Posts Tagged With: sin

More Than Dreams

The Video series More than Dreams describes the lives of several people who dreamed dreams that evidently came from the Creator and altered their lives. If you wish to learn how God speaks to people today, visit the sight and watch as 5 people have their lives transformed by Truth.

Some years ago, I also had a dream that altered my life permanently. I suppose some would attend to my description of seeing Jesus risen from the grave and take this as evidence, but I prefer to boast of how the vision of the Lord who Loves has changed my life.

There have been days when I have been kicked and spat at. Still, I chose to love those who would want to be my enemies.

There have been days when I had no money and needed money for rent. Still, I chose to thank God for His provision.

There have been days when I was sick and alone in the hospital, despised and rejected. Still, I chose to encourage my neighbor because I had hope in the one who raises the dead.

There have been days when I was accused of violating social norms. Still, I chose to share the word of Christ and live in light of eternity, rather than just live for today.

There have been days when I labored all day and did not receive any short term gain. Still, I looked to the Lord of Heaven and He rewarded me and provided for my daily bread.

There have been days I have had to go hungry for long periods and days when I have politely eaten more than enough. Still, I have learned to be content in the Messiah as my meat and my mind's fullness.

There have been days when no one wanted to talk to me. Still, I listened to the hurting and crying and cried out to God on behalf of the nations.

There have been days when I could not get out of bed or have been run through extreme tests in the labs. Still, I remember my brothers and sisters who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

There have been days when I wondered when my hopes and goals would be fulfilled. Still, I labored on and journeyed on towards my goal.

How are we able to persevere despite much difficulty and opposition and labor?
Only by grace.

Grace is essentially the presence of Jesus in our lives. He never leaves us and never forsakes us and never abandons us. Jesus walks with us to the end; by faith we walk with Him if we keep in step with the Spirit.

Perhaps my favorite verse in all the Bible that sustains me in hard times is that Grace is enough for you for power is perfected in weakness.

Yes, I have had visions. I have seen mighty and powerful answers to prayer that shook the heavens. I have seen provision come in amazing ways. I have talked to many people and traveled to places that are only dots on the map to most people. But it is grace, God's rich grace, that sustains me.

The Lord continually nourishes me with His Word. Do you have this assurance that speaks to you in the watches of the night and in the heat of the day? Do you tune into the Truth 24/7 or do you tune into the world's channels? Do you listen to the voice of the Lord or are you distracted by the world's voices? Does the devil drive you like a goatherd or are you moved by the Spirit of the Living God?

"Jesus, speak to me today, tonight, tomorrow, and to eternity. Let me see Your glorious and gracious face that I might be changed to be more and more like you. You, Lord, are my friend. Since you are the Friend of Sinners, I must confess that I am a sinner. I trust that You not only died for my sins, but that You rose to grant me new life. You have seen my adultery, my hastiness, my wastefulness, my adulteries, my lies, my theft, my pride, and my impatience. I look to You, Lord Jesus to remove all those and grant me a perfect integrity that comes from You alone. Father in Heaven, we praise Your name for Your faithful mercy, which is renewed daily. In the name of the Prince of peace, Who is our Comfort and Who has sent us the Comforting Holy Spirit we pray. Amen."

Categories: Good News, Suffering, Testimony | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Love and Hate

The Lord’s hatred is more loving that the most compassionate Buddhist or most devout Muslim.

Buddhism states that that the key to escaping the pit of suffering is to cease desire.

The Word of God says that the way to escape suffering is to desire the Lord Jesus more than your necessary food.

Often, compassion  is demonstrated by Buddhists by allowing people to die with dignity.

Jesus displayed the depth of His compassion by getting angry at death and raising the dead.

Mohammed demonstrated his devotion by calling for the execution of those who dishonored him.

Jesus displayed his devotion by calling for mercy on his executioners as he was shamed on the cross.

Mohammed demonstrated his love by gathering up to 10 wives at one time to himself, regardless of their marital status, age, etc.

Jesus showed his love by rebuking religious hypocrisy and forgiving the immoral woman who threw herself at his feet.

Human religions of every variety excuse sin.

Jesus judges sin and pardons sinners so that we might come to Him.

Jesus did not stay on the cross for us to gaze upon; He rose from the grave on the third day so that we might have power to transform societies into gatherings of saints who likewise hate sin and love one another.

O that I might hate sin more and live in God’s love more!!

Categories: Cross, Good News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord is my Inheritance.

