Sin broken

Five Ways To Eliminate Sin

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1. Prayer with sincerity, candor, and faith. Trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance along with expressing the fruits of the Spirit working inside of us.

Sin is a serious problem in all our lives. Even after we get saved we face a consistent barrage of temptations, trials, and difficulties. The first line of defense against all sins should probably be prayer. Of course it’s probably one of our most difficult times to pray when we are feeling weak in the flesh. We should pray that God would equip us with His full armor (Ephesians 6:10-20), that we would be blessed with the self-control of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5), and He provide us with a way of escape from sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). These are a few powerful examples of prayers that could help us before, during, and after the temptation strikes. Prayer and God’s Word go hand-in-hand, but often times we forget God’s promises in the midst of our turmoil. Instead we buy into the lies of the devil and his demons. Here are four powerful verses that may help you to combat the wiles of the devil next time you face them:

“4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

“28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NKJV).

“9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NKJV).

“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV).

2. Avoiding triggers for specific sins like the plague.

Another practical idea is to find tangible ways to guard ourselves from our weak areas. If you find yourself struggling with something in secret, for instance viewing pornography, then you might do yourself a favor in getting blocking software or planning the majority of your day to be around other people. If your temptation is to overspend and get into debt with credit cards, it may be time to leave them back at home in case of emergencies only. Perhaps even chop them up to shreds depending on how difficult this behavior is for you to eliminate. If it’s over indulging in food, then it might be best to eat home-cooked meals as often as possible rather than fast food or junk food. Even if that wasn’t feasible, you could still moderate quantities of fast food and get rid of soda from your dietary allowance. The key is to brainstorm ways that you’re not setting yourself up to fail by hanging lures in front of your own face.

3. Learning from the experience of others.

Many times, especially when God surrounds us with a multitude of counselors in which we find safety (Proverbs 11:14), we have examples of successes and failures daily before our eyes. Whether it be our parents, our forefathers (grandparents, great grandparents) or other close family or friends, we can observe what has worked and what hasn’t worked. One person may help us see the work ethic and sacrifice needed to succeed in business for instance. Yet another could help us see how we can avoid financial ruin by avoiding haphazard investments. Even another could help us see how we should treat our wives by either showing us what does or doesn’t work. In the end, my point is that it’s extremely powerful for you to avoid heartache, pain, worry, and a ton of trouble to learn from the experience of others.

4. Accountability partners who you can trust.

Accountability partners are another great way to add another layer of protection against iniquity. I would suggest to dialogue at least once a week, but choose the frequency that works for you. Your preference not to give them the bad news that you failed will be an ally in the most unexpected times. On a human level it gives you a tangible view, and those heart to heart conversations can compel us to do better. It’s important to remember not to overly rely on them because we’re all human and we all fail from time to time. Don’t let the basis of your faith be derived from a human who can do good and bad. Let the foundation be a firm identity in Jesus Christ.

With that firmly in mind, knowing you have someone out there in the same or similar battlefield, helps you process that you’re not the only one fighting the good fight of faith. This thought in itself is refreshing, as the Bible echoes in 1 Corinthians 10:13. God’s Word ensures that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, and even provides us with a way of escape to endure it properly. Notice of course that there’s still some endurance required, so we need to wait patiently as God lets the temptation fade out.

5. Replacing bad habits with healthier ones.

Often sins become bad habits when we indulge them to the point of becoming habitual sins. These are sins that we can’t seem to get rid of and control significant aspects of our lives. We suspect from a fallen level as a human being that they’re not so bad. We self-medicate with these escapes to escape reality or we find the allure outweighs the risk. Something simply tells us that the momentary, fleeting pleasure outweighs obedience to God. This of course couldn’t be further from the truth, and I have been there before. After sinning, knowing that I grieved the Holy Spirit, sinned against my own body, my soul, and even my future wife when it comes to matters of purity. These are devastating consequences, ones that I realize the reality of scripture: “the wages of sin is death.” Fortunately that’s not how the verse ends, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). As you can see breaking these habits is a matter of urgency but how can we?

