When Is “Enough”, Enough?

6a011168574e19970c01539046a676970bI was in a local pet store one day, wandering up and down the aisles, looking for the unusual, when I heard a constant rattling…almost annoying sound.

And the mystery was revealed.  HAMSTERS running in their little wheel as it spinned, running with all their might, but never getting anywhere.  They are running, the wheel is spinning, but nothing else changes.

In my close observation, I knew the spinning wheel is there for their exercise, but I wondered if the hamster might be thinking to himself when the wheel starts spinning,

“Yeah, I’m on my way now. Nothing can stop me.  I’m breaking out of this joint!”

The HAMSTER follows his trails in the cage, runs in the spinning wheel, giving everything he’s got, only that he hasn’t moved from inside the cage where he’s trapped.  There is nothing he can do to break the cycle on his own because there is a much more powerful, larger being, with vastly more intelligence already determined how his life will be spent and where he will go.  Sad commentary if you are a “pet” lover.

Many times, I too have felt like the little hamster;  I’m running in circles like the hamster but never getting anywhere.

That brings me to the Scripture found in Deuteronomy 2:1-3:

[1] THEN WE turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lord directed me; and for many days we journeyed around Mount Seir.

[2] And the Lord spoke to me [Moses], saying  [3] You have roamed around this mountain country long enough; turn northward.

I want to direct you to look at a story presented in Deuteronomy; of a people in God’s Word that were caught in the same spinning wheel of life.  They seemed to be going nowhere because they had lost direction and just kept running in the same circle.

stock-photo-illustration-of-wheel-121045525

God had plainly set their path but for nearly 40 years they were on a journey to…how should I say it…NOWHERE!

Finally, the day came when they realized they didn’t have the answers; they had no true direction; and that someone greater than themselves had to direct their path if they were ever going to be anything other than mindless runners on the spinning wheel of life.

The sad part is that countless thousands had died in the process of running in circles while never finding the real meaning of existence, dying in a vast wilderness with their dreams and hopes lost forever.

God had made a way when He delivered them from the SLAVE PITS of Egypt.  A way for them with a greater PURPOSE, A DESTINY that would change their lives forever...IF… they would only follow His direction and remain FAITHFUL to His Purpose for their lives.

But FREEDOM has a price; and TRUE FREEDOM demands limitations.  Freedom without limitations becomes ANARCHY, which I see happening in our city streets today.

TRUE FREEDOM can only be found by following GOD’S PLAN; and everything else only leads to another form of SLAVERY; either to SIN within ourselves; or to the controlling hand of someone else who will dictate to us the conditions of life.

We will truly need a FIRM FOUNDATION to rely on; that won’t be shaken or changed with a determination to ‘stick to it’!  Of course, the only TRUE FOUNDATION is found in Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Word of God that will never fail, nor ever change.

Psalms 37:23-24:

[23] The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].

[24] Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.

God never promised us a PATH without a few falls.

In service, in ministry to the saints or to the surrounding community.  He never said that life would be easy, not facing problems.

What He did PROMISE was that we would never be forsaken and even when we fall, the Lord will keep us by His hand.

God ALWAYS provides a way for FREEDOM to reign and for the VICTORY to be won if we just keep on, keep’n on in following Him.

ISRAEL began their journey; but they had much to learn, and so God predetermined them to take a long journey to get to their final destination:

Deuteronomy 2:1

THEN WE turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lord directed me; and for many days we journeyed around Mount Seir.

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From the pits of BONDAGE in Egypt, relating to our DELIVERANCE from the grip of SIN under the hand of Satan, Israel proceeded into the WILDERNESS, and area called Mount Seir where they wandered for many days, in fact, for 40 years.  They just kept going around in circles, moving their camp many times along the way.  Sometimes staying in one place for a few years, and then moving to another when the water ran dry, or the grass was gone for their animals.

I wonder how many times ISRAEL experienced a deja-vu moment in their wanderings?

How many times did one Israelite look at another and say,

“You know, I think we’ve been here before.  Something about this place looks familiar and I know I’ve climbed this mountain before.  I feel just like we are running in CIRCLES and nobody knows which way to go.”

