or words of validation from church members, just shut down the equipment and trust God's promise that His word will not return void.


Covid-19 is connecting people together. Although social distancing prevents us from physical contact and face to face interaction, Christians are intentionally connecting with each other. Volunteers are calling church members to check in on them. In some cases they are talking to people they rarely take time to talk to at church. In other cases volunteers are dropping off care packages or groceries at the homes of church members. Through social distancing, church members are serving one another and forging bonds that will last long past the pandemic.


Covid-19 reinforces the truth that the home, not the church, is the front lines of biblical training. While the church is vital to the development of its members, it is the training in the home that has a greater influence. Covid-19 places parents back in the lead position of training their families in the word of God. Eventually the pandemic will come to an end and churches will once again come along side parents to aid them in training their families, but may parents continue taking the lead in the spiritual development and protection of their homes.


In conclusion, this article addressed only a few positive effects of canceling church services due to covid-19. There are numerous effects with negative and potentially long term consequences as well; perhaps they will be the subject of a different article. We hope this article reminds Christians of the truth in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."


Check back for more articles from SLBCofDanville.

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You Can't Handle the Truth!
You Can't Handle the Truth!

SLBC of Danville • December 03, 2019

 In 1992, Castle Rock Entertainment Columbia Pictures released the movie: A Few Good Men, which grossed over $243 million at the Box Office. One of the more familiar lines from the movie is spoken during a heated exchange between Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) and Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson). While Nicholson is under oath, Tom Cruise pushes the Commander to tell the truth about giving an order that resulted in the death of a marine under his command. Lieutenant Kaffee (aka Tom Cruise) emphatically states, “I want the truth!” to which Jack Nicholson immediately replies, “You Can’t Handle the Truth”! At the time of this writing, the scene has 5,741,776 views on YouTube. To this day, when someone says anything close to “tell me the truth” or “I want the truth” there is a good chance someone is going to automatically respond with “You Can’t Handle the Truth”!

In the previous two-blog post SLBC declared our apprehension to being voices for God’s Word. One of the reasons for our apprehension is summed up in the famous line, “You can’t handle the truth”! God’s truth convicts Christians and non-Christians alike. Generally speaking, Christians look for, and join, churches that ‘preach the truth’. However, Christians are also known for leaving churches when the truth being preached addresses a sin in themselves, their family, or a close friend. How do you measure up? Can you handle the truth? Here are some observations of how people react to those being voices for God’s word.

Observation #1: The Bull’s-eye Syndrome. The bulls-eye is the small red circle in the middle of a target. If you were shooting a bow and arrow at a target the goal would be to make the arrow land inside the red circle (bulls-eye). Have you ever had a day when you felt like a big bulls-eye was on your back and everyone was taking aim at you? If so then you understand the bulls-eye syndrome. Consider this question: have you ever sensed God has spoken to you through a sermon, a testimony, or just a conversation with someone? You may have said something like “I think God sent that just for me today?” One side of that coin is positive: this is when God seems to encourage, comfort, or send special instruction through a sermon, testimony, or conversation. Often someone at church will share with the pastor that the sermon was just for them; these people appreciate that God knew what they needed and sent someone to deliver it. But the other side of that coin is negative, such as when the sermon, testimony, or conversation addresses a personal sin or problem. When this happens people are less likely to acknowledge God for recognizing what they need and sending someone to speak truth into their life. Instead they assume the preacher, or person speaking, was intentionally targeting them with the sermon, testimony, conversation, or social media post. Instead of saying “that was just for me, God knew what I needed” people are more likely to express frustration, resentment, or hostility toward the preacher, or person delivering the message. Although Christians desire their churches to preach truth thy often don’t want that truth to land on the bulls-eye of their own shortcomings, failures, or sins. Here is a way to test out our theory. Answer the next question as honestly as you can? When is the last time you felt the sermon or conversation was just for you because it dealt with your sin? Also answer the question: how often in the past year have you been frustrated with a preacher or person for talking about a sin or problem you happen to be involved in? Now one more question: Why is it when the sermon, conversation, etc makes you feel good you credit God for using the person who delivered the message, but when it convicts you of sin you don’t see God as having any part in it. You only blame the person you perceive put a bulls eye on your back and took aim at you?

Is it possible you can’t handle the truth? Is it possible you credit God for speaking comfort and assurance through His word and His messengers but you blame people for meddling, or singling you out when speaking about a sin or problem you are involved in? Shouldn’t you credit and thank God for both the comfort and the conviction? Do you have the bulls-eye syndrome? And finally the biggest question: What are you going to do about it? Here are a few suggestions: (1) confess this to God. He deserves credit for both the comfort and the conviction. (2) stop blaming people and start seeing them as God’s instruments to help you. (3) next time God speaks to you through a person, either for comfort or conviction, share with that person what God is doing in your life through them.

 

Thank you for reading our blog post. SLBC exist to be voices for God’s word and hands for God’s work. Keep an eye out for our next post covering the second observation of how people react to those being voices to God’s word.  

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