“Where Are Your Accusers?”

10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” — John 8:10 NLT

John 8:1-11 NLT

In this short passage of Scripture, we get to look at sin from all four sides.  There is sin as the devil sees it, a tool for death and destruction.  There is sin from the human viewpoint as seen by the accusers.  There is sin from the viewpoint of the one who committed the sin.  Then there is sin from the viewpoint of Jesus, a wrong that demands forgiveness.  The accusers had caught this woman in the very act of adultery, how this happened we are not told and we don’t need to know.  Under the law, the woman was guilty and deserving of death.  Jesus had come to change all of that.  He was bringing a new way of looking at and treating the guilty party.   From the reaction of the accusers when Jesus questioned them, we know that, at some point, all of them had transgressed the law.  In Jesus’s way of thinking, regardless of what they had done, they were as worthy of death as the woman was.  Under the law, there was big sin and little sin.  Under grace, there is just sin, liars are lumped right in there with murderers.  We may often find ourselves in the position of the accusers or in position of the woman who committed the sin.  Jesus was using this situation to teach a two-fold lesson. First, He was teaching them the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  If we were caught in this situation, would we want others to show us mercy?   Then we must show mercy.  The second and most important lesson is that sin is forgivable and that is the road we should choose.  To receive God’s forgiveness, we are required to forgive others of their sins.

MATTHEW 6:7-14 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“He Chose”

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25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. – Hebrews 11:25

Hebrews 11:24-28 NLT

Every day, we make choices about the things in our lives.  A lot of those decisions are almost robotic or habitual.  We do this at this time because we always have.  Some decisions require us to actually consciously think about them before we decide what to do.  Every now and then, we have what we refer to as “big” decisions.  These are the things that affect our lives today and in the future. Some of those decisions will be irreversible and affect all the people in our circles of influence whether we want them to or not.  Some of us will be given opportunities to make world-changing decisions, maybe all of us.  Do you think Moses had any idea that his decision that day was a world changer?  To him at that time, it was probably a small decision that only affected the lives of a few people. But, consider this, “what if” Moses had not made the decision he made. “What if”, he had decided that he liked the riches and the glory of Egypt more than his people, what would have happened? Reminisce with me today. Let’s think back over our lives, how many “what if” times have we had?  How many times has God given us opportunities to change our little corner of the world and we made the wrong decision?  The next person the Holy Spirit nudges us to witness to could be God’s choice to be the Moses or the Billy Graham of the next generation. “What if” we don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and talk to that person about salvation?  Today, let’s make a renewed commitment to be faithful in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit and encourage those around us. Let’s be faithful in the “little” things because “what if” there aren’t really any “little” things in our lives?  Now is “the time” and where you are is “the place” to make that “big” decision!

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:14 NIV

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Hate What Is Evil”

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. —Romans 12:9b NIV

The word hate seems almost totally opposed to the rest of Scripture. But we are told in Ecclesiastes, that there is a time to hate. It is hard for us to imagine God hating anything.  I think that is because we cannot comprehend the depth of His love for us and the price He paid to redeem us. God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. We are to follow His example in this. In our world, we are subjected to so much evil that we are losing our sensibilities to it. We must be very careful in our use of hate. satan will try to trick us into hating the sinner as well as the sin.As C S Lewis says in his book “The Screwtape Letters”:
“The demonic objective is to convince the hater that his/her hate is justified. The people who are being hated, deserve to be hated. Satan will even pervert the scripture in the cause of hate.”
Hating the sinner is never justified. So, after Paul tells us to hate what is evil, he immediately reminds us to “cling to what is good”. We must keep our focus on Jesus, if we are to cling to what is good. If we learn to truly hate what is evil, there are times when we will have to speak out against it. We need to pray without ceasing for discernment and boldness to do just that. Jesus shows us this example when He chased the money changers out of the temple.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“But Watch Yourselves”

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.—Gal. 6:1-3 (NIV)

