[Adapted from the The Works of Watchman Nee]
Man has two problems. We—all of us—have two problems: sins and sin. “Sins” plural, and “sin” singular.
“Sins,” plural, refers to the sins I have committed before God, which are many and can be numbered. “Sin,” singular, refers to my sin-nature. The sins I commit are the rotten fruit of my sin-nature.
I have two problems, sins and sin. I need forgiveness for my sins, but I also need deliverance from the power of sin. When God’s light first shines in our hearts, our cries are for forgiveness—our hearts are laid bare before God and everyone—we can see our offenses against God and the destruction they cause. Continue reading “Man Has Two Problems” »
Instead of striving to change your circumstances, let Christ change you through the circumstances you find yourself in. Instead of walking out of your current circumstances, simply walk with Christ in your present circumstances.
My flesh, in a vain search for peace, has vigorously pressed me to to change my outward circumstances; to find “happiness” by changing my outward identity, status, and circumstances. I have been on and off of this treadmill so much in my life I become weary just thinking about it. Everything was constantly in disarray because I was always trying to move from kingdom to kingdom.
One of the strongholds the Lord sets me free from is my obsession with searching for greener grass–relationships, possessions, achievement, wealth, status, reputation, and better circumstances to make me whole–it is Christ who makes my life whole. My entire life I have had a need to pursue “better” because I had false beliefs about myself, and along with “better,” came the prospect of inner peace. Continue reading “Growing In Christ” »
Shame is a spiritual consequence of sin.
People experience shame because of:
- What they have done
- What has been done to them
- What they believe
For example, when we are wounded as children through abandonment, neglect, abuse, or simply experiencing unmet needs, we make judgments against ourselves: “I am unlovable, undesirable, worthless, dirty, defective.” These judgments are false beliefs, and when we believe them we are shamed by them. Continue reading “Jesus Despised The Shame” »
Are we called to judge others? No. And, Yes!
Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
Matthew 7:6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”
Matthew 7:20 “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
John 7:24 “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”
I want you to walk away from this message with three takeaways:
First, as sons of God, we no longer have a need to exalt ourselves by judging others. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of sound mind.
Second, we are called to judge actions, not people. For in the same way I judge people, I will be judged, and with the measure I use, it will be measured to me. For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Third, we are called to discern the actions of others for the purpose of ministering to them. There is a right way and a wrong way to judge. The right way is spirit-led and results in blessing. The wrong way is evil and divisive. What’s your motive? Continue reading “Judging Others: A Bitter Fruit?” »
Romans 5:1-11 give us six components to the divine guarantee of eternal salvation:
- Peace with God
- Standing in grace
- Hope of glory
- Assurance of love
- Certainty of deliverance
- Joy with God
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Continue reading “The Security Of Salvation” »
In many ways, what the world calls self-esteem is pride. It is formed from one’s opinion about self-worth without regard for who God says we are. Who gave us the sovereignty to determine our value? Truly this right belongs to God alone—the Creator, the Author of life.
Colossians 1:15-16 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Many describe pride as being over-confident. The outwardly arrogant nature of my pride leads to bragging, boasting, selfishness, and an overly-defensive personality. These attitudes are not caused by too much self-confidence but by a lack of knowing the agape love (steadfast love) of Father God. People walking in pride are constantly trying to prove themselves to themselves—and others—because they are filled with shame, desperate for acceptance and affirmation, and do not know love. Continue reading “Another Name For Low Self-esteem Is Pride” »
Trying to convey the need for repentance to non-believers is nearly impossible because most do not yet see a need for salvation. How can a man or woman understand the need to repent or the need for salvation unless they first understand the condition of the human heart? What does the Bible say about the human heart?
Genesis 6:5 says, “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”
My heart is a fountain of wickedness. I am selfish, fragile, fickle; self-focused, self-centered, self-seeking, self-absorbed, self obsessed. Without the Spirit of Christ living inside me, there is a destructive force at work–the human heart. Continue reading “Are You A Good Person?” »