Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Peril of Adultery

This will be the hardest blog post that God has laid upon my heart to write so far. It is on an issue that has and is consuming many people in our world today. And to be completely honest with you, if I'm not careful it consumes me. Adultery, a word that many believe to be a physical act of sexual infedility. However the Bible clearly states that "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28. You see our world has sugar coated the world adultery with the word Lust. It's ok to lust after someone, afterall nothing will ever become of it. That could be nothing farther from the truth. You see it starts in the mind, you perceive these images, these fantasies, and you start to believe them. You start to live in them. It becomes who you are, it becomes what you want, it satisfies you, it leaves you wanting more. Eventually you pursue that next step. That's why the amounts of teens having sex these days is at a startling high. Do you think they just all of a sudden wanted to do the do? NO, it was a process that started as "lust" and led to more.

You know the Bible is straight forward in its approach to this issue. 1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee from sexual immorality..." Not just stay away from it, but run as fast as you can in the other direction. RETREAT. The Book of Proverbs talking about an adulterous woman states "Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house," 5:8. I really feel that this verse is full of applicable wisdom in our lives. "And do not go near the door of her house." What does this mean? Do not put yourself in a situation where these thoughts of actions occur. Do not go near them. In other words if your computer causes you to participate in adulterous activity do not use it. If watching certain movies causes you to have adulterous thoughts quit watching them. If a certain girl causes you to engage of think in an adulterous way, leave. Do Not Go Near the Door of Her House. Why? Because its sin, it comes in between us and God. It consumes us, it takes us away from the Best that God has in store for us. Well you say this is radical, do you really expect me to do these things? To give up the computer, a relationship, or certain movies? I don't expect you too but the word is clear Do Not Go Near the Door of Her House. Afterall, was it not radical that our Savior was Crucified, that He gave it all up for you and Me?

In the Book of Matthew Jesus says "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, that for your whole body to be cast into hell," 5:29-30. Get rid of the things that cause you to fall into the trap of adultery. Jesus himself said this not me. Is it going to be a struggle? Dang right it is, an everyday battle. You see Satan has filled this world with signs and signals that prompt us towards adultrous thoughts. TV advertisments, television shows, magazines, clothing, and the list goes on and on and on... But you know what, Our God is Greater, Our God is Stronger 1 John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater that he who is in the world." Our god is greater.

There is no doubt someone out there who is reading this and is struggling. Someone out there who needs help. Someone out there in need of the Love and Forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can provide. The Bible says that God is love and in 1 John 1:9 the Bible states "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Not just wipe away our sins, but cleanse us of our sins. Take us to a heavenly bathtub and wash them away, send them down the drain. You may say, You have no clue what I have done? To which I reply you have no clue what I have done. But what I do know is that God forgives all of all because he gave us His All. There is no partiality. Are you willing to accept his forgiveness today dear Friend? If so, ask him for forgiveness, receive his forgiveness, Repent/walk away from that sin, and Give It all, and Live it all for Him.

Romans 8:31 "What then shall we say to these things? If our God is for us, who can be against?
Phillippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Our God

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stumbling Block

I’m sitting with a friend of mine one night casually talking amidst a large crowd of people. We were discussing everything from football to sunrises. Suddenly the talk turned to religion and the exact words from his mouth were “You know I don’t get Christians. They say all of these things and you know look over there those two girls are the drunkest two at this party. They are no different than I am.” Unknowingly to those to individuals, they had become a stumbling block in the life of my friend.

In the book of Romans God offers gives us some advice Romans 14:21 “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.” You know I like what my friend tweeted on this subject matter when she tweeted “ So being a Christian, yeah sometimes you have to give up what you love the most in order to obey Christ and in order to keep others from stumbling. “ You see Christ is telling us here that we are not to do anything that will come in between another individual and Christ. Instead, we should be paving the way to Christ. What exactly is a stumbling block? It’s any action, word, deed, activity, attitude, or image that a Christian does that repels or trips individuals up who are on their way to God. A person can stumble by hearing the way we talk, the jokes we make, the attitudes we have, the things we drink, the things we do. You see anytime we are not whole heartedly seeking God we run the risk of being a stumbling block to others.

