Posts Tagged ‘Sin’

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VETERAN PEACEMAKERS- Nov 11 (Reblog)

November 11, 2015

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:10

English: Veterans Day poster issued by the U.S...

Today is the day we honor our veterans in the United States. Appropriately, ceremonies with be held in appreciation of the sacrifice that so many have given in the service of our country. These ceremonies will inherently have a melancholy mood at least for me.

As I have written before (Imagine a World without Veterans), veterans are the product of war and threats of war. I recently ran across a quote by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones in which he asked a series of pertinent questions.

Why are there wars in the world?
Why is there this constant international tension?
What is the matter with the world?
Why war and all the unhappiness and turmoil and discord amongst men?
According to this Beatitude (Matthew 5:10),
there is only one answer to these questions-sin.

Nothing else; just sin.”
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

Sin is the reason there are wars and rumors of war. Sin is the reason that we needed the service of our veterans. Sin is the reason we will be creating new veterans long into the future.

Have you ever considered the cost of sin?

Many want to dismiss the costs of sin. They cast sin as a private matter of personal choice. However, consider the quantifiable costs we all pay due to a world enslaved to sin.

The annual budget of the US Department of Defense is $495.6 billion.
The annual budget of the US Department of Veterans Affairs is $163.9 billion.
The United States spends $659.5 billion every year just because of sin.

If there was no sin, we would not need the DOD or VA. We would be freed to spend over a half a trillion dollars every year on other things – science, medicine, technology. How far could a $659.5 billion annual investment progress our society?  I hope that we can agree that the DOD and VA costs are only a fraction of the quantifiable costs that sin imposes upon this world. A more careful accounting will reveal a staggering annual cost that we all pay to counter the effects that proceed from sinful hearts.

It is ‘out of the heart’ that evil thoughts, murders, adultery, fornication, jealousy, envy, malice and all these other things proceed; and while men are like that there will be no peace. What is in, will inevitably come out.
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

English: AUBURN, Wash. (Nov. 5, 2001) Marine C...

The impact of sin upon our society becomes staggering when we consider the unquantifiable costs of sin.

What have families emotionally paid during deployment separations?
What are the costs to relationships impacted by PTSD?

What of the costs beyond wars and rumors of war?

What is the payment for drug addiction?
What are the costs wasted into pornography?
What costs have been incurred from anger, gossip, hate…

English: Unknown military cemetary in Poland P...

What about the ultimate wage of sin?

For the wages of sin is death…(Romans 6:23a)
What is the cost of a person’s soul?

While some may argue that Christianity has caused much of the evil in this world, the reality is that our world needs more biblical peacemakers to truly quell the costs of sin upon mankind.

The first thing, therefore, we must say about the peacemaker is that he has an entirely new view of himself, a new view which really amounts to this. He has seen himself and has come to see that in a sense this miserable, wretched self is not worth bothering about at all. It is so wretched; it has not rights or privileges; it does not deserve anything. If you have seen yourself as poor in spirit, if you have mourned because of the blackness of your heart, if you have truly seen yourself and have hungered and thirsted after righteousness, you will not stand any longer on your rights and privileges, you will not be asking, ‘What about me in this?’ You will have forgotten this self…

 Let me sum it all up like this: the benediction pronounced on such people is that they ‘shall be called the children of God’…It means that the peacemaker is a child of God and that he is like his Father. One of the most glorious definitions of the being and character of God in the Bible is contained in the words, ‘the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus.’ (Heb. 13:20)…

 That is the New Testament teaching. You finish with self, and then you begin to follow Jesus Christ. You realize what He did for you in order that you might enjoy that blessed peace of God, and you begin to desire that everybody else should have it. So, forgetting self, humbling self, you follow in His steps’ who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ That is it.
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

English: A folded American flag held by a Unit...

