Day 38: 50 Days of Change

“Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So the question I have and I am sure many new believers have had is this: if I sin am I now separated from God? This thought pattern can be quite daugnthing especially fôr younger believers because they keep questioning their salvation. How many times have you run to altar to ‘secure’ your faith because you sinned the week before? 

As followers of Christ we strive to change our lives and live them without purposefully sinning. John here reminds us tha when we work to d what is right. But we can breath easy, our Heavenly Father is not waiting to cut us off the moment we screw up, no he is patient with us, Jesus has covered all your sin, past present and future. If we sin he is ready to forgive not to renew us as he did when we first accepted his sacrifice on the cross, but as someone who willingly washes our feet. Jesus told Peter, why would I need to wash your whole body when it is only your feet that are dirty? 

Now this is not a licence to go out a sin. Do not misunderstand what I am saying, for those who sin continually and seek sin do not really know the Fathers love. If they did they would not seek evil. We must a sbelievers be willing to guide new believers in the faith, showing them what the bible tells us about sin. Ignorance of sin is not an excuse.

What are some ways believers can avoid sin? Walking with him and connecting with God daily will help us immensely. Taking time to read the bible, prayer, listening to Godly ministries and worship music will connect you with him. Purposefully avoiding areas that will temp you to sin. If you think by drinking it will cause you to sin avoid the liquor stores or bars. If porn has or is a problem remove the availabity to see it, maybe the extreme of turning off your internet or installing a watchdog program like K9. Whatever temps you or causes you to sin, avoid those areas.

We may not always be able to avoid sinning but we need to be striving to. 

Father, thank you for your salvation through your son Jesus. Help us to avoid temptation to sin, show us ways out of situations. Show us how we can be mentors to young Christians and guide them in understanding your word. We want to do what is right so that those around us will see that the way we live our lives is different in repsonse to who you are. We want to reach others vécue they matter to you and they matter to us. Amen

Day 36: 50 Days of Change

“I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The enemy of this world is Satan. His main desire in life is to keep humanity separated from God. Of what we know about satan and really it isn’t much, we believe that he aspired to be equal to God. When this failed he was cast out from Gods prescence to roam until his judgement day. He has one plan and that is to keep humanity from finding out that God wants a relationship with them and that they can have this through Jesus. 

Here in 1 John, we read that those young in faith have won their battle with the evil one. This battle was the battle for their soul, the battle was won the day you accepted Jesus to fight for you instead of doing it on your own. The day we humbled ourselves and said we can’t do it on our own. Anyone who does not submit to Jesus help cannot win the battles against the enemy. They can try but it is hard to win a battle inside the enemies camp. To truly win you must change sides, join the winning army the stronger one. The book of Revelations tells us the end of the battle and who wins and who is the ultimate loser. No sane person picks the losing team.

Are you on the winning team? Have you ask Jesus for help in winning the battles that rage in your life? Accepting Jesus doesn’t mean there won’t be any more problems or issues in your life. There may be more, the enemy won’t accept your leaving and will work hard to bring you back. But if you keep alongside Christ who existed from the beginning you will have the power to overcome these attacks. Will you accept Jesus help today?

Father, so many try to fight the battles against the enemy in their own strength. These futile attempts only dig them further into enemy territory. I pray that today hey will call out to you Jesus for help, if they accept you salvation and sacrifice you promise to walk with them. Holy Spirit I pray that you will speak to them, love them, show them that there is no other way forward, no other way to win this battle against the enemy. Give us as believers opportunites to show them your love and salvation. Let them see Jesus in us. For they matter to you so they matter to me. 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 26: 50 Days of Change

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is a subject of Christianity that believes that once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour it doesn’t matter what you do after that because he has forgiven your past, present and future sins. They have been told the salvation message, they quickly accepted and went on with their lives. A vast majority of Christians are missing a vitally important part of their faith, discipleship.

The church is to blame for this, as for a few generations we have neglected this aspect and we were so focused on saves we forgot about foundation. Don’t get me wrong, leading people to Jesus is the mission, but only part one of the mission, part two is to disciple them so they can go and do the same. Now we are playing catch up, using Christians who have never been disciples to disciple, others. As a follower of Christ we must keep growing in our knowledge and understanding of the faith. This will strengthen us as mentors to the babes in the faith.

There are many teachers out there these days, radio, books, tv, internet even blogs like this one. If you take everything yo read at face value and as 100% truth then you are going to run into issues. Not all teaching is truth. It is mans opinions and interputation of what it means to follow Christ. So how then do we evaluate what we are taking in? First you must get it though scripture, is what being said match up with what Jesus taught. Second find a group of believers who you can bring these opinions to, discuss them and see what they think of the teachings. Third you can pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and discernment. The last thing you want to be doing is spreading untruth to those you are discipling.

Are you mentoring someone? Do you have a mentor of your own? Are you growing in knowledge in the faith or have you locked yourself into your beliefs? There are times where we have been taught untruths and kept them close to our hearts as truths. To rip these off is hard, but they if not corrected can damage future believers.

Father, I pray you love will overflow more and more. We want to share your love with those around us that are hurting and need to experience you. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and discernment when it comes to the media we input into our lives. Show us what is truth and what is untruth. If we have believed a lie reveal it to us and show us the truth. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. We want to tell others about you cause they matter to you, so they matter to us. Amen

Day 6: 50 Days of Change

“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 ‭2:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do you feel like God wants nothing to do with you? That we are so small compared to an all powerful God, why would he care anything about somebody like me? Who am I? 

Well you are Gods masterpiece. What kind of art collector buys a masterful piece of artwork and throws it in the basement? No they proudly display their masterpiece. They make sure it has a prominent spot in their home so all can see it. A sculptor makes a monument for a city, it doesn’t get put in a dark alley hidden away, no the masterpiece goes in a prominent location, why because it is important. You are Gods masterpiece. You are important to him. 

When we finally accept that we are a child of God through the sacrifice Jesus made we come to realize that God has always loved us. Don’t be fooled to believe that God only starts loving us when we accept Jesus. God created humanity on day six and said we were very good. He had a relationship with us in the garden, and even after continued to work to have a relationship with us even when we didn’t deserve it. Like a good friend he got angry when we wouldn’t listen but he never gave up on us. He loves us so much that he died for us, yes God died for us. When Jesus died on the cross, the Father and Spirit who are connected to him died with him, yet lived. This is the awesome power of the trinity of God.

So today I wonder what good things is God doing in your life? Are you asking him for good things? Ask Jesus to renew your life, and ask him for opportunités to do good things for him. Be active in sharing your faith and letting others know about the love Jesus has for them. It is time for us to change our world.

Jesus, thank you for reminding me daily that I am your masterpiece. Help me to show others that they too are a masterpiece of God, that they may have a ratty poster covering it but underneath is something amazing. Holy Spirit reveal in me wisdom to help my friends, family, coworkers and strangers see you for who you are and experience a relationship with the Father. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me. Let me see good things happening, Amen