“Contagious Sins” February 21

 

Contagious Sins - Sin is disfiguring and highly contagious. Paul warned that we can catch it from others and that it's better to be thrown into the sea with a weight around our necks than to be a carrier spreading it to others. Have you exposed yourself to some contagious sins? Are you guilty of spreading some sin to others?Sin is disfiguring and highly contagious. Paul warned that we can catch it from others and that it’s better to be thrown into the sea with a weight around our necks than to be a carrier spreading it to others.

Have you exposed yourself to some contagious sins? Are you guilty of spreading some sin to others?

 

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 13
Psalm 25.16-22
Proverbs 10.4-5
Mark 3.1-19

 

Contagious Sins

 

Leviticus 13

Unclean! Unclean!

 

Leprosy! What could God possibly have for us in all the discussion of bright skin, white skin, scales and scabs?

Notice that God called this leprosy an uncleanness, not a disease. It was not the same disease we refer to today as leprosy (Hansen’s Disease). It is said that Pharaoh (of Moses fame) was infected with it and may have died from it. So it may have been associated with the plagues that God brought on the Egyptians. Even in the New Testament, when Jesus came in contact with lepers, it says He cleansed them, not that He healed them.

Leprosy in the Bible is a type, or a picture of, sin. When God delivered the nation of Israel from Egypt, he told them:

“If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you” (Ex. 15.26).

God used leprosy as an immediate judgment on sin numerous times in the Bible. When we get to the book of Numbers we will see Moses’ sister Miriam was struck with leprosy when she murmured against her brother. She was cleansed when Moses prayed for her.

We know that the Israelites frequently disobeyed God’s commands by involving themselves with the pagan culture around them, so at times, it may have been a judgment on sin, either in the individual’s life or on the nation, as a whole.

 

Contagious & Disfiguring

 

sin

What does this picture for us? As with sin, leprosy didn’t kill outright in most cases, but it greatly disfigured its victims. And like leprosy, sin is extremely contagious! Paul said

“Do not be deceived. ‘Bad company corrupts good morals'” (1 Cor. 15.33).

Not only can we catch sin from those we associate with, but we’re warned not be carriers!

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea” (Mk. 9.42).

Sins like anger, bitterness and gossip, as well as others, are highly contagious.

Just as leprosy resulted in separation from the rest of the people, sin separates us from others! First and foremost, It separates us from God. In the case of unbelievers, sin separates them from the life of God here and from spending eternity with Him. If we are truly believers we don’t lose our salvation, but it hinders our fellowship with Him when our hearts are clouded by sin.

There are, also, times when we are commanded to put sinners, even our brothers and sisters in Christ, outside the fellowship, or “camp,” where God alone deals with them (1 Cor. 5).  Continue reading

“Sin Now … Ask Forgiveness Later” October 3

 

sin now and ask forgiveness later

The deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can go ahead and sin even though we know it’s wrong, then we can ask God to forgive us and that’s all there is to it! But that’s rebellion against God and you can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time. But there’s an even bigger problem with this kind of thinking.

Also read about chocolate covered dirt, foolish talk and dirty jokes.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 57 & 58
Psalm 114.1-8
Proverbs 26.22
Ephesians 5.1-15

 

Sin Now … Ask Forgiveness Later

 

Isaiah 57 & 58:

Abusing God’s Patience & Mercy

In chapter 57 God, through the prophet, is rebuking his people for their continued turning to and reliance on false gods. God poses the question, “Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?” We might say it this way, “Do you keep sinning because I haven’t been hard enough on you?”

Is that true of us? Do we abuse God’s patience and mercy by thinking we can live any way we want and believing He isn’t going to deal with sin and faithlessness? Hebrews 3.13 says:

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

The deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can sin now and ask forgiveness later, even though we know it’s wrong, as if asking for forgiveness involves some magic incantation or get out of jail free card. That’s rebellion against God and His Word. You can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time.

Sometimes we understand the choice to sin will have consequences. Yet we can be like a stubborn, rebellious child, determined to do it anyway and just “take our licks.” The problem is that, while we can choose to sin, we don’t get to choose our consequencesContinue reading

“The Test of Genuine Faith” September 22

 

Test Yourself “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13.5 NASB). In today’s New Testament reading the Apostle Paul talks about the test of genuine faith.

In today’s other readings read about:

  • The schemes of the enemy & how the devil wraps up sin so deceptively.
  • Imprecatory prayer.
  • The result of the failure to exercise self-control.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 35 & 36
Psalm 109.6-13
Proverbs 25.27-28
2 Corinthians 13.1-14

 

2 Corinthians 13.1-14:

What is the test of genuine faith?

 

In chapter 12 in yesterday’s readings Paul wrote:

“For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced” (12.20-21).

After that sharp rebuke, the Apostle wrote:

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13.5 NASB).

As believers, we can and do sin, but genuine believers will experience conviction and, eventually, repent. If we can sin without any conviction, we too, should examine ourselves to see if we are really saved. A redeemed life will produce good fruit. Jesus said, “You will know a tree by its fruit” (Lk. 6.44). And John the Baptist warned the Pharisees, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Lk. 3.8).

No amount of “good fruit,” what is often called good works, can save us. The Prophet Isaiah said, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Is. 64.6). Paul said, “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight” Romans 3.20 and when writing to the Ephesians he said:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph. 2.8-9).

We are saved by God’s grace when we put our faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. But Paul when on to say in the next verse:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph. 2.10).

While good works cannot save us, the result of a changed life is good works or fruit.

It will vary in degree and amount and even the speed with which it is produced, but that fruit should include:  Continue reading

October 3 “I’ll just sin … then ask forgiveness!”

attractive indian woman isolated on white backgroundThe deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can go ahead and sin even though we know it’s wrong, then we can ask God to forgive us and that’s all there is to it! But that’s rebellion against God and you can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time. But there’s an even bigger problem with this kind of thinking.

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 57 & 58
Psalm 114.1-8
Proverbs 26.22
Ephesians 5.1-15

 

Isaiah 57 & 58:

Abusing God’s patience & mercy

In chapter 57 God, through the prophet, is rebuking his people for their continued turning to and reliance on false gods. God poses the question, “Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?” We might say it this way, “Do you keep sinning because I haven’t been hard enough on you?”

Is that true of us? Do we abuse God’s patience and mercy by thinking we can live any way we want and believing He isn’t going to deal with sin and faithlessness? Hebrews 3.13 says:

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

The deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can go ahead and sin, even though we know it’s wrong, then we can ask God to forgive us and that’s all there is to it! As if asking for forgiveness is some magic incantation. That’s rebellion against God and His Word. You can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time.

Continue reading

September 22 “Don’t be disqualified” & LINKUP

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“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13.5).

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 35 & 36
Psalm 109.6-13
Proverbs 25.27-28
2 Corinthians 13.1-14

 

Mans headIsaiah 35 & 36:

The schemes of the enemy

Chapter 36 repeats a story from the life of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19). The King of Assyria had sent the Rabshakeh as his representative to convince the Israelites to surrender. First, he stood outside the city wall and tried to intimidate them into surrendering. He even attacked their faith in God:

“Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?” (v. 18).

When scare tactics didn’t, immediately, work, he tried sweetening the deal by saying, in effect, “Look, if you just surrender I’ll let you stay here in your own homes and your own land until later when I come back for you and take you to a really nice place, almost like this.”

In other words, see what I can do for you! Don’t trust your God, trust me! Continue reading