Katholisch Leben!

The Jesus Brothers

Sünde

"Sin is refusal of sonship"

Prof. Dr. Scott Hahn

(He goes on to say that repentance is the removance of the obstacles that stand in the way of our sonship)

(in Vorbereitung)

 

Sünde ist Sünde. Todsünde und lässliche Sünde sind nicht biblisch!

Sehen wir uns 1 Jn 5,16-17 an: "Wer sieht, dass sein Bruder eine Sünde begeht, die nicht zum Tod führt, soll (für ihn) bitten; und Gott wird ihm Leben geben, allen, deren Sünde nicht zum Tod führt. Denn es gibt Sünde, die zum Tod führt. Von ihr spreche ich nicht, wenn ich sage, dass er bitten soll. Jedes Unrecht ist Sünde; aber es gibt Sünde, die nicht zum Tod führt." (Einheitsübersetzung).

Todsünde und lässliche Sünde sind also sehr wohl biblisch begründet! Johannes unterscheidet hier zwei Arten von Sünde. Manche Sünden führen zum Tod und vernichten die Gnade, die wir zu unserer Erlösung brauchen. Lässliche Sünden hingegen sind immer noch Sünden und ebenso eine Beleidigung Gottes, führen aber nicht zum Tod.

(Quelle: www.saintjoe.com)

Der Frosch im heissen Wasser

Mit dem Suendigen ist es wie mit einem Frosch in heissem Wasser: wirft man ihn einfach so in heisses Wasser hinein, springt er wieder heraus. Wenn man ihn aber in angenehm warmes Wasser setzt und langsam die Temparatur erhoeht, wird er gekocht, ohne dass er es ueberhaupt merkt. Genauso ist es mit der Versuchung zur Suende: wenn wir uns immer wieder jeden Unsinn im Fernsehen ansehen, wenn wir nicht auf das achten, was wir sagen und wie wir es sagen, wenn wir auch bei der Auswahl unserer Freunde und Freizeitbeschaeftigungen nicht unser Ziel und unseren Glauben im Auge haben, stumpfen wir immer mehr ab, wenn es darum geht, Suende zu erkennen und zu vermeiden. Wir brauchen nur einmal die heutige Gesellschaft ansehen: vieles von dem, was uns heute ueberall in den Medien und im Alltag begegnet, waere vor nicht allzu langer Zeit undenkbar gewesen! Offenbar sind wir schon so an das „heisse Wasser" gewohnt, dass wir eher die Bibel neu schreiben („gemaess der heutigen Wissenschaft uminterpretieren") und eine 2.000-jaehrige Kirchengeschichte ueber den Haufen werfen, um das Rad neu zu erfinden – wir heute sind ja so viel schlauer als all die Menschen, die vor uns gelebt haben sowie intelligenter als der Schoepfer des Universums! Hierbei gibt es nur ein Problem: Jesus kommt wieder – zu einer Zeit, wo es keiner annimmt. Und die Begleitumstaende Seiner Ankunft werden uns nicht gefallen...

 

Archbishop Sheen on Twitter

Why?

Why doesn't God pull the leash? Why would He let us harm others or turn away from Him? Well, life  is one big school. During that time, the Lord gives us a 1000 good chances and invitations to come to him. He lets us take the choice, however.

Sometimes, the Lord seeks us by letting us go. He lets us go our own way in the hope that this will bring us back to Him someday.

And what about following Jesus now, what about accepting His call and believing in Him? Well, sometimes we tend to discuss more the message than become like the messenger. When the disciples came running to Jesus complaining that others were driving out demons in His name and obviously even doing a better job there, He told them to let them do it. The disciples were more concerned about the message, about being in control - Jesus wants us to become the message. To BE Jesus to somebody.

So while apologetics is a great and necessary thing to be able to defend one's faith before oneself and others and also to assure one's identity, the best way to defend and keep it is to be Jesus to somebody.

Be like Jesus to someone.

Today.

Robert

(Based on the teachings of Richard Rohr and also HA).

 

 

A Biblical Portrait of Sin

To fully understand what God accomplishes in us when He forgives sin, it is important to look to the Bible for the meaning of sin.

Sin in man is, first, an aversion or turning away from God.

Job 34:27
Because they (humankind) turned away from him (God) and heeded none of his ways ...
Is 1:2-4
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for the Lord speaks: Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me! An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master's manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood. Ah! sinful nation, people laden with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children! They have forsaken the Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized.
Dan 9:9-10
But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you and paid no heed to your command, O Lord, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.
Rom 1:19-24
For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over ...
Phil 3:18-19
For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
Mt 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Jn 12:43
For they (the Pharisees) preferred human praise to the glory of God.
Ja 4:4
Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

The sin of man is also a conversion or turning to created things.

Rom 1:19-24
For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over ...
Phil 3:18-19
For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
Jn 12:43
For they (the Pharisees) preferred human praise to the glory of God.
Ja 4:4
Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Is 22: 12-13
On that day the Lord, the GOD of hosts, called on you To weep and mourn, to shave your head and put on sackcloth. But look! you feast and celebrate, you slaughter oxen and butcher sheep, You eat meat and drink wine: "Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"
Rev 18:7
To the measure of her boasting and wantonness repay her (Babylon) in torment and grief ...

Aversion from God leads to eternal death.

Rom 6:23
For the wages of sin is death ...
Col 2:13
And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh ...
Rom 7:13
Sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin, worked death in me through the good

Turning to created things leads to punishment from God.

Num 14:20-23
The Lord answered (Moses): "I pardon them as you have asked. Yet, by my life and the Lord's glory that fills the whole earth, of all the men who have seen my glory and the signs I worked in Egypt and in the desert, and who nevertheless have put me to the test ten times already and have failed to heed my voice, not one shall see the land which I promised on oath to their fathers. None of these who have spurned me shall see it."
2 Sam 12:13-14
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered David: "The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."
1 Cor 11:29-32
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; but since we are judged by (the) Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Rev 18:7
To the measure of her boasting and wantonness repay her (Babylon) in torment and grief ...

The saving power of the blood of Christ saves us from eternal death and washes us free of the guilt of sin.

Eph 1:7
In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace
Eph 2:5
Even when we were dead in our transgressions, (God) brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.
Rom 5:9
How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him.
Col 1:14
... in whom (Jesus) we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Heb 9:13-14
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
Heb 13:12
Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood.
1 Pet 1:18-20
... realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.
1 Jn 1:7
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
Rev 1:5
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood ...

The Word of God provides a way for man to do reparation--to remove the temporal punishment due for sin--for the personal or social values lessened or destroyed when man turned to created things in sin.

Dan 4:24
Therefore, O king, take my advice; atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor.
Joel 1:14
Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the Lord, your God, and cry to the Lord!
1 Kgs 21:26-29
He (Ahab) became completely abominable by following idols, just as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites. When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh. He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued. Then the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son."
Jonah 3:6-10
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: "Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish." When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.
Prov 16:6
By kindness and piety guilt is expiated, and by the fear of the Lord man avoids evil.
Mt 6:16-18
When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.
Mk 9:28-29
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, "Why could we not drive it (deaf/mute spirit) out?" He said to them, "This kind can only come out through prayer."
Act 10:4
Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.
1 Pet 4:8
Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.

The constant faith, paradosis, of the Church attests to the two-fold effects of sin, aversion from God and conversion to created things, the two-fold punishments due to sin, eternal and temporal, and the satisfaction of one by the blood of Christ and the other by reparation.

    • Tertullian (Rome, 160 -220 AD),
    • Athanasius (Alexandria, Egypt, 293 - 373 AD),
    • Ambrose (Tier, Germany, 340 - 397 AD),
    • Jerome (Stridon, Slovenia, 345 - 419 AD),
    • etc.

The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the double aspect of sin as follows:

Catechism Section 1472
To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

By way of summary, the following is a chart of the revelation of sin and its consequences.

SIN
aversion from God
conversion to created things
(Job 34:27)
(Is 22:12)
|
|
OFFENDS GOD
PERSONAL/SOCIAL VALUES LESSENED/DESTROYED
CULPA
POENA
(Rom 1:19)
(Rev 18:7)
|
|
eternal punishment due
temporal punishment due
(Phil 3:18)
(2 Sam 12:13; Jonah 3:5)
|
|
DEATH
REPARATION
(Rom 6:23)
(Acts 10:4; Dan 4:24)
|
|
OR
OR
|
|
Friendship restored at Calvary
Punishment from God
(Eph 1:7)
(1 Cor 11:27)
|
|
GRACE
POWER OF THE KEYS
(Eph 2:5; 2 Tim 1:9)
(Mt 16:19; Mt 18:18)
Before death: Indulgences (Mt 16:19)
After death: Purgatory (1 Cor 3:11)

The Existence of Sin

It is frequently said that what the Catholic Church taught about sin was not always biblical. Catholic Christianity has always used the Bible as its source for what is sinful.

It is important to state that all sin offends God. With even the slightest sin in our eyes, we alienate God and are unholy in his sight.

Mt 6:24
No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Ja 4:4-10
Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, "The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy"? But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

It has been objected that the long standing teaching of the Church of a distinction between "mortal" and "venial" sin was an artificial distinction. But is was the Apostle John, Evangelist and author of three epistles as well as the Book of Revelation, from whom the church took that distinction among sins.

1 Jn 5:16-17
If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly (venial), he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin (mortal), about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

The Church is also criticized for teaching sin by lists. But again it is from the Bible itself that the Church takes the lead in teaching the word of God about those behaviors which are sin.

Mk 7:20-23
(Jesus said) "But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile."
Gal 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Eph 4:25-31
... putting away falsehood ... Be angry but do not sin ... The thief must no longer steal ... No foul language should come out of your mouths ... All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.
Eph 5:3-7
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them.
Eph 5:18
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery
Mt 5:28
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mt 5:32
But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Mt 5:34
But I say to you, do not swear at all
Rev 21:8
But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
1 Cor 6:9-10
Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Indulgences

By definition, an indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to personal sin, provided that the sin has already been forgiven. The power invested in the Church and her bishops and priests to grant indulgences is found in several scriptures.

To Peter alone Jesus granted the first power to bind and loose anything.

Mt 16:19
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

To all the disciples Jesus later granted the same power to bind and loose.

Mt 18:18
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

To all the disciples Jesus gave the power to forgive sins.

Jn 20:21-23
(Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

As can be seen from the nature of personal sin, as man turns from God and towards created things, man incurs both guilt and punishment. Through the blood of Jesus, all guilt of sin-turning from God--is remitted through confession of sin. Punishment, limited temporal punishment due to sin-preferring created things to God--still remains.

Num 14:20-23
The Lord answered (Moses): "I pardon them as you have asked. Yet, by my life and the Lord's glory that fills the whole earth, of all the men who have seen my glory and the signs I worked in Egypt and in the desert, and who nevertheless have put me to the test ten times already and have failed to heed my voice, not one shall see the land which I promised on oath to their fathers. None of these who have spurned me shall see it."
2 Sam 12:13-14
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered David: "The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."
1 Cor 11:29-32
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; but since we are judged by (the) Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

The three classic actions leading to indulgences are prayer, good deeds and almsgiving.

Prov 16:6
By kindness and piety guilt is expiated, and by the fear of the Lord man avoids evil.
Dan 4:24
Therefore, O king, take my advice; atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor; then your prosperity will be long.
Luke 19:8-9
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham."
Act 10:4
Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.

The teaching Magisterium of the church in ecumenical council also affirms indulgences.

Council of Trent (1545-1563), Decree on Indulgences, Sess. 25
Christ gave the power of granting indulgences to the Church, and since the Church has, even in ancient times, made use of this divinely given power (Mt. 16:19; 18:18), the holy council teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences--a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the holy councils--should be kept up in the Church; and it anathematizes those who say that indulgences are useless, or that the Church does not have the power of granting them.
Vatican Council II (1962-1965), Constitution of the Revision of Indulgences, No. 1
The doctrine of indulgences and their practice have been in force for many centuries in the Catholic Church. They would appear to be solidly founded on Divine Revelation, handed down "from the apostles."

From the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1471
An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1473
The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sections 1478-1479
An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity. Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.


(Quelle: http://romanticcatholic.com/apologetics.html - used with permission)

 

As For Me And My House

All throughout scripture we are admonished to discipline ourselves to live a godly life, not a worldly life. Yes, we live in the world, but the ways of the world, (the ways of the ungodly), are not the ways of God. They lead to destruction. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23 KJV

The author of the Proverbs reminds us that, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov. 14:12 KJV

In fact the proverbs are replete with comparisons of the ways of the righteous and the ways of the unrighteous. They are replete with the ways of good and evil.
We would do well to meditate upon the scriptures. To meditate on the scriptures is to stop. To consider, think, weigh in the balance of its words, upon the Word of God.

To meditate upon scripture is not trhe same as the pagans who meditate in a trance like state, in an attempt to reach a higher state of consciousness, which in fact are doing nothing more than making contact with the Demon Spirits, whom fill their minds with the contrary ways of God. Thus these adherents to occultic or not, meditations, do the will of Satan rather than the will of God.

In contrast to those who meditate on scripture, on the ways of God, they do not go into a trance like state, filling their minds with ungodly thoughts, but instead consider and fill their minds with the ways and Word of God. Those who do so consider and balance the rewards of following and obeying God, rather than following and obeying Satan. The reward of those who meditate on God and His ways is eternal life with Jesus Christ. On the contrary, the gift, the reward for those whom follow after the ways of Satan is darkness, separated eternally from God, with Satan, with no chance of ever crossing over the chasm from darkness to light.

Jesus spoke more on hell in our scriptures than on heaven to give us a warning of what will befall those whom follow after Satan, rather than Himself. Jesus uses the story of the rich man and of Lazarus to contrast and show us what is the final destiny of all of us. We have one of two choices to make before we draw our last breath here on earth. We have the choice to either follow the ways of God, or the ways Satan. Whichever choice we make, will determine our eternal destiny, either heaven or hell.

The choice is simple. To follow the ways of God leads us to and eternity living in the presence of God eternally, with a renewed heavenly body, to no more suffer pain, sickness, death and misery. The opposite choice is to suffer an eternity forever banished from the presence of God with no chance to ever cross the chasm between heaven and hell. To live in eternal darkness, in pain of agony, thirst and discomfort.

Read for yourself the account Jesus gives of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. Here we see in detail the eternal rewards of the choices we make while we still draw breath here on earth, on this side of eternity. At death we read that Lazarus whom we can infer was a righteous man, was lifted up to the bosom of Abraham ( representing eternity in heaven) Jesus says that now, Lazarus is comforted (Luke 16: 25). That is that, whereas, Lazarus while on earth suffered from pain, sickness and disease, from persecution, and bad treatment from the wealthy of the world. But at death, he was immediately taken to the Bosom of Abraham, to heaven, to live eternally with his reward in the everlasting presence of God, of Jesus.

However, the rich man whom sought the ways of the world, who sought to reap the riches and pleasures of life on earth, upon his last breath was rewarded eternally to Hades upon his last breath. Luke 16:23. Here, he is no longer in comfort, but is in eternal torment of pain and agony, thirsty forever, unable to have his thirst quenched. This is the reward of those whom seek and lust after the ways of the world, whom seek after the pleasures of the world. These are the rewards of those whom meditate on the ways of Satan, rather than the ways of God.


1 Tim. 4:7-16 shows us also so clearly that those whom follow and obey the teachings, the doctrines of God, will be eternally rewarded to, not a hope, but a promise of everlasting life with God. 1 Tim. 4:7 says: “But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness." (KJV) If we were to turn this on its side we would read; "Have nothing to do with the ungodly ways of the world."

Following this verse are instructed to discipline yourselves for godliness, for we are told that if we discipline ourselves following the ways of the world, seeking after it’s temporary pleasures, it profits us but for a short time. Whereas if we discipline ourselves for godly living, it holds a promise for things (eternal) things to come in heaven.

Therefore my brethren, may I implore you, may I beseech you to meditate daily on the ways and things of God. And once you understand, and obey there teachings therein scripture, know this, that your eternal reward will be alongside of Lazarus, forever comforted.

