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When is it OK to Hate?

When is it ok to hate? When is hate good? The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There’s a time and a season for everything under heaven” and then in verse 8 it says “There is a time to love and a time to hate”. So when is it ok to hate?  I mean, some of us hate broccoli. Some of us hate liver. Some of us hate being in traffic. I know that I hate being in the middle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight. I just hate that middle seat!

The Bible does say that there are some things we should hate. You really can’t love unless there are some things that you hate. Get this, the Bible says we should hate sin, evil, bribes, idolatry, murder, arrogant and perverted speech, and sexual immorality. In other words, we should hate sin.  In Proverbs chapter 6, the bible states there are six things that the Lord hates. No, actually seven things are an abomination to Him. He hates haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,  a false witness that pours out lies, he also hates the person that sows discord in a family. There’s some other things that God hates as well – divorce (Malachi 2:16). The reason he hates divorce is because He knows how detrimental it is and how harmful it is to society and the children. It causes a lot of collateral damage. God hates how it hurts the individual. 

Hatred in the Bible is not an emotion. It’s not like when God says these things that He’s having these feelings of animosity. For the interpretation, you must separate the human emotional feeling of hatred. In the world of psychology, we’re instructed to hate because if we can’t hate then we are classified as a sociopath. A sociopath will do evil things and feel no remorse for what they’ve done. So, if we don’t hate evil we will learn to actually enjoy witnessing evil. 

One of the things we should hate is terrorism. Right? We should hate the fact that an evil person entered a night club in Orlando and killed 49 fellow Americans! We should hate terrorism! We should hate people that promote and perform acts of horrendous evil. Here’s what we need to be careful of; we need to make sure we do not become desensitized. We live in a society that we become desensitized to evil and acts of evil to where we begin to tolerate, accept, rationalize and explain it. 

Now, there are some things we should NEVER hate. You should never hate yourself. You should never hate God. Period. We should never hate our neighbor as it says in Leviticus 17:19 where Jesus says we are to love our neighbor. So we can hate the sin that someone may commit but we don’t hate that person. We need to be aware and not celebrate the things God hates. Funny thing is, though, in our society today, most forms of entertainment celebrate the very things God hates. If we aren’t careful and we celebrate what the world celebrates, we can become desensitized. At the end of the day, if we are going to be a follower of Christ, we should love the things God loves and we should hate the things God hates. Also, you really can’t love if at the same time you don’t hate the things that would destroy love. 

Here’s what I know, there are things that God hates – the evil, the sin, the wickedness that’s in our world; but because of Jesus, we know that God loves the world. He loves for people to gain the knowledge of the truth of who He is and who Christ is. When the love of God is shed in our hearts, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can actually begin to love. We can begin to love God, to love others and begin to love ourselves and we will always hate the things that will destroy the things we love.

Ecclesiastes says there is a time to love and time to hate. I hope we have some loathsome feelings toward evil and the evil being perpetrated in our society.  I want you to know that I love you and I hope you have an awesome rest of your day! Take care!

 

God Bless!

Carl

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Disappointment

Hello, and thank you for stopping by to read my message for today. The theme for today is asking the question, “Have you ever dealt with disappointment?”  This past week, a dear lady from our church came up and told me she was very disappointed with me. I apologized for disappointing her but this made me think; I believe there is a time in life where we all become disappointed. I wanted to look up the definition of this word.

Disappointment: Feeling sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.

There are times as spouses that we disappoint our loved ones or as parents that we disappoint our children. Maybe at work, you may disappoint a co-worker or your boss. Disappointment is a real fact of life.

The 18th Century English poet, Alexander Pope, said this, “Blessed is he who expects nothing because he will never be disappointed.” How many of you know that you and I can’t go through life expecting nothing? We have to go through life with hope. Theodore Parker said that “Disappointment is the salt of life.” I like that. Disappointment can become an appointment with God. This may be your disappointment in yourself, where your life’s at right now, or where your relationship with God may be going.

