John 16:8-9 Revealing The Truth

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“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me;” John 16:8-9

As Jesus is telling the disciples that He is about to leave to go to the Father, He also gives them some hope. He tells them that He will send the Holy Spirit, a comforter and advocate for them. The Holy Spirit will prove to that world that the world is wrong about sin.

The majority of people in the world do not really believe that there is such a thing as sin. People try to be convinced that anything is acceptable and there will be no judgment against it. There is no higher power, who is in absolute control of everything.

Believing this way removes all responsibility or accountability. This allows people to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it.

Truth is something that the world is saying is a vague thing and cannot really be known. Truth is relative to the individual. And there are believers and churches that are starting to say the same thing and follow the ways of this world.

As good as this may sound, it is not truth. Jesus said that He is the Truth. When He left this world He sent the Holy Spirit to guide every person in the truth. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth.

If a person opens his heart up to God and allows himself to be led by the Holy Spirit, he will begin to see the truth. He will begin to realize the ways of this world are not truth, but sin.

God has standards set in place for the ways people must live. The world tries to reject those standards, but they still do not change and are not negated.

As a believer, you must not allow yourself to be led by this world. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into what is truth and what is not. Many things can look good, but are still false.

Through the scriptures and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can know the truth. You can also begin to recognize the false statements of this world. He will prove that the world is wrong and that Jesus is correct.

Who will you believe today?

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that God will strengthen you to not follow the ways of this world; that God will open your eyes to the lies of this world; and that you will know the Truth about Jesus and His ways.

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John 11:43 Jesus Says “Come Out!”

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When he had said this, Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43

Lazarus had been sick and died. Jesus went to his home and everyone wondered why He had not been there sooner to heal Lazarus. Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Jesus went to the tomb, had the stone rolled away and then called out loud for Lazarus to come out of the tomb. Lazarus did arise and come out.

When people are in a dangerous situation or area, others will tell them to get out or some may call for them to come out of the danger. Most people do not want to see another person in danger. In the case of a house being on fire, everyone calls out for anyone who is inside to come on out as quickly as possible.

During times when there is a hurricane threatening a city, people are told to come out of the city and find shelter somewhere safe. The place that they are in is a place of death or will become a place of death.

Although physical death is a danger, there is a greater death that surrounds many people and most do not even realize it. It is a spiritual death. The majority of the people in the world are in a spiritual grave of death and sin. They are trapped behind a large stone that they themselves cannot remove.

Jesus had the stone removed by His death upon the cross. He now stands outside the tomb of death calling to everyone to come out. They are to come out of a tomb of sin and rebellion. They are to come out of the bondages of the tomb caused by sin. God is calling people to step out of a lifestyle of sin and rejection of Jesus, into an eternal, filled life.

You may be one who has never stepped out of the tomb of death. You may also be one who has went back into the tomb of death and sin.

If you have never stepped out of the tomb into life or you went back in, you must step out to what Jesus has for you. Get up as Lazarus had done and walk out of sin to Jesus. He offers forgiveness and life. 

Do not stay in the tomb of death, but come out!

I pray today that you will know the life Jesus provides; that God will help you step out of a life of sin; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; and that you will live for God.

John 8:11 Leave It Behind

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“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

Some Pharisees had brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. They wanted Him to condemn her because of her sin and the law of Moses. Jesus offered them to throw the first stone and then bent down and wrote in the sand.

When Jesus stood up, there was no one there. He told the woman that He would not condemn her, but that she was to leave her life of sin.

Casting condemnation upon a person is a common thing to happen in this world. Both inside and outside the church, people will condemn people for doing wrong.

Some people are quick to condemn a person, while others will not even look at the sin and see it as wrong. Sin is accepted by many, both in and outside the church.

There are sins that are overlooked by the church as “not that bad.” The sin has become so commonplace that no one even cares about it. So, the person is neither condemned, nor confronted about the sin.

This type of action can occur in the corporate levels of the church, as well as in the personal lives of believers. Many believers know that a sin is wrong, but do not leave it behind when Jesus does not condemn them.

Jesus had every right to condemn the woman, but He did not. However, He did not just let her off the hook completely. He also told her to leave her life of sin. She was not to stay in that same place of sin.

When you are confronted about a sin in your life, either by another person or conviction of the Holy Spirit in your life, you must do something about it. Be willing to leave behind your life of sin. Allow Jesus to cast that sin out of your  life, and don’t go back and pick it up again.

