It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Can you successfully hide your deceit?

Obedience brings blessings . . . Disobedience brings curse.   Deuteronomy 28

How will your life play out based on the choices you make as well as the motives behind what you do?

You cannot make a good choice with an impure motive and come away smelling like roses or sneak by the hand of God.  Consequences DO come.  Some will be immediate, while some are far reaching.  Nonetheless, consequences will not escape those who choose to deceive.

In Genesis 27, Jacob is given instructions by his mother to deceive his father for a blessing.  Jacob is aware that he will be deceiving his father, yet follows through with his mothers instruction.

Jacob, in his younger years (whose name means deceiver, heel grabber) experienced the receiving end of deception.  He was manipulated and deceived by Laban, his father-in-law, (his mother’s brother).  Jacob purposed to honor what he said he would do, yet his father-in-law deceived Jacob by not giving him the woman he asked & worked seven years to gain.  As a result, Jacob had to work an additional seven years (totaling 14 years) to obtain the woman he intended to take as his wife.

It wasn’t until years later, Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis 32, that Jacob chose to “grab” onto God.  God achieved a firm hold onto Jacob causing him to quit deceiving and rely upon God.  God is capable of getting our attention.

Are you like the young Jacob causing God to track you down in your own deceit?

Can you think of a time where God has made himself known to you as he did to Jacob?

At that point of change Jacob walked much differently purposing no longer to deceive.  That day, Jacob saw God face to face and his name was changed to Israel.

Numbers 32:23  . . . be sure your sin will find you out.”

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Spiritual Growth or Death?

I have been so grieved lately as I’ve watched those I love and care for, and those I have discipled and mentored, fall away from the road of truth. Scriptures speak of those who want their ears tickled, and then there are those who have quit because the battle has grown too fierce.  Salvation is not a “get out of hell free card”.  I have personally visited with those who have a #2 Bible – erasing things they don’t like or agree with in the Word.  Yet Revelation 22:19 speaks clearly to this activity, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”. Scripture also speaks of the “falling away in the last days”.  May we stand strong, feet planted and shod with the gospel of peace.  Wherever our feet take us, the rest of our body WILL FOLLOW.

I want to share an article I just read this morning that speaks to this very subject:

We’ve become a people who embrace the “let’s-just-quit” mentality. Dieting requires discipline, so we stay fat. Working through conflict is wearying, so we divorce. Sticking with an occupation is tough, so we resign. It isn’t long before apathy sets in.

It’s no different with spiritual matters. So many Christians start like lightning—hot, fast, and dazzling. But how many continue the course with sustained enthusiasm and vigor? Oh, there are some, but why so few?

Our problem isn’t that we’re ignorant of God’s expectations. His standard stretches from Genesis to Revelation. His command is clear: “Be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). God calls us to live holy lives, and most of us know it . . . but we don’t know how. Holiness is tough to attain, so we quit.

I love the metaphor about how a farmer plows his field, plants his seed, and waters his crop, even though God is the One who causes the germination, the growth, and finally, the harvest. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.

Holiness requires cooperation. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness, but He has given us the responsibility of walking.  There’s no such thing as accidental holiness. It takes deliberate, daily decisions for singles to remain pure . . . for parents to keep training their children . . . for all of us to continue pursuing godly living.