There is this woman in the Old Testament named Hannah. She became the mother of the great prophet, Samuel. She was disappointed. She moved from disappointment to discouragement and then to disillusionment. If you don’t stop the cycle of disappointment it will progress into discouragement,disillusionment, depression and then defeat. So God wants to intervene before the cycle begins. So what was Hannah’s disappointment that led her to discouragement? Hers was about the fact she was barren – she couldn’t have a child. 1 Samuel 1:10 (NKJV) says “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.” She was so disappointed that she had bitterness in her soul. She went from disappointment to discouragement, to disillusionment and was probably in the state of depression. But here’s the point, Hannah’s disappointment became her appointment with God. I want you to know that your disappointment can also become your appointment with God. There will be times in our lives where we will be like Hannah. There can be barrenness in our lives where we become disappointed that we aren’t able to give birth to our dreams or our hopes. We are experiencing our own spiritual barrenness when our efforts seem fruitless and our outlook seems bleak. So what happens? Many people escape this with alcohol, drugs or other worldly entrapments to try to cope with their disappointment. If you don’t deal with it then it can lead to disillusionment, leading to depression which leads to defeat. So, Hannah’s disappointment became her appointment with God. She turned to God in prayer.

So what should we do when it comes to disappointment? Let’s turn, with our disappointments and our disillusionments, to God in prayer and know that our God can turn our situation around if we will simply trust in Him and look to Him. The Bible says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire comes, it’s the tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12) I pray that your hope isn’t deferred and your hope is in the Lord. People will let you down, I’ll let you down, your loved ones will let you down, you will let others down, you will disappoint them, but you can trust that God will never disappoint. God will never let us down if our trust is in Him 100%.

Everyone deals with disappointment but it can become an appointment with God!

Have a great week! God Bless!
Carl

If you missed this discussion on our Facebook Live click HERE for the link.

Change It!

I would like to talk to you about things in our life that we don’t like or can’t accept. Do you know there are things we can change? Are there things in your life that you don’t like right now?  That you can’t accept? Are there things in your life that you haven’t liked but you’ve changed? Things can change. Shakespeare said, “We know what we are but not what we may be.” Think about that quote. Think about the possibilities of what we can become through Christ when we identify who we are in Jesus. If you would have told me 36 years ago that I’d be doing what I’m doing today, I would have laughed at you.  If you would have told me that I would be married to a beautiful woman, have an amazing family, that I would be living in Lubbock, TX, that I would be apart of a great church like Trinity, doing what I am doing – speaking the truths of God’s word to thousands of people every single weekend, I wouldn’t have believed you in a thousand years.  

Many of you are doing things in your life right now that you never dreamed or imagined you would be doing and it’s all because of the God Factor.  Sometimes we minimize what we can do and what we can become with God. I look at all of these young people who are graduating from high school and college; their whole future lies ahead of them. A lot of them may be unsure about themselves and about their future.  The one thing you should not doubt is that God can accomplish anything through you. That’s right, God in you can accomplish anything.  It’s a matter of – Do you believe? Do you believe that God can work His wonders in you and through you?  We don’t recognize what we are or what we may be. You know what you are today. You know your age, where you live, where you work and who your friends are. You know a lot of things about yourself. You don’t know what you can be a year from now, five years from now or 10 years from now. The Bible says we are all being changed from glory to glory; from faith to faith. This process of change is God’s sovereign power at work through us. 

What are you doing today that 5-10 years ago you wouldn’t have dreamed you would’ve been doing but you find yourself doing it now?  What might be in your heart today, that might be about your future – something you could be doing 5-10 years from now?  I think life becomes mundane and boring when we stop dreaming; when we stop envisioning a better tomorrow. Or maybe a better marriage.  Maybe a  better expression of who you are and what you are doing at this particular time in your life. Never underestimate what God can do in you and through you. If there are things in your life that you don’t like, you can change it with God’s help! Maybe they don’t change overnight. A marriage doesn’t change overnight. Being a parent, instructing your children and raising them up in the right ways – those kids aren’t going to change overnight either. But, things can change.  They can change for the better if we simply ask God for His help.   Not only ask but believe and trust in Him. Once again, we know what we are but not what we may be.  I hope you begin to realize not only what you are but what you may be as God’s grace continues to work through you! 

I want to say, as we are beginning to celebrate Memorial Weekend, to all of you that may be in the military, or  you that have loved ones in the military; we can’t say Thank You enough. Many times, those in the military are definitely underpaid and under-appreciated. I want you to know we love you and appreciate you. We pray God’s protection upon you and your loved ones as you are serving our country and defending our freedom abroad.  We can’t take for granted the ultimate sacrifice that so many have paid and are paying to defend our freedoms. So, if you are in the military – Thank You! If you have family serving – please tell them Thank You from Carl Toti at Trinity Church. I have a couple of nephews serving in the Coast Guard who I pray for and appreciate them very much. I give thanks to my father who served in the Korean War. It’s a great honor and it’s a great service to God by serving in the military. We pray God’s peace as we move towards Memorial Day weekend. 

Thank you so much for taking time with me today. I hope you have an awesome rest of the day!

