Monday, January 30, 2012

Turn around, and do something else

Last week we said that God wants to forgive; that we need to ask for forgiveness and admit the sin/wrong. And with that that we turn from that actions; repent. There are things that we do that are let's say one time or few and far between things that we confess and we feel the power of forgiveness...we have a handle on that type of action. On the other hand there are those things that we do that seem to plague us; for some reason we just have a hard time to stop. Now there are a lot of these things, some will plague one but another will have no problem with that, but with another thing it is hard...There are all types of things...and we are all different and different things effect us differently.
Seriously is there that one or more thing, issue, sin that seem just to stay on. You go before God and ask...your mournful...over what you done...then bang your doing it again. It's like you cannot stop. Or that you can only stop for a short period of time. You may even question what type of a person you are...and may even question if you are a Christian. Some may even after a while question if there is a God...Let's face the facts here sin is powerful...
Let me say one thing, I am not an expert in dealing with sin, I am not an authority, and I do not have all the answers. Now when one deals with sin before God we often refer to the word repent. Repent means to turn around, change direction. Most of us have heard this before, right! Now here is where we get caught, we turn from the thing but that is all we do. Then before you know it you are turning your head looking back...then the pull comes. Sin has a strong desire for you and some sin seems to satisfy. You see when we turn from our sin we need to do some other action that is not sin. It is more than just stopping! It is redirecting our actions, thinking...even sometimes doing something different to replace the wrong action...
In Eph. 4:17-5:21 There are a lot of good principles for us; this includes the section of put-off the old and put-on the new...and near the end it says this "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Are you still going back to your old self? Instead of going forward in your new self; doing righteous deeds... Do you have too much time on your hands...and not focusing on the Lord. Here is a start to help us dealing with the sins that can plague us. First replacing wrongful actions...with right(Godly)actions deeds. The other is to make the most of your time. Thinking about our Lord and Savior...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Confess, when?

We have been talking about listening to the Holy Spirit and reading the word of God... We have been doing this as part of our study of verse Gen. 4:7. Which ends saying, "but you must master it." That is we must master sin. Let's use a scenario to help us understand what happens when we sin. One is walking down the road, the easy road, and He stumbles. All of a sudden he is over there doing something he should not be doing. Now the Holy Spirit is doing what He is to do, convicting of that something...Now let's say that this person is a Christian, he may hear the Holy Spirit or he may not. So here is when reading the bible...comes into play. The word of God also does its work with the Holy Spirit...But one can still not listen...But for our story let's say that the person listens.
The Holy Spirit is convicting you of that thing. You agree with the conviction, and want to stop that thing...So what does one do? Seriously what are we to do? There is a process if you will. The first is to confess that sin to God. Now that is to do it the right way. Remember Adam and Eve when God convicted them? They played the blame game. Don't try to blame you actions on someone else...If you did the thing, take the blame. I know that there are so called bad sins and the so called little sins and the so call little white lie and the sin of neglect...guess what all sin carries the same price and all sin separates us from God. Now there are different consenquences for different types of sin... But we need to confess our sin to God. He is the only one that can forgive us our sin and that is done through His son Jesus Christ. You see He even does all the work of forgiving us, all we have to do is ask. Let me say to ask truthfully. We don't have to bring money or do some extra good works, or say some special type of prayer...We just ask for forgiveness on the merit of what God has promise, knowing that the price of our sin has been paid by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Now the question is when? Is there a special time, a day, like Sunday? The time is right when God convicts you. That means don't wait. So many times don't we wait, put it off for the right time...Seriously we tend to wait...This will be the first part of being healed, forgiven; to ask right away. A brother told me that we have to keep short accounts with God. That we need to confess our sin daily! Short accounts with God; you see He already knows what you did, He's waiting for us to bring it up, to ask for forgiveness, He wants to forgive, He wants to restore. "The steadfast-love of the Lord never ceases; His mercy never comes to an end, they are new every morning..."Lam.3:22.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Take the time

