by David Brenneman
Many people today really don't consider themselves bad people. They don't because they do not place the same value on nor consider the offense of sin to be as great as God does.
Within the Church quite often the effects of sin are watered down, relegated to "mistakes". But what about what Jesus said about would He find the faith when He returns?
Read in their entirety the New Testament takes you from why and how to be saved to why and how to live a life WITH the faith that Jesus was wondering if He would find.
Consider that statement when you look in the mirror. Conviction is about you and your relationship with Jesus, not the other person and Jesus.
The things you allow in your life speak volumes as to your views concerning sin.
Where your passion shows itself speaks to what you are worshiping. What you excuse tells where your heart is at in regards to the faith.
Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
Do you really consider those words? That you are not your own? You handed Jesus everything in your life to live for Him because of all He did for you. To ask the ridiculous question "How much is all?"
All means all and that's all all means.
Was reading in Acts yesterday and Stephen was giving his defense. Mentioned that even through those two 40 year trips in the wilderness that the Jews had, they STILL thought they could sneak the idols they were to have left behind in Egypt with them.
In our day and age idolatry is everywhere. It's everything to the business world. Really let those words sink in. If you don't spend your money on memorabilia for television, movie or sports, they don't have the money to stay in business on the level they do. Idolatry exists within the church, it's just candy-coated well to encourage more consumption. Gobs of money is spent on taking advantage of your feelings in order to get you to spend money that doesn't do anything for the furtherance of the Gospel. I am not referring to normal giving which ought to come from the heart to reach the four corners of the world for Christ. We can spend hundreds of dollars on tickets within the Church and outside the Church on a few hours that only benefits ourselves in ways that do not help the furtherance of the Gospel.
I was brought under conviction concerning much of this in what I was collecting and what I allowed myself to uselessly get upset about for no good reason.
I saw how I was ruining my testimony by what parts of this world I insisted I wanted to be passionate about that had nothing to do with anyone getting saved in Christ Jesus.
I would waste hours arguing over points of this or that concerning sports teams. I would waste hours if not days on science fiction books and movies.
Movies and major sporting events as well as television do a great job of keeping you from living out the Christian life. That's just calling a spade a spade. Look at even Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. Look at what has to go when times get hard. Useless collections of things that literally thousands of dollars were spent on going for literally pennies on the dollar.
Idolatry can even include your own body. Thinking you know better concerning it than God does and He’s the Creator!
We are indeed not our own. We are to take off the old self and it's practices and put on the new in Christ Jesus. Yes that's in the Scriptures too. Ephesians 4:17-24 NASB "So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
How much of your time is spent in renewing your mind in Christ Jesus?
Is this even important to you? Look at your home. Do you really have a temple set up in what you have collected and don't recognize as idolatry? Do you justify your tastes that do not edify or build up yourself or others in the faith? Do you?
Look at your wardrobe. Is it including things that showcase idolatry rather than pointing people to Jesus?
When people hear you speak do they even know by your life that you are a believer?
You can't live this life trying to hold on to as much of this world as you can and not get burned by it. Yet many Christians try.
The justification is rampant.
People thinking they can push the limits yet don't see how close they are to becoming a Prodigal Son or Daughter.
Why are churches closing at an alarming rate? Because there no difference between them in the so-called church and the world outside...so why bother with it.
We are told to live life, we are commanded, in such a way that people see our good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.
Matthew 5:16 "Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.".
Is your light a flame or a tiny bulb that flickers? People in worship songs cry out for God to set their hearts on fire for Him. Would you be included in such a prayer for yourself?
Would it be that people would recognize the current state of themselves before God. That conviction would come. The great revivals of the past came because conviction by the Spirit hit life where it matters most. Where revivals fail is where no conviction of sin has happened. People really came to feel better about themselves rather than to hear of how far away from God they were.
So how far away from God are you really?
How close to the world are you?
Are you at all convicted about any sin that you allow in your life because you want it in your life?
Do you at all see the world through the eyes of the Spirit? Are you at all looking for Jesus to return or are you secretly hoping to live out your life your way first?
Does sin even bother you to the point of asking forgiveness for it? Do you excuse sin in order to keep what you have?
Would Jesus consider you to really be in the faith?
"“Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD." Jeremiah 23:24 NASB
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