There is a whole category of people who are called to Christ and have a passion for the nations & for the weak & marginal and have sought to go with a variety of service groups and who are repeatedly told no, don’t go, be quiet, just settle down young man.

The reality is that if I were to go to my field of focus, I would probably die in short order because I would of my zeal or I would be disregarded as a lunatic because I would lose all my sleep because the medicines that help me relax & sleep sometimes would be unavailable.

Instead I pray.

I dare say that often my prayer lacks impact that I am aware of. I tend to pick certain countries & prayer goals and remember them as reminded, so I make lists.

Is this unfocussed? No, usually the only times I have observed the impact are when I stop praying and problems happen.

In retrospect, I have however seen the Lord start movements in various peoples that I prayed for and the timing was impossibly too neat to correlate due to chance. God uses our prayers for movements. Over and over, I find that God works far more in my absence than in my presence. He is a big God, and he wants us to pray Big, foundation laying prayers.

If the leaves of the tree in the Revelation of Jesus given to John are for the healing of the nations, then we must plead for that salve to be applied for the salvation of the souls of societies.

Praying requires a whole different category of action, it elevates us to the heavenlies, for we read the divine counsel in the Word and render judgments according to Psalms 2:8: the Son will have the inheritance that is His! HE shall possess the earth. HE is waiting for us to ask. He knows exactly what He plans to do and He is always on the right side of history.

Politicians will fail us.
Disasters are unpredictable.
The devil is dangerous.
The nations are too large for us to reach them in our own power.

But every time we kneel in prayer and cry out for help, God hears and acts. Every time we stand on His promises, the Lord proves His faithfulness. Every time we sit in His presence and ask for the nations, the Lord God sends forth His angel armies to intervene. Every time we fall flat on our faces and humble ourselves before the King of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty rejoices over us with singing and stands in the gaps that we cannot fill.

We cannot fill the gaps for we are sinners,
I am the worst
But He is perfect
We fail. He is faultless.
The Lord will succeed in every intervention He begins.

Our actions, our giving, our prayers, our sacrifices all must flow from our lives guided by the Word of God for them to be effective.
This is why years in prayer are often needed to accomplish what may take a season of actual service.
Then, when the doors close behind us after our work is finished, then the Lord Spirit goes to work most earnestly, with greater freedom than we could ever have.
This is the story of China.
This is the story of Iran.
This is the story of all who are bathed in prayer,
This is the story of all who are bathed in the Spirit.

This is why statistics lie about the future.
Statistics are based on what man sees.
Faith is about what God has promised.
Hope is the certainty that God will keep His promises.
Love is behaving according to this confidence that God is love.

Categories: Missions, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe and John

Today “Joe” t.alked to “John.”

Joe is a Christian who has talked with John before.

Today we met at a local retailer and got on the bus together and sat next to each other at the back of the bus.

John started his hustle, trying to get girls to pimp and make money from. Trying to get girls pregnant. Promoting “adult” entertainment, etc.

He did acknowledge that after a near heart attack recently, that limitless weed smoking is not a good thing. Smoking is indeed a health hazard. Joe the Christian urged John to repent of his pimping and promoting sex as an entre to prosperity economically.

John wanted to close off his ears to the good news “noise.” He rejected the law of God so he could not hear the hope of eternal life. He did not want to be honest about the consequences of his sin. As a result, John missed the hope of eternal life yet again. He heard enough of the warnings about God’s wrath to know that he deserved it.

The last I had a chance today to really speak to his heart: John was still hardened to the call to holiness.

How many people are going to hell simply because they repeatedly reject the invitations to get right with God. They know they sin. They know that God is calling them to repent but they keep postponing repentance. They pretend that there will always be another day to do the right thing.

Today is the day of salvation. If you know you are sinning, admit that to the Lord and turn away from your selfishness.

Jesus is waiting just a little bit longer. Your sins will find you out. Your lust, your theft, your lies, your selfishness, your adulteries and curses will all be exposed on judgment day.

Are you ready?

Categories: Good News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short Shorts, Sin, and the Incarnation

Scott Mackintosh took on shame so that his daughters would live honorably.

Scott Mackintosh took on shame so that his daughters would live honorably.

Almost a year ago, the above foto of Scott Mackintosh went viral. He dressed down, way down, to communicate to his daughters, one in particular, that “modest is hottest.”

