Tag Archives: sin

June 24; The Truth Hurts

2 Kings 14:7-14, 5:1-7a; 2 Chronicles 25:11-24

The truth really does hurt sometimes. Especially if the truth reveals a sin or proves us wrong. It’s like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning. You just don’t like what’s looking back at you.

So often in the Bible we read about God’s prophets proclaiming the truth, then being persecuted for it. But what spoke to me today as I read God’s Word is that the men of God didn’t back down or change their message to make life easier for themselves. The truth was more important than their comfort, or acceptance, or even their lives.

We might look in that mirror in the morning and throw it crashing to the ground. But breaking a mirror doesn’t change what that mirror revealed. You still have that sleepy morning look. You just don’t have to look at it.

Being angry at God, or throwing out His Word doesn’t change what is revealed there, either. That sin God laid a finger on is still a sin. And until you repent of it, you will pay, whether or not you want to admit it or not.

Dear Ones, we need to know what the Truth is. We need to know what the Bible says. And we need to keep proclaiming it, even if it makes us uncomfortable, or results in persecution.

Because the Truth also heals. It is life-altering, wonderfully beautiful, and worth any grief we might receive in sharing it. God hates sin. God loves sinners. Sin comes with a death penalty. Jesus died. Grace is ours for the taking.

Speak the Truth, even if it hurts. Let’s be as faithful as the prophets we read about today, no matter what.

June 21; That’s Harsh

2 Kings 9:1-11:3; 2 Chronicles 22:7-12

Jehu obeyed God, as hard as it might have been. Every person in Ahab’s family from the oldest to the youngest was executed. All the priests of Baal were also killed. These were enemies of God, and they had to be eliminated. Sin had to be removed at all cost.

It’s tempting to think God through Jehu is too harsh, the penalty for being related to Ahab too severe. But that’s because we don’t understand how much God hates sin, no matter how small or how innocent we think the sin may be.

God abhors sin. God cannot exist where sin is; not in a nation, or a heart. Until we see sin through God’s eyes we will allow God’s enemy to live.

I’m certainly not talking about killing people. Jesus died so sin can be eliminated through His own blood, so no one ever has to die for sin ever again. But in order to receive the forgiveness Jesus bought there on the cross, we have to make that choice and accept it.

We have to put sin to death in our own lives, sever relationships if necessary, turn off the TV and computers, put down that glass or that bag of chips, forgive…

Hear God say to us that He is deathly serious about sin in all shapes and sizes. Hear Him say He will not tolerate your sin or mine. Hear Him as He shows us in His Word how He views sin, and how He deals with sin. His own Son died, took the penalty for every sin we’ve ever committed. God is that serious about sin.

It is harsh. You might think it’s too harsh. But you aren’t God. And the truth of the matter is, that harsh penalty was paid by Jesus on your behalf. I pray you accept it, embrace Him, and look at sin through His eyes.

June 17; Lying Spirits

I Kings 21:1-29, 22:1-25, 51-53; 2 Chronicles 18:2-34

The prophet Micaiah drew an allegorical picture of God in heaven having a conversation with the spirits. God asks: ‘Who will entice Ahab to go attack the enemy, and die in the battle?’ One spirit replies: ‘Let me do it. I’ll go and put a lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets.’ God tells the spirit: ‘Go. That should do it.’

My sister has some friends who visited a Mennonite church yesterday. I thought about their experience when I read these chapters. (I’m not saying this is the case in all Mennonite churches. But it is in this particular one)

There were openly homosexual couples in the congregation. The associate pastor was also homosexual. He called the children up front for the children’s message and pointed to a pile of white granules. Was it salt or sugar? You couldn’t tell. But salt can never be sugar, nor sugar ever be salt. He referenced a children’s book about a red crayon that tried to be blue because everyone told him he was blue.

The senior pastor’s sermon was about how God creates some people to be homosexual, so therefore does not condemn them. In fact, the pastor described himself as formerly being a “handicapped, white, straight guy” until the associate pastor helped him see the light, and his own brother confessed to being homosexual.

It’s not like they threw the Bible out. The pastor carefully chose verses that he could twist to support the lies.

Lying spirits in the mouths of prophets.

When Ahab heard the 400 prophets tell him to go to war, that God was going to give him the victory, then heard the one prophet warn him with the truth, Ahab chose to go with the lies. And it cost him his life.

The voices of the lying spirits are loud and strong today. And they are not just coming out of Hollywood. But listening to them will lead to death every bit as much as it led Ahab.

And it is an eternal death.

June 16; It’s Ours

Psalms 104, 114, 115; I Kings 20

The psalmist said something in 115:16 that has me thinking. He said that the heavens belong to God. But He gave the earth to man. Sometimes I think we blame God for the condition of our planet. But in reality, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

God entrusted His beautiful creation to us, and we have failed to take care of it. I’m not talking about the Global Warming farce. Although I believe responsible stewardship of God’s creation honors Him and benefits us.

I’m thinking  more along the lines of the only thing God created in His image. People. I’m not so sure we’ve taken good care of us. We’ve allowed sin to run unchecked, and people, whole nations are paying the price of our neglect.

I read about Ahab, an evil king, who was blessed by God for one reason. God wanted Ahab to know God is who He is. Ahab got the point that aligning himself with God meant victory in battle. But Ahab never really knew God enough to fear Him. He was able to disobey God without a second thought.

