What are we Thinking?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to look at someone’s life and see the sin that is in it that is likely causing them problems? What is more interesting is that when things arise in our lives we tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt as to whether or not we are in sin. When we feel conflicted about something and act in the way that we desire anyway we are most likely engaging in sinful activities, whether it is a minor “white lie” or not standing up for someone who is being picked on or some other activity. We justify our own actions in our minds and convince ourselves that we are not sinning, but when we are conflicted about something would it not be better if we just did what we knew was right?

“Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all” (1 Cor. 15:34). We all have sin of some sort in our lives, but how can we say that we know God if we willingly engage in activities that we know are sin? How can we say that we know God if we build up justifications and excuses in our minds about our actions so that they seem right to us even though they still feel wrong? Would it not honor God if instead follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit within us?

We all face choices every day about how we are going to act and react in life. In Christ we all have the ability to know what path is straight and narrow and leads to life and we all have the ability to know what way leads to death. The way that leads to life is not always the easiest, but it is God’s desire for us and when we submit to the Father’s “good and pleasing and perfect [will]” (Rom. 12:2) we are living our lives in a way that worships the Father. So, “don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Rom. 12:2).

May God bless you today as you are transformed and renewed in the way that you think and act. In Jesus’ name.

Numbers 6:24
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

Call Your own Foul

LiarDo you know someone who always seems to tell the truth no matter what the situation is? If you do not know someone like this then let me tell you that you are certainly missing out. I had the opportunity to be reminded of this by my boss today when she owned up to a simple mistake that she had made. It wasn’t anything major but rather than trying to hide it or blame it on someone else she simply called it like she saw it. She realized that she had messed up and that was all there was to it. My pastor, Matt Forrest, calls it “calling your own foul.” I’m not sure if he got it from someone else, but I like it and it really fits. He likens it to playing a pickup game of basketball and how when you are playing a pickup game you don’t have referees or anything so you simply call your own foul. No one necessarily likes to admit that they have done something wrong, but in basketball it definitely keeps the game more civil.

We can apply the same principle to our lives and our following of Jesus. We all know that God’s ways are contrary to the ways of the world. The world is under control of Satan, the Father of lies (Jn. 8:44), so this makes sense. The world says to save face and to never admit when you are wrong. But God says that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12). Have you ever lied about something just to have it eat away at your soul? I know that I sure have. Ephesians 2:1-3 says “you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” I was once dead in my transgressions and sins. Really? Is the reality of sin really that harsh? The answer is YES and we all have a choice to make.

truth-257160_640Andrea Lucado in her post The Problem with White Lies states that “No matter how tiny our white lies are, they affect us. With each one we tell, lying gets easier and easier, and the truth gets harder and harder.” Even little lies affect how we live our life and lead to death. Romans 8:5 says that “those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” So, are you being driven by your sinful nature or by the Spirit? A good test might be to see how you feel asking God to bless your lie, no matter how big or small. We might hope that things will turn out when we lie, but we know in our souls that a lie is a lie and eventually our whole life becomes a lie if we let it. So are you really a Christian or is that a lie? A front that you put on for others? I pray that we can all be more honest in our daily lives and show the world what freedom looks like. Which path will you choose? Life or death? Confession or denial?

Father, forgive me for I have sinned. Lord I know that I have lied in the past and I know that it was wrong. If I need to seek forgiveness from someone that I may have hurt I pray that you would reveal that to me now and I ask for the humility and courage to be able to ask for forgiveness. Lord, I do not want to be weighed down by my past. Just as Psalm 51:10 says, “create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I want to make things right and I want to follow the straight and narrow path laid out before my feet. Lead me every step of the way Father. It is so tempting to just let my lies be as they are, but I want the freedom of knowing that I am following you where you lead me. I thank you for your Son and for the forgiveness of my sins. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen