Day 16: 50 Days of Passion

Sin is present here in the world, there is no doubt in its existence, as we see the effects it brings on the news daily. Yet we also see the effects of sin in our own lives and community. It may not be as rampant as what we see on the news but it is there. Sin came from disobedience, it doesn’t matter if it was Adam or Eve who sinned first. Who knows what may have happened if Adam and Eve had just admitted their sin right away instead of trying to hide their guilt. Instead they cowered in shame and we are now all paying the price for their united disobedience.

 

 

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

Romans 5:12 NLT

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:18 NLT

 

 

The word sin is not used very often outside the church if ever. I wonder why that is? It has been around since the beginning of time. Yet mankind has kept its use in the shadows of the church. The enemy knows that if it is exposed as the root of the worlds problems it will lead people to Jesus and he doesn’t want that. So, he does everything in his power to keep it as a word that just not be spoken. So now we attach other word to replace sin, mentally ill, sick, broken, things that sound medical but not spiritual.

 

We need to call a spade a spade. People are stuck in sin. Nothing we can do in earthly terms can cleanse us of this ingrained parasite that plagues us all from birth. We are condemned from birth to die and go to hell if we don’t find a way to treat this.

 

Fortunate for us, God the Father had a solution to this sin issue in his son Jesus. He sent his son to die, John 3:16 so beautifully shares this plan with us. I call it the Coles notes of Christianity. It is everything a person needs to see that Jesus is here to remove sin from our lives.  He wants to cleanse us from this disease. But until you realize your sick why would think you need the saviour?

 

We need to expose sin for what it is. I am striving to learn how to do that effectively with out coming of ‘ judgmental ‘, but when eternity is at stake does it matter? This conflict between serving Jesus and his mission and our comfort is hold many of us back. We only see the here and now and forget that this time in our lives is all we get to reach others. Let us punch out of our comfort zones to confront sin for what it is and reach the lost.

 

Until we get past the stigma of offending others we keep dancing around the truth. If we want to have a renewed passion in our lives for God and for reaching the lost, we need to ask God to show us how He truly sees people. Only when we see them as loved by God, and the desire He has that they be free from sin, will our passion be restored.

 

Jesus, sin for a long time has disguised itself. Help us to expose it for what it is. Show us how to reach those who need you be exposing the sin and providing them with how to be cleansed through you. We have no power ourselves but you have all the power to cleanse sin. Holy Spirit  ignite a fire so we may be effective in reaching others. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

 

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Day 28: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 28: It hurts each and every time I see a young person who walks away from the truth they learned in church. The reasons are not always known, I wonder what we are missing because this is a hit and miss phenomenon. I know this that it all resounds in the heart of the person. My brother and I are perfect examples, I stayed and followed Christ, he walked away. Keep trusting the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts so they may return to discover the truth and the love of Jesus.

 

12 March 15

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you. I’ll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I’ll send orders north and south: ‘Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.'” (Isaiah 43:5-7 MSG)

Today our prayer is that God will bring His children back. How many of us know if have children/family who grew up in church and are now living in a life away from God? You see it all the time. 90% of all teens in a youth program leave the church, even when they have had powerful experiences with God. How do we bring them back? What made them leave?

It isn’t easy to answer these questions, nor do I have all them. We as believers have to continue to get on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of these wayward children.

The same challenge I gave a group of men last night I give to you. Read and place this verse in all your prayers concerning restoration of loved ones

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.(Malachi 4:6 KJV)

Dear Jesus, I pray that this year will be the year that those who have walked away from you, those who grew up in the church, had loving parents who shared Your love with them, those who know the truth but for some reason run from it, that this will be the year You restore them to the faith. Bring our children home. Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, for through this You will be glorified. Amen

Day 47: 50 Days of Change

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is hard to fathom why one who has a relationship with God would replace him with something else. But we hear of believers, elders and even leaders walking away from him all the time. One might make the assumption that these believers never truly believed, as some have the notion that salvation cannot be discarded. What has truly happened is these folks have given up their relationship. Somewhere along the line sin got a hold inside and slowly but surely took them down a path away from God. 