So, what is your choice? "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 KJV

André B., Canada

Sin


Now, you may ask what burning cedar and sin have in common, or have one with the other.

This morning I fed my wood stove early in the morning with some small cedar blocks to boost the heat output. Later on when I opened the door to add more firewood, bits of cedar hot coals spit out onto the floor.

It crossed my mind at that time that sin is just like that. When we open the door to sin, a small fire begins to grow in you. The more you add to its pleasures, the hotter it gets. And when you try to close the door on it on your own, you are able to control it for a short time. But later on as temptation arises and  you give in that temptation and open up the door once again, sin spits out at you with even more fury, consuming you. I had a hard time controlling the embers of coal that were spitting out at me. Each time I reached out and picked up one ember and opened the door to throw it back into the firebox, another ember spit out at me, and often a few more would come at the same time, to the point that I was having a hard time to keep it under control. Isn't that just like sin. The more we play with it, the more it keeps coming at us.
The moral of this little story is, do not open the door to sin at any time. And if you have, then lock the door permanently to it, so that it cannot gain control over you ever again. The more you play with sin, the more it controls you. And the harder it is after the fact to get rid of it.

Remember, you cannot control sin, it controls you.

andre

Sin - Part II


Some of you, like me often at times flirt with sin. You think you can sin and get away with it. It is like playing with matches and dynamite. You can play a while, but in time, you will get hurt.
 
Most of you have flirted with sin, and paid the consequences, only to go back and play and play and play again. How long do you think you can continue to flirt with sin? Do you really think you can keep on playing with sin and not get hurt? Do you think you can keep on sinning for a long time and escape any pain, any hurt, any judgment of God? Is. 28:22;  Do you think God will allow you to forever keep on in your sin? Do you as a parent allow your sons and daughters to continually get away from wrong doing? Would God also not allow you to continue in wrong doing?
 
Gal. 6:7-8   God makes it plain.
 
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (‘Gal 6:7 KJV)
 
 
These verses tell us that God will not allow us to continue on in sin forever. In time He will judge and pass punishment on those who continue in sin habitually. It could be with death, with disease, with loss of loved ones. Who knows? God Knows!
 
Is aids a disease of those who are obeying the Word of God? Is syphilis, is gonorrhea, or any other sexually transmitted disease a judgment against those who obey God and His ways?
 


Sexual immorality after all kills and destroys more families, friends etc than does any other sin, be it with drugs, alcohol etc.

Go ahead and continue in your sin if you wish. Play with it. Seek it out. Cruise the saunas, seek out another thrill. Go to the bars. Pick up another one.

It really does not matter, because there is no God to stop me to do what I want to do. I can do whatever I want and there are no consequences. So goes the thinking of most of the world. Are you part of the most of the world? Do you really think God is not real? Perhaps you think He is blind and cannot see your sins. I won't bother to quote you verses that say otherwise. Because some of you think He is blind, or turns His eye away from your sins.


I am ashamed of some of you, because you behave like the world. Behaving as if God is blind, as if He will turn a blind eye away from your sins. Believing there is no consequence from you sexual immorality.

Is not your body, a temple, a temple belonging to Christ? Therefore when you are using your body for sinful acts, are you not also using your body for Christ. Therefore you are using Christ for your sexual immorality. Will you continue to mutilate, to crucify the body of Christ with your sexual immorality? You put the body of Christ world wide to shame when you sin this way. You put to shame the witness of the world body of Christ. How can we as a body of Christ proclaim Him when we disgust and abuse ourselves sexually with the whole world watching. Do you not think others see what you do? Do you not think others whom have heard you proclaim Christ also see you disclaim the witness of Christ with your sin?
 
I will not turn my back on you, nor will God. BUT!! He will neither allow you to continue in your sins for very long before He has to stop you and punish you. If you are not serious about change, will God be about helping you to change?
 
Rom. 1:18-32 is  telling look at not only the past Gentile world and judgment, but of also today, for the world is no different for many go about flouting their sin and going about in their sin thinking that they can do what they want believing that no harm can come to them.

Do not be so foolish my friends. The time is here and is coming very quickly when once again the wrath of God will descend. Yes, you may get away with your sins for a time. But in time God will also reign in his patience and will wreak havoc and wrath on those whom practice immorality.



Go ahead and destroy your body if you will. Go ahead and take another child of God with you if you will and suffer the shame and consequences. But stop professing Christ if you will not obey and follow His ways. For how can you be a follower of Christ if you follow not Christ?

I would rather you, whom continue to flaunt and habitually sin would leave rather than destroy the witness of Christ. Sure. it is one thing to fall now and again. None of us is perfect, but to continue on habitually and then come back and cry I have done it again, is not repenting or turning your face to God.  

This is hard and meant to be hard. Wake up. Smell the coffee. Smarten up and either work at change or go back into your caverns of sin.

andré

ESV Audio Widget

Psalm 1

What is Faith?

(a practical Bible study)

Faith is trust something that you can not see with your eyes.

It is to believe that someone or God can or will do something that is normally unusual, or nor expected.

In the past I illustrated faith when I told you about people who would not walk on the glass floor at the top of the C.N. Tower, and how a guy could walk across a cable with a wheel barrel across Niagara Falls.

Today God asked them to do something very unusual.

And they were expected to obey and do it in faith, expecting God to free them from the bondage of slavery in a very spectacular way.

God told them through Moses to kill an innocent lamb, one that was in perfect shape physically.

They were to paint the spilled blood from the lamb on both sides of the door at the front of the homes and also on top of the door as well.

God was going to send His Holy Spirit to pass over all the homes of all the Egyptians and all the Israelites.

And he was was going to kill all the first born of every family home that did not have the blood of the lamb pinted around the doors of their homes.

The innocent lamb was a symbol of the first born in the Israeli homes.

This sacrifice was a symbol which the people of Israel understood.

An innocent life had to be taken to spare them from death.

They did not undertsand at the time that this was also a symbol looking far ahead into time when Jesus would be offered as a sacrificial lamb to save the world from the punishment of their sins.

Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.

Or has John 3:16 says; "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (King James Version)


The people had lived in the land of Egypt for 400 years and they must have been very failiar with the gods of Egypt.

Did you know that the Egyptians had a god for almost everything? They had a god for the water, a gof for the cattle, a good for the sun, moon and stars and on and on.

God showed the people of Egypt that there is no God like Himself.

Their god had no power, they were useless.

Through the plaugues God demonstrated His power to the people of Israel.

He showed them that He was powerful enough to free them from the bondage of slavery from the Egyptians.

When it came time for the people of Israel to step out in faith, they were ready.

With this last plague it seemed like the pharoh and the people of Egypt finally got the message.

They finally believed that the God of Israel was the real God and that He was more powerful than their own gods.

At this point they were anxious for the people of Israel to leave because they feared that God would kill them all if they did not leave.

That evening before the Plague began, God instructed the people again through Moses to bake a loaf of unleaven bread.

Unleaven bread simply means a bread that does not rise. It is flat bread.

They were instructed from that time onward to eat unleaven bread every year and to celebrate celebrate the feast of the Passover every year as a reminder of how He, God had freed them and delivered the people of Israel out of the bondage of slavery from Egypt.

Just like God was watching over the people of Israel that night, God is always watching over you to.

He is always watching over you, to protect you from harm.

And just as he promised to free them from the bondage of slavery, God also promises us, that He will and wants to free us from the bondage of sin.

Jesus is always watching over you and He wants to help you to keep away from sin.

To be in bondage to sin is like this.


Call a Volunteer.


As I wrap a single thread once around the wrists with gloves on say:

Everyone of us has lied at one time or another, and most of us tell lies often.

Many people think it is okay if they tell just one lie.

They think that there is no harm in that.

No one gets hurts.

It's no big deal.



Tell volunteer to break the thread.


They think that if I only do it once, I will have no problem stopping and never telling another lie.

It's the same thing with kids who think that having one cigarette or one beer is okay.

They can stop and never do it again.

Then later on, they get together with friends who offer them another cigarette or another bottle of booze.

Again, just like lying, it's no big deal.

I can quit whenever I want.


Continue wrapping thread around the wrist several times
Ask volunteer to try break the thread.
It gets harder doesn't it.


Once again, you get together with friends and again they offer you cigarettes or booze, but you say, no, I really shouldn't.

But they keep coaxing you and finally you give in and you have another cigarette or another beer.


Continue wrapping the thread


And it happens again and again and each time you think you can stop whwenever you want, but each time you find that it is harder and harder to resist.


Every sin is like that!


Just like the thread, the more I wrap around (        ) wrists, the harder and harder it gets to break it.

Sin is just like that.

The first time you do it, it is no big deal.

The next time does not seem so bad, no one is getting hurt, so why not, do it again.

Soon you find that you are doing the same sins over and over again, and like the thread wrapped around (   ) wrists, it gets too hard to quit.

You just can quit it on your own

So what's the solution? How do you quit?

The answer is Jesus.

When a sin becomes a habit, you need to turn to jesus and pray and ask him to help you get free of that sin.

He will come and help you to be free of that certain sin if you are serious about wanting to quit, and if you are serious about wanting Him to help you.

On your own, you'll never be able to quit.

But with God, all thyings are possible and he will set you Free1!!!!


CUT THE THREAD


Just like God wanted to free the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt,
  God also wants yo set you free from the bondage of sin, if you will let Him.

Will You Let Him?

What are some sins that have you in Bondage?

Worries, fears, lying, stealing, cheating - all these things can keep you in bondage. All these things and any other sin can keep you from being free

They keep us from being happy.

They keep us from praising and worshipping and spending time with God.

They make us sad.

They also separate us from the love of God


So Again, who and what can set you from from your sins?

God can set you from from your sins.


What's the best way to not get involved in any sin?

Answer, to always obey God and do what is right.

If you alway obey Him, and do what is right, you will not have to worry about
getting involved in sins and becoming a slave to it.

When you obey and do what is right, God will lead you to a happy life and then in the final victory over sin, He will take you to heaven to be with Him Forever.

Praise God !!!


Everyone sitting quiet


Think now for a few moments of some sins that you might be a slave to like lying, cheating, worrying etc.

God wants to set you free from those sins right now, today.

So close your eyes and pray for a minute asking first that He will forgive you of those sins and then ask Him to help you to break free and to be free forever from those sins.

When God sets you free you will have joy in your heart that you never knew.
It helps us to be more happy and to love Him more.

God we thank you that you love us so much that you sent Jesus to set us free from the burdens of our sins.
We give you our lives today and ask that you would work in our hearts to set us free.
We love you and thank you because the freedom you give us lasts forever.

In Jesus name.

Amen

André

Trusting God

While reading your answers and I came upon the statement “I just have to learn to trust Him more." I was reminded of the time I was at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. I may have shared this before, but it is worth sharing again. At the top of the tower is a section of very thick glass about 4 foot square that you can stand on and look straight down to the bottom of the
tower. Now, if it was unsafe to stand on they would certainly have it roped off with something solid so that it would be impossible for anyone to stand on top of it. Everyone who goes up there knows it is safe to stand on. But few actually will. Why? Because although they know it is safe, they really do not really trust it.
 
Unfortunately many Christians are like that to. We say that we believe what God tells us, but we do not in actual fact really trust Him.
 
Here is another antidote of trust. Everyone knows of Niagara Falls in Ontario Canada. It is a very famous spot. Tourists come from all over the world to see it. There was a tight rope walker who was well known for walking and carrying all kinds of objects across the cable that traverses the falls. He would carry objects in a wheel barrel, on his shoulders etc.

When he asked others if they think he could carry someone safely across the cable in the wheel barrel, everyone would say "certainly." But none would let him do it to them.
 
Please read these postings on trusting God.

 
Trusting God

Job 13:15
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 (King James Version)

How much do we trust God? Do we trust Him in every situation, or only in some? Can we trust Him with our lives? Would we trust Him even if He took our life or the life of someone we love?


I. Introduction

A. Trust can be defined as: a firm belief in another's honesty, ability or
integrity.

1. Trust means that you believe that someone will do exactly what he says he
will do, no matter what.

2. Trust means that doubt about another person never even enters your mind.

B. Many think that they have a deep trust because they obey God.

1. But that is not trust; that is obedience.
2. It is easier to obey God than to trust Him.
3. We can blindly obey someone because we think its the right thing to do?
4. But we trust someone because we believe in Him.

C. The example of Peter.

1. He thought that He trusted Christ; but he denied his Lord 3 times in one
night.
2. And he wept bitterly because of it.
3. His trust wasn't based upon a true belief; it was based upon emotion.

D. Job's trust in God was not based upon emotion.

1. It was based upon a complete belief in God as the One who knew what was
best for him in all situations.
2. It was based upon a complete belief that whatever God put into his life,
God was still to be trusted.
3. Job uttered these classic words after he had gone through the worst
testing that anyone has possibly gone through.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 (King James Version)
4. He said this while everyone else told him to curse God and die!

II. Trusting God Boils Down To Whether We Believe What He Says Is True Or
Not.

A. How do we know that we can trust God?

1. Because what He has said in the past has come to pass.
2. We have seen prophecy fulfilled exactly as God has said it would.
3. We know that His Word is trustworthy, we can count on Him.
Psalm 9:10 (King James Version): “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
Psalm 33:4 (King James Version): "For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth."
4. We see that others have trusted God before us.
5. Men have gladly laid down their lives, they have faced torture and pain;
they have lost their homes and families.

B. The early church was persecuted and hunted down because of their faith.

1. In other countries this continues today.
2. They really have to have trust in God.
3. We know very little of real persecution for our faith.

C. The one thing that God has said that is the hardest to believe?

1. That we will continue to live on after death.
2. To really believe this is the supreme test of whether we trust Him or not
 
3. We all have to face death, but do we all truly believe that we will live
again?
4. God has said yes, but do we trust Him enough to believe it without doubt?

5. That is where faith comes in.
6. Do we trust Him enough to put our lives in His hands?
a. Eternity is not the question?
b. The question is will we spend eternity with God in heaven?
c. Or will we be separated from God and tormented for all eternity in the
lake of fire?
d. That is determined by our trust in God and His Word today?
e. Do we trust Him for our salvation?
7. If you have never placed your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ
on Calvary, we invite you to do so today!

III. Trusting God Does Not Always Mean That We Will Understand What He Is
Doing, Or Why He Is Doing It.

A. This is the real hard part!

1. This is where faith and trust have to operate at their highest level!
2. When all of the sudden everything in our life starts going bad, we begin
to wonder where God is at!
3. We wonder if He has forgotten about us, or if He still cares about us.
4. When all of our best laid plans go bad, we wonder why God would allow
this to happen to us!
5. We may even get mad at God.

B. Sometimes Christians it seems that we suffer more than unbelievers.

1. But God doesn't always operate the way that we think.
2. Our parents didn't always do things our way when we were children.
3. But we can't let that keep us from trusting God!
4. He knows best! He knows the future, we don't!
(Isa 46:10) "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times
the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will
do all my pleasure:"

C. Trusting God Is Not Based On Whether He Gives Us Everything That We Ask
For.

1. Selfishness doesn't produce trust.
2. How many people have you known that have said something like this:
3. "I asked God for something, and he didn't give it to one, therefore I
cant trust Him."
4. This is a very selfish motive.
5. And this will never develop trust in God, only fear.

D. The example of Paul

1. The Apostle Paul, who had a very legitimate request of God.
2. He asked God to heal him.
3. God said no.
4. Did Paul stop trusting in God because He wouldn't heal him? No.
5. He accepted the fact that God had another plan for him.
6. He accepted the fact that God knew what was best for Paul.

E. How do we develop a deep trust in God?

1. How do we get to the place where Job was where he could say, "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him?"
2. He had a relationship with God.
a. A real relationship.
b. Not just one day a week, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
c. He drew close to God.
3. We won't trust a stranger?
a. God doesn't want to be a stranger to any of us.
b. He desires for us to have a personal relationship with Him.
c. The more we know God, the more we will find Him faithful, and the more we will trust Him.
d. This was Job's secret: He knew God.
Do we know Him? Do we trust Him? For our salvation? For our daily needs? For everything?
 
