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January 22 – “Getting Past It”

January 21, 2013

“So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” – Mat 18:35

Well, you blew it… totally!  Way to go Leland.  Way to walk in the Spirit and let your light shine. Exactly what spirit were you listening to?  You still walk in the flesh.  You still pursue after pride, selfishness, and utter stupidity.  Really?  Because you are challenged, questioned, and accused, falsely or not; what right do you think you have to fire back, throw back accusations, and act like you have no respect for the sacrifice Christ made for you?  Who do you think you are?  Fall down on your knees and humble your pride!  Mourn for your sins.  Have a contrite heart and a broken spirit.  Until you do this, God cannot help you.

It is a good thing that forgiveness is quick and sincere in your family.  It is a good thing they will ignore the fact you acted like an idiot.  Listen to your nine-year old daughter.  She has rightly told you, “You need to forgive and just forget.”

Advice from a nine-year old?  Who am I to listen to her?  Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 18:4)

I couldn’t refuse…  she was right.  Sometimes the greatest lessons in life come in the simplest form.  Thank you, Amanda.

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January 21 – Becoming Righteous

January 21, 2013

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” – Titus 3:5

I don’t “become” righteous…
I am made righteous…

Because of Christ’s righteousness, and because He sacrificed Himself for me, it is counted to me as righteousness.  While in and of myself, dwelleth no good thing, God sees me as righteous because I wear a spiritual robe (Jesus Christ) who covers my sins.  I can then have communion and fellowship with God.

So thankful it was not up to me to get to Heaven on my own… but that my God loved me enough to pave the way for me.  And… so thankful I do not have to pay the penalty for my sins.  He already paid the price.  What an incredibly loving God I serve!

January 20- If the Lord wills…

January 20, 2013

“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15
Sometimes I am unsure of the Lord’s will in my lives.  In fact, James says this: James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit,’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you …ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
But, there is one thing I can be sure of about the Lord’s will.  Jesus said: John 6:40  “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Peter reminds me (2 Pet.3:9) the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” I am so thankful for a loving God who was willing to bring me salvation through His Son.
His will is to save me.  Will I believe Him and repent?

January 19- Does Anybody Have Morals Anymore?

January 19, 2013

Titus 2:11-12 “11 For the grace of God has come, giving salvation to all men, 12 Training us so that, turning away from evil and the desires of this world, we may be living wisely and uprightly in the knowledge of God in this present life…

Does anyone make moral-based decisions anymore? It seems as if nothing matters. I heard this yesterday, “it doesn’t matter anyway, His grace covers me.”
His grace certainly does; and one of the ways God has done that is by His grace teaching us right vs. wrong.  Folks, God’s grace teaches us how to live moral and godly lives, and what decisions to make in life.  Are we listening? I certainly do not and have not always chosen best, but that is no excuse to copout on this false idea.
“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid.” (Rom. 6:1)

August 9 – The Word Holds Me Accountable

August 9, 2012

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (ESV)

Just as I am accountable to God directly, I am also accountable to His revealed Word, which I know as the Bible.  As discussed yesterday, God disciplines those who are His legitimate children.

1 Cor. 11:32 says but when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (ESV)

The purpose, Paul says, is so I would not be condemned with the world.  This tells me that if I am not being disciplined, I’m in trouble.  The same is true with the Word.

The Word carries the same authority as it is from God.  I am also corrected and rebuked by the Word; and the Word trains me to be righteous.  For what purpose?  The same: so that I might escape the punishment inflicted upon this world with its sin.  Is it important that I then listen to what God is saying in His Word and respond accordingly? Of course.

It is with a grateful heart that I receive the discipline, correction, and even the rebuking of the Word.  For without it, I would not know The Way.

August 8 – God Holds Me Accountable

August 8, 2012

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. – Heb. 12:12-13

The Lord has a very loving concern for my well-being.  He loves me; so much so, that He will not allow me to be left to my own devices, rather, He disciplines me regularly.  In Hebrews 12, the writer clearly tells me this.  Without His discipline (admonishment, correction and instruction), I will most certainly be lost.  Yet, why is it, that when His discipline comes upon me, I resist it, and refuse to listen or take it, and am willing to suffer the consequences?  God will discipline, but I am also accountable.

I am reminded here that the Lord disciplines those He loves, those who are His children.  I must not resist; I must not give up.  I must know it is for my own good.

“It hurts Him more than it does me” is a bit of a cliché today.  This puzzled me when I was a child.  But as a parent, this statement rings true.  It is especially true with the Lord, considering the pain He took on my behalf.  Oh, it hurt Him then, and it hurts Him again if I refuse to respond appropriately.

“… since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” – Heb. 6:6

If I am not seeing discipline from the Lord, I’ve got a problem.  If I am not disciplined, I am an illegitimate chil­d and not a child of God.  His discipline causes me to live.  His discipline brings about righteousness and holi­ness in my life.  It may seem unpleasant at the time, but its product is peace and righteousness.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much that You would die for me; but also that you choose to live in me and daily create in me a new heart.  May I always be responsive to Your discipline and may You show yourself powerful through my weaknesses.

June 23 – Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth

June 23, 2012

SLOTH

Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy; that is, neglecting what God has commanded, and being physically and emotionally inactive.  Sloth can also indicate a lack of desire to take care of anything that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.  Could I be guilty of this spiritually?

Pro 15:19  The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

Rom 12:11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Heb 6:11-12  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Mat 25:26, 30  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Once again, this “Deadly Sin” called Sloth is a sin that begins in the heart and is a death warrant for my soul.