Saturday, June 17, 2017

Are You Giving Them A Reason To Mock?

     Years ago, when I was still a young Christian, I made many mistakes.  I said things I ought not have said.  I believed things that were not biblically-accurate. I spent time with the wrong people.  I entertained wrong activities.  I naively thought I could handle sin in my own strength, since I was now a Christian.

     It did not take long, before I learned the tight grasp sin has.  Even as Christians, we are not capable of its release, on our own!

     Being immature and ignorant, I yielded often to sin.  However, I  did have some basic knowledge of how God desired me to live, as well as a desire to do so.  Sadly, I ignored them both, in favor of the seducing temptations.

     As such, I gave many people a reason to mock and blaspheme my God.  I do not know if that pain will ever go away; nor, do I believe I want it to depart.  For me, it is probably the worst pain I could ever inflict upon a person:  the God who gave His own life for my soul!   If I ever grew non-chalant of how I rebelled against my Heavenly Father, I would be in a world of hurt.

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"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."  Titus 2:3-5

     Thankfully, He chastened me as any good parent would.  As a grateful daughter, who still is under refinement, I never want to go down that path again.  I also do not want that to be a part of your life's story.

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."  Revelation 3:19

     Yet, it seems, all too often, I see people forgetting what God has done for them (including myself here!).  Once our love for our Saviour is diminished, out of view, who do we see?  Ourselves.  What do we want to fulfill?  Our will.

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."  Romans 8:5-7

     I know that I am in trouble, when I start telling myself, "I know the Bible says, but..."  Any time I start justifying my actions, knowing that I am going against God's will, I am in trouble.  Regardless of my reasoning, it is never right
     One "small" sin always leads to a larger one.  We think we can get away with it, especially if it seems God is being silent about the matter.  He may currently be quiet, but, if you are His child, He will start the correction process.  It is our choice how difficult it will be.

     Yes, we all struggle with sins.  Continuing in them, never repenting, never seeking God for His overcoming power, grace, and mercy, is dangerous; and, blasphemous.  What starts secretly, with out repentance, leads to open, sinful behavior.  Why?  No more shame at what we are God.

     My hope and prayers for us all is that we would not grow dull of hearing the truth; that we would not grow insensitive to God; that we would be willing, and desirous, to examine ourselves by the light of the Bible; that we would, unashamedly, live for our Saviour, even though for the vast majority, it is unpopular, (to say the least); that we would have a heart willing to forgo what we know is sinful, even if it is bringing us temporary pleasure; that we would be honest with God about our sins:  admitting our weaknesses, predispositions, lusts, (even admitting when we do not want to stop our sins, but know we should)--He already knows these things...Why not open up with He who loves us more than we could ever fathom?

"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."  John 3:21

" From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."  James 4:1-10

     Yes, sometimes we have gotten ourselves into quite the situation, due to our sinful indulgences.  The consequences of stopping that sin, are more difficult due to the longevity, the relationships, the ramifications, and the like.  I knowI faced many obstacles, too, because of my sinful ways.  

     Yet, sweet fellowship with our loving Lord is more than worth the cost!  Trust me when I say, He will help us through it all!  Remember the picture of the father of the prodigal son?  Our Father wants us to see that He has that kind of love for us!  If we go to Him with a repentant heart, ready to walk in step with Him, He will help us!

" The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."  Psalm 51:17

     We who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, are most precious daughters of our Heavenly Father.  We have no idea just how much He loves His own.  Of all fathers, we have the best.

     Since we have such a Father, may we get our hearts back on track.  It will not be easy, on our own:  we have not only ourselves with whom to contend, but also the world, and the devil.  Yet, He is ever ready to aide us!  We simply cannot grasp His goodness, nor His abilities, on behalf of His children!

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."  1 John 3:1-2

     Are you giving others a reason to mock God?  I know I have, shamefully.  If I am not circumspect,  I will, again.  Yet, if we hearken to Him at His corrections in our lives, we will be most blessed!  May we, as daughters of the King of kings, love our Heavenly Father:  in word, and deed.
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  John 4:23-24

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."  1 John 3:18

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"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

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