It is hard to trust God at times. I am as guilty as most everyone else at one time or another in not trusting Him. We tend to not trust Him when things go bad, But when things are going great we praise and trust Him whole heartedly. Yes, you are right. We must learn to Trust Him. And that is achieved by developing a deep relationship with Him.

How do you do that? How do you develop a true deep relationship with anybody? By spending lots of one on one quality time with them. You do that by learning their likes and dislikes, by having fun times with them, by listening to them, by being there at all times when they call upon you. This we all do when we spend quality time with Him in Prayer, meditation, just being quiet and listening to His Still Quiet Voice, reading His word and studying it.

Let us all, start anew, to Trust Him, and spend lots of quality one on one time with Him. Nothing is more important in this life than God. Nothing, no person, no sport, no job, nothing is more important than God.

Are you scared to be alone to the point of falling into temptation? Why not turn off the computer and pick up the Bible Instead?

Take now that first step again for the first time with God onto the glass floor and walk on it with HIM.

André

ESV Audio Widget

1 Corinthians 10:13

Overcoming Temptation


Is there any one here who has never been tempted?

We are all tempted throughout our lives in one way or another.
Temptation comes in many forms.

Temptation is the world’s oldest problem.

It’s been around since the time of Adam & Eve in the garden.

We all have our weaknesses, in which we are often tempted to step over the boundary.

For some of you temptation may be in overeating, lust or a myriad of many other things.

We all have certain areas in our lives in which we need help to control.
The good news is that God wants to help you gain control of those areas of your life that you struggle with.

Temptation unfortunately, hinders & stops spiritual growth.


Example of Temptation

Here is an example of temptation and the result of what happens when we succumb to it.

Most of us have maybe done it ourselves as children, or know of someone who has.

You know the story.

Mom has just finished baking a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.

You walk into the kitchen drawn in by the luscious aroma of freshly baked cookies.

You mention to mom how wonderful it smells, hoping that she will offer you one to eat immediately.

But to your dismay, she tells you not to eat any. They are for lunch.
Mom steps out the door to check on the laundry.

Meanwhile you hang around the kitchen soaking in the aroma of your favorite cookie, still warm.

You pace around the kitchen constantly keeping the tray of cookies in your sight.

“Mmmmmm if I could only have just one”, you say to yourself.
“If I have only one, mom won’t notice.” You say to your self.

Gradually your feet begin to shuffle towards the cookies.

And before you know it, you have one in your mouth.

And as luck would have, who should walk into the kitchen just as you about to swallow.

Mom, being as moms usually are, asks the silly question, “What’s that cookie doing in your mouth?”

You look up at her and immediately try to find a quick logical answer that will get you off the hook.

And you reply;” Mom, I climbed up to the counter, and wouldn’t you know it. A cookie got stuck in my mouth.”



What’s the Good News?

The good news about temptation is that God had offered a way to overcome temptation.

1 Cor. 10:13 tells us “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (King James Version)

What this verse is saying is, that no matter what the temptation that you are faced with, you are not alone.

All of mankind faces the same problems.

All are tempted. Temptation is normal.

We are all tempted in the same ways.


But! That is not all.

There is still a comforting message in this verse. God promises us that He will help us out. He will not allow us to struggle with the temptation on our own. Nor will He allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle.

People will often say that they just couldn’t help it when they fell into temptation.
Not so. God says you can overcome any situation, regardless of the temptation.
God has given us everything we need to overcome temptation. If you yield to temptation, it is because you chose to do so.

We will look at how God helps us to overcome temptation a little later.
But first, let us look at some important facts about temptation.


Facts About Temptation

1.    God tests us to develop our faith, our endurance and our character.
2.    Satan tempts us to sin in order to destroy our lives & our relationship with God.
3.    Temptation occurs when we feel compelled to satisfy or fulfill our God given desires in an ungodly & unlawful way.

Verse 12 of James chapter 1 says: ”Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (King James Version)

Blessed in this verse is translated from the Greek word “mak-ar’-ee-os”, which literally means “ Happy”.
We therefore could translate this to say; “Happy is the man who endures temptation,”

Why so?

Because there is a reward for enduring temptation.

Happiness comes when you have your life under control.
Your life is under control when you no longer have sinful bad habits, which control your life.

When you are able to say no to temptation, you are a much happier person.

Our verse continues to say that there is “A Crown of Life” for those who endure, overcome temptation.


The reward for enduring and overcoming temptations is “Life”.
Life eternally and life now, a happy abundant life.
When you learn to say “NO” to temptation you begin to live life, as God wants us to.

The Question Now is; “How do I handle temptation?
How do I say no when I want to say yes?

James tells us how to conquer and overcome temptation.

The process begins, by first having an understanding of the problem of Temptation.


1. We need to understand the problem of temptation

The best way to defeat an enemy is to know them well & to know their strategies.
So in order to learn how to overcome temptation, we need to know all we can about it.


What is Temptation?

My Unger’s Bible Dictionary describes temptation as: “ …the enticement of a person to commit a sin by offering some seeming advantage.”

Another definition given is; “The solicitation or an invitation to do evil. It is an opportunity presented to you to do something wrong.”


For example it is good for you to pass a test in school. But, it is wrong if you cheated in order to pass the test.

The test may be the trial, but the decision to cheat is a “SIN”.

James himself in scripture gives the best definition we have about temptation.

He writes; ”But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”. (James 1:14. King James Version)
And continuing, verse 15; ”Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15. King James Version)


There are three sources of temptation.

They are Satan, the world, and the flesh.
We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time.
Temptation in actual fact comes from within.
It craves the gratification that is offered from without; then when it has conceived, it brings forth sin.







The contest of the regenerate man

There is a continual battle going on within every born again Christian.
The flesh is in constant opposition to the spirit of a regenerated man.
And at the same time the Holy Spirit is continually moving, enticing the new man to oppose the desires of the flesh.
The trials of the flesh however, come from without.
They are in the things the flesh sees and desires.


2. Let’s be realistic about our temptations!

The fact of the matter is as a Christian you will be tempted to sin.
We are all tempted to sin.
It is not a matter of if, is a matter of when.
Temptations are inevitable.
Every day, one way or the other, we are all tempted to sin.
You are never too old.
You do not over come it by becoming more spiritual.
The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, or how close to God you are, we all are tempted to sin.
In fact, the closer you get to God, the more you will be tempted.

There is a common misconception among Christian that says, that once you are born again, you have got it all together.
Welcome to reality folks.
Can any of you say that you have got it all together?
I doubt it.
Do you remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says; ”There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (NKJV)
You see, there it is, we’re all in the same boat.
We all have the same temptations, the same problems.

It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation in itself is not a sin.

Heb. 4:15 tells us; “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (NKJV)

Jesus was perfect. He too was tempted. But he never gave in to temptation.
It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to it.

Often times, many of us think things that pop into our minds without meaning to.

Where do these thoughts come from?

They come from the Devil himself.
It is not your fault.

But if you continue to dwell on these thoughts and act on them, then you have sinned.


3. How Does God Deliver Us from Temptation?

So how does God help us to be delivered from temptation?
Let me give you five ways in which God helps to deliver us from temptation.

1. Don’t let the devil bully you around

Eph. 6:10-11 says “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (King James Version)

Satan’s # 1 strategy is to intimidate you.

He does this first of all putting nasty thoughts into your mind and then tries to make you feel guilty about them

You know how it is.

You could be sitting in the church, just as you are now, and bang, just like that, suddenly some awful blasphemous thought pops into your head.
You don’t know where it came from. You didn’t spend time trying to draw up some nasty things to think of.

But the devil, ooooooh, he is a nasty little fellow.
He steps up on your shoulder and starts making you feel guilty about the very thoughts that he has put into your head.

You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.
Likewise, you cannot stop the devil from putting bad thoughts into your head, but you can reject them.
Guess what friends; you do not need to be feeling guilty about bad thoughts that pop into your mind.

It’s not your fault.

The only thing you can do about these bad thoughts is to reject them.
Don’t allow the devil to intimidate you; don’t let him bully you around.
Scripture tells us: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16. NKJV)

Temptation unfortunately is normal, so don’t be intimidated by them, simply reject it, and remember where the source of it is from.

Put on the full armor of God and stand up to him.


2. Pray for Help

Ps. 50:15 tells us:”And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (NKJV)

Prayer is only a breath away. And help from the Lord is just that close.

He promised to help us if we will be pray, call upon Him

Is not temptation as good a time as ever to call upon Him for help?

Let’s face it folks there are very many situations when we are tempted to do something wrong.

For example, how about that time you were tempted to lie on your income tax, or perhaps to retort sarcastically to your boss.


Or how about you parents?

Have you never been tempted to sin against your children when you had it up to here with them for one day?

Sure, there are many situations when we have been tempted to sin in one ay or another.

God asks us to call for help in times like these.

And why not?

Since as Heb. 4:15-16 says, ”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (King James Version)

Because He Himself was tempted, yet did not sin, Jesus is able to help us when we to are tempted.

Therefore let us go boldly to the throne of grace and ask help in prayer from the one who has Himself, been tempted and yet overcame.


3. Refocus Your Thoughts!

If temptation begins with our inner thoughts, then changing what you are thinking is the key to overcoming temptation.

We have a great verse taken from Phil. 4:8 which helps us with our thinking.

Paul writes, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (King James Version)

Look also at Prov. 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (King James Version)

In other words folks when in times of temptation, turns your thoughts away from the bad and onto the good things which are holy, pure’ & good.

Focus on God’s goodness.


If you are on a diet and you start telling yourself,’ I am hungry, I am hungry.”

What is it you are focusing on?

You are focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

It has your attention, so obviously you are not going to be able to stop the craving for food because you have your full attention wholly on food.

The more you think about something, the more it has a stronger hold on you.

Therefore the key here is to refocus your thoughts on something entirely different.

You have to shift gears, change the channel.

Likewise sometimes when you are tempted it may be necessary to literally turn and run, just like Joseph had to do when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him.

You may also have to change the channel on the T.V. or shut it off if the programming is filthy.

I have walked out a movie house at the beginning of a movie because the first few lines were extremely vulgar.

Walk away from people who are telling crude and filthy jokes.

If you don’t want to get stung by bees, sometimes you have to get up and run.

If you are tempted to blow up in anger, you may need to walk away from the situation until you cool off.

No matter what it is that has got a hold your attention, if it si wrong refocus your attention or flee from it if you have to.


4. Share Your Struggles With A Close Trusted Friend

Many of us struggle with the same sin day in & day out.

Sometimes a Christian will carry the same struggle for many years.

You know what, IT HURTS!

IT’S PAINFUL!

I KNOW !  IV’E BEEN THERE, DONE THAT & EVEN BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT!

Friends, you don’t have to carry that heavy load by yourself.

James tells us in Chpt 5:16,”Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (King James Version)

If I were a betting man, I would wager that even right now, in this room, some of you are even now carrying a load that you have been struggling with for a very long time.

We’ve all at times carried emotional, mental & spiritual hurts, sometimes for too long.

God, through His servant James tells us to confess these things one with another.

Why, so that we may be healed.

Be open, honest and transparent with someone you can trust.

We are all in the same boat. We all have personal struggles.

The problem here is that Satan would have you to think that your problem is unique only to yourself.
He wants you to think that you are all alone by yourself in this struggle.

Guess what?

The chances are real good that someone else in this very room may be struggling with the same problems as you are.


Admit your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.

The question now is, Do you want to be healed or not?

Do you want to get over the pain?

What’s the key? Don’t repress it, confess it.
Don’t conceal it, reveal it.
By revealing your struggles with a close friend, you begin the process of healing.

Why should you confess your sins one to another?
Because once you do, the power that it once had over you begins to fade away.
When you begin to talk about a problem it no longer has control over you.
If there is a situation, a problem, a struggle in your life that you can’t talk about, it has control over you.
It is out of control.

If you can’t even talk about it, it is out of control.
It has power over you.

If you are having problem with your marriage & you cannot talk about it, it is out of control.

If you are having problems in school & you can’t talk about it, it is out of control.

If you have problems with your kids or a gutter mouth and you don’t want to talk about,

Guess what!

That’s right. It is out of control.


The very moment that you begin to talk about your problems, you begin to take back ground.

You begin to gain control over that situation.
When you do so you will have a feeling of liberation, of freedom.

You wanna know why?

Because when you do, you will find others saying that they to have been struggling with the same feelings.


Contrary to what the devil would have you believe, you are not alone.
Not only do you have friends here on earth to share your struggles with, but you also have an advocate in heaven.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1 King James Version)

& Remember this also;

1 John 1: 9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (King James Version)


Finally My friends,

5. Resist the Devil, the Tempter

James 4:7 says,”Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (King James Version)

Did you notice that there are two parts to this verse that we must do?

Submit to God.
This means that we must be subject to Him.
We must be ready to listen to Him.
We must be ready to obey Him.
We must repent.
We must not be proud & stiff-necked.

Then we must resist the devil.
We do this by closing our ears & hearts to his suggestions & temptations.
We do it also by using the Scriptures as the Sword of the Spirit to repel him.
If we resist him he will flee from us.

Eph. 6: 17 tells us to, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (King James Version)

In this whole analogy which actually begins in verse 11 we are commanded to “Put on the whole armour of God.” (King James Version)

Remember friends we are fighting a battle in our minds that is not between flesh & blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12 (King James Version)

We must be ready at all times to do battle. This whole analogy is a reminder to be spiritually dressed, to be spiritually prepared to do battle every moment of your life.

The problem is that too many of us are like spiritual streakers.

We get up in the morning and head off to work or to wherever, and we do not put on the armor of God to protect and prepare ourselves for the battle that lies ahead for us each & every day.

We have a tendency to start our day and often go the whole day without the Word of God.

We neglect the spiritual armor found in the Bible & in prayer.

When we do, the devil laughs at us because we are no threat to him. And we leave ourselves wide open to his fiery darts v:16

Getting back to Eph. 6:17, why are told to take the “helmet of salvation” (King James Version)


What does a helmet do for you?

It protects your head.
The battle for temptation is fought where?
In the mind.
Therefore the helmet of salvation protects the mind against the fiery darts of the devil.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have left your mind wide open to all the temptations and fiery darts of Satan.

You have absolutely no resistance whatsoever.
It’s like an open freeway to your mind.
You have no protection at all.

However when you are saved & become a believer, God gives your head protection, the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.

But you have to wear it.

I can go out and jump on a snowmobile or a motorbike.
But if I do no put on a helmet, I have got nothing to protect my pumpkin from a crash.


Likewise if I begin my day without some scripture reading and prayer, I have left my mind unprotected.

Next James tells us to also take our sword of the Spirit with us.
Which is what? The Word of God.
In other words fill your mind with the Word of God.

Another weapon, or antidote against temptation is God’s Word.

John 8:31 & 32 reminds us, ”If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (King James Version)

Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert when he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil?

In all three cases Jesus said,”it is written” & He quoted scripture to fend of Satan.

The Word of God likewise is also ours to use as a sword against the devil.

The best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about growing and becoming all that God would have you to be is to memorize scripture.


The Bible is worthless to you if all it does is to sit on the shelf & collect dust.
You need to read it, to use it, to study it, to memorize it.

But if you have scripture hidden deep in your heart, you can use it in times of temptation.

Ps. 119:11 reads, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (New International Version, ©2011)

Scripture memorization is not just for pastors, teachers, Awana club kids, but for everyone.

If you are serious about doing something about temptation, I challenge you to begin today to memorize scripture.


Conclusion

It was Martin Luther who said that you cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.
You cannot live without temptation, but you can choose to do something about it.

Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin when you dwell on it long enough that it eventually begins to take root into your heart and mind.

You have the choice to resist it and put on the helmet of salvation, think upon things of God.

You can only think upon the things of God if you immerse yourself daily in scripture and in prayer.

You can only resist the devil if you know the truth and the truth resides deep in your heart soul & mind.

And the truth shall set you free.

Remember that you also need the fellowship of other believers to help you fight he battle.

Share your struggles with others that they may help in the healing process.

What is the reward, the payoff?

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (New International Version, ©2011)

André

ESV Audio Widget

Romans 6:6

Who Are You Listening to?

Hi guys. Here is some food for thought. May God use it to bless you, encourage and uplift you.

