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 37: 50 Days of Change

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When some of us read this passage we feel like we’ll then, what exactly are we supposed to be doing here, but what we need to slerate is the word world from the word earth. The earth is and was created to sustain us, we were called from the beginning to take care of it, help it to multiply. So for for us to enjoy the physical earth and all that it has to offer is to revel in the glory of Gods creation. 

Now the world that John speaks of her in this text is directed to the life and lifestyle of those outside of the faith. Those who live sinful lives oblivious to the fact that the path they are on leads to everlasting life with out God. Some live in full knowledge that they want nothing to do with God, which should boggle the mind of any believer, how one could once know the love of the Father yet choose a life of sin. This begs the question did they really know God the first time? I can’t judge the sincerity of their faith, but what made them walk away from their first love? Something in this world outside Gods love tempted them. 

The saying goes when you play with fire you are bound to get burned. My daughter has started a passion for reading, she has shown interest in the fantasy genre. I am working hard to guide her from this as I know that many if not all focus on some sort of  magic and if she has not set her feet on a solid foundation of faith that it may effect her. She doesn’t understand my thoughts when I tell her to return a book because it isn’t healthy for her, but I know that we must be wise in what we input into our minds. I gave here the options, read all your bible and if you do then I won’t be the judge of what else you read. I want her to read the truth, I want her to have the love of the Father in her life.

So how are you living your walk with Jesus? The world has nothing beneficial to offer. Sure it may have some seemingly fun things to offer, but almost always there are strings attached. Don’t be fooled you can’t love God and the world. Are you ready to change the way you think about life and walk with God, trusting he will not let you down? He has good things for you, let him in and show you.

Father, thank you for this awesome earth you have created for us. Help us to enjoy the earth and avoid the worldly things that will harm us. Sin has infected a lot of things and what we think may be innocent may very well be deadly. Holy Spirit guide us through life, show us what we need to do to be effective in our daily walk. We want to be seen as a people set apart, not as isolated but with something to offer, something more. We want to reach others with the truth about Jesus salvation and love. 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 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

Day 31: 50 Days of Change

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Only one man can ever claim the title of having no sin. We have been infected with this sin since the beginning of humanity in the garden. The moment Adam and Eve made the choice to eat what was forbidden they changed the way we live forever. Adam and Eve were patient zero. We no because of this are born into sin, in which there is no earthly cure. Most sin effects the heart, but we sometimes focus on the sin that affects others as more dangerous.

Some would say that sin is just a buzz word we created somewhere along the way to explain immorality. If we can put a name on it then it can be contained, fixed, studied. Others will ignore it completely say that there is no God, so sin is just some imaginary thing with no value to us. 

But for those who live with the truth that Jesus born sinless, lived a sinless life, then died and took in all past present and future sins this becomes life to us. We trust what Jesus did is enough to free us from the infection and bondage of sin. We are not immune to the effects and allure of sin, it still attracts us, calls to us. To live a life after accepting Jesus without sinning is not impossible but more improbable. We can go days, weeks or months, yet our earthly flesh will fail. It is in those moments where we decide to ignore the sin or deal with it head on and move on. 

For those who don’t know Jesus, and are living in a life of sin, they just don’t understand. Living in the darkness for so long they don’t know any better. They have a skewed interpretation of wrong and right, they could act just like you, they could be a member of your church. Sin envelops them and doesn’t want to let go, it has a home there and doesn’t want to give it up.

So how then can we reach those who don’t know Jesus? How then do we reveal to them that the life they are living is a cheap imitation and that there is light in the darkness? We need to be the light to them. We need to love them, pray for them, be Jesus to them. But how do we do that? Prayer, getting out of the church and being good neighbors, opening your lips and speaking to them. Genuinely love them. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. You who are free from the grasp of sin need to show others life with out sin.

Got a story about this? Would love to hear how your life was changed, or you were able to show someone else the light of Jesus.

Father, I pray for wisdom and strength to be the light you call me to be. I don’t want to make anymore excuses as to why I am not sharing your love with others. Guide my heart, let me push past all that is holding me back. Let my life be an example. I want to see those around me as you see them, alone and in need of a realtionship with the creator God.  They matter and are loved by you Jesus, so they matter and needed to be loved by me. Amen