RUN FROM SIN AND TO HOLINESS!

RUN FROM SIN AND TO HOLINESS!

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.  But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.  I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.  God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” —I Corinthians 5:9-13

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.  Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. —I Corinthians 6:18-20

            On-going sin unrepentant of in a believer’s life is so destructive. A local church that knows on-going sin that is unrepentant of in a believer’s life and does nothing about it can greatly affect that church in a very negative way.

            I was recently told of a church split that occurred because the pastor was involved in sin and was teaching that because we are under grace sin does not affect us and we can pretty much do what we want— justifying his sinful behavior.   Well, don’t you know that affected people destructively in that local church. How sad when this happens among those who claim the Name of Jesus.

            So it was in the Corinthian church. There was an incestuous relationship that was on-going. Paul said of the church that “You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship” (I Corinthians 5:2). And when this happens in any local church we “should be mourning in sorrow and shame.” What a reproach this on the Name of our dear Lord and Savior!

Sin in the local church needs to be dealt with. Again, those professing believers practicing on-going sin without desire for repentance need to be disciplined by the local church. God has given us the responsibility to do so.   Otherwise “sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough (I Corinthians 5:6). It will have a terrible impact on the local church. So… let us live holy lives for our Lord Jesus to honor His Name and to benefit the local and universal church! May it be so!

Dear Father please help me to live a holy life for Your honor and glory and for the benefit of Your Church. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsYyuK1w3q0

FAITHFUL SERVICE WILL BE COMMENDED!

FAITHFUL SERVICE WILL BE COMMENDED!

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. —I Corinthians 3:12-15

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. —I Corinthians 4:2

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. —I Corinthians 4:5

            How am I building and what am I building with? What is my attitude while I am building? I am to be a trustworthy steward. One day I will appear before the Lord and He will reveal and “disclose the purposes of” my heart. Yes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).   “Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”

            So am I building with “gold, silver, precious stones—the things that will pass through the Lord’s scrutiny and be commended for? Or, am I building with “wood, hay, straw”—the things that will not pass the Lord’s scrutiny nor be commended for, but instead suffer loss?   What does this mean anyway?

            Not only will my work be revealed for what it is, but even the motivation behind the work will be known. Faithful service to our Lord will be rewarded (Matthew 25:21; Luke 19:17). Hearing those words “Well done, good and faithful servant” is all I desire to hear spoken to me by my Lord. The service done in faithfulness to His desires will be commended. All other work done for whatever other purposes will be “burned up” and that will be a great loss. Oh, may I serve Him for His glory and not my own, for His honor and not my own, to lift His Name up and not my own. May this be so!

Dear Father may I be serving You according to Your desires and not my own. Be pleased to work in and through me to bring honor and glory to Your Name. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Sx_U0Ztr8

SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT

SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. —I Corinthians 2:14

            The natural person is still dead in their trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1).   The natural person is blinded to the gospel (II Corinthians 4:4). The natural person thinks the gospel is foolishness (I Corinthians 1:18). But those who follow Jesus have been “made alive” (Ephesians 2:5). They have had “His light shine in (their) hearts to give (them) the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6) and understand the “power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). God has made them alive (Ephesians 2:5).

            Don’t be surprised at opposition to the gospel. There are those you can talk with. They will listen and then there are those who will actively oppose the Truth.   We still have great freedoms to preach the truth publicly in the United States. This is gradually changing. But there are brothers and sisters who are actively opposed in other nations to the point of physical persecution and even death.

            People who cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God react differently.   Some people can politely talk about Jesus. Others just do not want to talk about Jesus at all. Then there are those who are verbally abusive. I had a person respond to me with a string of profanity the other day, but he would not converse. Then there are those who threaten physical abuse and those who will carry that out.   All this happens because the natural person cannot accept the things of the Spirit of God.

            But then there are those whose heart God shines light into and they do understand and respond to the gospel. God spiritually helps them to understand. We just need to be faithful to carry the message to people and trust God to do the rest. He is the only One who can change a life, but we can surely be obedient to bring the life-changing message that He uses in a person’s life! Let us do our part and trust the Holy Spirit of God to do His part.   Yes, let us be faithful.

Dear Father I know how You caused the light of the gospel to impact my life. Now may I be faithful to bring that gospel to others and trust Your Holy Spirit to impact people for eternity. Yes, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s4UblPViiI

OTHERS CENTERED AND NOT SELF CENTERED

OTHERS CENTERED AND NOT SELF CENTERED

Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. —Romans 15:2

            How much do I look out for the interests of other people?  Or, am I only concerned with my own interests?  In what ways do I seek to please my neighbor for his good?  How am I looking to build others up?

