Archives For conviction

Guilt Can Be A Good Thing

January 6, 2014 — 2 Comments

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Guilt can be a good thing if it’s helps you to see you have sinned against God. However, please hear this…guilt will never forgive you or heal you. The goal of course is to break free from the sin that so easily entangles you. After all, our calling is to be conformed to the image of God. God is shaping our character to reflect Him and His kingdom virtues. We are supposed to be salt and light to a world crying out for healing. We can’t be salt and light while living in open lifestyle sin.

When you sin against God and ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit you grieve Him. Since our path is narrow according to scripture, any other path leads away from God. To surrender to temptation is to choose to walk a path not intended. The aftermath of that choice is often guilt. Guilt only becomes bad when it leads you away in self-pity and self-seeking healing. Runaway Guilt is Adam and Eve running and hiding from God. Convicting guilt is from the Holy Spirit and leads to life.

What then is the answer after the fall? The answer is conviction. Conviction is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Conviction is the voice of reconciliation. Conviction draws you toward God to receive forgiveness from any and all sin committed. I’ve often said there is a difference between a man facing the cross and asking God to forgive him, than the one who is facing away from the cross trying to hide it all.

Hiding leads to guilt in the shadows and the weight of sin remains. Guilt that faces the cross leads to life and forgiveness. A great example of facing the cross is Peter. When Peter sinned, he confessed, and God forgave him. Adam on the other hand blamed God while trapped in guilt and tried to hide it. The desire of God is for each of us to bring our guilt to him. On the cross, Jesus died for your sins. He was the innocent for the guilty, so it is only at the foot of the cross that guilt is relieved. Now drop that fig leaf and be healed.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Is Sex Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence?

The fastest way to destroy your marriage is to allow yourself to fall into an emotional attachment to someone other than your spouse. Nothing can steal intimacy faster than this first step away from the covenant God has placed you in when you took your vows before God and the world. Now, let me say at this point; if you want to comment adultery, it’s your choice…but know this-it’s going to cost you. It will destroy your home and the lives of many around you. There is simply no way around the fact that it will cause pain forever.

Adultery promises fulfillment and excitement that you feel you are not getting at home. The problem is, it always fails to live up to that promise sooner or later. You must remember, love is not a feeling; love is an action that you continually do and feelings are secondary. The green grass on the other side of the fence has the same sun shining on it as the grass you are thinking about leaving.

Please remember, that the decision to cross the fence comes with consequences that are enormous and last for a lifetime. It has been said before, and I agree, “No sex outside of marriage is that good.” That new adventure also has it’s own disappoints of life waiting to show itself soon enough. Those feelings of loneliness, emptiness and boredom that is diving you to pursue someone else…they will soon surface in the next relationship also. The reason why is that those feelings are inside you. In other words, everywhere you go, there you are.

It’s a fact that most people don’t set out to commit adultery. They let down their guard, and they generally drift out to sea until land seems to far to return to. It’s like the frog place in warm water: you turn up the temperature little by little until the frog is cooked. The frog just thinks it’s having a warm bath but the truth is he is being killed.

Allow me to give you three things that will help you to remain faithful and keep you from wreaking you life and others.

1. Keep the marriage bed on fire and purse each other

Take the time to talk with your spouse about your needs, wants and desires. Share with each other what you are looking for in the bedroom. Come to an agreement for the sake of the marriage, your kids and God. Submit to each other the bible teaches us. Cultivate romance in your relationship again. I would encourage you to pursue your spouse the way you did when you first started dating. If you are not still dating your spouse, you need to restart that as fast as you can. Get a baby sitter and leave the kids at home. Go to a movie and a meal. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Talk about the beauty of the past and dream with each other about the beauty of the future.

2. Close the door on your heart to any other except your spouse

Make yourself accountable to a friend that will ask you about your flirting with others. Be open and honest with them and ask them to pray and ask you regularly about it. The bible teaches us that faithful are the wounds of a friend. Trust me, you need someone in your life that will speak truth without watering it down. You eyes are the gateway to the heart. Give your eyes back to your spouse and that feeling of him or her no longer having your heart will return like a flood.

