Posts Tagged ‘Sin

22
Jun
17

Prayers And Confession

Good Thursday morning to you! We need to pray faith-filled prayers. Too often we doubt the Lord when it comes to our prayers. James says:

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:15-16 (NIV)

We also need to confess our sins to one another in order to hold each other accountable. I think that we’re afraid of confession because we’re afraid of judgment and condemnation. If we’ll love each other as we love ourselves, we won’t judge each other. Instead, we will encourage each other and help each other overcome sins and struggles in order to live lives of righteousness. Our prayers will be more effective and we’ll see God’s power unleashed in our lives to an even greater degree.
05
Jun
17

Obeying The Lord’s Will

Good Monday morning to you! Knowing God’s will and doing God’s will are two different things. In James 4, he writes about how we shouldn’t make plans without consulting the Lord and His will for our lives. Making plans is arrogant and boastful, he says. James writes:

As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:16-17 (NIV)

If you know what the Lord’s will is and you refuse to do it, you are guilty of sin. If you know that God wants you to tell your neighbor about Jesus and you won’t do it, you’re sinning. If you know that God wants you to serve Him at your church and you refuse to do it, you are sinning. If you know that God wants you to be generous and instead you are stingy, you are sinning. If you know that God is calling you to sacrifice for Him in some way and you refuse, you’re sinning. What is God calling you to do for Him that you’re struggling with right now? Quit refusing to do what He wants you to do and go out there and just do it. Otherwise, you’re sinning against Him.
26
May
17

Resisting God and Surrendering To Temptation

Friendship with the world makes God your enemy. If God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, then we should be humble before God. Who wants God to be their enemy? James writes:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 (NIV)

Tragically, we often do the opposite. We resist God and surrender to temptation. When temptation comes calling, we ignore the Holy Spirit of God and His warnings to flee temptation. We welcome the devil and his offerings of temporary gratification. When we come to our senses and realize what we’ve done, guilt and shame set in and fear takes hold. Does God still love me in spite of what I’ve done? Will God welcome and accept me despite my sin? The answer is yes. God will not reject you because you’ve sinned. Jesus died for sinners like us in order to bring us to God. The invitation to surrender and submit to God is still there and we can accept it at any time.
15
May
17

The Power Of The Tongue

What if you could be perfect? What if you could overcome every temptation, struggle and sin in your life? What if you had the self-control and self-discipline to never sin? James says that if you could control your tongue, you would have the ability to be perfect. This is what he says:

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. – James 3:2 (NIV)

It takes more self-control to control your tongue than it does to control any other urge to sin in your entire body. In verses 3-6, James compares the tongue to a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder and the tiny spark that can start a raging wildfire. Though each of these things is relatively small, they can have a great impact. So it is with the tongue. This tiny part of our bodies, James says, can start a raging fire. If you could control your tongue, you could be perfect. That’s the power of the tongue.
04
May
17

Breaking The Law

We sometimes believe that sin is not really all that bad. We’ll attach greater weight to some sins more than others. While some sins have greater consequences than others, they’re all the same and Jesus had to die for them all. James wrote:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. – James 2:10-11 (NIV)

Sin is a big deal. Our sin sent Jesus to the cross. Unforgiven sin sends people to hell. Sin is no laughing matter. Whether you commit one sin in your entire life or 10,000 sins in a week, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. God sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment and to pay the penalty for all of our many sins once and for all. Put your faith and trust in Him to forgive your many sins and by the grace of God, He will.
03
May
17

The Royal Law Of Love

James tells us that we are not supposed to play favorites in the family of God. He says that it is really the opposite of how we should treat each other. We have to ask ourselves how we’d like to be treated and then love accordingly. James wrote:

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. – James 2:8-9 (NIV)

Jesus said that this commandment was the second greatest commandment in the entire Old Testament. When it comes to favoritism in the church, we are not loving others the way we want to be loved when we love some more than others. If we play favorites, we are guilty of sin, says James. If we choose to love some more than others in the church, we are guilty of sin. Praise the Lord that He sent Jesus to die for our many sins. Let’s work on the loving our neighbors thing today by not playing favorites in the church and instead, loving others equally and unconditionally.
28
Apr
17

Pure Religion

James says that if we can’t keep a tight rein on our tongues, our religion is worthless. He then describes the kind of religion that pleases our Heavenly Father. James wrote:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 (NIV)

More than talking a good game, followers of Jesus need to put feet to our faith. We need to care about the most vulnerable people in our world. We need to take care of those on the fringes.  We need to love the people who cannot offer us anything in return. We’ll find it much easier to love people who can give us something. What is hard is to love people who have nothing to give.
We also need to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. The world is a dirty place full of sin and filth. We can do one of two things. First, we can avoid the world all together and set up communes in order to keep ourselves pure. That works to a degree, but it doesn’t change anyone’s lives or destinies. The other option is to keep ourselves grounded in God’s Word as protection against pollution. We’ll never change the world if we’re not working in the world to shine God’s light and love. Don’t isolate yourself from the world. Instead, be a light and show God’s love to someone today.



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