Repentance Demonstrated- Isaiah- Week 6- Day 4

Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.

Isaiah 31:6-7

Explanation:
In this text God is calling for His people to repent. Repentance is a turning from a direction away from God back towards Him. The “children of Israel have deeply revolted.” It was time to come back.
How did they demonstrate their repentance? They would demonstrate it in two ways.
First, there was the prediction that they would turn back to God. This is often the image of what repentance looks like. Israel has revolted against God. They had turned away from Him towards idolatry and all the immorality that accompanied it. It was time to turn back to God.
The second way they demonstrated their repentance was quite visible. They would “cast away” their idols. It is impossible to walk toward God and idolatry at the same time. Turning to God meant turning away from their idols. Notice that the idols were costly. They were made of silver and gold. They were hand crafted. Getting rid of the idols was costly, but necessary for repentance.

Application:
Repentance is always the right answer to our sin. Turning back to God almost always includes getting rid of some kind of an idol. Our idols may not always be hand-crafted implements of silver and gold. Nonetheless our idols can be just a costly, not only in what we pay for them, but in the time and energy we put into them, and how they keep us off track spiritually.

Response:
What idols do you have? What are they costing you? What would repentance look like if you repented today?

Do Not Envy Evil People Proverbs- Week 9- Day 1

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Proverbs 23:17-18

Explanation:
There are times in life where those who do the right thing look around and see all kinds of people doing the wrong thing and enjoying themselves. It seems at times that those who are evil are prospering. It is true that there is a pleasure in sin, and if we’re not careful we will forget that the pleasure of sin is just for a season. This is what the Father is pleading with his son to remember. He tells his son not to envy those who do wrong, but rather to fear God “all the day long”.
The father gives a really practical motivation for the son not to envy sinners. That motivation is the “hereafter.” He says “surely there is an end.” There is a life after this life. There is a day of judgement for those who sin against God without repentance. He also says “thine expectation shall not be cut off.” The idea is that honoring God now by not participating in the pleasure of sin reflects the fact that the son believes in the hereafter. The father is telling him to remember that there is an eternity, and that then he will be glad that he honored God. In the end, God will judge him rightly. The wrong that sinners do will not go unpunished. God is just.

Application:
No one envies the consequences of sin that people endure, so we should not envy the pleasure of sin that they experience for a season. There are two remedies for envying the sinner in this passage.

  1. The fear of the Lord. We must seek to honor God when we are tempted to go along with those who are enjoying the pleasure of sin in the moment.
  2. The hope of eternity. When we are tempted to envy sinners we must remember the hope and reward that we have in eternity and do the right thing.

Response:
Take some time today to imagine what eternity will be like.
Thank God for His forgiveness of our sin by His Son, and the hope that we have of heaven because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

Romans: Week 3- Day 3- Romans 2:21-23

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

(Rom 2:21-23)

Explanation:

In these verses we get to the heart of why the law does not make us right with God.  He asks the jewish person that boasts in their heritage, and in the moral law if they are practicing the things that they are teaching.  They boasted in the law, but are they keeping the law that they boasted in.  They taught the law, but are they keeping the law that they were teaching.  Look at the specifics of what he asked them:

  • Do you steal?
  • Do you commit adultery?
  • Do you commit sacrilege?

This is exactly what Jesus asked, and He went further.  When Jesus talked about the law in the sermon on the mount, He taught that God expected inward conformity to the law and not just external conformity to it.  Notice what He said in Matthew 5:27-28.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart

(Mat 5:27-28)

If you were to ask the typical Jew in Paul’s day if they had ever committed adultery, the vast majority would say no. From the perspective of having had an affair physically with someone they would have been honest in that answer.  But according to God’s standard, if they have ever looked with lust they had committed adultery.

The same was true about murder.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire

(Mat 5:21-22)

“Do you practice what you preach?”, Paul says.  The reader best not answer too quickly.  Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes God’s case that we do not.  The only One who ever did is Jesus Christ, Himself.

Application:

The point of this passage is to point out that no one does perfectly practice what they preach.  We all are sinners.  Every person holds others to a standard that they themselves do not perfectly keep.  This is why we need a Savior.  We are guilty before God.

For those who understand this, and have called on the name of the Lord to be saved, we stand forgiven.  We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to help us to align our beliefs with our behavior.  So, the question for us is this.  Is there any area of your life where your words and your beliefs do not match your behavior?  If there are, repent, and seek the Lord for His help in doing the right thing.

If you don’t know Christ as your Savior, know that your sin is a bigger issue than you think.  We all sin in many ways.  You need a Savior. 

Response:

Is there unconfessed, unacknowledged sin in your life?  Repent!

Do you know Christ as your Savior?  If you don’t, today is the day of salvation.  Read this or contact me if you have any questions!

Galatians Day 9- It’s All God

20140206-123909.jpg

If someone gave you a $100,000,000 home, ranch and estate that would be great right? With a gift like that though comes some responsibility. It takes a lot of money to maintain an estate that large. The person that had the means to give you that estate would have to also help you maintain it as well.

That is a poor illustration of what salvation is like. The most incredible and extravagant gift that we can be given is the gift of salvation. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God!” We can’t earn earn our salvation on our own, nor could we keep it our own. He has to give us the power to please Him and glorify Him as well.

Paul began churches in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. As a church planting missionary he had seen people in these cities come to faith in Christ, experience Holy Spirit lead life change in incredible ways. So when Paul gets to chapter 3 of the book of Galatians he begins to remind the Galatians about how they came to faith in Christ. He uses very strong language because the situation is so dire. They are believing things that change the gospel!

1    O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Do you not remember what you believed about the death of Jesus? Why would Jesus have to die if you could get right with God on your own?

2    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?3    Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?4    Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Paul calls them to answer this question- If you were Saved by faith, why do you think you have to continue to be saved and grow in God by works? You didn’t do anything to earn your salvation. Why do you think you must do something to keep your salvation?

5    He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Does God respond with good things to our faith or to our works? What is the answer? The hearing of faith!

So how do we apply this text?:

-We don’t just need God for salvation. We need Him for life!
When was the last time you believed that God will give you the victory over sin in your life? When was the last time you asked Him to help you fight sin and believed that he would?

-We need to be grateful for God’s grace, in spite of our sin, in response to our faith.
Thank God for His grace today.