André
 
Recently while reading a book I came across these words in a fictional story about a China man and an American business man who were once Harvard room mates. They were both standing on the Great Wall of China and the American saw the greatness and technical marvel of Chinese ingenuity. The Chinese saw the deaths of millions and the sorrow and pain of the slaves who built the wall.
 
The Chinese fellow said that we in the America's only see what the Chinese authority wants us to see, we do not see the whole picture, we do not see what went behind the building of the wall. We do not see the misery, the persecution of the Chinese Christians and of the poor in China.
 
He used the following to illustrate this point.
 
A frog was in a well. A bird stopped to drink at the well. They argued about how the sky looked. The frog thought it looked very small. The bird thought is was very big.
 
The bird could see the sky as it really was. The frog could only see a part of it.
 
We also do not always see clearly as we think we do see.
 
I am reminded that our lives on this earth are a reflection of this story. Especially our spiritual lives. We see and often act and react according to what the world, and to what Satan whispers in our ears. Consequently more times than not we take the wrong step and we fall into sin. As you know the result is pain and suffering, perhaps even death.
 
God cannot allow us to sin. He gives us ample opportunity to repent and come back to Him. But again, as often as not, we forget the bird in the sky view of what God sees and we listen to the words of Satan and of the world. We hear only the views of the frog.
 
God has given us His instruction book to help us to walk as He would wish us to walk to avoid the pitfalls of sin. We are fortunate in this day in age to have the Bible so available to us. Sadly it sits too often on the shelf collecting dust. What good is an instruction book on the shelf if all it does is collect dust. It would be like a student trying to do repairs to the carburetor in your car without having first some instructions on how to do the repairs. The result of course would be perhaps pain, suffering and quite possibly death.
 
The Chinese man said something interesting. He said: "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name."
 
As sinners we tend to want to give in to our sins, that is we want to hang on to them often because instead of seeing things as God sees them we believe the lies, and Satan, being the great deceiver that he is calls things the opposite of what things really are.
 
So where do we turn to, to learn and the the truth. The Bible is God's truth.
 
Ps. 111:10 says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments..."
 
Also Prov. 1:7 says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (both King James Version)
 
If we want to be wise and live a Godly life we need to follow the wisdom of God found only in the Bible. If we want His undertsnding and to live according to His commandments we need to be reading His Words.
 
A Bible sitting on the shelf collecting dust is as worthless as the car repair manual also collecting duct. It is totally worthless.
 
God instructed the people in the days of Joshua to put the words of the Lord in front of their eyes, to put them on their door posts and gates so that they will be forever reading them and learning His ways and words and instructions.  In so doing, they will by way of absorbing God's words, begin to not onlly read, but also to live a godly life and thus avoid the pitfalls of sin. Because, when you are reading and living, and breathing God's Word daily, you are not falling into the well and only seeing a portion of what God wants you to see. You are seeing and living the whole of Him. And thus you will not fall into the temptations and snares of the world and the devil. You will not be believing and listening to the lies and misrepresentation of the world and Satan.
 
God wants us to live a joyful life with Him as our Father and guide. He wants to be part of your life. He wants to live in you, and you in Him.
 
Take a moment and reflect and think hard on your own personal life and see if you are listening to the words of the frog or of the bird.
 
Perhaps you are listening to the frog and you are grappling and struggling with your sins, struggling with your addictions. Perhaps it is time to climb out of the well of despair and fly and be as a bird and live your life the way God intended it to be.
 
We do not always see as clearly as we think we do when we are living in a well. But surely if we climb out and fly in the glory and brightness of the Lord, we will see things clearly as they are. We will then ignore and walk away from the temptations and lusts of the world and be free. Jesus wants you to be free. He said the Truth shall set you free.
 
Do you want to be free?
 
Take that Bible now off of the shelf. Dust it off. Toss away things on your computor, books and things of the world that corrupt your mind, and begin a new day, a new way and fly and be free.
 
As one radio Bible broadcaster says; " Have a good and godly day; for what lasting value is a good day, if it is also not a godly day."

André

Temptation

The word temptation, as it appears in the original language in 1 Corinthians 10:13, can refer to the temptation to sin, or it can refer to testing and trials. Christians are not free from temptations and testing, but we are not alone in them either. You do not experience anything that hasn't been experienced by others, which is one reason fellowship with other Christians can be so helpful.

God is with you when you are tempted. He allows temptation to strengthen your faith and help you grow, but the temptation is never beyond His control. Not only does God offer unwavering encouragement and assurance, but He also provides a way out of the temptation.

You can be encouraged because Christ Himself experienced temptation and gives you the perfect example of how to deal with it. Jesus understands temptation (Hebrews 4:15). He is not merely a compassionate bystander, but He actually knows our difficulties firsthand. It is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted, yet He never sinned. Sin occurs when you submit to the temptation rather than to the will of God. When you depend on the resources of God, you can resist any temptation.

Andre

Governing (Bridling) the Tongue James 3:1-12



(Watch Your Words)

There is a story about a woman in an Indian village that maliciously gossiped about another lady and her family in the village.

A day came along when she realized that she was totally wrong about this lady & her family & had a change of heart.

She went to the wise man of the village and asked what she could do to undo the damage that she had done.

The wise man told her to go home & kill all her chickens & then pluck all the feathers from the chickens and put them in a bag.
After doing that, she was to go back & see the wise man, but on her way back to see him, she was to scatter all the feathers that she had plucked.

The lady left & did all she was told to do.

When she got back to the wise man he told her to now go back & pick up all the feathers that had been scattered.

Needless to say, the woman was rather confused by this strange command.

Because by now the wind would have scattered all the feathers throughout the village & beyond.

The wise man then told her, “And so it is with your careless words. They are like the feathers scattered by the wind. You cannot retrieve them.”

With that the woman walked away feeling broken hearted because of her careless words.

But from that day forward, she was determined to Watch Her Words

The words, which we speak to one another, are powerful.
They have lasting effects.
The words we speak can give life, hope & love.
But they can also bring death, division, & destruction.
Prov. 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (King James Version)

Once a word has gone forth out of the mouth, it is too late.
The damage is done.
That is why James tells us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. 1:9

Another way to put it is, we should engage the mind before we engage the mouth.
It important, you will see to not let what you say be the result of anger.
When we are angry we say things that we should not have said, & often regret having said after the fact.

The tongue you see is a wet place & it can easily slip.

We have a stern warning given us by Jesus in Matthew 12:36 & 37 which says;

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (King James Version)

Take note of this.
Every word that you speak is an accurate gauge of your life.
Every word spoken will form the basis for condemnation or acquittal.
How great for example will be the condemnation of the Pharisees for their vile & contemptuous words they spoke against Jesus.

And think on this as well.
In the case of believers, the penalty for careless speech has been paid for by the blood of Jesus.
However, our careless words if unconfessed, and un-forgiven, will result in the loss of rewards at Christ’s Judgment Seat.

James also tells us that the bridling of the tongue verse 1:26, is the main ingredient to pure religion.
An unbridled tongue he says makes ones religion useless.
In other words, the uncontrolled tongue is inconsistent with the Christian faith.
You can measure the maturity of a Christian by the content of his speech.

Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 13:11: ”When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (King James Version)

You might ask, why must I watch what I say?
After all they are merely words, and besides, I am just kidding.
Words, James says are significant.

In Chapter 3, James tackles the problem of the unbridled tongue head on.
The problem of the tongue is a common theme throughout scripture.
This is seen particularly in Proverbs.

James illuminates the problem of the tongue with a series of illustrations, which would have been common in his day and in which we can easily identify with today.

First of all James approaches the problem of the tongue with a warning about the teaching office.
In the early church, teachers played a prominent role within the body of the church.
In Paul’s writings we find that he lists teachers as one of the top three gifts of the church.
(1 Cor. 12:28 & Eph. 4:11)

The teaching office was a popular office for those seeking prestige in those days.
After all, this was a society where very few people could read, & there was very little room for advancement.
The concern of James here, I believe was that because of the prestige attached to this office, many people were flocking to this ministry for all the wrong reasons.
Thus the warning by James,”My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” James 3:1 (King James Version)

This meant not that teachers would be judged more strictly than other Christians, but rather that the teacher took on an added responsibility.

It meant that because of this prestigious office, they would be under the constant scrutiny, not only from God, but from man as well.

Therefore he had to be careful to live and to practice what he taught.

His greater knowledge brought with it the responsibility to live according to that knowledge.
A teacher who does otherwise is prone to leading others astray.
Being a teacher carries with it great responsibility.
In a similar manner today, especially with the electronic media, the government and other high profile people carry a responsibility to lead a clean and moral life.
Because whatever they say & do will be heard on the six-o-clock news.
And of course we can see that whatever they do is often copied by others who think that whatever they see these people doing must be right.

The warning of the uncontrolled tongue is not only directed at teachers in this chapter.
In fact from here on, James seems to move away from teachers to “WE” in verse 2, where he says, “For in many things we offend all” (King James Version)
To paraphrase, ”We all make mistakes, we are all prone to stumble.”

The emphasis here is not on the # of sins, but rather on the variety of sins.
In contrast though, James says “we offend all”. (James 3:2 KJV)

Name one person if you can who has never spoken on ill word of another, nor ever sworn, nor ever said one impure word.

Even with the best intentions we often slip with the tongue saying things we had no intention of saying.

However in contrast to all of us James tells that the one who can control his tongue is perfect and is able to bridle the entire body.

In other words, if you can control the use of your tongue, he says that you are a well-disciplined person having control over all areas of your life as well.

Do you know any such persons?
I know one, me.
No, I mean Jesus Christ.
He is the only one ever born who had perfect control over all He said & did.

Now James goes on to paint for us 5 pictures, which portray the power & danger of the tongue.

In the 1rst two pictures we see that though the tongue is but a small thing, it is very powerful & able to control the whole body. V:3
Because the tongue is but a small instrument, we think it rather insignificant.

The use of a horse is used here to illustrate something small controlling something large, which would have not been something new to the people of the day.
In the 5th century B.C. the playwright Sopholces had one of his actors say,
 ‘ I know that spirited horses are broken by the use of a small bit.”
Picture if you will the size and power of a 2 to 3,000 pound stallion horse.
A 95 pound jockey rides on its back and controls the entire movement of this immense powerful beast with nothing more than a small piece of steel in the horses mouth & a few skinny straps of leather.

Likewise your tongue controls the direction of your life wherever you want to go, and a few sounds forming words can change your life and or that of another.

Like the tongue, the bit is but a small instrument, & depending in which manner you use it, it to can control the entire body.
David in Ps. 39:1 also used the illustration of the bridle in relation to the use of the tongue.
He said: ”I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” (King James Version)

It is only too easy to go flying off at the mouth when others treat us unjustly.

Jesus gave us an example as to how to conduct ourselves when others are slandering & abusing us with the tongue.

When He was before the throne of the governors, He kept silent as others were slandering & cursing Him & giving false witness against Him, even while they spit upon Him.

As difficult as that is, we to should keep silent before those who would also abuse us with the tongue.

A second picture of the power of the tongue is given us in the illustration of the rudder of a ship.

Even though it weighs only a minute fraction of the weight of a ship, it has the power to make the ship turn this way and that.

For example the Queen Elizabeth weighed 83,673 gross tons.

The rudder only weighed 140 tons.

That is less than 2/10’s of one percent of the total weight of the ship.

Yet when it is turned, it is able to turn the boat in any direction

It seems so incredible that such a small instrument is able to control something so huge, even against the wind.

In application to the believer, the tongue is but a small hidden instrument in comparison to the whole body.

Yet it can boast great accomplishments, both good & evil.

Look at the accomplishments of man through the ages.

Napoleon nearly conquered an entire continent, as did Hitler.

Man can boast of having stepped off his home planet and walking on the moon.

Look at what the astronauts have accomplished over the years.

Several years ago some astronauts chased the Hubble space telescope for 8,370 kilometers and did some repairs to it.

And since then they have done much more.

Twenty or more years ago such ideas would have nothing but dreams or the makings of a good comic book strip.

As the bit in a horses mouth and the rudder of a ship can determine the direction of each,
Likewise if a believer controls his tongue, he to can control his whole life in its proper chartered course and be looked upon by God as being a perfect man.
But when the tongue is not restrained, as small as it is, the rest of the body also becomes uncontrollable & the whole body becomes defiled & undisciplined.

In the second half of verse 5, James produces a transition from the disproportionate power of the tongue to the destructive potential of fire.

In this next simile the tongue is compared to a small fire, which causes great destruction.
Prov. 16:27 compares the speech of an evil or foolish man to a burning fire.

Similarly a small match when thrown carelessly can begin a small brush fire, which in turn can destroy an entire forest & leave a charred mass of ruin & devastation.

All it takes to destroy an entire forest is a small spark.

James says that the tongue can equally destroy lives.

Gossip is one of the worst things that another can be guilty of participating in.

One idle word can destroy a marriage, ones career, ones reputation, the church, a friendship.

One of the greatest catastrophes of history was the Chicago fire of 1871.

Reportedly, the fire was started when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over her lantern.
Whether this was true or not, the fire burned for days & over 3 ½ square miles of the city was burned.
It killed 250 people, left 100,00 people homeless, & destroyed property valued at the time about  $175 million.


The tongue is like a small match.
The potential for wickedness & destruction is infinite.
James refers to the tongue as a world of iniquity in vastness of potential destruction.
James 3:6

Jesus states that, “that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (King James Version) & continues to explain that the mouth expresses the heart in which are found evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness & blasphemies.” Matt. 15:11,18,19

The tongue can defile the whole body
It is easy to see how a person’s entire personality can be corrupted when one resorts to slander, abuse, lies & cursing others.

Somebody by the name of Clovis G. Chappell once wrote this about such people.

“The faultfinder injures himself.
The mudslinger cannot engage in his favorite pastime without getting some of the mud he slings upon his hands and upon his heart.
How often we have come away from such an experience with a sense of defilement!
Yet that was not our intention at all.
We were vainly hoping that by slinging mud upon others, we might enhance someone else’s estimate of our own cleanliness.
We were foolishness enough to believe that we could build ourselves up by tearing another down.
We were blind enough to imagine that by putting a stick of dynamite under the house of a neighbor we could strengthen the foundation of our own.
But this is never the case.
In our efforts to injure others we may succeed, but we always inflict the deeper injuries upon ourselves.”
(from "Sermons from the Psalms" by Clovis G. Chappell, 1931)

Oh how very true.

James goes on to say at the end of verse 6 that all this destructive power comes from hell of which the main man there is Satan himself.
Is it no wonder then that the power & destruction caused by the tongue is so deadly?

Just think of the damage that can occur if someone falsely accuses you of molesting a child.
The damage caused could last a lifetime.
It could be the cause of one losing everything, car house and all.
It could be the cause of some innocent person to lose everything that they have worked so hard to achieve for so many years.
It could cause an innocent person to lose a business.
It could all disappear by the stroke of a pen in the court of law.
All because of a false accusation or gossip.

Remember what proverbs 18:21 said?

It said: ”Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (King James Version)

The tongue can entirely ruin the life of an innocent man & his family forever.

Would you want that hanging over your head?

Again James 3:6 says of the tongue it ”sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (New International Version, ©2011)

Ones idle word can create a chain reaction of destruction that cannot be stopped once started.

You can idly say something without intentionally meaning any harm, which could be the cause of great damage, which could spread like wildfire taking down the equivalent of an entire town nor worse.

Here is an example of a chain reaction.
Perhaps not likely, but possible.
You come home from work & you are tired & grumpy & cranky.
The husband walks in and yells at the wife.
The wife yells at the oldest kid.
The oldest kid yells at his baby sister.
The baby sister goes out and kicks the dog.
The dog goes and bites the cat.
The cat comes in and scratches the baby.
The baby bites the head off her Barbie doll.

Would it not have been much simpler if the husband just waked in and bit off the head of the Barbie doll?
The baby would have scratched the catch.
And the cat would have bit the dog.
And the dog would have kicked the baby sister.
And the baby sister would have yelled at her oldest brother.
And the oldest brother would have yelled at his mom.
And his mom would have yelled at the husband.
And the husband would have bit the head off his wife named Barbie.
And the wife…

Okay, that is not likely to happen, but you get the picture.
One idle word can start an avalanche of destruction, which cannot be stopped.
Proverbs 21:23 tells us: ”Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
   keep themselves from calamity.” (New International Version, ©2011)

In other words, if you want to stay out of trouble be careful what you say.