One effective way, that has not yet been mentioned, is to construct new habits. When we feel weak in the flesh, we need to get away from the area. Evacuate the point of temptation and have a set plan on what you will replace it with. It could be reading a Bible or prayer sure, but maybe it’s a bike ride or a basketball game. Come up with an idea while you’re not feeling tempted, and then follow through with the new activity or hobby immediately when you feel the attack. After some time this transition might feel so natural that victories are more consistent, and that sin is part of your past.

Jesus Christ died to pay the price for our sins: past, present, and future. Don’t allow past, residual guilt of old sins cause you to dwell on defeat. Remember God has never let you down, and ignore the voice of our ultimate adversary and his demons. You cannot be plucked away from the hands of God, and He will help you do what is right going forward. Read this promise:
“28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.” John 10:28-30 (NKJV) 
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Quiet Time With God

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Imagine how much clutter we face on a daily basis. We are practically inundated by cultural opinions in movies, television, and social media. We need to be careful what we allow ourselves to take in through all forms of media and communication. How can we expect to draw nearer to God and His Word if we are surrounding ourselves with so much in conflict with it? How did we buy into the lie that once we became believers we’d be immune to needing to nourish the Holy Spirit on a regular basis? The truth is we all need to constantly submit ourselves to God. We need to take in His Word through as many formats as possible, including our own personal Bible study, in order to stand a fighting chance to adhere to it.

 

One thing I believe I have neglected a great deal is spending more quiet time alone with God. We serve a God who has the capacity to fight seen and unseen battles for us while we sit in stillness and trust Him. (V*1). Does this mean we should sit back without being diligent all day long? No, it doesn’t. What it means is that when we have a deep need for rest, which should occur fairly frequently, we need to obey God’s design and rest. I would venture to say there are at least two different kinds of quality, alone time we can spend with God. This is not to say that they cannot overlap, as I often find myself incorporating both to some degree simultaneously.

 

The first that comes to mind is quiet time studying God’s Word for the purpose of understanding Him better, and drawing nearer to His Will for us. In other words, to examine His character or see how He treated our brothers and sisters in Christ who came before us, to name two specific examples. This can inspire us when it comes to offering hope in time of discouragement. We can see that God used fallible people like us in the Bible to do things far beyond their personal capacity for anything. That he used sinners to repent, follow Him, and do things worthy of eternal reward and significance by His grace for His glory.

 

The second kind of quiet time is one that sits in stillness at the face of God’s majesty, and finds the fear of the Lord a refuge for renewed strength. A focus on rest knowing that God is managing our affairs on our behalf, even when we are incapable of going even one step further. A rest intentionally revolving around letting go of the idea that we are in control, and recognizing that God is in full control of our entire life. Knowing that even when we fall short or run out of fuel to continue on the mission, that He replenishes our stamina, passion, and desire to continue serving Him. (V*2). Of course we can combine this kind of rest with a contemplation of our purposes in the Will of God. We may even have a physical desire for rest, but our minds may be capable of meditating on His Word or studying it to some degree. As I mentioned earlier, the two kinds of quiet times aren’t necessarily far enough of part that I would say they’re mutually exclusive. You can have a part of one, and still embrace a part of the other. I felt that there was simply enough of a distinction to merit discussing them as though they were two critical components of the same engine. An engine that recognizes God’s sovereignty, submits to Him, and understands God’s design for rest.

