Tag Archives: righteousness

Am I even bothered by my sin?

27 Nov

I just got to thinking yesterday; in order for this post from Sunday to bother me/you/us…. it’s more important to talk about a different question first.

Does it even bother me if/when I sin?

Because if it doesn’t bother me when I sin, then it really doesn’t even matter what things are sins.

Sure, we all know we’re sinners (typically even unbelievers use that type of acknowledgement in their lives in some form) and that we need a Savior, but I’m not talking about “what we know.”

I’m talking about HOW WE FEEL ABOUT what we know.

Because if it doesn’t bother us to sin, chances are, we aren’t really saved at all.  We might know these things (Scripture says even the demons believe in God and shudder) but we have to be bothered by our sin to become broken over it enough to repent from it.

There is no salvation without repentence.

Repent means to acknowledge the behavior and then turn 180 away from it.  That doesn’t mean we can’t/won’t still slip up again in our lives but that’s entirely different from not really being bothered by it and to just keep doing it willfully.

I’m reading the book “Brokenness” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and she makes some incredibly valid points about pride in our lives.  She addresses all the ways it shows up (obvious and subtle) and flat-out draws a line in the sand that determines if we really are a broken person or not. (It’s a good book – you should check it out.)

Anyway – my practical application today is simple.

Am I bothered by my sins?  Do I care?  Does it grieve me to grieve the Holy Spirit?  Is it disturbing to me enough to actually repent and rid it from my life?  Do I justify what some might call sin because my situation is different from their’s just so I can keep my sin because I like it or I’m really not guilt-ridden over it?

I should do that = I’m sinning if I’m not.

25 Nov

In honor of my 100th post, I’m going to share a confession.

Ha! Most of my posts are confessions, aren’t they?  I have so far, (oh so terribly far) to go in my walk to maturity.

I’ll get right to it.  For many years, things would cross my mind that I should do, or that scriptures talks about as being good, and it never crossed my mind once that I might actually be “sinning” if I wasn’t doing those things.  I simply looked at them as “good ideas to help make my life more holy” should I choose to do them.

That recently changed.  I’m not exactly sure why or how it happened… but I know it happened.

If you’re having a hard time getting your mind around what I’m addressing here, let me put it into a scenario we can all relate to.  Every adult person (and typically much younger than that) has experienced a time in their life when someone didn’t tell them the entire story.  They just happened to leave out some details.

The end result? We feel lied to.  In fact, we call that “lying by omission.”  Did the person actually tell the lie?  No.  But they withheld information that would have made their behavior morally right.

The same can be said for scripture.  The ideals passed on were not included in scripture to be “good ideas” for us.  They were literally instructions to guide us to maturity in Christ.  And if we choose to be passive with these instructions, we’re willfully sinning, even in our ignorance.  We’re basically lying by omission with our lives by living with the Spirit inside of us but not doing everything we can do to be an example of Christ.

Here is my confession –

I’ve made every excuse possible for why I don’t “feed the hungry” , “clothe the needy” and “shelter the homeless” as well as “look after widows and orphans.”

It isn’t that I haven’t had the opportunity or there aren’t any people or needs in my community.  I pass them by, with a pit in my stomach and say “I’m in too much of a hurry right now” “We don’t have any extra money right now ourselves” “what if they pull a gun or knife on me and hurt me or the kids?”

Today, we were driving to church and there was a lady standing on the corner with a sign that said “Please help my family with food.”  She wasn’t asking for money to buy drugs and alcohol (which I still don’t believe is an issue for us… but that for another post).  She was legitimately saying, “We need to eat.”

We drove by.  We didn’t get far and I said “I feel like we’re sinning.”  I no more than said that and my husband was already turning the van around.  We really didn’t have time to go buy groceries, though I wish we could have.  But, we took her some money.

As I got out of the car and walked up to her, I got so emotional.  Just looking in her eyes.  Wounded eyes that said “I have no pride left in my soul” mixed with fear that I might be walking up to mock her or harass her…. I handed her the cash and said “Merry Christmas”.  How I wish I could have said more, but no words would come out.

She said “Thank You Honey.  God Bless You.”

I am NOT sharing this for a pat on the back.  Trust me.  I don’t deserve one.  I haven’t told you yet about the homeless guy we passed walking down the road who clearly needed a ride.  Not to mention… we probably could have given more money… or been late to church and went grocery shopping first.  Or taken her with us to church.