I’m wondering if we Christians aren’t satisfyed with spreading the word about who God is, without going a step further and leading people to the Savior. If someone goes to church, do we think our job is done? If someone calls themselves Christian, do we rest believing they understand what that means? I don’t think that’s doing a good job taking care of those created in God’s image.

I am reminded that God isn’t done with His creation. He is not throwing up His hands, and abandoning the human race. He is still in there trying to get our attention because He doesn’t want anyone to die without Him.

I remember when I bought my first house. I stood back and, in awe, said: “This is really mine.” I had a sense of excitement, wonder, and the overwhelming sense of responsibility. I wanted to take care of it, to mow the lawn, to pull the weeds and plant flowers. I actually wanted to dust shelves and vacuum carpet. I took pride in the condition of my home.

I’d like to feel that same way about the world. The heavens belong to God, but He has given the earth to me. To us.

Let’s take care of it like it’s ours.

 

June 12; There Is Still Some Good

I Kings 14:1-18,22-28; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12,18-23, 12:1-12; Psalm 89

When Solomon’s son Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah repented after having sinned as a nation, God did not destroy them like He said He would. When they humbled themselves, God delivered them. Their sin resulted in some consequences they had to live with, but God spared them.

Here is the verse that jumped out at me this morning. It’s found in 2 Chronicles 12:12, and it says:

“… Indeed, there was some good in Judah.”

I think this verse stood out to me because I think there is still some good in the USA, too. There are churches standing true to God’s Word, people being led to their Savior, Jesus Christ. There are state legislators who are taking a bold stand for life, and national leaders who are vocal about their faith in God. There are local fellowships reaching out to the lost, the needy, and the unloved in Jesus’ name.

Yes, I know that evil is rampant, that Satan’s lies are being proclaimed in the media, in our government and universities, and even from some pulpits. Yes, I know there are people killing people every day, and those who stand for the Truth of Scripture are being harassed. Our country is in serious trouble.

But Satan’s troops have nothing on the army of God. Evil can’t win when God is in it. When God’s people (that’s us Christians. What follows isn’t expected of non-believers) humble themselves, when we Christians repent of sin in our own lives, when those of us who say we follow Jesus REALLY follow Him, God will deliver us. He’s done it countless times before as recorded in the pages of His Word, and in the pages of history. He can do it again.

In fact, I believe He wants to do it again.

So come on, Church, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s do it! Let’s get on our knees and humble ourselves, one soul at a time. Then let’s see what God can do with the good that is still here in the USA.

June 11; A Look In The Mirror

I Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 10:1-9, 11:1-4, 13-17

Sometimes I read accounts like the one in today’s Scripture and I find myself shaking my head. The audacity of some to openly defy God, the in-your-face rejection of Him, astounds me. Jeroboam heard God’s Word, saw evidence that God was true, then turned around and did exactly what God had condemned.

This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall, and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (I Kings 13:34)

We can obviously make a connection to our own government. We can also see examples of this in the modern church. But, as always when I look into God’s Word, it’s like looking into a mirror. And sometimes I just don’t like what I see looking back at me. It hurts when God puts a finger on my heart.

I’d like to share what He is saying to me today. Number one, He has put His rules and expectations in writing. He has given clear instructions for living. He has proven Himself to be true over and over. I can make no mistake about it, God is holy and demands to be obeyed. Period.

Secondly, God hates sin. God punishes every sin. God cannot exist in harmony with sin. He makes it clear that our choice is either sin or Him. It can never be sin AND Him.

I know these things. Yet there have been times when I, and probably when you, have chosen sin over holiness, have neglected to do what He asks of me, and times when I knowingly, with an in-your-face attitude, have defied Him.

Like the foolish prophet, there have been times when someone who claims to have heard from God, says something that sounds right. Something inside of me questions whether or not it is truly Scriptural. But this someone says he’s a spokesman for God, and who am I to question that, right?

This morning as I look into the mirror of Scripture I am reminded that the only Truth is that which is written in the pages of the Bible. Anything, or anyone who adds to or contradicts what God inspired men to write down is straight from Satan.

And, if I believe that Scripture is true, I’d better be doing what it says. Because the Bible paints a holy, fearsome, powerful God who punishes every sin with death. It also clearly paints a picture of the cross. This harsh judge who has the power to condemn all of us, came to live with us in a human body, suffered and died on the cross, condemned Himself to the death we all deserve.

And He stands with open arms to receive any and all of us who go to Him.

Today, as I look in the mirror of Scripture I see a sinner saved by grace. I see a woman who was lost, now standing there wearing the holiness of the Savior. I see a woman who chooses Jesus.

June 10; Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

Ecclesiastes 11-12; Psalms 73, 88; I Kings 11:41-43, 14:21; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, 12:13-14

Solomon tried so hard to find meaning, contentment, and happiness. But he was looking in all the wrong places. Asaph almost lost his religion because he, too, was looking at the wrong things. He admitted he was jealous of evil people who prospered while he couldn’t catch a break.

“…in vain have I kept my heart pure…” (Psalm 73:13)

If we walk by sight, if we keep our focus on other people and circumstances, we will be as frustrated and depressed as Solomon, and as ready to give up as Asaph.

We who know the Lord, walk by faith in Him who is faithful. We keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We live to love Him, instead of living to have Him make our lives easy.

Solomon himself said that fearing God and obeying Him is everything.

And it is.