When we are little children, right and wrong are so very simple. Just do what our parents allow and abstain from what they prevent. Stop when they say stop and proceed when they approve. Not so simple when you grow up.
There are foundational dos and don’ts out of Exodus: no idols, no using the Lord’s name out of place, no murder, no adultery, no lying, no lies, no lusting someone’s spouse; no craving someone’s stuff; honor God as Lord, honor God above any other lesser god, honor the Lord’s day as Holy, honor your parents. And I’m sure we ALL do these with no problem at all. (SMILE!!) Well, at least I know you all do. I’ve got a bad hip from kneeling to repent so often! So very grateful for His forgiveness and His cleansing. But that’s not what I’m wanting you to think about.
What about what happens on the inside of you. If you have a personal relationship with The Lord, there is something in your life that He has asked you to do (or not to do) that is in addition to that list above. You know what I’m talking about – His will for your life. This might be giving your belongings to some person; it might be ending a romantic relationship; it might be writing a book; it might be refraining from some food; it might be moving to some foreign country to serve in missions full time; it might be accepting an illness as His assignment to teach believers how to die, etc. It could be easy and uncomfortable. It could be difficult and unimaginable. The bottom line is – you don’t want to do it!
The Holy Spirit’s conviction is strong within you and yet you don’t act in the way that you are led because of your own confusion or even your own fear. And now – you’re not feeling well, you’re worried about who you’re disappointing, etc. I want to encourage you to trust the Lord enough to act in the way that He is calling you. If you just trust Him the confusion and fear that you are facing will cease! I’m serious! The unrest, sickness, dissension, disunity, fear, duality, and sense of disloyalty to the King of Kings will cease! And let’s just be honest — you’re walking in sin when you act against what you know to be God’s will for you even if that action is not something that is against the teachings of Scripture. I’m praying for you!!
But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
A person who does not believe the truth of the gospel – will necessarily rail against it.
As believers, our motive should always be that people come to know and understand the truth of the gospel. Not only that they can be saved from Hell – but that their lives can be redeemed for the sake of the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom that will never end.
When people call themselves believers but they rise up against the truths that are in the Bible because it does not suit them, I am forced to ask myself if they are true believers.
Paul mentions his former ways and clearly tells us that he did these things out of ignorance – because he did not know that the gospel was truth. But once he knew – his life and his behavior was transformed. His life became about exposing people to their redeemer, Christ, and teaching them how to live for Him so that their lives would matter in eternity. Are we doing that? Leading people to Christ AND helping them to live for Him?
Father, May it never be enough for my heart to see a person come to salvation, but may I always desire that they know you personally as Father and are able to give their lives to you so that they will be made fruitful. Thank you for using me as a vessel of honor. I bless your name! Amen
1 Timothy 1:12 – 14
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus”
Picture it! A world where every Christ follower acts in love in EVERY situation. I’m not talking about loving the ones who love us. I’m not even talking about loving those who are not so loving but are yet dear to us (you know, those crazy family members you don’t really like!). What I am talking about is loving those who mean us harm; those who commit wrongs against us intentionally; those who purpose to bring to ruin the plans that God has for us. I’m talking about going beyond forgiveness and showing them love.
When I look at my wedding ring, I see many facets – sometimes it glistens bright white; at another angle it is a colorful prism; sometimes it looks like clear glass. My point is – no matter how I look at it or how it looks to me – it looks beautiful. Love too – in all of its facets is a beautiful thing. So then, why don’t we just try to take every experience of this day and respond to it in love. My oldest son, Joseph, signs his notes “Live In Love”, a great reminder of what our Christ’s life was like and what His example was for us.
As for me I have to ask myself daily: Can I be love in every situation? Honestly – I don’t know! But I can certainly try. My prayer today is that each person that I have contact with on this day (whether in person or electronically) will know that they are loved!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
God’s people are not exempt from falling into sin. In fact, it is overtly stated throughout scripture that there is none who does not sin. However, as God’s people – His dearly beloved – we can rest assured that when we sincerely repent from our sin; crying out to Him to forgive us and change us and and committing to change and turn from it – He will not only forgive and cleanse us – but He will surely bless us! What must we do? Humble ourselves. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from our sin. This promise was spoken to God’s people Israel, but I believe that as God’s people today this truth still applies. When you sin (and you WILL sin) – submit to God’s authority; cry out to Him for forgiveness; listen for His direction for you; and commit to never go back to doing that thing and I believe that even when we sin grievously and find ourselves in the hand of our enemy – He will turn that thing around! Our sin will surely bring with it unpleasant consequences but it is His good pleasure to bind up our wounds – even those He inflicts upon us. Our pride will bring us to destruction – but if we humble ourselves under His mighty hand – He will exalt us in due time. He knew we would falter – and He has always made a way for us to set things right with Him. Forgiveness and blessing! Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?!
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14
I was reading Deuteronomy 32 this morning. If I removed the Old Testament names and references, this could be talking about America!!
We (The United States of America) were never a Christian nation – we were built upon a foundation of religious freedom and freedom to pursue personal satisfaction — BUT we’ve always had a reverence for God and godly people! This was evidenced at one time by things like: not using profanity in the earshot of ministers; turning down our radios when we passed a church; removing our hats in a place of worship; keeping our hateful words and thoughts private; attending church at least on Christmas, Mothers Day and Easter; etc. I’m sure you have your own lists. But now …. we who call ourselves Christ followers align ourselves with those who profane His name; who minimize His ministry of grace; who make themselves high; who spew venom…..
Y’all!!! We better watch out! God blessed America for many years and we are not even His chosen people! He blessed us because there was a time when we, as a nation prayed for the peace of Jerusalem; there was a time when He could see at least one righteous among us. He blessed us because in spite of our grievous sin, we had a reverence and respect for the things and people of God. But, in the words of my friend Eulalia King, “We have lost our Plum D minds!”
Believers – rise up! Speak out! Act justly! Love mercy! Because as for me and my house – we ain’t trying to go out like that!!
From The Message Bible. “Jeshurun put on weight and bucked; you got fat, became obese, a tub of lard. … You walked out on the Rock who gave you your life, forgot the birth-God who brought you into the world. GOD saw it and turned on his heel, angered and hurt by his sons and daughters. He said, “From now on I’m looking the other way. Wait and see what happens to them. Oh, they’re a turned-around, upside-down generation! Who knows what they’ll do from one moment to the next? They’ve goaded me with their no-gods, infuriated me with their hot-air gods; … I’ll pile catastrophes on them, I’ll shoot my arrows at them: Starvation, blistering heat, killing disease; I’ll send snarling wild animals to attack from the forest and venomous creatures to strike from the dust. Killing in the streets, terror in the houses, Young men and virgins alike struck down, and yes, breast-feeding babies and gray-haired old men.”” Deuteronomy 32:15-25