June 28, 2022
Have you ever been engaged in sin but refused to admit it to yourself or to God? We sometimes rationalize our sin, or make excuses for it, or pretend that it’s not a big deal. This is a very dangerous game. Unacknowledged, unforgiven sin in our lives will lead to feelings of guilt. Unresolved guilt is a powerful force that can have a devastating effect on your life.
Listen to the experience of David when he refused to acknowledge his sin. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3-4 NASB) What did David experience when he kept silent about his sin? He suffered severe physical and emotional consequences. The Lord’s hand was pressing heavily upon him, and it was causing his body to waste away and become weak. It was causing him to groan all day long. I am convinced that the Lord pressed His hand down upon David out of love for his soul—to try to get his attention and to get him to confess his sins and turn away from them before it was too late.
It is interesting to note how sin can also have such a profound effect on our bodies. Of course, it would be incorrect to think that anytime we have physical ailments it is because we have sinned. This is clearly not true. But if we are practicing sin and refusing to acknowledge it to the Lord, physical and emotional anguish can certainly come as a result.
What do we need to do? Instead of justifying, excusing, or hiding our sin, we need to admit it to God. We need to come to Him and confess our wrongdoing. Sometimes this is not easy, but it will bring peace and joy back into our lives. It will be a great relief to us. As David says, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5 NASB)
Let us confess our sins to God and rejoice in the fact that they are covered by the blood of Jesus our Lord.
June 21, 2022
“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, NASB) You and I have been called by God into fellowship with Jesus. What a staggering statement! Having fellowship with Jesus means that we can enjoy a close relationship with Him. It means that we share in His life, His light, His nature, and His glory. We cannot obtain this fellowship by our own means or our own goodness. It took God to call us into this relationship with His Son. He called us by His grace through the cross of Christ.
This truth—that we have fellowship with Jesus—should have a profound impact on our lives.
It should change the way that we think of ourselves. We know we are sinful people who fall well short of God’s holy standard. And yet, despite our weakness and struggles with sin, we have fellowship with Jesus. If we continue to walk in the light, that fellowship with Him continues unbroken. And because of our fellowship with Jesus, God looks at us with deep love and compassion, as a father looks upon his children. Because of our fellowship with Jesus, He will remember our sins no more. Because of our fellowship with Jesus, we can rightfully think of ourselves as right with God—and this changes everything! What joy and peace we can have, what freedom, what confidence we can have before God if we could just understand that we have fellowship with Him.
An understanding of our fellowship with Jesus should cause us to want to live for Him. It should cause us to gladly flee from sin. It should cause us to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good because we don’t want anything destroying that sweet fellowship.
An understanding of our fellowship with Jesus will show itself as an eagerness to maintain our fellowship with one another. Our fellowship with each other is a result of our fellowship with Him, and to willfully destroy fellowship with a brother or sister is to destroy our fellowship with Jesus. Therefore, I will never promote divisions, factions, loveless attitudes, or bitterness among the Lord’s people.
You have been called by God into fellowship with Jesus Christ! May this precious truth permeate every aspect of our lives!
June 13, 2022
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of
God.” (Colossians 3:1, NASB) When you and I were baptized into Jesus, we were raised up with Him. We were raised with Him to a new life. We became a new creation. We were made alive again. Haven’t we been blessed beyond measure in Christ?
Since all of this is true, what shall we do now? The verse above makes it clear. Keep seeking the things above! Keep on moving forward in His ways. Keep on striving to know Him more deeply. Keep on pursuing holiness in your life. We must never stop pursuing God. We must never think that we have arrived or that we have grown as much as we need to grow. We must never become complacent or stagnate in our walk with Him. God wants us to keep seeking Him with all our heart.
I am encouraged by these words of Paul concerning our ongoing pursuit of God: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB) Notice that he did not say “having perfected holiness”, but “perfecting holiness.” This carries the idea of pursuit, of continual striving, of growth over time. Perfecting holiness requires that we don’t get discouraged and quit in our struggles against sin. It requires that when we fall short, we confess our sins to Him, ask for His forgiveness, get up, and continue to pursue holiness, trusting in His promise to keep us continually cleansed by the blood of Christ.
God knows we’re all sinners. He knows we fall short. But He expects us to keep seeking and to keep perfecting. Don’t ever give up the pursuit!
June 6, 2022
In Genesis chapter 18, there is an interesting exchange between God and Abraham. The Lord appeared to Abraham to promise that Sarah would have a son, and He also told Abraham that He was about to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We read, “Abraham came near and said, ‘Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?’…So the LORD said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” (Genesis 18:23-24, 26 NASB). Abraham ventured to speak to God to find the answer to this question: how many righteous people will it take for God to spare the city? God revealed to Abraham that He would not destroy the city if just ten righteous people were living there.
Sodom was reduced to ashes. There were not even ten righteous people in the entire place.
But something that is very interesting to me is that God said if there were ten righteous people, He would not destroy the city on account of the ten righteous ones. What do we learn about the nature of God from that statement? We learn that God is merciful. We learn that He will punish, but that He does not long to punish. He will even look for seemingly small reasons to hold back His judgement.
What do we learn about God’s people from this account? Astonishingly, we learn that righteous people are a preservative in this world! The presence of righteous people can avert the wrath of God from being executed, even in an exceedingly wicked culture like Sodom. I believe this is one of the lessons we can learn from Christ when He said, “You are the salt of the earth…” (Matthew 5:13a NASB) Righteous people have a preserving effect on society just as salt preserves meat. Have you thought of yourself in this way? God may delay His judgement because of the way we live our lives. God may allow more time for us to reach out to the lost with the saving message of Jesus.
The way we live has a direct impact on the world around us! May we all walk in His righteousness. Perhaps God will see and reserve His righteous wrath.