Monday, August 9, 2021
Life's Really a Challenge
Life's Really a Challenge
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. HEBREWS 12:1
At times, living the Christian life can seem impossible, but a host of saints from throughout history provide powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness as well as to the wisdom of staying true to Him. People have faced every manner of persecution, opposition, tragedy, crisis, temptation, and disappointment, yet remained loyal to their Lord. You can do the same. Life is a journey. Every person is moving toward a final destination. However, there are sins and weights that can encumber us and trip us up. We must be ever diligent so that we do not become so entangled in worldly cares that we are no longer advancing with Christ. One of the purposes of Scripture is to encourage us, and the examples of those who have gone before us do exactly that. The Bible provides concrete evidence that God strengthens, comforts, and guides His people during hard times. In its pages the lives of believers shout out, “God is faithful! Stay true to Him and you will experience His gift of abundant life.” - Blackaby Being Still With God
So you shall put away the evil from among you. Deuteronomy 22:21b It is a dangerous and costly mistake not to take temptation seriously. The sad testimony of many who have succumbed to sin's enticements is that they thought they were strong enough to remain in the midst of temptation and resist it. God requires that His people remove evil from their midst (Deut. 21:21). One way to do this is to remove anything in your environment that may tempt you to sin. When wickedness surrounds you, you are in danger of becoming anesthetized to its destructive potential. Never assume that you are immune to temptation. Do not underestimate the craftiness of the evil one. God does not tolerate evil, for evil cost the death of His Son. Sin causes untold pain and destruction to everyone it touches. Treating evil lightly shows foolish disregard for God's redemptive work. An honest evaluation of your life will reveal temptations that you should remove, such as some forms of entertainment or ungodly relationships. When God convicts you of evil in your midst, remove it immediately! There are times, however, when you are powerless to remove ungodly influences, so you must remove yourself from the temptation. Paul urges us to avoid every kind of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). When Joseph was enticed to commit adultery by his master's wife, he fled immediately! (Gen. 39:12). Do not lose your abhorrence of sin. Be diligent to keep any form of temptation out of your home, out of your relationships, out of your mind. You will not be able to walk closely with God unless you see sin as He sees it. Darkness and light cannot coexist. Run from the darkness to the light! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Written for different purposes, Blackaby brings some significant points together on the same day.
The weight and significant problems of sin in our lives creates the greatest challenges of our lives.
It's taken me years, if not decades, to see aspects of my life differently than I did at first in living outside of the protection of my parents instruction.
To see things as many a Preacher, the Men of God who filled the pulpit, had taught.
Then in the most recent of years, to see just how freeing life can be, when obedience is done.
I've made plenty of wrong turns in my life. In this truth, I am certain my Friend, so have you.
Like me, you probably are only superficially are aware of how deeply your sins are in your life.
Sin is a seducer first, a tempter of all things that defy the Word of God. It is an enticer of pleasures and desires. It will get you to convince you of how life could be if just...
Sin died at the cross in all of its agony. Jesus said "It is FINISHED!!!". He who knew no sin became sin to satisfy the wrath of God. He took your place and mine on that day. Becoming the only way to be saved because He conquered sin.
Sin promotes self in any way that it can. It will twist your thoughts into fulfilled desires if you don't watch it. A great tree can be felled in a forest by time, patience and a little wedge slowly driven repeatedly in the same place over and over.
You ever read Job's take on the sins of himself and his family? He covers sin of commission, the things they intentionally did. Things they desired to do that were against God's Word.
He prayed about sins they did by NOT doing what God's Word said for them to do and they knew it.
You and I are the same type of people. In Christ we, like Paul preached in Romans, have that war going on in our flesh and our minds. Nobody in Christ is immune to it until they reach Heavens shore. Those outside of Christ have no battle with sin because they have no earthly strength that can stand before sin. Evil reigns in their hearts because there's no Spirit of God to stand in the gap. As it says in the Bible, they loved the darkness rather than the light. They loved it. Sin's power consumes them. They may indeed look prosperous, healthy, look like they are living life to the fullest. Inside, as Jesus said of the Jewish leaders, they are full of all that is sin's ugliness. Full of death and destruction. Full of it and reject Jesus because His light exposed it.
The closer we are to the light of Jesus the more our sins are exposed.
We are then given the opportunity to let go willingly or the Spirit will bring about events to have it removed. Persistent, intentional sin in the lives of believers He has the authority to even cause such a one to be removed from this world in order to protect the name of Jesus Christ.
People often in the news go on about how so-in-so's life was cut short. There is a short expose on the things that the world says they brought to the world that were so positive.
Hate to break it to you, but no amount of good outweighs 1 sin. Romans says we all fall short of the glory of God. Keep that in mind.
Our Spirit of God Teacher, as He is also called, will show us sins to get rid of.
In my life He's shown me many, and every day shows me more. The more time you spend in His presence, in the light of Jesus, the more you WILL be shown. The Spiritual Surgeon will effectively remove what you've been entwined in. The sin that so easily entangles as the Bible says.
You choose, like I choose, what you allow to be influencing your life. You cannot live life in willful disobedience to God and claim to be saved in this world.
You and I can't pick n choose which parts of the Bible we want to obey while disregarding the rest.
You and I must be intentionally setting our face towards Christ Jesus every day. Denying ourselves, taking up our own cross and following Christ.
There's so much truth in the fact that there are no harmless sins. We can't say to any that it won't be that bad.
Any sin, regardless of size, was enough to put the Son of God on a cross to die to save you and I. Jesus left perfection in Heaven to show us just how much sin offended the Father. He constantly exposed sin for what it was.
Our journey in this life is a challenge. We need to be aware of our surroundings. To run from sin as Joseph did. Spending time with God helps us to stay in the light.
Look at your life and your heart. Just what are you being shown that you need to address?
Enough with the excuses. I had to be brought to my knees many times in order to drive home the reality if many sins in my life, often to tears. Ignorance isn't bliss, it's not a joke. We have no rights as believers to just make carefully crafted excuses to sin.
Greed alone causes many to leave Christian principles at the doorstep. What about the other temptations?
I have seen greed turn otherwise decent Christian people into hard driving, honestly, heartless people. Convinced that what they are doing is for the cause of Christ.
You and I must choose each moment of each day to live lives that show the world what Christ was here for. In that He came to save sinners.