Friday, February 17, 2012

True friend / true brother

Some things are just hard to do! When we are doing a physical task, it is easier when you have help. When I was in college, we would sometimes form study groups, each of us helping one another to learn...I had a group of friends that we encouraged each other in doing our studies...We kind of help each other along.
Sometimes we need to have friends to help us along. To encourage us to be better, to help us in our time of need...It seems that in our society today most of us men are non dependent or independent. That most men do not have close friends or a friend that they can go to with, let's say, "disappointing news". News that will make one wonder why am I your friend, if you did or do that, or what kind of a man are you?... As men, that thought or feeling is a real stumbling block. Yes it is true, no one wants to be looked down upon...the feeling of shame. Seriously, when one is looking for help...a friend needs to help! When a brother is looking for help, a brother needs to help. We forget what our Lord has said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." We forget that we to are sinners saved by grace. We forget that there is a battle going on and that the battle is at your friends/brothers front door and he's not doing good, he's getting beat up...He needs help. We forget that just maybe the battle will be at our front door and we will be the one calling for help.
What do we do as friends, prayer, prayer. That would be the first! You notice prayer twice; that is to represent continued prayer... Helping him with the issue, be it taking him to work...to avoid. Helping him to understand the better way...showing him the better way, example. Bible study... It can get pretty deep. But what if it is beyond you? Well there are groups that help with special issues. For example the For men's only group. Dealing with sexual sins...but here is the deal brothers are you willing to take a brother there, to go with him...People may see! People may hear! That you are there. You see that is the biggest problem, that others see...and other_______________. They do not see the good picture.; that a brother or even sister is going to be healed! It's a good thing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trusting to pray

Now sin has a desire for us, it is powerful and it is used powerfully by the evil one. You may ask, is he still talking about how to deal with sin? Yes we are. Let us never forget that this battle will last a life time. Now we have been talking about the tough sins, hard sins, the sins that plague us. You know the sin that we just have a hard time to let go of. You tried all the ways...mentioned...and it still is plaguing you. Sometimes you lose hope, what can I do now...
Well there is still another principle for us to grasp to help us deal with sin. James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins one to another and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." Now let me go back a few verses and say this, "there are here in James 5 two more principles/ways to help us to deal with sins." The first is to go to the Elders for prayer, which we see in verses 14-15. I know it is dealing with sickness, but if you read on it deals with sin. Believe it or not sin can also cause sickness. Now in verse 16 it tells us to confess to one another. Yes that does mean to tell on yourself. Tell someone that you are dealing with a sin...Now here is the important part, so that person will pray for you. Just like going to the Elders, it is so that they will pray for you. It is that we need help! The help of a godly man who will pray for us. For our church leaders who will pray for us. For us who have this problem that we cannot handle on our own, that we are willing to reach out for help. That help being prayer, intercession. Let me say this, it is hard to confess a sin to another, a sin that plagues you, admitting a weakness; admitting a strong hold, admitting something bad is wreaking havoc in you.
With that, for the ones who are being asked to help, it is a great responsibility. Another brother is coming to you for prayer, for continued prayer if you will. He is trusting you to pray for him. He is trusting you not to be judging. He is trusting you to help him be healed. He is trusting you because he sees you as a "spiritual" person. Or better yet the word, righteous, is used in our verse. Oh that we will be willing to ask and that we will be willing to pray for each other.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Clean clothes

Are you ready to do something, something different? When we talk about sin's that seem to plague us, we need to ask that question. Isn't it true that if we do not replace the wrong action, we tend to go back. Or as we mentioned if you have too much time, spare time, it needs to be focused. Is sin that hard to master? Yes, it is! If I was to ask all of us, is there a sin or sins that just keep on popping up in your life or a sin that is just so deep inside you just kind of gave up. That is you tried... you decided to just live with it.
Before you were saved the clothes that you were wearing were filthy rags, dirty and stained. You washed them but the stains still showed and even sometimes the dirt just did not clean up. When you became saved, through Jesus Christ, you were given a new set of clothes(new creation). So you are walking around on the earth and guess what you trip and fall. Now there is a brownish green mark on your knee. Some of us will continue that way for different lengths of time. But let's say you are on top of your game; you go to God. "God look what I have done, I have stained my new clothes." God replies give them to me I'll have them washed. In the back of your mind your have done this before, washed your clothes...but the stain never came out. And then God says, here you go, good as new. You look at your clothes put them on, you feel good again...You ask what kind of soap...He replies, My son uses miracle soap to wash clothes, it's powerful, no stain will be left behind. You have your clothes on and you feel good again, all cleaned up, ready to go. Now some of us we tend to play near the mire(mud), it seems to pull us. We get dirty all over...what do we do? We do the same as the example above; we ask God to clean up our mess. He does! And guess what? It feels good to be in clean clothes...
You see guys, we need to remember what it feels like to be in clean clothes. The more readily we confess that sin that plagues us and we get clean...Hopefully,we will start staying cleaner longer and longer...it feels good. We start to like that more than playing in the mire...You see sin can be fun for a season. Let's be real here some sin(s) seem to fun...if you will; but sin will get you dirty and can even kill you. Being all cleaned up in clean clothes...eventually, hopefully that will be more fun! Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssops, and I shall become clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." and if you continue reading to verse 10 it says " create in me a clean heart...and renew...That is what our God is about, cleaning us up and restore, renewing...go to the Savior.