The enemy uses condemnation to keep us from serving God. As the Lord is molding you and refining you, remain willing to be used of Him even during the process. Refuse to back down to the voice of condemnation and accusation. If your heart is that God do His will in your life, you have no reason to pull back. Be available and be willing! I mean it! Yes. I am talking to you. In the doing, the taking steps of faith and allowing Hiim to use you, you will find you are being strengthened and molded into the image of Christ.
Take some time today to examine the grey areas in life. In what situations have we allowed pride, greed, rage, or any other litany of toxic behaviours to cloud our vision and bring us to places of compromise?
More than the Scriptures are needed to bring a sinner out of darkness into God’s marvelous light—namely, the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. It is only as He applies the Word—that the conscience is pierced, the heart searched, and the will moved. Perhaps someone retorts, “But did not Christ say in John 6:63 ‘the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,’ and does not that prove the very words of Scripture are life-giving?” Ah, go back to the first part of that very verse, “It is the Spirit who gives life”! We must not separate the Spirit from the Word—He is the Divine.
Too many times, people mistakenly think that the more they go on and on about the sin and junk in someone’s life, the more inclined that “sinner” will be to repent and turn to God. This is just not true. Paul tells us that it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance (see Rom. 2:4)… Instead of calling out people’s sins, we should tell them about the glory God has intended for them to live in. Result? This exposure brings conviction in their lives that they are living below the glorious standard that God has set for them.
It’s funny how fragile my faith is after so many years of walking with Jesus. You would think I had matured past this point, but the choice to trust is a daily exercise it seems. And He is faithful. Faithful to wait for me to realize I feel distant, faithful to wait until I realize I do not hear a well as I know is possible. When I ask what has come between us, He is faithful to step in with truth – not accusation. Truth. The truth of what lies I’ve partnered with and how I’ve harboured accusation, hurt, offense, and fear in my heart that crowd out His spirit. He reveals his truth about my lack of forgiveness for myself and others. This truth does not just lay me bare, it offers restoration to intimacy. I ask myself how many times will he forgive the weakness of my faith and restore me? He responds “As many times as is needed.”
A new Decalogue has been adopted by some of our day, the first words of which reads, “Thou shalt not disagree,” and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins, “Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.” It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief.
Men compare themselves with men, and readily with the worst, and flatter themselves with that comparative betterness. This is not the way to see spots, to look into the muddy streams of profane men’s lives; but look into the clear fountain of the Word, and there we may both discern and wash them; and consider the infinite holiness of God, and this will humble us to the dust.
Love is sacrificial in its actions and intents. It stands up to injustice, unrighteousness, and oppression regardless of the personal or professional costs to us. I would argue that sacrifice is the most difficult facet of winsome love. Silence is often a tempting alternative to engagement in this age, when the slightest misstep can unleash a disproportionate quality and quantity of outrage. But when we choose sacrificial love, we move from nice words to concrete actions. Sometimes, as we will see, such love requires that we pay a heavy price.