Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coveting; worse than stealing?

There is another temptation that is more present than sexual temptation that does not seem so evil. After all it is the last commandment and it is not stealing or committing adultery; it is only wanting to steal or commit adultery.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Exodus 20:17

Jesus spoke to this in Matthew 5:27.

You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'

According to Jesus when you have violated the Tenth Commandment you have already violated the Seventh. The Tenth Commandment defines greed and greed is one of the signs of advanced depravity in Romans 1.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. Romans 1:29

Do your own study of greed in the Luke 12:15, Ephesians 5:3, 5, Colossians 3:5, 2 Peter 2:14 and 1 Timothy 6:10.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sexual temptation: What should I do?

We can easily recognize sexual temptation. It is very present in life, in pictures, advertisements, fiction and ritual.

We are told how to handle these temptations. RUN!

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

This is how Joseph handled it. He ran.

She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. Genesis 39:12

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do you know where you stand?

1. You may have figured this out that many “born again” Christians have not been born again. How do we know? There are two basic reasons:

• They do not show the evidence of life in Christ
• They are later truly born again and the evidence then immediately is apparent.

2. You may also have realized that there are Christians, real ones, who live like unbelievers. How can we tell the difference between the believer and the unbeliever? It is difficult, but here is the basic evidence.

• The unbeliever can enjoy his sin.
• The believer cannot enjoy his sin. Even if not caught by the culture, he is always caught by God and disciplined by God!

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:5-11

3. You may also have realized that there are real unbelievers pretending to be Christians. These are hypocrites

With these three problems in the Christian culture, we dare not compare our life and conduct with any of the three. Compare yourself with God’s norm.

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12

Here are a few encouraging scriptures.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

In KJV “completely” is “uttermost.” God does not save part way. He is not a partial savior for a partial sinner.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

Notice “hears” “believes” and “has” are all presence tense verbs. Eternal life is NOW. “Will not be” is future tense. “He has crossed over” is past tense. Eternal life begins in an instant and guarantees the future because of what happened when belief happened.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30

Jesus Christ is our wisdom, that is:
• Our righteousness
• Our holiness
• Our redemption
Jesus Christ does not save us in pieces or driblets.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
1 John 2:1, 3-6

Obedience is expected.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. Ephesians 5:3-7

Isn’t that clear?

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. Ephesians 5:8-14a

More clarity.

You may be in one of the three situations described at the beginning of this post.

If you do not know, do the following:

• Read 1 John chapters 1-5 every day for five days. Pay attention. You will find out what you are.
• Ask God to show you individual sins in your life. Confess them. If joy is restored you were a Christian at the time you were committing them. If joy does not return or if you can’t think of many you are not a Christian.
• If you already know that you are a hypocrite or if you found out that you are not saved by doing the above assignments, then confess your state of sinfulness and confess Jesus Christ is Lord.

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Thank God!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Politics and money

Forty-five years ago Lyndon Johnson was President of the United States. Art Buchwald wrote the following:

“As soon as the President finished his State of the Union speech, I was ordered to get some public reaction. So I immediately called my father in Forest Hills, New York, and asked him what he thought of all the things the President wanted to do (The Great Society).

“If he’s got the money,” my father said, “let him go ahead.”

“I don’t think he has the money, Pop.”

“I knew there was a catch to it.”

Monday, November 02, 2009

Politicians don't change

Here is a description of a politician between 900 and 1000 BC. It is in 2 Samuel 15:1-6.

Absalom was not a good guy. He used promises and flattery. Sometimes this happens in the church too. People are bought with promises, lies and flattery.

I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Acts 20:29-31

For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-6

In the world and in the church, stay awake!

Glory

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:9-11, 18

This glory is a glory which is given to men. The one glory faded; in fact it looks as if it had no glory at all in comparison with the surpassing glory, a glory which lasts. This glory which lasts is ever increasing.

We as believers have more glory than Moses as long as we keep our hearts and faces unveiled to reflect God’s glory.