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Posts Tagged ‘humble’

Truth Conquers Sin

February 2nd, 2017

The harder you run from your wrongs the faster truth pursues

My thoughts and comments today are that “truth conquers sin.”

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.” 1 John 1:9 NIV.

As a young teen, more than once I was reminded by my Dad, “You may be sure your sins will find you out.” Numbers 32:23 NIV. I never felt his words threatening, nor did my Dad mean them to be. He wanted me to understand the folly of sin; he succeeded in doing that. I was sobered by his words and probably behaved better than I might have otherwise. When you live everyday life with a deep conviction of the holiness of God and the inherent sinfulness of your own flesh, you will subject your decisions and plans to a more careful scrutiny. Doing so is a healthy and spiritually beneficial exercise.

Sin will not stay a secret for long. The harder you run from facing your wrongs the faster truth pursues you. Covering what you have done never succeeds. Why even try? Denial doesn’t make your wrong disappear. Jesus warned, “Beware of hypocrisy.  The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Whatever you have . . whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear.” Luke 12:1-3 NLT. Eventually, wrong is exposed. Ever wondered why?

The enemy of your soul wants your transgression to become a permanent and fatal flaw, so he tempts you to deny and hide it. Doing so never works out well for anyone but your spiritual adversary. The devil wants to torture you with your wrong doing and allow him to eventually rule over you. If the accuser of your soul can succeed, he can keep you in the prison of your own guilt and shame. The Bible describes him as, “The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night.” Read Revelation 12:10-11 NIV. His scheme is to control you by the threat of exposure. Never give him that leverage.

How much more plain could anything be? Adam and Eve tried blaming, denying, and hiding in the Garden of Eden. How did that work out for them? Read Genesis 3:6-13 NIV. God will not let that work for you any better than it did for Adam and Eve. God loves you too much to allow that to happen. Because of His love, God will not allow the strategy of denying and hiding sin to succeed. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NIV.

What then is the righteous response to sin? My dearest of friends, Campbell, often said, “There is only one way that sin leaves a life – through the mouth in confession.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Read 1 John 1:5-10 NIV. Honest and humble repentance before God and man is the only cure for sin. David wrote, “When I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and You forgave the guilt of my sin.” Read Psalm 32:1-5 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to know that honesty about sin is always the best policy.

Christian Communications 2017

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Weakness and Strength

June 4th, 2014

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV.

God more easily supplies what you lack than can displace what you are proud to possess.

Today my thoughts and comments are about “weakness and strength.”

Whether in the barnyard, school yard, or market place, others seem to take advantage of those whom they perceive as being weaker than themselves. For that very reason, people learn to mask weaknesses with denial or pretense. Neither of those are a winning strategy. No one enjoys being weak or being considered weak. Denial of a fact does not change it, and pretending you are other than you are doesn’t alter facts. Here’s the reality; every person has both strengths and weaknesses peculiar to themselves. Your recognition and response to either is what will make the difference. In your strengths, be humble; about your weaknesses, be honest.

God looks at your weaknesses and strengths much differently than you or others do. What you perceive as strength is of more concern to God than your weaknesses. Strength can be beguiling, leading to pride and living independently of God when you are not. Pride is not a pretty thing and God will not long indulge it. Humility is the cure for pride. From his earlier lessons of humiliating failures and humbling experiences, Peter wrote, “Be [aproned] with humility [toward one another], for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5-6 NKJV. Voluntary humility is an easier path than imposed humiliation. If you will not embrace the first, you will face the latter.

Let’s see what God says about weakness. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Think of what you were when you were called [by God]. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong . . so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NIV. God does not respond well to boasting. God more easily supplies what you lack than can displace what you are proud to possess.

In the great chapter of faith, you can read of those, “Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Hebrews 11:33-34 NIV. Who were these incredible, powerful, conquering people? They were ordinary people, “whose weakness was turned to strength.” God alone can do that. They were people who found strength is their God. “The Lord . . gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:28-29 NIV.

Paul wrote, “God said to me, ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my [weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV. It may sound counter-intuitive, but in Christ, that is ever true.

I pray for you today that you are content that your strength depends entirely on His.

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Gifted

October 14th, 2013

“Stir up the gift of God which is in you.”  2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV.

The purer the gift of God within, the more humble the heart and life possessing it.

My thoughts and comments today are about being “gifted.”

