Dealing With A Lifestyle Of Sin

Does a Christian continue to sin after conversion?
The answer to that question is “Yes.” We do continue to sin.
And why do we continue to sin? Because we are human and we live in a world of sin. We don’t reach a state where we don’t sin until we get to heaven.
So, even though we sin, we are still saved.
But, in I John 3:6, the Bible says, “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen or knows him.” This verse is talking about someone who sins habitually. Someone who sins and isn’t bothered by it.
For example; As Christians, when we sin, it should bother us. If it does, that’s an indication of the Holy Spirit within us, convicting us. But, John is saying if we continue to sin… he’s talking about a habit of sin… then we don’t know God. He’s describing someone who sins and honestly, maybe even enjoys their sin… and if someone says anything to them they may respond, “Hey, even though I’m a Christian, I’m not perfect.”
Sin should bother us. We shouldn’t dismiss it or try to explain it away. It should bother us. If it doesn’t bother us, that’s a problem.
So how do we deal with temptation? What do we need to do to defeat sin and the devil? John says, “Abide in Him.” The word means “to dwell…” It refers to someone who, on a daily basis, tries to live for the Lord. Someone who tries to honor the Lord. We abide in Him.
It means that we read God’s word on a daily basis. We spend time in prayer. It means that every day our desire is to honor the Lord in our lives. And, if we abide in Him, that will help prevent us from a lifestyle of sin.
Is there some sin in your life that could be described as “habitual?” You do it often and maybe it doesn’t bother you? If so, that’s something you need to take to the Lord. While we are human and we will most definitely sin, it should bother us when we do.
Today, maybe there is some habitual sin in your life. Confess it to the Father and experience His forgiveness.

There Has Never Been Nor Will There Ever Be Anyone Like Jesus – Worship Him!

“Gender reveal” parties are popular now. When a young couple learns they are expecting, they will have a party and in some creative way, they will reveal the gender of the baby. And, they may even reveal what they will name the baby.
My grandson is named Peyton Hollis. “Hollis” was Holli’s dad’s name. So, Peyton was named in part, after Holli’s Dad.
Our names are significant. The same was true in the Bible. In Isaiah 9:6-7, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah. He said the Messiah would be called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.”
“Wonderful counselor”… all of us need “counsel” at times. Maybe it’s when we are making a key decision or, we are struggling with something in our lives. Someone may have said to you, “You need to see a counselor.” You know that but maybe you don’t feel you can afford it. Jesus is a counselor that is on call 24/7/365.
“Mighty God”… whatever challenge any of us are facing, Jesus is able to handle it. Jesus is “Mighty God.”
“Everlasting Father”… Jesus transcends time. We worship Him because He is like no other in that He transcends time.
“Prince of Peace” … In a world that is always seeking peace between warring nations, lasting peace only comes through Jesus. Maybe you are looking for personal peace. Jesus gives us peace.
There never has been nor will there ever be anyone like Jesus. We worship Him.. we celebrate His birth… because He is “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace.”
Worship the Lord Jesus today… He alone is worthy of our praise!

Love Jesus More Than The World

“Christian’s aren’t perfect, but forgiven.”
That is an expression that’s been around for years and it’s true; Christian’s aren’t perfect. We still live in a world of sin and we face temptation every day. And, because of that, we sin.
Now someone may say, “Well you must not be a Christian if you sin.” And that statement is not true. Just because you sin after your conversion, does not mean you aren’t saved.
But, there should be a desire in every Christian’s heart to live for the Lord. In I John 2:15, the Bible says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
That’s a strong verse. “If anyone loves the world… or the things in the world… the love of the Father is not in him.”
That verse stood out to me this morning as I had my devotional reading. I’m being transparent here; there are times when I love the world or the things of the world too much. Maybe it’s a ball game or electronics or a new shirt or something similar. So we all do that at times. I was convicted when I read that text.
Now, I’m going to be direct… there are lots of people who say they are Christians but never worship… never give… never read God’s word… and maybe even live an immoral life. I’m not judging anyone… just stating facts. And yet, I John 2;15 says “If you love the world and things of this world the love of the Father is not in you.”
I encourage you to evaluate your Christian life. Do you love the world more than Jesus? If so, you need to examine your salvation. If you are saved, you need to get some things out of your life so that you can love nothing but the Lord.
The temptation of the world is powerful. But the world doesn’t offer anything of eternal value. That only comes through Jesus. Put Jesus first in your life.

Peace Isn’t Found In Liquor Or Drugs Or A Trip… It’s Found in God’s Word

Peace…
Do you have peace?
Are you at peace with the Lord? with yourself? with your fellow man?
Everyone wants peace… needs peace. When a person sits on a stool at a bar and orders a drink, they are looking for peace. They believe the drink they are ordering, will help settle their nerves.
But, peace… permanent peace, isn’t found in a glass of liquor or a shopping spree… or a trip… It’s found in only one place and that is in the Lord Jesus Christ… it’s found in God’s word.
Psalms 119:165 says, “Those who love Thy law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.”
Think about that verse… “Those who LOVE Thy law have great peace…” How does loving God’s law give us peace?
It’s because God’s word has a verse for every problem-issue-decision we face. God’s word is powerful. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…”
So, as we read God’s word, the Holy Spirit uses it to give us peace.
For example; let’s say someone is trying to make a decision. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct Thy paths.”
Or, let’s say someone is stressed out… filled with anxiety… John 14:27 says, “Peace l leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled… neither let them be afraid.”
Or, let’s say someone is concerned about having enough to pay the bills. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory..”
And there are others. The bottom line is God’s word is powerful and God uses it to comfort us. Today, if you are struggling… looking for peace… God’s word provides us with peace. Trust the Lord to speak to you through His word.
“Peace, peace; wonderful peace. Coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray In fathomless billows of love!”

