Monday, April 25, 2011

Hidden Sins Part I

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
   but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
  Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
   but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble”.    Prov. 28:13-14 NIV
The Easter Story is God taking a life which was being spent on self, the pleasures of this world, blinded by deception and turning it around to achieve all of His good purposes.
The “New Creation” is living as a new man in Christ which enables you to live a life with real meaning.  The greatest tragedy in life is not death, it is to go through your entire life without knowing and living out your purpose for which God created you.
Many Pharisees in Jesus’ day performed the external actions of religion without a true inner devotion to God.  Seven times in Matthew twenty-three, Jesus pronounced ‘woe’ (a curse) on the scribes and Pharisees because they were hypocrites, leading people astray.
Sadly, there are preachers, televangelists, and people holding Christian positions, as well as people sitting in the pews each week, professing to be Christians who do not know Jesus.  They have a head knowledge but have never been born again and do not have a heart knowledge of who Jesus is.
II Tim. 2:19 says, “The Lord knows these who are His and everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn from wickedness.”  Peter wrote, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all….hypocrisy”.  (I Peter 2:1)    Jesus said the place assigned for hypocrites is in hell.  (Matt. 24:51)
Hypocrites play at religion when people can see them in church; but they live, talk and act much differently outside the church doors.
They continue to commit the same sins, deceive and have bad behavior and attitudes as others of the world when outside of their ‘religious’ setting.
Hidden sin involves the compounding sin of hypocrisy!
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God”.   2 Cor. 7:1  NIV

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Fear of God Part III

“God, who is enthroned from of old,
   who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
   because they have no fear of God”.       Psalm 55:19
Even after many people died in a battle because of Achan’s sin; he still thought his hidden sins were more important!
When confronted by Joshua, Achan described how great the garments were and how he had his treasures lined up in his tent floor.  You could tell from the euphoric tone in his voice that he was not sorry.
The million people watching and listening could tell his heart was hard and he was still a thief.  He could have asked forgiveness but his heart was far removed from God and he had no fear of God.
Finally, Achan told of his sins and no longer did anyone have sympathy for the man who kept hiding.
The punishment was to show that God did have compassion for Achan and He gave him several opportunities to repent but once God reaches the point of wrath He will allow the consequences of sin to be executed.
Achan had contaminated his entire family and his decision to continue to hide his sins brought destruction upon his family.
Have you ever wondered where Achan’s wife, children, family members and friends were during all this?   They knew he had stolen these items, he was a thief, he was dishonest, he was a liar and they allowed him to continue in his hidden sins.  It appears they still loved Achan and loved the sin just like he did.  They loved him deeper into his sins and he became proud of himself.  He loved the thrill of fooling others and getting away with it.  But God is not fooled and He sees everything, even the things we try to hide.
It would have been interesting to have known more about Achan’s family.   It makes you wonder if his wife could have had enough influence to urge him to repent.  Could his children or friends insist that he confess his sins and repent before it was too late?
Is it possible they had become ‘accustom’ to his lifestyle and did not want to change?
Is it possible his family had decided to allow Achan to continue in returning to his ‘vomit’ whereby they built their pig pen around the ‘dog and his vomit’ and called it home?
It reminds me of an old song that had a line that said, “…..don’t rock the boat, baby,…..don’t tip the boat over….”
It is too easy to stay in the pig pen and justify our decisions and actions.  
Change would mean sacrifices.  Change would require faith.  Change would require action.    Ouch……change is too painful!   
Compromise and complacency is easier.
Achan was stoned and burned along with his family and possessions.   God directed this punishment only after it was proved that Achan had no desire to stop being a thief.
God hopes the sinner will come and confess his sins before its too late, but if not, He will punish for sin.
There are many Achans.   They try to hide their sins of lust, pride, envy, selfishness, control, jealousy, hatred, unforgiveness, anger, manipulation, laziness, theft, addictions, greed, lies, idolatry…………..
God’s Word says, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life…..”  (Romans 6:23)
Achan did not want to get rid of his sins.  He kept them hidden.  The final punishment was death.  
Sadly, that is the final consequence for all who would rather sin than live God’s way of love.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness…..”  Joshua 24:14 (a) NIV

