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What if I’ve committed a Terrible Sin?

“Is there any hope for me if I’ve committed a terrible sin?”

Of course there is, that’s why Jesus died on the cross. The good news is that you understand that what you have done is a terrible sin against the Lord. God has made your conscience sensitive to His Law and you have responded to your conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit to seek reconciliation and forgiveness with the Lord.Head in Hands

But the question is “how is the gospel applied to my terrible sin? Or maybe, what should I do if I’ve committed a terrible sin?”

First, confess it to the Lord. Only you will be able to tell if your heart is genuinely sorry for what you’ve done. Your relationship to the Lord is the most important relationship that you have and God wants to talk to you about this terrible sin. He wants you to see exactly how terrible and heinous it is in His sight. He wants you to understand what you really deserve for sinning against a holy God. And what you deserve is to face the wrath of God, experiencing physical death and spiritual death for all eternity. Contemplating and meditating on the seriousness of this situation is healthy for your soul and it will enable you to appreciate the lengths that God has gone to in order for you to not have to face His wrath. Namely, that God the Father, sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place, physically and to wash you clean from all your sins, past, present and future.

Secondly, repent of your sin. This simply means to turn away from your sinful behavior and to ask the Lord to cleanse your heart from ever wanting to sin in this way again. Repentance is about turn away from sin but also turning back to the Lord. It is about making a change.

Thirdly, our repentance leads us to put our faith in Christ and His work accomplished through His life, death, resurrection and reign. We are believing that the promises of God are better than the promises of the sin we just committed. We are putting our faith into Jesus who has taken our sin upon himself and placed his righteousness upon us.

Finally, we begin to obey the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. The grace that we have received from Christ’s redemptive work does not allow us to keep on sinning but rather to develop a hatred for sin and a love for obedience to God and His Word. Leviticus 20:7-8 says, “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies.”

Live everyday in this rhythm of confession, repentance, faith and obedience. Believe with the greatest confidence that Jesus died for your most heinous and terrible sins and He does not want you to be enslaved to it any longer. Nor does Jesus want you to despair because of your sin. Jesus wants you to find hope in His gospel.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

Don’t Miss it!

In 1 Chronicles 16, King David brings the Ark of the Covenantmountainsclouds back to Jerusalem. If you remember, during the time of King Saul the Ark had been stolen and misused. But King David recaptures the Ark and brings it back to Jerusalem and plans a huge worship service. 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 recount the songs of praise and prayers during the worship service.

In verses 25-29 the attributes of God are magnified. As you read (pray) through these verses look for specific attributes of God. I think too often we miss looking at the Scriptures this way. We can get caught up in the narrative and miss seeing who God really is and how we should worship Him. These attributes have an impact on our daily lives. Here are a few that I found.

25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;  (1 Chronicles 16:25-29)

great, above all gods, maker of the heavens, majestic, strong, joyful, glorious, holy, beautiful, eternal, compassionate, humble, a reviver of spirits and hearts

And if you keep reading (praying) to the end of the worship service (v.35-36) you will see that it ultimately points us to Jesus, who is our salvation. God alone is worthy of our worship and praise. It is good to get to know His attributes and His characteristics because this creates more intimacy in our relationship with Him. It also strengthens and encourages our faith in the One whom He sent to die for us, be raised from the dead and is now seated at His right hand, ruling over all creation.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

Looking Back and Forward

Today is a great day to recount the grace and mercies of God over the past year.

I will give thanks to the Lord

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2

Throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms, we see the authors of Scripture looking back on what God has done in their lives.  God is active and constantly at work on us, transforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus.  This is a great time to reflect on our year and to thank God for His steadfast love and faithfulness.  Even if you went through a serious crisis this year I would imagine that you saw the hand of God in your life.  So I encourage you to take a few moments and chronicle some key events that happened and give God the glory for them.  When I do this, I just get out my journal and my calendar. I go through month by month using my calendar to remind me what happened, what I did, who I met with, etc. Below are some questions to get you thinking.

I also want to encourage you to think about your life in four key areas: spiritual, emotional, physical and relational.  Not that you would compartmentalize these areas, but that you would consider them as four major parts of your life that impact the whole of your life.

  1. What were some highs and lows?
  2. What did you do that you really enjoyed doing?
  3. What did you do that you really did not enjoy doing?
  4. Who did you spend time with that you really liked?
  5. What acts of service or mercy did you do? Did you like it?
  6. Did you learn to do something new this year?
  7. What material possessions did you acquire? What impact did they have on your life?
  8. What were some major themes you saw God working on in your life?
  9. What did you read this year? Did it change or impact your life in some way?
  10. Did you accomplish any goals that you set for yourself this year?
  11. What are you thankful for from this past year?
  12. Do you feel like you spent quality time with your family?
  13. Where did you go on vacation? Was it a good time with your family?
  14. Did you date your spouse this year? Any overnights?
  15. Did you have an exercise plan this past year?
  16. Did you smash any idols this year?
  17. Who did you spend time with this year that was encouraging to you? Challenging to you?
  18. What ways were you involved in church/Kingdom work? Was it challenging?  Do you feel like you were using your God given gifts?
  19. What Scripture did you read or study this year that had a profound impact on your life?
  20. Where has the gospel been at work changing your life?

Looking ahead to 2016…

  1. What spiritual disciplines are you going to create?
  2. What friends are you going to invest in?
  3. How are you going to cultivate the relationships with your family?
  4. What God honoring things are you going to do for yourself this year?
  5. What steps are you going to take to stay in shape physically and stay healthy?

All for Jesus,

Fletch

How to Motivate Apathetic People

 

Apathy: lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.

Does this describe some of the people you work with? Do you ever feel like motivating people is an impossible task? Leading people is-Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.-Hebrews 10-24 extremely difficult, leading apathetic people, well, that can be completely frustrating. So, what’s a leader to do? Here are some Read more

L4X038: Gospel Centered Bible Study

Don’t leave a ginormous hole in your Bible Study! In this video I help you understand what exactly a Gospel Centered Bible study looks like. Too often we look at the Bible, find the Biblical truth and then head straight towards application. Watch this video and find out why that can be a problem.

 

5 Books to Enhance Your Bible Study

I’m a firm believer in studying the Bible every day.  To be honest, I don’t do it every day but it’s my desire and I attempt to make the effort.keep calm and study onspend pages writing about the benefits of Bible study, but we will leave that for other posts. Instead I want to give you 5 books that I believe will enrich and strengthen your personal study of the Scriptures.  There are, of course, many other books.  These are just my top 5. Read more

Don’t leave the Gospel behind

Too often we think that the gospel is all about getting us into the Kingdom of God, it’s all about giving us eternal life.  But in reality, the gospel is so much more.  The gospel, which says that God has come to save His people from their sins by sending His own Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place, to take away our sins and to cloth us in His righteousness.  This gospel does get us into heaven but Read more