Thursday, June 30, 2011


“Foolish people don't care if they sin.” Proverbs 14:9, GNB

“Sin and shame go together.” Proverbs 18:3, GNB

With its tolerance for adult entertainment, Las Vegas proudly bills itself as Sin City.

We are invited to come to Las Vegas to gamble, visit strip clubs, sleep around, spend money, and nobody has to know about it. It's OK because, as they say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Outlaw motorcycle gangs boast that they are “Hell's Angels” and “The Devil's Diciples” (Their web page states that the founders intentionally misspelled disciple so as to distance themselves from religious affiliation).

In a city near my hometown, there is a motorcycle shop called “Sinful Threads,” which is an authorized retailer of “Sin City Cycles.”

Various kinds of candy and ice cream are called “sinful” delights.

The government raises revenue with the creation of a “sin” tax. defines sin tax as follows:
“To raise revenue for tight government budgets, legislators sometimes attempt to raise revenue by imposing unusually high excise taxes on cigarettes, liquor, gambling, and so on. This type of charge, often called a "sin tax," appeals to voters who view it as a way of discouraging consumption of certain objectionable products.” (Kind of amusing, commit sin and you get taxed for it).

The cover of a magazine that I purchased last year, shows an apple with a bite taken out of it engraved with the seven deadly sins. The cover read “Born to Sin—Science explains why it's good to be bad.”

The story begins by quoting Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” It continues with a question,“But what if Paul and his contemporaries got it wrong? What if the wages of sin is actually life? What if humans need to be led into temptation to survive? In universities around the world, scientists are beginning to realize that the seven deadly sins could well be necessary evils for evolution and human development.”

Hmm, I think that they are called “deadly” sins for a reason. And didn't Jesus teach us to pray “and lead us not into temptation?”

People have this idea that when sin, Satan, the devil or hell are mentioned it is supposed to be more fun and attractive. Men feel like men; rugged individuals. It's shocking to me that some women find a sinful lifestyle appealing!

Why the infatuation? I believe that it's because we are sinners by nature, and sinners are rebels. That might be the allure to do things that deep down we know we aren't suppose to do. It's forbidden. It's exotic.

Sin, which is pleasurable for a season, appeals to our sinful nature, and the flesh gets aroused. The lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life excite us, and we have to have these things or partake in them or else we won't be satisfied. They fill a void in our lives that only the Lord can fill.

As we continue to rebel against the Lord and His commands and desire to go our own way, He gives us up to a reprobate mind. See Romans 1:18-32.

Sin is a serious matter. Sin is deadly. The wages of sin is death, not life! James writes,”...we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (1:14,15, Good News Bible, emphasis added).

Spiritual death. Eternally separated from God.

We should never take sin lightly. Because he loves us so much, Jesus died for our sins. The Word says that God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21. We should never sin willfully or deliberately because we know that the Lord will forgive us (He will of course, but that is abusing grace). Once we realize that we have sinned, we need to ask the Lord to wash and cleanse us with His precious blood. For without His shed blood, there is no forgiveness for our sins.

There is nothing glamorous about sin. We should never envy those who are living in sin as though we are missing out on something.

When faced with a temptation to sin we must immediately look to the Lord so that we won't fall into sin. (Remember that temptation is not a sin. If we yield to temptation then we have sinned).

When tempted be encouraged by what the Word of God says.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (NIV)
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Have you ever sat in church and thought, “What a phony I am?”

The person next to you may have their hands raised and are fervently worshiping the Lord. The person on the other side of you may have their head down and are crying tears of joy. And you're thinking “What a phony I am!”

First, don't look at other people. You have your own walk to walk. You need to lay aside all discouragement and frustration. We should instead focus our thoughts on the Lord and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

If anything let the life of a believer be a challenge to you to go on with the Lord and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18.

Second, look to the Lord. The Lord does not think that you are a phony. As His child, your worship is received just as the one who is praying fervently and the one who is crying before the Lord.

It doesn't matter to the Lord if your arms are outstretched, or if you are jumping up and down, or if you are prostrate on the floor in complete silence.

You might be feeling like a phony when worshiping because you are grieved by your sins. Grieving over our sins should bring us to the cross so that we can be forgiven and continue walking with the Lord.

You are not a phony! That word should have no place in the vocabulary of a believer. You are not a phony—you are a child of the living God and nothing and nobody can change that eternal truth!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one."


Proverbs 19:11 If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it.

Proverbs 20:30 Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.

Monday, June 13, 2011



“Hello again. Peabody here. And this, of course, is my boy, Sherman.”

“Hi! Where are we going today, Mr. Peabody?”

“Sherman, set the wayback machine for...”

...and so begins another exciting episode of Peabody's Improbable History, which was a cartoon featured on the program Rocky and Bullwinkle.

The wayback machine was a time machine that allowed Peabody and Sherman to travel back in time to make certain events come to past as history records them, but in improbable ways.

