Monthly Archives: February 2017

Leave The Lemon Behind.

 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. " (Galatians 2:17-18)

Here is something I think is perplexing to younger Christians, the whole concept of the exchanged life vs what we should not endeaver to do, rebuild the old nature that cannot be repaired.

In the words of my friend Jordan D, he often says to me, "Abandon your strength for God's" and the more I walk in Christ the clearer this truth becomes. As a young Christian I had quite the struggle with the concept of "Striving to live victorious in Christ" in contrast to how it ought to be, "Let Christ abide richly in me"

We do not become more righteous by resolving not to sin nearly as much as making it our ambition to love Jesus Christ!

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:37-40)


Does God command we live a righteous and holy life, absolutely! Yet if we are not careful we may revert and digress back to tying to do Christian things and not falling into worldly ways instead of allowing the goodness of The Lord consume our focus.


FOCUS: The focus determines the success of the outcome. You want holiness, you desire a noble Christian thing there and that is wonderful. Yet pursue the entirity of Jesus first and "All these things will be added to you also"

See Colossians 3 and John 15, you will see my point.


Lets sum it up with a metaphor or an analogy: If a man has an old and worn out car that always gives him grief, then he receives a new and much more modern car that is far more luxurious or sporty, and then he gets the wrong idea, and shutter the thought, but he starts taking parts from the new car to repair the old junker. How silly! No one does that in real life, so we must not do so in the Christian life. A mature Christian is no better than a young one, but a mature one knows how to drive in the new car of the Spirit more regularly then the old vehicle called the flesh!!


Don’t Lie In A Bed Of Emotional Puke.

Dirty engine oil, that will eventually cause issues. They say you need an oil change after a certain amount of driving, and cannot recall the exact amount, but emotional engines like our heart have the capacity for accumulating filth. Many drive their lives throughout their weeks and months letting deposits of emotional dirt and grime pollute their emotional engines and spiritual transmission.

Here is another term I will call, “Emotional Cache” and in computer terms, you have what is called “History” that tracks your website usage and all the websites you been to.

Many people also have emotional history, a lot of it is negative and unavoidable, and has just resulted from being around people just as imperfect as we all are for a long enough time to gather some amount of negative emotional catch. If we cannot figure out how to push, “clear history” by forgiving these people, then our emotional hardrive will fill up and cause problems in us, spiritually, emotionally, as well as socially . This is why many marriages fall apart, loved ones grow apart from time and strain, also this is why friends seperate when a small argument can remind them of all that past cache from yesteryear.

Because your petty argument today can have strings that open up hurts from years long gone.

God, however, does not do this with us once we have trusted by faith to call on the name of Christ for the “erasing” of “God’s History” of all the wrong things we have done, to both him and others, and even when we fall as believers, which is not the goal of a true child of God,  but when it happens, he erases the History daily.

(Lamentations 3:22-23) Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

If God held a grudge then all Christians too would be condemned since we still fall into sin, yet:

(Romans 8:1-2) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

So when we choose not to forgive others, we not only harm ourselves, but  we also are showing contempt for God’s mercy. That is why Jesus said,

(Matthew 6:14-15) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

We cannot earn salvation by forgiving people, the scripture is clear that we are “saved by grace through faith, not of yourselves but as a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:5)

Yet, if a genuinely converted Christ follower who has not forgiven someone, it will gnaw at their souls and fester like an infected sore until they have no choice but to let go of the unresolved bitterness. I am convinced God won’t let a Christian stay like that forever, unless they never truly gave themselves over to following Christ but merely only said some words and walked an isle without sincerely turning their lives over to Christ.

However, a born again person truly changed by the grace of God has no choice, and this does not mean we re-establish unhealthy interpersonal interactions, since the Bible warns us to avoid certain unhealthy social situations, but it does means we have to let go of malice and let God judge and not begrudge the person who wronged us. Grudges cause relational break downs among more then just the offender and the offended, because if the offended sits in a bed of sour emotional vomit their hearts will blister and irritated. They will take out their fears, distrust and anger on people who slight them unintentionally because their thinking becomes raw toward everyone.

A Fast That Honors God, Become A Repairer of Broken Walls:

(Isaiah 58:1-14) “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins. For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

What was problematic from this passage on how the people fasted? Their fasting had exploitation going along with it as well as strife and quarelling! God is pleased not only with how well we pursue Him, but when we truly pursue Him the way we ought, our relationships will also be right with others.

(Romans 14:17-18) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. 

The Bible commends fasting when done according to prescribed means, we see Jesus teach on fasting for God not for show! It is also possible to fast for God with wrong motives or at the expense of other commands God adds weightier precendence on and priority to.

-“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

To fast and then exploit people or not care about those in need does not honor God, for example in

Jesus said in: (Mark 7:9-13) And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban that is, devoted to God— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” 

-“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,


Lets look at some key transition words, “Then”

1.) “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”

2.) “then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Conclusion: “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. )


Should we just try harder? Or should we rather repent of our indifference toward God and His ways and our lack of love for our fellow man? Is not the root of all this a matter of Love and Loyalty to God and out of that overflow love for others flows freely!


John 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”