Biblical Counsel: Help! My friends/family need advice. What should I say?

counselQuestion: How can I advise my family or friends in difficult circumstances?

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:1,3

Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14

We’ve all received the call from a friend or family member with the latest worrisome trial. We’ve all offered the “flesh” response of our personal opinion, sometimes leaving those seeking comfort more worried or fired up than comforted and at peace. Abba is calling the Believer to offer advice in a not so new but Scriptural way which is through His Word. The purpose of Biblical counsel or gift of prophecy as 1 Corinthians 14:3 defines it, is to strengthen, encourage, and comfort. Though it may be instinct to “Tell it like it is”, “Keep it real”, give “Mama’s advice”, or offer “I’m just sayin”, God is looking for a more controlled approach in advising others and that approach is His. Each call we receive from family and friends is an opportunity to strengthen, encourage, and comfort one another.

Now some of us don’t have God’s Word committed to memory by topic or season of life. That’s okay…that’s what Google and Biblehub are for! 🙂 Seriously, God needs us to be committed to Him and be obedient in giving His counsel to our individual circle of family and friends. His Word needs to be imprinted on our hearts and minds, so that we can effectively strengthen, encourage, and comfort those God has allowed us to influence. If your Word has collected some dust, take it off the shelf and commit yourself to reading it as regularly as you read FB or Twitter posts. Then when you receive that call during the worrisome trials, you can effectively strengthen, encourage, and comfort one another and ultimately point your loved ones towards Him the God of all comfort. Amen

Scriptures on Comfort:

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3

I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you, the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:1-8

Photo Credit: Bing

Spiritual Warfare: Hospitality v. Favoritism

hospitality v favoritismDo not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

Hmmm the challenge to the Body of Christ*. Yes! Such a simple thing, be hospitable to everyone. We have no idea who God will send across our paths. Abba requires our impartiality and welcoming others. And sorry friends…SELECTIVE HOSPITALITY…is NOT HOSPITALITY. That would be FAVORITISM which Abba forbids. If Abba does not have favorites, why does the Body of Christ? Favoritism in the Body of Christ is counter to Christ, it is not of Christ, and Abba is challenging us to cancel the lie that we believe justifies accepting, excluding, etc others because of our personal philosophy, branding, culture, race etc. If you are participating in exclusion practices, rethink it. This includes purposely avoiding other Believers. This is not hospitality and not of God. Rethink this my friends. Abba is very clear about this. To grow the Body of Christ, you must be hospitable. Period. Selective hospitality is not hospitality. That is favoritism.

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality” Acts 10:34

Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. Deuteronomy 1:17

For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:11

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9

The Body of Christ needs healing. Massive defection of Believers from the Church is not acceptable and not saying anything about it is especially not acceptable. Abba has commissioned (Great Commission) us to bring individuals to the Body of Christ not create exclusive social clubs. Remove the callous over our hearts and scales off the eyes.

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. James 2:1-8

Abba, have mercy on us and pierce our hearts. We repent of our favoritism in using race, age, gender, social status, and all other human forms of judgment to welcome or reject others. Forgive us Father. Bind up the hardened, calloused hearts and blind eyes within us and loose your supernatural vision to us of the hurting in the name and Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

Related Posts: He’s Not One of Us
Related Resources: Living on the Edge
Photo Credit: Amen-Amen

*Note: The posting is in reference to no particular congregation but the larger Body of Christ.