Tag Archives: sins

Need a time of refreshing?

Acts 3:19:  “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”

You may be way ahead of me on this one, but I never noticed the second part of this verse, “So that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”  That sure sounds like the Lord I know…Refreshing.

I knew we were to repent and be converted so that our sins would be blotted out; however, I never noticed that another promised reward of doing so would be so that times of refreshing would come upon us from God’s presence.  I love when I find something new in a verse I’ve read over and over before.

When we repent and call the Lord ours He not only blots out our sins, but refreshes us with His presence.  I can think of nothing more refreshing than the presence of the Lord.  When I am in His presence I can feel pure joy, peace, love, hope, safety, purity, and salvation.

Are you in need of refreshing?  Not only can God give you what you need, but He will.  Being saved by grace offers a refreshing that you cannot find anywhere else.  Having the Comforter as your King offers a peace that cannot be duplicated.

If you have repented and been converted and you are in need of a time of refreshing, call upon your Savior.  He will rain down all that you need.  Spend time in His presence and feel His power and His love envelope you now.

Enjoying the perks,

jamie

What’s that in your eye?

Mt. 7:3-4: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”

Have you ever wondered if the speck we are seeing in someone else’s eye is really a reflection of the plank in our own eye?  Perhaps the shadow of our plank is reflecting off the surface of their life.

It is so easy for us to notice the imperfections in others.  Sometimes I think we even create issues that aren’t truly there, as a result of our own guilty consciences or our own inner feelings.

A simple example of this is a tired child who cries over the unfairness of everything.  The real issue isn’t that everything everyone else is doing is actually unfair.  The real issue is their own plank:  they are tired and need to rest.  The specks they are seeing in everyone else are only a reflection of their own plank.

The examples of planks grow more serious as we grow older:  jealousy, insecurity, dishonesty, adultery, deception, addiction, two-facedness, etc.  All can result in an hypocrisy in our lives…we have these things within us, but harshly project them onto others or judge them in error, when what we “think” we see in them is really the reflection of our own internal issues.

Has anyone else noticed this?  This morning I read John 8 about the adulteress that was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for stoning. Certainly she had sinned and broken the law, but what Jesus asked her accusers was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

It is so easy for us to see the sins in the lives of others, and sometimes, perhaps the sin we see is real, but we really need to worry more about our own issues.

When we notice specks in the lives of those around us more often than we notice them in ourselves, it is likely that we are actually carrying around a plank.  Our plank is probably reflecting off of them and showing something that isn’t even there.

If that is the case, we need to seek the Lord’s counsel and help for our own sins and issues, and pray that the Lord would help us see others through His eyes of love.  When we submit to the Lord and allow Him to change us, the Word says that we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  (If it’s our place to do so…and if there truly is one)

I hope that today, like me, you will bear with the specks on those around you, and ask God to remove the planks from your own life.  What a happier environment we will create as we do so.

Trying not to leave splinters,

jamie

Have you been listening?

Pr. 10:8:  “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.”

 

This verse reminds me of the scribes and Pharisees about which Jesus spoke in Matthew 23.  They would tell the people all that they should do, lay heavy burdens of duty upon the people’s shoulders, and loved to be the center of attention.  These men would be seen in the synagogues, at the best feasts, and making long eloquent prayers in order to draw all attention upon themselves.

With their many words, they exalted themselves.  Jesus said, “but all their works they do to be seen by men.”  Jesus called them hypocrites, fools, and blind, saying they were clean on the outside but full of uncleanness on the inside.  “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  Mt.23:28

Over and over, Jesus reminded those who listened and received His commands that He came to serve and they we are called to do the same.  “He who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Mt.23:12.  Those who are truly wise in heart are those who listen to the words of God and hide them in their hearts.  The wisdom they receive from the Lord is then put into practice.  It is not something about which they simply chatter.

