You can deal with it!

 Repentance, Sin  Comments Off on You can deal with it!
Nov 082017
 

“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

God is no pushover!

His call to holy living is-

– very clear,

– very firm,

– very hard to misunderstand.

Let’s not trick ourselves into thinking that-

– His heart of compassion has made Him soft on sin.

But rest in this:

“He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).

He understands the bad habits we’ve moulded over the years, the comfortable corners we run to when we’re tired or upset or discouraged.

The truth is:

The anger we feel pressing down on us is more ours than His!

-for while we could kick ourselves for caving again,

He’s heartbroken that we’ve sold ourselves out so cheaply-

– that we’ve chosen the path of pain,

– when He has offered us the path of peace!

So as you catch yourself in compromise, confess your blunders!

And promise (with God’s help) that you’ll turn your back on this foolishness.

Confession gets your sin out in front where you can deal with it!

Repentance takes it out to the curb where God can haul it off with the rest of your garbage-

– and leave you feeling clean again!

(PA)

Victory over weakness

 Sin, Victory  Comments Off on Victory over weakness
Nov 052017
 

Good parents attempt to provide their children-

– every advantage to become successful adults.

As Christians, we especially want to help our kids mature in their knowledge of God and the Bible, their love for Jesus, their appreciation of the church family, and the desire to serve the Lord.

Children frequently have great enthusiasm for the things of God.

But as they grow older, they may fall away.

Samson!

– is an example of unfortunate drifting (Judges 14:1-10).

He had a godly upbringing.

But at some point, the world’s sexual temptations became very attractive to him.

Scripture reveals several occasions where Samson gave in to his lust.

For instance, he desired a pagan woman from Timnah, despite his parents’ warning.

In Judges 14:1-3, he broke God’s command by marrying her.

A second incident nearly led to his murder.

But he survived only because of his supernatural strength.

Perhaps the most tragic and notorious example was Delilah’s betrayal of Samson.

Lust prevented him from seeing her true nature.

As a result, the Philistines captured and blinded Samson.

Left unchecked, sin penetrates and dominates our lives.

It will affect others with its consequences.

The first step toward success is to be-

– awareness of our weaknesses.

Secondly, we must-

– admit we are helpless to overcome them alone.

Thirdly, it’s important to-

– acknowledge that God is able to rescue us.

Lastly, you need to-

-ask God to help you overcome!

With this perspective-

– we’ll be able to obey His commands and gain victory over weakness!

(PA)

Aug 252017
 

“And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD.” Exodus 15:23-26.

Murmuring or complaining is one of those sins that are overlooked.

Sometimes we focus on the “big sins” such as murder and adultery that we overlook this sin-
– but the Lord doesn’t give this sin a free pass- quite the opposite.

It’s a hidden killer!
This sin unleashed a plague that killed thousands of Israelites! Numbers 16.

In this passage, we read how the Israelites, who were desperately thirsty, looked only at the fact that the water they had come to was bitter and undrinkable.

How quickly they forgot their God who had led them out of Egypt with signs and wonders.

They had just witnessed His dividing of the Red Sea and destruction of those who had enslaved them.
And yet, so quickly they returned to looking only with their natural eyes at the problem in front of them, completely forgetting the miracle working power of their God!

And so they murmured against Moses.
But honestly, weren’t they really murmuring against God?

Once again, Moses interceded for them-
– revealing the faithfulness of His God to answer every impossible dilemma and provide for every need;
– and again, setting them the example: they simply needed to go the Lord!

So often, just like the Israelites-
– we focus on our desperate situation with our physical eyes, and not with eyes of faith, and then fall into the trap of complaining.

And if you’re like me, once I start, it can be really hard to stop…until the Lord stops me, right in my tracks and He reminds me- aren’t you really complaining against me?

I have to remember to see that I actually hinder the Lord’s answers to my problems by unbelief-
– which leads to the sin of murmuring!

Let’s not allow this sin to gain a foothold-
– because it can easily become a stronghold!

The same wonder working God that led the children of Israel out of Egypt, is still at work today-
– but are we hindering Him?

If we are grumbling and complaining-
– we are missing out on His answers and blessings which are waiting in the wings to meet our faith in Him!

(PA)

Mar 072017
 

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11.

I once read a strange story in the news about a plumber who was called in to unclog a drain.

He had one of those snake-like devices that runs down into a drain and keeps running until the drain is cleaned out.

But this time, the “snake” did a strange thing.
It went outside of the house through an open vent and into the house next door.

Then it went down through a vent, came out, and grabbed a ten-year-old girl who was playing in her backyard.

Fortunately, her little brother started crying, and they stopped.
The fire department had to use cable cutters to set the girl free.

After reading that story-
I thought about how sin can be that way.

You never know where it’s going to go.

When we commit a sinful act-
– we don’t realize the repercussions that can take place and the other lives that can be impacted by it.

Billy Graham once said, “Immorality is an epidemic in our churches just as it is in the secular world at large…No wonder the world is in crisis.”

God has a lot to say about immorality-
– and specifically adultery, in Scripture.

It made His Top Ten list-
– the Ten Commandments.

It was, in some cases, punishable by death.
And we see it addressed in the New Testament as well.

God has told us not to commit adultery for good reason.

When you cross that line of protection that God has placed around your and your spouse’s life, you do so at your own peril.

And the repercussions of that sin can last-
– for months, years, and yes, even a lifetime.

(PA)

Jan 042017
 

“Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright.” Proverbs 14:9.

One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to underestimate the power of sin.

We don’t like to admit when we sin-
– because then we have to make amends for it or change our behaviour.

So we rationalize that we haven’t really sinned at all.

First-
– we find a better name for it.
Sin sounds so old-fashioned.
So harsh.

Let’s call it a “mistake” or a “habit” or a “lapse in judgment.”
That sounds better.

Next-

– we build a case to explain why we did it.
“Everyone else was doing it.”
“I didn’t think anyone would get hurt.”
“It wasn’t my fault.”

Then-
– we de-emphasize the fallout.
“People are too uptight these days.”
“They need to stop being so sensitive.”

It comes down to a control issue.
We don’t like being told what to do.

We want the freedom to make our own choices.

But we fail to understand one thing:
We don’t control sin.
Sin controls us.

Sin is any attitude or behaviour that goes against God’s desires.
He wants us to be free from the guilt, shame, and consequences of sin.

But as long as we refuse to take sin seriously-
– we’ll never experience life the way God desires.

Don’t be afraid to see sin for what it is.
Don’t allow a distorted view of sin to rob you of the life God intends for you.

Ask God to tell you how you can make amends.
What sins in your life need to be exposed for what they are?

(PA)