 

You may be asking yourself, what “design for rest” I am speaking of. What in the Bible indicates that we need rest or quiet time with God? There are several references that I am aware of, and I am confident there are more I won’t be mentioning here. The first noteworthy allusion to this is found in the Biblical account of Creation in Genesis. (V*3). God made the world and everything in it in six days, and decided to rest on the seventh day. If we think critically for one brief minute about this, we can come to at least one straightforward conclusion. The Creator of the Universe, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent doesn’t require rest. So for Him to have chosen to rest, I personally believe, gives us an example of how we should view rest. It’s not a sign of weakness or an invitation to guilt oneself for lack of productivity. Real rest is a blessing from God and is part of His design for us. If God chose to rest on the seventh day, He made a statement to us if nothing else. If God rested, how much more should we value rest? It’s similar to asking about Jesus Christ and how He prayed to God the Father. (V*4). If He prayed to God the Father, how much more do we need prayer? Yet look at how many of us seem to allow prayer to become a lesser priority. We act as if actions counted for more, and prayer wasn’t on the same level as taking immediate action. That’s simply a demonstration of a lack of faith, and I am guilty of this faulty logic sometimes.

 

We’re supposed to take one day a week and call it the Sabbath day. It needs to be set apart and treated with special respect. We’re not supposed to labor on that day. While we could get into a more specific discussion regarding what qualifies as labor in terms of the Sabbath, I don’t want to breach that aspect of the topic in the scope of this article. The point is that the Sabbath day is a reminder for us to rest, worship God, and nourish ourselves through His Word Spiritually. That’s what a successful Sabbath day should sound like. If I can’t make that a Sunday, for me it could be a Wednesday. For instance if my employment was rigid about scheduling and Sundays were unavailable, I would have to adapt to that or find a new workplace. The important thing in the eyes of God is that we designate a day, and keep it holy, reserved, and fully dedicated to Him. (V*5).

 

Some of the best quiet time with God I experience is in the shower. Often times I will make it a point to pray or sing a praise song in that space of time. Critical times are also in the morning right as I open my eyes, even before I plant my feet on the ground or laying in my bed with my eyes closed right before bed. I like to dedicate those times to thank God for another day of life and pray about the concerns on my mind. In the morning I also like to reaffirm through prayerful request that I am wearing the full armor of God and I hope to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. At night before bed I sometimes listen to worship music until I drift off to sleep, but it’s also a great time to listen to quality podcasts from Christian radio shows that I missed. The most peaceful, effective time I believe is when there’s no music, no podcast, and nothing else. The only ones in the vicinity are God, you, and some of the time your Bible. Even if you’re married, you should find a dedicated space where you can also spend time apart, alone with God. You can come back together later on for all the other wonderful things married couples do together. I should also point out that praying together is a fantastic idea, but I am trying to focus on the beauty of being alone with God. Quietly avoiding all the stressors of the world. Casting your cares upon God because He cares for you. (V*6). Praying about your concerns, worries, anxieties, fears, doubts, dreams, hopes, expectations, requests, desires, and any other category of consideration you can imagine. There’s nothing off limits, too small, or too big that you cannot share with God. He’s our Maker, He knows us infinitely more than we know ourselves. He knows what we’ll speak before we even say it, but somehow that doesn’t eliminate our need to say it. It’s fascinating when you think of prayer in the context of recognizing God’s omniscience. Don’t dwell on the difficulty of understanding it; instead pray in humility and submission to the Almighty so that He will show you the way you should go.

 

A lot of times a solid disconnect from the world would benefit us a great deal. I don’t mean just unplugging from all social contact, and essentially becoming a recluse. What I mean is allowing ourselves to disconnect from how connected modern living has become. If you let go of social media for a day or two, a week, or a month – you know what would happen when you get back? It’s still probably going to be there, and you’ll feel a lot better about having prioritized spending quiet time with God instead. You know what happens when you don’t know the latest news story or you miss out on current events for a day or two? For all practical purposes nothing changes, and nothing will happen that God didn’t expect or isn’t in complete control of. I am not trying to bash being aware of current events, cultural trends, or the use of social media. That would be quite hypocritical of me, and in moderation it can all be a blessing. What I am trying to say is that peace and sanity are higher priorities. We’re not called to live persistently stressed out, running on caffeine over sleep, and forgetting that God has it all under control. When we rest we express that we fear God. We rest knowing that He breathed life into us, knitted us together in our mother’s womb, and knows what we really need. When something we wanted in life gets taken away or an opportunity appears to be lost, we need to learn to look for God’s better alternatives.

