30 Reasons Not To Sin

August 12, 2008

 

  1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
  2. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
  3. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
  4. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
  5. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
  6. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
  7. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
  8. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
  9. Because my sin saddens the godly.
  10. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
  11. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
  12. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
  13. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
  14. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
  15. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
  16. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
  17. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
  18. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
  19. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
  20. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
  21. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
  22. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
  23. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
  24. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
  25. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
  26. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
  27. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
  28. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
  29. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
  30. Because I promised God he would be Lord of my life.

Your Place In The Body Of Christ

August 12, 2008

Have you ever heard an orchestra “tuning up” before a big performance? Musicians practicing individually all together sounds like utter chaos. But, when the director comes out, every musician comes to a quiet attention. On signal, the group begins to play the piece of music laid out for them on their stands. Music that is well “orchestrated” can be a beautiful thing to hear.

In many ways, the church is like an orchestra. Just as an orchestra is composed of a variety of musicians, the church-body is made up of many members. And, as in an orchestra, each member of the church does not “play” the same part. But, as in an orchestra, each member does “belong to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5). When members of the church unite themselves in the singular purpose of glorifying God, what is seen and heard is more than inspiring. What comes forth pleases God and points people outside of Christ to the Father.

How important are you to the Lord’s church?

Imagine what it would be like, if, while performing, one or two musicians in an orchestra decided not to play, even for but a minute. The silence they would create would be “deafening.” A needed part would not be heard.

An important theme in the musical piece could not be completed without their help. So it is in the Lord’s church. There are works that God has planned for His children to do (Ephesians 2:10). And, when even one Christian decides not to be a part of His plan, something gets left out; someone does not hear the Gospel; needy fail to receive help: lonely ones go without encouragement.

  • Have you ever wondered why God gave you the talents that He did?
  • Do you think there is any divine purpose for you being who you are and living where you live?

There is a purpose. There is a plan. And, when you give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, you are participating in the wonderful work of the Almighty Designer! You are participating in God’s divine agenda. And not only that, Paul tells us that when you do your part in the work of the church, the body of Christ will most definitely grow. You can count on it (Ephesians 4:16). Remember: your work does count! Your service does make a difference. There is an important work for you to do in the body of Christ!

Christ-Centered Relationships

August 21, 2007
God wants the best for us in every area of our lives. This includes relationships with boyfriends or girlfriends.

We should date for fun, friendship, personality, development, and selection of a mate, not to be popular or for security. Don’t allow peer pressure to force you into dating situations that are not appropriate. Realize that over 50% of girls and over 40% of guys never date in high school. The Bible has some very clear principles to guide us in making decisions about dating.

Guard your heart.

The Bible tells us to be very careful about giving our affections because our heart influences everything else in our life.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

You are known by the company you keep. We also tend to become like the company we keep. This principle is closely related to the first one and is just as important in friendships as in dating.

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Christians should only date other Christians.

Although it is fine for Christians to have non-Christians friends, those who are especially close to our heart should be mature believers who are seeking to follow Christ with their lives.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Is it really love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 defines real love. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you patient with each other?
  • Are you kind to each other?
  • Are you never envious of each other?
  • Do you never boast to or about each other?
  • Is your relationship characterized by humility?
  • Are you never rude to each other?
  • Are you not easily angered with each other?
  • Do you keep no record of wrongs?
  • Are you truthful with each other?
  • Do you protect each other?
  • Do you trust each other?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then 1 Corinthians 13 says that you truly have a loving relationship. If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then maybe you should discuss those issues with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Friendships

You need to help your friend stop something if they are doing something wrong that you know of.

Here are some things to help you:

Understand the truth about your friend. You need to know why your friend needs help or what specifically is wrong with them.
Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.”

Understand the truth about your reputation. Is hanging around this friend bringing down your reputation? Does people think that you are doing the same thing your friend is doing?

Find a true friend that can keep you accountable.

Let Us Pray

July 31, 2007
Jesus, I don’t pray much, perhaps, but now I’m needing to talk to you, about me.

Jesus, I’m confused. I sometimes really don’t know who I am. Some of my
relationships aren’t working out. I’m trying to figure out what kind of
lifestyle I’m to follow and there are so many alternatives.


Life is pretty difficult. I can’t understand my parents sometimes,
school/college is hard, friends come and go, I don’t like myself very much, and
I’m scared about the future. I know unless I work hard I won’t make it,
but it seems a long grind.


I want to be independent, but I also want to respect my parents and I
want my parents to respect me. If I make mistakes help me learn from
them, and if my parents are critical of some things, help me remember
they’re mainly trying to protect me and warn me because they care about
me.