I see the same thing happening in the world today.

Mankind has no clue of direction; history just keeps repeating itself and we don’t learn the lessons of the past.

The PATH has already been laid in front of us and we begin to wonder in our own understanding leading us to nowhere.  Our world has lost its way; no man has the ability to LEAD the human race to a place of perfect peace and safety; and every day the race just gets faster while the destination more obscure.

The same thing happens in the CHURCH as well, for we are the church.

Christians often express their concerns and just keep running in circles, never accomplish what they want to in their lives.  I know this to be true because I have been there before.

That place in MINISTRY where doubt and a critical spirit raises its ugly head...A MOUNTAIN blocking the progress of my journey.  Every day seems to end in disappointment and frustration because nothing ever seems to change.

Some of us struggle with the same old self-created HABITS and the WHEEL is spinning; we are trying as hard as we can but nothing is changing.

Let me give some encouragement in the Lord if you are in this position of “wheel spinning”–going around in circles.

Just keep on running, but run where God tells you to run.

The BAD HABITS may be A BAD TEMPER; A CRITICAL SPIRIT (I’m guilty!); LACK OF SELF-CONTROL…etc.

The BAD HABITS start out as mole hills and become mountains because we won’t quit talking about them.

In effect, we just keep CIRCLING Mount Seir just like Israel did for all those years.  The march goes on, time passes, but nothing seems to really change.  When is “Enough” enough?

And the LORD spoke to me saying, “You have roamed around this mountain long enough; turn northward”  (vs. 2, 3).

Things began to change for ISRAEL, and all the things in your life are changing as well.

Sometimes the CHANGE happens so slowly its unnoticeable at first, but eventually the CHANGE will be great.

Israel’s attitude changed one step at a time.  With each step forward they drew closer to the end of their journey.  Like the old saying, “How do you begin a journey of a thousand miles? By taking the first step.”   

And so it is with our walk with JESUS.

Those whose FAITH is too weak, fall by the wayside as the SEED of the gospel stolen from the heart; they will die right beside the path of life.

But the strong in the LORD, those who ‘sell out’ to God; serve Him with all their heart, mind, and soul and will remain FAITHFUL to the end; they will not only SURVIVE the JOURNEY…but will become VICTORIOUS over ALL THINGS!  (Luke 1:37)

God doesn’t give up on His people.  Though many never saw their PROMISE LAND; never occupied that land; God never forsook ISRAEL.

God won’t give up on you or me either!!  We are going to WIN the battle.  Romans 8:37 says, “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him [Jesus] Who loved us.”  Have you ever heard of a “CONQUEROR” who ever lost a battle?  If they did, then they wouldn’t be called “conquerors”.

Whatever you are going through right now, you are going to OVERCOME this mountain in your life; if you just remain FAITHFUL until the race is won.

It’s time to quit circling around MOUNT SEIR.  Enough is enough!  Move on!!!

The ISRAELITE’S backs were facing the Promise Land, meaning they were going the opposite direction where God intended them to go; so God turned them around and placed them back on the right path.

The name “SEIR” means holiness; and they were wandering for 40 years just learning to be holy people unto the Lord!  Without HOLINESS–no man can see the Lord and you can’t see the PATH to walk in.  You are walking BLIND.

Now I began to think deeper about Mount Seir; how that it could represent some of the great mountain ranges in our lives that we must overcome.

I’ve already mentioned some of the HABITS which you, no doubt, have already mentally added to.

All of these things are just huge MOUNTAINS that seem to loom over us with DOUBT, and FEAR, and maybe SHAME.

So how do we get rid of that mountain (s)?

If you had to move a mountain and there was no way around it, or through it, how would you do it?  You would start by moving one rock at a time.

Just like you begin a journey of a thousand miles with one step–you move a mountain by moving one rock at a time.

Moving Mountains, One Rock at a Time
Moving Mountains, One Rock at a Time

Now sometimes you can speak to that mountain and YES, God can and will move some of the mountains out of your way.

BUT…there are MOUNTAINS in our lives that we are going to have to work on ourselves. Maybe for a lifetime.