Jesus does not want to condemn you. He came to save you. However, He does not want you to stay in the same place, holding onto the same things.

Jesus is right there to pick you up, build you up and save you. Let go of the sin in you life and live your life for God. 

I pray today that you will know that God does not condemn you; that God wants to forgive you; that God wants you to live a full life for Him; and that God will help you leave your life of sin behind. 

Luke 11:34 Are Your Eyes Healthy?

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Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. Luke 11:34

Jesus was talking to the crowd of people. He began to talk to them about a light is not put under a bowl and kept hidden. It is let out to be seen by all. Then He points out that a person’s eyes are the lamp of his body, and his body is the shining light in this world. The eyes have to be healthy in order to shine with a healthy body.

The eyes are one of the most important senses that a person can have. It is easier to survive without smelling or touch, than it is without seeing. Being able to see, can help avoid a lot of problems, if one is aware of what they are seeing and their eyes are healthy.

When a person’s eyes are not healthy, it makes it very difficult to see clearly what is happening or where a person is going. Vision gets blurred and can eventually be darkened. And this is just the physical side of sight.

There is also a spiritual side of seeing. What a person sees can have a great effect upon their life. Many people try to say that they can see any thing and not be affected by it. They will watch movies or look at porn or some other sinful thing and say it does not affect them.

What a person sees does affect them. It can numb them very quickly to what sin is. It can cause them to desire that sin, even to the point of doing that sin.

Sin is darkness no matter how you look at it. In Habakkuk, the prophet says that God’s eyes are so pure that He cannot look upon evil. As a believer you are to be just like Jesus, who is just like God. Your eyes should be so pure that you cannot look upon sin.

Do not allow your eyes to become unhealthy, and then justify why you are looking at sin. Looking at sin will only bring about death. The world will see you looking at sin and see you as just the same as them, thus nullifying the gospel message.

Are your eyes healthy or unhealthy?

I pray today that your life will be filled with the light of Jesus; that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will not desire to even look upon sin; and that you will be shining light for Jesus in this world.

Luke 11:4 A Dangerous Request

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“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:4

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, so Jesus gave them a model type of prayer. Part of it said that the person is to ask God to forgive them, just as or because he forgives everyone himself.

This prayer that Jesus gave the disciples has become known as “the Lord’s prayer.” Many people and churches pray this prayer on a regular basis. There is a Christian radio station that does this prayer on the radio everyday at noon.

Since Jesus taught this model of prayer, it has to be a good prayer to make. However, many people probably pray it without really thinking about what this prayer says or asks.

In this prayer it asks God to forgive them, just as or because they forgive others that sin against them.

This brings up the real question: do people forgive others?

Everyday people are being hurt by others. Some hurt them on purpose, while others do it by accident. These hurts are sins against another person. Many people, not only in the world, but also in the church, are not willing to forgive that person who hurt them. Grudges and vengeance is held against that person.

Many churches and church families have been split because of anger against someone who has hurt them. Harsh judgement is called down upon people who have harmed someone or it did wrong. Chances for restoration and forgiveness are very slim.

Families, that call themselves Christians, are split up because of sins against each other. Divorce, fights, abandonment, and vengeance occur because people are sinned against. The anger sits in the heart for years, often for life. People are hurt and are unwilling to forgive. There are some ‘Christian’ believers who hold hatred for a past hurt for decades, because they are unwilling to forgive.

If every believer was to really pray this prayer from their heart, how many would God actually be able to forgive if He forgives as they forgive?

You have to examine your own life before you make this prayer. Are you willing to do what this prayer asks? Have you done what you would say with saying this prayer?

Be willing to forgive others, just as Christ Jesus has been willing to forgive you. Allow God to forgive you.

I pray today that you will have the love for others as God had for you; that you will forgive others as Jesus forgave you; that God will strengthen you to release all past hurts and pains; and that you will live for God all the days of your life.

Decluttering

Clutter

My wife and I live in a double-wide manufactured home with seven children. It is somewhat crowded. With having that many living there, it is easy to accumulate a lot of things.

We have eight children total, with one now off and married. The youngest is only three years old. With that it means we have a lot of stuff for everyone of all the ages. Over the years we have gained more clothing. We hold onto the clothing to pass down the line of younger siblings.

The number of books seems to be extreme, with several large bookshelves full of books. There are books for schooling, since we homeschool. These cover many different subjects and different types of curriculum. There are also books just for reading. Several whole series of books for younger children and some for older children to read. Along with all those books, I have my own books I have accumulated from bible college and ministry.