I am grateful for the service of my country’s veterans. They have been a bulwark against the evils of man. They have spared me and my family from some horrible costs of sin. However, I think we do them a disservice if our gratitude does not go beyond an appreciation for a “peaceful and prosperous” life.

Our world needs veteran peacemakers – biblical peacemakers. We will all continue to pay the horrible costs of sin while the world chases humanistic and idealistic solutions to our fundamental problem – the sinful hearts of men. We need to be thankful for the opportunity our war veterans have given us so that we, as children of God,  can do what we have been called to do; be peacemakers.

We have been called to be peacemakers within our own world. We have the only solution to the dreadful cost of sin. May we faithfully serve our calling and become veteran peacemakers. Let us use this opportunities that our veterans have provided to lead as many to the One who can save them from paying the ultimate wage of sin.

…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23b

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the United States of America and the men and women who have served in the military to defend this country.  May you bless their service.  Lord, thank you for keeping the costs of sin bearable.  Thank you for giving time and opportunity for men and women to come to you.  Lord, help me to be a peacemaker; help me to be like You.  May you be glorified in those that you have called to be your children – peacemakers.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

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SELFIE- Jan 5

January 5, 2015

“The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:9b

I don’t really understand the preoccupation with “selfies”. I scroll through Facebook and I am amazed at the number of pictures that my “friends” post just of themselves, taken by themself. I read this article, Why we really take selfies: The terrifying reasons.

Dr Terri Apter, psychology lecturer at Cambridge University, says taking selfies is all about people trying to figure out who they are and project this to other people. “It’s a kind of self-definition,” says Dr Apter. “We all like the idea of being sort of in control of our image and getting attention, being noticed, being part of the culture.”

However, I wonder if it isn’t a manifestation of something more. The reality is that we all like to get attention, be noticed, and  be  part of our culture, but have you stopped to wonder why?

Why do I want attention?
Why am I posting a picture of myself?

Consider the immediate response after ingesting the knowledge of good and evil:

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. (Genesis 3:7)

Nakedness in the Old Testament suggests weakness, need and humiliation (Deut. 28:48, Job 1:21, Isa. 58:7) The impact of receiving this mysterious knowledge was an awareness of self. Before they ate of the fruit, Adam and Eve were not even aware that they were naked. It was not that they were comfortable with their bodies. They were blind to their nakedness.

I have no idea what that could be like.
I have never been naked and did not know it.
In fact, I have rarely, if ever, been unaware of myself.

The knowledge of good and evil causes everyone to function on a basis of self awareness. It is an awareness particularly of our deficiencies. We know the difference between good and evil and we can see it in ourselves. As a result, this awareness drives us in pursuit of selfish desires, often absent is a compassionate consideration of our impact on others.

I wonder if the phenomenon of “selfies”
is just another manifestation of original sin.

If they had the technology, I don’t think Adam and Eve would have been taking “selfies” prior to the fall. After all, they would not have had any place to carry their cell phones but more importantly, I don’t see a person, unaware of himself, being inclined to take a “selfie”.

Now, I don’t want to be a curmudgeon.

However, I think that it is always good to evaluate why we do what we do. It is important to hunt out all the secret ways we feed our desires for self.

cold run 1

We just might be feeding our sinful appetite for self one selfie at a time. 

PRAYER: Father, you know how much I love myself.  Forgive me of all the ways that I seek praise and attention from the world.   Forgive me for seeking my self-worth above yours and others.  Lord, help be to think less of myself.  Father, I give you all my nakedness.  I give you all my failures and deficiencies.  Help me to no longer seek to cover them.  Help me to forget myself. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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VETERAN PEACEMAKERS- Nov 11

November 11, 2014

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:10

English: Veterans Day poster issued by the U.S...

Today is the day we honor our veterans in the United States. Appropriately, ceremonies with be held in appreciation of the sacrifice that so many have given in the service of our country. These ceremonies will inherently have a melancholy mood at least for me.

As I have written before (Imagine a World without Veterans), veterans are the product of war and threats of war. I recently ran across a quote by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones in which he asked a series of pertinent questions.

