Slaves

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, through you used to be slaves of sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

Who do you listen to? Who do you respect? Who do you think about the most, or spend the most time with?
In 2008, I’m afraid that a lot of us are suffering from slavery of a different kind, technological slavery. I too, am struggling with it. Wait, you say, technology isn’t a “sin” is it? It doesn’t have to be, but for many of us, it becomes a sin. Sin is anything that takes the place of God, even if it’s just for a moment. Where do you go to relax? Where do you go to unwind? Where do you go to be comforted? Where do you go to entertain yourself?

Can you honestly say you are a slave to righteousness?

We’re SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT as Christians. Many of us are like “well, you know, I stopped doing drugs, I stopped drinking-therefore, I don’t struggle with sin.” Perhaps there’s a lot more to sin then we think there is. Perhaps our definition of sin is far too narrow.

Obsessions. They have a way of appearing so innocent, and before you know it, they have their hands on your neck, and they are squeezing the life out of you. No-you cannot be perfect, but I’m talking about the parts of our lives that are habitually against Him.

Jesus had a point when he said that you “can’t serve two masters.” Who are your masters?

What if we just all walked away from the things controlling us and threw ourselves into the sea of His fame and His glory? What if we dropped everything that stands in the way of our relationship with Him, and ran to spend more time with God, and more time with the people in our lives?

Slaves to righteousness.

So what’s the hoopla about glory?

What is the glory of God? My last post, and some of the comments (thanks Ash) that it received made me question this, and that made me question even what the glory of God is?

There are two knowns for me:

Can we add to his glory? No. If we could, that would be saying that God was not glorious himself.

 Can we show the world his glory? Yes. If we couldn’t, what would be the use of that glory?

I did what I know what to do when I have a question. www.biblegateway.com. I entered “the glory of God” 82 hits.

then I went to my next best site. www.dictionary.com. I entered the word “glory” and this is what I found:

 1. “very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown”

Alright, now that we know what the glory of God is, let’s get to the questions as to what we do or do not do with it.

First, we see that we can turn the glory of God into shame.

(Psalm 4:2a says: How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?)

Do we have to radiate the glory of God? No. Creation already does, and it has a better understanding of the glory of God then we do.

 (Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.)

Can we radiate the glory of God? YES!

(“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1st Peter 4:14)

When we have the encounter with the living God, we can’t help but radiate His glory.

 Can men see the glory of God?

(Ezekiel 43:2″and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.”)

More then all of this though, we see in 2 Peter 1:17 that God IS glory in its definition, and Jesus received that glory.

(“For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”)

Jesus himself showed his Fathers glory after raising Lazarus from the dead, recorded in John 11:40.

(“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”)

Can everyone see this glory? No. We see though that the lord of this age has blinded men to the glory of God, so it is not something that unbelievers understand or can comprehend.

(“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Can we on earth ever amount to the glory of God? No.

(Romans 3:23-”For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”)

We see in Phillipians that the confession of God as savior brings glory to the Father, as well as the filling of the fruit of righteousness

(“and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (2, 11.”)

(“filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God (1,11).”

Can we as those who have had an unmistakable encounter with the Lord do things in glory of God? YES!

1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Just a few thoughts on the glory of God. I leave you with a short video of one of my favorite speakers, Francis Chan, talking about how to eat to the glory of God.

Put to death….

I keep getting ready to write this awesome post, or this amazing poem….then I realize that it has already been written. I keep wanting to say these phenominal things, but when I actually go to write, it sounds more like a two year old or a chipmunk. Just a bunch of jibberjabber and squeaks. There’s so much that I wonder about life. So many questions….then comes the silence. I’ve learned to embrase it. I’m much happier driving in the car with nothing playing. Occationally when I feel tired, and don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel I’ll listen to something, but other then that I like to hear the sounds of the cars wizzing by me :).

I like to count my steps as I walk from my parking place to school. Today I parked further then I ever have before. About 1/2 way I lost count around 130 steps or something like that. Not to mention I had yet to climb the termendous stairway up the hill. Just stuff that lets me think, and count, and question. To keep my mind busy. Even if I’m silent, my mind is always moving. I can’t make it stop. Oh blessed ADD.

