Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
"Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much..."
~ Luke 6:27-38 ~
Many fists flail in the air as they make sure the 'sinners' know what they are AGAINST.
Even sinners do that.
Or how about that moment when I walk in to a store and am treated poorly by an employee. Indignation rises up and in my heart I say, "I'll show them! I'll go elsewhere!" But wait! Even sinners do that. In that moment, perhaps God is making me aware, "This is your mission field. GO and display what they lack...take hold of MY GRACE." We may not be able to love them with our own love within our own strength,
however with God's beautiful sign and wonder of His grace we can display
a life of love to especially those who lack what TRUE LOVE TRULY IS!
What about the Proverb that says, "Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight"?
Even sinners listen to a one sided story and can believe it. But what are we to do? It doesn't matter how much character and integrity someone has, if we hear something, and whether it is believable or not, we must take it to the Lord...He will settle it or lead us to see the WHOLE story of that particular matter.
As I lead up to this morning, I was led to Proverbs 18. In this leading, I heard in my heart more than once, "Set the record straight."
I thought, "What?"
I heard it again, "Set the record straight."
So before I go any further, has anyone heard about the huge commotion of the CEO of Starbucks statement, supposedly made to Christians? Has anyone done the research on what actually came out of Howard Mark Schultz, the CEO's mouth?
Now on a side note, does he openly support gay marriage? Yes.
Do I agree with his support? No.
Now please! Before you stop reading this, if you are in support of gay marriage, I want to make this point very clear, my stance is not based on my opinion. My stance is only based on what God purposed and planned from the beginning, to be fruitful and multiply. Furthermore, as God is not for homosexuality, He is also not for lying, gossip, murder, beastiality, molestation, incest, adultery, someone who sows discord, coveting, idolatry, rape, being rude, prideful and the list goes on.
With that said, do we know what God is FOR? He is not for sin, but HE IS FOR PEOPLE! God is all about and FOR TRUTH; ABUNDANT LIFE; FORGIVENESS; BEING A HERALD OF THE GOOD NEWS; PEACEMAKERS; HEARTS THAT REVEAL CONTENTMENT; WORSHIPING HIM. THE ONE TRUE GOD; BEING KIND AND MERCIFUL; AND REVEALING HIS LOVE WITH HONOR AS WE ESTEEM OTHERS HIGHER THAN OURSELVES, SERVING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.
Going back to what I heard last night and into this morning; that soft voice within my heart saying, "Set the record straight." In addition to that word, as I began to get ready, I heard, "I have called my people into the world, so GO! Don't turn around because they are not for what I Am for. Teresa, they are in darkness and you carry MY GLORIOUS LIGHT." As I heard these words, tears rolled down my face as I immediately thought of Jonah. He did not want to go to those barbaric people. They were filled with sadistic wickedness; had no respect for human life to the point of feasting on the flesh of humans, they were beyond barbaric...and yet God still called Jonah to go to them, because of God's goodness leading them to repentance! Although I can clearly see why Jonah did not want to go, his opinion didn't matter...it was God's relentless love for the people of Ninevah. I then asked myself, "Am I like Jonah?"
In this awakening, I was led yet again by that voice, "Set the record straight." So, I somehow found a video of the CEO of Starbucks address to the shareholders to find out what was ACTUALLY said.
Here are Howard Mark Schultz's words verbatim as I transcribed, per the video what he said before the closing of speech:
“...Not every decision we make is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don't know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last twelve months. Having said that, not every decision we make is an economic decision. The lens in which we make our decision, is through the lens of our people. We employee over 200,000 people in this company and we want
to embrace diversity; of all kinds,” said Schultz. In addition to this statement, he further said, “If you feel, respectfully, if you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it's a free country, you can sell your shares at Starbucks and buy your shares elsewhere. Thank you."
After watching the video, sadness filled my heart for him. He did not attack Christians. However, I must say many, including many Christians attacked him. I sit here in tears how the Lord must be saying, "What are my people doing?" I said to spread my good news to ALL, not to only those we want to spread it to...but TO ALL! Jesus message was to His followers to give to the world and Paul's message was to the church. We cannot confuse the two messages!!!! We are not addressing someone within the church...we are addressing someone in the world. Today, I saw Howard Mark Schultz with God's compassion and He showed me the gift from God of great influence. In that moment I was convicted to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send His loving, ministering laborers into his life, not bash him. I am sick to my stomach that I fell for this rumor. I am reminded of what my earthly father says so often, "Did you hear them say it?" And if my answer is "No". He then proceeds to say, "Then don't believe it until you know for sure because it can ruin peoples lives."
I am triumphantly reminded by the Spirit of our Amazing God Who is relentlessly after the hearts of every person in this world:
"Outrage does not bring change to hearts...it's
the outrageous love of God that does. The loudest shout is the life
that lives OUT LOUD THE LOVE OF GOD. Not our perspective of what 'we think' God's
Love is, but GOD'S JUST AND RIGHTEOUS LOVE. I am learning that the
greatest SHOUT in this life AGAINST something that hurts the heart of
God is to live out what HE IS FOR; bringing glory to the Creator of
life, purpose and multiplication. If I
am FOR what God is FOR, then I have a great mandate to shower my spouse,
my children, and the world what the honorable, relentless love of God looks like ~ revealing my honor for and to GOD! With that, I can know that in due time, repentance
will come forth. With honor I can humbly present the heart of the Lord
to those that need to hear...and I pray that others will with honor and
humbleness present the heart of the Lord to me when I must hear how I
can change for His great glory."