Those MOUNTAINS are there for a purpose and you just have to keep moving them–one rock at a time until they are behind you instead of in front of you.

The TASK of OVERCOMING your mountain may seem impossible; but then that’s where God begins to work for you (Luke 1:37).

He makes the IMPOSSIBLE possible and He will not allow you to be overcome!

Banana-Oats-Fitness-Cookies-Howie-in-the-mountains

In your struggle to move your mountain, you will have times when you feel like you’re finally WINNING THE BATTLE!

Then suddenly…you find yourself in a pile of rock rubble, wondering if the VICTORY will ever come.

I have experienced this in my own life, finding myself in the “rubble” of CRITICISM.

I may go on for days, weeks, without being critical of someone or some thing.  But just when I think I’ve overcome it, here it comes again.  Often, my beloved wife of 51 years will give me that look without saying a word, knowing that I’ve lost my way–again!

But little by little, one STONE at a time, that MOUNTAIN is coming down.  I believe that most of my mountain has been moved; but there are still a few rocks and yes, boulders, that have to go.

We still have a lot of MOUNTAINS to move in our Christian lives.  None of us have cleared them all.  The KEY is to remove them and not just keep CIRCLING around them.

Never accept the excuse that “That’s just the way I am.  I can’t help it!”  That is a cop out!

We can’t allow ourselves the luxury of CAMPING on the wrong side of the MOUNTAIN forever when VICTORY in Jesus can only be found on the other side.

REMEMBER what the Lord said to Moses and the Children of Israel in Deuteronomy 2:2,3…

“You’ve been going around in circles in these hills long enough; go North” (The Message bible).

What mountains are you facing as you read my thoughts in this blog-study?  

Whatever it is, you can begin dismantling it right now!  Give it to JESUS; seek His help. Why move it alone?  You can do ALL THINGS through Christ Jesus, who strengthens you, but you have to let Him lead.

I am moving my stones right now!  What are your STONES?  There is no better time than right now to move NORTH!!

IN JESUS’ NAME

 


Photo Credits:  Photo Pin and Google Images.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible, except where noted.

ISRAELS’ “Title Deed” Has Already Been Issued!

293170964_6790e9ec90“TITLE DEED” Definition:

A deed or document evidencing a person’s or people’s legal right or title to property constituting evidence of ownership.  [See Footnote [i]]

Joel 3:1-14:

I will gather all nations and enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land Multitudes in the Valley of Decision!  For the day of the LORD is near in the Valley of Decision.

TAKING A STAND

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”  (Genesis 12:3 NIV).

I won’t speak to or about other countries in “taking a stand”; although I’ve recently been in discussion on Social Media regarding feelings and attitudes regarding what’s going on in the conflict of Israel and Palestine/Hamas.  But I’ll leave that discussion for a later time.

AMERICA IS AT A MOMENTOUS CROSSROADS!  WILL WE BELIEVE GOD AND STAND BY ISRAEL?

Or, will we “waffle” and give our sympathies to Israel’s enemies?  Having already turned our back on God in America, we are feeling the sharpness, the bite from His restorative judgments.  I know, GOD IS LOVE!  But He is also righteous and holy and a “jealous” God!! (Deut. 32:16, 21; 1 Kings 14:22; Psalm 78:58; 1 Cor. 10:22).

Yes, we still  have a form of religion, but we have lost the moral and spiritual power we once possessed.  Where we find ourselves today is in an unprovoked, worldwide WAR with militant Islamist terrorists and our homeland is vulnerable.

Yet, while our President has often remarked, to act against TERRORISTS and those who harbor them…at the same time pressed ISRAEL not to retaliate against the Palestinian terrorists.  And, the center of his Middle East policy is to divide the land of Israel and to create a terrorist-ruled, Islamist Palestine state in the center of the Promised Land.

GOD’s Word speaks to this issue (Joel 3:1-17).  And because there will be sobering consequences if we fail in disobedience to Him [*SEE Jer. 12:14-16; Zech. 2:7-13].