I’m not bragging about my efforts at all because I’m not even convinced myself that we did enough.

But I am saying that I believe with all my heart that if we hadn’t turned around, we would have been sinning.

We would not have been living like Christ models being His hands and feet.  Jesus would never see the hungry and pass them by.

~~ This post is NOT tied strictly to helping the needy.

Here are other confessions and/or areas this applies.

– Making a mental list of habits that are annoying about someone (especially our spouse.) That’s disobedience with the scriptures that say to take our thoughts captive, and meditate only on what is right, good, honorable, and praise worthy.

– Tithing.  Giving God His 10% first.  Malachi tells us that we’re robbing God when we don’t give him a tenth and we know one of the ten commandments is “thou shall not steal.” (II Corinthians 9:7 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – this is talking about giving generously! This is an offering above your tithe. Scripture cannot be used against itself, it must be used to help further explain itself.  God loves a cheerful giver who gives an offering above the tithe He is owed.)

– Speeding/Building without permits/Withholding tax information–  Scripture says we’re to abide by the laws of the land and to the leaders in authority above us.  Breaking laws, is sinning against God.

I think you get the idea.  For me, this really puts into perspective that “I’m not a good person” and I’m not even close to being sinless.  If I would even think for one second that I don’t have a serious list of repenting to do daily…. I’d be lying.

I’m grateful for the realization though because being made aware of sins, helps me rid my life of them, and stop walking as a hypocrite claiming to be a Christians, but living by my own convictions and ideals.

Practical Application –

Take some time to consider in what ways I might actually be sinning by ignoring parts of scripture and not taking heed of their insight and direction.

When two Christians don’t agree.

15 Nov

Is there anything more frustrating in all the world than when two Christians disagree with each other or don’t get along?

It seems like an oxy-moron doesn’t it?  Christians should love each other and get along and always see eye to eye if they’re serving the same God and being led by the same Holy Spirit.

So why don’t they?

I think it is because of one reason… broke down into two categories.

The reason is this… James 4: 1 -2 a

4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it.

Category # 1 : I want you to do it my way, because I’m  smarter, more experienced, and more mature than you are – and if you don’t, I’m going to be upset and feel like you’re doing it wrong.

Category # 2 : I believe you’re not following what scripture says – and I’m going to take a stand against it even if it causes waves between us.

 

We ALL slip up in Category # 1.  We have opinions and we like them to be valued and submitted to.  In minor ways like how to put the roll of toilet paper on the holder, how to stack the dishes in the strainer, and how to fold the towels.

But we also have opinions in some more substantial areas that feel a lot more significant in terms of spiritual matters that aren’t actually sins but can teeter the line closely.  Like how much scripture we should be reading a day, how many drinks of alcohol classify as not crossing the line into drunkenness, how often should we take communion, should we tithe off gross or net, and a check list of things we should be doing if we are truly a Christian.

Those can tend to really play heavy on us if we have a personal conviction toward a certain answer, however, we must be careful not to hold someone accountable to something that isn’t actually written in scripture.

Category # 2 is a LOT deeper! Just because two people are Christians, does not mean they are at the same level of maturity nor does it mean that they have the same wisdom and understanding in all areas of Scripture.

It sure seems like we should, and it’d make it a heck of a lot easier if we were all on the same level playing field… but we just aren’t.

It’s important when you really feel like someone is being disobedient to scripture that you’re honest.  Explain your reasons in love and truth.  And then be patient with their response.

If they fall into category # 1 – chances are, they aren’t hearing much truth because they’re too caught up making sure they are getting their own way.

If they are just uneducated, there is a good chance your honesty, concern, love and truth will open their eyes to see the wisdom you’re sharing and change their opinion or stance to line up with yours (and God’s).

I know the greatest temptations with this issue are to become judgemental, as in deciding if we think someone is really saved at all. And also to blow the disagreement up to a level that changes other truths.  One small disagreement in a specific instance shouldn’t allow other areas of the person’s life to come under attack or question.  Keep the disagreement focused on strictly the disagreement.

Practical Application:

HAVE PATIENCE!! I’m learning and growing EVERY DAY so I have no place to stand on intolerance for immaturity.

Search my heart to make sure when I’m in a disagreement with another Christian that I’m not actually just upset because I think my way is better.

