Category Archives: Sin

A Man Of Faith

2 Chronicles 30:18-19 – For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, The good Yahweh pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, Yahweh, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

King Hezekiah had invited all of Israel to a re-institution of the feast of unleavened bread.  His invitation was turned down by many in Israel – and those who came would have endured scorn and mockery from their families and communities. 

Now that they had arrived in Jerusalem, it was found that many of those who had come were not cleansed according to the law – so from a legal point of view, they should not have been participating in the feast. 

Yet Hezekiah prayed for them – asking that the ‘good Lord’ would pardon all who set his heart to seek God.  The next verse shows us that God answered that prayer, and healed them. 

This passage is not given to show us that God’s commands don’t matter.  He has reasons and ways that are far beyond ours, and it is in our best interest to apply all diligence to observing what He commands us. 

Instead what we see in this passage is a people who are trying to return to God, a man of faith who is working with them, and a God of mercy. 

True faith seeks to love and obey God and what He has commanded, but it also has an understanding of the mercy of God – how He is one who justifies the unrighteous and pardons the ungodly.  Hezekiah knew this God, and knew that in this situation, that the Lord would not hold their impurity against them.

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A Better Covering

Genesis 3:7 – Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves coverings.

As soon as Adam and Eve gave into the serpent’s deception, their eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked – that they were missing something.  So the very next thing they did was to make a covering for themselves in an attempt to hide that nakedness.

To this day, humanity continues to do the same thing.  Somewhere deep down, we know that we are lacking something – and so we try to hide it with a multitude of coverings – from outward religious acts, to complex layers of justifying why we’re OK doing what we do. 

However, none of our home-made coverings hides our nakedness from God.  He offers us pure white linen to wear in exchange for our dirty rags.  We can stand cleansed, justified and clothed before God – not because of what we’ve done, but because of our faith in what He has done. 

If you know in your heart that you’re away from God right now – don’t try to justify yourself, or try to conceal it by doing more religious acts.  Come to Him today – come to him humbly, confess your sin, and let Him clothe you with his righteousness. 

There’s no greater freedom than KNOWING that you stand cleansed and righteous before God.  Don’t put it off till tomorrow.  Go there and do it now!

From Many Rulers To One

Proverbs 28:2 – "In rebellion, a land has many rulers, But order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge."

When rebellion dwells in a land, it has many rulers.  The reason is that people choose their leaders, and when the people are divided, the number of leaders increases.  A land in division is a land in rebellion. 

But order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge.  One who knows where things need to go and how to get there. 

This applies not only to our nation but to our own lives.  When there is division in our lives, we have many rulers – our flesh, people’s opinions, popular culture etc.  But understanding and knowledge lights a clear path for our feet and brings order into our lives. 

Using The Grace Of God

Hebrews 12:15 – "Be careful, lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled;"

This verse warns us to take care – lest there be any one among us who falls short of (or lacks) the grace of God. 

We can fall short of God’s grace by being aware of it, but not receiving it.  It’s not enough just to know God’s forgiveness – you have to take it, and enter it for it to work it’s power within you. 

When a person persists against entering into God’s grace, yet continues to be around those who are entering in – it’s very easy for them to become bitter and allow that bitterness to take root. 

The Lord had already made this clear to Israel in Deuteronomy 29:18 – ‘lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from Yahweh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood’.

What this means for us is that we must make every effort to ensure that those around us (particularly those in the church) actually take hold of the grace of God which will turn their hearts back to Him.  In this way we’ll prevent roots of bitterness that grow up among us and cause trouble and division.   

And let’s watch ourselves too!  Remember God’s mercy towards us today – we deserved nothing from His hand, yet He has poured out His riches upon us.  Let that be our motivation!

How To Lose Your Faith In 5 Easy Steps

Psalms 106:34-37 "They didn’t destroy the peoples, As Yahweh commanded them, But mingled themselves with the nations, Learned their works.They served their idols, Which became a snare to them. Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.”

