Tag Archives: Sin

Possibilities

20 Jul

“What do you  mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.  Mark 11:22-25

“If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you! Luke 17:3-6

“What is impossible for people is possible with God.”  Luke 19:27

This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:29

The possibilities are endless if you are willing to believe that God sent his only son to earth to die on a cross in order to purchase all of our salvation with his own blood.  This one man was sent to offer himself up as a sacrifice so holy that all who believed in Him could be forgiven of their sins and could also be seen as holy before God.  He had to die for us to live.  If you believe that Jesus was sent to earth from God and died to save you and I from our sins, then you can receive the gift of eternal life that God so dearly wants his children to accept.  God is a gentleman, he won’t force himself upon you.  You have to ask for his presence and his gifts, then he will bestow them upon you.  And with the faith that comes from believing in him and his son, then you can ask for anything in Jesus’ name and as Mark 11 says, “If you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”

Advertisements

Less

6 Apr

In Pastor Greg Laurie’s daily email today he wrote, “the resurrection of Christ gives us power to live the Christian life (see Romans 8:11).  Certainly the bible does not teach that we will be sinless in this physical body we now live in.  On the other hand, we can sin less, not by our own abilities, but by the power of the Spirit.

Christ can make us altogether different kinds of people.  We must believe that. ‘Old things have passed away … all things have become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  God can give you the power to live this Christian life.”

It is hard to struggle with sin. To know that you should be doing better. To know what you are striving for and feel like you are falling short.  I like how Pastor Greg puts it, ‘we can sin less.’  With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can do this.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. Romans 8:26-30

In John 7:37-39, Jesus promises living water:

Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

Isn’t it such a beautiful image of a river of living water of the Holy Spirit and love flowing out from Jesus’ heart to help us and be there for us.  What a wonderful blessing! So I pray today for us to all call on the Holy Spirit to give us the power to sin less while we walk through this world.

Can You Earn Salvation?

21 Jan

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:1-10

As I read this scripture, I was reminded of the importance of being humble.  As His word says, “none of us can boast about it.”  Salvation is not something to boast about. It is something to praise God about. To worship and sing to Jesus about. To stand in awe because of the amazing gift that is given freely from God’s pure love and grace. 

I have often heard people talk about how so and so is a good person, so how can anyone say that they don’t deserve to go to heaven.  But, unfortunately, so many people have not understood the most important point, NO ONE deserves to go to heaven.  We all fall short.  It is by receiving Christ Jesus as our saviour, by recognizing that He died on a cross in order to take the punishment of our sins that we receive salvation.  Only by accepting Jesus into our hearts may we enter God’s presence.  Not one of us will ever deserve this gift.  However, ANYONE can receive the gift of salvation by turning to Christ, accepting him, and asking for forgiveness.

Thank God for his mercy, love, and grace!

The Heart

17 Nov

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Proverbs 27:19

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:5-10

To draw close to God, we need to purify our hearts by confessing our sins.  When we deny having sin in our lives, we are closing of our hearts to God and as the scripture says, “calling God a liar.”

I for one do not want to call someone so perfect and pure as God a liar.  Do you?

 

Drawing Close to God

16 Nov

Sometimes there are things that need to be said that are hard to hear, but in the end the temporary discomfort of listening is well worth it.  This is one of those things that can be hard to hear.

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:1-10

So you see, it is hard to admit some things; that is because those things are not from God.

God wants you to love him with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.

“Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:1-3

In order to draw close to God, we also need to watch the company we keep.

As the saying goes, “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Sacrifice

21 Oct

Some days it seems like a sacrifice to not eat junk food.  People are always talking about sacrifice. You have to give up something in order to have something else. Even little kids start learning about sacrifice when they are told they must share something that they want all for themselves.  But what is a worthy sacrifice in God’s eyes? A perfect animal offered up on an altar? No, not anymore.  In the Old Testament days, people were obliged to offer up their best livestock if they wanted to offer a pleasing sacrifice to God.  But with the life of Jesus, the New Testament was set into action.  Jesus became the sacrifice before God for all of our sins.  So that now we don’t have to offer up animal and incense sacrifices to God.

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
But you have given me a body to offer.
You were not pleased with burnt offerings
or other offerings for sin.
Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures.'”

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

“This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the LORD:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”

Then he says,

“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”

And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. Hebrews 10:1-18

Amen!