Category Archives: salvation

Denial – the easy response when you see sin in your life

DenialI know anyone who has ever been alive longer than a couple of years has heard about sin. It is the product of many of this mortal life’s good and bad experiences. Sin comes in many forms. There is purposeful sin, accidental sin, ignorant sin and more. But in the end it is all against God’s instructions for how to live a Christian life. Do you think God hides any of this information? He doesn’t. He puts it out front and center for our consumption. If we do not know its because we don’t care to look for it or ask about it.

What is the first human reaction when we are faced with the thought we may have committed a sin? I think it is denial. We think “oh no, not me!” “I didn’t sin. If so I didn’t mean to.” But if we are honest with ourselves many times we do indeed sin. I have been a Christian for more than thirty years and I still sin way too often. Thankfully my knowledge of the difference between sinful acts and those that aren’t sinful has increased, but the sin nature is still present.

I used to try the denial route. It is easy to deny and try to blame your actions on the situation, the weather, the stock market or anything else. But all this does is prolong your feeling of conviction that comes from wanting to please God with your actions. The best thing you can do when you realize you are sinning is to remove yourself from the situation and confess your sin.

Accept that you are mortal, that sin will always be a challenge and try to learn how to head it off before it gets tis claws in you. Isn’t it better to not have to dive into the denial pool? God loves you, will accept you wherever you are and will change your life, including how you deal with sin, if you will just follow his lead.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/denial/

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Daily Prompt: Tempted

Well finally there is a Daily Post topic in 2017 I can write about on my faith based blog! Tempted is something we all face in our human experience and there is plenty of help from God when dealing with this mortal pitfall. Who among us can boast of never feeling tempted? No one who is being honest. I will quickly raise my hand to testify that there is temptation all around me.

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. 1 Corinithians 10:13 (KJV)

God is so good to us. Not only did he create this wonderful world we get to enjoy every day, but he provides lessons for us on how to get the most out of our lives. There is so much good he has stacked up for us we are foolish not to embrace it all. But as with all things too much good can be a hazard to us. Who has not heard the saying you cannot get too much of a good thing. Trust me you can.

Dessert is good. Sunshine is good. So is any number of experiences, objects or desires. But eat too much dessert and you could be overweight. Allow your skin too be bombarded by the sun and you can experience skin cancer. Moderation is always a good way to live. Knowing you limits is an important thing.

Temptation comes in so many forms. But in the realm of what God instructs us we must think about it a little differently. We all tend to have a first love for ourselves. Don’t take that wrong it is not a totally bad way to live, it can just get in the way of caring for others. You will notice the title of this blog is Living the J.O.Y. Principle. You can click on the link to go to another post I wrote about it, but basically it is making Jesus your first priority, Others your second and yourself the last priority.

Temptation will complicate this process. I know, because even as I strive to live this way there are times when I want first. I am not going to tell you I always get it right because I am just as human as any other person breathing right now. Today I celebrate my 52nd birthday and it is hard not to sit in the “do for me” chair. I am blessed with a wife and family who think about birthdays that way so it is the way for today. But do not think I am not thankful and blessed to enjoy their feelings.

To get back tot he point of the bible verse above, God always provides a path of escape when we are tempted. The more you learn about God and his ways the more you see what is meant by this escape. Suppose you have thoughts of taking something that is not yours. God will convict you in that moment, you just have to be willing to hear him. Or maybe you want to be dishonest about a response. Again God will let you know that is not an acceptable path.

God wants us to succeed in this mortal life. He did not create us as we are and then arrange a cascade of failures for us to collect during our moon cycles on this terrestrial ball. He wants us to not only survive, but thrive. Much of the burden is on us. Being tempted once is not a sin. Being tempted more than once for the same reason and refusing to learn how to escape that temptation however is. We must develop our ability to see our sin for what it is and deal with it with God’s help.

Tempted is no way to live, so if you know that is a concern in your life reach out to a friend who can help you understand God’s answers to your weakness.

 

Playful – Daily Post – 6 June 2016

Today the Daily Post Topic is Playful. We just started Vacation Bible School at our church and for the third year my wife and I are leading a class for teens. Unlike many churches we have a large group of youth and there is a definite need for a more grown up approach. We have a video series lesson from J.D. Greear we are teaching, but we started the day yesterday with some time at a local park.

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Our original plan involved a local Kayaking, tubing and rafting attraction, but due to some locally heavy storms and dubious weather forecasts we had to alter the destination. After more than one secondary choice we finally settled on a local park that provided just what the kids were looking for.

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I rely on my camera phone because it is much less obtrusive and accordingly I cannot always take multiple shots rapid-fire, so I missed the interval between the first shot and the second, but you can see the result well enough to know what occurred.

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By now the group had made the choice to walk down stream and had just made their way beneath a bridge. It was not something I had planned to do with them, but eventually I realized if I was going to document any more of their adventures I had to join the crowd.

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There is only twelve of the eighteen that took part in this adventure pictured, but you tell me, have you ever tried to get eighteen teens together all at one time? It is much harder than you think.

We will have five more days of opportunity to have fun and learn about assurance of salvation, our topic for the week. I hope you enjoy the Playful theme I chose for today’s daily post topic.