Little Sins, Really?

even-smaller-bug-light116 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. — Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

Somewhere at sometime,​ satan deceived someone into thinking and/or believing that God has a prioritized list of sins ranging from “little” to “big”.  That lie has been propagated throughout the generations, much to satan’s delight. A short study of Scrpture will quickly prove that untrue.The above verses in Proverbs and this one from The Revelation are good examples.
 

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” — Rev. 21:8

God doesn’t see lies as black and white, to Him, lies are lies, period.  While the external effects of some sins are greater than others, the internal effect to each of us committing those sins is the same.  Sin, any sin, separates us from the love of God.
 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear. — Isaiah 59:2
As long as there is unconfessed sin in our lives, we limit what God can do for us and through us.  Just as the rebellion of the children of Israel limited God in the wilderness, we do the same thing. If we continue to live a lifestyle of rebellion and unconfessed sin, God has no choice but to withdraw His blessings and protective covering over our lives. The children of Israel were defeated in battles when they were disobedient to God.  We live defeated lives, when we refuse to obey and confess our sins. 
 
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41
God knows every minute part of us and every thought that we have, we cannot hide it from Him. When we have sinned, instead of running from Him, we need to run to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms.
 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16
Post 10-09-2015

Stop the “Busyness” and Rest in Jesus

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.​ 3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”​ “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.​–John 21:1-​3​ (NLT)
​After some few days ​(at least 9, possibly more), the disciples decided to go fishing. They had seen Jesus and knew that He had risen from the grave, but the Holy Spirit had not yet come. For three years they had had a leader and a constant companion. Now, they were like sheep without a shepherd. As most of us do when we don’t know what else to do, we go back to doing what we used to do. Peter, having the strongest personality, seems to have become the temporary leader by default. They fished all night without success. “Busyness” for the sake of being busy is not usually very productive or satisfying.. They were most likely feeling very tired, alone and frustrated. When we have been with Jesus for a while and then we drift away, we have had that feeling. Kinda like you are lost at sea and just bobbing around on the waves. We may not know where we are or which direction to go, but Jesus knows exactly where we are and what we need. We have an advantage the disciples didn’t have at that time. We have God the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Unlike them, we are never alone. If you have these kind of feelings now or any time, just stop and let Jesus wrap you in His arms. He is waiting for us, just as the disciples will discover that He is waiting for them.
Post 03-10-2015

Take Heart

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

​2​9 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively.30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”​ ​ 31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”—John 16:29-33 (NLT)
​As Jesus spoke plainly to His disciples, they found it easier to understand the things He was telling them. Now they understood and believed that Jesus was the
Son of God. Now Jesus tells them that each one of them will abandon Him in His time of suffering. But He assures them that He will not be alone, even when they all leave Him. Jesus explains to them that they will have trials and sorrows in this world, but they can still have peace because He has overcome the world. We will have our times of trials as well. But we have someone now that the disciples didn’t have until later. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came to take His place. The Holy Spirit is not another god, He is the same God in a different form to perform a different function. We should not fear the trials and temptations that will come our way, because we have someone inside us who is more powerful than anything in the world.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.—1 John 4:4 (NLT)
​How can we be called “over-comers” and “more than conquerors”, if we never have any pro​blems to overcome or battles to win?
Post 02-16-2015

Plug Into the Power

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”—John 16:25-28 (NLT)
​When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while​ ​seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they​ ​understand​—Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
(If you are wondering why Jesus spoke in parables, ​let me encourage you​ to do an exegetical study of Matthew 13:10-17)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. ​Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.
​[When I started writing this short devotional, this is not where I thought I was going, but here I am and It sure feels right​. I am glad you came with me.]
Post 02-15-2015

From Tears of Sadness to Tears of Joy

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

20 I tell you the truth, you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but your sadness will become joy. 21 When a woman gives birth to a baby, she has pain, because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the pain, because she is so happy that a child has been born into the world.
22 It is the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again and you will be happy, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will not ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.—John 16:20-24 (NCV)
​From desperation ​to delight, a part of the journey that most, if not all, of us must go through on our way to heaven. It’s that part of the journey we would like to skip, but God doesn’t allow any shortcuts. It is in those times that we learn where our true allegiance is. The disciples had been on a mountain top experience while they were walking with Jesus, but now they were in the valley. But as the McKameys sing’ “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley”. At this point in time, the disciples didn’t have the luxury of looking at the cross from the resurrection side. Those three days would seem like a lifetime to them. Jesus knew this and encouraged them to be faithful. Ask the Father in my name and He will fill you with joy, the fullest, possible joy.
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:13 (NASB)
Post 02-14-2015