3. Don’t deny you are being tempted

You and your spouse need to make a decision that you can freely and opening talk about your temptations. Temptation is not wrong. Temptation is not a sin. However, once you act on temptation sin is birthed. If you were at the office and someone was flirting with you or you were flirting with them…when you get home sit down and talk about it. You and your spouse need to decide in advance that these kinds of talk can and should take place without judgment. Confession can be risky, but the truth is, they can also save your marriage before it is too late.

Finally, if you are on the other side of adultery and have divorced and maybe even married again, and then grace and mercy from God is there when you repent of your sin. My advice would be this…go to the top of the post and read it again. Don’t commit the same SIN again.

Armpit Verses And Lights

October 2, 2012 — 2 Comments

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Luke 6:27-38
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

I’m a dedicated hunter. I get up early during hunting season, and head out the door long before the sun comes up. I love it. One of the places I hunt is way out in the country and just getting there in the dark of the night is quite difficult. There is one area of road that is about 5 miles long near the land I hunt and has more curves in it than a Monte Carlo racetrack. I drive slow and careful as the headlights light the way. Nothing is odd about that because that is what you do on a country curvy road in the dark.

Now let me share a situation and then submit a question. Suppose I was driving that same road in the dark of the night and decided to turn my lights off and navigate the road in the dark. What would you think about that decision?

You would think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. You would think I was mad because the natural thing that is going to happen sooner or later is…I’m going to run off the road and wreck. Just like turning my light off on a curvy road in the country would be crazy, so is turning your light out on an enemy.

Jesus said in Matthew 5 “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father which is in heaven.”

When you and I turn our light out on our enemies, it’s only a matter of time until we run off the road and bring dishonor to God’s love.

It’s our call and duty as Christians to shine our light on the just and the unjust because it’s the God thing to do. We know deep down these verses are the right way to live, the kingdom way to live, but knowing and doing are two different things. So what does God have to say about loving our enemies?

Some verses in the bible I call armpit verses. We prefer to put deodorant on them and move on. Luke 6 is a great example of some of these armpit verses. However, Don’t look at that passage as a list of moral rules to put a check beside of when you achieve them from time to time. Instead, look at it, as it truly is- the true character of God and the character that should be in his children.

N.T. Wright once said this, “Think of the best thing you can do for the worst person, and go ahead and do it. Think of what you’d really like someone to do for you, and do it for them. Think of the people to whom you are tempted to be nasty, and lavish generosity on them instead. These instructions have a fresh, springlike quality. They are all about new life bursting out energetically, like flowers growing through concrete and startling everyone with their colour and vigour.”

Leftovers From Little

September 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

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There are two things I find myself doing more often than I care to admit. These two things are embarrassing, and insulting to God.

Maybe you have the same problem as I do.

  1. I’m often controlled by what I don’t have
  2. What little I do have I often don’t place into the hands of God

The first one…

  • I’m often controlled by what I don’t have.

I often look around at other individuals, organizations and yes, even churches, and I say to myself, “If I only had the things they have…I could do just as good, if not even a little better.”

What about you? Have you ever done that in your own life? (bet ya have)

The next one is…

  • What little I do have I often don’t place into the hands of God

I look around and I see the very little I seem to have and I say to myself, “Giving this little bit to God wouldn’t make a difference at all. In fact, it would be kind of embracing.”

What about you today? Have you ever had these kinds of thoughts? (I bet you have.)

But here is what I want you to know today.

When you get your eyes off others, God can create a banquet out of what 
little you give Him and still have leftovers

Every one of us desires to be part of God’s Kingdom story.  We want to be used greatly by Him.  However, we often miss out- because we have allowed… What we don’t have to control us, and what little we do have to become an excuse for not doing anything. We believe that God can and does writes stories through the lives of others, but not through us.

I want you to know today…That’s a lie! There is plenty of room in God’s story to be part of the story.

He is still writing through His children daily when you get your eyes off others, and turn over your little bit to Him to be blessed, broken and returned back for you to steward to the world.

Read Through John 6:1-15 to see how God takes the little we give Him and 
creates leftovers. Also, to go deeper you can listen to Leftovers From Little