The old childhood saying comes to mind when talking about how we use our tongue to hurt others.

I am sure you are all familiar with it unless you were born just yesterday.
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
In reality the opposite is true.
The wounds from sticks and stones can heal.
But the wounds caused by the tongue can last a lifetime.

Paul gives us some practical advice in Eph. 4:29-30
This taken out of the old King James Bible 1611
“Let no communication proceed out your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
verse 30 ”And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Paul is saying that when we use words that tears people down rather than building them up we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God.
God is not pleased with our words because they are not building up the body of Christ.

Hear the words of he Psalmist in Ps. 19:14
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (King James Version)

When was the last time you said something to uplift and encourage a brother or a sister, a husband or a wife?
Don’t you think it is time to start again?

The fourth picture which James likens the tongue to wild animals.
All kinds of wild beasts from birds to reptiles and animals of the jungle have actually been tamed.
But the tongue of a man, no one has ever tamed.

Most of us have been to the circus at one time or another or watched it on TV.
We have witnessed how the largest land animal the elephant can be trained to perform various circus acts or carry lumber or other kinds of labor in movies.

Man has tamed the wild Bengal tigers to be playmates just like a dog.
What about the African lion?
Man has trained it to perform all kinds of circus tricks from jumping through circus hops to riding it horseback style.

And most amazing of all is that man has trained them to open up their mouths wide while the trainer sticks his head inside the cavernous mouth of the lion.
Man has even trained the giant Boa Constrictor to wrap its body around the slender body of a woman without any fear of being crushed, which it easily could.

But James says that this same success which man has had with animals he cannot do to his own tongue without the grace and strength of God’s help.

Since the fall of man way back in the Garden of Eden, man has lost dominion over that one small piece of flesh.

Yet he has no problem to tame wild animals.

The tongue James says is a restless evil full of deadly poison. Verse 8.

It is humanly impossible for man to train the tongue.
Only God can do it.
The tongue is like poison.
The Greek used here is literally “snake venom”
Just a few drops can kill you.
You can assassinate some one with your words assassinate their character.
The tongue is a deadly weapon.
The description of he tongue as being like a deadly poison is also used in the O.T. teachings of the evil man which says’

“They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips.” Psalm 140:3 (King James Version)


The tongue used for evil purposes can easily destroy the character of a man.

How often have you heard gossip & maybe have passed it on knowing full well that it is wrong to do so?

I think that if I were to ask for a show of hands, you would likely all raise your hands to admit that you have gossiped or passed it all if you were being honest.

I know that I have been guilty of it.

Sadly it happens all the time in churches including here at Northland.

I know because I have heard several times.

Lev. 19:16 clearly condemns any form of gossip.
It says: ”Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.” (King James Version)

How often have we engaged in mudslinging to get even with another?
How often do we belittle others, criticize & downgrade behind closed doors?
How many have had to leave the fellowship of a church because of slanderous rumors.

I say: ”SHAME ON US FOR SUCH BEHAVIOR!”

When we belittle others, we belittle ourselves when we stoop to such behavior.

Is it no wonder that the church of today is so empty as compared to ten and maybe twenty years ago?

People looking in from the outside look at us and they see people who are just the same as they are.

HYPOCRITES THEY SAY OF US.

And rightly so.
I am greatly ashamed of what we are as a body of Christ when we use our tongues to hurt and cause trouble.

WE ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE CARRYING ABOUT THE LABEL OF CHRISTIANS.
WE PUT TO SHAME THE NAME OF CHRIST.

In the last few verses James paints one final indictment of the tongue.
That of double mindedness.
In James 1:8 we read: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (King James Version)

This theme is carried on again & manifested in partiality in James 2:4 and again in the failure to produce justifying works. James 2:14-26

And of course, double mindedness is magnified in the use of the tongue by some.

You may have heard of the fellow of whom it was said that he was a saint abroad & a devil at home.

James tells us it is inconsistent for the Christian to use the tongue for both good and for evil purposes.

In one breath a man blesses and praises the Lord and then in almost the same breath he is cursing others who are in the image of God. Verse 9

These things aught not to be done James tells us. Verse 10

It is only in the tongue that we see these inconsistencies.

The tongue that blesses and praises God should rather than cursing others be used to help others, to uplift them.

Did you know that to curse someone in the O.T. was to desire that they be cut off from God and experience eternal punishment?

Is that what we really wish for one another, especially among fellow brothers & sisters in the body of Christ?

Jesus gave us an example to follow when others use their tongues for evil purposes against us.

“Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” Luke 6:28 (King James Version)

In Rom. 12:14 Paul wrote something similar when he said;
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” (King James Version)

ARE THESE TWO VERSES TELLING US IT IS OKAY TO CURSE AND HURT ONE ANOTHER WITH OUR TONGUES?
HEAVEN FORBID, QUITE THE OPPOSITE!
SO WHAT IN THE WORLD OF GOD’S WONDERFUL CREATION ARE WE DOING USING OUR TONGUES TO LASH OUT AND HURT ONE ANOTHER?

A person’s speech is a barometer of his spirituality.
It reveals what is in his heart.

Concerning the use of the tongue Jesus gave us this stern warning: Matt. 12:36-37
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (King James Version)

A person therefore who is inconsistent with regard to the things of God in his speech will be double minded and be inconsistent in his speech.

James illustrates the incompatibility of a pure heart and impure speech in 3 final pictures.
Each is painted in a rhetorical question, expecting the answer to be no.

1) Does a spring bring forth both sweet and bitter water?
Of course not. A spring is consistent.
It is either good or bad or indifferent, but always consistent in producing the same kind of water.
It is likened to Ps. 64:3 & Pr. 5:4 where speech is often said to be bitter.

2) The 2nd image is that of a fig tree.
Can it bear olives? Of course not.
Likewise a pure heart is unable to produce false, bitter, harmful speech.

3) And lastly, James once again returns to the analogy of water.
This time though the comparison is between salt and fresh water.
Again the fountain cannot produce both salt and fresh water.
I was on the east coast a couple of years ago and had he unpleasant experience of tasting salty water in the ocean while swimming.
But while in the water I neither tasted fresh water.
No it was always salty.
Likewise I have been all across Canada and through many parts of the States and swam in many inland waterways.
In none of these spots did I ever taste salty water.
No the water always tasted fresh unless otherwise polluted.

The obvious conclusion to these three analogies that a good heart always produces good speech, and the evil heart, evil speech.
Only therefore a renewed, born again heart will produce pure speech.

Many will come up excuses when they say something mean or hurtful.
They’ll say that they didn’t mean it, or that is totally out of character for them to have said such a thing.
James would say, yes, it is. It is just like you. You meant it. Quit kidding yourself.
What is inside is going to come out.
You do not have a spring that one minute gives spring water and the next salty.
That’s inconsistent.
It’s a natural law.
What comes out of a well is what is inside.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:34: “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (King James Version)

Jesus explained many years in advance what is known as the Freudian slip.
He said whatever is inside a man is going to come out.

Ones tongue displays what one is really like on the inside.
It displays who you are and what is in your heart.
It reveals your true character.
“for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (King James Version)

All that comes from the mouth should perhaps be put to three-fold test with the answering these three questions.

1) Is it true? If something you say is not true, then it should not be said.

2) Is it kind? If something you wish to say is not kind and uplifting, then it to should not be said.
What my mother used to say to us as children still rings in my ear today.
She would say: “If you have got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

3) Is it necessary? If you wish to say something, and it is not necessary, or maybe not the best time to say it, then say nothing.


We should be constantly on our guard & pray to God to set and watch before our lips.

And we should pray to that “the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Ps. 19:14 (King James Version)

And remember one last thing.

We should present our tongue as well as the other members of our body as a living sacrifice, holy & acceptable unto God.

Here are just a few more verses to meditate upon regarding the use tongue.

Prov. 13:3  “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”

Prov. 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”

1 Pet. 3:10  “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” (all King James Version)

The solution to a hurtful tongue can be found in Ezekiel 18:31
Which says: “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit….” (King James Version)

Let us pray

(André)

ESV Audio Widget

Isaiah 1:18

God is the Potter

Hi Guys, here is a little something for thought.
 
 
It is said that Michaelangelo never used a model to sculpt. It is said he had the image in his mind what he wanted to carve, and it was just as matter for him to remove the excessive material from the block of marble to reveal the image inside.
 
We are told that God is also a potter. That He molds us and makes us into the image He wants us to be.
 
When you come to Him confessing your sins and confessing your desire to allow Him to change you, that He to already has an image of you in His mind of what he wants you to be like. You to, already have that potential within you to be that model he wants you to be. It's up to you now to allow Him to begin the work on you to take away the things that cover up the sculptured image He has prepared for you.
 
I urge you to now allow Him to chip away the sins, the dirt and things that are covering up the image within that He has prepared for you.
 
How about it?
 

André

The Father of Lies

Jesus called Satan a murderer, and a liar, the father of lies (John 8:44). You are right. He goes all out seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). But we do not need to get caught up in his deception nor lies. For we have God on our side whom is stronger than Satan could even imagine to be and He will fight for us and give us strength to win and flee temptation. James tells us in James 4:7 that if we "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (King James Version)
 
The following verse tells us if we draw near to God, He will draw to us. What better friend and adversary can we have but God.
 
Go therefore resisting Satan and cling to God and victory will be in your hands through Jesus Christ who gives us the victory.
 
God Bless
 
André

Our Guard

We must not let our guard down. To do so is like a soldier to go out into battle with his weapon. He would be totally unable to defend himself. Likewise, we need to be on our guard at all times, just as you are when driving, keeping your eyes fixed on the road ahead and around you constantly looking for danger. The devil and his minions are forever seeking ways to get past our guards and to encourage us to sin against God. Keep up your guard, put up whatever blocks and brick walls you need to keep the devil and his followers out.

André

He is always there for you!

Sadly, it is an unfortunate thing that we cannot always rely on other people. I am as guilty as any for not always being reliable at times, though I try to be. But, as scripture says, we have and advocate with Jesus . 1 John 2:1 says: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (King James Version)
 
And remember also He also says: ".... I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  Heb. 13:5 (King James Version)
 
This is one promise that you can count on eternally. He is always there for you and He will always be there to give you strength in the times of temptations. 2 Cor. 10:13 is that promise. Hang onto it and onto Him when tempted. I have said many times, when we turn to Him in times of temptation, whether in prayer, meditation, scripture reading etc. It is impossible to sin because you are no longer focusing on the temptation, but on Him.
 
God Bless
 
André

As a new Catholic, the distinction of mortal vs venial sins is a helpful one, and going to confession and experiencing...

Posted by The Coming Home Network International on Mittwoch, 4. November 2015

ESV Audio Widget

James 4:7

Sin is Like a Mud Puddle!

Sin is comparable to a mud puddle.
 
Okay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
How so?
 
Well, remember when you were a little boy, and your parents always told you to stay out of the puddles.
 
But why? Simply, because they do not want you to get wet, your clothes to get wet, and mom does not have to wash dirty muddy clothes.
 
Okay. Now you are grown up. You to now have a little boy. And, one day you are walking with your little boy down the street just after a heavy rain. As you are walking along, you spot way ahead a mud puddle taking up the space of half the sidewalk ahead. As you approach it you like any other parent, instruct your little boy to stay out of the puddle.
 
Now if you have a normal boy, what does he do? He, seeing the puddle runs up to it and just as he is about to step into it, you yell out: “Stay out of the water!"
 
So the little boy stops in his tracks just on the edge of the puddle. But, of course, the temptation to walk into it works on his mind and cries, "go for it, walk right in." But, he hesitates a bit and looks at it and knowing that dad is right behind, he begins to skirt the puddle, but drags one foot into the puddle just a little bit. Did you see that? Though he was told not to step into the puddle, he drags his foot just slightly into the puddle.

Did he disobey his father? Sure he did. Well, one would argue, "No, he did not walk into the water. But, in fact, he did disobey his father. He was told to stay out of the water. True, though he did not walk fully into the puddle, he did drag one foot into the puddle.
 
So, the father lets it slide by, seeing as the boy did not walk fully into the puddle, he does not discipline the boy.
 
So, onward they go continuing on with their walk. And of course there are more puddles up ahead. So, as they approach the next puddle, again the father tells the little boy not to walk into the water. So, of course, and again, the little guy runs up ahead, and stops just before stepping into the mud puddle. This time he thinks, well I got away with dragging my foot into it the last time, so maybe I can just walk around the edge with both feet this time.
 
Well, this time dad gives the little fellow a scolding, but does not get very upset. And on they go until he sees another puddle ahead, but says nothing figuring this time the boy will stay out seeing as he scolded the little guy this last time.
 
So, yet once again the little boy runs up ahead, and .......................
.......................................................
 
Yup, you guessed it. This time he runs full fledge into the puddle.
 
Now is this scenario, a lot like temptations and sin? You see, for most things in our life, we are told ahead of time what is wrong and what is right. God has also written it in our hearts, what is right, and what is wrong. Rom. 2:15; Heb. 8:15; 10:16. But, we like to be in control and want to do what we feel like doing, even though we know that sins are wrong.
 
So, often enough we are having a great day, walking along our merry way until we see a mud puddle (sin). Now we are told in our hearts and by the Father, through His H.S. that we best not go there. Stay out of it. But temptations say, go ahead. Have a look. It can't hurt to just have a little look. So we go on ahead and drag our feet along the edge, not fully walking into it, yet getting oh so close.
 
Well, that was not so bad, we say to ourselves. Nothing happened, I did not get wet, really, and I did not hurt noone. So we go on again and yet around the corner we spot something again that attracts our attention. Now as we approach we think, well, the last time was okay, so why not look just a little closer this time. So we approach it and this time, though we go in with both feet just around the edge, we do not go quite all the way in, and we walk away feeling unscathed from this experience.
 
Now as we go farther along we again see something, another puddle that looks pretty clean and not very deep. And it seems to be filled with colours and things that really appeal to our senses. So, once again we go ahead, and this time we go fully into it. But this time, we realize, that we are dirty.
The colours were oil, dirt. And we try to brush it off, but it is not coming off very well at all. And we feel guilty. We feel ashamed.
 
So we tell ourselves, "From now on, I will not go into that puddle again. And we go home, and we go to bed and forget about the day and rest well.
 
The next day we get up and off we go again. And...well, of course. We see another puddle, but we remember the last time. But, this time we think, well ya , I should not have done that, but it sure felt good when I did it. We walk around the puddle this time, and we look at it from every angle and after a time we just touch it with our toes. Well, that was not so bad. So off we go again, and again we fully immerse ourselves into the puddle of sin

 
Now we come out again and this time we get upset with ourselves because this time we are filthy with the sin from head to toe. And we try on our own to clean it off, but it sure sticks. We are unable to get rid of it. AS hard as we try, we each and every time go past it, but cannot resist. We continue the cycle of going back to the puddle and continue to get fully immersed in it, and each time we get upset with ourselves for having allowed the temptation to drag us in.

Is  there no way out of this cycle of sin?
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom 7:24 (King James Version)

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.“
 Rom. 7:15-8:1 (King James Version)

You see,   that is the way of sin and temptation. We wish not to do wrong in our hearts, but because sin dwells in us, we are tempted to sin. But do we have to give in to sin? If we have Christ in us, we no longer need to give in to sin. Because He now lives in us we have His spirit living in us which we now need to submit to rather than submitting to the will of the flesh. As you read on in Rom. 8 1-13 we are given the truth that we need not walk after the will of the flesh because Christ now lives in us. We walk in sin, more than not, because e like he sin. But, we should not and need not.

When you start a new job, you have a whole set of new rules to follow after to do your job and to work as a team with people. Likewise when you became a Christian, you now have a whole new set of rules to follow after. You should not be following after rules of your past life.