 

We need to get better at discerning the leading of God through the Holy Spirit, and less adept at listening to the massive clutter the world offers. This clutter only leads to confusion, an overload of useless information, and the faulty assumption that we need to be “in the know” about everything. It’s okay not to know some things, and I am actually going beyond that and telling you it’s in your best interest not to know a lot of things. There is a difference between seeking Godly counsel, wisdom, knowledge, and prudence as opposed to seeking more worldly information. Even worldly wisdom and knowledge have severe limitations and should be treated as tools only to the extent that we can bring honor, glory, and acknowledgment to God with them. Otherwise, what can we really say is the use of them? If they help us redeem the time and follow the calling God placed in us they’re something beneficial. However, if they are only self-serving, aimless, or have a superior Biblical substitute, then they are nothing more than distractions.

 

Pray that God would bless you with the discernment to know when it’s time to sit back and spend quality time with Him as opposed to over exerting yourself. God will help you balance everything more effectively for His glory.

Biblical References:
V*1- 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:14 (NKJV).

 
V*2- 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV).

 
V*3- 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Genesis 2:2 (NKJV).

 
V*4- 17 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should[a] give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:1-5 (NKJV).

 
V*5- “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV).

 
V*6- 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV).

 
V*7- 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness” 1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NKJV).

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Call to Arms: Selfless Living

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The fact that God allows us to take part in the dynamic of building His kingdom is an incomprehensible facet of His master plan. All of us are called in our own unique ways, in consideration of the special skills or calling we have been gifted, to use these gifts in the manner that God has put in our hearts. [Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27]. We are forever thankful to God that He has chosen us, and that we’ve been ordained by the King of Kings (Creator of the universe) to: fulfill the Great Commission, share His love with others, and ultimately above all else put Him first and foremost in everything we do. We can freely choose to obey Him or disregard His commands. Sadly many have chosen the latter, and those are likely the ones we are most urgently called to attend to.

When we lose the sense of urgency to answer this call we need to ask ourselves what is holding us back. Are we ashamed of the gospel? Are we afraid of what our friends might say or do in response to our warnings/counsel? Is there a negative connotation attached to Christianity by popular culture that we don’t want to be associated with? Ask yourself if these matters are enough of a concern that you would abandon God’s call in order to save face. Consider the unending measure of eternity, and try to consider what even a fraction of that might entail. It would still be eternity, because it doesn’t end. Fractions perhaps don’t help too much to illustrate it, other than to express that a fraction of what is without limitation is still infinite.

Let’s assume a young man checks into an emergency room with a migraine headache, and they arrived prior to an older gentleman suffering from a heart attack, who was immediately pulled in for help. Should it not be fairly intuitive that the more life threatening circumstance should be attended prior to the headache situation despite order of arrival? While significant for that individual, and deserving of proper treatment in its rightful time, the headache becomes a non-urgent focus in comparison.

The person with the migraine headaches is like a believer who attends church regularly, and we operate under the assumption that they have been saved. They showcase their faith in an outward way, and we assume that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t question the authenticity of their walk because we see that they bear good fruit, and furthermore if they didn’t it may still not be our place to question it. We aren’t God and cannot read minds let alone weigh the intentions or motivations of a heart.

The gentleman with the heart attack, who needs immediate care, is like a lost soul. A person who urgently needs to be attended to. Let’s carefully consider the plight of the lost, and the significance of every single day in light of how short this life is in comparison to eternity. We must also try to understand how God grieves every soul that is lost. How He is so righteous, just, and holy that He detests our sins – even the ones we have been led to believe are insignificant. He loves us all unconditionally, and I believe that although He desires for us to answer His call and love Him, He does not force it upon us. The ball is in our court to willingly love, but even if one has not chosen to love God, He still loves them and cares for them deeply. We can see this in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He died in propitiation for our sin. [*Reference to better understanding propitiation and expiation (atonement) in the bottom of this text.] God’s wrath satisfied and His enmity towards us has been appeased. When we are ready, God’s heart draws us to Himself.

