Pure from sin

Pr. 20:9:  “Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”

I’ve been reading all week about the grace that comes from God, through Christ Jesus.  Unfortunately, not one of us can be pure through our own works.

(Well, honestly I’m not convinced that is so unfortunate.  As imperfect and inconsistent as I am, I am thankful that my purity from sin is not up to me.  I have a Savior who loves me so much that He took that responsibility upon Himself.)

Sin was brought into the world in the Garden of Eden.  It has been here ever since; so, we were born unclean and sinful into an unclean and sinful world.

Thankfully, the Lord saw fit to make a way for us to be cleansed, forgiven, and justified.  It is through Jesus that we are given salvation. 1 Cor. 1:4-9 talks about the grace we were given, and goes on to say that we are enriched in everything by Him.

Through Jesus, our past has been forgiven, our present is covered by his grace, and our future is in His faithful and merciful hands.  What more could we possibly need?  What a gift we have all been given!

Let’s quit trying to earn more grace and forgiveness and praise the One who has already given it all!

Turning our eyes upon Jesus,

jamie

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The proof is in the pudding

Pr. 21:3:  “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

I know what God means.  Last week my daughter got in trouble.  She said she was sorry.  🙂 Very nice.  The next day, it happened again.  The next day, again.  Those words, “I’m sorry,” sure lost their meaning.

I explained to my daughter that she could tell me she was sorry 1,000 times and it wouldn’t mean anything unless I saw her making different choices.  Her actions were contrary to her words, and the actions were the ones that ultimately counted most.

James tells us that faith without works is dead.  Certainly, we are not saved by our works.  It is Jesus’ death and our belief in Him that saves us.  However, our actions sure speak loudly of who we really are.

We can say we trust God’s word to be true, but just like in the case of my daughter, our actions speak much louder than our words.  Do we show we believe God’s word to be true by the way we behave and the choices that we make?

When we see needs around us, do we respond, or just walk by thinking God will use someone else to provide?

Does our trust in God show up when we need something we cannot provide for ourselves?

When we commit sin, do we tell God how sorry we are and then go right back to that sin, or do we show Him that He is more important, by making the choice to stop sinning and run to Him?

Do we obey the Lord’s voice we He tells us to do something?

When we fail to be obedient to the Lord, does our regret cause us to be obedient next time, regardless of our doubts or concerns, or do we do the same thing over and over again?

Like it or not, our actions show who we really are.  Just like my daughter, I sometimes forget this truth.  It’s great to be a believer in Christ, it’s even better to prove it.

This one stung a bit,

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