You might say well God is asking me to give up things that I really love, things that define me, things that make me who I am. Well I’m here to tell your friend that Jesus gave it all for us. He nailed his life on the Cross for you and for me. He loved us enough to give away the thing that kept alive, his life in order that we could have eternal life. You see he being infinite suffered in a finite period of time what we being finite should have suffered in an infinite period of time. He loved us enough to do this for us and if we have accepted Him we are His, we have been redeemed, and we are called to love Matthew 27: 37-39 “Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” You see because we love God, we love people. And in order to Love people we must mold ourselves after God. He gave up His life in order that WE COULD BE SAVED, therefore we are to give up the things in our lives that do not bring him Glory, that cause or could cause others to stumble in order that others MIGHT BE SAVED. To keep our witness in check. You see nobody wants to told about Christ by someone who they see living in a way that contradicts what they are saying. They will not listen when they are stumbling. Do you want to cause someone to stumble, to keep them from coming to Christ? I certainly don’t.  You know the word states this “Greater love has no one that this, that to lay down one’s life for his friends,” John 15:13. God has laid down his life for us, His friends. Are we willing to lay down the things in our lives that cause our friends to stumble?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spiritual Spell Check

About two weeks ago I was reading through the blog a noticed the tremendous amount of spelling errors that were throughout all of the posts. I was and still am embarrassed by the amount of errors that were on the page; however I learned a deep lesson through this process.  We have this modern invention these days called spell check, which looks over our writings and helps us to correct the mistakes. It serves as somewhat of an editor; it judges our writings to keep us from making foolish mistakes. It saves us from getting a bad grade on our English papers or looking like a retard on blogs. The unfortunate part about this technology is that it is not readily available everywhere you type on a computer, just Microsoft Word in my case.

 All I had to do to keep my work spelling error free was use this software, let down the feelings of spelling invincibility and help myself out. Immediately following this episode with the blog, God really began to convict me at a personal level (which is why I have not posted in a while). Ever heard the phrase “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself?” That is exactly what God was telling me. Just like not using spell check, I had failed to evaluate my life, to look for sin, to judge myself to see my weakness, to see areas in which I was struggling and not honoring God. I was wrecking my relationship with God by be careless and doing whatever in the world seemed right. Thank God for his conviction and guidance.

In the Bible study that I lead we discussed Judging and that familiar passage came to my mind during that time Matthew 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother Let me remove the speck from your own eye; and look, the plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Let me preface this by saying that I was in no way judging anyone, I took this passage in a whole other context. You see, God has given us a spiritual spell check here. He is saying look into your own life for sin, listen to the conviction of my spirit, follow my guidance. REMOVE the PLANK from YOUR OWN EYE. You see as believers we are to constantly look at our lives to find areas that we can improve upon. We are to see where we a weak and exposed, areas where sin is beginning to creep into our lives. We are to be proactive instead of passive in this process. Why? Because it will keep us from having a long, hard, and great fall. 1 Corinthians 11: 31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”  Judging ourselves helps keep us on the path that God has for our life, it keeps us from straying too far away on the path of sin. It keeps us spiritually grounded in the faith.

The only part about judging yourself is it’s just like spell check, you have to use/do it for it to work. It just does not miraculously happen one day as your walking down the hall; it is a practice that you must apply. It is a discipline that requires a knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, being in sync with the spirit. Being willing to be truthful with yourself in order that you can face the harsh issues, it takes open ears to be willing to listen to God’s voice and conviction and a willingness to change. It is human nature to see ourselves as being perfect and keep on living the same way, but it is Holy submission to be willing to change in order that God can receive the ultimate glory from our lives. Take it from me dear brothers and sisters, Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”