“44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44 (NKJV).

Forcing love upon someone would violate the intrinsic definition of love. He outlines His law and expectations, and if we are among God’s elect, He will not let us continue living in unrepentant sin. He will get our attention in extreme ways if need be, but by all means He will draw a loving line. If we are called to be His children, we may no longer live as children of disobedience. At that point we come to Him as the prodigal son or daughter that we’ve been, and He extends His gracious hand toward us. He desires that we would repent of our former trespasses. Likewise, those of us who are non-believers and continue to live in disobedience, store up God’s wrath. While they may choose to live in inaction, rebellion, and disobedience – they aren’t allowed to choose the consequences of them.

We need to realize that we can think of the most evil people to have ever walked the face of the earth (ex: Hitler, Stalin), and despite their numerous transgressions even in light of human measures, God still loved them unconditionally. [**Reference to expand upon our understanding of how God loves believers and unbelievers in distinct ways at the bottom of this text.] Likewise we can see that even the most righteous figures from a human standpoint, that we can come up with, perhaps thinking of our “Biblical heroes” such as Paul, King David, and Peter for instance, still fell vastly short of perfection as we all do.

“21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[a] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26 (NKJV).

 God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for every single one of us [Read: 2 Peter 2:1 John 3:16, and Hebrews 2:9], and it is a free gift that we ought to cherish rather than disregard.
“36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37 (NKJV)

I have friends, whom by their own admission, have not accepted Jesus Christ into their lives. They haven’t encountered a longing to answer His call, or have burried it in their seared consciences and stone hearts. I also have friends who have done so, and I am thankful for all my friends. No matter how you slice it my heart goes out to those that don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Beyond an opportunity to talk with them about how integral it is to have a relationship with Jesus, and build upon a Christian foundation of dialogue, I can only pray that God might stir their hearts and curiosity to draw near to Him. To consider the authenticity of His Word rather than their own selfish ambitions and short-sighted criticisms of the Bible. I can also live a life that is worthy of being called an ambassador of Jesus Christ. One that I may only live through the Holy Spirit operating inside of me, that leaves no room for doubt as to where the strength, power, and authority come from.

We don’t change anyone, people can only be changed by the grace of God and His desire to draw them to Himself. We still have a gigantic responsibility to spread the Gospel, and to demonstrate God’s love, when we have the opportunities and provision to do so. This is part of our calling as believers, no matter what our areas of giftedness are. Keep in mind that we’re also not here to tickle ear drums or to make people happy. We shouldn’t be addicted to the approval of society. Often times people will not appear to receive the Gospel message with open arms, and many times that is indicative of conviction. You are likely doing more right than wrong, and getting through to them with God’s truth.

God stirs up the hearts, we are simply the messengers. It is likely a good sign if people aren’t always wholeheartedly in accord with your stance. In actuality I would venture a guess that a lot of people might be intuitively defensive at any proactive measures revolving around the sharing of God’s Word. That’s perfectly normal, and it’s something that will likely continue to be a part of evangelistic endeavors for however much time God has ordained. The nature of the message happens to be radical, and this is all par for the course, as believers we need not be caught off guard by any of these developments.

A desire to sin without question, retain pride, and ultimately allow the insatiable appetite of their human nature to persevere without restraint – leads people to effectively barricade themselves away from moral accountability by way of a grand illusion. God resists them because of their pride according to James:

“6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NKJV)

The latter portion of this verse clearly tells us that God gives grace to the humble. Sometimes it’s easy for us to say the word grace and forget what a beautiful gift it is. If it wasn’t for God’s unmerited favor, mercy, and grace overall we’d all ultimately be doomed to spend eternity in Hell. Instead He created us with purpose and design in mind, knowing our faults and appointing us a time to spend here on earth. We have the indescribable expectation to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. This of course occuring after the time God has allocated for us to invest in building His kingdom, and reaping the fruits of our labor, here on earth.. Let’s not grow weary in doing good, but instead continue to fight the good fight of faith. It’s not easy, but the rewards are priceless and incalculable, and our responsibilities as believers are clear in scripture. It’s also abundantly clear that the life of a believer is a win-win scenario. If we live we’re continuing to accomplish His will, and if we die we gain that which the Lord has generously given us the privilege of storing up. There’s no lose in the context of eternity for a believer.

