No Christian sets out to be away from the Lord, backslidden, and in sin. Yet, many find themselves in a place far from where God wants them to be. Ensnared in sin, many Christians wonder how they wound up in such a mess. Maybe you are in such a spot. Today you find yourself spiritually bankrupt, and feeling like the prodigal son in the pig pen.
How do Christians end up in sinfulness, away from the Lord? James 1:13-15 gives us some insight. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
It ought to be a warning to us when everyone is saying good things to us and about us. Jesus said in Luke 6:26 – “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Of course, we ought to seek a good testimony, and we ought to have an honorable reputation to most. The Gospel is divisive though, and a Gospel proclaiming and practicing individual invite persecution into their life.
Have you ever met an Eeyore? In the fictional land The Hundred Acre Wood, there lives a pessimistic donkey named Eeyore. His lot in life seems to be to find everything glum about everything. There cannot be anything positive and no optimism is allowed. Everything is terrible, and phrases like, “wish I could say yes, but I can’t and “If it is a good morning, which I doubt” are common place.
Could you imagine performing the deeds of a burnt sacrifice on one of your children? The graphic details of a burnt offering are recorded in Leviticus one, and its procedures are gruesome.
An animal was brought to the priest, and the owner of the animal would place their hands on the beast head. A basin was brought by the priest, and the owner of the animal would slit its throat. The blood would be collected in the basin, and splashed on the altar and rubbed on the horns of the altar. The animal then would be cut into small pieces and burned bit by bit over a roaring fire. The intestines had to be cleaned, and the animal was to be skinned.
There is no greater feeling than being on the mountain top. Life is good when you have just come through a dark and difficult valley, full of challenges and hardships, and now you are on the other side. You almost want to shout, “I made it!” It can become so tempting to prop your feet up and finally take it easy at this moment. A word of caution must be given though; there is great danger in this point of success and happiness.
I love fire. Always have, and always will. If it involves fire, I will probably like doing it. Fireworks… yep, fire. Bonfires… yep, fire. Explosions… yep fire. The best fire though is a small camp fire. Each fire has its own unique characteristics and nuance. There are never any two fires that are exactly alike. After I get the fire going, I enjoy staring deep into the coals and flames. Pondering the goodness of God, and hopes of the future.
Test are never fun. You might have been that one weird kid who actually enjoyed getting test, but most normal people DO NOT like test. I remember being almost sick feeling in college because of midterms or finals. A single test that comprised twenty five percent of your grade was worth worrying about. Why have test? It would be much easier just to do away with them.
Test exist to prove whether we know the material or not. I also believe test push us to work harder at knowing the truths taught. If you know you are going to be tested, you will pay attention better and put in the extra effort.
One of the greatest days of my life was during our 2019 VBS. My oldest son Nate came to the understanding that he needed to be saved, and he bowed his head and accepted Christ. A couple weeks later he was baptized, it truly was a great day. Since Nate’s salvation I have been reminded of a fundamental truth, he needs to grow in grace. Nate accepted the Lord as savior, but I want him to be fully committed to the Lord. I want Nate to leave my house one day, and serve the Lord all on his own. I want everything I know about my Lord to be real in his life too!
Judges, a book about those who ruled and delivered Israel from oppressors. A judge served as a precursor to the kings of Israel, as they acted as rulers who led the people.
Judges picks up where Joshua left off, and it doesn’t take long for things to get nasty, real nasty. By Judges 2:10 we get this sad commentary, “…there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” What a sad testimony to the current and former generation. One failed to teach, and the other failed to listen. It simple was not enough that they adapted to the lifestyle of their parents… they needed to accept their God as well. They knew about God, but they did not know God.