TWO ABSOLUTES IN OUR “STANDING” WITH THE JEWS CLAIM TO THE LAND:

GOD Himself gave THE TITLE DEED to the land of Israel to the Jewish people!  Unlike historic claims that other nations might have to their land, the Jews have an overriding, stronger claim.  “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”

Any human ownership of land is but a lease.

I remember one area of Orange County California I lived in, who established homeowners to LEASED the property their homes sat on,  for ninety-nine years.  Their thinking I suppose was, “Who would still be living on that property for 99 years?  God never stipulated in His promise in the TITLE DEED, that His covenant land was to be leased–that Israel would have to parcel up their right to ownership to any “squatters”.

GOD does the “establishing” and not man (Deut. 32:8-10; Num. 34:10-15; Josh. 11:16-22; 14; Acts 17:26).

Knowing the Promises of GOD…

HOW MUCH LAND DID GOD GIVE ISRAEL?
HOW MUCH LAND DID GOD GIVE ISRAEL?

Every Christian should know God’s PROMISES, what God says about the Jews and His Covenant land, especially in this day of decisions.

Each of us should be as the Bereans, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES; NOT ALLOW OUR UNDERSTANDING TO BE CLOUDED by doctrines with strained and skewed conclusions, nullifying the plain PROMISES OF GOD (Acts 17:11-12; 1 Peter 1:19-21).

God’s Warning to the Nations…

“All who try to move [Jerusalem] will injure themselves.”

GOD PROMISES to punish the nations (people) who come against Israel:  “…and whoever curses you I will curse” ~ Genesis 12:3 b.

America, the Arabs, the European Union, Russia, China, all the nations, are in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14).  Every nation that presumes to interfere with God’s plan for Israel, including the U.S., STANDS NOT only against Israel, but against God Almighty!  GOD is rising to JUDGE THE NATIONS  (Ezek. 38:1-39; Zech. 2:8-9; 12:2-9).

“Why ISRAEL Has the Right to their Land and Others do not”–

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) gave an important speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 11, 2002:

 —  SEVEN REASONS WHY ISRAEL HAS THE RIGHT TO “THEIR LAND” —

Six of his reasons which are simple truths apply to common sense.  If you are interested in reading the entire document, it can be viewed on-line –(http://www.senate.gov/~inhofe/fl030402.html).

The seventh, his most important, is an appeal to FAITH IN GOD of the Bible and His covenant with the Jewish people.

We must support Israel’s right to the land because God’ said so!

In Genesis 13:14-17, the Bible says:

The Lord said to Abram, “Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever…”

Only God Can solve the Middle East Crisis…

America must concentrate doing what is right.  I’m not saying we should give blind approval on anything Israel may do.  But Israels restraint toward its Palestinian enemies, so far, has been admirable–a model for all nations, and our pressure on Israel not to retaliate against a terrorist run state, to endure endless assaults against their own civilian population all in hopes of bolstering negotiations with terrorists leaders in Egypt, is foolish and immoral (Prov. 19:27; Ps. 1:1-2; 2:2-12; 33:10-22; Is. 1:16; Jer. 23:32).

The Problem Goes Far Beyond the Palestinian People

The HEART of the Muslim faith and its opposition to Scripture begins with belief that the Land of Israel belongs to the Arabs through the lineages of Ishmael and Esau.  The Muslims reject the Bible record of God’s covenants with Isaac and Jacob, believing that Ishmael and Esau, the first-born sons of Abraham and Isaac, were the legitimate heirs.  THIS IS A LIE!

The problem can never be resolved apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and/or the return of Jesus, Himself!  God’s Word provides for law-abiding Arabs and other non-Jews who live in Israel (See Ezek. 47:22-23 – Christians and Muslim Arabs would enjoy for greater political and economic prosperity under Israel than under Muslim terrorist leaders).

But this doesn’t mean Israel should accept the immigration of millions of self-proclaimed refugees or to divide up Israel and Jerusalem, forever compromising Israel’s security.  God holds Israeli government responsible, as He does all governments, to protect its people to bring criminals to justice, especially those guilty of shedding innocent blood (Gen. 9:6; Dt. 19:11-13; Rom. 13:1-4).