Click HERE to watch this message on Facebook Live!

God Bless!

Carl Toti

The Myth of More

Today I want to talk to you about the “Myth of More”. Think about it, life isn’t about getting more; life is about giving more. I know that’s a lesson that I have to learn on a daily basis sometimes and sometimes on a moment by moment basis. It’s not what we get in life, it’s what we are able to give that’s important. So this “Myth of More” is the constant saying “If I could just have more; if I could have more friends, if I could have more money, if I could have more fame, if I could have more Twitter followers or Facebook followers, I can get more likes on my Facebook if I can just get more. More is better!” But that’s not always true. It’s not about getting; it’s about giving.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than it is to receive. So here’s the deal, if we want to create more in our life, it has to come out of a place of deep contentment, first and foremost, with who we are and where we are today.

If we’re not content with who we are and where we are today then what gives us the assurance that a week, a month, a year from now; when we reach that next goal, we will be fulfilled?

In Ecclesiastes 4:6, Solomon said, “Maybe so, but I say it’s better to be content with what little you have otherwise you will always be struggling for more and that’s like chasing the wind.” Think about how many people in our culture today are struggling for more. Example: more advertising. All about more. It’s like chasing the wind. Have you ever tried chasing the wind in West Texas? You know you can chase the wind but you’re never going to catch it. That’s the way it is in so many people’s lives. They are always chasing after something and it’s always the next thing and the next thing.

What do you think about the “Myth of More”? Do you think society is constantly telling us we have to always have more and we need more? Why do you think so many people are so discontented? I think they are at a place in their life where they are not happy with who they are and what they have in their lives. This “Myth of More”, makes people think, “If I could just get this next thing. If I could just live in a different city. If I could just get a different job.” I think the Lord is saying we can be happy with who we are and where we are in our relationship with Him. Listen, we have two choices every day: we can either enjoy life and enjoy what we have in our life today or we can we can fret and we can worry about what we don’t have. I’d rather be focusing on the former rather than the latter. I hope you realize and recognize what you have and how special you are to God. Realize how much he loves you and that your life counts and your life matters. Let’s focus on the good and let’s reject the “Myth of More” that is sometimes fed constantly in social media, television, and entertainment/movies. Don’t buy into the “Myth of More”. Be content with who you are, where you are and what you have. That way, God is always able to bring more into our lives. Have a great rest of your week!

God Bless!

Carl Toti

The Power of Small

I went to a 35 year anniversary celebration of a friend who has been pastoring a church for 33 of the 35 years and one of my favorite pastors was talking about being faithful in the little things.

Zechariah 4:10 says, “The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.”

Think about where your life is right now. Your life is a series of small starts that have lead up to something big. Sometimes we look at our life and we think our life is small and unimportant and insignificant, especially if we spend all day looking at everybody else’s Snapchats and everybody else’s Instagram and everybody else’s Facebook posts.

It seems like everybody’s life is more exciting than than our own, but God tells us not to despise small beginnings. God cares about small things. Jesus came to us in the form of a baby. Some of the greatest blessings in your life come in the smallest of packages. In fact, the Bible tells us that a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without your Father knowing it (Matthew 10:29-31). God attends the funeral of every sparrow.

If you look through a microscope, you see that there’s another world inside of this big world. Small things matter. In Matthew 13:31, Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed!

How small a mustard seed? It is among the smallest of seeds, but when it grows up, it becomes one of the largest garden plants, growing up to about 8 feet high! Things that are seemingly insignificant can become big, so don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Your life is really a series of beginnings and endings, a changing of seasons, so everything we do in a given day is significant and important.

If you run a business, it’s the small things that you do for your customer that make the difference. If you’re married, it’s the small things you do in your marriage that make a huge difference. The small compliment, reaching out to help your loved one… The old saying is true, “Large doors are opened by a small hinge.”

There’s a parable of that’s called, “The kingdom was lost for want of a nail,” in which a king was getting ready to go out to battle. While preparing the king’s horse, the shoe smith forgot just one of the nails. When the king went out to battle the shoe fell off the horse, the horse slipped and threw the king off the horse. The king fell and broke his neck. The kingdom was lost that day because of a very small thing – a nail that someone forgot to put on the horse’s shoe.

What are the small things in your day today? What are the small things in your life that God is reminding you not to consider unimportant? An email that you need to send? A phone call you need to make? That contact or connection you need to make? Jesus said, “If we are faithful in the little things, God will make us ruler over much.”

Let’s take the words of Jesus to heart and be faithful in that which is little today. He will be faithful to make us ruler over that which is much.