I have observed that many Christians have an unspoken category of “acceptable sins”. This basically entails whatever sin they favor in their own life. For some it is gossip. Some, grumbling and complaining (I am working on this one). For some it is gluttony of food, drugs, alcohol, cellphones, tech, work, whatever it is. Some, it is idolatry of a spouse or lover. Some, it is criticism and for some, it is lust. For some, stinginess and for others it is worry. There are a myriad of options. People want their pet sin to be an “acceptable sin”. And this has gone on as long as I have been alive and I am sure before that. This is dangerous, friends, because in God’s eyes, every sin separates us from His Holiness/Perfect Purity. Any sin we commit is a blemish and causes separation from God. Any “little” or “acceptable” one. I am guilty of this and have to keep reminding myself as I am reminding you that we need to stay in a manner of contrition. Our hearts and minds are notoriously dirty and we need to stay humble and teachable in prayer and keep asking the blood of Jesus and power n of His resurrection to cover all our sins and keep us in good standing with God. He longs for and loves us and we have everything we need in Jesus Christ, who died a sinless sacrifice for us for all time as long as we accept His free gift of grace. How beautiful! He dies for every sin, “acceptable” ones or ones steeped in sheer evil. Jesus is strong enough to cover any sin. We just need to keep coming to Him with them and as soon as we are aware (and here is the hardest part for so many), stop sinning. People sin because they want to. We have to want to please God more than to please ourselves. That is the key. God is worthy of our efforts. And there are eternal rewards for staying with Him.❤
At church tonight, my son was made fun of because he is homeschooled. At church, this happened. On his secular baseball team, his being homeschooled is celebrated and they all tell him they are jealous and wish they were homeschooled and how lucky he is. Hmmm. I wonder what we Christians are teaching our kids about Jesus and about church. I wonder why my son is teased in a church youth group and celebrated and made team captain in secular baseball. I wonder if encouragement has gotten lost in the church and it has become a popular club where teasing is norm. Would you go to that? I wouldn’t if not for wanting to obey Christ. And I reprimand the church as a whole for its lack of encouragement. We are to praise and worship God together, serve together and encourage each other. Is this not the mandate for the church? Why the heck else do we bother? God said to, it is His design but it has become corrupted and we need to stand up and change this. Wonder why new people are not coming? We are not doing our jobs. Wonder why hundreds attend but only few volunteer to help out? We are not doing our jobs. We all need to step up and fulfill the church mandate designed by Jesus and spelled out in His Word. So tired of it. It is getting old. Do the right thing and encourage others to do so also. ❤
I confess I dislike the push of what I call “Selfish/Narcissistic Christianity” that is popular in many circles now, many churches. It is an infection of the enemy within the church, an infiltration, a parasite. Its motto is “What has God done for me lately?” And that is the selfish heart of it. And I detest it. I loathe it. I abhor it. Why the strong language? Because it wreaks of the world and the church is to smell sweet and light up the world, never be in it but set apart leading the lost to Jesus and His church for salvation. The Graceful Power of God blesses all the time, it is true, but He works in so many ways that worshipping Him needs to be the focus, lifting up Jesus Christ should always be the focus, truth must be the focus, loving service as such becomes the resulting focus. As Christians, our thinking is wrong if we are looking for God to serve us and people to serve us. We are always in the wrong if we are greedy and wanting to sit around and get blessings. The Graceful Power of God works through His pure church that wishes instead to worship and serve Him, works for His glory, lifts Him up. There is nothing worse than a whining Christian. We have to stop that. I seriously have to restrain myself from smacking the face of someone claiming to be a Christian with nothing but complaints coming fom their mouth. This should not be. We need to speak truth, be encouragers, be humble (I keep going back to that because it is the core thinking), be lights in the darkness. We have the answer to the problems people have, being salvation through and thus eternity with Jesus Christ. We need to lift that up, get the news out, help wherever we can. This is Christianity. That other garbage and selfishness is not, no matter what people say. Whoever focuses only on the blessings and not the humble obedience and worship is a liar, speaking half truths that lead people astray. Get away from them, don’t listen to a word they say. Read the Bible and pray for yourself and you will see the glorious grace of God in your life is beautiful ways! ❤
God is closing one door for me at our church. I would have, in the past, kept fighting for the door, banged on it, kept working for door rights. I am no longer that person. It looks like what past-me would have called a quitter or wimp or lazy, but new wiser me realizes there are more doors. I am certain I would be able to serve elsewhere if I cannot serve here. God has a lot of churches who need a good pianist and kids choir director. So, I will not fight this door’s closing but will shake the dust off my feet and will listen for God’s leading to point me to His choice of door for me. And may God make wrongs right in His time and provide for the great kids I have had the honor of training. Praise God for His knowledge of my next service appointment!❤
People and pretty much everything else changes. Sometimes overnight on a dime. Sometimes with a realization of truth. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Many things age gracefully and many age like giraffes on roller blades. But change is inevitable. And usually it is most likely to happen when you just reach some kind of comfortable.
The thing about change is that it is constantly changing. And the thing about God is that He never does. God is the only constant we know about in the universe. God is constant, faithful. We have God as our solid rock under us, the only definite there is. So when change comes changing on in, cling with great fervor on God who is always the same, always loving you.❤
Yes, people can change. If and only if God is allowed to help and they really want to change and do all the work required of that. Apart from that, in my experience, people do not change. They may clean up their act for a bit if motivated but unless they work hard to break bad habits and keep in prayer and relationship with God, they will fall right back to their old habits and ways. Sometimes they are great until a problem or trigger arises or are tired or sick or get lazy or get what they were acting for then give u p again because they really didn’t want to change. So that is my answer, after decades of study of myself and many other people. God bless you!❤
So perhaps I am a little old, but I realize each year that there is nothing significant in a day unless you believe it is so and make it significant. Nothing happens unless you make it happen… one of Newton’s Laws. New Year’s day is just another day unless you want a change to happen in some way and need some excuse for that to happen. That is why resolutions generally don’t work for longer than your attention span. I believe that is not cynical so much as realistic. I believe you can’t make a wish things will change but refuse to commit to backing it up. I need to lose a few pounds, but vowing to stop eating or worse, taking a pill to make it magically evaporate, is pathetic and ineffective if in place of committing myself to improved health because I want to be a better, healthier, more energetic child of God. So, the resolution should be a deeper change, something which promotes lasting change and betterment. Something like praying every day, reading one chapter of the Bible every day, forgiving someone, wanting to please God, helping people every day, using gifts or talents to do good, etc. And we can make that change any single day of our lives and we must every day of our lives. I like how the singer Carolyn Arends sang it, “This will be my resolution, every day is New Year’s Day”. Every day, every hour, every minute is an opportunity to start again and be intentional. In fact, to be effective, it must be so.❤