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Fear of God Part II

“….but no one who sins
   and rejects God
 will prosper or live very long”.    Ecc. 8:13  CEV

God instructed Joshua to cast lots in front of over a million Israelites.  He went by tribes and found the tribe Achan belonged to.
This should have made Achan realize God knew about his hidden sins.  He should have walked forward and confessed his sins which could have saved his life and his family.
He did not go forward because he was not sorry for his sins and he was still hiding them.
Then Joshua cast lots to see which family this terrible sin was hidden in among the tribe of Judah.   Judah means “Praise”…….Achan was from the tribe known for praise!
Achan’s family was then selected, the family of Zabdi.    Still another chance was given for Achan to confess, repent and save his household.    God gave him one more opportunity to step forward, but he was neither afraid of God nor sorry for his sins.    He was rebellious and stubborn to still hold on to his hidden sins.
Finally, as the lots were cast over his family line, Achan’s name was called.
Joshua spoke kindly to Achan as he asked him to confess before God his sins.  (Josh. 7:18-21)
I believe Joshua knew the whole time Achan was guilty, because God had already revealed it to him.
Joshua went though the procedure of casting lots to show the people that God knows everything.
“…..the LORD your God will be watching to find out whether or not you love him with all your heart and soul”.   Deut. 13:3  CEV

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Fear of God Part I

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”   Matt. 5:4
To mourn means to have a broken heart, to have a deep inner pain which occurs when something tragic happens.   It also means to have a desperate sorrow over evil and suffering.
In the verse above, it means to mourn over sin against God and the result of it which leads to spiritual death and eternal separation from God.   It is a brokenness of heart that comes from understanding the suffering Jesus went through upon the cross and realizing that our sins put Him there.
True Godly sorrow is not saying, “I’m sorry I got caught.”  This type of sorrow focuses on self and simply moans over the shame of getting caught.   It is totally self-centeredness that does not consider the heart of God.  It leads to death because it does not lead to repentance.
Those who walk in a true life of repentance mourns over the sins they have committed as well as the sins of others.   They also have great respect for God’s honor and live their life as an example.
Achan was a man who had no fear of God or respect for God’s Word.
God knew Achan’s heart.  He knew his heart was hard and he was not going to repent.  He was given the opportunity to confess his hidden sins, save his life and his family’s lives but………. he chooses ‘death’.
Achan was a thief.   Everyone else looked on the outside of Achan.  They thought he was a good man who would never do anything wrong.
“…the Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   I Sam. 16:7  NIV

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enslaved to Sin

“Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin”.   John 8:34  Amp
When sin enters a person’s life, it begins to corrupt and fill them with vanity.  A person enslaved to habitual sin will have a difficult time growing in the knowledge of Jesus because of sins corrupting influence.   It gives them a false sense of security that they have no consequences for sin because of God’s love.
The Bible teaches that sin is pleasurable “for a season”.  That’s why it is powerful and addictive.   Sin can be exciting, thrilling, and stimulating for a short time; there’s no lasting satisfaction with sin.
When the thrill wears off, what’s left?   The pain of emptiness combined with feelings of disgust, guilt and shame.   Sin never keeps its promises!   No wonder Jesus said, “….truly, truly I say to you, “Whoso ever commits sin is the slave of sin.”  (John 8:34)
Life is great until we get caught in sin and our disobedience is brought to light.
Many twist God’s Word around to justify their actions and decisions of disobedience.  Like the pig they go running back to wallow in the mud and choose to remain in the pig pen.  The sorrow they bear deep inside is due to separation from God.    Religious spirits control their emotions by deceiving them into believing they are in the presence of God.
A person can fool themselves and others by cleaning the outside; washing off the mud and going through the motions of deceiving those around them.  They will then run back to the pig pen to live out the week in their deception of sin and disobedience.   Sunday comes and they clean up again, to go play the game of deception.  The stronghold of deception grows even stronger and the great chasm becomes wider in separating the sinner from God.
Others may be fooled, but God is NOT!  He sees the heart and is grieved even deeper by their games of deception.
God will not be mocked.   He will bring forth that which is hidden.
“Everything hidden will be revealed, and everything secret will come out into the open”.      Mark 4:22    CEB

