Tuesday Truths

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Rms 6:23

As a Christian, I hear a lot about God’s love and Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins.  It is the foundation and bedrock of our Christian faith, that Jesus saved us from our sins and through His crucifixion we can be saved.  But what about once we become saved?  Are we not to follow after Him and live a holy and righteous life?  Are we not to avoid sin and the appearance of sin at all cost?  And if we do sin, are we not suppose to repent and turn from our sinful ways?

Working in a secular environment, I have been blessed to work with both saved and unsaved people.  I say that I am blessed because I never want to live my life in a cocoon where those that I surround myself with are of the same belief and background.  I want to have discussions and not always see eye to eye with everyone that I encounter because that is what makes me a better person.  But I do believe that when I am around Christian we should share a belief system that is founded in the word of God.  And yet on a regular basis I am amazed at the number of times that God’s word is never even applied much less considered when problems, discusses, concerns, issues or basis disagreements occur.  It is possible that one reason is because many don’t even know what God’s word says about a certain issue or problem.  Or maybe, in the moment the urge to react worldly is stronger than our sense of right and wrong.  And listen I get it.  Lord knows that I have reacted in my flesh plenty of times only to really regret my actions.  But that does not change the fact that I am still required to apply God’s word to my situation and make it right.  God tells us that if we go to the alter and remember that we have an issue with our brother or sister, we are to leave the alter and make the issue right.  Matt:5:23-24

To willingly walk in sin, as a Christian, is telling God He is not at the center of your life.  And once the decision is made to follow after the flesh, it is not long before we are no longer walking after God but really after the world and satan himself.  I recently heard a pastor say “one step out of the light is in the shadows and two steps is in darkness.”  It is so easy to fall away from God.  The things of the world are so enticing.  We tell ourselves “everyone is doing it, so it’s no big deal.”  But it is a big deal to God.  I have spoke to many Christians who are sleeping with their boyfriend or girlfriend and as I listen to them there is not conviction.  It just not that big of a deal.  But God does not look at sin that way. God doesn’t give us a pass because it is what everyone else is doing.  The wages of sin are death.  God is clear, if we sin and don’t repent, we have separated ourselves from God.  I don’t say this to judge.  I say this because I don’t want anyone to stand before God on judgement day and hear “depart from me because I never knew you.” Matt 7:23

God did not create hell for us.  God loves us and He loves us so much that He wants us to walk clear of the things of satan and He made a way for us to do that.  But we have to make a choice.  We have to decide to walk away from sin, repent when we do sin and seek God for help daily to walk free from sin.

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“For we wrestle not against flesh and bleed but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Eph. 6:12

What if we as Christians looked at our daily battles with others as “spiritual battles” and not “fleshly battles”?  Would we react differently if we did?  I believe we most definitely would.  Unfortunately that is not how most of us react initially.

As Christians the enemy of our soul, Satan, wants to destroy us and the easiest way is to use our emotions to accomplish that goal.  Satan knows where to hit us for maximum impact and we fall for his trap more times than not.  I, myself, am not immune to his attacks and the most recent one came out of no where. I know God’s word, I understand spiritual warfare and more than anything I fully understand the daily battle that we as Christian can endure.  Despite all of that knowledge,  I failed to recognize the true enemy behind this recent battle.  I only saw the person that was speaking the words and it was not until much later that I realized that I was not “wrestling flesh and blood” , but an attack from the enemy.

I have to first preference what I am about to say with a disclaimer.  Non-Christians can only battle the enemy’s attacks in their flesh.  For most, they will not even recognize that the battle that they are in is from Satan.  They are walking in darkness because without Jesus they are not in light.  This might sound harsh, but the truth is that Jesus came into this world to set the captives free. (Luke 4;18) But in order to be set free, you have to ask Jesus into your heart.  Please don’t shoot the messenger, I have come to share God’s Word and His love, but you have to accept it first.  The only way to walk in that love is through His son, Jesus.  Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the light” and the only way to Him is if you accept God’s drawing to Him. (John 14:6, John 6:44) If you want to ask Jesus into your heart, please click on the “Accepting Jesus” tab on my site.

 For Christians, in order for us to effectively battle the attacks that Satan WILL send our way is through God’s weapons.  We are in a spiritual battle and using worldly weapons will only bring momentary satisfaction and in the end we will be no closer to victory than when the battle first began.  Arguing, cussing, hitting, yelling, acts of revenge, retaliation, anger are just a few of the worldly weapons that many Christian’s use to fight our earthly battles.  Using those weapons only bring about a victory for Satan.  God’s children never come out on the winning side when we use worldly means to fight.  Now let’s get real.  It is hard to not want to react in the flesh.  In the moment all we can think about is how wrong the other person is and what we want to do to them.  My advice, walk away.  Use the weapons that God has given each one of His children.  First prayer (especially in your prayer language), forgiveness, praise and finally love.  And if you don’t see the victory, GIVE IT TO THE LORD!