God Was With Daniel In The Lion’s Den – He Will Be With Us

Adversity and trials are part of life. We don’t like them but, we all face them. And when we do, we may pray and ask the Lord to remove us from them. But, many times, God doesn’t remove us… He walks with us through them.
One example of that is the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. It is one of the best-known stories in the Bible. King Darius made Daniel one of three commissioners over one-hundred-and-twenty satraps in the Bible. And, Daniel began distinguishing himself among the others. He distinguished himself so tht the other men were jealous. So, they went to the King and suggested he make a law that anyone who made a petition to any god other than King, would be cast into the lion’s den. They were doing this, to try to kill Daniel.
So, the King placed Daniel in the lions den because of his faith in God. He spent a night in the lion’s den but the lion’s did not touch him.
Notice that God didn’t save Daniel FROM the lion’s den… He protected him in the lions’ den. That’s what God does for us.
God does not prevent us from facing trials… the Bible says trial are good for us… but God promises to walk with us THROUGH the trials.
A deceased Pastor-friend of mine once said;
“God didn’t save Daniel FROM the lion’s den, he protected him in it.
He didn’t take David AROUND the valley of the shadow of death; He walked with him through it.
He didn’t save the three Hebrew boys FROM the fiery furnace; He was with them in it.”
God is with us in adversity. So, if you are going through some tough times, God has not forgotten you. I’m not saying the trials are going to stop… they may not. I’m not saying your situation is going to change.. it may not… But God has promised to be with us in the midst of it.

Don’t Waste Time Or Money On Empty Pursuits

Where is your time and money spent?
Are they spent or invested in things that matter or, are they spent on “empty pursuits?”
Proverbs 28:19 says, “He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.”
What are “empty pursuits?” As I read this verse, that phrase hit me… “empty pursuits…” The first part of the verse says, “He who tills his land will have plenty of food…” Tilling land is obviously, a noble pursuit. Someone who tills their land is working to feed their family.
But “empty pursuits” refers to things that really don’t mean much of anything. It refers to activities or investments of time and money that aren’t worthy.
What are some empty pursuits?
Spending too much time on leisure. Notice I said, “too much time.” Everyone needs a hobby or something to do in their off-time.. There is nothing wrong with that.. but, if it begins to consume us or, we spend too much time on it… it can become an empty pursuit.
Sports can become an empty pursuit. I love sports… it’s one of my hobbies but, America has made sports a god. Think about how much money is spent on sports. Major college sports is a big business. For that matter, this weekend, the SEC Championship game will be held in Atlanta. More than likely, some fan of either of ‘Bama or Georgia is spending money on tickets who can’t afford them and it would be the same if it were another school.
Fishing or hunting can become an empty pursuit… There is nothing wrong with either unless we become obsessed with it.
Bottom line is this; anything that becomes more important to us than the Lord is an empty pursuit. I love LSU. But, LSU is not going to provide for my family. And, LSU is not going to save me.
So, where is your time and money being spent? If it’s invested in empty pursuits, it’s wrong. If it’s in something that is trivial.. it doesn’t matter.
Make sure your time is being invested… being spent… in something that matters.
In business there is a phrase; “return on investment.” It refers to how much money will someone make if they invest in something. Every businessman is looking for a good “return on his or her investment.” What is the return on what you are investing your time in?
If there isn’t much return on your investment, it’s an empty pursuit and the scripture says we shouldn’t follow those.

God’s Word Provides Light For Us In A Dark World

Every day we make decisions. At times, those decisions may be fairly easy to make but at times, they are difficult and when they are, we need help. Where do we find that help?
Psalms 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Think about that verse; “…a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I was raised on a dairy farm. Every morning we got up early to go to the barn. When we got up, we had to make our way through the living room to the kitchen to turn the light on. Even though we did it all the time, there were times we would run into furniture because it was dark and you couldn’t see. But, when the turned the lights on, it was easy to walk through the living room.
The same can be said for us.
This world is a dark place. Sometimes, it’s not easy to make decisions. But God’s word provides light to help us navigate the darkness.
Now… someone may say, “the Bible is an old book; it doesn’t speak to everything we face today.” It’s true that there may not be a specific verse that can be applied to everything we face but, there are principles that we can use.
Two of my favorite verses are, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct Thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Many times, when I’m trying to make decisions, I can think and think and think… until I’m reminded… “lean not on your own understanding…”
So, do you have a decision to make today? God’s word will guide you.
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…” It provides light for our path in a dark world.