Learning from them, we must examine ourselves from time to time.  If we find ourselves talking more than those around us, there is a strong likelihood that we’re no longer receiving commands, but possibly trying to give them.  Constantly stating our own opinion is a warning sign, as well.  Unless speaking is our full-time job, having wisdom within is not something we must prove with words.  Putting our beliefs into action usually what speaks the loudest.

To be truly wise servants, we must ensure that we are clean on the inside.  As we’ve heard, the outward appearance means nothing to God.  The blood of Jesus washes and cleanses us from the inside out, and the Word pierces to the division of soul and spirit, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.  If there is anything in our hearts that needs to be cleansed, God is the answer.  He will cleanse us from our sins, create a clean heart within us, and draw us nearer to Him.

When we are truly clean, God can use us to minister to and encourage His people.  Listen closely and serve joyfully.  When our works of service are done for His glory, He uses us more and more.  This is the recipe that will keep us from falling.  We won’t have to exalt ourselves.  He promised to exalt us Himself one day.

Shhhhhh,

jamie

What desires are you accomplishing?

Pr. 13:19:  “A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.”

What do you desire?  Whatever it is you are desiring is what will seem sweet to you.  If you rejoice in the Lord and feel that nothing else you could desire can ever compare to Him, He and His word will seem sweet to you.  If you are rejoicing in sinful desires, those pleasures will seem so sweet to you that departing from them will feel abominable.

You can tell which you are desiring the most by your habits.  Which habits are the ones you can’t give up?  Which habits would you choose to maintain if you were given an ultimatum?

When I hit “publish” this morning, this will be my 100th blog.  That accomplishment feels very sweet to me.  I can tell you that waking up in the morning, spending time with God, and writing this blog have brought me closer than ever to the Lord God Almighty.

I would not trade this for anything in the world.  Reading the Word is crucial to my existence, but digging in, giving it further thought, and trying to make my thoughts make some rational sense has brought me to a new level in my Christian walk.  The Word literally replays in my mind throughout each day, and I see illustrations that relate to it in my daily life.

Contrast that with sinful habits.  How could telling the truth actually be in your best interest?  Do you think that lying will help you get out of sticky situations and will make you look better?  Not so.  Being a man or woman of integrity not only makes you trustworthy, but allows you to place yourself in God’s hand, knowing that He blesses those who follow His commands.  Desire to be honest and full of integrity and look back in 100 days at the difference it has made in your life and the lives around you.

Do you feel like those lustful thoughts or actions cannot be avoided?  Look at Job.  He actually made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman.  His covenant made him virtuous, but also allowed Him to trust in the Lord with all His heart.  He understood that God is the only desire that truly satisfies, and he truly believed that God was enough.  He knew that honoring the Lord by his actions would allow the Lord to be his strength.  Ask God to help you make it through the day, honoring Him by not looking lustfully at a man or woman.  He will help you, and at the end of the day You will see that God is faithful and that your desire accomplished is sweet to your soul.

We could go on and on listing sinful and damaging habits.  The fact is Jesus came and took our sins on the cross.  The blood of Jesus can cover any sinful habit we have.  1 John 3:8 tells us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.  If we believe that Jesus Christ is born of God, and that His death on the cross has taken away our sins, we can also have faith that we have overcome the world, just as 1 John 5 tells us we have.

We can also know that our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.  He will deliver you, answer you, and be with you in trouble.

In faith, let’s get rid of all our shameful habits and replace them with habits that bring pleasures in the Lord.  Start today.  Imagine your life after you have accomplished your new habit 100 times.  It will be worth any sacrifice you may have to make.  James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Your crown of life awaits,

jamie

 

Let love cover them

Pr. 10:12:  “Hatred stirs up strife, but loves covers all sins.”

Anyone can stir up strife….that’s too easy.  Choose to let love cover all the sins you’re holding against others today.  If more arise in your presence, let love cover them, just as God lets love cover yours.  🙂

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so much that You died on the cross to bring us forgiveness.  Truly, no praise is high enough to express how great You are!  Help us to forgive others today in honor of Your sacrifice, and to trust You to take care of us all.

Lovingly,

jamie