“Repent of Your Sins”

even-smaller-bug-light1

19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. — Acts 3:19 NLT        

 Acts 3:17-21 ISV

Except for Jesus, all humans were born with a sinful nature. We, including Jesus, were brought into a sinful world.  Before the death and resurrection of Jesus, most people could use the excuse of ignorance of that fact as a reason not to accept His story.  Even in today’s world of high tech and instant communications, there are still some who can legitimately say that they have never heard the name of Jesus.  Although the Gospel has been preached in every country, it is believed that there are more than 6550 people groups that have never heard the gospel.  There are even more groups who have heard the Gospel but don’t have established Christian organizations to witness to each and every one of the people. Even in our own country and in a lot of our own neighborhoods, there are those who may have heard the name of Jesus but have little or no idea of His story of eternal life.

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.7 If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.” – John 14:6-7 ISV

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

“I Will Never Again Remember Their Sins “

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds,​ and I will never again remember their sins.”​ – Hebrews 8:12​

In yesterday’s passage, we read about erecting landmarks and altars to remind us of the goodness of God.  We were reminded of how He provides for us and watches over us so that we might proceed safely on our journey.  He has established a new covenant with us beginning with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Instead of an earthly high priest, Jesus is our high Priest.  He has made each of us members of the royal priesthood.  We can now speak directly to God Himself.  He is the complete, final sacrifice so that it is no longer necessary for us to carry out the rituals required in the Old Testament.  Along with that new covenant, He has written His laws in our hearts and in our minds.  He has chosen to forget our sins against Him  The Holy Spirit testifies that this is true.  ( Hebrews 10:14-18).  Just as God forgives and forgets our sins, we are to forgive others. To do that, we are going to have to go back through the memories of our lives and tear down some mental landmarks.  All those memories that bring back the times we have felt or actually been mistreated are going to have to be dealt with and released into God’s captivity.  As humans, we may not be able to forget entirely, but if we follow the instructions given us in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 to bring every thought captive and teach them to obey Christ, then we will find that it is completely possible to make those bad times in our lives insignificant.  If not insignificant, then, at least, no longer worthy of mentioning.  Otherwise, they become the roots that produce fruits of bitterness.  Give those thoughts to God and allow Him to tear down the landmarks before they become strongholds that keep our relationship with God from growing into maturity.

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

“No One On Earth Who Is Righteous”

even-smaller-bug-light1

20  Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. — Eccel. 7:20 NIV

We all fall, but we don’t stay fallen.  I am encouraged by Paul whose claim to be the “chief of sinners” could be contested by some of us in today’s society. He clearly knew who he was, Whose he was and where he was on his journey. He lets us know that he is not there yet, but he is on his way and he is determined to arrive there.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 3:12-14 NIV


”Forgetting what is behind” is the example Paul sets for us. That is a hard thing for humans to do.  But, if we don’t practice that, then satan will use those memories of our failures to condemn us and make us feel unworthy to approach God and ask for His forgiveness.  If we allow this to continue, we will soon become beaten down with guilt.  Condemnation is from the devil, conviction is from the Holy Spirit.  Rebuke satan and his condemnation.  Accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and ask for His forgiveness.  Accept that forgiveness and “press on toward the goal to win the prize”.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:8-10 NIV

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

“Seven Things He Detests”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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

Proverbs 6:16-19 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

“You Will Die In Your Sins”

24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” – John 8:24 NLT

John 8:23-27 NLT

Jesus continues to try to convince the crowds of who He is. “You are of this world” but “I AM not”. Then He said to them because you refuse to believe you will die in your sins. The people repeated their demand, “tell us who you are”. Jesus said “I AM”. He tells them that He only says what He hears from the one who sent Him. You would have thought that hearing “I AM” would have reminded these Old Testament scholars of what God told Moses when Moses asks Him, “Who shall I say sent me and God replied “tell them that “I AM” sent you”. But just as Pharaoh refused to believe and his heart grew harder, so it was with the religious leaders and Pharisees of that day in Jerusalem. Let us speak the words that we hear the Holy Spirit say to us and pray that those word will fall on listening ears and the seeds of faith will be planted in the hearts of those that hear. When we are questioned, we too, can say that “I AM” has sent us.

