Archive for January, 2017

Sin Is a Big Deal!

Posted: January 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

If you go onto Google and type in “What’s the big deal about sin?” you’ll find approximately 3,180,000 links to this subject or something relating to this subject. When I was thinking of this title I was very surprised to see this many individual searches for this particular subject.

It’s my opinion that the church (on a global scale) has failed to some degree in communicating the vital importance of understanding the issue of sin and what it really is and why it hurts us…now and later.

This post is based on two things. My opinion of why I think sin is a big deal and God’s opinion of why He thinks sin is a big deal and what He says about it in the Bible. For those of you who may be disconnecting already because I mentioned the word “Bible,” please hang on until the end of this post. This is not going to be the ranting of some religious, self-righteous bigot who thinks he’s perfect and dare not be contaminated by anyone who believes differently than he does.

Sin Defined

What is the best definition of sin? Dictionary.com says sin is any act regarded as a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.

I believe this definition is accurate as long as we understand what real religion is. James 1:27 in the Voice translation says, “Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and [for us to] resist the evil influence of the world.”

In the New Testament in the original Greek language of the day in which it was written, sin means to be without a share in, to miss the mark, to be mistaken or to wander from the path of uprightness.

 Sin is Fun…for a while!

Many years ago, I, like many others in the world today lived the lifestyle of drinking, partying, drugging and everything that went along with it. I didn’t live that life as long as some have but it was long enough to learn some valuable lessons.

Lesson one is this, sin is fun for a while. Lesson two, sin almost always makes you stay longer than you had planned and it always costs you more than you thought it might. Lesson three, it usually takes longer to get out of it than it did to get into it.

Hebrews 11:25 says that Moses chose rather to endure suffering (from Pharaoh of Egypt) with the children of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.

Sin can never satisfy long term. You’ll always need more of what you’re involved in to get your buzz the next time around. Whether it’s drugs, sex, crime, food, or whatever. You’ll always need more because sin is motivated by a demonic spirit that is only interested in your ultimate destruction and it is never, never satisfied.

So, what am I missing out on?

The definition above that says sin is being without a share in refers to wandering from the path that God has laid out in His word for our blessings in life and the privilege of daily intimate friendship with Him. But that’s the tip of the iceberg metaphorically.

There are approximately 7,000+ promises listed in the Bible that are given for our protection, instruction, wisdom and prosperity that will enhance our lives spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, relationally, financially, etc.

If we know what God says in His word about a specific issue but we decide to do things on our own and go our own way, that is called sin. When we deliberately or ignorantly sin we have “missed the mark” that God has laid out for us in this area and there will be consequences if we don’t ask forgiveness and truly turn and go the other way (repent). One of the first and most noticeable ways you know you’ve sinned or missed the mark is a lack of peace (if you’re a Christian) because the Holy Spirit is grieved or saddened when we allow sin into our lives, no matter what the nature of it is.

If you continue living in sin whether you’ve accepted Jesus or not, you are still opening the door to your spiritual adversary and destroyer of your soul. If you’re a Christian the devil or satan can never take you to hell…ever! But if you continue in sin he can make life “hell on earth” for you. And don’t think for a minute that’s not part of his plans for you. John 10:10 says that satan’s mo (method of operation) is to steal, kill and to destroy. That’s all he has in mind for you and he is very persistent and very patient in this perverted, evil endeavor.

Your Share is Waiting

 If you don’t believe in Christ, that’s your privilege. But the consequences are much more serious if your life comes to an end and you still have not accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Don’t wait! Simply say, “Jesus, please forgive me for not believing in you and taking You as my Savior and Lord, I receive You today, now and forever.”

If this makes you snicker or mock, God still loves you and He will honor your decision to die in your sin and end up in hell, but you don’t have to. You can literally change your eternal destiny in seconds with a simple choice and declaration. Romans 10:9 says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead you shall be saved. That word saved in the Greek literally means to be delivered, protected, preserved and made whole.

When Jesus provided salvation for us on the cross through His shed blood and broken body He fully intended for His sacrifice to also include healing and deliverance of the body and soul. He made provision for all us to be restored to the original intent God had for us from the beginning. And that was wholeness and purity in spirit, soul and body (see 1 Thess. 5:23).

The second you accept Jesus as Lord He moves into your human spirit and real life begins for all eternity. Then you need to get a Bible and start reading about how to think, believe, and “really live.”

Compromising Christians

 For those of us who are Christians, we simply cannot afford to compromise our lives, thoughts, and behaviors in these last days. The enemy of our souls is playing hardball and he’s trying desperately to win by any means necessary that is available to him. Secondly and equally important is the fact that the world is watching us because they need someone that they can count on for some answers to this crazy screwed up world we’re all living in.

Please?! Let’s not help the enemy of souls or make it any easier for him. I have dropped the ball many times in my daily walk but I don’t ever want that to become a habit. There are so many areas where we can compromise and I don’t have white space here or time to list the myriad of ways possible and I shouldn’t have to.