Now let us continue in our study. The end of the verse says 2 things, one that sin has a desire for us and two that we must master it(sin). Gen4:7. Last week we talked about memorizing God's word...This will help us to see that certain actions/behavior is not right...and when we do them they are sin. Now there are those times when we read God's word that it just goes in and right out. We see it, hear it and just as fast we forget it. But when we read it over and over...it starts to sink in. We also give the Holy Spirit a chance to work. Let me explain it is that we are more apt to listen to the Spirit of God. There is something that happens when we take the time to learn God's word and we ponder it in our mind, then in our heart. That the Holy Spirit seems to work...that His wisdom seems to come to us...Let me take the time to say it is not that He is not working...or that there is a formula that He works by or that there is a time constraint that needs to be met. But it is when we take the time to hear and when we are willing to wait to hear. Let's face it we want to hear now, we are too busy to take the time...
You see we all need to read God's word; taking the time to let it soak over us. To let it to seep inside of us and to reach in to the depth of our being...To let it reach deep, deep down where it can replace the hardness of our thinking. To reach the harden walls deep inside, washing over them and filling us with the truth of His word and the presence of His Spirit. That we change our old ways into the new ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. So reading God's word, memorizing it, pondering it, let the Spirit help you understand the word, and letting the word of God work deep down inside to replace what was not true...
With that being said above, what is an important part of reading God's word? Yes, prayer. Prayer is more than asking God for things. It is also important for us to hear God when He does answer. You ask for wisdom in an area; so God answers yes go do or don't go do...but if you are not listening. What happens? We go back to our own knowledge or our old way of working out problems. We so easily rely on ourselves and not God. So as we read our bible we also need to ask God to help us understand His word. That we take the time in prayer to be listening to the meaning of the word and How God wants us to apply it to our self. Prayer, reading the bible, memorizing, and listening to God; all that takes time. So let's take the time. reread Psalm 119:9

Monday, January 9, 2012

The right helper

O.K. we mentioned the Helper, the Spirit of Truth. How He helps us on our Christian walk. That is He wants to help us on our Christian walk. The problem is that we get in the way... which is true but also there is another one trying to act like the Holy Spirit. That is the devil. Not only that, the ways of our world fight against the Spirit of Truth. Not only that people get in the way of the Spirit of Truth.
So what do we do? How do we know if it is "Truth" or not? There are 2 points that I will be sharing, one about how the Spirit of Truth works and the other how to test if it is from the Spirit. Now the Spirit of Truth(Holy Spirit) works in two ways 1. John 16:8 "And He(Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." He does this to all the world...His work on us as "pre-believers" this is the first thing the Spirit does. If we read on in John 16:13-14 "But, when He(Holy Spirit) comes, the Spirit of Truth, comes. He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." The second is to guide us into all truth. That is God's truth. So how do we know if the spirit we are listening to is of God? If it is of God it will not contradict His word the bible. You see the bible is the word of God. The Holy Spirit cannot give us guidance that is contrary to His written word. God will not tell us to sin...or to allow us to live differently than His word says. So we need to be reading our bibles daily to make sure we are listening to the right spirit and also we need to be reading our bibles to discern what is of God and what is not of God. Psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." It is very important to understand that the Holy Spirit will always be in line with the word of God. Let me say that one more time, the Holy Spirit will always line up with the word of God. If it doesn't put on the breaks...it is someone else, not some one good. Refute them with God's word. Just like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him.

The helper

Last week we ended with "the first good deed" if you will. We asked the question, "What did you do with the good news of Christmas? Have you put your trust...and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? For this is the beginning and without this, no one can please God. Now what we need to notice is that this first deed, does not involve work on our part; God does all the work. Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." You see the beginning of our Christian walk is based on the works of God through Jesus Christ.
A lot of things happen when we make that decision to accept the Gift of God. Better yet God does a lot of things (works) when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord. You are redeemed, you are forgiven, you are not judged, you become a child of God, ...and the Spirit of truth comes to you. John 14: 16-17 Jesus speaking, "I will ask the father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." God does a lot of things for us after we receive the Gift of God; He gives us more and more. But what we all need to notice is that He gives us the Spirit of Truth to help us here on our Christian walk.
The thing is that we need to let go, let go of ourselves, our ways, thinking, directing, planning...and to listen to the Spirit of God. To help us in our ways, thinking, directing, planning... You see God knows that we in of ourselves cannot please Him, that is that we miss the mark...we fall short. So He sends to us a Savior, Jesus Christ; who paid the price of our sins, to restore us. Also a helper to help us because we still need Gods help in doing what is right...You see we still live in a fallen world...there all sorts of things that draw us a stray. We need Gods help all the time. We need to learn to listen to the Spirit of God as He helps us. Now that is not an easy thing to do. What I want us all to recognize is that we have a Helper. That we must learn to listen to Him...For most of us it may mean to slow down, quiet our hearts and minds; to pray. To pray and ask for wisdom, direction....guidance. It is not easy to pray; but is easy when we take the time. We all need to choose to take the time to pray, to be with God talking. Not only asking for forgiveness, I need this thing...but to say God what does this mean, How about that? Is it alright to do_______. So let's make time to pray.