Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
On another note, Cassie and I watched Extreme Home Makeover together. I never get to watch it live and it is a show Cassie and I can watch together. She was so tired because she didn't take a nap in the car so she went to bed early. I am about to go to bed because I am also tired. Driving 7 hours by yourself with a 3 year old is hard and tiring. I am going to try to have a happy post on the next one but no promises.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Good afternoon! My room in the home is the hall closet. The definition of the word closet is, “a small room, enclosed recess for storing clothing, food, utensils, etc” “a small private room” “a state or condition of secrecy or carefully guarded privacy.” As you can see from these definitions, there are different types of closets but they all have the same meaning, to hide things. Now when I say hide things, not all hidden things are bad. The reason houses have closets is so when guest come, they don’t see all your clothes or towels all over the house, but in the same sense we tend to put things in closets we don’t want others to see. No one wants someone coming into their house and going through their closets. If you invited Jesus into your house today, would you be okay with him going through your closet? Do you have stuff hidden in the closet of your heart that you don’t want to take out or deal with?
If you received Jesus in your heart, no matter your age or mind frame, you were forgiven of all past sins. Romans 3:23-25 says, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. Many of us hold on to sin, thinking, my sin is too bad or even some thinking, oh I don’t want to bother God with this little sin. Some sins seem bigger than others because their obvious consequences are much more serious. Murder, for example, seems to us to be worse than stealing, and adultery seems worse than pride. In societies eyes, murder is worse than stealing but in God’s eyes, all sin is equal. In the same token though, all sin is forgiven through Christ. God declares that we, in we I mean Believers, are righteous. The definition of righteous is acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin. When a judge in a court of law declares the defendant not guilty, all the charges are removed from his record. Legally, it is as if the person had never been accused. When God forgives our sins, our record is wiped clean. From his perspective, it is as though we had never sinned. Why did He do this? John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. If you grew up in church, you know that verse better than any verse in the Bible, why, because it is so important. If you have asked Christ into your heart, you will live eternally with God in heaven. Having said all this, why do we still hold onto sin? If God forgives all of our sin, why do we still hold on or dwell on it. Are we ashamed? No matter what sin or what pain there might be in the past, Christ is ready to forgive, to heal and to make whole.
Now back to the house scenario that we have used this weekend. In our real life, our hall closets hold, towels, extra sheets, toilet paper, everyday use items. Okay funny story time about towels. Since my mom “made” me speak this weekend, it is a funny story on her. My mom loves to have her aunts come visit her. My papa will usually bring 3, 4 or even 5 aunts down at a time for a visit. Well one-year mom decided that she needed new towels, the ones that she had were falling apart. So she went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and spent money on new, good, thick towels for the aunts to use while visiting. Well when mom went into the guest bathroom to make sure there was enough toilet paper, Kleenex, she saw one of the old towels hanging up to dry. She then asked one of the aunts, why are you using these ratty towels, and her answer was, well I didn’t want to use the nice towels that were in there, they were just so nice. Now my question is, why did my mom keep the old towels? Now the same question but to you and replace towels with sin, why do we keep holding onto old sin? The story in the book that was our guidance was really speaking about our old life, our life before we accepted Christ in our hearts but I think it can apply to sin we have committed since being children of God. Psalms 103:3, “He forgives ALL my sins.”
The two worst words that can ever be put together is “What if.” What if I hadn’t snuck out of my house, I wouldn’t be grounded. What if I had just called a taxi instead of driving, I wouldn’t be sitting in jail facing manslaughter charges. Now those are two different extremes but you will notice the second part of those two questions are the hating of the consequences of those actions. Yes God forgives all our sins, but we also must accept the punishment that happens when we sin. Lamentations 3:39-40, Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Parents discipline children to produce right behavior. When mom and I were at the fair last weekend, there was a child throwing a fit and not one of his parents corrected his attitude. I said to mom, if that was Cassie, she would have gotten her butt whooped and we would have gone home. Everyone says, you know what is wrong with society today….? Why are we such experts on other peoples behavior, and I am right up there with everyone, but we don’t deal with our own sin. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, and God had to punish them, one of the punishments was that everyone would be born with a sinful nature. Romans 5:18, now I want to read this from the New Living Translation “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and a new life for everyone.” One of the sermons that was preached at my church was since God forgives all of our sins, why can’t we just sin as much as we want? To answer this question, lets turn to Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 11-14 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
God’s forgiveness does not make sin less serious; his Son’s death for sin shows us the dreadful seriousness of sin. Jesus paid with his life so we could be forgiven. Just because God makes his mercy available to us, that should not be an excuse for careless living. The body of sin, in verse 6, died with Christ on the cross. The words body of sin in the New Living Translation is the power of sin. The power of sin again refers to our rebellious sin-loving nature inherited from Adam. Though we often willingly cooperate with our sinful nature, it is not us but the sin in us that is evil. In verse 6 & 7 Paul emphasizes that we need no longer live under sin’s power. God does not take us out of the world or make us robots-we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin. The difference is that before we were saved we were slaves to our sinful nature, but now we can choose to live for Christ. Turn to Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. In verse 12 back in Romans 6, it says do not let sin rule your life. How can we keep this command to not let sin control the way we live, to not give in to its desires? Now before you think I am all knowing and I know everything to do, remember, I have found these and I think they would be helpful. These are suggestions, not commands! Here are a few steps I have read in researching for this talk. 1) Identify our personal weakness, mine is shopping 2) Recognize the things that tempt us, Chick-fil-a, I know a Godly man runs it but those nuggets are from the devil and they always tempt me 3) Stay Away from sources of temptation, this one is hard for me because Chick-fil-a is across the street from Cassie’s school 4) Practice self-restraint, 5) Consciously invest our times in good habits and service, when I am in Bible study, I just feel better and 6) Lean on God’s strength and grace. The big one for me is practice self-restraint. Now how do we get rid of this sin we are holding on to. We need to let God clean out that closet. We need to let him "throw everything away." Once you let go, your life will be fresh again.
The Beth Moore study I am doing talks about doing this and it has been the best thing for me. I could not get through this awful period in my life without God.