“9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 (NKJV).
External Resources:
* Read: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/two-important-words-good-friday-expiation-and-propitiation/ if you would like to explore a more precise meaning of propitiation and expiation in the context of God’s provision through His Son Jesus Christ.
** Read: http://www.gotquestions.org/does-God-love-everyone.html to better understanding how God loves believers and non-believers unconditionally, but in their own distinct ways.
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God’s Ways Are Above Our Ways

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I pray that my plans would become more congruent with God’s plans for me. I am far from perfect but God has given me many opportunities. With those opportunities I believe that I have some significant responsibilities to use my gifts, talents, and resources to honor God. I try to do this with both what seem like the core components of my life (ie: Writing) and hobbies (ie: Poker, Basketball, Biking, and PC Games). I wake up some days asking myself the wrong questions. What do I feel like doing? Do I have a desire to do X or Y?
The questions should be, “What would you have me do for you today God?” “Where should I go or what might I do that would bring You your ideal glory?” Since we’re under His providence I am confident that there is an ideal to be reached in each day-to-day juncture we encounter. I don’t think that this ideal can be obtained outside God’s help, but we should make this our prayerful target. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which reads:
 
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

It may sound a daunting task, but making a habit of keeping your thoughts in line with God’s will is a worthy aspiration. Being sincerely thankful for each day of life that He has given us goes a long way to drawing nearer to God’s intent for our lives. Let’s pray that He would cause our hearts to be in line with His plans, and inspire us to keep an ongoing conversation with Him throughout the day in prayer.

It’s fair to say that as humans on our own accord, we could never reach the ideal that we’d like to for God’s glory. Fortunately I am confident with God’s help we can be where He desires us. We need to be willing to listen to God’s voice, and answer His call to draw us closer to Him. We need to put Him at the center of our focus at all times, in everything that we do. The Bible is clear that God is actively helping us. [Read: Psalm 121]; it maintains that He preserves our souls and that He also preserves us from evil. We know that God helps us, what an awesome privilege that the King of Kings is our Helper. [Read: Psalm 54:4]. It must be beyond the expression of words, and this broadened picture of God’s influence should serve to humble us.

By the grace of God, and the supernatural privileges that He has bestowed upon us, we have been given a unique opportunity to serve Him. Serving God is beyond any other call we could answer here on earth. We have the chance of a lifetime, that although God does not need us, He willfully allows us to take part in His perfect plans. Here we are imperfect, fallible, and limited as human beings, but yet we have the possibility of embracing God’s action plan for our lives. We need to incorporate the aforementioned aspects of our lives, in regard to our capacity, to put Him above ourselves and store up heavenly treasures in the process.

God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere); yet He has chosen us (His children) to execute His will here on earth. To be His hands and feet to the lost, the helpless, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is only one component of our relationship with God, and we are incapable of fathoming the fullness of His love for us. With it in mind, we should be mindful that God created us, and that by default we were designed to bring Him glory. Such rewards and incentives ought not to be the focal point of our motivation, but rather byproducts of taking action from a position of security, gratitude, joy, and strength in the Lord that comes with being a believer. We were made to be Jesus Christ’s bride as He is our Groom. We should not be solely embracing God’s call because of what we can derive out of it. He deserves all honor, glory, praise, and acknowledgement by default.

