Tag Archives: sin

Burden or Blessing?

Turning away from evil, following God’s commands, remembering Biblical teaching, giving steadfast love, being faithful, acknowledging God in all you do, fearing the Lord, honoring God in your finances, accepting and appreciating God’s discipline, and knowing God delights in us brings all kids of benefits to us throughout our lives – following the Lord is a BLESSING, not a burden. God gives us guidelines for our own benefit, and for His glory.

Proverbs 3:1-12

“My son, do not forget my teaching,

But let your heart keep my commandments;

For length of days and years of life

And peace they will add to you.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;

Bind them around your neck,

Write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good repute

In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your body

And refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord from your wealth

And from the first of all your produce;

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So your barns will be filled with plenty

And your vats will overflow with new wine.

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My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord

Or loathe His reproof,

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For whom the Lord loves He reproves,

Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”

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Happy Resurrection Day!

May you enjoy today worshiping the Lord, our risen Savior, and spending time with family and friends.

Imperfection & Confession

“I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.”

– Psalm 38:18

The Christian is not without sin. There shouldn’t ever be an implication of such. True Christians should be the first to admit fault and seek forgiveness.

Christianity isn’t about the lack of existence of sin, but rather the freedom from it through Christ’s sacrifice and our confession. When we cry out to God in sorrow and repentance, He hears us.

“Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord of my salvation!”

– Psalm 38:21-22

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.”

– Psalm 34:4

I’m not sure why we as Christians feel the need to sweep sins under the rug when freedom only comes through confession. There is no reason to fake perfection when Jesus paid for our sin. After all, if we are without sin, what need have we of a Savior?

“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.” – Romans 5:7-8

Prayerfully consider how you act once you’ve done something wrong, and make an effort to intentionally admit fault that you may move forward in the freedom of the Gospel.

Perfume & Hair

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Luke 7:36-50

“36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say amongh themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””

The religious leaders of the day did not show much honor to Jesus, even the honor that was custom in the culture at that time when you had a guest in your home! In contrast, this woman, a person from the street corner, recognized the greatness of Jesus and the darkness of her son. She as truly grieved for her sin, begged for His forgiveness through her humility, had faith that Jesus could forgive even the most vile sins, and honored Him as King with anointing.

Jesus tells us that she was forgiven of her sons because of her faith, but that the Pharisees who didn’t even honor Him with the most basic practices of respect, lacked the humility and faith needed in order to be forgiven of their sins.

Let us be more like the woman – recognizing God’s greatness and the magnitude of our sin, rather than only trying to appear religious to others. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)

Writing Prompt #36

“What was the last thing you read, heard, or saw that inspired you?”

As we prepare for the Easter season at the Christian school where I teach, I’ve seen a lot of artwork in the halls depicting the cross. This inspires me because it’s a reminder that God turned something terrible into a beautiful reminder of His grace. We can now look at a cross and think of the salvation found only in Jesus Christ, rather than thinking about the method the Roman Empire used to execute common criminals.

It’s also inspiring, as we approach Resurrection Sunday on the calendar, to think about how Jesus was raised from the dead, and how we have also been raised from the death of sin, if we are in Christ. As flowers bloom and the trees and grass grow green after a dormant winter period, we can be reminded how we have a fresh start because our sins are no longer what defines us. – We can be alive and free in Christ!!!

“And such were some of you.”

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor theives, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“And such were some of you.” Were. Once Jesus has changed our lives, there are certain practices that we should no longer be a part of, as we follow Him. Jesus has forgiven our past, but He does not want us to continue in our sin in the future.

This doesn’t mean we won’t continue to experience temptation or that we won’t fail from time to time, but it does mean that we have a changed attitude. Sin we once saw as ok, since it made us temporarily happy, we should now see as the sin it really is – actions Jesus died for.

We are not to purposefully sin, just because we know God offers forgiveness. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go in sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)

When we do sin, we must repent – be truly sorry for our wrongdoing, and turn from that sin to follow wholeheartedly after Christ, doing what He HAS asked us to do, rather than what He has asked us NOT to do. Let’s make our old lifestyles a thing of the past and sincerely seek to honor Christ in our lifestyles.

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Sin: Are some sins not as bad as others?

Recent events have caused me to reflect on this question: is lying just as serious to God as is sexual sin, or are some sins not quite as bad as others? As I looked at this question, I decided to dive right into Scripture itself to find out what God Himself has to say to us on this topic.

It turns out that, although humanly speaking, lying often seems less serious, God actually sees lying as extremely serious, right up there with sexual immorality and other very grievous sins. “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” (Proverbs 26:28) To lie to another person (or group of people) is to actually harbor hate towards them, as it hurts them by spreading deceit.

Lying can temporarily bring about dishonest monetary gain. The love of money and concern about how donors view us can motivate all kinds of evil, such as lying to cover up another’s sin. “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” (Proverbs 21:6) “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forget their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26) What money or reputation is worth committing this serious sin? “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Utilizing deception and lying to cover another’s sin will only temporarily work – eventually both types of sin (both the lying and the sexual immorality that was covered up) will be brought to light somehow and found out. “But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23) “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke8:17) Why lie when all that is hidden will be known anyways, and when God already knows what has been done in secret?

Discretion is virtuous, yes, but never mistake lies and deception for discretion! “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Revelation 22:14-15) Be careful, so that you do not allow yourself to commit one terrible sin to cover another’s terrible sin. Both of these sins cost Jesus an equal amount of suffering on the cross. Both are incredibly serious. Never excuse one sin over another just because it’s less obvious or “less gross.” Sin, of any kind, is serious, and those who have been called to follow Christ must pray for the strength and grace to avoid all of the sins we are tempted to commit.

When we follow all of God’s law, without selectively choosing what is convenient, we both glorify Him and make choices that actually benefit our lives as people. Sin not only destroys our lives and reputations, but also leads others astray, Lying to another person devalues our relationship with them. Adding sin to sin does not cancel out sin – it simply adds to the sin already committed. Only the sacrifice of Jesus can cancel out sin. Let us seek to follow the Lord as we worship “in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

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