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

Post 04-23-2020

“Remain In Fellowship With Christ”

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

i John 2:26-29 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 02-02-2020

“Love Each Other Deeply”

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.​ – 1 Peter 1:22 NLT1

Peter 1:22-25 NLT

The only way we can show our love for Jesus is by showing that love to others. Before we were cleansed from our sins, we only knew how to love the way the world loves. When we showed our love we expected love in return, it was a conditional love. I will love you if you love me. I will do things for you if you will do things for me in return. That is not the way Jesus loves us. His love is unconditional. He always loves us regardless of what we do or whether we ever return that love to Him. That is deep, heartfelt love. It is an eternal love that cannot be destroyed because its foundation is the love of Jesus Christ. Physically, we will all pass away unless the Lord comes back before that happens. Just as we see plants wither away every year, so will our physical bodies, but the love of Jesus and His Word are eternal. We have received and believed that Word, so we will be raised again to enjoy eternal life and love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While we wait, let us show sincere love for each other, not only in our words, but in our actions​.

Mark 12:29-31 NLT

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

Post -10-11-2020

“He Is Faithful and Just”

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us,if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless over night and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.

John 12:35-36 NLT

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

Post 08-24-2019

“Be Careful Not To Fall”

12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. — 1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT
1 Cor. 10:12-17 NLT

No matter whether we are new Christians or have served God most of our lives, we still have faults and weaknesses.  Not one of us has a corner on the depths of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures.  We need to always have a teachable spirit and attitude.  When pride leads us to the point that we think we can’t be tempted, watch out, we are about to fall.  When we think “oh, I would never get to that point”, be very careful that you are so proud of your discernment.  The evil one knows our weaknesses and exploits them with amazing dexterity and cleverness.  The sly old fox is always lurking around us waiting for that moment of weakness when he can shoot an arrow through the chink in our Spiritual armor.  One of his favorite tactics is compromise.  A little of this, just this time, won’t hurt and anyway, who’s going to know?  The devil is very adept at showing us beautiful things that turn out to be nothing but illusions. “It’s just a little lie, it’s just a little sin” is a big lie that he wants us to believe. Be very careful, it is “the little foxes that spoil the vines” – Song of Solomon 2:15

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

Post 04-25-2019

Thoughts Eventually Lead to Actions

even-smaller-bug-light1

Each of you must know how to control his own body in a holy and honorable manner, not with passion and lust like the gentiles who do not know God. – 1 Thess. 4:4 ISV
 
 
Paul, in his letters, to the churches reminds them of the things he has taught them about how to live a Christian lifestyle. He continually encourages them to study, to pray for and encourage each other.  These letters were written to churches whose members understood persecution.  They lived with it every day. He was a great example to them because of all the beatings and persecutions that he endured on an almost daily basis.  We don’t have to face those types of offenses every day like they did. But, the temptations of the flesh that Paul warns them against are just as real today as they were then.  As long as we are on this earth, we will be tempted to sin. But, we are also told that we will never be tempted above that which we can bear and there is always a way out, if we want to avoid the sin badly enough. Our flesh tempts in some many areas, we can sin when we gossip, when we hate others, when we withhold our abundance of worldly goods from those around us, when we see others hurting and don’t take the time to comfort them. When we think unkind thoughts about others, even though we don’t say the words, the harm is done to us and our relationship with God. The world is a cesspool of temptations for the flesh.  All of these sins are outside the body, except for sexual sin, which defiles the temple of the living God, Our bodies were created by God to glorify God.  When we participate in illicit sexual activity, whether in thought or action, our bodies and souls are bound with those bodies and desecrate the Temple.

 
 15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute! 16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute. 17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.. — 1 Cor. 6:15-17 NCV

So, we must be careful to avoid all temptations, but, especially sexual temptations.  So, when you feel that nudge to walk away from a situation, don’t just walk away, Run!

 

18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, 20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies. — 1 Cor. 6:18-2​0

 

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

Post 07-15-2018