We have Holy Spirit living inside of us and if we’ve been attempting to follow the Lord’s leading for any amount of time we should have enough history with Him to know whether or not we have peace from Him about any decisions we’re making.

Keep this in mind as I close. Even the smallest, seemingly insignificant unseen sin that remains hidden or not dealt with in your life is very dangerous and will eventually grow into something more destructive. It is subtle and the longer you ignore dealing with it the more calloused your heart and conscience will become.

Callousness is as thin as layers of an onion. Just one thin layer of sin at time will eventually grow into something much larger and much more difficult to deal with you and you WILL NOT be happy with the end result.

If you have something that needs to be confessed and repented of, do it today and let the peace of Christ that passes all understanding return to your heart. With it will come the joy of the Lord that is your strength. It’s such a good feeling going to bed and knowing in your heart you’re right with God. We can never earn or deserve that kind of blessing in our lives because it’s all the result of the grace, mercy, and love of God for His creation of which you are one.

We may just wake in heaven tomorrow morning.

Don’t be left behind.

 

Serving You Truth,

Dennis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divine Frustration

Posted: January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

Can you remember a time when you wanted to accomplish something so much, something you believe was a sincere passion of your heart? You believed at a gut-level that the achievement of this thing or experience would not only make you a better person, it would potentially allow you to provide better for yourself and your family, and it would also allow you to serve others and make their lives much easier or better somehow.

Have you experienced the emotion of frustration as a result of not being able to pursue a particular goal that you really believed was possible? Something that you could “actually see” with the eye of faith and you knew it was right in your heart to pursue?

Webster’s defines the word frustration in several interesting ways.

  • A feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something.
  • The act of preventing the success of something.
  • A deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs and dreams (emphasis mine).

Pay Attention to Frustration

In situations where relational conflicts are involved, or issues that may cause anxiety and fear to come to the surface etc, it’s very beneficial to have enough self-discipline to keep your emotions reigned in.

There are other emotions (while still keeping them in check) that we should pay particular attention to such as anger or frustration. Emotions were given to us at birth to be able to enjoy the pleasant aspects of life, warn of us of danger, and so on. On the flip side, negative emotions can be and are great teachers if we know enough to pay attention to them.

As I mentioned earlier, the emotion of frustration lets us know when something specific is wrong. If you’ve been trying to succeed at something for an extended period of time, chances are that you’ve already experienced the emotion of frustration, or will very soon.

Let Frustration Be Your Compass

Frustration can be a great tool for determining direction in life or for a career; much like a compass directs a hiker or outdoors man when he’s in unfamiliar territory.

For example: you may be in a particular position with an organization and you’re very efficient and productive at what you do. The company takes good care of you and provides excellent benefits for you and your family. If you are, that’s great! But being comfortable and secure is not always the answer long-term.

Are you truly happy and fulfilled? Do you believe you’re following the passion of your heart? Do you feel like your natural gifts and talents are being utilized in the best possible way and to their maximum potential? If not, how does that make you feel? Frustrated…perhaps?!!

That can be a good thing if you know in your heart you’re giving that company your very best every day when you come to work. If not, maybe you need to pursue a more challenging position that will allow better use your gifts and talents. Or, you may just need to check your attitude.

Psalms 37:4 in the Amplified Bible says: Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. The word “delight” here means to keep your heart soft, pliable, and teachable. When you do that consistently, God will plant His desires in your heart that will perfectly fit the gifts and talents He’s given you at birth. And you can be sure that those desires will bring maximum contentment and fulfillment.

Psalms 37:5 in the same translation says, Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass (amplification excluded).

You’ll Never Be Happy Until…

you’re pursuing what you were created for.

If you’re gifted in a particular way that you have not yet pursued, but you know what your gifts are, then you need to make some specific effort toward developing and exercising those gifts.

It may not be something that will eventually turn into a career for you; but it just might be!

It could be something as simple as creating an object with your hands that can be turned into a gift or service that would bring someone great comfort, joy, and blessing. It could be that you have an usual ability to fix things like cars, people’s houses, or any number of things.

It’s also very possible that someone reading this article has a particular gift or talent that could be in an infant stage just waiting to be birthed. When that happens, it could mature into a creative, cutting-edge idea for a product or service oriented company that could potentially employ dozens or hundreds of people that would make this world a better place.

Regardless of what your gift or talent is, the world around you and the people around you need what you have and who you are. You see, regardless of what you believe, there is an “all-wise” creator of human beings and He has gifted every person on the face of the earth with particular gifts and talents. And those gifts will, and do reflect glory and honor back to Him first of all.

Secondly, many people’s gifts and talents can be, have been, and are being sharpened, honed, and developed into careers that make the possessor of that gift immensely happy, fulfilled, and prosperous when they discover what they’ve been created for.

Don’t stay frustrated!

Let it challenge you to find out who you are and what you were created for. And don’t buy into the lie that you are too old, too young, too uneducated, or too anything. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Serving You Truth,

Dennis