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sin hardens hearts

“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters.  Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.  You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God”.   Heb. 3:12-13 NLT

This Bible passage in Hebrews three reveals some disturbing characteristics of sin.  Sin is seductive, enticing, deceitful and destructive.
The deceitfulness of sin is that it cannot deliver what it promises.   It deceives a person into believing they can ‘have it all’ or they can ‘take it or leave it’.  It promises pleasure, contentment, fulfillment and excitement but what it really delivers in these areas is only momentary which opens the door to its addictive quality.  The pleasure is never quite enough to produce satisfaction whereby forcing the person into greater perversions until it kills them.
A person with hidden/secret sins always offers justification and rationalization for their actions.  They can put on a convincing appearance and even seem to be moral.
However, sin’s ‘drug-like’ grip always demands more because what use to satisfy them no longer does.   They reach a point where they are never satisfied and lose control of their ‘addiction’.   They become slaves to their flesh and along the way their heart has become hardened.
A hardened attitude is not something that happens over night, but rather a habitual state of mind that results in itself as inflexibility of thinking and insensitivity of conscience.   A hard heart and attitude can eventually make repentance impossible because they do not want to change.
A hidden/secret sin works insidiously, but with quiet power.
Judas, one of the twelve disciples is a good example of a man unsuspected with secret sins.  Until the final revelation was made most likely no one suspected anything of the hidden ‘presence’ within.   They over looked the obvious signs of rudeness, jealousy, control, lust and greed because he was one of the “disciples”.
No matter how clean we are on the outside, if the heart remains unchanged we will return to what we came from.
“If people escape the moral filth of this world through the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, then get tangled up in it again and are overcome by it, they are worse off than they were before.”     II Peter 2:20   CEB

A Worm In The Apple Part II

“Guard your heart above all else,
      for it determines the course of your life.”   Prov. 4:23   NLT

When you see a person who has failed in some way outwardly, you know there was failure in the inner life.

What is on the inside will eventually manifest on the outside.  If we fail to deal with secret sins, they will eventually be made public.

We have all experienced or know someone who has bitten into an apple and found a worm.   The outside of the apple did not reveal a hole or entry point.

So, how did the worm get inside the apple?

Scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside.  When the apple tree was in blossom an insect laid an egg in the apple blossom.   Sometime later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats its way out.

Like the worm, sin begins in the heart and works out through our behavior, thoughts, words and actions.
Just like the worm, hidden sins can eat away at the heart and leave us spiritually dead and ultimately lead us to a physical death.   That’s how hidden sins work on us.
As the dog returns to his vomit, some people will return to their destructive ways in order to fulfill their fleshly desires, even after they have seen evidence of how destructive their choices have been.
Hidden sins when left unexposed will continue to do its dirty work such as:  destroying our families, opening the door to curses, giving opportunity to Satan and separating us from God.
A person who has a ‘small’ sin in their life and it may not appear to be hurting them because they are still attending church, fooling everyone around them, they are popular and a ‘good’ person, so how can that ‘small’ sin really hurt them if they can control it?
For a long time that ‘small’ sin won’t seem to make any difference.  But like the worm in the apple, the egg was laid in the blossom while still on the tree.  Then over time the apple began to grow around the egg and for a long time that apple looked just as shiny as the other apples on the tree.
But something was happening on the inside of the apple that no one could see. The worm had hatched and was eating his way out of the apple.
Only in the last stages could the effect be seen.   By then the worm had damaged the apple until it was totally worthless.    Rotten Fruit!
When a person justifies their sin instead of repenting, backsliding has begun!  They will become more and more distant from God even while still going to church, going through the motions and pretending to be a Christian.   Their hearts have become hard and far removed from God.
Sinful ways can take over our thoughts and eventually consume our hearts.   We know it is true that out of the heart are the issues of life.
We will not get away with sin….hidden sins have the power to destroy our lives.
There is a way to avoid returning to our vomit and the pig pen.  It is called repentance.  I John 1:9 God is faithful to forgive if we will confess our sins.
It’s embarrassing to even talk about what certain persons do in secret.  But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light.”  Eph. 5:12-13   Common English Bible