That the world (U.N.) community interprets Israels use of military authority in self-defense (Romans 13) as morally inferior to Palestinian/Hamas suicide (homicide) bombers, rockets, and other terrorist acts, simply reveals the worlds ill will toward the Just and Righteous God of the Bible.

President Obama cannot both appease the nations and serve the God of the Bible.  AMERICA is in the valley of decision.  Will we simply do what’s right and just (as defined by God’s Word), or yield to the political circumstances and threats against us?

A Worldwide Resurgence of Anti-Semitism–

Psalm 35:19-20 NIV translation:

[19] Let not those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; let not those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.  [20] They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.

The pleasure of savagery, Palestinian/Hamas rockets (3500+), against the Jewish civilian population has elicited sympathy and support for the Israelis in the U.S., but sleeping demons of anti-Semitism has raised its ugly head once more around the globe.

Pro-Palestinian propaganda, broadcast by the liberal media, has fueled an international resurgence of Anti-Semitism, especially in Europe, Russia and the Arab world.

Denunciations of Israel by the U.N. once more, many nations have fueled the fires of protests by tens of thousands, boycotts of Israeli goods, and other political efforts to punish Israel.

 The Church s Contribution–

Some Christians believe the natural Israel was permanently cast off by God and wholly replaced by the New Testament Church (Replacement Theology); that the rebirth of Israel as a nation today has no part in God’s plan for our spiritual well-being.

But they completely ignore or twist a lot of Bible promises to the contrary.

THE DESTINY OF NATIONS:

All Nations, not just America, are tied to their responses to God’s will as revealed in Scripture.  God holds NATIONS uniquely accountable to their actions for or…against the Jews and His covenant Land.

How will He deal with America, or your country, if we look away from the demonically inspired anti-Semitism that’s growing around us?  We cannot keep silent when forces are working day and night to turn our political leaders against Israel.

My son accidently poked his finger in my eye once. 

Who hasn’t had someone accidentally POKED you in the eye?  I sure have.  It was clearly accidental, but never-the-less, it didn’t hurt any less.

A POKE in the EYE
A POKE in the EYE

Your EYE is sensitive to touch and the center of your eye, your “iris”, the “pupil” of your eye–the APPLE, is the most sensitive part.

When my son accidentally poked me in the eye years ago, my first response was anger!  My aggravated, uncontrolled words in response to my pain…“You’ve got to be more careful with your fingers, it can ‘poke’ someone’s eye out!”  I don’t know what that meant to him at the time, but he replied to my outrage by saying, “I’m sorry dad. I didn’t mean to. It was an accident.”  And of course, I accepted his apology as any loving dad would because of his repentance.

But what if the POKE IN THE EYE had been on purpose with the intention of doing harm?

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says:  “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nnations that have plundered you–for whoever touches you touches the apple [the “iris”; the “pupil”, the “center”] of My eye”  (Zech. 2:8 NIV). *NOTE: Bracketed words were inserted for emphasis.

American Christians must pray and act to be sure that AMERICA stands by Israel!

 

 

FOOTNOTE (s):  

[i] Title Deed – Dictionary.com

PHOTOS:  

Map of Israel – Files From Toni: How Much Land Did God Give Israel? at filesfromtoni.blogspot.com/how-much-land-did-god-give-israel-html

Photo Pin

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS: 

NIV Translation

Amplified Bible

 

 

Our Destiny Is Clear!

Making Excuses For Bad Behavior

BREATHING A SIGH OF RELIEF:

After reading Chapter One in Romans this morning, I breathed a sigh of relief for one moment. Thinking, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not THAT bad!” 

I’m sure those in Rome, maybe even those who might be reading this blog study in The Book of Romans (Chapter 2:1-10), might be thinking… “Yep, others, sinners, unbelievers, backslidden people really, really, REALLY are bad…BUT not me.”  BECAUSE…

I go to church.  I’m good.  I give my tithes to God.  I’m certainly not one of them!  I’m a real good & moral and upright person!”

We are real good at making EXCUSES for our own BAD BEHAVIOR.