People in general, and scientists in particular, have been intrigued with the thought of time travel. It boggles the mind thinking about journeying into the future or going back in time. I've done some fascinating reading on the subject and there are some scientists who believe that it's possible. If so, like the Tower of Babel, I wonder if the Lord would intervene and not allow it to happen.

Mark, a brother in Christ and my best friend and I tell people that we are working on a time machine in our lab. (We are also working on saving summer heat and humidity for the winter and saving the cold in winter for the summer. You should see the looks that we get)! When we talk about a time machine Mark and I say how great it would be to go back in time and right our wrongs and avoid committing sins that we regret. How wonderful that would be! The Lord's heart would not have been grieved, people would not have been hurt, and we would have a clear conscience and peace of mind.

Well, there is no time machine. If one ever gets built it probably won't happen in our lifetime. And as I noted above the Lord in His divine wisdom and sovereignty probably will not let it happen.

Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth said, “What's done, is done.” Whatever transpired in our lives, it's over, it happened, it's done. We can't go back and undo the wrong. We can't go back and “uncommit” the sins we committed.

The word of encouragement that I want to share with you is we don't have to go back in time and “make things” right. The Bible says that if we confess our sins the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

We can therefore stand in the presence of a holy God as though we never committed any sin at all! Someone said that God wipes the slate clean once we confess our sins. I don't think he even has a slate; he doesn't keep a list of the sins that we committed! That calls for some rejoicing in the Lord!

Be blessed by these passages from God's Word.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us.”
Psalm 103:12 (Good News Bible)

“...I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you.” Isaiah 43:25 (Good News Bible)

“You will be merciful to us once again. You will trample our sins underfoot and send them to the bottom of the sea!” Micah 7:19 (Good News Bible)

Sunday, June 5, 2011



On the last play of the game I faded back to pass. As I followed through with the pass, I felt intense pain in the pinky finger of my throwing hand. It wasn't a pretty sight when a took a look at my finger. I won't even try to describe it.

My poor little pinky was broken and my career was over. (This is where you are supposed to laugh).

Although I am right-handed and it was the pinky on my right hand that was broken, I didn't think too much about it. It's just a pinky, not my thumb or middle finger, so I won't be hindered too much, I thought. Was I ever wrong! It was difficult to write and I got the worse shaves ever because I couldn't hold a pen or pencil or a razor that well. I came to realize how important my pinky actually was!

My broken pinky brought to mind the word that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth.
“For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. If the foot were to say, "Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body," that would not keep it from being a part of the body. And if the ear were to say, "Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body," that would not keep it from being a part of the body. If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell? As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as he wanted it to be. There would not be a body if it were all only one part! As it is, there are many parts but one body. So then, the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" Nor can the head say to the feet, "Well, I don't need you!" On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker; and those parts that we think aren't worth very much are the ones which we treat with greater care; while the parts of the body which don't look very nice are treated with special modesty, which the more beautiful parts do not need. God himself has put the body together in such a way as to give greater honor to those parts that need it. And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness. All of you are Christ's body, and each one is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-27

Every believer has been given gifts by our Lord that we should use for His glory and to bless others. Never downplay your significance in the body of Christ and use the gifts the Lord has blessed you with.

Bible commentators suggest that there are as many as 19 spiritual gifts that are mentioned in the New Testament, as recorded in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-14, and Ephesians 4:11. I believe also that we have gifts given to us that are not mentioned in the Bible. For example, I have been told many times by both believers and unbelievers that I have a gift to make them laugh. I always tell them that it is a gift from God and it is one of the reasons why the Lord put me here on this earth. It thrills me when I make someone laugh or smile and I believe that the Lord is glorified.

That may be your gift too. If so, don't bury it, use it!

Many times the gifts that we receive from the Lord are set aside like a child does on Christmas morning. Much money is spent to bring happiness to a youngster and after opening their gifts you might find those young ones playing with empty boxes or wrapping paper.

If you know what your gifts are or when you find out what they are, use them for the glory of God and to bless others. Don't bury your gifts. Don't be playing with the boxes and wrapping paper when you can have great joy using what God has given you.

Regardless what your ministry is in the body of Christ, you are an important member of the church. You are needed. You may not be the pastor or a Sunday School teacher, but your prayers are needed and welcome. Your organizational gifts are a blessing to your church. Your gift to speak to strangers about the love of Jesus is a great gift; not everyone is able to talk to strangers. Perhaps you have a gift to teach children about the Lord or if you have the ability to touch the heart of an elderly person—use your gifts!

We were all put here on earth for a reason. All of us have been called by the Lord for a particular work. Let's use those gifts and talents that He has blessed us with to honor the Lord and advance His kingdom on earth.
Lord bless you as you serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Amen!

If you don't know what your gifts are ask the Lord to show you what they are. Surely He wants you to know what He has given you so that you will use it to glorify His name and bless others.