Archives For sin

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“And such were some of you.”

Paul wrote those words in the context of a list of sins inconsistent with inheriting the kingdom of God. It isn’t an exhaustive list but a list nonetheless that helps us capture the picture. He names the sexually immoral, the idolaters, the adulterers, the practicing of homosexuality, the thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the revilers, and swindlers. In this broken world, Paul illuminates our collective brokenness but doesn’t leave us hopeless in our brokenness. Instead, Paul composes a way forward to ultimate healing.

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.”

This side of wholeness is a difficult place to advance. Our sins often work to claim us and shape us. It is a never-ending battle. A battle against the voice that speaks to you, “It is who you are, give in, give over.” However, there is another voice that speaks, a groaning in us. A groaning of the Spirit of God inside of us. A groaning that calls us onward to a day in the future where there is no more sin. A place where our sins that live on this side of wholeness will be buried forever, never to tempt us or disfigure us again.

Take time today to read that list of sins found in 1 Corinthians but don’t focus on the sins with which you have no struggle. Instead, concentrate on the one’s you know you have lurking in your closet. Only then can you identify with the struggles of others who fight a different sin from yours.

That Weight Or Sin

March 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

Do you have a weight or a sin to set aside? If so, Jesus loves you too much to leave you where you are. The scriptures teach us that we must put off the old, be renewed in our minds and put on the new life that is found in Christ. Paul spoke in terms of dying daily. As Christ-followers, we must continually look ahead to the end goal of standing before Christ faces-to-faces.

Standing before Christ on Judgment day doesn’t have to be a thing of dread. Daily we can judge ourselves as concerning any weight or sin and do something about it right now. We can confess anything to God with a heart of repentance and He will forgive us of all unrighteousness. We are called to lay aside weights and sin!

Growing up my Father owned his own business. Each year, he would take the men and their kids on a fishing trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have incredible memories of those fishing trips. My Father loved making His on sinkers out of lead. He had all kinds of molds for different shapes and sizes. He would take a block of lead and melt it down and pour it into the different molds. I used to love watching him make the sinks and the best part was he taught me how to do it also.

One year he had several of the young kids put the weights on the fishing poles in advance of the trip. His thinking was it would save time by putting the weights and hooks on before we got to the Other Banks. All of us kids had fun tying the weights on the line, but the big mistake was no one checked the knots to make sure all was correct. The first day on the pier was a funny one! We had prepared about seven rods in advance and from all indications, it was going to be a great start to the week.

Each of use took a rod and prepared to cast them for the first time. Carefully checking behind us we each brought our fishing rods back and then propelled them forward to cast. Four of the seven rods gave us a surprise! The lines let go of the weights and all we could do was watch them fly through the air on a path to the deep blue grave of the ocean. As the fishing lines loosely fluttered in the wind, splashes in the ocean told the story of knots being tied wrong. Needless to say, we finally got everything right and had a great week but the point I want you to see, the illustration I want you to hold is the picture of the weight being let go to never been seen again.

If there is a weight of sin in your life today that is keeping you from moving forward with God, then you need to bring your spiritual fishing rod back and propelled that weight or sin into the deeps of his forgiveness to never see it again.

 

 

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God wants our private life, and our public life to line up for His glory. It’s been said, “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.”

There have been times in my life that I’ve played the hypocrite. For example, I’m kind to those in the church body, and even to total strangers. You would never find me raising my voice in uncontrolled anger to someone outside my family. (Well, almost never)

However, there have been times in my life, I find myself doing the opposite of the right thing. I find myself not being patience with my family. I find myself raising my voice to my children, instead of treating them with proper respect.

How about you today? Have you experienced similar things in your own life? Maybe even something much darker? Maybe you have a private sin you have kept hidden away from the world. You keep telling yourself that it hurts nobody but you. However, deep down you know that’s not the truth. Your hidden sin makes you more and more depressed, and you find yourself taken your angry, and frustrations out on those you love the most.

Private faithfulness is the true test of where you are in your walk with Christ. If your private faith is off track, you public faith is a walking zombie.

In 2 Samuel, chapter 12, the story of King David committing adultery, and murder is shared. If you have time read the whole chapter. David concealed his sin, but God eventually sent Nathan to confront him. David ends up repenting in Psalm 51 and asks God to restore the joy of his salvation. David repented and realigned his public and private faith.

If you are having trouble letting go of a private sin I want to offer you a challenge.  I want you to visualize something for me for the next 7 days.

glasshouse

Visualize your home, and your life, as a glass house that everyone can see what you doing. Would you choose to sin? Most likely you wouldn’t.  Here in North Carolina, there is a town called McAdenville. Each year, many of the residents decorate their homes with Christmas lights. People drive from everywhere to view the homes and lights.

From the outside, it all looks good. However, on the inside of those homes are real people with real lives. It would be amazing if all those homes were glass. I bet the people on the inside would live their best life knowing that everyone could see them.

Go ahead; give it a try this week. Visualize yourself as a glass house and see how much better you do.

failure

When I fail, I fall on the mercy of God, and grace picks me up.

Let’s face it, you are going to fail God, you are going to need His mercy and grace. I personally don’t find it odd that mercy and grace are not the first feelings I get after failing God. The first feeling I get (or receive) is guilt.

Followed by guilt comes depression, insecurity and self-defacing statements, none of which leads me to where I need to be for wholeness again. Guilt is a strong voice that often says you are worthless, and you should just give up all together.

If you allow it to be, guilt can be a taskmaster that throws mercy and grace far from your reach. However, that need not be the case. The moment you feel guilt, you need to understand deep in your heart, that you are loved by God. Guilt gives birth to the fear that God doesn’t love you anymore because you have failed Him. You begin to falsely think that God’s unconditional love is for everyone else,  but not you.

Guilt that comes from the enemy of our soul has no hope to give. You must never forget that truth. Ungodly guilt is void of mercy, grace….AND HAS NO HOPE! Ungodly guilt screams, “Forgiveness is not an option!” However, deep down…way down in our hearts, we know…forgiveness is the ONLY option that truly works.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Your failures do not define you! Never stop telling yourself that truth. God’s love for you defines you.

When I fail, I fall on the mercy of God, and grace picks me up. What about you?