1 Cor. 10:13 tells us: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (King James Version)

You se,  because you are now a member of the household of God, and now have the Spirit of God abiding in you, you are to no longer follow  after your old ways, but after the new rules, the new ways that He dictates in your heart. And He makes that power available to you to be able to escape any and all temptation, by delivering to you that power to flee temptations with the
power that is also in Christ Jesus, who likewise when tempted in the desert by the devil also escaped temptations. How, with the Word of God in each and every situation. Matt. 4:1-11

You to are able to make the devil leave you Matt. 4:11, when you confront him (his temptations) with the Word of God. You get that Word by studying it. 2 Tim 3:15, but hiding it in your heart Ps. 119:11 and meditating upon it. Ps 1:2 When you do that, it becomes a part of you just as much as your skin is a part of you. You can call upon the Word of God at will and use it
as as amour, as a weapon to defend yourself against the fiery darts of the devil. Eph. 6: 10-18 and by prayer.

So my friends, I would implore you, encourage you, to make the most of your time with God. Take time out at the beginning of the day as best as you are able, and make lots of one on one time with Him throughout your whole day, studying, meditating, memorizing in His Word and pray in all things. In this way when you come across puddles of sin, you will be able to skirt around
and away from them with the Word of God, causing the devil to flee from you and, in this way you will be empowered to resist and flee temptations.

The reason many have problems in overcoming sin, is one they like their sins, but when you are a Christian, you struggle because you are not using and believing in the power that already dwells with you. Yes, there is sin dwelling in you. But you need not answer to sin dwelling in you. You need not let it be your master. You need not obey the rules of your past life.

You are now a child of God, whom has given you all that you need to be able to resist the power of sin in your life. Grasp hold of that power. Let it be your master, let Him be your strength to lead you to walk the way He wants and has designed you to walk. Listen now to the new rules now the old rules.
You are no longer working for him who is the master of the spirit of the air but of Him whom is the master and creator of the universe.

When you were are child, you played and obeyed as a child, but now you are a mature man, stop playing in the puddles. Walk no longer in the puddles, but rather walk with Him.

André

Cedar

Now, you may ask what burning cedar and sin have in common, or have one with the other other.

This morning I fed my wood stove early in the morning with some small cedar blocks to boost the heat output. Later on when I opened the door to add more firewood, bits of cedar hot coals spit out onto the floor.

It crossed my mind at that time that sin is just like that. When we open the door to sin, a small fire begins to grow in you. The more you add to it's pleasures, the hotter it gets. And when you try to close the door on it on your own, you are able to control it for a short time. But later on as temptation arises and  you give in that temptation and open up the door once again, sin spits out at you with even more fury, consuming you. I had a hard time controlling the embers of coal that were spitting out at me. Each time I reached out and picked up one ember and opened the door to throw it back into the firebox, another ember spit out at me, and often a few more would
come at the same time, to the point that I was having a hard time to keep it under control. Isn't that just like sin. The more we play with it, the more it keeps coming at us.

The moral of this little story is, do not open the door to sin at any time. And if you have, then lock the door permanently to it, so that it cannot gain control over you ever again. The more you play with sin, the more it controls you. And the harder it is after the fact to get rid of it.

Remember, you cannot control sin, it controls you.

Andre

Rely on Him

1 John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

If you said that you do not sin, of course you would be a liar. God knows we all struggle with one type of sin or another. We are born with a sin nature. Does a baby need to be taught to cry for attention. No, it is inbred at birth. We are born with a sin nature but now that we are new born creatures into the family of God, we have a new man battling the old for supremacy in our lives. It is a tough fight, but fight we must. And remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (New International Version, ©2011)
 
If you rely on Him He will see you through any temptation and give you the strength to resist and over come. Sure you say, But I just can't. Yes you can. If He is God, and His Word is TRUE, then If He says so, you can resist any temptation, not on your strength but on His.
 
Sooooooooooooooooo
 
Go and have a great and Godly week and rely and trust on Him for strength in all areas of your life
 
andre

Be Tough

I have heard it said many times, that the only way to fail is to give up. God has brought you here because He does not want you to be a quitter, He does not want you be be a failure. He has created you and knows everything about you. He loves you with such an immeasurable love that he has promised that he will never forsake you. ( Heb. 13:5) All He wants of us is to love Him and obey Him and He will take care of the rest. So I urge you to hang in there through tough and thin, to lean fully on Him and trust Him to complete the work that He has begun in you. ( Phil. 1:6) He has called you here to help you do that very thing. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Be tough by letting Him.

Andre

Be Not

Let this verse be your daily motto as you wake up in the morning till your last waking moment of the night as you fall asleep. If you heed by this verse, it may well help you not to back slide and fall into sin.

 
Andre

 
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Romans 12:2 (King James Version)

Do Not Touch

Here is an analogy of what sin is like. This was a skit put on by some youth from Word Of Life Ministry here in Canada at my home church this weekend.
 
A guy walks up to a chair with a sign on it that says: "Do Not Touch." Like many, we have a tendency to want to touch something that says: "Do Not Touch," like a painted object.
 
So, needless to say, he touches it with his hand by grabbing it by the back of the chair on the top. Suddenly he realizes that he is unable to let go of it. It is stuck to his hand as if with crazy glue. He swings it about trying to make it slip out. But it sticks like glue. A passer-byer walks by and he acts like nothing is wrong by casually leaning on the chair with his hand acting non-chalantly.
 
Thinking maybe if he grabbed the chair at the front of the seat, he will be able to make it to pull out of his hand by swinging it hard. This he does many times, but now also realizes that the chair is now stuck to both hands. He swings it about violently hoping it will fly away, but no, it sticks tightly to both hands. Again a passer-byer walks by and again he pretends all is well by doing pushups on the chair.
 
Now he puts his foot on top of the chairs seat and hopes to push it off and out of both hands. Now of course his foot is also now stuck. How foolish he must feel and look. He tries hard to push off the chair with his foot, but of course he has no success. Imagine the look on his face when someone approaches. He is faced squarely with the fact that he has indulged in sin, and is now chained to it. It has mastery over him.
 
A guy approaches with a Bible in his hand and realizes the predicament of this guy whom has made the mistake of touching, indulging in sin. He shows him God's plan of salvation though the scriptures. Gradually the light comes on and he realizes that he is a sinner, and that there is nothing he can do of himself to relieve himself of the malady. But, after he accepts this truth and accepts Jesus as his Savior, the shackles, the chains begin to slip off and one by one his limbs begin to come free of the hold of the chair, of his sin. He now finds that the chair, sin, no longer has him held in bondage.
 
We all can have freedom. We all can be freed from the bondage of any sin, if we accept the truth that we are all sinners and that the penalty of sin is death. Romans 6:23. But, fortunately that is not the bottom line, that is not the end of the story. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (King James Version)
 
This is no myth, this is no make belief story. It is a truth that we can believe and accept. We need not believe the lies of the world, and of Satan and think that we will forever be sinners stuck in our sins with no hope of change. If that were the case, then there would be no need for salvation, and no need for Christ to have died on the cross for our sins.
 
God is in the business of change. He is in the business of taking our sins, and washing them clean as if they never were. He will completely forget your sins forever if you but believe and accept the truth that your sins can be forgiven by the work that Jesus did of dying on the cross for your sins. This is a gift that you can do nothing to pay for. It is absolutely free. It is a wonderful gift. He is in the business of change. He can help you to make a 100% turn around to help you be free of the slavery of any sin.
 
What will you do?  Will you continue in your sins and hang on to them believing that you will never change and be forever destined to hell or a higher plain as the world and Satan would have you believe? Will you believe the lies and continue in your sins?
 
Will you ride the fence and pretend that you can live two lives? That is, will you pretend in church or wherever that you are a Christian by day, but by night be deeply involved in some sin? This is not a safe place to be. There is either one or the other. You are either a sinner destined for hell, or a sinner saved by grace free of the bondage of sin and living your life for Christ? The world would love to have you believe you can have the best of both worlds. But this is a blatant lie.
 
You can continue to ride the fence and wait till the end and see if this is true or if  what God tells us in the scripture is true.Either way, the truth will come out ion the end. Is it worth the risk to live and pretend you can continue on in your sins with no fear or risk of consequences?
 
All your life you have been living with rules.Where do rules come from?  Why do we have them?. Logic would tell you that rules are in place to protect you. Some rules will protect you from physical harm. Some will protect you from spiritual harm.
 
If there are laws, there must be a law giver. If you lived in a house with parents, they had rules. How do you know there were rules?  You know because your parents gave you rules to live by while you lived in the same house as they. Likewise, we live in a world where we live by laws. Laws of nature, laws of society. Moral laws.How do you know there is a heavenly law giver?  Try if you will to live contrary to the natural laws. Try to jump off a tall building. You know that if you do, you will die. There are natural laws.
 
You know that there are moral laws without never having ever read the Bible. How so? Because when you sin, you subconscious, the Holy Spirit of the world convicts you of that sin. You feel the guilt. You know that you have dome wrong.
 
So will you risk continuing on in sin, when you know full well that there is a God whom is our lawgiver? He has set before us the consequences of our sins. Even natives in far away countries living in jungles have laws by which everyone lives by. If you were to talk to them, they would tell you they believe in a god of a sort, by whom they know they have laws to live by. Laws which govern what is right and wrong. No matter where you go it is wrong to steal, wrong to commit adultery, wrong to tell a lie. These laws are universal.
 
So, if you will, go ahead and touch the chair that tells you not to touch. Go ahead and commit all the sins you desire. Go ahead and act as if you can live two lives, right and wrong with no fear of any consequence. Go ahead and act as if there is no such thing as right and wrong, as if there are no absolute truths. Go for it and see for yourself whether there is a God who hates sin and promises to deal with you if you disobey Him. Go ahead and live two lives, riding on the fence. What the heck. You have nothing to lose. Or do you?
 
By the way, when the guy was free from the chair, the Christian directed him to turn the sign around that said; "Do not Touch." Guess what was written on the back side of that sign.
 
"Sin"
 
Andre

Come Lord, Come!

When sin entered the world beginning at the time of Adam, man has become increasingly evil. God destroyed all  mankind except a handful, that being Noah and his family.  Since then man has filled the earth and once again has become evil. Satan and his hordes are giving it their all in these last days because he to knows scripture and he knows his time is running to an end when he will no longer have sway on mankind. He is doing his best to take as many with him to hell as he can. Every evil thought that man has originates from Satan whom is the father of lies. John 8:44

All we can do as believers is to stand up firm in the truth and not let the evil of the world sway us from righteousness. I know that is extremely difficult for we are all with sin. But believers also have the Holy Spirit living within to whom is our guide and counselor, by whom we follow and obey our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28 (King James Version). Soon we will have no more worry of evil and sin, for soon we will be washed clean and will sin no more, for sin will no longer be in us.
 
Praise God. Come Lord Come.
 
Andre

No Room for the Things of the World!


If you are filling your mind on things of the Lord, there is no room in your mind for the things of the world, especially sin. The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit given to us from the Father. It is our shield and defender to help us to flee from and to avoid the fiery darts of Satan and his hordes. Read it every day, memorize scripture verse, pray always in all things, spend quality one on one time with Him. If you develop this habit, it will not be long before you are no longer tempted and it will all seem like a bad dream.
 
Go forth this week with the Spirit of the Lord in you heart and have a good and Godly week.
 
Andre

Moving Away from God

Our circumstances may change but God's never. There was a recent article about and a man a woman driving together. The wife asked why they no longer sit together when they go driving. The husband replied: "It is not I whom moved away, it was you." We tend to move away from God for various reasons. None are valid. So let's work at staying beside Him.

Andre

The Prodigal Son - An Email

This is an email in response to a brother in a Christian online group. He has been away (or not participating) for a while and also fell back into his sinful life. Now he came back:


Hey;
 
I kinda ben wondering where ya all got to. But, we here are much the same as the Lord and the Prodigal child. Though you may wander away, we are always here waiting for you to come back. No questions asked, no condemnation. We are all human and prone to wandering and falling away at times. No matter how far you have fallen you are always welcome to come back. If we could not welcome you back with open arms, what good would we be.
 
Staying out of the Word, is the same as staying out of fellowship with God. The two go hand in hand. Because if you stay out of the Word, you are not in daily fellowship with Him. That is to say, that one cannot continue a friendship with another, no matter whom it is ,if one does not maintain constant ,or at least a somewhat continuous conversation and contact with another. When the conversation is broken, so is the fellowship and friendship. It eventually breaks away.  I have been watching the Lord of the Rings this week. It is a reminder of just that. Some tried to go out on their own, and their friendship was broken, and at the end, they realized their folly and wished they had stayed with the fellowship. Like wise, so it is with the Lord, and with fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. God created us to have that bond to keep us strong together in Him and together with one another. And when we break that fellowship with our wanderings, we loose the harmony that binds us together with Him, and with one another. The chords that bind us together begin to unwind and eventually become weak when we are out of fellowship and out of the Word. The chords break and we are no longer one with our brothers and sister and with the Lord.
 
When that happens we also become sick in the sense that we are no longer able to be strong. We become weak and are unable any longer to stay the course upon we were once formally on. There is a verse in scripture at which at the moment I cannot quote or recall what it is, but it is a reminder than when two or more are together in the Word, or in Fellowship with the Lord, we are strong. I think it is in James.
 
But at the same time we become weak where we are no longer to be able to follow the path  upon which we were on. It is like losing sight. I am familiar with that. Though I am not that old, yet I find my sight growing weak. I can no longer read small print  and am need of glasses at all times. If not for my glasses, it would be only to easy for me to lose my way at times. And thus it is when we become weak. We are no longer enabled by the Lord to follow after Him. The Holy Spirit is our guiding light. When we are following after the Lord, He is there and is guiding us along the path. But when we fall away, the Holy Spirit is withdrawn and we soon become entangled and lost in the quagmire of mud and brier. We can no longer see our way onto the path of righteousness. I might suggest as I have done before to read the Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan. It is an analogy of just this very same thing. It is the analogy of the normal Christians walk. Most cannot keep the straight an narrow and fall by the wayside only to stray back onto the straight and narrow again, but to fall again and again.
 
But God is just and willing to forgive us our unrighteousness and is able and willing to take us by the hand and lead us back onto His path and into righteousness. The story of the prodigal son is just that story given us to help us to see the truth of this.1 John 1:9 tells us that if we will admit our sins, and turn back to Him, He will bring us back into fellowship with Him.
 
Many never come back into the fold because of pride. But God will overlook our weaknesses if we will but confess our sins  and take hold of His hand again. Will you take hold once again?
 
I pray you will and await your coming back again with open arms.
 
God Bless
 
Andre

God Continues to Hold Out His Hand...

I am reminded  of  the  joke  about  a man sitting on a roof  as the  flood  waters  surround his  house.  Several  times  others  came to rescue him, but  he  refused their  help  saying: "I will wait  for  God to come and  save me." Finally  after  the man died  or  whatever it is  that happened to him, he talks with God  and  asks  God:  "why did  you not  come  and rescue me?" God  replied: "I tried  three times, but  you refused  the  help I sent you  by way of  three different  people  who came to rescue  you."
 
God firstly sent  our  greatest  hope, Jesus  Christ. And  He continually sends  us  help by way of  friends, family, acquaintances etc.  But all to often we reject  the help God  sends us.
 
Oh how much better it  would be  if  at first  we  reach out  and grab the hand that wants to rescue  us. I am so grateful that God  does  not  stop sending out  rescuers  only three times, but continues  to hold out His hand  every day for  us  and  sends us  hope and help by  ways of  friends, family, acquaintances. And most importantly by way of  His Son Jesus  Christ.
 
Let us never give up hope  of rescue, never let us refuse help sent our  way, and let us  grab hold  of the all saving, wonderful, powerful hand of our Lord God and Savior  Jesus Christ.
 
Trust and obey  folks, there is no other way, keeping our  eyes  focussed on Him.
 
Hang in there friends  One  and  All
 
Andre B.

Every Man Struggles with Something

Indeed, every man struggles with something. Every man who  brags is usually a liar. He brags to make himself look better than he really is. I have always said that about guys who bragged about having laid a girl. If the truth be known he likely did not.
 
