Tag Archives: sin

Are You Ready to Share Your Faith?

Don't let the moment pass you by.

Written by GodLife on 25/09/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Love, Witness, Sharing
…, pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…

Colossians 4:3
Following the Spirit of God includes having conversations about Jesus. How do we go about having a conversation about spiritual matters with someone we do not know? When we bring up the subject, we are using a bridge to open that door. Have you ever missed an opportunity?

One summer at my teenage son’s ball game, I noticed a friend I had not seen since college. As we sat together and visited, I was urged in my spirit to bring up the subject of Christ and to present the Gospel to her, but fear of rejection kept me silent. Later that winter, she was involved in an unfortunate accident that resulted in the death of her and her daughter. 

Are you willing?
In Acts 8:26-40, Philip was instructed by an angel to go south on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza in the desert. As he traveled, the Spirit told Philip to approach an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading. Philip obeyed and asked the Eunuch a question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Eunuch replied, “How can I, but that some man should guide me.” Philip was then invited to attempt to guide him. Philip was willing, following, trusting, and ready. He already knew the subject, and he didn’t go in his own power. Finally, he had a divine appointment. If God used Philip, it makes sense that Jesus would use you too and empower you.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:9)

In our daily interactions with strangers we should be willing to follow the Spirit, who will lead us into situations to share our faith. Are you willing? 

How can I do this? 
How can you move into a conversation about Jesus? A good start is by being helpful to others. Make their job easier and be appreciative. Be friendly. Reaching out to people in the service industry that help us or that check us out at the store can be very easy! But first we must pray.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Why not ask questions or make comments with a smile? For example: 

How can I pray for you today? Or If there was one thing I could pray for you, what would it be? 
I was wondering when you attend church, where do you attend? 
The Bible says a workman is worth his hire. You have done a great job. 
You are an answer to prayer (if they really were). I believe in prayer. What about you?
I can only find peace in one place when I am stressed out. 
Be ready and be on mission like Philip wanting all to be saved and none to be lost. Jesus prayed for us that the love the Father had for Him would be in us (John 17:26), and we must allow it to propel us out of ourselves and our fears to be spent on others. We must remember that hell and the wrath of God are real, and Jesus is the only way to escape. Love like Jesus. 

Dealing with Rejection
If your words are rejected – it’s not you who were rejected, but Christ (Luke 10:16). Either way, you have been obedient. The results of your efforts are up to the Lord! He alone gives the increase, but he tells us all to plant and to reap. Do not forget to thank the Lord for the opportunity to be used, pray for that person and thank Him for more to come. 

“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear; hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23)

I encourage you to love others more than yourself and be obedient to the leading of the Spirit. Pray to be bold and to be filled with love for the souls of others.

Pray this week:
Lord, Please, guide me and use me. I will love, and I will go, and I will speak. Amen.

God loves you. Are you ready to love others? How can you do this?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Peter Promise Sin in our lives is not inevitable

Sin in our lives is not inevitable

Tags: Help, Holiness, Sin, Temptation
"If you do these things you will never fall" (2 Peter 1:10).

"He knew so much about the Bible; he had such a great ministry. How could this happen to him?"

People often have asked me such questions when a Christian leader has fallen because of money, sex, or pride.

The unasked question is left hanging in the air. "Since this happened to such a spiritual man (or woman), am I going to fall, too?"

I used to answer, "We’re all vulnerable. It could happen to anyone," echoing what other Christians have said in the past.

Some time ago I knew a middle-aged man in South America who was one of the most winsome evangelists that I have ever heard. But he had an attitude toward money that was unholy. He put away money that wasn’t his. Now he is no longer an evangelist. He is doing something else when he ought to be winning souls in the harvest field of Latin America.

As well, I was deeply grieved when I learned that a respected American youth evangelist with whom I had worked in the past had left his wife, his children, and his ministry for the passions of the flesh. It turned out that secretly, for years, he had been feeding a pornography addiction while preaching up a storm against immorality. Then, the inevitable happened. He started committing adultery. He had affairs going in city after city. Finally, the truth came out, and he walked out on his family.

When the truth came out, it shook me. It seemed to only prove the point: "We’re all susceptible to moral failure, right?"

I’m not so sure anymore. I now believe such thinking leads to fatalism, smacks of false humility, and flies in the face of Scripture.

Failure Is Not Inevitable
"We’re all vulnerable" isn’t true…if we’re staying in God’s Word, if we’re walking by the Spirit, if we’re obeying Jesus Christ. "If you do these things," 2 Peter 1:10 says, "you will never fall."

Peter isn’t using flowery language; he isn’t simply trying to make us feel better. These words are from the Bible; God Himself tells us, "If you do these things, you will never fall." What a wonderful promise!

Earlier in the same chapter, Peter tells us, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3).

"All power" has been given to us through Jesus Christ, and His power is what enables us to live a godly life.

God doesn’t want us to shipwreck our faith, shatter our home, disgrace our church, or destroy the ministry He has entrusted to us. Instead, He has given us His indwelling presence and designed the Christian life so that we’ll succeed.

Walls of Protection
To keep us safe in His hand, God has established several strong walls of protection around us: the Word of God, including His moral laws; the Body of Christ, especially our local church; and His indwelling Holy Spirit, who is ever sensitive to sin in our lives.

But we can’t just sit around, hoping God will protect us when temptation comes our way. As John Wesley recognized during the Great Awakening, it is as Christians grow in grace and go on to maturity that they will be kept from falling.