I don’t know very much about how to be a Christian, but I want to learn
more. I want my questions answered. There are big moral issues-
smoking, drinking, drugs, sex- and I’m torn between finding the truth,
and having a good time and keeping my friends. If something’s right, I
want to do that, rather than wearing a mask and being a phony just to
be popular.


If I really choose to follow you, it’s going to be hard at school/college. Other folks don’t easily accept people who are different.

Jesus, when it’s tough, help me make a stand, see me through another day.

I give my life to you: take me as I am, and make me into a worthwhile
person. Forgive me for living without you. You have a great plan for my
life- help me to find it. I want to make a difference in the world,
and when I die, help me to have lived well.


Amen.

Why Accept Jesus?

June 5, 2007
“We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved “ Acts 15:11

The real question here is.. why not accept Him?? But since that is probably not the answer you were looking for, I will give you a couple of “other” reasons.

  • Jesus loves you, and His love is greater than any other love you could ever have. “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

  • Jesus loves you so much that He would die for you even if you were the only person who ever sinned.
  • You will never be alone again “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Psalms 62:1
  • He will help you with any problem you have
  • He has the power to answer any prayer, anything you ask Him “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
  • He will give you eternal life in Heaven.

  • He died for you, He loves you, and He wants to give you that love. You are the only person who can let Him. It is completely your decision. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The only way you can experience Jesus and so much more is to accept Him.

Who is Jesus?

June 5, 2007

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16

Some say He was just a great teacher or prophet. Others say He was a good man that did good things. Some claim that He was a liar or a lunatic. And down through the ages, millions have worshiped Him as their risen Lord and Savior. Whatever you think of Him, I’m sure you would agree that He stands alone at the center of human history.

Jesus Christ is your best friend, your comforter, and much closer than your brother, sister, or even your parents. He’s even closer than the air you breathe. Jesus is God (see John 1:1-18). And being so, He gave you breath. Awesome, isn’t it? But, check this out… Jesus died on the cross for your sins, the sins you will commit now and later. I mean think about it… if your best friend died for you, you would know that they love you right? Well, that’s just like Jesus. Except He loves you way more than that. Because even though He died, He rose. He rose from the dead so that you could be saved for your sins- if you accept Him, believe in Him, and honestly repent for your sins. Whenever you are lonely, discouraged, or depressed, He is there for you. There is nothing He wouldn’t do for His own child. And the best part is, is that whoever believes in Him is His child. No matter what you’ve done. Even if you’ve lied to your parents, done drugs, or had an abortion… Jesus will forgive you and still love you. Forever.

The biggest mistake many people make is that they assume that once they say they repent, asks God to come into their hearts, and say they believe He died for them, everything is going to be perfect. No money problems, no trials, no tribulations. The reality of this is, is that the Bible said that “Christians will be persecuted.” But don’t take that in a bad way! Jesus does that to bring us closer to him. So all in all, don’t come to Christ just to make your life “better”. Come to Christ because He is the only way for you to escape the coming wrath. Once you have Him in your life, and you really know Him as your personal savior. Then you will obtain the fruits of the spirit- complete peace, joy, and happiness. But you cannot be lukewarm. You have to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. If not, you may never know Jesus.

So here we are now, you know who Jesus is now a decision must be made.

  • Are you going to accept Him into your life?
  • Are you going to accept
    that you are a sinner and let Him by his grace, pay for your sins?

To not accept Him, is to reject Him. Your life on earth and for all of eternity will be affected by your decision today.


“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father, but through me” John 14:6

The Enchanting Guest

February 20, 2007

From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the
world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening.

He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Mark and me to our first major one day cricket game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies, and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places-and go to her room and read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. My Dad ruled our household with
certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them.

Profanity was not allowed in our house-not from us, our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. Dad didn’t permit alcohol in his home. But the stranger enlightened us to other ways of life. He often offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
 
He talked freely about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

I believe it was only by the grace of God the stranger did not influence us even more. Time after time he opposed my parents’ values. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than twenty-two years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family.

But if I were to walk into my parents’ home today, I would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name? We always called him TV.

New Year’s Resolution

December 19, 2006

“I
never make New Year’s Resolutions, anymore,” the man told me, “I
never keep them, anyway.” I can remember all too many
resolutions I’ve made and let slip away, too. But I believe New
Year’s resolutions are worth making. Let me tell you why.

First, we all need changes.
Some we find very hard to admit to ourselves. I’ve heard people who
say, “I have no regrets about my life. If I had it to do over,
I’d do it the same way again.”
But that attitude is way too
blind and self-serving so far as I’m concerned. There is great power
in confession, to ourselves, to God, to others. Owning up to our
failures is the first, painful step on the road to something better.

