Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
In a nation that is founded upon freedom, most people think that they are blessed in being able to do what they want, how they want and when they want. In the process of doing these things, they often choose to do things that are sinful and against God.
Taking the path of sin does provide some satisfaction and enjoyment for a time. However, that enjoyment is very short lived. As it continues, usually there are many different temporary problems with sin. Then there are also many long term negative effects of their actions. And finally there is death and separation from God with no blessing.
The psalmist writes that the one who is blessed does not take the path that the world takes. He chooses to stay away from sin, but focuses his life on God’s word. It is upon God’s Word that he thinks day and night, allowing it to guide his life.
There have been believers who have stated that it is boring to read the Bible and don’t want to do it. Others have read it once, but then never again. Doing these types of actions, does not give him a true understanding of what God wants and desires in his life.
Each time one reads the Bible, he can learn something new about God. He can learn new ways to live his life for God. It will also give him strength to turn away from sin, since he will know what sin is and he will also know God’s great love. As one follows God’s ways, he will know love, joy, and peace that the world cannot know. He will be blessed.
As a believer, focus your life on God’s word and Him. As you focus on His word, you will not be looking at this world and its sinful ways. In this process God will bless you with His presence, love, joy and peace. These are supernatural things that only God can provide.
You will also know that you are in right standing with God as you follow Jesus and live as He lived. God has blessings ready for you. Look to His word to gain them.
I pray today that you will have a hunger to know God’s word; that God’s word will be made alive to you; that you will turn from the ways of this world to God’s ways; and that you will know God’s blessings to you.
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’ Job 35:3
The world does not see sin as sin. They do not have a solid foundational moral code to live by, so the rules to not sin mean nothing to them. Those in the world make the rules as they go along to meet their needs at the moment. It has to fit the rule: if it feels good, if it helps me, if it does not directly hurt anyone else, then do it.
Elihu pointed out a question that many believers have asked over time. People often want to know what benefit there is in not sinning.
This question is often asked of the world because of what they see in believers. If the believers they are seeing are living their life just as the world does, in sin, then it is a good question. There are many believers living in such a way, that they do not look any different than those who are not believers. Their lives are not set apart, holy unto God.
Living like this, causes a bad witness for Jesus. It turns people away from God, because why should they follow someone who requires some change, yet, they never see the change. There is no difference in how they live.
Other believers also question giving up sin, because of the troubles they are going through. They look at the challenges in life as God is against them. They watch non-believers seemingly going through life having everything going for them and no problems. As they see this, they begin to wonder why they should give up sin, why not keep sinning and enjoy it, life will be the same or even better.
Living like this misses the blessings God has for a person. The peace and joy of a relationship with God, the hope of eternal life, and the work of God in their lives.
God allows bad things in your life to build you and help you be His witness. It is not to tear you down or crush you, but to build you up.
Living in sin brings on many problems, ultimately separation from God for eternity. Having temporary pleasure in sin will not be worth losing eternal life with God.
Keep your focus on what God is blessing you with, even during times of struggle. Don’t allow yourself to look back and choose to go back to sin. It is not worth it.
I pray today that you will see the blessings God is giving you; that you will know the peace God has for you; that you will see the benefit of following God; and that God will help you to keep from looking back to sin.
If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Job 7:20
When things go wrong in life, people want to find out why they went wrong. They want a reason as to why something had occurred so they can avoid it the next time.
If the cause of the problems was being on the wrong side of town, they will begin to avoid that side of town. If the cause was from a person, then they will avoid that person.
However, often the cause cannot be directly seen. Then people will begin to blame themselves or God.
As Job was going through an extreme amount of suffering, he was trying to understand why it was happening. He questioned God in wondering if he had sinned in some way or not to bring on the suffering. He also wondered if he had become a burden to God and God was trying to get rid of him.
Just like Job, people today will ask those same questions. Neither Job, nor people today, see the bigger picture. They could not see that the cause of the suffering was neither their sin, nor God wanting to get rid of them. Seeing the larger picture reveals it was Satan causing the suffering, and God allowing it to prove Job was faithful.
