Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where's your sign?

We love to point out sin don't we? Well, just not ours or the ones we are willing to accept. We seem to place a price tag on sin. You have bad sin and you have not so bad sin. We try to say, "Oh, murder is a big sin." While on the other hand we say, "Oh, gossip isn't that big of a deal." Friends, sin is sin. Sin is ugly and none of us want to admit we have it. We like to point to others. We even like to pretend as Christians our sin isn't as bad as say, someone who isn't saved. Ever wonder why people don'tlike the church? Oh, it's not the pastor or even what is being preached. It's the people who seem to hold themselves above all others.

We have all done it at one time or another. Shame on us. Shame on me. I know I have looked upon others and said to myself, "I would never do such a thing." What is it they say, "Never say never?" A few days ago I had simply made a post on face book about sin. I had no idea it would receive such a response. Why is it that we some how find ourselves standing up for sin that we know is wrong? There are those sins that this world tells us we must accept. If we do not we are considered to be judging. Any time we stand up for something that is biblically wrong we seem to get opposition.

Now, we shouldn't live by just our opinion. Our opinion can get us into lots of trouble. We must live by God's Word and His Word alone. He doesn't need our man made rules thrown in there. I think we have trouble enough living out the ten commandments.

Now, what if we all wore signs? Yes, signs with our sin around our neck. Do you think we would feel comfortable as others read our sign? If I were in say, Walmart and there was a man standing in the toy aisle with child molester around his neck do you think people might grab onto their children and pull them to safety? If our sins were made known to the public we might think twice about committing them or would we? Maybe your sin would be acceptable to the world. Even if it is it doesn't mean that it is not a sin. Sin is sin. Just because we may accept one into our lives doesn't make it any less sinful. It's funny, we are accepting of a sin as long as it isn't in our front yard. We seem to make excuses for our sin, but for another's sin we condemn them for the very act.

We seem to have our pet sin. You know, it's that sin you are aware of, but it has become such a part of your life you just over look it as you look upon another's sin. Anything that goes against God's Word is a sin. Simple as that. Many of our sins are witnessed outwardly, but most are carried inside nice and tight. The world does not know of them, but we do as we close the blinds.

Sin keeps us from having a relationship with Christ. Think of each sin as a brick. Not only do they build walls, but they are heavy. Each sin is laid next to the other and pretty soon we have ourselves a wall. A wall that God is trying to break down, but with all our might we are holding it up. We don't want to admit all those sins. But as we hold on to them our load gets heavier and heavier. Conviction breaks our heart. Conviction is realizing we are sinners. Conviction leads to grace. As we recognize our sin, we can lay it down at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to forgive us. In that forgiveness we find grace. Isn't it sweet?

That same grace we ask of God we too should be giving to others. Now, with that being said, it doesn't mean we accept sin of any kind. We accept and love the sinner. I don't think we have to point out another's sin. God will do that all on His own. But what if you were asked by one, "Hey what do you think about_____? That is your open door to share your faith in love. We never want to be on the attack, but we must guard ourselves against the sins of the world that surround us. It is a little different when that sin is at your front door and you are having to face it. It is a little different when that sin meets your child as they go to school. For every sin there is a consequence. We may not face those consequences right then. It may be years down the road, but if we cause another to stumble because or our behavior or actions we will be held accountable for causing that person to fall.

We are to live in such a way that we sharpen each other. We should be willing to wound a friend in love to move him or her toward the Lord. The plain simple truth is, we are all sinners. No one is exempt from that. Jesus knew no sin yet He was willing to take our punishment for sin. He freely gave His life upon the cross so that we might find life. In that life we can find forgiveness. Grace is reachable when we surrender ourselves to Christ.

As a Christian I am to stand against all evil. All sin. I am not to accept or be part of any kind of sin. I am to turn away from all sin. God is Light. Through His illumination all darkness is made known. Isn't it wonderful to find the light in the dark as your trying to make your way through the kitchen on a stormy night? Light gives comfort and makes a way for us to see the path we should take.

When our children are small we teach them of all the things that will hurt them. We teach them to stay away from the fire. It will burn. We teach them not to go into the water alone. Not to cross the street without taking mommy's hand. We do so because we love them. We point out the dangers so they will stay clear of them. We are protecting them from harm. Our Father in heaven is doing the same thing for us. Sure, that sin might be fun for a short while, but what harm will we endure that is lasting?

Sin is also selfish. Our sin not only effects us, but those around us. God gave us free will. We are free to choose our path. He never forces Himself on anyone, so why as Christians are we attacked for standing in His Word? Why are we attacked for speaking out against a sin that not only effects one, but the world as a whole? It seems that a group can speak out against Christianity and that seems to be acceptable to the world. The world doesn't want us to force our beliefs on them. As Christians we don't force our faith on anyone, but why do we have to be accepting of everyone else's beliefs? That just isn't right. We should be able to agree to disagree and speak out in love. A Christian doesn't stand on the right or on the left of a subject. They stand in the Truth. There are no gray areas in sin.

We can't say, "Well, this sin is okay for them. Hey, they aren't hurting me." But shouldn't we be concerned with the world? We are to reach out to the lost. Loving someone doesn't mean accepting their sin or way of life. Sometimes we have to love someone enough to pull them out from that oncoming car. We don't just stand back and say, "Well, would you look at the girl in the road. She is going to get run over." We try to bring her to safety.

Whether your sign says, "Over eater, big spender, gambling man, I like a little drink, homosexual, murderer, thief, I enjoy gossip or Yep, I had an affair", they are all sin. My mom like to get scratch offs. To me, well it's gambling. I know it is a sin, my mom does too, but she doesn't care. She knows I will never purchase a ticket for her, and you know what? She respects me for standing up for God's Word. Even though she isn't willing to accept it is a sin and remove herself from it, she knows my stand. I don't love my mom any less. That day may come where she finally says, "Ya know Rob, your right. Those scratch offs have only caused me to lose money and it's just not worth it." If we are going to stand for something we must be able to back up what we are sharing. We can't just make up our own rules along the way. God's Word is not a buffet. We can't pick and choose. It's all or nothing.

So, what sign are you holding? Is it the same as your neighbors? Is it the same as the sinner's sign you are taking a stand against? Therefore but by the grace of God there go I. We can fall into sin as quickly as our neighbor. When we surrender to God, He takes that sin and removes it. Sure, we might still battle it, but He will give us what we need to stand strong in the battle. He will give us what we need to over come if we just trust Him. If we open our heart God will show us our sin. He will show us what we need to remove and what needs to stay. The wonderful thing about God is, He accepts us right where we are. We don't have to clean up before we meet Him. He will do all that along the way as we grow closer to Him. Our mission is to mimic Christ's actions. We are to love one another and love them enough to share the gospel to a lost world in need of a Savior.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:8-9

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propititation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26

"There is none righteous, no , not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." Romans 3:10-12

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:11-14

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6
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