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Worm In The Apple

“……for people are slaves of anything that controls them. They were made free from the evil in the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they return to evil things and those things control them, then it is worse for them than it was before.  Yes, it would be better for them to have never known the right way than to know it and to turn away from the holy teaching that was given to them.   What they did is like this true saying: "A dog goes back to what it has thrown up," and, "After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud." II Peter 2:19-22   New Century Version

We have all seen people come to Christ and then turn away and become worse off than they were before.  We want to believe that there is hope for them.  We want to hold on to the possibility they will repent before it is too late.

That truth is none of us knows when that line of no return is crossed.   Only God knows and certainly everyone who repents is welcomed with open arms.

In this passage in II Peter 2, he is not talking about the weak Christians, but rather “show-Christians” and apostates.  These are the dogs and pigs he is referring to.

In II Peter 2:1-22, Peter does not hesitate to describe their end.  He depicts that they will bring destruction upon themselves, it will not delay in coming, the Lord reserves them under punishment for the day of judgment, they will be caught and destroyed in their own corruption, they are accursed, the blackest darkness is reserved for them, they are slaves to corruption, the latter end is worse than their beginning, it would have been better for them if they had not known the way of righteousness and they are unrepentant like dogs and pigs.

It does not look hopeful for them.  However, we know they can repent and be saved.  But in actuality, they will not do it.  The Bible indicates that clearly here.

Peter is warning us about the end for those who do not follow God and turn back to Satan’s ways.

A person who has turned back and lives a false life as pretending they are saved is like a worm in an apple.   This person can do much hidden damage, but God will not let anyone who does this get away with it.

Jesus still Shepherds His Church and protects us from harm. He is concerned about those who are barely escaping corruption because of the hidden worm.

God will not be mocked and He will expose the worms.

“For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”    Mark 4:22  NLT

Friday, April 15, 2011

Consequences of Sin Part III

For the last thirty years or more the message of the wrath of God has been almost totally obsolete in the pulpits.  People have talked about a God of love but that has been interpreted in the minds of man as a God of permissiveness; which means He’s a God who will let you do anything and get away with it because He is love.
As a result, the churches are emptier than ever before and instead of turning to God, people have defied God, refusing to believe in Him and turning from Him. 
You cannot just preach about the wrath of God without the love of God, because the wrath of God grows out of His love.
The good news is that no man who turns to God will ever experience His wrath.  The fear that God is a God of wrath seems to picture Him as being vengeful without reason, but that is not so.
God only destroys and exercises His wrath when people have rejected His love.  There is a way of escape and we can avoid the wrath of God.   God’s whole purpose has been to call our attention to that way so we may take it.
Only by the grace of God and the gift of repentance can a man be saved from his folly and the snare of Satan (II Tim. 2:25-26).
God knows those who take refuge in Him and for those His heart is always open.
Jesus said, “It's urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.”        John 5:24   Message Bible

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Consequences of Sin Part II

“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.  They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.”  Phil. 3:18-19  NLT

“… (they) care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.”   Phil. 2:21  NLT

The Word of God gives us insight, inspiration, and instructions on how to make the right choices for our life.

The book of Proverbs is a book of choices.  It reveals that we really only have two choices in life:

Jesus     or    Satan
Life        or    Death
Righteousness   or    Sin
Repent    or    Reject
Reward   or     Consequences

God gave us a free will to make the decisions we want…..the choice is ours.

Most of us are around people who choose to live according to their fleshly desires.   It is hard to reach people who don’t want to know the truth because they don’t want to change.