Speak the truth in love and with full honesty so hopefully my fellow brothers and sisters will hear the message I’m giving and not judgement in the midst of a disagreement.

Accept that a disagreement does not need to be blown out of proportion.  Keep the issues under foot and in perspective!

Raising Daughters….

2 Nov

This post is dedicated to a very, very dear couple to my heart who just found out they will be having a third daughter in a few months… to my other friends who are raising girls that I might not have shared this with…. and all of you who have a house full of girls.

I know that I shared not long ago that when we found out we were having a third son, my husband had to speak truth to my heart to help me fight the disappointment of not having a little girl.  He said “There are not many godly men in the world today, and God has entrusted 3 to us, so He must believe we can do a good job raising them.”

And he was right.  There aren’t many godly men… and the world needs godly men!!!!

However, I need to be more honest here.  More than godly men, the world needs godly women.

Here is the bottom line.  Women are easily deceived.  Just like Eve in the garden 6,000 years ago.  Adam was not deceived, but he was so very easily controlled by his desire to go along with and please his wife.  That desire is a GREAT gift given to men.  It helps them love women the way Christ loves the Church.

But, if the power of the women using it are abusive with this gift, it will cause destruction and disobedience to God.  Which Eve demonstrated so vividly.  And Sarah, telling Abraham to just say she is his sister.  And Delilah getting Samson to tell her the source of his strength and then allowing him to be attacked. (I could go on… and on…. and on.)

It only took a few women to set the entire world on a course of sheer evil.  The feminist movement was not started by the masses.  But by the slick talk, and enticing way they made sin look SSSOOOO empowering and even right in the eyes of equality, the more we became a self-loving, self-serving and rebellious nation in America (and all across the world really.)

Raising a daughter is a God-given gift that the Lord absolutely does not grant lightly.  No matter how many godly men are walking this Earth, if no godly women are present, they will have no one to lead, no one to respect them, and no real companionship.

A woman after the heart of God is modest, self-controlled, patient, respectful, not at all demanding of rights, realizes her husband is her authority and protection and she LOVES that, self-less, humble, honest, not manipulative, doesn’t use sex for attention or as a weapon, desire to serve, and is obedient to scripture in every way.

If the entire world can be led astray because of a few women… then a few women can set a new standard of godly living that starts an incredible movement forward bringing the rebellion back in check and sets us on a new path of submission to the Word of God.

Just a few little girls, whose daddy and mommy are chosen – hand-picked by God with this GINORMOUS honor and responsibility to raise them into beautiful women rooted deeply in truth and willing to be a light in this dark world, no matter the cost.

T & B,

I just wanted to personally tell you that God would not have given you this reality if He didn’t know exactly what you’re capable of doing together as parents in the lives of your three little girls.  God is sovereign.  He knows our deepest needs before we even know them.  And this little girl is one day going to bring an amount of glory and honor to her risen King that no other child ever could.  She is going to have talents and spiritual gifts that are needed to complete God’s plan, for ALL of us, not just her. And honestly, who knows what the Lord has in store for the two of you.  My hearts prayer is that what He alone wills for your lives, is the only will you are faithful to walk, laying all you have down at his feet, – any financial, emotional, or physical needs, any desires or plans, and any hopes and dreams.  His power and purpose will be magnified as a witness to all of what total submission to the Savior looks like, and the blessings and rewards that are given to believers will fall on you as a testimony to the world.

Congratulations on your newest little girl/blessing!  I can’t wait to see her life unfold and sing the praises of the Savior who made her for such a time as this.

Love you guys!

Practical Application –

Look at your kids today as if each of them has a GOD GIVEN purpose.

Kiss you little boys and let them know that they are going to grow up to be incredible men of leadership and integrity.

And hold those little girls and pray over them for God can use them to turn the course of this world around from rebellion to worship!

It doesn’t bother me…

30 Oct

This weeks sermon was on “Toxic Influences.”

The pastor was painting an incredible picture that I feel needs to be broadcasted to every Christian on the planet… so I’ll do my part and use my blog.

I could use the pastors personal stories, but I don’t want to.  I have my own personal stories and maybe sharing mine will help you see yours.

There are certain situations in life when we are morally bothered.  For me, I remember my first big “no, no” situations at a young age being…

1.) Dirty language.  In the form of cuss words, racism, or crude humor.

