Posts tagged ‘sin’

Change Your Sound pt 5

Psalm 16:11- in your presence is fullness of joy

Acts 3:19- repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be washed away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of The Lord.

We need the presence of God, because it brings fullness of joy and refreshment. This is why we need to change our sound, so that we may experience the manifested presence of God.

Isaiah 6:1-4- in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw The Lord, high and exalted. Seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphim, each with 6 wings: two covering their faces, two covering their feet, and two for flying. And they were calling to one another: ” holy holy holy is The Lord Almighty…..”

Three things happen when we are in Gods presence

1. We see how BIG God is. –

2 chronicles 26:14-15 describes how good a king Uzziah was. He was skilled creating ways to help his armies. Thus, his fame spread far and wide.

At the end of his rule though, full of pride, he walked into the temple of The Lord, and begins to burn incense to The Lord. The priests freaked out and tried to stop him, but Uzziah didn’t listen. He felt like he could worship God however he wanted. Immediately, he broke out in leprosy. He saw his mistake., and was declared unclean. So he had to live the rest of his life away from the people.

This is often true of us- that we think we can worship God however we wish, instead of by the statutes that God has given us. We should be humble before God. Our hearts should be in the right place. In worship, God doesn’t judge our sin. He judges our hearts.

So, Uzziah died, and Isaiah goes into the temple to mourn him. But in the midst of this, He saw God. While he thought Uzziah was big, He realized at that moment how BIG God really was. He saw the majesty and splendor of His glory. This is why we need to be in church. We constantly need reminding of how BIG God’s presence is. This is why Satan fights us so horribly on Sunday mornings. He needs us to stay away from seeing The Lord. When god is showing up in our services, we too will say that “we have seen The Lord. ” If he can keep us from the presence of God, he has done his job well. We can’t let him win.

2. We see how small we really are.

Isaiah 6:5-“Woe to me,” I cried, ” I am ruined! For I am unclean, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, Lord Almighty!”

In God’s presence, we see how small we really are. We see every area of our lives for what it really is. Once we see god, though, our problems become so small. Our concerns shrink. In this scripture, we see the angels declaring how holy God truly is, and we see just how unholy we really are. We can’t become holy by ourselves either.

In Rev 4;8- John has a vision of the living creatures, again, declaring God’s holiness.

Psalm 22:3- “but You are holy God.”

It’s ok for us to see our sin and imperfections when we are in God’s presence. He has no issues with our sin. He DOES have an issue with someone who is not upfront about their sin.

When I’m in God’s presence, my eyes are open to the things God wants to change my life.

3. We see how GOOD GOD is.

His very nature is His goodness.

Isaiah 6:7- then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hands, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it, he touched my tongue and said,” see, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

in His presence, we see our sin, but we also see His goodness, and how His grace has atoned for all of our sin and imperfections. He purges our sin. He strengthens us to be holy. He is not trying to make us feel guilty, but He wants to shower us with his goodness.

Psalms 103:12- as far as the east is from the west, so far Has He removed our transgressions from us.

Our redemption and atonement is not based on our performance. It’s based on His goodness and His love. We can only experience God’s grace when we humble ourselves.

Isaiah 1;18- come now and let us settle the matter, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be as red as crimson, they shall be like wool”

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Simply put, God’s Love is EVERYTHING!!!

I have been reading Christian Athiest, by Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church.tv. The reading has been slow for me, but I think that is purposeful. There are so many good nuggets of thinking and meditating material in it, that to read it faster might be more bad than good. The most recent chapter that I read talked about people who believe in God, but also believe that He could never love them, for one reason ot another. Maybe it’s because of the shame that we carry about our past sins before becoming Christians. Maybe it is because we feel that we are so insignificant. So many times, we attribute human characteristics to God. Think about your childhood and your relationships with your parents, or whatever caregiver you had. Now, think about how you see, view, and approach God. I remember growing up, and even as a teenager, quietly knocking on my dad’s door when I wanted to ask him something.  I didn’t want to bother him, because he was a busy man. Even today, I sometimes fine myself quietly knocking on God’s door, even though we are told to approach Him with courage and boldness. No matter how good or bad your relationship with your parents, I can promise you that there are some aspects of them that have been transferred to how you interact with God. Only the ministry of the Holy Spirit can free us of those chains.

 

I love the way God can cause things to interact though, because in our Wednesday Bible Studies we have been doing Forgotten God, by Frances Chan. Last night’s study dealt with how much God desires us to have a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Him, one that goes further than us calling Him by his formal name. he wants a relationship with us that involves us knowing Him the way a child knows his or her loving father, can calling Him as such. It’s the Holy Spirit that calls out through us to Him as Abba, or Daddy. As we were talking about all of this last night, and how the Holy Spirit shows us in our lives and ministers to us through every instance to show us how much God loves us, I had a hard time holding back tears. To think that God, Elohim, Yahweh, this same God who is above all, yet IN all…that He loves me renders me speechless. And yes, I have had real issues in believing the depth of God’s love for me in the past, because I couldn’t see how God could love someone who sinned as deeply as I have in the past, and sometimes still today. Why would I ever be worthy of God’s love? How could I ever be worthy?

 

And Craig Groeschel and Frances Chan both talk about how we think that we can earn God’s good graces by going cold turkey from our sin for a time, then thinking that we can approach God for a relationship after we have been “clean” for a particular amount of time. But see, that doesn’t work, because we always fall right back into that sin or more sin. Furthermore, our sin is not the point. God does not focus on our sin. He focuses on US. His love is so much greater than wanting to condemn us for every wrong thing that we do in life. His love is so much stronger than the weakness we exude in our times of falling away.