God’s ways are far above the ways and thinking of any man. No one can fully understand them. People are not supposed to lean on their own understanding, but to trust God.
Rather than blame self or God, one must accept and trust God’s ways. Examine self for sin, but then repent and know that those sins are now gone and are no longer a factor in suffering.
Instead of blaming God or yourself for the suffering you are going through, trust in God and give Him praise that He knows what is best for you. Praise Him that He is with you throughout the time of suffering and has eternal life waiting for you in the end.
God’s love and mercy is greater than you or any sin you have done. Once you have repented of your sins, they are gone and God no longer holds them against you.
Now trust Him, instead of blaming self or Him for the suffering you are going through.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s forgiveness He offers; that you will trust God’s work in your life; and that God will reveal His presence in your life.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17
Years of neglect have often left many buildings falling apart and in disrepair. The paint is peeling, holes in the roof, windows broken out, doors falling off and much more. Sometimes this is while people are still living in it, while other times it has been abandoned.
Some of these buildings were great buildings in their time. They were great looking and talked about. People could see them and enjoyed seeing them as they passed by, but now talk bad about it, because it has fallen apart.
Nehemiah had traveled back to Jerusalem to see what the city looked like. The walls and gates were all broken down and left in disrepair. He encourages the people to begin to repair all the damage.
The city of Jerusalem was the heart of the Israelites. It defined them and showed the world that they had God’s favor. Without the city, they had nothing but disgrace.
God had created mankind to be perfect and grand, but because man chose to sin, the walls and gates have been broken down in their lives. Disgrace came upon Adam when he chose to sin against God. This has been passed down to every person since Adam.
Every day people all over the world are walking around, broken down and in disgrace. They have broken walls and gates in their lives. They are no longer showing the greatness of God in their lives.
Some of these people were believers, who have chosen to allow sin to overcome them again. They chose to step back into a life of sin and no longer follow God.
You may be in this position of having allowed walls of life be broken down in your life. Sin has been allowed in destroying your relationship with God and leaving it in disrepair.
Although, you, yourself cannot repair your life, you can allow God to repair the walls of life in you. Jesus can remove the sin and damage in your life and make you who you are supposed to be in Him.
The disgrace of sin can be removed by the blood of Jesus, restoring the glory of God in your life.
Allow God to begin rebuilding your life and work with Him, not against Him.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow Jesus to build you into a mighty servant of God; that you will allow God to clean your life up for His glory; and that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin.
While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites–men, women and children–gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Ezra 10:1
Every day people are being caught for doing something wrong. Some things are small things, such as speeding, while others are major things, such as murder. Often there is some type of sorrow being showed when the person is caught.
There are two different types of sorrow that get shown. The most common is the sorrow at being caught. People do not always see what they did as being really that bad or something wrong. It is common for people to go down the highway speeding, even though they know the speed limit. When caught, they are sorry they got caught, and then go speeding again.
Others have a true sorrow being shown. They are sorry from the heart at what they had done wrong.
Ezra was showing the second sorrow, sorrow for what they had done wrong as a nation. The people followed him in this sorrow with bitter weeping. They were not just saying that they were sorry, they acted upon their being sorry and made the needed changes.
There are people today who have been confronted by God directly or through others about a sin in their lives. Some are sorry that they got caught, while others are truly sorry for the sin.
Just saying ‘I’m sorry’ does not mean that one is truly sorry for what was done. It may or may not be true. A breaking of the heart shows true sorry. It is realizing that one has broken God’s heart by sinning and how bad that really is. It tears the person up and causes them to weep bitterly and strive to change their ways. It causes them to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, because they know what they deserve.
As with everyone, you have made some mistakes and sinned against God. You may be confronted with that sin through reading His word, God speaking to you, or someone saying something that reveals it to you.
In that sin being exposed, you have a choice to make. You can regret getting caught, or you can weep and confess the sin. Allow God to break your heart and cause a change in your life. It will bring about true relief and a removal of the sin. Don’t keep hiding the sin, but allow God to forgive you.
I pray today that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will truly repent of all sins against God; that you will weep when you have sinned against God; and that you will know God’s mercy and forgiveness of your sins.