2.) Don’t do drugs.  That includes all illegal kinds and all legal kinds that aren’t prescribed to you.

3.) Don’t have sex until you’re married. That speaks for itself.

I remember being around cuss words, dirty jokes and the like and being upset.  I didn’t like it.  It bothered me.  I felt uncomfortable and in the wrong environment.

Pretty soon, I was around it so much, it didn’t seem like that big a deal.  I actually stopped hearing it. Nothing felt odd. Everything was normal.

Not long after, I started saying a lot of cuss words myself.  It became a part of every conversation in some way or another.

And without much more time passing… I started changing my moral standard completely.  And it had NOTHING to do with God changing His!! I didn’t want to feel any guilt over once being bothered by swear words, so I started saying things like “Who made them cuss words anyway?  What is the big deal? In other countries, those aren’t even swear words at all.  It’s just a cultural thing and it isn’t a sin.  The Bible doesn’t list a group of words I can’t say.”

As fas as the drugs go… I got to the first two steps, but never step three or four (thank God for His provision in this area of my life.)

It bothered me terribly.

It started being “normal”.

Luckily, I never started doing them, and so never started making justifications for them.

I wish the same were true of sex.

Sex before marriage was WRONG!!

Everyone was doing it and it wasn’t that big a deal anymore.

I started doing it.

I jumped on that GINORMOUS band wagon that started saying things like “I’m going to marry him anyway.  At least I’m not sleeping around.  We’ve already done it once so what difference would it make if we stop now?”

 

What once seemed appalling to me and I held strong convictions over, I became tolerant of, influenced by, and then finally a supporter of.

 

Seeing it in my own life helps me have a little mercy for those who are enslaved by these EXPOSURE traps of Satan.  The victims of exposure are often entirely OBLIVIOUS that they’re a victim and they’re taking the bait – hook, line and sinker!

Have you ever heard anyone say (or said yourself): ??

~ I don’t even hear the language in the movie… it doesn’t bother me.

~ I’m not tempted by naked commercials or movie scenes, they don’t bother me at all.

~ I’m not addicted to it, I can totally just do it every once in a while, it doesn’t affect me at all.

~ It doesn’t bother me if they sleep with someone of the same-sex, it doesn’t affect me and my life.

~ I’m not phased by gossip, it doesn’t make me judge the other person, I can handle it.

 

Pastor Kyle said this one phrase that keep replaying over and over again in my mind and it was this.

“Just because it doesn’t bother you, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.”

Practical application:

What doesn’t bother you that should?

Have you been tricked into being tolerant or a supporter of something that is BLATANTLY against scripture or morally wrong against God’s standards, and you may be totally oblivious?

What are you going to do about it?

Not of this world.

8 Oct

I can’t help but wonder what Jesus would have to say to us Christians if He came to walk, talk, eat and live with us today.  When you flip through the gospels and look at the many places Jesus addressed the Pharisees (the religious leaders, who claimed to be living godly, holy & blameless lives) on their many areas of godly living, He unveiled a bunch of distorted thinking and ignorance.  The examples are a very enlightening eye into the trap of “religion.”

The Pharisees were making faith in God about obeying rules and laws.

The Church today has taken the total opposite approach.  We want to dismiss all rules and laws and accept everything and everyone.

We’re totally distorting Christianity  entirely by filtering Christ through our flesh.  We want God to be pleased with what we are willing to offer, and turn the other cheek “graciously” to the things we aren’t.

We are willing to serve God in all the ways that are easy, safe, and comfortable.  And anything that calls us to possible rejection, isolation, and humiliation…. well, that part is “optional” and only 10% are willing to go that route.

Christians today read their Bible so little that when the world quotes scripture out of context to them, they shriek in fear and then actually get their religious beliefs from the unsaved.  Did you catch what I just said?  It is true.  For example…. how many “Christians” believe homosexuality is OK because someone told them “the Bible says we’re not suppose to judge others.”

I’ll keep myself from getting side-tracked on how absurd that logic is and just stick to the point I’m already making here.

I can’t tell you how much money is on my mind lately.  I suppose this stems back to my post on education, as I think about college and the idol of education and degrees which has taken even the Christians of this world to a place of disobedience to God.  That even goes for seminary.