Don’t Give Up!!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

​​1 “I have told you these things to keep you from giving up. 2 People will put you out of their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are offering service to God. 3 They will do this because they have not known the Father and they have not known me. 4 I have told you these things now so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. “I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you then. 5 Now I am going back to the One who sent me. But none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?–John 16:1-5 NCV
​Jesus is warning His disciples and us th​at there will be times when the path will not be so smooth. There will be times when we are mistreated and offended for the Gospel’s sake, but we need to press on. Paul thought he was doing a service for God when he was persecuting and killing Christians. He was walking in darkness but he encountered a powerful Light that changed his life. As long as Jesus was here with the disciples He knew that He would be the target for all the abuse. But now that He was leaving, He knew that He had to reinforce the things He had been teaching them. We need that same encouragement every day in our lives. It is easy for us to become frustrated and want to give up, but we have a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. He is always with us. As Paul learned after his life-changing event, we must suffer with Christ. There is a cross for each of us to bear. But we must remember and hang onto the conclusion that Paul came to in his journey.
18 The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. 19 Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.—Romans 8:18,19 NCV
6 God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again–Philippians 1:6 NCV

Post 02-10-2015

“It Was Right For Her”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 Six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from the dead.) 2 There they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food, and Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. 3 Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet, and then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. 4 Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ followers who would later turn against him, was there. Judas said, 5 “This perfume was worth three hundred coins. Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” 6​ ​But Judas did not really care about the poor; he said this because he was a thief. He was the one who kept the money box, and he often stole from it. 7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone. It was right for her to save this perfume for today, the day for me to be prepared for burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”–John 12:1-8 (NCV)
​The​ purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary setting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day.
Post 01-13-2015

True Believers Are Never Without Jesus

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

17 When Jesus arrived, he learned that Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was about two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many of the Jews had come there to comfort Martha and Mary about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask.” 23 Jesus said, “Your brother will rise and live again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know that he will rise and live again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die. 26 And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?” 27 Martha answered, “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the One coming to the world.” —John 11:17-27 (NCV)
​As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him​, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, ​my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
​If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret​? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said:
23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.–Philippians 1:23 (NLT)
Post 01-08-2015

From Stormy Seas to Eternal Bliss

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough.19 They had rowed three or four miles​ ​when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!—John 6:16-21 (NLT)
​The​ disciples became concerned when Jesus didn’t return before dark. Assuming that He had gone on without them, they started to cross the sea of Galilee. Sudden storms were not unusual on this sea. Even though they were experienced fishermen, crossing the sea at night could be dangerous. Seeing someone walking on the sea anytime, but particularly in these conditions, would certainly be frightening. Jesus assures them that it is really Him and they shouldn’t be afraid. Gladly, they allowed Jesus in the boat with them. Now, an amazing thing happens, There is no mention of Jesus calming the sea. Instead, they immediately find themselves at their destination. The sea (or lake) is 8 miles wide and they had only rowed three or four miles. Wow! Forget Disney World, that trip across the rest of the lake is one I would love to take! So, when we find ourselves in stormy seas, we just need to hang on, Jesus is coming for us and we are going to take a trip with Him that has never been equaled or even imagined. We will join Him in the air and He will take us home to heaven! So, now matter how bad it seems right now, just remember what Paul said:
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay–Romans 8:18-21 (NLT)
Post 11-25-14

And the Man Believed

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. 48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”​ 49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”​ 50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.​ 51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.—John 4:46-54 (NLT)
​Jesus​ went about doing good, healing all kinds of diseases and sickness and raising people from the dead. When the official heard that Jesus was in Galilee, he went to Him and begged Jesus to heal his dying son. Jesus said “Go back home, your son will live.” The man believed Jesus and started home. On the way home, he met some of his servants who confirmed that Jesus was indeed correct. When we hear the words of Jesus spoken to us either orally or by the Holy Spirit abiding in us, do we believe? If we can believe Jesus for our eternal salvation, why is it so hard for us to believe that He can and will heal us? Paul tells us there is no reason for us to ever doubt that God will give us everything we need.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?—Romans 8:31​, 32​ (NLT)
Post 11-13-14