You are right. Even young guys have their insecurities. Look at high school kids, the struggles that we are aware they are having. They are under so much peer pressure and then their is the pressure from home and family etc. Our society is bent on making us more than we really are. That I fear often enough is the root for many of our problems in our society today.
 
Younger folks try to grow a beard and moustache so that they can look older. They smoke to look older etc.
 
Yes, we are all insecure because we are trying to make ourselves look like the Marlboro Man looking cool up there on the bill board all tanned and looking tough with a smoke hanging out of his mouth. That is not the model that God wants us to emulate.
 
We have much better models to try to resemble in the Bible with the likes of David, and Job, and Abraham. But they to all had their insecurities and failures. But at least they had their eye on God trying to be more like Him. And so should we to. It is not being a sissy to imitate God as some would have us believe. It is a sissy to try to be the weak humans we try to copy from the world.
 
We will some day conquer mountains and more. But for now while we are in the side of eternity, we must work with Him and try to conquer our sins and try to be the real man, Jesus.
 
Andre

Causes of the problem - A Reply to an Email



I believe this is a good thing to ask for revelations from God as such below [asking God to reveal to oneself some of the causes that contributed to a special problem]. Yes, we will see things we do not want to hear. But in order to be healed, we also need to hear and accept the truth. 1 John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is the reason for the law. For without the law, we would not know what sin was. And without knowledge of sin, how could God condemn us for not knowing we are sinners. Therefore we need to acknowledge  our sins and confess them. Then and only then can He begin to heal us. It would be like going to your doctor with a cold and also a bad burn hidden under your sleeve. If you walk in telling of you cold, he can help you. But if you do not tell about the burn, he cannot help you.
 
This is the process He has put into place. Call on Him, trust Him to heal you from all unrighteous. Hold nothing back. Yes it is tough. But without calling on Him, healing will never occur. Sometimes like myself it takes a long time to get over my pneumonia. But I do as the doctors tell me trusting that I will be healed. Trust in Him.
 
Andre

Replace Sin with Something New!

If one amputates a leg, it can longer be used, though one often thinks it is still there. If you amputate things that can tempt you to sin, you can no longer be tempted to sin in those areas. Though it may cross your mind from time to time, you will no longer have he resources to sin. A thing that is no longer used soon becomes a thing of the past, becoming a past and soon forgotten. It is said, (I learned this when I was trained to drive school bus years ago) that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. So, therefore, if one tosses away a way of sin, what you no longer do, becomes something of he past and must be replaced with a new thing. If you use that time you used to use in sin, for God's glory, think how much you can accomplish for Him! Soon you will find it a joy and a good habit to be working for Him than for the devil, which is what you do when you are involved in sin.

Andre

Sin and the Temptation to Sin

Another thought that crossed my mind regarding sin and the temptation to sin. Proverbs 23:7 a says: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (King James Version)
 
Most guys and gals for that matter, seek to do whatever your heart desires, you will go after it and get it. It is a proven fact, that if you so desire so much in your heart to achieve something, you will achieve it. Likewise, if you so desire in your heart to go after unlawful flesh, you will be just that, you will chase after that unlawful flesh, because it has become imbedded in your heart, your flesh.
 
So the bottom line is, if you sincerely desire to change, to quit seeking after unlawful flesh, take a change in your thoughts, what you desire. If you decide in your mind that you do not like spinach, guess what? You won't like spinach. Likewise, if you decide in you mind that you no longer desire unlawful flesh, guess what?  You will no longer like and no longer seek after it.
 
Colossians 3:1-8a,9-10,17: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these....., seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him... And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (King James Version)
 
Can you in your right mind be abiding in sin and honestly say that you are doing it in the name of the Lord?

Andre

Bad Programming

When I was a young boy, my parents would not allow us kids to watch violent programming on T.V. Why?  Because if we would watch this stuff, quite possibly we would in time imitate the violence. That is, a bad trait learned, is a trait copied.
 
Jesus said as much when he said that it is not what a man eats that makes Him bad, but what is in His heart. Okay, let me clarify a bit.
 
If we entertain and watch bad programming via any media outlet or read it etc. We learn it. It enters the soul, and we learn it. Same way, when we go to school, we are entertained with knowledge. Some good, some bad. Though we would like to believe when we go to school, we come home and say we learnt nothing in school today.
 
Well, the truth of the matter is that we do learn, whether we want to admit it or not. The brain is a sponge which absorbs everything that is being presented to it. Some of it is filtered out and placed into the delete and garbage bin by choice. But, like a computer, which is exactly what the brain is, our brains never actually delete messages taken in unless their is sufficient damage done to the brain due to an accident or by death.
 
Therefore, all the bad stuff we watch on T.V. on our computers, read in magazines, books etc., is all there in retention, never really forgotten, but just put on the shelf for further use when by need or want, the brain brings all that information back out of the folder and into the forefront of the mind.
 
That is why, we are told to seek first the kingdom of God and not set our minds on the things of the earth, but on the things of God. Col. 3:2-3
 
Now, therefore when Hollywood sends us these types of bad programming and young and or old watch it it, where does it go? Into the mind for future reference. And they know it. All that we see & hear is stored into our memory banks, and unless we have the nature of God and are re-born again into His likeness, guess what, we become and do the things stored in our minds. True, not all will copy and do the bad, but it is still there in your minds and it makes it all the more probable, that given the right circumstances, that bad knowledge will come to the forefront of your minds and you will act as the world and do what is not right in the sight of God.
 
I can recall that as a younger person seeing many movies of what the future would be like. The past movies rightly prophesied the world of today, because the media has been portraying for the last roughly 50 years what we are seeing today as the norm. So if what you are seeing on the T.V. today is a look at the future, how bleak will the world be. Look no further than your t.V. and the prophecies of the Bible to know what the future holds for the earth tomorrow.

Andre

Keep Your Mind and Heart Firmly Fixed on Him (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)





I do not believe that God would want to keep you in a way that is contrary to His moral laws. Though it may seem that he is dragging His feet at this time in dealing with your inner struggles, be assured as it says in the poem "Footprints in the Sand" that He is always with you and is always carrying you even in the worst of times. He may be allowing you to struggle on a while for purposes known only to Himself, but for which are in your best interest. Change of course does not occur over night especially with habits that we have been in for some time. As with any bad habit we need to replace and change that habit with something else to fill what may seem like a void until such time as the bad habit no longer exists. It is said that to develop a habit takes 21 days of constantly doing the same habit over and over again, This is a quote I learned when I was training to drive school bus several years ago.

So, please do not be discouraged thinking hat you will always struggle with this, or that God wants to keep you there. Those types of thoughts come from only one place, and that is from the father of lies himself, Satan. John 8:44  He will do anything to keep you where you are at, to discourage you and to drag you down. He does not want you to change. He is working on you big time because you pose a threat to him these days as you are struggling to do the will of God. He hates God with a passion. He hates you as you struggle with change because you are a likeness of God and he hates anything that reminds him of God.

Therefore, do not give up, keep working on believing that change is possible and will happen though not perhaps as fast as you would like. God is not finished with you, but has only just begun. Be sure of this: ".....that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 King James Version)

Have a great and Godly week, keeping you mind and heart firmly fixed on Him.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2 (King James Version)

Andre

Habits

It is said that it take 21 days to break a habit. 21 days to develop a new habit. So perhaps those areas where you want to break and old habit, work one day at a time and see if you can make it for 21 days, then more and before long you will have forgotten the bad habit. I was once told that you have never really quit smoking until you have forgotten how long it has been since you quit smoking. Likewise I suppose it could be with any bad habit. it is a goal to shoot for and achievable with His help.
 
Go for it. Have a great and Godly Week.
 
Andre

Trust in God

Where else but in God can you hold out to trust in to help you along your new journey to being fulfilled to become the man He wants you to be. Trust in Him, for there is no other by whom we may call upon to cleanse us from unrighteousness. The path is tough, but hold on, hold out, allow Him to lead you and believe with all your heart, soul, and mind the promises he has made for you. He has drawn you to Him to help you. Do not allow His gifts to fall to the dogs.
 
Have a great and Godly week
 
Andre

Cookies

If we used our heads better we would less have so much troubles to walk away from sin. We treat sin like a cookie in the cookie jar. We put our  hand into the cookie jar knowing full well we should not. But the hand gets stuck in there and we refuse to let go of the cookie so that we can pull our hand out. Better to release the cookie and be free. Better to release the follies of life and be free in Him.

Andre


Spend Quality Time with God (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)



Life is one continual up and down experience. Would it not be great if it was always up?  But God allows the valley and dark path experiences to teach us His ways. Even if we were righteous always, we will still always have much to learn about Him. Look at the life of Job. He was a just man, yet God allowed Satan to sift him though terrible valleys with he loss of his family and home etc. Yet, Job did not play the blame game on God, but used the experiences to  be a reminder and a teaching experience that whatever God allows in our life is a gift, whether it seems like it or not. Each day is a day to learn, to draw closer to Him.
 
Be careful to not let a single day to slip away without having spent quality time with God. Just as our bodies need daily physical exercise to keep in shape, our spiritual life is the same. If we allow one day, two days, three days to slip by without quality time with Him, our spiritual life becomes slack, it becomes saggy. It is said that it takes 21 days to develop a habit and only a few to break a habit. When you miss days of a habit, it slowly becomes more days, and soon you are totally out of step with that habit. Therefore be careful not o allow even one day slip away from spending quality time with Him. I know, I have been there and unfortunately have allowed it to happen to me. Then it takes hard work and steadfast devotion to get back into step with God again.
 
Good for you. Look in the mirror and seek and see Christ and not the sinful man we are. When one seeks into depression, it is because one takes his eyes off of God and focuses rather on oneself and looks at the dark rather than the light. Seek first the kingdom of God and all shall be added onto you.
 
Good for you in spending time doing His work. When you are in His work, there is no time for spending time in sin.
 
Yes. forgiving yourself is good. Otherwise you'll fall back into old bad habits and be forever beating up on yourself. Christ paid the penalty for our sins and has forgiven you. There is no need to beat up on yourself when you are in His eyes already forgiven and made as white as snow. He does not see you as a sinner, but as His son washed in the blood of the lamb, pure and holy. So why should you view yourself in dirty rags?

Andre

Keep Your Eyes on the Goal!

Paul wrote that he kept his eyes towards the goal. That goal was the crown of life he would receive when he went to heaven. Jesus came and kept his eye towards the goal of going to the cross for you and me. He was tempted often to stray from that goal. But He would not let the enemy gain the upper hand. And He won the victory for us. Yes, through Him, we have the victory, the strength.
 
Keep your eyes on that goal as in a race. In a race you look at ther finish line. Nothing else is in view and thus you are not distracted from that finish line. Do the same with your struggles. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your victor, so that you will not be distracted, nor be not tempted.
 
Have another great week.

Andre

Keep Your Eyes Focussed on Things Above!

It is hard to keep our eyes focussed on things above, Col 3:2-3.  We are programmed to look and see and desire on the good things, but sin has us seeking and desiring the wrong things.
 
When I was training to become a bus driver, the instructor told us that it takes 21 days to develop new habits and 21 days to stop bad habits. The same goes with the eyes. If we train our mind to stop looking at things that we should not, and train instead to look at things above, then before long you will find that you are seeing with the eyes of God, and not with the eyes of sinful man.
 
Develop you heart to seek the ways of God rather than following after the ways of man.  Prov. 14:12 tells us "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (King James Version)

Far better to, "...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33. King James Version)
 
Go forth this week my friend, seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, setting your mind on things above and not on the things below.
 
Have a great and Godly week.
 
Andre

Let God

Have a look in the mirror folks and look deep, look hard. Do you wonder perhaps why you still struggle with the same old, same old? Could it be that in your stubborn pride you are wanting to change in your own way, in your own time without God? Are you perhaps walking about with pride, like a peacock proudly displaying your feathers, figuring you can do it on your own?
 
Maybe it is time to fold your feathers, and let God. Be blessed, be encouraged, and let God.
 
Andre

Temptations

Unfortunately temptations will always be with us on the plane until the Lord takes us home. We must always be on our guard. The evil one is always waiting in the wings to step in and catch us off guard. As a soldier would never dare to walk out into the battle without his protective gear, we too need to be always well armoured. Prayer and His Word are our greatest armour. Never leave home without it.
 
Have a great and awesome God filled week
 
Andre

My Prayers for You

(An Email to A Christian Online-Support Group)


If I were to have but only one breath left in my life knowingly, I believe I would not ask and pray to God for another for myself. But I would pray and ask that He would allow me but a few more breaths to reach out and plead for you my brothers to look to Him with all of your heart, with all of your soul, seeking, searching for Him, to fill you full of the Holy Spirit. That in doing so, you would find the maker of your life, and turn to Him, fully, seeking and desiring the milk of Life, His son Jesus Christ. I would plead that He would give you but a few more breaths so that in that short time, you might repent of your sinful ways, as I have pleaded and prayed for myself many a time.
I have prayed many a time to take the place of some of you, and be condemned to hell rather than seeing you to fall into the pits. I am not worthy of such a task, but if God would but allow it , I would for you. Such is my love for the lost. I am but a servant of His, yet, weak and lowly, a sinner such as you. I do not seek gratitude for my love for others. But what I seek, is what God Himself seeks in others., He wants you to humble yourself and admit, that you are a sinner as I am, in need of a Savior. He want you to surrender all to Him, all your love, all your sins, all your weaknesses, all your cares, all your worries. None of us can carry these burdens alone. We need Him.

If I could, I believe I would hang on the cross for you. And yet I know, I cannot. For only a righteous Lamb as Jesus can accomplish and do that feat. But if I could I would try for you.

I cry many a tear for you all believe or not. I anguish that some are only here for a time and will fall away, as we have seen many a time. And yet we have some, who come as lowly children, who come and believe, and grasp the promises of God, and are transformed into His image. For some it is a quick transformation, for others, it is much slower, not because of their own lack of will, but because of the will of God for His own reason for which we may never understand on this side of eternity. Never-the- less, it is not for us to question why, but to accept and do our best to live for Him.

Until He takes us home to be with Him, I will continue to pray for you all , that he will keep you and hold you and mold you to be the man you were made to be. And until He comes I will plead for you all, and if I can, I will step in to hell for you, if it would be His will.

your other brother from another mother

 
 
 

An Exercise

An exercise I try to do now and again. It is hurtful but at the same time beneficial.

What I do, is I pray and ask God to show me if there be any sins in me. No doubt there are always some. But some are in need of immediate acknowledgement. For example, there maybe someone I need to forgive. Others may not be so immediate, but never-the-less need working on.

It is in these times that we acknowledge and agree with Him these sins, and ask for help and strength to overcome and be rid of these certain sins.


For sure it hurts, but to ignore these truths is more painful than the cure, which is acknowledging the sins and asking and praying to be forgiven and freed of these sins through the Holy Spirit.


Have a good and Godly week.


Andre

 

 

ESV Audio Widget

Proverbs 4:14-16

The Skin of a Snake

Recently while working in my garden I came across what I thought at first was the skin of a snake. Thinking upon how snakes shed their skin reminded me of how we as sinners are to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” Eph. 4:22 (King James Version) and are to ”be renewed in the spirit of your mind . And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.“ Eph. 4:23,24 (King James Version)

You see, a snake in essence sheds off its old life, its old skin, and puts on a new life, a new skin. What was our old life like, our old man, our old skin. The following verses again from Ephesians tell us what we were like.

Ephesians 4:25-31 King James Version (KJV)

25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27Neither give place to the devil.

28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Ephesians 2:3 King James Version (KJV)


3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

1 Peter 4:3 King James Version (KJV)


3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:


Galatians 5:21 King James Version (KJV)


21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


These are but a few examples of how we used to be, and how some of us still behave.

To the contrary as I have already said we are to shed off the old ways of life and put on the new skin, the new life How?


Ephesians 4:23-24 King James Version (KJV)


23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


We can do this because:


Romans 6:4 King James Version (KJV)


4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Just as the snake in one sense died, it now lives, thus we to, now are dead to sins past and now are alive because:


Romans 6:5-14 King James Version (KJV)


5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.


Do you see that? You who were once alive unto sins, to obey its lust are no longer under the power of sin once you become a child of God.