We have to ask the Holy Spirit how to deal with each situation and where we need to set boundaries and then LIVE by them.   NO Compromise!

So many choose to return to the pig pen and allow the dog to continue to vomit in their pen because they fear change, rejection, loneliness and have a lack of faith.

It is called compromise as we live in our pig pens while we continue to condone the sin of those around us and love them deeper into the fire of hell.

Look at the Prophet Jeremiah; he warned God’s people over and over that they were headed to captivity if they did not repent.   (Jer. 2)

They refused to believe and did exactly what he said…..seventy years of captivity.

Moses led the children of Israel out of captivity and he still had to deal with hard hearts along with idolatry.

When he went up on the mountain to be with God, his brother, their Priest formed a golden calf out of their own jewelry to worship.

Many are like the children of Israel; they come to the promise land, and turn back.   Just as the dog returns to his vomit and a pig to his pig pen.

Some people’s hearts are so hard they don’t want to change.  Their ears are deafened by their own lies.  They will continue to return to their vomit and live in the pig pen.  

We are powerless to change them and we cannot infringe upon their free will any more than God can.

We must chose to step out of the pig pen of deception, repent and pray for those who chose to continue to live in sin.

Sadly, the Church is not going to assist or encourage you to make that change nor will they teach you how to set boundaries.  They are not willing to pay the price to win souls to Christ.  The price is too costly because it requires commitment, sacrifice, selflessness, humility and honesty.

 We have to stay focused on God, His Word and prayer.  

 God is your anchor NOT the church.

God’s Word is your guideline not the church.

“I hate the two-faced,
      but I love your clear-cut revelation.
   You're my place of quiet retreat;
      I wait for your Word to renew me.
   Get out of my life, evildoers,
      so I can keep my God's commands.
   Take my side as you promised; I'll live then for sure.
      Don't disappoint all my grand hopes.
   Stick with me and I'll be all right;
      I'll give total allegiance to your definitions of life.
   Expose all who drift away from your sayings;
      their casual idolatry is lethal.
   You reject earth's wicked as so much rubbish;
      therefore I lovingly embrace everything you say.
   I shiver in awe before you;
      your decisions leave me speechless with reverence.”     Ps 119:116-120 
The Message Bible

Consequences of Sin Part I

“……they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds.  Their sins engulf them; they are always before Me.”    Hosea 7:2
“Woe to them, because they have strayed from Me!  Destruction to them because they have rebelled against Me!  I long to redeem them but they speak lies against Me.  They do not cry out to Me from their hearts……”  Hosea 7:13-14
Many, many times it has been said if you would only talk about a God of love, you could fill churches.  If only you would appeal to people about a God of love, they would turn from their wickedness and be drawn to Him!  But that has proved to be the exact opposite.
Church has become a safe haven for sin, a place where conviction is no longer important.  The Church has become too focused on money, appearance, numbers, and pride.  The sinner is safe in Church because the Church does not want to offend them, they want the money and to be the biggest church in the city.  Again, their focus has become about the church----the building, personalities, fame and fortune, not the souls of man.
Consequently, the Church has taught us to love the sinner deeper into their sin, rather than directly address the issues for repentance.  (Matt. 18:15-17)
We have been taught to love and enable the sinner to fall deeper into their sin and by our lack of action we have given them a false security that there is ‘no’ consequences for their sin.
Our love, grace and mercy has encouraged them to continue to sin instead of correcting and teaching them the Word of God.  We choose to avoid offending and hurting their feelings so we can maintain peace and brotherly love all the while we appear to endorse and encourage them to continue to live in deception and a lie.
This type of ‘love’ is a selfish love.
We give them the impression that what they are doing is okay and they can continue to live in sin because there is no consequence for their sins.  Life continues happily on for them, they have everything going for them, why should they change?   
Church has given them a false security in God’s love which they interpret to mean they can sin and God still loves them and forgives them over and over.   This is partly true. God does love all of us in spite of our mistakes but He has given us His Word to live by and we can choose which way to live……in truth or deception.
We can grow in God’s love or take advantage of it.   God will NEVER stop loving us but His Word does state there are consequences for our sin and disobedience.
We have empowered the sinner to sit comfortably in the pews and encouraged them as they fall deeper into their sin. We have convinced them that they can be in the presence of God while choosing to living in their sin instead of repentance. 
The lack of our actions are evident everyday…....we are guilty of quietly loving them to hell.
Our ‘love’ enables them to live a life of deception…..a lie!
Silence is golden and hell is overbooked!
 What can we do when those around us do NOT want to hear or know the truth?
We LIVE and SPEAK the truth.  We are living epistles for Christ.  That simply means: NO COMPROMISE for peace, comfort, or joy for the sake of another….. Or yourself!
“….we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”   Eph. 4:15  NLT

