Tag Archives: recognizing sin

December 21; A Charge

2 Timothy 2-4; Hebrews 1

I hope you will read Paul’s charge to Timothy and hear God speaking to you. The fact is, the time of Jesus’ return is 2,000 years closer than when Paul wrote these words. We may be 2,000 years before that blessed event yet today, but Scripture tells us to be prepared. It could be 2,000 years from now. It could be today.

This is Paul’s charge from chapter 4:

  1. Preach the Word
  2. be prepared in season and out of season
  3. correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction
  4. keep your head in all situations
  5. endure hardship
  6. do the work of the evangelist
  7. discharge all the duties of your ministry

Friend, our relationship with God has to be intentional. It cannot be mere emotion, or something we put on a shelf like a trophy. You and I need to be using our minds, keeping our heads in all situations.

In chapter 3 Paul talks about the evils of the last days and warns us about those who live lives of greed, pride, disobedience, slander… He tells us to have nothing to do with them. Why?

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires… 

Now before you men start to feeling smug here, I’ve known some pretty gullible men, too. I don’t think I’m going out of bounds to suggest this warning is for all of us. None of us are immune from the wiles of the devil.

And I can’t help but think evil is worming its way into our homes through the internet and cable TV. Be ware!

That’s why my prayer is that any who read this blog will be encouraged to be in the God’s Word every day. Reading. Studying. Praying about it. Memorizing it. Re-reading it. And obeying it. Please let God grow you and strengthen you through the pages of His precious Word. And take Paul’s charge to Timothy as your own.

 

 

January 20; Disgusting and Dirty

Genesis 19-21; 25:12-18; I Chronicles 1:28-31

This was tough reading today. The blatant sin in Sodom and Gomorrah, Lots’ willingness to allow his own daughters to be abused by sexual deviants, the strong hold sin had over Lot’s wife that led to her death, God’s fierce judgment on the inhabitants of the two cities, and the unimaginable sin of daughters seducing their father. It’s disgusting and dirty.

And familiar.

I am reminded that I should be appalled at the things I read in these verses in Genesis. I need to be appalled at what I see on TV and FB, read in the news, see in the lives of my family and friends. I need to be appalled at sin in my own life.

I need to see sin like God sees it: disgusting and dirty, and deserving damnation. I need to recognize sin, repent of it, resist it, flee from it at all cost. Because, even, if society has softened toward sin, God has not.

God, give me Your eyes to see sin like you see it. May I stop rationalizing it, ignoring it, and participating in it. I repent, Lord. Forgive me. I don’t want to be disgusting or dirty in Your sight. Make me clean through the blood of Your Son. And give me the desire and the strength to encourage others to do the same.

June 25 – False And Foolish

Lamentations 1:1-3:36

It is likely that, when we read Jeremiah’s lament over the condition of Israel and the devastating consequences they were experiencing as a result of sin, we are tempted to say, “Boy! God was really mad at the Jews.”

But I am reminded that the Bible is not merely a history book. It is alive and active and powerful for today. What was true for the nation of Israel in Jeremiah’s day is still true today for the 2016 Church.

I know there are some wonderful things happening in the name of Jesus throughout the world. I know there are many of you who are standing on the Truth of Scripture, who are sharing the Gospel with boldness. I thank God for you, and praise Him for souls saved because of your faithfulness.

Yet sometimes when I read the Bible I get a sense of urgency. Warning bells go off. Like when I read 2:13b-14:

To what shall I liken you as I comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea; who can heal you? Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

This makes me think about the number of “churches” that have eliminated the word “sin” from their theology. Larger denominations that have accepted, and even promote sin in regards to abortion and homosexuality. The growing number of divorces happening in Christian homes, indicating that a vow to God is meaningless. The emphasis on positive thinking, deserving happiness, taking care of yourself before all others.

I think about the “tolerant” mantra being repeated by people claiming to be Christians, the acceptance of multiple paths to God, the denial of the inerrancy of Scripture, and the idea that Jesus wasn’t really God.

The prophets in Jeremiah’s day spouted false and misleading oracles. And Israel was suffering the consequences for going along with them. We’ve got some of those kinds of prophets yet today. I believe God is very clear to warn us that if we go along with them, we’ll suffer the consequences, too.

I hope you’ll read Lamentations and ask God to speak to your heart about your own relationship with Him, and what your church fellowship is feeding on.

Are we as broken before God over sin in the Church as Jeremiah was over sin in Israel? May it be so.

March 30 – Living With The Enemy

Judges 1-2

Israel didn’t drive out the enemy like God had told them to do. Yes, it would have involved force, it wouldn’t be easy. But, like Judah who didn’t drive the enemy out of the valley because they had “iron chariots,” the Israelites chose to live among the enemy. Clearly not what God had wanted for them. (besides, what is an iron chariot next to God?)

God had promised them He would go before them in battle. God had promised them victory. Either Israel was too lazy, or they didn’t really believe God when He told them living with the enemy would cause them to sin.

So, the Jews lived among idol worshipers. And the result? The Bible tells us that their children were “another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (2:10)

Oh, their kids knew about Baal. But they didn’t know God.

I have lived six decades. In my lifetime I have seen the decline of morality and the reverence and fear of a Holy God. I have seen worship turn into entertainment, and the Truth replaced by a lie.

God is speaking to me today. I am a part of the decline of Christianity. Have I cleared out my own Promised Land like God has commanded me? Have I eliminated sin from my life, or do I live with a hint of jealousy? Do I watch that one ungodly TV show? Do I take God’s name in vain on occasion? Am I too busy to read God’s Word and pray, replacing my worship of Him with busyness?

Do I love this world a bit too much? Have I grown numb concerning sin, accepting sin or tolerating it?

God would have me clear out the land. He has said that living with the enemy can only turn out badly for me… and for the dear ones who come after me.

God, reveal those areas in my life where I have allowed Satan to exist. I don’t want anything to do with him. I don’t want his influence to have any hold on me. I want to be free from the bondage that results by allowing sin to exist in me. You died to free me. Forgive me for squandering that. I don’t want to live with the enemy. I want my life to be just You and me.