Second, when we change
calendars is a good time for reassessment.

  1. How did last year go?

  2. What do I want to do
    differently this year?

This time of year always
reminds me of a passage of scripture, better understood by farmers
than suburbanites:

“Break up your unplowed ground, and do not
sow among thorns” (Jer 4:3)

It makes sense. The more land you
put into production, the more prosperous you’ll be. But some of us
are stupid enough to try to sow seeds in land overrun by star thistle
without breaking up the soil and taking care to root out the thorns
as they come up. Call it laziness. Call it stupidity.

Let me ask you a serious
question.

  1. What percentage of your life is producing something of
    value to God?
  2. How much “unplowed ground” do you have that
    ought to be broken up in this coming year and made useful?

 Reassessment. The brink of a new year is a good time for
reassessment.


Third, New Year’s is an
excellent time for mid-course corrections. Sure, we might fail in
what we set out to do, but if we fail to plan, the old saw goes, then
we plan to fail. If you’re so fearful of failure that you never set
up your row of tin cans to shoot at, you’re not very likely to hit
any at all. Failure is not the end. For the person who determines to
learn from it, failure is a friend.

One of my heroes in the Bible
is the Apostle Paul. Talk about failure! Throughout his life he was
opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, deserted
by trusted co-workers, slandered, and scorned. Sometimes it seemed
that projects to which he had devoted years were turning to dust
before his eyes. But during from one of his stints in prison, we can
see from one of his letters an unwillingness to quit. “Forgetting
what is behind,” he wrote, “and straining toward what is
ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has
called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:13-14, NIV) No
wonder he made a mark on his world. He stopped looking back, and
looked forward instead. He didn’t let the fear of failure keep him
from trying again.

Fourth, New Year’s is a time
to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God. Now I’ve met a few
self-made men and women and so have you, but so often these people
seem proud and driven. There is another way: beginning to trust in
God’s help. One more secret from the Apostle Paul: “I can do
everything through Him who gives me strength,” he said (Phil
4:13, NIV). And God’s strength saw him through a lot, through pain,
through joy, and through accomplishment.

If this last year, you didn’t
practice relying on the Lord as much as you should have, there is no
time like the present to make a New Year’s resolution. In fact, why
don’t you say a short prayer right now, use these words if you like:

“Dear God, I want the new year to be different for me.”

 Now
spell out in prayer some of the changes you’d like to see. And close
this way:

“Lord Jesus, I know that I’m going to need a lot of
help for this. So right now I place myself in your hands. Help me to
receive Your strength.
Amen.”

Good. Now you’ve got a much better
chance of a Happy New Year.

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Christian Fellowship

November 6, 2006
Recently, I became aware of the Christian’s tendency to define Christian fellowship as something that is confined to Sunday morning services or the result of belonging to a “Church.” Yet the truth is, WE ARE THE CHURCH. Wherever we are in fellowship with one another. Our fellowship is not in an organization, but in Christ. It is He who makes us THE CHURCH. We are one in Him and therefore, we are one with one another.

Christian fellowship consists of this relationship we have with each other because of being in Christ. God works outside the church system just as much as within it because He works in men’s hearts, no matter where we are. God is bigger than our systems and isn’t confined to them. Therefore, neither do they confine us – not in our relationship with God, nor in our fellowship with each other.

Believers in the Bible experienced fellowship both within and outside of their system. They experienced it in the synagogue, in the temple, in their homes, on the street, etc. Likewise, we experience fellowship when we go for lunch, attend Bible studies, share in a coffee group, get together with a friend, or even chat on the Internet with other believers. All of these forms of gathering together are just as valid and beneficial as organized church.

Don’t write off the church experience, but don’t confine fellowship to just that. Learn to enjoy the fellowship and encouragement between believers no matter what context it comes in. Focus on Christ in us. This is the true source of our fellowship with one another. 

Problems In Marriage

November 1, 2006

One of the most wonderful things God does is join two people in marriage. But not everyone’s marriage is so wonderful! There are problems in marriage! Sometimes devastating, seemingly unbearable problems! If we do not deal with our problems, they will destroy our marriage.

SELFISHNESS

Jesus helps us with the problem of selfishness (Luke 9:23). Me, myself,and I – that’s the problem!

In marriage we must ask not what can my mate do for me, but what can I do for my mate (Compare 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4; Matthew 7:12). Spend about 10 minutes to list how you might be selfishness.

The husband or wife who will humble himself or herself to display such acts of service as did Christ (John 13:3-17), will have a profound effect on their mate and will go a long way in solving the problems in marriage.

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