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Addicted to our flesh, not God

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you.  These are the ways of the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world”.       1 John 2:15-16 (New Century Version)

No matter how clean we try to appear on the outside, if the heart remains unchanged we will return to what we came from and once more be filthy both inside and out.
The city of Nineveh, after Jonah preached salvation, the entire city repented and then returned back to sin.
God is slow to anger and does not move rapidly in order to give many chances to repent.  Through His mercy and grace He sends warnings, dreams, maybe a word and His prophets.
The city of Nineveh believed one prophet, Jonah, and repented of their evil ways and God spared the judgment He said He would bring.   However, they fell from their repentance by returning back to their former ways.
This is one of the most terrible things that man can do.  Having turned from their evil, they went back to what they had said they would forsake, and this is what evokes the judgment of God.
The Bible tells us that if a man loves his sin and holds on to it at all costs, refusing the grace of God, then he becomes identified with his sin.   It is time to restate that God has a capacity for anger and it is time again to warn people to flee from the wrath that is to come.
Separate from sin and the things of this world.  Live as a citizen of God’s Kingdom and let His light shine forth to draw others to Christ who lives in you.
“….through fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.”   Prov. 16:6(b)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Thrill of Sin

“The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
   keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”   Prov. 15:3  NIV

We have a natural tendency to cling to the things that are familiar to us, even if it proves detrimental to us.

Some people get a euphoric rush when they do something they know is not right, just for the thrill of not getting caught.

They love the thrill of getting away with sin and feeling they have fooled everyone.  Deception gives them a false sense of superiority.

Sadly they fearfully and tenaciously cling to self-defeating and destructive behaviors.

 Matt. 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other….”

Deception makes us believe we can live with one foot in the Church and one foot in our sin.   We are the only one who is deceived, when we believe we can pretend to be a Christian while living in our former way of life. 

We can deceive ourselves into believing we have everyone fooled and we are getting away with it.  But God will not be mocked.  We will reap what we sow: good or bad.

Luke 8:17 tells us our deception ….our secrets will be found out:  For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all”.  (NLT)

Is there hidden sin in your life?

We know what they are.  They are the ones we try to hide from everyone.
What is it? ......Lying……anger….control….pride....selfishness….disobedience…denial… laziness….prejudice….jealousy.…greed.…lust.…idolatry….alcohol….drugs…. pornography…..adultery…..worldliness….envy.…hatred...phoniness…deceit...manipulation..etc..

The truth is, no matter what we try to hide it reveals that our heart remains unchanged.  We are willing to return to our vomit and live in the pig pen of deception. 

Our heart is hardened and we have lost our conscience therefore, we return to where we came from.

Our hearts become dead to Christ and our old nature thrives on the thrill of deception….getting away with our sin by fooling those around us.

The devil makes this type of deception a greater ‘high’ than any man made chemical could ever give.

Deception!  It will cost more than we realize.

Is it really worth the price?

If we could truly grasp the agonizing death Jesus endured for us we would genuinely be changed and be sensitive to sin so much so that we would be repulsed by it and flee from it.  Sin would no longer have a grip on us.  We would no longer tolerate sin!