How did my situation end?  It is in the Lord’s hands.

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“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corth. 12:9

     As a Christian, one of the first aspects (or dimensions) of God that we experience is His grace.  That grace is what opens the door for us to receive salvation from Jesus.  God’s word tells us “for by grace you have been saved” Eph 2:8  Is is also that same grace that helps us daily in our walk with the Lord.

     Throughout my Christian walk, I have often declared over myself “God’s grace is sufficient”.  Those words were spiritual weapons that stayed in my arsenal ready to be used at the first sign of a spiritual battle.  However, I never bothered to take the time to look up the rest of the scripture until just recently.

     Two years ago, God told me to take a job working with troubled youth in my youngest daughter’s school.  There was no doubt in my mind that God opened this door for me but I knew that I could only do it with His help.  Part of that help was to equip myself with scriptures.  So I went about placing scriptures on my desk and as God showed me new ones,  I would added them to my desk.  I knew that those scriptures would give me the tools I needed when troubled arose.  I thought my battles would only be with the students, never once thinking that those scriptures would also give me strength and guidance in dealing with the adults as well.  One day I learned that one of the woman at the school had a problem with me and was speaking half truths about my character.  To say I was upset would have been an understatement.  My first reaction was to confront her.  I wanted to call her out on what she was saying but God had another plan.  He placed a fellow believer in my path that prayed with me and told me to seek the Lord.  As I returned to my classroom, the first thing that my eyes fell upon was the scripture 2 Corth. 12:9 that was taped to my desk.  And instead of only focusing on the first part of that scripture, I read the entire scripture for the first time.  As I read it and reread it, the only thing that I keep hearing in my spirit was “my power is made perfect in weakness”.  The Lord wanted me to give Him my anger and allow myself to become weak in His presence.  Meaning that I gave up my right to be angry, I gave up my right to call her out, I gave up my right to “punish her” and through giving all of that to God I would be left with nothing but weakness.

As I slowly gave it all to Him, I felt like a fighter that had just finished 10 rounds with the world champion.  I had nothing left to give.  I sat at my desk overcome with emptiness and it was at that point that the Lord started to give me a love for the very one that had spoke so much against me.  It was no longer about what she said and who she said it to, it was about God, Jesus and Holy Spirit being in control.  As I become weak, God’s power was made perfect and He gave me the grace to see her through the love of my Savior Jesus.

What if we all became weak in the Lord?  What if we all gave our anger, our frustrations, our brokenness, our disappointments to the Lord and allowed Him to become strong.  I know that we would look at those that hurt us in a different light.  But most of all, I believe that the more we released ourselves to God, the more His grace would abound.  Let this be the day that you become weak in the Lord so that His power will be made strong in you.

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“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 NIV

Recently a popular Pastor and Christian recording artist, Kim Burrell, was excoriated in the media for a sermon she preached about the sin of homosexuality and the homosexual spirit.  After a video clip of a part of her sermon was released, she faced persecution and ridicule for what she said.   She lost her radio show, was dis-invited from appearing on a talk show, and was dropped from an awards program.  As I watched and listened to the persecution that she has endured I was reminded that when we walk after Jesus and proclaim His word, persecution and ridicule will follow.  Jesus Himself faced persecution from both believers and non believers during his life on this earth and the one thing that Jesus stood on was the words of His Father, God.  When the devil attacked Jesus, the weapon that He used to defeat him was the word of God.  That is why God’s word is called the rock.  It is what we stand on in the midst of the battle, and yet at times it can be hard to receive.  But despite how we perceive God’s word, it is still His word.

God’s word is the believer’s manual.  It give us strength, direction, assurance, and so much more.  I don’t expect nonbeliever’s to understand this concept.  Nonbeliever are not applying the principles that God lays out in His word to their life and that is there choice.  However, to be “shocked and dismayed” that a Christian stands on all of God’s word should also not come as a surprise to the nonbeliever.  I know that there are things in God’s word that many will not want to hear and at times I don’t want to hear them myself.  But I know that because God loves me, I need to hear what He has to say.  I want God’s will for my life and desiring that means I have to allow God’s word to renew me and  that I have to take a stand for what God stands for.  Persecution will come with that stand and as hard as it is, I have to be willing to face it.  After all, it is not me that people will be fighting against but rather God and His word.  And know one thing believers, that through it all Jesus will always be there.  Seek a godly life and declare God’s word, He gave it to us because He knew we would need it.  Be blessed.

That is Tuesday’s Truth.  Each Tuesday, as God allows, I will share a word of truth from God’s word.  God says that if we will “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of our minds, .. that we will know what is the will of God for us”. 

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