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Short Topics - I

One Sin Leads to Another

Ever think about how one sin leads to another sin? The first sin leads to a chain of further sinning. It can snowball on us if we are not cautious.

Romans 1:29–32 The New International Version

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

People become impatient, which leads to anger that leads to saying or doing something that's not becoming of a Christian.

Some have greed for material things or power that leads them to do whatever it takes to get more money for bigger, finer possessions or gain more power. Greed for more possessions or power can lead to stealing, lying, injuring others and possibly even murder. I’m aware of one case that lead to murder.

The first lie often creates the need for a second and third lie to cover up for the first lie. It can lead to believing your lies. Leading a life of lies is headed for troubles. Eventually, it all unravels.

Pride leads us to think more highly of ourselves than we should. When your ego and pride gets out of hand, you lose focus on God, Christ and your family.

Gossip requires at least one partner, so we lead another to sin. It does not matter that you gossip with your wife or husband, it’s still sin! Gossip is vicious a great deal of the time ruining someone's reputation. Yes, I’m sorry to say that I have participated in gossip. If you only listen, you are still participating in gossip!

Not one time was gossip meant to build someone up. It appears that at times gossip is meant to tear someone else down, so that your problems don’t seem so bad. Do you enjoy other’s misery?

I was recently told that a congregation we formerly attended was way off track in certain aspects. The person began to list the wrongful acts she had HEARD the church was engaged in. I informed this person that was not what we experienced when we attended and our friends attending would not be worshipping there under those circumstances. The response, "well, that's what I heard". In this case the gossip hurts the Lord’s church.

There are more sins we could think about that leads to more sinning. The first thing to deal with sin is to admit you have them. I believe I'm in a constant war with satan and fight different battles of temptation all day, every day. If I can fight off the devil on the first temptation, then he may go away for a brief time, but he will be back. He is persistent and never doubt that he wants to win. I ask God to prepare me for the next battle so I will not be an such easy target for satan.

Faith and Trust vs. Worry

Scholars differ on whether the words faith and trust are interchangeable. I believe they are when it comes to God. If you ask God for a blessing then worry about whether he will grant your request, you don't trust God. You probably do not doubt his ability to deliver, but you struggle with accepting his will, if his answer is different than your request. Your faith that God ALWAYS knows what's best for your life is weak.

"Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up." From God's Little Devotional Book

Forgiveness for sin

Some believe that you must confess every single sin you've committed to receive forgiveness. They are using I John 1:9 as the text for their belief. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness". I believe in this verse as well. But what if I commit sin that I don't realize I've committed? This is where grace comes in to cover our sin. God knows your heart! There is no intent to refuse confession on your part.

What about unconfessed sin? I John 1 , says “if” we confess the sin in our lives he will forgive. Psalm 66:18-19 – “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Absolute refusal to confess sin means no forgiveness and Psalm indicates that God will not listen to prayers. Many commentators do not agree with the statements I just made.

Is exceeding the speed limit a sin that I need to confess?

Thorn in the flesh

In 2 Corinthians:7, Paul writes that he has a thorn in the flesh. Scholars have different thoughts on how Paul's thorn manifested itself. I don't believe how the thorn affected Paul is as important as why he had the thorn. The MSG translation says: "Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty!" It's important to know that God allowed the thorn. When Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn, God told Paul three times that "My grace is sufficient." God had a purpose for Paul's thorn.

Do you have a thorn in your flesh? It may not manifest as a physical aliment but as a limitation. You probably do but never thought of it that way. If you do have a thorn or limitation, why is it there and for what purpose? Ask God to help you deal with your thorn and understand it’s purpose. Then let him lead you!

Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day? From Save the Cowboy

I would like for the writings on the blog to interactive. If you see something in a different light, let me know. Share with me your thinking and why you have that belief. Be nice, kind, and gentle when you share. I may share your feedback on the blog, but I will get your permission first. We can grow by being patient and understanding other's thoughts. This will NOT be a forum for debate. To me, the purpose of a debate is to declare a winner. It's my wish that we help one another in growing our relationship with God!

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Thanks

Mike

Short Topics II
Observing Others

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