"Paradoxically," Wesley biographer A. Skevington Wood reminds us, "to stand still is to be in danger of slipping back."

I encourage you to take action. First, don’t gossip and gloat when someone goes ahead and blatantly sins. We dare not secretly get a kick out of seeing someone else fail. Since temptations are common to us all, Scripture calls us to walk humbly in the fear of the Lord.

Second, make a radical decision to be holy as God is holy. Pray to God about your area of weakness. I did this early on in my ministry. I told God, point by point, how I behave in certain situations. I was embarrassed and recognized that God already knew how I acted, but it did me good to tell Him. Then I took Galatians 2:20 and reaffirmed with God my resolution to be crucified with Christ. I made a radical decision to be holy under every circumstance, without exception.

Third, begin a prayer group with one or more of your Christian friends. Let them know about your area of weakness–you don’t have to share in great detail. Ask them to hold you up in prayer before God as well as to hold you responsible for your actions. I meet each Wednesday with a group of respected, godly leaders in my city and have discovered great benefits.

Fourth, get back to reading the Bible. Several years ago when a rash of leaders were falling one after another, I asked my mentor, Dick Hillis, founder of one of the world’s leading missions organizations, "Why are all these guys falling away?"

Dr. Hillis thought and thought about my question. After walking with the Lord for sixty-some years, he’s no fly-by-night. Finally, he told me, "I think it’s because they were reading a lot of books about the Bible, but not the Bible itself."

The more I thought about it, the more I could see his point. Nothing can take the place of God’s Word, not even the best biblical commentaries. Sure, an evangelist or preacher or teacher needs to do his homework. He needs to read widely and deeply. But we need to saturate ourselves with God’s Word so, as the Psalmist wrote, "I might not sin against [God]" (Psalm 119:11).

As we read the Bible, associate with godly men and women, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, we are protected and kept safe in God’s hand.

Beware of Temptation
That’s not to say we won’t be tempted to climb over these divine walls of protection. For this reason we must beware of two seemingly innocent mistakes that make us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks: carelessness and opportunity.

Maybe we begin to hurry through our daily Bible reading or prayer time since we really don’t have much time. Perhaps we place ourselves in a tempting situation. Maybe we’re trying to serve God in our own power instead of in the power of the Spirit. It could be we’re feeling proud after gaining a victory over temptation. However it happens, carelessness creeps in and that’s when Satan strikes. The opportunity arises, and we fall into sin.

But we don’t have to go that route. The Bible promises, "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 stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are not helpless victims of Satan’s whims. He can defeat us only if we let him. Remember the Peter Principle: "If you do these things, you will never fall."

The Lord doesn’t want us to panic, to be fearful that we’ll be the next to fall. He "is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude 24).

Let’s not go around cringing, frightened we’re going to fall. We don’t need to be afraid of the world, scared that our sexuality or whatever is going to destroy us. If we are walking and growing in Christ, the Scripture says we will never fall–and that’s a promise!

Prayer
"Lord Jesus, I have the desire to do such-and-such, and I am settling the matter with you. By your power, I will not dishonor Your holy name. I’m going to live for Your glory. I am committed to live a pure life. Amen."

When faced with temptation, do you recognize the way of escape explained in 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."

What is tempting you? Talk to another Christian today and learn how to fight temptation.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Avoiding Sexual Sin and Violation

Avoid taking advantage of someone else

Written by GodLife on 21/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Holiness, Love, Lust, Sanctification, Sex
Don’t violate or take advantage of a fellow believer in such matters. As we told you before and warned you: the Lord will settle the score with anyone who does these things.

1 Thessalonians 4:6
First Thessalonians 4:4-7 is about being sexually dishonest. Getting someone to sin with you is violating them, and God promises those who do these things will face consequences. Has someone taken advantage of you? Have you taken advantage of someone else? Here are some things God wants you to know about your responsibility to your sisters or brothers and how to avoid sexual sin and violation.

Flattery can be dangerous
Flattery means praise that is not honest. The person doing it always wants something in return. Is it OK to call another person ‘hot’ or ‘delicious’? It is not. These words describe food. Why use them for people? A person is not an object. Proverbs 6:26 describes how immorality makes objects of both of you: “…one is brought down to a loaf of bread.”?

Love makes you pure
To know what true love is, we can look at God Himself. (1 John 4:8, 16) First John 3:16 says: “We know what love is because Christ gave His life for us. We should give our lives for our brothers.” Christ gave Himself up for us. (Ephesians 5:25-27) His sacrifice made His Bride pure. That is what love is. Leading someone into impurity is not love. Using a weak person and making them do shameful things is the opposite of love.

Lust is the death of love
King David’s son Amnon thought he loved princess Tamar. He convinced David to send her to him while he pretended to be sick. “…he grabbed her and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ ‘No,’ she said. ‘Don't force me to do such a degrading thing! That's awful! How could I ever hold up my head in public again? And you—you would be completely disgraced in Israel’ …he would not listen to her; and since he was stronger than she was, he overpowered her and raped her.” (2 Samuel 13:11-14) Afterward, Amnon hated Tamar and sent her away. This act later led to Amnon’s death and war in the nation of Israel.

Are you worried that a relationship has gone wrong? There is hope: God is not just the example but the source of love, and he can redeem it.Turn away from sin to trust Him. If you ask, He will send the Holy Spirit, who will bring His love into your life. “Hope never makes us ashamed because the love of God has come into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

Pray this week:
For women worldwide who are being sexually assaulted every day.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member