When we see some Christian brother or sister that is caught in a sin, we should pray for that person. While we are praying for that person, we should also ask the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need to say to them. We need to ask God to give them a receptive spirit to the words and speak those words in love and offer to help them, if we can. Be sure we are not belittling or harsh in our comments. At the same time, we must be sincere and not back down if we personally know that we are speaking the truth and it is not just hearsay. Correcting our brothers and sisters just might be the hardest thing we are ever asked to do. Why? Because we are not perfect and never will be. We will have to risk rejection and possibly a bad reaction from them. If they respond badly, you may be tempted to react to their actions. Don’t!
Do not gossip (or as we Christians love to say, “share”) about the incident or the person. The next thing is to take other witnesses with you.

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.–Matt. 18:15-17 (NIV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“They Hated Me Without A Cause”

25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.-John 15:25 NLT

John 15:22-25 NLT

Jesus says that if He had not come to earth to tell us His story then we might have a reason to continue in sin. But now we have no excuse to continue living a sinful lifestyle. If we hate our neighbors, we will also hate Jesus and our Father, God. Still, every day we hear about more violence and more persecution. Christians are being beaten, and they are being thrown out of their homes just because they won’t deny Jesus. In North Korea, when a person accepts Christ, the pastor always makes sure that the person accepting Christ understands that they are signing their own death warrant. Even though, Christians are bringing a message of life to a dying world, very few people want to hear about it. Why? Because satan roams the world looking for those he can destroy. Just as God is perfect, complete love, satan is total, complete hate. satan’s motivation and weapons are envy, deceit and hate. Why do others hate Christians? Jesus made it very simple, they do not need a reason, a hater is going to hate.

Post 06-10-2020

“…Decided to Kill Lazarus, Too”

10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, – John 12:10 NLT

John 12:9-11 NLT

Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.

34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)

Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:

10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10, 11 (NCV)

The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:

21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

Life Or Death?

22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT

Romans 6:17-23 NLT

Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed.  We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh.  We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth.  That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body.  So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing.  It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it.  God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer.  Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make.  Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin.  Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations.  We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today. 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -04-03-2019

Sin is Sin is Sin!

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16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests: – Proverbs 6:16 NLT

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 Scripture 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.

2 ​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

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-26-2018

The King’s Kids

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10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. – 1 John 3:10 NLT

A child of God is anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we do that, our sins are forgiven and we become a new creation. We are filled with God’s light and where there is light, there can be no darkness. Does this mean that if we sin or fail that we are no longer God’s children? Not at all, each of us will fail at times. The question is not about a single sin, but a lifestyle of sin. If our salvation experience does not change our lifestyle then we need to question whether it was a real life-changing event or merely an emotional experience that we had. Don’t be deceived, God is faithful and just. Getting saved is a rational, logical experience. There may be emotions and feelings involved, but the true experience is a decision that we make to trust our souls and our future to Jesus. If we have done this, then there will be changes in our lifestyle. Some immediately, some as we mature in our walk with Christ. Our lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 07-10-2017

Fellowship Requires Obedience

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28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. – 1 John 2:28 NLT

We need to remember that we are always in God’s presence. He is omnipresent, there is no escaping His eye as it roams to and fro over the earth. We must strive to live holy lives every day.

17 I see everything they do. They cannot hide from me the things they do; their sin is not hidden from my eyes–Jeremiah 16:17 (NCV)


While our sins are forgiven, any unconfessed sins in our lives temporarily breaks our fellowship with God. That was the reason for the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. He knew that when all the sin of the world was put upon Him, His fellowship with Our Father would be temporarily broken. That would be the one and only time that would be true and it caused Him great anguish. We should feel that same anguish when we fail. When we fail, we should never let satan use that as a weapon to bring us down. What we should feel is not guilt or condemnation, but conviction that causes us to repent. But that is not the end of the story. Just as Jesus was restored to full fellowship with God, so will we be. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. So, He sees us as righteous just as Christ is righteous. Hopefully, as we strive to live obedient lifestyles, we won’t have to suffer through many of those times of broken fellowship.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 07-07-2017