A Stake In The Ground: Run Away

6th January

Run away from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

2 Timothy 2:22

Francis Chan recently preached a message on how we allow the lie, that what the enemy has to offer is better than God’s best, to easily deceive us. In his sermon he gave an example of fishing. On the hook of a fishing rod, he put a $100 bill. He explained that many would reach out to take it, yet concealed by the money was the hook used to catch the bait. He explained that many of us also fall into the same trap. We take the bait that the enemy dangles in front of us, fully knowing that behind the pleasures of sin, is a hook that can lead to addiction and captivity. We deny God’s goodness and take the bait of the enemy’s sugar coated temptation. Yet the enemy’s best can never compare to God’s goodness and always falls short in comparison.

What if we were to take a stand and reject those temptations; To, as Paul says, run away from anything that simulates youthful lusts. Joseph did, when approached by Potiphar’s wife. Jesus did when tempted by the enemy. And we too can by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us put a stake in the ground and declare that WE WILL NOT STAND IN THE PATH OF SINNERS BUT RUN AWAY FROM TEMPTATION. Let us heed Paul’s advice even if that means making new friends, getting accountable, or even changing our lifestyles. In Jesus’ power we can overcome. Keep your eyes fixed on Him. Let us live in His grace.

A Stake In The Ground: No More Bitterness

5th January

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

On paper, it can seem so easy to forgive. We can almost work it out like an equation. This person did this wrong to me + desire to forgive and forget = forgiveness.. Yet somehow it is not that easy. Mixed into this equation is emotion, hurt, and bitterness. Sometimes we believe that it is our right to hold onto the bitterness and hurt. It is almost comforting. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Holding onto to hurt and bitterness only causes more pain. It only causes us to become depressed and carry heavy burdens on our shoulders. Bitterness spreads like a cancerous disease in our hearts, slowly eating away at all that is good in us.

When we look at our own lives in relationship with Christ, we can see so many times that we have sinned against God, yet time and time again, He has forgiven us by the blood of Son Jesus Christ and the grace and mercy of Almighty God. There are probably so many times that God has every right to not forgive, yet if we ask Him, He always does. It is this example that we should live our lives by. Christ has set the bar for what our attitudes should be like. Forgive as we have been forgiven. If Christ forgave us, then we too should forgive others. Lets us put a stake in the ground, making a conscious decision to FORGIVE WITH THE SAME MEASURE WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM JESUS. Let us lean on Christ’s strength to help us forgive and trust He will make right what has been wronged.