 

The story of the prodigal son really moves me like nothing else as I get older. The image of the father running out to meet the wayward son as he returns to ask if he can merely be a slave- how is that not us at some point? We sin and come back to God as a last resort, expecting God to treat us with contempt and scorn, to shackle us and make us to menial labor around His house. Yet when we lift our heads, tears staining out face, our shame causing our shoulders to buckle and lean; we look up and see not merely God, but ABBA running as fast as He can to meet us and lift us up! We feel His arms around us, squeezing us tightly and spinning us around over and over again. This is the love of our Daddy! Just typing this gives me goose bumps.  We can never truly comprehend the love of God, but He just asks us to accept it and believe in it!

 

There is something incredibly freeing about accepting God’s love. It frees us from the weight of expectation and the fear of failure. How many of us would have better lives if we weren’t consumed by wanting to make our parent’s proud? The fear of failing people drives us to do the most insane things, which are often to our detriment. And God presents His love to us in the form of Christ, who died for us while we were yet sinners. Do you understand the magnitude of these words? While we were yet sinners, while we ARE yet sinners, Christ died back them for each and every instance of sin and shame in our lives. Christ died way back then so that we would be covered for the rest of our lives. The Bible says that Love covers a multitude of sins. Guess what, that love is spelled out clearly in the blood of Christ. Every drop cleansed every sin, every detracting thought of doubt and self- image. Everything that Satan and our flesh would use to pull us away from HIM, Christ tethered Himself to us, refusing to let us go! He loves us! He loves us! He LOVES US!!!

 

So, what does this mean? It simply means that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. It doesn’t matter what was in your past. Embrace the fact that God can make you a new creation. Embrace the fact that he WANTS to make you a new creation. This life changing message of love via the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice of Christ has to be internalized and accepted as true within us. Our minds can not comprehend this, but it will bear such powerful witness in our hearts if we allow it to sink in.  So I would like to ask anyone who reads this blog today to do 2 things. I normally don’t do this, but I just feel lead.

 

  1. Share this blog posting with at least one person. If you feel lead to do more, bless you. It’s not about getting my reader counts up. It’s about getting the truth out. The world would have us believe that we are insignificant, unimportant, nothing special, because of one reason or another. God is screaming from the heavens that we are SIGNIFICANT and WORTH EVERYTHING! This is the truth that we need to be shouting as well.
  2. Stop and pray that God’s love becomes real in your life, and the lives of those whom you share this with. Pray for a relationship that goes beyond formalities. Pray for a relationship where you develop your own intimate time with Abba. Even if it ends with you calling God Provider, Healer, etc, this needs to be a personal relationship. As big as God is, He desperately wants to know everything about you and become your ALL.

 

Thank you for reading today. I’m so excited about God’s love, and I’m so excited about what He will do in our lives as we live in His love.

 

 

Band of Brothers

When I get the inspiration to blog, sometimes I resist it because the topic is too personal, or I feel like it points back to me instead of pointing back to God. I realized something this morning though, and I just briefly want to share it.

 

Psalm 133 talks about how good it is for brothers to dwell together in harmony. Also, the Bible talks about how Jesus sticks closer than a brother, and also how iron sharpens iron. It occurred to me that there is something really, inherently Godly about a brotherhood. Men need brotherhood. So, here is the back story.

 

My family is going through a tough time at the moment. Thinking about it woke me from my sleep before the alarm clock. Now, I’m not one to talk to other people very often about what ails me. I just try and deal with is like a man, which is to say I don’t deal with it. Usually that ends up allowing it to eat me alive. There have been instances in the past, with more frequency since we moved, that I feel comfortable enough to share with brothers in my church, men who share the same faith and passion for God that I do. And even while it’s embarrassing to have to admit failure and weakness, struggle and heartache, it is also cleansing to know that I can share with these men of God, and trust that they will be praying with and for me. So, I get up this morning and grab my phone. I type out a facebook message to these men, and hit send. Now, while I’m washing dishes this morning, I’m still worrying about our situation, but I begin thinking about a Band of Brothers. That was a series on HBO that I never watched, but God really showed me the strength of a brotherhood in just that statement. The bond that brothers share was designed to be stronger than the strongest steel. And when I think about the friends I have had in my life, we could go without talking for years, and then strike up a convo like it was just a day in the recent past. There is a love in a brotherhood that is enduring and refreshing. In a true brotherhood, we should be able to unveil ourselves without fear of guilt or condemnation from our peers. Yes, it’s hard for a man to be transparent, but there is a blessing in being able to just lay it bare before your brothers and let your needs be known. That’s what I did this morning. My wife probably won’t like it, (lol), but I needed my brothers, and I know that they are there for me.  They won’t leave me behind.

 

Men, we need each other. And women, you should strive for brotherhood in your sisterhood, and I hope you know what I mean when I say that. Lol. I just don’t see the need to suffer in silence, praying to God every night, when He has also given us people to hold us up when we feel weak. Cause sometimes, and we may not admit it to ourselves, we feel lonely even after we pray. Our faith is too beaten down, and our spirit is too weak. I don’t think it’s sin to admit that. It’s the truth. It’s not ungodly to confide in those of the faith. The Bible urges it, and we as a church are commanded to bear one another’s burdens. There is blessing and edification in that. And the strength that I feel, even having not heard from anyone that I messaged, is the strength that comes from God through them to me. God blesses us with strength not just for ourselves, but so that we can share with others. There is a verse in the bible that references how the in the new testament church, everyone had just what they needed, and nobody had more than they needed. This doesn’t just go for finances. It goes for the full gamut of the human experience.

 

So, thank you brothers in Christ. Thank you sisters in Christ. Those of you who willingly show Jesus in your relationships and uphold your fellow brother and sister in prayer and support. God bless you. I pray that we all may become that Christ-like in our dealings with one another.

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Until next time, be blessed.