Have you noticed how easy it is, to see bad behavior in others, but really think the best about ourselves?

“For by grace given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him”  (Romans 12:3 AMP).

There Are Always:

1.  Excuses.

2.  Reasons.

3.  Explanations.

4.  Justifications.

AN EXCUSE:  (‘to grant an exemption OR to release from’.)

They are often OUR RESPONSE from conviction and confrontation:

–YOU are a GOSSIP!  (NO I’m not, I’m just trying to help.)

–YOU just LIED!  (NO I didn’t, I just stretched the truth a little.)

–YOU STOLE that!  (NO I didn’t, I just borrowed it for a time.)

Much of Our Potential Falls By the Wayside with EXCUSES.

So much of what God wants to do in our lives, disappears with an explanation of why it can’t happen.  It seems like the easy way out…the quick fix!  And yet, JESUS is looking for the man or woman who will RISE ABOVE…excuses, the reasons, the exemptions and the justifications:

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him”                (2 Chronicles 16:9).

King David’s Anointing to RULE & REIGN.

1 Samuel 11 opens with David at home…he sees a woman bathing, request her, commits adultery with her, a baby is produced…thus begins the cover-up.

Bathsheba was the wife of one of David’s mighty men…so the king recalled the man home so he might sleep with his wife to cover…

Then king David sends him back into battle with orders to put him on the front lines…where he died.  All of David’s detailed planning was to cover up…and for a time, all seemed to be going well.  It seemed as if he had covered his sin and continuing to RULE & REIGN; giving leadership and judgement in Israel as if nothing had happened.

Then suddenly and seemingly…out of nowhere, NATHAN shows up!

It’s EASY to become angry and judgmental at other people’s misgivings (sins) and very explanatory of our own.  That’s where the apostle Paul is in his opening of Romans 2…

He’s addressing the MORALIST, the person who thinks he’s okay with God.  Comparing himself with others, even though the Bible teaches us…

“Not that we [have the audacity to] venture to class or [even to] compare ourselves with some who exalt and furnish testimonials for themselves!  However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely”  (2 Corinthians 10:12 AMP).

Truly the MORALIST lives in a mist of hypocrisy.

NO ESCAPING GOD’S JUDGEMENT:

ROMANS 2:1-3:  [v.1]  “THEREFORE YOU have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another.  For in posing a judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce].  [v.2]  [But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things.  [v.3]  And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgement and elude His sentence and adverse verdict?”

ROMANS 1 ended with a list of horrendous sins and yet it’s easy to look at them and the sinners that commit them…  But ROMANS 1:32 isn’t the KEY…because the ISSUE is not just outward, but it’s really inward!   You don’t have to do them personally in order to be guilty of them…all you really need to do is to APPROVE THEM!

This is where Christianity meets the HEART of a person.  It’s all about our own hearts; what we approve of (movies, television, homosexuality, politics, etc.).  “IT’S OKAY, I’M OKAY” philosophy.  “Society is okay with it, so I am too.”

THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD:

Notice ROMANS 2:2, it’s according to TRUTH!  God’s judgment doesn’t come…democratically by a vote.  God’s judgement doesn’t come…by popular opinions of the day.  God’s judgement doesn’t come…to others and not us.  It simply comes by TRUTH.

Denying Our Guiltiness.

In doing my investigation, in God’s Word this past week, I found 4 different ways that we conveniently AVOID our guilt:

#1.  We simply IGNORE them.  “I’m not guilty because…what I’m doing isn’t wrong.”

#2.  We make EXCUSES by renaming our sins.  The THIEF is now a borrower; the GOSSIPER is now a helper; “I’m not LEGALISTIC, I’m just living out my convictions!” (I know THAT excuse personally.)

#3.  We are BLINDED toward many of our own faults; not aware of them.  We don’t SEE in ourselves what we so easily pinpoint in others.  We ALL have ‘blind-spots’.

#4.  We quickly FORGET our wrongs.  We may have been aware of our sins at one point, but we quickly assume we’re Christians…God loves us and He will forget and since He does forget, we’ll let it go too.  That is not repentance!

