May 22, 2020
What is God's process when one of His children fall into sin? Does He simply walk away? Ignore the sin, even if it has disastrous consequences? Does He leave us forever? What does He do?
David's most famous sin gives us a clue. David had sinned grievously in committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband, Uriah, recorded in 1 Samuel 12. We would think that God would banish David forevermore, for there are always consequences for sin.
But that’s never the scenario with perfect love. God came to David through a willing prophet (which is a great blessing to anyone in sin).
“The Lord sent Nathan to David.” (2 Samuel 12:1)
Nathan told him a parable of a wealthy man stealing a poor man’s single sheep. David was furious with the inequity of this man's sin. He demanded that the man come before him for punishment. And then Nathan leveled the telling blow.
Nathan then said to David, “You are the man!”
He rebuked David, which brought him to brokenness and turned him back to the Lord. Psalm 51 is his great prayer of repentance.
God loves His born-again children and will not allow them to sin successfully. His hand of conviction is awful when it presses down on a believer’s soul. “Better a world on your shoulders like Atlas than God’s hand on your soul like David,” Spurgeon said. There is nothing more miserable on earth than a believer who has walked away from God.
For me, the first sign is my inability to hear God through His Word and prayer. Intimacy with Him is the foundational well-spring for my life. When it is gone, I become frightened. The Lord knows how to get my attention and there is almost always, at the base of that lose, a sin that needs to be dealt with and an adjustment that needs to be need.
Are you miserable? If so, it is the grace of God, calling you back to Himself. Don’t resent conviction as an intruder, but welcome it as a friend, knowing that it is God’s tool to bring you back to Himself once again. If you feel it now, repent now and bow before the One who bore Your sins at Calvary.
Father, thank You for Your unending pursuit of my life, even in my sin. Thank You that Your Spirit will not leave me nor forsake me. Thank You for the misery that comes when I wander and for the mercy that allows me to realize, repent, and return from sin. Make me increasingly pliable to Your slightest touch, Lord, so You will not be forced to use greater measures to get my attention.
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August 07, 2020
August 06, 2020
There are thousands, perhaps millions of people who believe they are Christians who will never enter heaven. This is not my evaluation, but the clear teaching of Christ Himself.
Christ spoke of false prophets who "come to you in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt 7:15). It is not the outward clothing, but the inward heart that indicates a true believer.
What is the only way to know the difference between a professing believer and a real believer?
August 05, 2020
Of all the things Jesus could have addressed in the Sermon on the Mount, it's fascinating that He spends a good bit of time addressing worry. In fact, He commands us not to be worried: "Do not be worried about your life."
We are champion worriers. God knows that worry is so counterproductive. Not only is it useless, but it ties us up, destroys our faith, is a poor witness to those who are watching, and dishonors God. So, to help us He gives His true followers multiple reasons why worry is so useless.