I guess I am the first to post any thoughts on our subject of last week - SIN. These are some bits of scripture which spoke to me as I pondered.
Jeremiah 6:10 (Amplified Bible) 10 To whom shall I [Jeremiah] speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised [never brought into covenant with God or consecrated to His service], and they cannot hear or obey. Behold, the word of the Lord has become to them a reproach and the object of their scorn; they have no delight in it.
So, the first thing that occurs to me, is that we all have sin, thats not even a question. How it must grieve the heart of God to see us stumble over and over the same issues. I can almost feel His exasperation. But even more humiliating for Him must be that not only we do we close our ears and eyes to Him, but we get so caught up in sin that we forget there is JOY in obeying the Lord. So, in relation to the question of how we discern if the sin in my life - do I obey God to not sin because I WANT to please Him or I try not to sin because I LOVE him and delight in walking in His ways - I think thats the answer there. I think that if I am not sinning to show my LOVE for God, then I will find a delight in it. I will feel a postive way about it. I won't feel like a reluctant child who obeys a parent's 'rule', but rather trust God's wisdom in the commandments He's given us, and accept them as wise advice and loving boundries put in place to protect me. If I feel something is sin in my life, should I not jump at the chance to pray to God about it and if in doubt lovingly, eagerly and willingly abstain from this particular thing? I think its about maturity in my walk with God.
16-20 God's Message:
"Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, The tried-and-true road. Then take it. Discover the right route for your souls. But they said, 'Nothing doing. We aren't going that way.'
Ah, isn't this SO true? See, we do that. We KNOW when we sin - not only this, we throw it back in God's face. So is this what we should be recognising - that we sin KNOWINGLY?
Jeremiah 7:23-26 (Amplified Bible)
23 But this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them daily, early and late. 26 Yet the people would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ears [to Me], but stiffened their necks and behaved worse than their fathers.
So we HEAR God. He surrounds us, dwells in us and clearly lays out His commands. He even sends Prophets for us - but still we sin by closing ourselves off from Him and walking in our own way. SIN times two, again.
Jeremiah 8:12 (New International Version)
12 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.
And this is crucial - for we allow ourselves to 'captain our own ship' - to totally ignore God, to discount his wisdom, throw it all in the trash of our corrupted hearts and minds. And worse, we are not ashamed. To me, Sin is Sin - pure and simple, and if God says its sin, thats good enough for me. I pray that I will have the wisdom to 'sift' ALL my thoughts and actions through Him so that I can discern what God's will is in them. This way I can know that I've asked God to indicate to me if something I'm doing, hearing, saying - participating in, is Sin.
So, though the subject we chose was not completely clear, this was where I landed up for answers. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts too. Email or phone me and I'll post your ideas too! See you all tomorrow night at our MSN Meeting.
I'm adding in a video I found - its called Open Me - by Shawne McDonald, and I think it speaks well - a request of God to open us to HIS will. Open our ears, our minds, our hearts! Click on the little gray triangle and it will play the song for you!
ADDITION - here's Angie's feedback:
Thank you Barb for that great scripture and insight.
I agree with an open heart.
Something that I have noticed for me this past 10 days is as I have been really busy getting ready for this course and the work around that and clearing up my plate to free me up for next week THAT I haven't taken the time to soak in God's love and read much of his word. Satan has used "busy" to let sin creep in. I have noticed my heart getting annoyed with people in my life instead of loving them.
(Seeing them as God see's them)
A wonderful friend had this to share when we sin-
"When you mess up, "expose the darkness" IMMEDIATELY - what, where, how, with who
Journal the SITUATION, what happened, how, who with, the setting, the lies you believed. Expose the situations where you feel most tempted and every detail, especially the parts you are most ashamed to admit! EXPOSE IT. THEN, TROUBLESHOOT, with THE TRUTH!
Really, really search your heart and ask God for the truth. One of my main prayers this week has been to ask God for courage to tell the truth about my sin, and not be afraid to face it, look in the mirror etc. and CHANGE!
Write what you should have done, now knowing the truth. WIthout making excuses, identify what you should have done."
Go to the bible and see what God has to say.
"God Blesses those who realize their need for HIM,for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them." Matthew 5:3
Read Matthew 5 3-11 for more great blessing that come from God .
Thank you for letting me share..."see" you ladies tonight.