Jesus, who now lives in you, has the power to conquer sin in you. You on your own cannot overcome sin in yourself.

So now, Romans 6:11 King James Version (KJV)


11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You no longer need to let sin rule over you, because you now have Jesus in you, living in you who has the power to live the life in you that He wants you to live.

The lusts of the flesh, no longer need be in control of your body. Let Christ who is in you LIVE so that you are no longer under the control of sin. Do not try to do on your own, you cannot. Hand over your life to be controlled by Him.


Romans 6:16-23 King James Version (KJV)


16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


So now if you obey no longer the fruit and lust of the sins the promises of God are:


Galatians 5:22-25 King James Version (KJV)


22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.


So This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.


Galatians 5:17-18 King James Version (KJV)


17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.


Now recall at the beginning, I said: I thought at first was the skin of a snake. I realized after having a closer look that this snake had not shed its skin, but was a dead snake. And that will be the end result of you who continue to lust after the things of the flesh and do not seek after God to do His will.

Therefore do not seek to fulfil the lusts of the flesh, but rather seek to fulfill the lust of the Spirit of God.


Romans 6:12-13 King James Version (KJV)


12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.


Because Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)


23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, make a stand right this very moment, choose this day as Joshua did when he said:


Joshua 24:15 King James Version (KJV)


15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


Serve ye therefore, whether you will serve the lusts of the flesh or the Lord!


Andre

 

 

What can you do when you fall?

What can you you do when you fall, you ask? When as a child when you were learning to ride a bike, you likely fell a few times, right! But did you give up? No you got back on and kept at it till you no longer fell. Likewise while you are on this journey with Jesus, there will be falls along the way. Will you give up and stay down? No, I did not think so. Get back up and keep trying to stay pure relying on God, the Son and the Holy Spirit to be your guide, to be your support to help you from falling. And when we do fall, remember 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

I understand feeling shame when we fall, but do not let the tempter keep you on the ground by making you feel down and convicting you of sin, by beating yourself up when you fall. Get back up and remember and confess and He will forgive.

Have a good and godly week, for what lasting value is a good week, if it is not also a godly week.

André

 

 

Give Him Your All!

We on our own do not have the strength to give our all to God once for all, so daily we need to give our all to Him, to give up what we sin in daily, surrender all to Him daily. Just as we need daily nurturing with food we need also to surrender all to Him daily.
 

Kids Korner: TEMPTATION -HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT AND DECEIVE US?


Today we are going to talk about a big word. TEMPTATION

What is temptation? It is something that makes you want to do something that maybe you would not normally do. Temptation from God’s point of view is something that may draw you to do something that is wrong, sinful.

Another word that we can use to demonstrate what temptation is like is deception. To deceive someone is to cause someone to believe something that is not true and to lead them to maybe do something that they would not normally do.
For example here is a live animal trap. If you put sunflower seeds over here on the other side of the trap mechanism, when a squirrel comes inside the cage and steps on the tripping mechanism, the door will close trapping the squirrel inside. The squirrel of course thought it was safe to go in, but he was deceived.

Another example of being tempted, being deceived is when you going fishing. Who can explain to me why fishing is like temptation or being deceived. The lure at the end of your line looks like a small fish to another larger fish, which of course looks like food to him. The fish cannot see the fishing line attached to the lure; otherwise he may not be so easily fooled. The lure looks like something good to eat to the fish, and of course he does not realize the danger that he is in. He does not realize that if he takes a bite of the lure, that he is about to be deceived.

Did you know that there is someone out there who is trying to tempt and deceive you in many ways every day? Satan, also known as the devil, scripture tells us in 1 Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (KJV)

This verse is telling us to be careful, be on your guard, because the devil is very wise and he knows your weaknesses, and he knows how to use your weaknesses to his advantage, so that he can deceive you and tempt you to sin.

Did you know that Satan has many names describing what he is like in the Bible? Some of those names are liar, thief, murder, and deceiver, just to name a few.

Why does Satan tempt and deceive us? He hates us because He hates God. Way back in the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter 14:12-14 we are told that Satan said in heart:

“13 For you have said in your hear
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’” (NKJV)

This may be hard for you to understand, but what Satan is basically saying and wanting is to kick God off of His throne, he wants to be head hancho, he wants to be numero uno, he wants to be worshipped as God.

But we all know that there is only one true God and there will always only be one true God who is the maker and creator of all things, who is in control of all things. Would you agree?

And so, since Satan knows that his time on the world is drawing closer to an end, he is doing everything in his power to deceive and cause as many as he can to turn away from God. The more people that Satan can get to disobey God, the more he can get to follow him into hell. And that is why Satan is walking about as a roaring lion seeking as many as he can destroy and take to hell with him.

Now, there are a few ways that Satan works to tempt and deceive people. He has been using these very same tricks since the time of Adam and Eve way back in Genesis chapter three. Most of you know the story of Adam and Eve. What happened there?

Basically what happened was that after God made Adam and Eve, He put them what is called the Garden of Eden. There was a very beautiful place with lots of fruit and vegetables to eat. God as you remember told them they could eat anything they wanted in the garden except the fruit from one particular tree. Gen, 2:15-17

We are often as kids told that it was an apple tree. It may have been, we do not know that for sure. We are not told exactly what kind of a tree it was.

It was a test by God to see if they would remain faithful to God and obey Him. God of course knew what they would do, but He gave them the chance to obey Him by their own choice, not like robots, or computers who do not make their own choice, but only do what they are programmed to do.

When they ate the fruit that God had told them not to eat, they had sinned. They had disobeyed God. Consequently, because they had sinned, they were doomed to die both spiritually and physically. God had created man to live forever, and so we have a spirit that can never die.

When you die physically, your spirit will live forever. And you will either go to live forever in heaven or in hell. There are no other choices, and neither do you make a choice except whether you will obey God or not, and whether you will believe the gospel message or not.

Up to that point, Adam and Eve had no idea what it was to die physically. Sadly that is part of the punishment for sinning.



Let us read Genesis. 3:1-7 and let’s see exactly how Satan tempted and deceived Adam and Eve.

“1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (NKJV)

First of all, who is the “Serpent”. It is Satan taken on the disguise of a snake. This may sound weird to us, because who has ever heard of a snake talking. But with God all things are possible, and God can and will often do what to us is very weird, so why would God not also allow Satan to disguise himself as a talking snake.

Notice the very first thing Satan does in verse # 1. Satan says; “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (NKJV)

If we look back in Genesis 2:15, 17 we see exactly what God did say.

God said; ”15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”.” (NKJV)

So they thought to themselves, well, perhaps God maybe did not exactly say that we should not eat of any of the trees in the garden Satan had placed in their minds some doubt of what God had actually said.

Eve in response added another idea to God’s original command. She said that we should also maybe not even touch of the forbidden tee. God did not say that they could not touch it. There is of course a difference between touching and eating.

Satan is the master of confusing what is truth, and what is a lie. He loves to cast a shadow of doubt in our minds of what God says and what He is really like. What Satan was also doing was to plant in their minds that perhaps God was withholding good things from them. He was not allowing them to enjoy good things which he had created. Satan was making them think that maybe God was not as good and as kind as they maybe believed He was.

Then Satan tells an outright lie when he says that you will surely not die if you eat the fruit this particular tree.

We all now know, that if you disobey God, it does indeed lead to death, both spiritually and physically if you continue to sin and do not believe the gospel message.

Spiritual death is be separated from God when you sin. Because God is perfect in every way, He cannot be near to sin. So when you sin, He has to walk away from you until you confess your sins and ask to be forgiven of your sins.

Satan next tells another lie when he says that if they eat this fruit it will make you wise, very, very smart. It would also make them know the difference between what is good and evil, which was not a lie, because they were about to learn exactly what is the difference between good and evil. Evil is basically anything done that is against the rules of God.

Up to this point, Adam and Eve had never sinned, and there was no one else in the world, so they did not know what sin was until they had sinned.

What has happened, they have been deceived. They were led into a trap. They were led to believe lies.

They were led into a trap believing that what they thought was true, was not true at all.

Satan firstly made them want something that looked really good, that was not really good for them. T.V. commercials and magazines do this all the time. They make things that are not good for us look like something really good, so we naturally want it.

Satan tries to make you do things that are not very good for you. He wants you to do things which God says you should not do. For example, Satan might tempt you to cheat in an exam, to lie, to steal etc.

Satan also tries to make you to be full of pride. For example he may tempt you to think you are better at things than other people, and so therefore you look down at others as if they are nothing compared to you. People who are really good at math for example maybe will think that they are really smart, and anyone who is not really good at math they will think is stupid. This is called pride. And God says pride is a sin.

These are the basic ways in which Satan has tempted and deceived people to sin since the time of Adam till today. He even tried to tempt and deceive Jesus in the desert. Ever since then mankind has been plagued with sickness, sorrow, suffering, fear, guilt, and death. All this is the result of falling into sin.


Rom 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, …” (KJV)

In other words, because we do what is wrong according to the rules of God, our punishment is death, both spiritually and physically.

So, is it possible to defeat Satan?

Let us briefly read Ephesians 6:10-18 which reads:
   
“10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (KJV)

The ways to defeat Satan and save yourself from falling into temptation is to first of all believe the gospel message. That is, that we are all sinners and we all deserve the punishment of sin which is death both physically and spiritually. (To be separated from God eternally in hell)

The second part of the gospel message is that we need to really believe the truth that Jesus actually was born of a virgin, lived and died on a cross, to pay the punishment for your own sins, to save you from eternal punishment of living in hell forever instead of with Him forever.

Another way to defeat Satan and to be free from sin is to be reading the Bible every day, believe what you read, study it, memorize much of it, study it, learn what God is trying to tell you when you read, it, and to spend lots of time thinking about what you have learned.

Thirdly, when you are tempted to sin, you can pray to God, tell Him what is going on, and He will help to take that temptation away from you. After all, when you are praying to God, you are no longer thinking about the temptation, because you are talking to God. You are no longer thinking about the temptation, and thus you will not be tempted to sin.

How does sin happen? Sin first happens when you see or think about something that you either should not have or do. That is called temptation. Temptation itself is not a sin, after all Jesus was perfect, He never sinned, and He was tempted by Satan in the desert. But, sin happens when you go and do what you were tempted to do, to go and do what you know is wrong.

The Bible also tells us to “resist the devil.” James 4:7 (KJV)
And; “Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27 (KJV)
In other words if you are tempted to sin, say no and run away from it.

For example, if one of your school mates asks you to go to the store with him and he asks you to distract t the guy at the cash register while he steals something, say no way first of all and run away. Do this even if he yells and threatens to beat you up if you do not help him.

On our own, we do not have the strength to resist and defeat Satan. He is very, very smart, and is far stronger than we will ever be on earth. But with God on our side, if we are obeying Him, reading and studying His words to us in the Bible, memorizing His words and spending lots of quality time with Him in prayer, then we are able to flee temptation and resist the devils deceptions and temptations.

Doing all of this reminds me of when our work in the forest cutting down trees for firewood. When I do that I put on a hard hat which protects my head from falling branches, the screen in front of my face protects my face from flying wood chips, and the ear muffs protects my ears from the loud noise from the chain saw. All of this together is like putting on the helmet of salvation. I am learning from God what He wants me to learn and to do every day of my life. It protects me from hearing, watching and listening to things which are harmful to me, which are not wise words of wisdom from God.

When I put on these chaps, and boots, they are protecting my legs and my feet from the danger of my chain saw ripping into my legs and feet. If I am walking, and doing what God wants me to do, then I am not walking and doing what Satan wants me to do. If my legs and feet are protected and doing what is right with God, then I am not going and doing what Satan wants me to do which is very, very wrong.

If you are playing most any sport, or about to go to war, it is very smart to study, and learn what the enemy is like, how they think, and how they will react to different situations. Likewise, Satan is our enemy. Therefore it is wise for us to study and learn how he acts and reacts to situations. That is why it is very, very smart for us, to read the Bible every day, study it, memorize it and pray to God at all times for all things.

Are you?

André


Don't Give up the Fight!

It is so easy to get down on ourselves when we have been involved in any sin for a long period of time. Once we realize and accept God's free gift of salvation, many still beat themselves up thinking oh God cannot love me. He has turned His back on me. I still fall now and again, so surely He will not forgive me of my sins. I am doomed to die. I have nothing but death to look forward to.

However, all these quotations are seeds of lies planted in our minds by the evil one who hates us and wants our destruction. He jumps for joy when a child of God gives up the fight and plays the woe is me game. God says no way. He will not forsake you. The solution is firstly to turn to Him in prayer believing that He can and will change you from the inside out.

André


ESV Audio Widget

James 5:19-20

The Choice is Yours (A Response to an Email from a Member of an Online Group)

I wish there was a fairly safe answer that was as easy as rubbing two sticks together. All the advice in the world is great, all the theology and scripture is good. But the bottom line is though, yes, the battle belongs to the Lord, you also have to make wise choices. If your mom tells you to look both way when you cross the road when you are a child, she tells you so because it is a wise and safe practice, and because she loves you, and does not want to see you get hurt. When your grandpa tells you not to touch the sides of a hot wood stove, he tells you because he does not want you to get hurt. When a pastor tells you what the scripture says in regard to any particular sin, he tells you because these are the words of God. If God tells you not to do a certain thing, He tells you firstly because that thing may be a sin, but He also tells you because He is your creator. As your creator He is much like the maker of a motor cycle builder who knows what is the best way to care and maintain your motor cycle. If you do not heed the advices and instructions of the manual given when you buy the bike, you can be sure that the bike will fall into disrepair and will not last very long. 

So the bottom line is to take the wise advices, instructions from wherever they come and obey. The key word in this sentence is obey. So when we obey, we are spared the embarrassments, the hurts and pains that will certainly occur when you do not obey. If you try to cross the road without watching both ways, the chances are you may get seriously hurt and or killed. When gram-pa says do not touch, and you obey, you are spared the pain and the scars of not listening to wise advice. If your pastor and God says no, and you obey you do not face the pain, the embarrassment, the shame, the heartaches, and the potential of death and eternity in hell, far away from the presence of God.

As Joshua said when he was given leadership over the Israeli people as he lead them into the promised land, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 King James Version). In other words, he chose to trust and obey and follow after God. 

So the final word is what will you do? Will you trust and obey and be saved from all the above pains etc. or will you ignore, do your own thing and suffer.

The final choice is yours.

You do not need to succumb to the temptations of Satan or any other. There is no sin in the hearing of temptations. After all, Jesus was also tempted in all ways, but he did not succumb and instead obeyed the Father. But when we are tempted we can not listen and run.

The choice is yours.

André

Links National

Kathpedia.com: Sünde

Kathpedia.com: Todsünde

Kathpedia.com: Lässliche Sünde

Kathpedia.com: Hauptsünde

Kathpedia.com: Sünde gegen den Heiligen Geist

Kathpedia.com: Himmelschreiende Sünde

 

Links International

Original Catholic Encyclopedia: Sin

Catholic Answers: Why Mortal and Venial Sins

Catholic Answers: Can We Expiate our Sins?

New Advent: Sin

Dr. Michael L. Brown: What are signs I have forsaken my first love?

Diane Dew: The Backslider in Heart

 

Resources

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: The Seven Deadly Sins (CDs)

DVD - Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues (Catholic Answers / Father Robert Barron)

Overcoming Temptation: Accepting and Embracing the Cross - Fr. Lou Caporiccio from the Fathers of Mercy, C.P.M., March 15, 2009 (audio file of a homily)

Overcoming Temptation: Obedience, Humility, and Faith - Fr. Lou Caporiccio from the Fathers of Mercy, C.P.M., March 8, 2009 (audio file of a homily)

Satan's War Against Us: Temptation - an audio file of a homily by Fr. Lou Caporiccio, C.P.M., March 1, 2009 (Fathers of Mercy)

 



Go and Sin No More: A Call to Holiness

Michael L. Brown
Taschenbuch: 312 Seiten
Verlag: Gospel Light Publications (März 1999)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 0830723897
ISBN-13: 978-0830723898

 


God's grace is stronger than the pull of sin! www.settingcaptivesfree.com

 

 

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