Why are there wars in the world?
Why is there this constant international tension?
What is the matter with the world?
Why war and all the unhappiness and turmoil and discord amongst men?
According to this Beatitude (Matthew 5:10),
there is only one answer to these questions-sin.

Nothing else; just sin.”
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

Sin is the reason there are wars and rumors of war. Sin is the reason that we needed the service of our veterans. Sin is the reason we will be creating new veterans long into the future.

Have you ever considered the cost of sin?

Many want to dismiss the costs of sin. They cast sin as a private matter of personal choice. However, consider the quantifiable costs we all pay due to a world enslaved to sin.

The annual budget of the US Department of Defense is $495.6 billion.
The annual budget of the US Department of Veterans Affairs is $163.9 billion.
The United States spends $659.5 billion every year just because of sin.

If there was no sin, we would not need the DOD or VA. We would be freed to spend over a half a trillion dollars every year on other things – science, medicine, technology. How far could a $659.5 billion annual investment progress our society?  I hope that we can agree that the DOD and VA costs are only a fraction of the quantifiable costs that sin imposes upon this world. A more careful accounting will reveal a staggering annual cost that we all pay to counter the effects that proceed from sinful hearts.

It is ‘out of the heart’ that evil thoughts, murders, adultery, fornication, jealousy, envy, malice and all these other things proceed; and while men are like that there will be no peace. What is in, will inevitably come out.
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

English: AUBURN, Wash. (Nov. 5, 2001) Marine C...

The impact of sin upon our society becomes staggering when we consider the unquantifiable costs of sin.

What have families emotionally paid during deployment separations?
What are the costs to relationships impacted by PTSD?

What of the costs beyond wars and rumors of war?

What is the payment for drug addiction?
What are the costs wasted into pornography?
What costs have been incurred from anger, gossip, hate…

English: Unknown military cemetary in Poland P...

What about the ultimate wage of sin?

For the wages of sin is death…(Romans 6:23a)
What is the cost of a person’s soul?

While some may argue that Christianity has caused much of the evil in this world, the reality is that our world needs more biblical peacemakers to truly quell the costs of sin upon mankind.

The first thing, therefore, we must say about the peacemaker is that he has an entirely new view of himself, a new view which really amounts to this. He has seen himself and has come to see that in a sense this miserable, wretched self is not worth bothering about at all. It is so wretched; it has not rights or privileges; it does not deserve anything. If you have seen yourself as poor in spirit, if you have mourned because of the blackness of your heart, if you have truly seen yourself and have hungered and thirsted after righteousness, you will not stand any longer on your rights and privileges, you will not be asking, ‘What about me in this?’ You will have forgotten this self…

 Let me sum it all up like this: the benediction pronounced on such people is that they ‘shall be called the children of God’…It means that the peacemaker is a child of God and that he is like his Father. One of the most glorious definitions of the being and character of God in the Bible is contained in the words, ‘the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus.’ (Heb. 13:20)…

 That is the New Testament teaching. You finish with self, and then you begin to follow Jesus Christ. You realize what He did for you in order that you might enjoy that blessed peace of God, and you begin to desire that everybody else should have it. So, forgetting self, humbling self, you follow in His steps’ who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ That is it.
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

English: A folded American flag held by a Unit...

I am grateful for the service of my country’s veterans. They have been a bulwark against the evils of man. They have spared me and my family from some horrible costs of sin. However, I think we do them a disservice if our gratitude does not go beyond an appreciation for a “peaceful and prosperous” life.

Our world needs veteran peacemakers – biblical peacemakers. We will all continue to pay the horrible costs of sin while the world chases humanistic and idealistic solutions to our fundamental problem – the sinful hearts of men. We need to be thankful for the opportunity our war veterans have given us so that we, as children of God,  can do what we have been called to do; be peacemakers.

