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It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Friday, March 23, 2012

35 MEANS 35!!

When you are driving you need to be obeying the speed limit. Especially if you are sporting a Christian bumper sticker,vanity tag that says "Jesus" or something that says "Meet Me In Sunday School" but regardless of whether these adorn your vehicle or not you still should be obeying the law and setting a good example. Laws are meant to protect us and speed limits in particular can help us not get injured or killed. If you break the speed limit there is a chance the police will be nearby with a radar gun and catch you driving like a NASCAR driver. If you speed you may end up with a fine or have to appear in court. When  the speed limit sign reads  '35 MPH' it means to drive 35, not 45 or 55. If you do not obey you may suffer the consequences. Scripture even tells us to obey authorities therefore that means law enforcement officials and their signs.

Similarly in life we have laws set forth in the Ten Commandments and other places in the Bible  meant to protect us as well. When we rebel against these rules we face consequences. We are all born sinners. But we are to try to leave a sinful lifestyle and not purposely be doing things that we know are displeasing to God or separate us from Him. When you purposely sin, not unlike breaking a speed limit, you face consequences. God can and will forgive your sins and remember them no more but to willfully do things you know are wrong keep you from receive all His blessings.1 Corinthians 6:11 says "as far as the east is from the west,    so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 66:18 says "If I had cherished sin in my heart,  the Lord would not have listened." So in other words if you are saying your prayers but willfully doing things to displease him that breaks the line of communication with the Lord. Romans 3:23 tells us "For all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory". You know some of those sins things like adultery, fornication, lying, judging, gossip, homosexuality, murder, coveting others things and the list goes on. I did not make these things up but they are found within the pages of God's word. Read it, study it and you will see for yourself.

The good news is people can be forgiven from their sins and set free. 1 Corinthians 6:11 reminds us referring to being sinful "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."  Watch out judging others and starting to feel you are better because you do not do 'such and such'. This kind of haughty attitude may cause you to stumble and get a taste of your own medicine. One of the best places that I hear people come to the Lord is in prison when they are at life's lowest point. Prison and jail ministries thrive and help bring many to the Lord. Be careful when you pass those men and women along the highway in orange jump suits picking up trash as you are only one car wreck from being out there with them. For instance, what if you are texting and accidentally hit a child crossing the road and they die. You very well may go to jail for manslaughter and end up out there with the trash brigade too.

There are those who like to make up sins and say they are wrong such as with the issues of smoking and drinking. They are not sins but they are not good for the temple of God, your body, and in the case of drinking you could become an alcoholic and end up hurting yourself and others. The Bible warns about drinking and its' effects but does not say it is a specific sin. (See Proverbs 23). Likewise tobacco products cause cancer and make you stink but no where in the Bible does it say smoking is a sin. So be careful trying to play God. Smoking and drinking may hurt someones witness but they are not listed as a sin per se but they can wreak havoc in your life if not under control. Do not get me wrong. I am not condoning going out now and frequenting bars and partying. I am simply stating that these are things that can in fact hurt you but  yet are not listed in the scriptures as a sin. Mankind likes to occasionally make his own rules. Overeating is in fact mentioned as bad in the Bible(called gluttony) yet how many churches have potlucks and people gorge themselves on too much food in the name of fellowship? Be careful trying to decide which things in life God would accept and those He would send someone to hell for if they did not repent. Dancing in some denominations is sort of classified as a sin and frowned upon. I do not see anything in my Bible about that but I think these well meaning people are referring to when someone dances in a lewd of immodest way.All things in moderation. If you feel what you are doing will cause someone to stumble then do not do it. But do not look your nose down on others. Remember when you point a finger at someones faults you have 3 pointing back at you. 1 Corinthians 8:13 says "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."

If you are in a ministry role within the body of Christ often times others are looking at you as an example. You have to decide in your heart what you are going to do. The best thing is to run away from anything that is dragging you down and keeping you away from the Lord or causing you to be an ineffective witness for him. Each of us whether a leader or not should remember to glorify God in what you say and do. No go out and be a blessing and live for Jesus!

PRAYER; Lord Jesus I choose to lead a life that pleases you but it is not my place to be finger pointing at others. Bring conviction upon me when I am straying from what is in your word. Help me to always keep my spiritual light burning so that I can help show others the love of Christ. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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