Overflow Of Toys

The amount of tows seems to never end. Toys for all the different ages. Many of which were passed down over the years to younger ones. Even many “broken” toys are held on to, because a child does not want to part with them. New toys keep coming in every birthday and Christmas time.

I cannot count the number of movies that we own, both VHS and DVD! It is in the hundreds. This number is very high, because we do not subscribe to any television channels, cable or satellite. Again, these movies cover a broad range from educational, inspirational, and just good family movies or television show series.

With all of this stuff, it can get very cluttered very easy. It is difficult to find the space needed to have a place for everything.

Right now my wife and I are in the process of trying to declutter some of that stuff. It is a difficult process to do. Some of those things hold precious memories. Other things we hold on to because we might need them again someday, this is especially true with clothing and movies. Today the children watch one set of movies, but in a few months, suddenly they “discover” some other set of movies and watch them over and over again for several weeks, before moving on to a new set.

Then the challenge of what to do with all the stuff we decide to get rid of. Do we try to sell it? That is not like us, we would rather give it away. Or do we donate it? Then come the question of where to donate the stuff. Then when and how do we get the stuff to the donation location. It creates a lot of challenges.

Declutter

Since there are so many challenges to getting rid of the extra stuff, it is easy to just put it aside and try to ignore it. We will do it some day, a day that does not seem to come. Or we will do a little, then get overwhelmed and stop.

As we are in the process of doing this, I have noticed that life is like that in the same way. Our lives can become cluttered with old, no longer useful things. Or our life can be cluttered with things that are no good for us, broken things.

Some things that clutter our lives are sins. We hold onto sins that are “fun” and really do not want to give it up. These can be gossip, drunkenness, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, pornography, abuse, and many more. They may not be real huge sins, but they are sins nonetheless and they will clutter up our lives. Sins will hold us back from being able to do more or to enjoy more the life God has given us.

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Other things that can clutter our lives are the things in our lives. Our focus on the things take the place of spending time with God. Even good things in our lives can pull us away from God. Social media can be a good thing, but too much of it can also be a bad thing. Ministry is a good thing to do, but not at the expense of spending time with God. Cleaning the house or working a job, can often clutter our lives, shutting God out of the picture.

Most people have something in their lives that is clutter and not needed. You may be able to identify some things in your own life. Ask yourself, what is holding you back from knowing God more?

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What is keeping you from reading and studying God’s Word more?

What is keeping you from hearing from God more in your own life?

All these things are clutter and need to be removed. Work on decluttering your life and strive to get closer to God. Get rid of the things that really don’t matter or are hurting your relationship with God.

As you do this, you will know that your relationship with God is the greatest thing you can ever have. It will be the foundation on which the rest of your life will find purpose.

Hosea 14:2 Seek God’s Forgiveness

Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Hosea 14:2

Despite Israel prostituting themselves against God, rejecting Him and following false gods and idols, Hosea puts out a plea for them to go before God and ask for forgiveness. As they are to go, they are told to bring words with them to be able to offer the fruit of their lips.

In this world it is easy for a person to fall away from God. For just a few hours, may twice a week, a person is around many other believers. The rest of the time, most people are in this world among many more non-believers, or those who claim to believe, but do not live the life of a believer.

Most believers, do not completely walk away from God and totally reject Him, however, many do step away for a time to follow some sin. There are some that feel once they have done this multiple times, that God will reject them and that there is no longer any hope for them.

People of this world will forgive to a point, but if a person continues to do wrong, most will give up on that person forever. God does not work in the same way. He is waiting there for every person to come and seek forgiveness. God wants to forgive every person. It is what His heart is longing for. He thrives on forgiving and giving live.

No matter what you have done, no matter how bad it is, God is always waiting right there to forgive you. In order for Him to forgive you, you must ask for it. You must go before Him, repent of the sin and ask Him to forgive you.

Once God has forgiven you of any sin, you must offer the fruit of your lips. This is offering Him thanks, praise and worship. Give Him the honor and glory that is due Him. He did not have to forgive you. He had the right to destroy you, but He didn’t. Give Him praise with your lips. Praise Him directly and tell everyone what God has done for you and what He can do for them.

Return to God today.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will return to Jesus; that you will seek forgiveness from God; that you will accept His forgiveness; and that you will give God praise all the time.