When we read the stories in the Old Testament, one thing that shows up consistently is how quickly Israel would turn away from serving the Lord to serving idols.  How did it happen?

This passage in Psalms 106 gives us the answer.  There was a progression that took place – and it’s the same progression that we must be on our guard against today.

1) They didn’t destroy and drive out the nations from their Promised Land.  When God brought Israel into the land, He commanded them to completely remove the peoples who were there.  The reason for this was that they would ‘be a snare’ to the Israelites.  However, the Israelites didn’t obey God completely and made covenants and agreements of peace with those that remained.

2) They mingled themselves with them.  Rather than continuing to work to bring the nations to an understanding of their God, the Israelites began to ‘mingle’ – hang out with, spend time with these people.

3) They learned their works.  As a result of mingling themselves with the nations, they began to copy the actions and works of these nations.  But the actions these nations were taking were not neutral – they were result of their idolatrous beliefs.  Even though Israel didn’t intend to serve the idols, by copying the works of these nations, it began to open them up to the idolatry that drove them.

4) They served their idols.  The next step after learning the works of the nations was that they began to serve their idols.  Thus they took another step away from wholeheartedly serving God to a place of beginning to serve idols. This became a snare, or a trap to them – the situation foretold by Moses and Joshua.

5) They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.  Here they reach full-blown idolatry, and the peak of complete madness. 

All of this began because Israel didn’t take steps at the start to ‘drive out’ that which opposed God in their midst. 

The same lesson applies to us as Christians.  If we don’t deal firmly and strongly with the beginnings of worldliness in our hearts – then we too will follow the same progression.  It’s not about living in fear of the world – rather it’s about valuing and prizing the gift of God’s salvation above everything else! 

Joining The Family

Exodus 12:38 – A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much cattle.

Egypt had been shaken by God with signs and wonders, and finally Pharaoh let the Israelites go.  But along with the children of Israel, it seems that there were many of other races who left too.  These were likely those who had seen the signs and wonders that God had performed, and wanted to join with the Israelites in going to worship this powerful and awesome God. 

It’s for this reason that Moses made it clear to the Israelites that only the sons of Israel could partake of the feast – and if foreigners wanted to join in, they first had to be circumcised, and then they were to be treated as a son of Israel. 

When God moves powerfully on a person’s life, it can have a profound impact on those who surround them.  So much so that it can cause others to fear God too, and want to begin their journey with him.  But it’s not enough to just join the journey – you have to join the family. 

Before a person could become an Israelite, they had to be circumcised in flesh.  Our becoming part of God’s family means that we must be circumcised in heart.  Practically, it means we cut away our own desires, dreams and ideals from our heart – that we enter a place of turning away from our former life, and become a ‘new creation’. 

Those who want to share in the glory of Christ must also be prepared to share in his sufferings!  But the blessings are totally worth it!

Sowing Wild Oats

Psalms 25:7 – Don`t remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. Remember me according to your lovingkindness, For your goodness` sake, Yahweh.

Psalms 32:1 says ‘Blessed is the man whose sins are covered’.  Our immense hope as Christians is that although we sin, yet our sins are covered through our faith in Jesus Christ.  This grace empowers us not to live unrighteously, but righteously. 

In this Psalm, David cries out to the Lord not to remember the sins of his youth.    What we have sown in previous years can come back to haunt us in later life, and Job 13:26 mentions ‘inheriting the sins of our youth’. 

But instead of remembering him for what he did wrong in the past – David pleads with God to remember him ‘according to His lovingkindness’.  To look upon him with mercy and pardon him for the wrong he has done. 

A contrite and humble heart is a heart that God looks to, and will never despise.  You can hear the humility and brokenness in this verse – and it is a life that walks with these things that God will remember with the immenseness of his lovingkindness. 

Rather than living in fear that your past life will ‘find you out’ – call out to the Lord with humility today.  There is grace and mercy for all who come to Him.