“When I think of how he came so far from glory
Come to dwell among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself this question
Who am I?
Who am I that a King would bleed and die for
Who am I that He would pray not my will, but thine Lord
The answer I may never know
Why he loved me so
But to that old rugged cross He’d go
For who am I?
(Lyrics by Rusty Goodman…”Who Am I?”)

Jesus did not die so we could live a life that’s a lie.    We should be a living epistle for Him.

For His glory!   NOT ours!

The next time you are tempted to sin and you don’t think it’s that big of a deal or that no one will know.  Remember it really does not matter if anyone knows about it, Jesus knows.  He paid the price to set you free. 
In case you need a vivid reminder watch the movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and see a glimpse of the price Jesus paid for you.

Do you really want to keep pretending, living in deception?

“A fool who repeats his foolishness
       is like a dog that goes back to what it has thrown up”.   Prov. 26:11  
New Century Version

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sin is a choice

“Your own wickedness will correct you,
      And your backslidings will rebuke you.
      Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
      That you have forsaken the LORD your God,
      And the fear of Me is not in you,”
      Says the Lord GOD of hosts.”    Jer. 2:19  NKJV

In II Peter 2:20-22 Peter is teaching us about those who appeared to be following Christ, but then turned back to the world.  Verse 22 says, “Of them the proverbs are true; “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
The dog and the pig are simply doing what is natural for them.  No matter how you dress them up, they are still just a dog and a pig.  The same is true concerning an unsaved person.  They can wash and dress up for church, they can even join the church, sing in the choir, be on the worship team, they can be an usher, they can carry a bible and look religious, but unless they get born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus, there will be no true change in who or what they are.
The leopard cannot change its spots, nor can the zebra change its stripes.
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things passed away.  Behold all things become new.”  II Cor 5:17
It all comes down to a simple heart change.  The desire to change calls forth a decision.  Then a decision requires a choice to be made to walk in the new opportunity salvation has provided and develop a relationship with Jesus OR choose to return to the vomit and the muddy pig pen you were once saved out of.
No matter how clean we try to appear on the outside, if the inside----the heart---remains unchanged or if we return again to habitual sin, we will return to what we came from and once more be filthy both inside and out.
The dog returns to its vomit and the pig returns to the muddy pen.  This signifies the filthy nature of sin and how natural it is to return to it again.  Such apostates will return to what they were before, to their former principles and practices, unless their nature is changed and altered.
Their irrecoverable state and condition will not change until they have had enough of their sin and sincerely repent with a true heart change.
God does extend mercy but He does not delight in mercy so we can continue to sin.  He gives mercy to all who will receive it, but those who will not receive His mercy can only blame themselves.
God’s judgments are in themselves an expression of mercy but there comes a time when the guilty must be punished.  There are consequences for our sinful actions and words.
“Does God pervert justice?
   Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
 When your children sinned against him,
   he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.”   Job 8:3-4  NIV

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Choosing Sin Rather Than God

“So I gave them up to their own hearts' lust and let them go after their own stubborn will, that they might follow their own counsels. “ Psalm 81:12 Amp

There can be no partial turning from sin.  It will never work!   You can still smell the vomit and you will return to it again.

If a dog had a conscience, it would be ashamed of its vile nature.  But what of humans who willingly return to sin.  Their return to sin is worse!

Where is their shame, their conscience or conviction?  
Have their hearts become so hard that they are no longer moved by guilt, shame or conscience?

In Daniel 12:2 it says, “..they will soon have everlasting shame and contempt..” unless saved by the blood of Jesus.

When a person is immersed in sin and feeling successful, they soon feel like there is no price to pay for their sin.  Nevertheless, there will come a day when each of us will stand before the Judgment Seat and give an account.

There is a difference between remorse and repentance.  In remorse a person is sorry for himself, he mourns over the sin because he got caught or he realizes his sin has brought suffering to him.

Through true repentance a person is grieved by the wrong sin has done to God, they truly yield their sin to God believing that He has set them free and they strive to walk in that freedom.

