The Danger of Complacency and Sin

Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin... The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Matthew 23:26 NASB
You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

God is always ready to forgive -
but we must never become complacent about sin and think it doesn’t matter. Rather, we must do whatever we can to avoid temptation and deal with sin when it happens.

God does not want us to take a neutral attitude toward sin.
Though He loves the sinner, He does not love sin. It is sin that separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), yet He does not desire that any perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Managing Change Wisely

I recall hearing from a wise mentor once that, the definition of insanity was... "repeatedly doing the same thing the same way, whilst also expecting a different outcome." Duh! For me, that was also a good definition of stuborness or willfulness. ROTF

C.onscious approach to daily living
H.opeful that the future is bright
A.cceptance of transitory nature of life
N.on-attachment and non-addiction leads to serenity
G.iving control over to a higher power.
E.xpecting only the best.

1. One of the most useful personal management skills today is that of managing personal change. In times of turbulence, many people are feeling scared and frustrated about their lives for a number of reasons.

2. We live in turbulent times no doubt, which makes managing change an important skill in today's age. It takes knowledge and Work to be able to adapt to changes in life so you can stop worrying and start living more of your life.

3. Virginia Satir, a pioneer of family therapy, developed a Model of how individuals experience Change. The Satir Change Model says that as we cope with unexpected or significant Change, we predictably move through four stages: Late Status Quo, Chaos, Practice and Integration, and New Status Quo.

4. A lot of people don't have goals other than working, errands, household chores and relaxing with family and friends. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing these things. If you are perfectly content with the structure and current direction of your Life, then don't Change a thing.

5. It's not enough that we have to deal with the normal Personal changes that we all go through in life, but these days we also have broader issues to contend with such as the global economy, the domestic economy (job loss, company closures), the environment, technology, and changing cultural values.

Rules to Live By

1. Wake Up !! Decide to have a good day.
Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.
I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up !! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.
He who guards his lips guards his soul. Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up !!... For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything..
Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good... Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !!... To the Lord.
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up !!... For something higher.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6

It's My Life, Right?

It's My Life, Right?

No, it's not.

I love great preaching that spurs me to think differently and dig a little deeper. This weekend Pastor Jeff Lucas offered a new (to me) perspective on idolatry and the 2nd commandment.

You shall have no other gods before me.

"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:3-6

I knew this was about more than golden calves. I knew idols might disguise themselves as jobs or money or power or anything that becomes first priority.

Never Give Up! (Part 2)

(see: Part 1)

15 The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. 16But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden 17 except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely "die" (forfeit a living/intimate relationship with God). Genesis 2:15-17, NLT

Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame. Genesis 2:25, NLT

Shame was born in dis-obedience. And so was mankind's propensity to lean upon flawed understanding and call it "wisdom or knowledge". These are the result of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! Their/our eyes were opened to what they weren't equipped to understand or process.

What dynamic transforms us into the image of Christ?

I think not! God forbid! May it never be!

    "I suggest that there is no other conclusion which can be drawn from those who teach versions of legalism? They say if you can make sin look grotesque enough, believers will stop sinning. How is that working for you? I have a Greek word for that philosophy -- baloney!" (Clark Whitten)

Either we choose to rest in the dynamic of Christ's finished work, or we will foolishly seek ways to finish it ourselves and continue in a hopeless journey of defeat after defeat! The following passages from Galatians could not be clearer as to what Our Father in Christ is offering to us!

What is Addiction?

What is Addiction?

A state of addiction is reached when people habitually or obsessively surrender themselves to a substance or behavior. A person with an addiction uses a substance or behavior to escape from pain or reality. Yet by the nature of addiction, they only hurt themselves or others, and continue to deepen their addiction.

There is much debate over whether addiction is a disease or a compulsive habit. The body can certainly become highly dependent on various substances like drugs and alcohol. It seems hard believe that someone can validly claim to be addicted to shopping or the internet.

Casting off the Burden of Self-Indulgence

Proverbs 18:1 NRSV
The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgment.

"Prayer opens a whole planet to a man's activities. I can as really be touching hearts for God in far away India or China through prayer, as though I were there. Prayer puts us into direct dynamic touch with a world. A man may go aside today, and shut his door, and as really spend a half-hour in India -- I am thinking of my words as I say them, it seems so much to say, and yet it is true -- as really spend a half hour of his life in India for God as though he were there in person. Is that true ? If it be true, surely you and I must get more half-hours for this secret service. No matter where you are you do more through your praying than through your personality." ~ S. D. Gordon

There is living and then there is living. In other words, there is existing, having our physical bodies be in a certain space and time, and then there is the purpose and focus for our living where our thoughts and priorities dwell. One can live alone physically and be in touch with the world at large through prayer and focus and concern. And one can live in the midst of the largest metropolis and be solely centered on her own agenda and concerns.

Practicing Self-Control

Proverbs 17:27-28 NRSV
One who spares words is knowledgeable;
one who is cool in spirit has understanding.
Even fools who keep silent are considered wise;
when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.

A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain

We talk too much and we feel too much. Period. End of story. Somewhere, somehow, in our culture, the idea began to permeate that one who says a lot knows a lot. But you only have to listen to people through the media to know that's not true.

Do We Truly Love or are We Only Loving Ourselves?

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 RSV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

If we, the Church, were more obedient to God's Word, churches would probably be much smaller. Paul's admonition here is for Christians not to associate with those bear "the name of brother" if:

  • They are immoral
  • They are greedy
  • They are an idolater
  • They are a reviler
  • They are a drunkard
  • They are a robber

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