God didn’t abandon them, he didn’t leave them, but at some point they left him. They pushed aside the truth and the counsel of the Holy Spirit for an idea that what te wanted was right and for them. One of the startiling things that I see is leaders who drop out of leadership not only abandoning their church but in many case leaving their spouses. This is so heartbreaking as it can be a domino effect on those who admire and have been mentored by these leaders. They should know better but we don’t know what is going on in their lives and hearts.

This is where we as believers are failing each other. If we were more involved in each other’s lives personally we would become more intune to our brothers and sisters needs and troubles. Maybe we would be able to see things in the early stages and cut them off before they decide to walk away from God completely. It would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen with a time machine, but we pray and hope that the issues we resolve early will allievate any big mistakes down the road. Ultimatly it is between the person and God, but he can and will use us to build each other up, like iron sharpening iron. 

This could be you, you maybe testing the waters of sin and not sure where the undertow is. But if your testing one day it will pull you under. I beg of you ask for help, cry out to God to pull you out now, send brothers and sisters of the faith to help you through this time of confusion. We need to ask for help, push past our pride, se that we are failing and need assistance. What we do with our lives as believers does not only affect us. It affect all around us, don’t be fooled that it’s my life and what I do doesn’t affect others.

Father, if anyone reading this is tempting their relationship with you by flirting with sin, I pray that right now you will show them the consiquences of their actions. Holy Spirit surround them with believers who will hold them accountable in love, building them up and loving them. It is not to late for them to cry out for forgiveness and change their behaviour, let them se that their actions affect others. God we ask that we will be used by you to reach others who may not know you at all or maybe did but have replaced you with something else. Give us the words to speak and wisdom to share with them your love. They matter you you God so they matter to us, amen. 

Day 44: 50 Days of Change

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Really when it all boils down the commandments are not something new to us. They are incorporated into our laws and sometimes feel like they are ingrained or programmed into us from childhood. One would assume that all mankind has a inherient view that killing someone is wrong. That being said, sin has become so intrenched in our lives that it stifles out any connection we may have to the Holy Spirit. Like a massive fog we lose touch and the things that are inherient wrong don’t look so bad. 

Why shouldn’t I just take what I want? It won’t hurt anyone, they won’t even notice it is gone. I deserve it. If I manipulate the story with a few choice words, sure they aren’t true but no one will ever know. We love each other, it doesn’t matter that I’m married, that relationship is over, she doesn’t fulfill my needs, I have fallen out of love. Did you see his new sports car, man I really need one of those. Excuse may make you feel like what your doing is justifiable but it isn’t right. 

Striving to follow the commandments by themselves is impossible. If there isn’t a relationship with God though the sacrifice Jesus made, then your obedience tho honorable will not get you anywhere. Without the relationship we are stuck in sin and will continually fall prey to its lure and deception. But if we have accepted Jesus as saviour and given him our lives we then are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and are in a relationship with God himself. In this relationship we can strive effectively to avoid sin, following the commands of Jesus which encases the commandments. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, by doing these two commands the rest will, come naturally. For one does not steal from one he love, one does not murder one he loves, one does not hate one he love, nor jealous of what they have.

Have you accept Jesus as you lord and savoir? Are you struggling to follow the commandments with out him hoping being good will get you somewhere? I ask today that you seriously look into what Jesus himself said about this. He told us that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father(God) but through me’. So if you expecting to get to heaven by being ‘good’ don’t be surprise when you finally get there it isn’t what you expected. Look into who Jesus is and what he has done for you.

Father, thank you for sending your son to die and rise again so that we might have an opertunity to have a relationship with you.  I pray father that anyone reading this who doesn’t know you that even right now o stir up their hearts with a desire to know you. Reveal to them the truth in your word, send someone their way to tell them about your love and gift of life. I pray you will use me to reach people around me that need to know you, let me be a light in the darkness. The people in this world who don’t have a relationship matter to you so they matter to me, it is time to get busy sharing our faith. Amen

Day 35: 50 Days of Change

“I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Since the moment that humanity disobeyed God in the garden, we have been slave to the force we know as sin. The funny thing is that much of the world doesn’t associate sin with their actions. Many if not the majority don’t even know of it existence. Sin has become such a common place that it has started to become brazen and is becoming bold. 