After school I look online at a few sites, and then head over to GodTube to look up my new favorite CHRISTian comedian. A post catches my eye, so I click on it. As I watch….my thoughts race. When it ends. Silence. My body is silent, my house is silent (the girls are away) and even my brain is silent.

The movie I attached below. The ending Bible verse (you can’t really see it, but it sites Colossians 3:5.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

Just what I’ve been thinking lately, summed up in one short 4 minute video. Wow.

Am I saved? Am I going to heaven?

Am I saved?

It’s the question everyone asks at one point in time. Is this stuff that I believe exacally stuff that I believe, or is it more?

 I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over break, today, my break ends, this doesn’t mean my thinking will end-on the contrary, I think I’m only getting started. Listening to Paul Washer has made me question my faith. He has made me go into the scriptures and do like Paul (the apostle) says: examine myself. Why did I miss all of this stuff before? I know that I have read the book of first John before, but as I’ve been reading it, verse after verse has broken my heart. If you call yourself a Christian, I urge you to read the following verses and examine yourself.

(I John 2:28) And now, dear children, continue in Him so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.”

Do I do what is right?

(1 John 3:4-6) Everyone who sins breaks the law: infact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appereared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning.

Did you pray a prayer, but are you living a life of sin? I’m afraid many “Christians” are. We are not truely saved.

(1 John 3:14)”We know that we have passed from death to life if we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death”

Do I love? How often is my heart consumed by biterness and hurt from the ‘wounds’ I have recieved from my brothers? How often, and more serious do I wound God with my constant state of lukewarmness?

( 1 John 3:24)”Those who overy his commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.”

How often do I break his commands and feel no remorse for it? When was the last time I wept over my sin? For me, it’s hard to recall. How often do I take advantage of the forgiveness of my savior!

(1 John 4:7) “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Do I love with that different kind of love? If you look at the love of God it is always forgiving, always trusting, always compassionate, neverending, neverfailing……

(I John 5:2) This is how we know that we love the children of God, by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is the love for God: to obey his commands. And His commands are not burdensome.”

How often to I view the commands of God has burdensome? Oh…I have to not lie because in the commandments it says ‘thou shalt not lie’? Do I take advantage of His grace, knowing that he will forgive me?

(1 John 5:11) “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life: He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

All these concepts are so simple, yet so complex. Are you living, Christian, a life that follows after the commands of Christ, or are you living for yourself? If you are not following His commands, it is clear that you are not saved. Praying a prayer alone does not make you saved! “Asking Jesus into your heart” is not how you are saved….this is NEW to me! In Sunday school, in VBS, it’s all the same. How many of you love Jesus? (all the kids raise their hands-has any kid said no, not me?) How many of you want Jesus to come in your heart? (How many kids say no thanks?) How many of you want to go to heaven? (doesn’t everyone?) Then pray this prayer….How many of those kids grow up to live a life of sin? You must FOLLOW His commands if you LOVE Him. Do you LOVE Him? Do you really? Examine yourself……

a whole lot of thinking-a whole lot of questions….

I’ve been doing a whole lot of thinking this past month, a whole lot of decision making, a whole lot of Bible reading, a whole lot of questioning, and I am SO DIFFERENT because of it. I’d like to share with you a few verses that have really hit me this week. I know that most of you have heard these verses about 1,000 times, I had to. But this week, I actually “got” them. For the very first time-they hit me. I pray they will “hit you” as well.

Isaiah 64:6

“All of us have become like one who is unclean,
       and all our
righteous acts are like filthy rags;
       we all
shrivel up like a leaf,
       and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

 1 John 3:9-10

         “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in Him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are, and who the children of the devil are; anyone who does not do what is right is not a children of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1 John 1:7 If we claim to have fellowship with Him (God) yet walk in the darkness we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from ALL sin.

I close with one of my new favorites:

                                         Ezekiel 36:24-27 

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the

countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean

water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your

impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a

 new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you

a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my

 decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

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