We have been called to be peacemakers within our own world. We have the only solution to the dreadful cost of sin. May we faithfully serve our calling and become veteran peacemakers. Let us use this opportunities that our veterans have provided to lead as many to the One who can save them from paying the ultimate wage of sin.

…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23b

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the United States of America and the men and women who have served in the military to defend this country.  May you bless their service.  Lord, thank you for keeping the costs of sin bearable.  Thank you for giving time and opportunity for men and women to come to you.  Lord, help me to be a peacemaker; help me to be like You.  May you be glorified in those that you have called to be your children – peacemakers.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

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QUOTE (Johann Gerhard) – Oct 17

October 17, 2014

johann“Rise up, faithful soul, and love that highest Good, in whom every good thing exists, without which there is nothing that is truly good. No creature is able to satisfy our will because no creature maintains perfect goodness, but rather has only shared in such. A sort of stream of good is transmitted to them from the Divine, but the source always remains in God. Why then do we want to eagerly pursue a stream that has been abandoned by the source? Any good in the creature is a kind of image of that perfect good that is in God, yes indeed, that is God himself. Why then do we who have been laid hold of by the image want to desert the very thing itself? The dove sent out of Noah’s ark was not able find a place where its foot could rest in the turning of the waters (Genesis 8:8). So also, our soul is not able to find in any of the numerous things under the moon anything that completely satisfies our desires because all of these things are unreliable and fragile.”
~Johann Gerhard

In honor of Johann Gerhard, German Lutheran theologian, who was born on this day in 1582.

Resources:
October 17 – Today in Christian History
Sacred Meditations

 

 

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QUOTE (Theodor Zahn) – Oct 10

October 10, 2014

English: Theodor Zahn, Professor of Theology, ...

“When we look around, we see many who never seem to fight, but who follow their natural inclinations, the customs of the world, without any perceptible resistance; and yet they are baptized Christians, for whom, so it seems, Christ has lived, fought, and conquered in vain. We see others, again, who confess the same Lord with us, and who have, as a matter of principle, renounced the Evil One, and yet we must close our eyes very tightly if we are not to see with sorrow that they never withstand the very simplest trial. We have also known other Christians who seemed to be brave fighters; we have seen them standing firm when others wavered; we have rejoiced over them; we have encouraged ourselves by their courage and strength. But in decisive moments we have seen them bend the knee to the Evil One who has power in the world.

It is very saddening, even discouraging. It might almost tempt us to unbelief in the victorious power of truth, and to superstition as to the impossibility of conquering sin.

But for this very reason, I say: “God be praised, that He sent His Son to us, that He might be tempted like as we are, and yet remain free from sin.” Let everyone who is tempted to despair in the midst of the battle, look, not on himself or his own strength or weakness; not on the thousands who fall on his left, and the ten thousands who fall on his right hand, but let him look at Jesus. “Behold the Man.” …They know also that it is not the destiny of man to live on in sinful weakness, and to die conquered by sin, but first of all to fight, and then to conquer under the Captain of salvation.”

~Theodor Zahn

In honor of Theodor Zahn, a German biblical scholar and author of the 3-volume “Introduction to the New Testament”, who was born on this day in 1838.

Resources:
October 10 – Today in Christian History
Christ’s Temptation and Ours – A Sermon By Theodor Zahn

 

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QUOTE (David Brainerd) – Oct 5

October 5, 2014

English: David Brainerd (1718-1747)

“My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and a stranger here below, that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desert, till I arrive at my Father’s house.” ~ David Brainerd

In honor of David Brainerd, an American missionary to the Delaware Indians of New Jersey, who began ministering to the Indians on this day in 1744.

Resources:
October 5 – Today in Christian History
David Brainerd Quotes

 

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QUOTE (J.R.R. Tolkien) – Sept 2

September 2, 2014

“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

In honor of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, who died on this day in 1973.

 

Resources:
J.R.R. Tolkien – Wikipedia
Quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 

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