What “filth” have you vomited up and walked away from by the grace of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

Beware you will be tempted to return to it.

What sin/vomit tempts you?

Laziness?   Complaining?  Television?   Pornography?   Ungodly music?  Unforgiveness?   Drugs?    Alcohol?    Lust?    Greed?    Jealousy?    Gluttony?  Bitterness?    Worldly talk?    Disobedience?    Denial?    Adultery?   Justification of words or action?    Anger?    Hatred?    Selfishness?     Control and manipulation?   Pride?     Lying?     Theft?   

What tempts you and entices you into sin?

It is true that God loves the sinner but hates the sin.  But that is only part of the story.   The Bible tells us if a man loves his sin and holds on to it at all costs, he then becomes identified with this sin.   And eventually, the wrath of God against his sin will also come against the sinner.

We must flee from temptation with all our might.  We must eliminate the sources of the temptation.   Also we must completely satisfy our appetite with spiritual things so that we no longer hunger for vomit.

Remember, if you hang around the filth and/or think about it, you will take it up again.

“For he flatters and deceives himself in his own eyes that his iniquity will not be found out and be hated.”   Ps 36:2  Amp

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Decision to Sin

  “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” 
  James 4:17 NLT

Proverbs 24:9 tells us, even the thought of foolishness is sin.  Folly causes great shame and pain in our lives.  (Prov. 13:15, Ps 36:2, Jer. 2:9)    Sin hurts man, it hurts their families, it hurts their finances and it hurts their health.  It also opens the door for generational curses to come upon the family.
Yet man will rush back to their vomit again and again, even after sober and vehement promises of repentance and reformation.
What is wrong with them?
They are not ready to give up the sin(s).  They are not ready to change.  They love that which they should hate, and hate that which they should love.
Consider Prov. 23: 29-35.  It is talking about a drunkard that has woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, and wounds from his drunkenness.  He loses his job, his driver’s license, his spouse, his children and his reputation.  The Proverb says he gets sick and feels as if he spent the night lying on top of a ship’s mast.  Yet he says, “When will I wake up, so I can find another drink.”
Ahab repented and walked humbly before the Lord----for a few ‘minutes’.  Then he rushed back to his vomit and was killed.  (1Kgs 21:27-29, 22:37)
Pharaoh begged Moses for reprieve and promised to let Israel go. But as soon as he felt relief, he hardened his heart and returned to his stubborn folly (Ex.8:15).
How many times did God forgive and deliver Israel and then watch them rush back to pagan vomit? (Ps 78:33-42)
Jesus told the man He healed at the pool of Bethesda, “……see, you are well again; stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”   John 5:14

Choosing to Sin

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”  Prov.26:11 NLT

A dog returning to his vomit is a despicable trait of dogs that impresses on our minds the disgusting nature of sin and the insanity of our return to it!

What profit for our souls if we could learn to hate our sinful lusts!

The dog is not God’s best friend.   Scripture mentions dogs forty times without one positive note.  They are evil creatures representing sodomites, wicked men, devils, lust, greed, noise and viciousness.   Dogs are compared to pigs.   But sinners still exceed them with the greedy and voracious appetite that they have for sin.

It is a shame we do not have the same sickening and hideous feelings for sin that we do for this picture of a dog vomiting his filth and returning to eat it.

Though man was made in the likeness of God, our holy God compares our sinful state to one of His most despicable creatures.

Peter declared this to be a true proverb in II Peter 2:20-22.  He used it to convict those who forsake their conversion and return to the vomit of this world, as Lot, Solomon, Achan, Ananias and others.

To escape the sins of this world and then return to be entangled and overcome in them again puts a man in a worse condition than before his conversion.

“If they've escaped from the slum of sin by experiencing our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ, and then slid back into that same old life again, they're worse than if they had never left. Better not to have started out on the straight road to God than to start out and then turn back, repudiating the experience and the holy command. They prove the point of the proverbs, "A dog goes back to its own vomit" and "A scrubbed-up pig heads for the mud."    II Peter 2: 20-22   Message Bible