Think of the best Christian School you can think of right now, and I bet you they have a loan advisor who can sit down and show you how to get a $20,000 loan renewable each year for 5 years so you can obtain a degree and start your life with $100,000 of debt.

What does scripture say about debt?  It says the borrower is a servant to the lender.  And if we’re a slave to lender, how can we be a slave to Christ too?  We can’t.  The Bible says you can’t serve both God and money.  WHY?  How are we taking care of widows, orphans and giving to missions if all our “extra” money each month is paying off debt?

And that is just the starting place.

Then we have to add in debt for our homes, cars, appliances, furniture, and on and on and on.

We’re trying to live in this world and fit Christianity into it.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 a “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Who says you need seminary to be a pastor? Wisdom is a spiritual gift.  Are we saying that a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit is not as adequate as an education given by man?  Who started this idea?  And when did the Christians of the world roll over and start buying into it? Maybe when we made education an idol?

I’m not saying Seminary is wrong, and if someone has the finances to pay for the schooling (which wouldn’t be so high if everyone would stop being railroaded into taking out heftier loans and accepting the price increases) they should go! I know some great courses on Greek and Hebrew are offered which is extremely valuable!!

However, I know people who go to Seminary and come out completely brain-washed on faulty theology because they assume the professor is wise and his/her interpretations and explanations are automatically correct just because of their “position” in the college.  Not to mention, many seminaries on based on man-made denominations (definitely for another post coming soon.)

Anyway, I’m just convicted more and more that I can’t live in this world and follow any of the directions the world is running.  Including most of the churches as well.  They just aren’t running after truth.  They’re running after “the world” and “the desires of the flesh” all while patting themselves on the back and saying they are “walking in grace and mercy.”

Praise God for grace and mercy.  We’d all be spending eternity in Hell without it.  However, Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, NEVER said “I’ll extend you enough grace to accept your sin and then also make it comfortable for you to keep your sin and feel no conviction to sin around me.”  He called sin – SIN – and after extending mercy for their sins, always exclaimed that they must repent and leave their life of sin.

Practical Application:

I have got to renew my mind with the truth of scripture and stop fitting in with everyone else running the wrong way.

Take a stand, even when I’m going to be humiliated, ridiculed, and slandered for going against the norm.

Jesus stood out.  He didn’t blend in.  I can’t be in Christ-like-ness if I fit in.

If we belong to Christ, we’re not of this world.  I wish the Church would reject the compromises and run after truth.  All in all, we’ve all become so worldly.  Shame on us.

The beautiful part.

1 Oct

I was fortunate enough to take a trip all by myself yesterday to the grocery store.  If you’ve ever been a mom with little kids, I can hear you saying through the computer “good for you!” Seriously friends, it’s the little things.

The drive to the particular store I wanted to shop at is a 30 minute or so country drive.  As I was driving along, singing ridiculously loudly to the radio (because who doesn’t when no one else is in the car to hear you miss notes and crack on the high parts?!), I was hardly able to take in all the beauty outside.

I LOVE the changing colors of the leaves.

And then I had a little light bulb moment and a conversation with the Lord.

We all know about photosynthesis and chlorophyll making the leaves green by taking in water to produce sugar, blah blah blah, sorry to any science geeks who read this but I can’t bore myself or anyone else for too long on that stuff.

In simple terms, the leaves die.

Spring is wonderful when new life comes and it in necessary for each organism to function as it was created to function, however, it isn’t nearly as pretty as autumn.

 

So I start thinking about my life and what I’m working on.  Truly, I’m in a place of dying to even more hidden yet recently revealed sin in my life. At the rate I seem to keep discovering how wretched I truly am, I might always be dying to something my whole life, but what I feel like the Lord was able to show me yesterday is that the beautiful part, is the death.

When we walk in freedom from sin, we are obediently serving Christ and living to the potential we were created to live.  There is no doubt that is an amazing sight and opportunity for celebration!!

But, the dying process, where we surrender ourselves, the blinders come off, the heart is emptied, Christ comes in for cleaning, we gain the wisdom we need to see the faults in our ways, we confess our ugliness and desire for righteousness….. that friends, THAT IS THE BEAUTIFUL PART!

THAT is when we’re changing colors and the world stands back in amazement!

Practical Application:

Stop looking at your broken-ness as ugly and humiliating.  Start owning the beauty in death and stand in praise for the glory being done in your dying process.

The world is watching.