A Gated Community

“Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto My GOD while I have My being…” Psalm 146

I recently heard a sermon where the speaker spoke in a negative way about people who live in gated communities. That sermon motivated me to write this article, as I want to point out some things about gated communities, why people desire to live within the confines of a gated community, and why ultimately we all should want to live in a gated community. However, before I expound on the gated community statement, I want to share what I believe is an over-arching issue, that causes statements such as these to be made, and the impact they have on a church congregation.

The picture that is painted is that these un-named individuals think they are “better” than everyone else. So, they are scrutinized and criticized because they have been prosperous. Unfortunately, what this does more often than not is cause those who may not be as prosperous to have “distorted thinking” about those who may have more, causing them to view these individuals in a wrong light. Distorted thinking is when you think things about an individual based on what someone else has caused you to believe, and not based on your own personal interactions with those individuals.

The  “gated community” statement is really systemic of a larger issue. This is a pretty typical but sad thing that happens in many congregations, where a Pastor/Preacher has an issue with someone in the congregation who may have acquired wealth, or a certain degree of success.  They insert statements in their sermon that have nothing to do with the Word of God, but are designed to place focus on certain individuals in a negative way. I’m sure you’ve heard a many sermons where a pastor/preacher talks about the people who have the fancy cars, a big house on the hill, college education, etc.  Sprinkled into the sermon are also statements such as “when you see people who ….…”, which causes some to look around to see if they can identify those individuals within the congregation.

The men/women of God who deliver such messages may not realize it, but they are actually sowing discord among  the  brethren, causing  division in the body, and causing the saints to be judgmental in a wrong kind of way. Usually when this happens in congregations the speaker normally has specific people in the congregation in mind, and there are others in the congregation who also know exactly who they are talking about.  You may ask, how do I know this happens?  Well I know because we  have been in the church continuously (never left) for over 60 years, and have been the target of many such sermons.

It’s really a shame that this occurs, particularly in the church from people who claim to have been called by God to deliver HIS message to HIS people.   In spite of all the encouragement and opportunity that is given to people to make something of themselves, and to utilize God given talents, gifts, and abilities, when it actually happens for some, there are those who seem to have an issue with them for succeeding and achieving .

I know these people are not speaking for God because they are making statements that are contrary to His written word. The real problem is not the ones who have succeeded, but the ones who have an issue with others achieving more than themselves.  They might have an “inferiority complex”, or are struggling with envy or jealousy.  It shouldn’t be an issue, for we all should know that God has told us in His word, that HE is the one that gives man the ability to acquire wealth and to become prosperous, and has provided in His word the prescription to be blessed.  Take a look at these scriptures as this is what God has said:

Deuteronomy 8:18

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Psalm 1: 1-3

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Joshua 1:7-8

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

For the past 26 years we have lived in a gated community, which we have thoroughly enjoyed. These communities require a special access code for entry, and if you don’t know the code you can’t get in. Typically there are higher end homes, often have private security patrolling the community, video recording of all who enter and exit, and are normally located in some of the most desirable and prestigious areas.  The homes typically have a higher price tag because of the location, and as many know, real estate value is really dependent on location, location, location.

Many believe that those who live in gated communities, are snobbish, think they’re better than others, etc.    However,  this thinking is normally created in their mind by someone who doesn’t live in a gated community, and for all the reasons I mentioned above.   If you actually got to know some who live in those communities up close and personal, you will find that’s not what they think at all.   They’ve just been fortunate enough in life to afford that type of living. 

We chose to move to these communities because the homes we desired happened to be located in gated communities. Yes it is nice to have all of the amenities mentioned above, but it certainly doesn’t make us think we’re better than others. Just like anybody else, we looked for places to live that we felt we could enjoy and would be conducive in raising our family to be well-rounded, and able to engage with anyone in this world. We also wanted them to be color-blind, and experience that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness  thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. It all belongs to HIM, and as his children, we can go and live anyplace in HIS world.  We are entitled.

We enjoy our gated community and all the surroundings.  I like the fact that the roads are paved and maintained, there is someone watching out for our well-being, the homes and properties are well maintained.

The more I think about gated communities it makes me think about Heaven.  In fact, those of us who profess to be Christians, we should desire and look forward to living in a gated community.  Why? If you want to go to Heaven, you will be living forever in a gated community. Heaven is the ultimate gated community.   In fact, it has more gates than any gated community I know. My Bible tells me that Heaven has twelve gates. As John the revelator said in Revelations 21:

 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates:

Oh, and by the way, it has paved roads that are made out of gold. 