            These questions can be seen in the way I spend my time, the way I spend my finances, the time I serve, the attitude I serve with, the desires I truly have on the inside, how I really think of other people and my desire for other people’s best.

            So, how have I sought to please a neighbor for his good lately?  How have I sought to build a neighbor up recently?  And is this a lifestyle or a once-in-a-while occurrence? 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross. —Philippians 2:3-8

            “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Wow, that is the challenge and encouragement to us.  Do I have His mind in looking out for the interests of others?  Do I truly desire to be a servant like Jesus was a servant and all that that means!  Who will I serve today?  Who will I seek to please today?  Who will I seek to build up today?

Dear Father may I be more faithful in this today than I was yesterday and even more faithful tomorrow than I may be today.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gjXBMC8-oM

FAITHFULLY LIVE FOR JESUS!

FAITHFULLY LIVE FOR JESUS!

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. —Romans 14:12

            Let us live today and for the rest of our lives to honor King Jesus.  Oh, remember brothers and sisters that we will give an account to God.  Let us be faithful to honor our Lord and King.  Yes, let us live out the great grace that has been extended to us.  May it be so, Father, in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son that I would hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Yes, may it be so

BE MORE LIKE JESUS

BE MORE LIKE JESUS

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. —Romans 12:2

            The world system will seek to pressure you to conform to it.  Its values are promoted all around us every day.  Those of the world want us to be like them, but we were called out of the world and into the Kingdom of God’s Son.  Since we were called out of the world’s system and into God’s Son’s Kingdom there is transformation taking place in our lives.  This transformation happens because of our minds being renewed.  We once lived in the world and thought like the world, but since we called on the Name of the Lord our thinking is being changed to be more like His. 

            How does this happen?  It is by His Holy Spirit using the Word of God to transform us into being more like the Son of God for the glory of God.  This is why it is so important to be in God’s Word constantly, listen to what He has to say and applying what we hear to life.  When this happens there is transformation taking place.

            When this transformation is taking place we are more apt to “be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”  This transformation “by the renewing of your mind” must be taking place in order to know God’s will.  Those who think they know God’s will without this transformation “by the renewing of your mind” taking place are being deceived— “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

            Dear Father today may I be transforming to be more like my Lord Jesus.  Yes may my mind be in the renewing process that I can understand Your will.  Yes, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9YCvwthi7o

Fulfillment

I declared that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds worthy of their repentance. —Acts 26:20  

You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. —I Corinthians 16:15  

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. —Ephesians 2:10  

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. —Titus 2:14  

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. —James 2:26  

A life lacking service to King Jesus is a life filled with searching for unfulfillments.—- tw

HE IMPACTED ME THAT I’D IMPACT OTHERS!

HE IMPACTED ME THAT I’D IMPACT OTHERS!

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. —Romans 5:7-11

            I was a sinner, an enemy of God, not knowing why Jesus died on the cross.  But then I heard the gospel.  Jesus died for me.  Jesus took the punishment and penalty for my sin.  He suffered physical brutality for me.  He did this because of love (John 3:16: I John 3:16).

            Yes, Jesus suffered the wrath of God that I could be justified.  He paid my sin debt and I have been given God’s righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21).  I am saved from the wrath of God because Jesus took that for me through His death even while I was His enemy!  He reconciled me to God through His death.  Now being reconciled I will “be saved by his life.”  

            Rejoice, brother and sister, we have been reconciled!  None of this would be possible without the death and resurrection of Jesus.  He “through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4).  And now there are those all around us who have yet to hear this good news.  Will you tell someone today?  Will you share the gospel with them who desperately need to hear?  May it be so!

Dear Father who would you have me talk with today about Jesus.  Help me be sensitive as I walk through my day, the day You have given me.  May I be wise and bold to proclaim the gospel to whoever You desire me to.  Thank You that You will never leave me nor forsake me and that You are with me to the end of the age.  Now, may I be faithful in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it!

FORGIVEN AND GIVEN GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

FORGIVEN AND GIVEN GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”  —Romans 4:5-8

            Have you put your faith in Jesus?  If so then you are justified.  Justice has been served on your behalf by Jesus and you are now counted as righteous!  You have the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21).  Do you understand how blessed you are?  You are forgiven.  Your sin will not be counted against you by our Lord!  Forgiven! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_ZWEO36jok

            Stop and ponder this…  I was ungodly.  I trusted Jesus.  Now I have His righteousness.  This has nothing to do with what I have done, but what He has done at the cross on my behalf.  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27). 

Now we are to “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).  And we are told to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).  May we be faithful in this today and for the rest of our lives.

Dear Father it is truly astounding what You have done for me.  I am deeply grateful, eternally grateful and may I live out that gratitude in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son.  May it be so!