TWO FINAL DESTINIES OF MAN (Romans 2:5-10):

In Trouble!

So the person that thinks they are OK with God because they live a good, moral, and upright life…is that person you?  If that’s what you think…you’re in TROUBLE!  Why? Because it is not enough to be just good.  We need to be PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS before God!  No security can be found in our GOOD WORKS, only in Jesus Christ.

Flip over in your bible to Romans 3:10:

“As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one.”

If you want to live by works, you’re gong to have to do it PERFECTLY.  God wants us to REALIZE… we are spiritually bankrupt!

If you are MORALLY SAVED, then you must be PERFECTLY MORAL.  But none of us, not one of us qualifies!  So God intervened…He entered into our lives.

JESUS came into the world and God the Father punished Him for the wrongs that we did!  The WAGES of sin and death…JESUS took that DEATH.  The GIFT of GOD is eternal life through…Jesus Christ our Lord!

EVERY OTHER RELIGION ON THE PLANET…

They tell us to TRY HARDER, WORK MORE, SERVE MORE, GIVE MORE…  Finally, you toss your hands up and say “I can’t do it anymore!”

The good news of the gospel is…?  GOD DID IT FOR YOU!  Jesus died and ROSE AGAIN from the grave and IF you put your FAITH, TRUST in Him, you don’t have to trust your MORALITY to save you.  YOU ARE TRUSTING GOD to live His life through you!

“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God.  Who loved me and gave Himself up for me”  (Galatians 2:20 AMP).

But if you REFUSE…your heart gets unrepentant…instead of drawing closer to God, you treasure up for yourself more and more wrath and one day that treasure box will be opened.

“[7] So be subject to God. Resist The devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.  [8]  Come close to God and He will come close to you.  [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts”  (James 4:7-8).

The author of Hebrews describes believers as…

“But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.  [39] But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery and are utterly destroyed, but we are those who believe [who cleave to and trust in and rely on God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by faith preserve the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39 AMP).

SO, THE 2 DESTINIES OF MAN ARE CLEAR:

#1.  INDIGNATION; wrath, tribulation & anguish.  OR…

#2.  Glory, honor, and [heart] peace!

Those two destinies is why I saved verse 4 for last…

“Are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience?  Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to REPENT (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will?”

Here we have a PATHWAY to REPENTANCE…to the open door of change, the opportunity to have a REAL LIFE…God’s goodness!  I know that sometimes God gets a bad rap for being mean, distant, uninterested… but the Bible is clear, and in my own personal experience, I can attest to it…GOD IS GOOD!  ALL THE TIME!

AND so how can we DESPISE GOD’S GOODNESS?

#1-  We can DESPISE IT WHEN… God’s goodness is shown to others.

Our hearts become covetous & jealous seeing others BLESSED and we DESPISE God’s goodness in them and with those feelings, we are surely going to see fruitlessness in our own lives (Galatians 5:16-26)!

#2-  We can DESPISE IT WHEN…God’s goodness is taken advantage of.

This is where we think God is asleep or winks at our own sins.  And when judgement doesn’t come as we expected, hearts continue on the road to rebellion and rejection of God’s love.

“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, the hearts of the sons of men are fully set to do evil”  (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

#3-  We can DESPISE IT WHEN…God’s goodness is extended to others.

GOD’S LOVE & GRACE goes out even to the most hardened sinner.  We can become impatient with God in demanding justice!

“TRULY GOD is [only] good to Israel, even those who are upright and pure in heart.  But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.  For I was ENVIOUS of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked”  (Psalm 73:1-3 AMP).

#4-  We can DESPISE IT WHEN…God’s goodness is ignored.

Sometimes things are so heavy and hurtful in our lives, we actually have the potential to turn against God in anger.  “Why me Lord?”

Steps to Your Destination is Clear:

But the TRUTH IS that God’s goodness…(kindness & fairness); God’s forbearance…(temporary suspension of wrath); God’s longsuffering…(self-restraint, patience, putting up with); they are ALL tools that will lead you and I to REPENTANCE!  Our Destiny Is Clear!  STOP making EXCUSES on the way to your destination!