Month: November 2013

All Have Sinned

We are born into this world. Moreover, we are all born into sin. This is an ugly truth which we must, at some point, accept.

Sin and guilt go hand in hand. Who likes to be guilty? Who likes to be labeled a sinner? Some people claim they are proud of their sin, but there is no real pride in sin.

In the Declaration of Independence there is a quote that contains the words “all men are created equal”; this is true, but often not understood. We are born into this world, naked. We are born with a sinful nature. From there the disparities begin to emerge, but the core of the statement is true. The real and most meaningful truth is we are born with a sinful nature.

Romans:3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

From the greatest preacher to the least of those we see as good or moral, we share one common bond: Sin. We all have a common starting point and that is the realization of sin. No matter where you are or who you are today, take strength in knowing that, just like you, we have all sinned. Don’t be intimidated by it, nor those who have been elevated beyond their sin by that precious blood of Jesus. The work which He accomplished at the cross, He did as much for you as any you consider above you.

Romans:5:12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans:5:17: For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Romans:5:18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Romans:5:19: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Romans:5:20: Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Romans:5:21: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is calling through the Holy Spirit to all who will hear. Do not let others sway you. Do not let anyone make you feel unworthy, we were all once unworthy. Take heed to His Word, His voice, His Spirit. All that Jesus did, He did for you as much as anyone else. Today is the day of salvation, we have no promise of tomorrow. Today, you too can be a sinner, saved by grace!

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A lesson from Isaiah

The Word of God is our rule and our guide. It is our compass in a sinned stained world. In His word we find direction, understanding, and the straightened path. In the Holy Bible we find shining examples of leadership, sacrifice, love, character, and attitude.

Our world, today, offers little in the way of sacrifice, character, or attitude. The world cries “me” and puts self first. Entitlement is the attitude being adopted throughout society today. Add greed to the mix and you can see what a volatile society this is becoming. Christian views are being touted as “outdated”, “hateful”, and “intolerant”. We, as Christians, are living in an increasingly hostile time, which makes it more difficult to exhibit some of the traits found in the sixth chapter of Isaiah.

Isaiah:6:5: Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah could find nothing but woe for himself upon seeing the Lord. How many people feel worthy of seeing God because they believe that they, of their own accord, are good? Isaiah said that he was a man of unclean lips. How many are willing to admit that? I can admit that, I can say I have been guilty of worse, but I say that so God be glorified for His abundant grace and the cleansing power of His blood.

Isaiah continued by saying that he lived among people of unclean lips. It is hard to imagine that could be more true than it is today! Yet, Isaiah was willing to admit to his sin, to confess his sin, and see himself as unworthy. Is this you? If it isn’t, by the grace of God, it can be. This is a godly attitude and a humbleness sorely lacking today. Though you may be saved by His grace, do not forget from where you came, but use it to show others the miracle working power of Almighty God at work in your life.

Isaiah:6:6: Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isaiah:6:7: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Here we see the reward of Isaiah in recognizing his sin, confessing his sin, and seeing that he was unworthy. His iniquity was taken away and his sin purged. Isaiah had the right attitude. He was in the midst of a people with unclean lips and he was like them. With courage and truth he stepped forward, out of the crowd, and confessed. He was forgiven.

Isaiah:6:8: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Finally, we see a willing attitude. Isaiah heard God ask, who will go for us? The willing servant said, Here am I, send me. The details weren’t given, the destination wasn’t given, the amount of time wasn’t given. None of these things mattered. Do these things matter to you? If God is calling, do you need the details? If God asks, is it too much for you? Are you counting the cost?

Today we should ask ourselves what kind of attitude we are displaying. Have we judged ourselves worthy, or worthy by the blood of Jesus Christ? Can we humble ourselves and confess our sin? Can we separate ourselves from the crowd for His sake? The Lord asks “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us”? My answer is, here am I Lord, send me. What is yours?

Earthen Vessels

Isaiah:64:8: But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

The Lord brought man into existence using the dust of the earth. He shaped man into form with His own hands and is truly the Potter. Just as He is the creator, we are the created, the clay or earthen vessels. We, being His creation, should submit ourselves to Him as such.

He gives us our very shape, He has formed us according to His purpose. We should remain as clay, allowing Him to continue the work He has started. Once we have submitted ourselves as clay, we should take note that our molding by His hands will continue as a work in progress. We will not always understand why we are, at times, pushed, scraped, or pulled apart. We cannot see the finished vessel God is preparing us to become from where we are. Our views are obscured by the flesh, by the intrusion of an increasingly wicked world. Our focus becomes narrowed by concentrating on spiritual battles instead of the war which Jesus has already given us victory.

We see beauty in the art of sculpting. There are many museums with timeless, classic, and priceless sculptures. These works of art evoke many emotions, thoughts and wonders. Through the art we then recognize how gifted the artist is or was. Often we exclaim what visionaries they are or were and give praise to their talents and work.

We, at our very best, are dust. The very best we can create is but a poor imitation:

Matthew:6:27: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Matthew:6:28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Matthew:6:29: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

This speaks to the majesty of God’s creation. He being the Master Potter, how much greater is His vision for His children than that which they have envisioned for themselves? We will not always understand, but we must always trust in the One who never fails. Today, let us praise Jesus for all that we are and all that we are yet to be for His sake!

In the beginning

The very first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1 is full of beauty. In just the first four words we find the subject, the authority, the direction, and the cause of all things.

Genesis:1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

“In the beginning God”. Many great sermons could be derived from just these four words. In these words we have the starting point of history, which is really His story. Just beyond these four words we find God as the Creator. He first created Heaven, the place of His throne, His realm, putting Himself above all else that would ever be. Following closely, He created the earth. This sets the order of all things, and we should always understand our place as the created, submitting ourselves always to Him.

As simple as this verse seems at first reading, we find a greater understanding with its New Testament counterpart.

John:1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The similarity of these verses should never be overlooked and give us a more complete picture. Here we find the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. What else do we know about the Word? The Word became flesh and dwelt with man. The Word gave Himself, that we could be saved.

Today, we still have the Word. We have the Word in the Bible, and we have the Word as the Holy Spirit, still dwelling with man. We have His Word, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but will have everlasting life. He bids all who thirst, come and drink freely the water of life. The One who created all things is still seeking those who are lost. Let me encourage you to seek the Word, the Creator, Jesus Christ. See His beauty, accept Him as your Savior, know a love greater than man can fully comprehend, and become a part of His story.