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)

Aug 152017
 

“Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Hosea 14:2. 

How do we deal with demandingness?  

We must repent of it. 

Our passage today tells us how.  

First:

Return! 

“Return to the LORD.”  

The key to ridding ourselves of anything that is spiritually injurious is to return to God.  

The pursuit of God involves a shift away from dependence on one’s own resources to dependence on God.  

Doing good and correcting wrong behavior does not automatically make us good people.  

Obedience is extremely important, but it must be accompanied by deep, heart repentance. 

Second:

Repent! 

The passage says: “Take words of repentance with you.” 

This phrase means that we must put into words a clear description of what we are repenting of.  

If we are not clear about what is going on inside us, how can we repent of it?  

Next: 

Receive! 

“Forgive all our sin.” 

Repentance puts us in touch with God’s forgiveness.  

We can work to bring about change also-

– but the greatest catalyst for change is humbly positioning ourselves before God and asking for His forgiveness. 

Then: 

Rejoice! 

“Accept what is good, so that we may repay You with praise from our lips.” 

The thought here is: 

“Receive us that we may worship You more effectively.” 

The purpose of all restoration is to worship God.  

We will be drawn into true worship when we give up insisting on our own way and learn to trust God for our own happiness.  

When repentance moves us from a spirit of demandingness to absolute trust in God-

– then we are in the place where God is able to make our feet like “hinds’ feet,” 

– and equip us with the ability to ascend into the heights with Him. 

“Tender and skillful Invader of my heart, I yield my stricken being to You for healing. Drain every drop of demandingness from my being. For I want not only to be better but to be whole. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” 

(PA)

May 052017
 
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9.
The popular expression “You are what you eat”-
– is an encouragement to give our physical bodies good food. 
The idea also applies to our mental wellbeing. 

The mind’s appetite is much like the stomach’s-
– which becomes accustomed to the diet we provide and craves more of the same. 

Dwelling on whatever is pure, lovely, and right develops a hunger to receive more of God’s goodness. 
But if we take in what our culture calls excellent, we develop a taste for that instead.

The world presents some delicious-looking offerings—TV is one example. 
But mixed in with some fine educational programming is a lot of junk. 

Certain believers consider it okay to watch a show that violates scriptural values, since it’s “just entertainment.” 
However, everything our mind ingests shapes our views and values. 

Allowing incorrect teaching and sinful ideas into our thinking can warp our understanding of right and wrong.

If an idea, action, or activity is not true or honorable—that is-
– if it violates Scripture in some way—then God is not in it. 

And if God is absent-
– then Satan is present. 
​​

The Enemy’s mission is to draw our focus away from the Lord. 

Once the Devil has someone’s attention-
– he’ll keep presenting more tasty-looking “junk food” 
– to keep that individual occupied while leading him farther from the Lord and deeper into depravity.

There’s so much clamoring for our attention-
– entertainment, philosophies, teachings
– and whatever isn’t of the Lord has potential to taint our value system. 

Believers are wise to use discernment and feast only on the things of God.

(PA)