God knows that we are human and we don’t need to fully understand His ways in order to trust His judgment and justice are faultless. We can view the accounts of justice and judgment being served and/or depicted in the Bible in many accounts. One of the many examples is King Solomon’s discretion in regards to identifying the mother of the child in the story from 1 Kings [Read: 1 King 3:16-28]. Solomon was gifted wisdom by God, and this story is one of many examples that beautifully illustrate what God’s provision looks like directly. King Solomon experienced first hand what it looks like when we humbly ask Him for the provisions we need to answer His calling. Solomon was clearly led by the Holy Spirit, and acting with the gifts that God had given him, in regards to wisdom and discretion. He creatively deciphered who was the true mother of the child by circumstantially assessing which of the two was willing to keep the child alive at all costs. Even if that meant being apart from them for an unforeseen time, or even a lifetime. It may have hurt the true mother emotionally for a moment, but that brief emotional turmoil, was insignificant compared to the joy of her child’s proper return.

Our gifts may or may not look like King Solomon’s, and our authority may not be that of a King. Yet it should be clear to us as believers, that we all have a call to answer. It’s time to answer the “phone”, God is the last One we’d desire to keep waiting for us.

“11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
Romans 13:11-12 (NKJV).
“17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV).
MissionStatement

Love God, Love People, Love Yourself

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There are times in life that come about where you need to step up and love yourself. Apart from perhaps parents, a spouse, or siblings – there’s no one that knows you better than God. There’s also rarely anyone who would be willing to bend over backwards for you in your time of need. We need to focus on the second greatest commandment in context here to derive and apply this core truth diligently. Hopefully we can see if our hearts can stretch towards people when we have the capacity to do so.

A truth that will propel us into understanding that sometimes we have to say “no” to intrinsically good things in order to say “yes” to better things. This bending over backwards has a time and a place, and it certainly isn’t easy to do. So don’t try to save the world, because Jesus Christ already did that. Do what you can without regrets, and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit rather than the whims of the human emotions or even our hearts. (see Jeremiah 17:9).

First of all, time is finite, so we all only have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. When we get out of our beds, time has already been ticking in those 86,400 seconds, and we already slept through a big chunk of them!

Second of all, when we need attention, there’s a time to love oneself. Of course in our narcissistic nature, we ought to rarely remind ourselves to give ourselves into luxuries or even extended bouts of rest. It’s much easier to adapt to luxuries than for us to crack our own whip, we tend to navigate towards the path of least resistance, so be cautious with this delicate gem of advice.

Yet we should know that most of the things worth doing in life take sacrifice, time, and offer a more challenging path. We want to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to Heaven, not the easier path of less resistance that leads to Hell.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV).

Third of all, in order to love God, we need to surrender everything. Our hearts, bodies, minds, souls, and Spirit; however it doesn’t take away from the second commandment. It magnifies it because when we give to the poor, feed them, and clothe them – it’s as if we were doing that unto God. I have to surrender everything from an insignifant object like a pencil to eternally valuable matters like selecting my potential wife.

17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,

And He will pay back what he has given.

Proverbs 19:17 (NKJV).

Lastly, we don’t want to busy ourselves so much that we forget that time needs to be redeemed. We need to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV).

We need to discern what God’s will is consistently, and we can do that through constant prayer, that is to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Only God the Father knows the day and hour that Jesus Christ will return for His Bride, but that should only encourage us to maximize every moment. (Matthew 24:36) That takes distinction, because there will be seasons where we’ll have to say “no” to a lot of potentially good, attractive things with great friends in order to hold out for God’s best.

However, if there’s nobody caring for us, how long should we expect for us to have the health, sound mind, and capacity to step out of our comfort zones to do these things for the glory of God?

That’s when we have to step up to the plate, give it our best shot, and actually take care of ourselves. Hopefully hitting a grand slam on the way around the field. Granted many of us have loving parents, and extended families while still yet others that would trade most of their wealth just to have one trustworthy person who can empathize with them. We have to deal with the hand we’re dealt in life, and trust God has his reasons for putting people in and out of our lives. There are many different seasons we know He has in store, and there’s a purpose for all of them.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:12 (NKJV).

I am ready to love myself and ensure I hold out for God’s best. Then I can be as sure as humanly possible that I will be here to love God and love people for longer instead of burning out on busyness for the sake of being busy in a haphazard manner. I leave you with a K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple & Smart.

phileo <3