Scott was not above humbling himself in what many would regard as humiliating. He did not aim to humiliate his daughters, but humbled himself of his rights as a the “Best. Dad. Ever.” in order to help his daughters choose the path of honor.

There are some fathers in the world who will beat their children if they do not dress in a full burqa. There are some fathers and mothers who might make their kids wear a sign and stand on a busy intersection. But real men make their points in humility.

Indeed, this is a small picture of what Jesus did for us. He who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God. In Christ, God touched the unclean and became “contaminated” in the world’s eyes. He was humiliated in the world’s eyes. He was scorned by the world. But Jesus had a higher aim in view: the salvation of the world.

The Lord Jesus was instrumental in creating the world, and though the whole universe was formed at His command, the people He had redeemed from Egypt rejected their Savior. Jesus used this rejection to bring righteousness to the nations. Jesus became utterly sinful, a blasphemer in the eyes of the Jewish establishment, in order that all the peoples everywhere might join in praising the Holy Name of God and call God, “Our Father.”

Our Father in heaven did not remain austere and distant, but drew near. The Lord spoke severely against sin, but all the same he spent time with sinners. Jesus made it possible for the wretched rebel to reconcile: He revealed our sin and redeemed us from it. Jesus healed the defiled by touching us and telling us to clean up our act.

Jesus did not confirm us in our sin, or merely “tolerate” sinners. He called sinners to follow. To be holy. To be like Himself in mindset.

Joy, Peace, Righteousness … all are available in the Holy Spirit.

What sin are you deceived by?
What rebellion are you clinging to?
What wrong have you not sought to right in your life?
Where is Jesus inviting you to repent?

Do it. He is worth it.

The Father’s embrace is waiting. The Fame of our King is worth you calling on the Name of Jesus. The Fullness of the Spirit is available to all who turn at His gentle rebuke.


Categories: Good News, Holiness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What are the Costs & Benefits of Humility

Humility is something people praise.

Few will praise a proud person for their pride. They may praise someone for their accomplishments, and then the person may become proud. But pride is an ugly thing. Pride is deadly.

But what does humility cost?

1. Humility costs pride & dignity. Often, the humble have been shamed and insulted. The pain of this cost is such that it is not something that people go looking for it. Rather, God comes looking for the proud soul and humbles them like Nebuchadnezzar … so that they will come back looking to Him. Humility is willing to go unacknowledged.

2. Humility costs money. Humility, when matched with resources, becomes generosity. Not ostentatious giving, but practical, earnest, passionate, loving gifts flow through the hands of those who are poor in spirit. There is something about wealth or the prospect of wealth that puffs up.  The loss of that prompts humility.

3. Humility costs convenience & time. Pride rushes ahead to be first in line, humility lets others go first and is willing to be last … if only grace may last. Life is best enjoyed during detours. Pride may smirk, but is discontent, because those inconveniences come to all. Pride barges on, humility lets others procede first. Humility drives in the slow lane.

4. Humility can require physical suffering. This may be an injury that disables someone and so makes them unable to continue to compete in a sport they were highly recognized for. It may be a beating by persecutors when a saint in an oppressive environment fails to be watchful. It may be a Job-like seemingly meaningless torment that simply makes one more humble and takes away pride in humilty.

Now then, what are the benefits of humility?

1. God’s grace. God gives grace to the humble. Those who are humble can do God’s work with His help. Pride is crippling; humility enables.

2. Quiet respect by others who are humble. A leader who is humble is more likely to be honored with a higher position than an arrogant man who is wicked.  Pride puffs up; humility endears.

3. Strength. When one is not constantly striving to build up oneself, there is strength to serve and strength to endure. The simple strength of humility enables one to last when others cast him out. Pride lasts for a moment; humility endures.

4. Multiplication. Humility sees how others can be enabled to serve alongside of oneself. It is not content to do it all by itself. Pride isolates; humility equips.

If you read through the accounts of the Kings in the Old Testament, those leaders who humbled themselves before God were blessed with better endings. Even evil rulers were blessed to last longer if they humbled themselves. But a good but proud ruler was liable to lose his life.

Are you humble? Are you gentle? Are you kind? Are you patient? Do you love the unloving and unlovely? If not, what do you need to do to change?

When you vote, do you look for leaders who will make you more comfortable or for leaders who are humble? Sadly, the office all too often humbles the noble or the noble humble the nation. Leaders have a poor record of leading with humility consistently.

Categories: Humility, Leadership | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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