Wouldn’t you like to live in this gated community, forever?    Well you can, but you will need to know the Access Code.

 To get in you have to know Jesus, up close and personal.

 If you don’t know the Savior, you can’t get in.

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Kindle Countdown – I Confess That I Am Judgmental!

All too often the Scripture is quoted yet its imperial magnificent brilliance to enhance and enlighten our lives is overlooked. In the case of “judging” we need to ponder this subject and all its facets. It is often said we are not to judge. Whether you realize it or not we all make judgments daily often without thinking. You/we in fact judge when determining if something is so. As we continue on the path of godly spiritual learning we can acquire discernment. We become better equipped to navigate through this “Valley of the Shadow of Death.”

Time is of the essence for much of our world is out of control. We should seek to learn how to better judge with righteous judgment for the benefit of all concerned.

When you call me judgmental are you not being judgmental? After all, you have also just judged me as being judgmental. WOW! Think and ponder upon this for a moment. Just perhaps we can balance things out by first examining our own motives before we reach a conclusion.

Self-examination is an ongoing part of spiritual growth. It is our attitudes that often need adjusting. Keeping in mind to judge means to analyze or evaluate as well as condemn or avenge. However, whenever we do judge one another it should not be done in a retributive manner but done constructively.

This e-book will enable you to broaden your perspective on the subject of judging.

Pick up a copy of “I Confess That I Am Judgmental” during the Kindle Countdown promotion starting 9/23 – 9/30 for
$ .99

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I confess I am judgmental! – Part 1

January 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Archives

Judgmental

Once we make the decision to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts we embark upon an incredible “New Life” in Christ! It is important to know that this is a “Walk of Faith” that is not always easy. In the eyes of God we are ageless children always in need of our Savior. Each day we can decide to choose to embrace God’s principles for life and living or the ways of the world. This is why it is imperative that we each develop an ongoing up close and personal intimate relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ.

God’s Word is our awe-inspiring “Life Manual!” Here is where we can glean a better understanding of God and the history of mankind. God has not left us alone to merely fend for ourselves. His Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Guide and Spiritual Teacher available to help us along the way upon this marvelous spiritual journey. As we grow spiritually we better understand what is expected of us! However it is important to keep in mind that it will, at times get a bit complicated. You will not always be understood or accepted. Things will not always work out as we expect. It is during these times we can better identify with those in the Word who have gone on before us. Trust God embrace your faith and know that in His time He will “work everything together for the GOOD!”

You will of course at times be thought of as being judgmental when you express what the Word says about life and living. Confronting others in love with Truth is par for the course. When you decide to stand on the Lord’s Word you will also often be thought of as thinking you are “holier than thou.” It is within these times we must again hold on to the profession of our faith and keep our focus on the Lord. We too must “walk the walk we talk about!”

The Word teaches us that confession is good for the soul. Therefore I want to confess to being judgmental. WOW! Now there I have said it! I have thought and pondered much about this. At this point in my life the fear of being misunderstood is not greater than my need to express this point. There truly is liberty in the Lord! I have determined that no matter how hard you try someone will misunderstand you anyway. So why not try to live to please God! I accept being judgmental. According to the Word of God we the saints are to judge. Say who!

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to the law before the unjust, and not go before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the small matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to life? If then ye have judgments of pertaining to this life set them to judge, who are least esteemed in the Church?” I Corinthians 6: 1-4 (KJV)

Having the Lord within our lives truly makes a difference. Does this mean that I think that I am always right? No of course not! It does mean that I do not have to make a judgment to determine what God has already said is wrong! We must study the Word of God so we can learn how to properly resolve conflict and disputes. God doesn not need us we all need Him and HIs Word! According to His Word we are taught that we must even learn to judge righteously. We should also be aware that the way in which we judge others is the way in which we too will be judged! I believe all of God’s Word! As members of God’s Church we all have a responsibility to abide by and uphold the principles of His Word. When we sincerely commit to “His Will & Way” our marriages, families and overall relationship dynamics will greatly improve. Christianity is meant to be a daily lifestyle where we who claim we are believers are supposed to be governed by the Word of God!

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