For many years people called out sin for what it was. Maybe that is why Moses received so many commands on how to live in the desert so that the Hebrew people could identify sin and deal with it. Most of it was dealt with harshly. This is why we have laws against things lik murder, incest, rape, abuse and theft. We can identify these a wrong actions, not necessarily calling them sin, but we understand that these actions mus be punished. 

But sin has become a force that keeps pushing the limits. Satan who knows how to manipulate sin and people has devised a scheme wherein sin is now the new normal in the role of identity. What just 25-50 years ago would have been considered insanity has now become the new normal. Sin parading around telling people that we must accept the identity that’s person feels they are. Sin is tricking a whole generation of people to openly live perverse lives, no longer in the shadow, corrupting young mind who are not taught that this is an okay choice for them.

If that was the whole story, then all would be lost. But for the world there is hope. God who created this earth and formed humanity has no desire for it to wallow in the sin and filth that threatens every man and woman. In his love for his creation He created a plan, a way to rise above and be free from the chains of sin. The Father sent his Son Jesus to earth as human, fully human yet fully God, Jesus lived among his creation. Jesus grew up, walked, talked and experience everything a boy and man would experience during his lifetime, yet Jesus did not sin. Satan did not like that he could not corrupt this man thinking if he was able to destroy God in human form that sin would then reign supreme. Jesus was killed a criminal death, hung on a cross beaten and bruised. Layer in a tomb to rot forever. 

If this was the end of the story, Satan would have free reign over this earth. We would be corrupted way beyond what we are today. But the story isn’t over. Three days later Jesus arose, he rose with the keys to sin in his hand, he had overcome sin and taken it from humanity. Satan was defeated, not destroyed, that comes later, but defeated. Jesus offers this freedom over sin to anyone who will come to him and accept it. 

Are you ready to change who you are? Are you ready to walk away from the sin that has you in chains and trade them for freedom? 

Father, thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for my sins. Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I ask that you come into my life and change me. I give my life to you, whatever you need to do, whatever you need me to do, show me. Holy Spirit expose the sins that are around me, let me see their true nature. I want to be able to tell others about your love and the freedom you have given to me. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to be, no man left behind. Amen

Day 32: 50 Days of Change

“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.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

For someone to argue against free will and the fact that life is all predetermined doesn’t truly make sense. For if it is all predetermined then why would we look both ways before crossing the road? In reading the bible I see one word that clearly shows me that free will is all around us. IF. If we confess, if we humble, if if if. The word if implies that we have a choice that we have to make.

What is so wonderful about this choice is that there is a promise of what will happen if we choose him. He is, is so powerful. If it was to read ‘he may be’ it wouldn’t  be that exciting. Some groups or religious people live their life under the assumption that ‘he may’ forgive them, ‘he may’ let them into heaven, but only if their good enough or have said all the right things, or done all the right things.

The God of the bible doesn’t ever say ‘he may’ it is always he will or he is, implying that he is faithful in what he tells us. We don’t have to guess if we are saved or spending eternity with him, he gave us the map and told us to come to him.

Today if you are in the group of people who aren’t sure if what you have done is good enough and your not sure where to stand with God, I want you to know that you can know for sure. If you confess your sins, he IS faithful, he will forgive you, you can know for sure that he loves you. Don’t believe me, take some time and read the Gospel of John, see what Jesus said about himself and God. He will reveal himself to you, if you will let him.

Father, some of us have lived our lives trying to be good enough, we even do religious acts I hopes of pleasing you. We now know that these are done in vain if our hearts are not connected with you. I ask you to forgive me of any sin that has penetrated my life and renew my heart. Thank you so much for giving us freewill, I pray that we can show this love you have shared with us to others. We want to be a light to all those around us they matter to you, so they matter to us and it is about time we start doing something about it. Amen