You have seen gifted people. They work with ease and assurance. Things seem to happen more effortlessly and successfully for them. They learn to expect success. Our son, Bruce, is an example; he is a master craftsman, building custom homes and church facilities large and small. The same task would baffle me. Bruce reads the plans, “sees” the structures as intended, understands the necessary engineering, and knows what building materials and skills are necessary to accomplish that. He is talented and experienced, but more. He is spiritually and naturally gifted with talents and skills that time and diligence have further developed.

God also designed your spiritual life to operate out of giftedness, both sovereign and supernatural. “Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV. God has placed gifts in you equal to the calling and purpose He intends for you. Do not allow them to reside dormant and unused.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . .” James 1:17 NIV. Differentiate gifts from God for your personal blessing and edification from those gifts of God for your effective service. The Kingdom of God does not succeed because of your natural talents and human abilities; the best of those will ultimately be inadequate to His exceeding and eternal purposes. His Kingdom flourishes by the dedicated efforts of spiritually gifted people, submissive to Lordship and serving within His anointing.

The Apostle Peter wrote, “As each one (that means you) has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God . . Do not neglect the gift of God that is in you . .” 1 Peter 4:10/1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV. The more you recognize and respond to the God-given and Spirit-anointed gifts within you, the more confidently and effectively you will serve God.

God accepts the responsibility to provide you with what you need to do His will effectively, then instructs and directs you in their application. You are to accept the responsibility to discover, develop, and then implement your spiritual gifts and natural talents, “If anyone ministers, let them do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ . .” 1 Peter 4:11 NKJV. The ultimate goal is to exalt God, the Giver of gifts, not the gift nor yourself.

Paul’s message to the Christians at Rome is good counsel for us as well: “For I say, through the grace of God given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith . . Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them . .” Romans 12:3/6 NKJV.

Here is what I have observed about gifted people: the purer the gift of God within, the more humble the heart and life possessing it. Young Timothy received good advice, “Do your best to win full approval in God’s sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work . .” 2 Timothy 2:15 TEV. Desire God’s approval above all else.

My prayer for you today is that you accept giftedness with neither boasting nor apology.

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Do the Right Thing

February 10th, 2012

“This is what [God] requires: to do what is right . . before God.” Micah 6:8 NLT

“Doing the right thing now is simpler than undoing the wrong thing later.”

My thoughts and comments today are to “do the right thing.”

It is not always easy to know the right thing to do, and actually doing the right thing is only harder. There is no one who has not learned that doing the wrong thing is not a very good alternative. Wrong never turns out right! Our lives tell the story of times when we haven’t known or done the right thing and the difficulty, hurt, and regret that resulted.

This is not a problem new to this generation. The prophet Micah wrote to people who had lost their way; having abandoned the Law of God, they no longer even knew the right thing to do. Ever been there, done that? In answer to their questions of what they could do to regain God’s favor, Micah’s answer was simple, “The Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NLT. The basic observation I make from this passage is this: doing the right thing now is always simpler than undoing the wrong thing later. The right thing is rarely very complicated.

Examine that verse carefully and read it practically. God “has already told you;” they ignored but they could not plead ignorance. What does God want you to do? Do as God has told you – “what is good.” God does not make suggestions about right and wrong. He clearly sets forth His expectations in His Word – “this is what He requires.” Here’s the formula for pleasing God: “do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Simple, isn’t it?

“Do what is right.” Doing wrong when you know what is right will never work out well for you. The Bible says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 NIV. Is there anything unclear about that? Doing the wrong thing is rarely human error. God put a moral compass – a conscience – inside your spirit that warns you of wrong whether or not you can fully understand or explain that. “Because of this (Day of judgment), I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and everyone else.” Acts 24:16 NLT. Doing the right thing is always easier. Right and wrong is not what you want or decide it to be; it is what God declares it to be.

“Love mercy.” The right thing to do is to love to give mercy as much as you love to receive it. Everyone loves mercy that is shown to them; God calls you to love showing mercy to others as you desire to be extended to you. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy . . For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Matthew 5:7/James 2:13 NKJV.

“Walk humbly before your God.” Humility is the fruit of a personal realization of your own frailties when considering another’s failure. Humility is the only suitable posture of a person before God; arrogance and presumption of your innocence is distasteful. Peter learned the lesson painfully well, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves . .” 1 Peter 5:5-6 NIV.

My prayer for you today is: do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.

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