Monday, May 27, 2013

The Consequences of Secret Sin

You know what I'm talking about...  those SECRET SINS.  The sins that we want to keep hidden in the closet where nobody looks.  Those sins that we try to dismiss, but when we are alone or outside of the "Christian scene" they rear their ugly heads.  Those sins.

Shhhh!  We don't want to talk about those sins.

What tends to happen is these secret sins have public consequences.  Scripture provides example after example of the consequences of secret sin.  

Adam and Eve tried to hide their sin from God – ultimately they were cast out of the Garden.  Cain denied killing his brother Able and was cursed and forced to wander the rest of his life.  Ananias and Sapphira tried to hide their sin and each died as a result.  Each of these examples reveals the personal consequences of secret sin, but the lives of two other biblical characters, Achan & David, discloses the fact that the consequences of secret sin are born by the corporate body, not just the individual.

{Read Joshua 7 for more information on Achan &  2 Samuel 11 & 12 for more information on David.}

There are three truths we need to understand regarding sin:
1. Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go...

2. Sin will always keep you longer than you wanted to stay...

3. Sin will always cost you more than you wanted to pay.

For the full message shared on 05-26-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
The Consequences of Secret Sin

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sin = Missing the Mark

Human history empirically validates the fact of original sin, but this doctrine has fallen on hard times lately.

People would rather believe that insanity drives the behavior of those who would massacre people who would do them no harm.  Or that the rights of individuals to do what they want with their bodies justifies providing the service of killing the defenseless baby in the womb.  Or that the violence and unruly actions of our youth is just a product of our society.

The truth is these and more are SIN and are an abomination before God.

But whatever became of sin?  It is a word that we rarely hear these days.  Karl Messinger asked this question in his book of the same title:

“[Sin] was once a word on everyone’s mind, but now rarely if ever heard. Does that mean that no sin involved in all our troubles - sin with an “I” in the middle? Is no one any longer guilty of any thing? Guilty perhaps of a sin that could be repented and repaired and atoned for?... Anxiety and depression we all acknowledge, and even vague guilt feelings; but has no one committed any sins? Where, indeed, did sin go? What became of it?” 

Romans 3:23 expresses the severity of our dilemma... "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Sin is a problem we each face; it is a issue of the will and desire.  We are known by our actions, and defined by our nature.  Jesus taught that people do sinful things because they are tainted.  

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.   All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”  Mark 7:21-23

R.C. Sproul put it this way: “We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.” 

The heart or mind of a person is already polluted with something that is opposed to the authority of God or the idea of surrender - something that sets itself up against the life of purity and discipline. This what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, 

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

Dogs bark. Birds fly. Bees sting. Sinners sin. Each one is done for the same reason: it is their nature to do so.

When the will is changed; however, the power of sin is broken.  This is the miracle of conversion.  To find a change, true repentance must take place.

For the full message shared on 05-19-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
Sin = Missing the Mark  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Gifts

Mothers, we know that you have a twenty-four-hour-a-day job, one which demands not only all your time, but also all of your attention and energy. Because of that realization, we salute you today, in the fashion that we should honor you every day - for all you do for us and for all you give to your family.

We give all sorts of gifts which range from the extravagant to the simple, from store-bought to the homemade, from fancy flowers to fattening foods. We should shower Mother with gifts, for indeed she needs to be reminded of our love and gratitude for all she has done. My chief concern is that this gift-giving not be relegated to just one day a year. We should give to Mother each day. 

I want to suggest several gifts of a non-materialistic, noncommercial nature, which are necessary in the Christian family and should be given each day.

Children - these are two gifts you should offer your mother every day.

HonorA child's life-style reflects on his parents. Children, if you want to give honor to your mother, then live an honorable life. When you're out with your friends, having the time of your life, far from your parents' eyes, ask yourself, "Would my mother be proud of what I am doing? Are my actions honoring her?" The way you go about your school work, the way you conduct yourself in your profession, how faithfully you exercise your spiritual life - all those things can bring honor or shame to your parents.

ObedienceAs long as you live in the household of your parents, you have an obligation to obey them - provided they don't demand that you act contrary to God's word and will. For the Bible says in Ephesians 6:11 (and Colossians 3:20), "Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for that is the right thing to do."  I realize that there are times when you think that your mother knows absolutely nothing about the way life is in the twenty-first century. I am aware that there are many times you think you know what is best for you, much more than your mom does. But let me tell you something that may come as a surprise to you in your youth: Your mother is much wiser than you are. She has a wisdom that can only be gained through years of living.

Mothers - two gifts you can give to your family include...

An Exemplary LifeThe first gift you must present to your children is to be the kind of person you want them to be! You must give them a Christian example in what you say and do. Notice how a little girl mimics her mother. If Mom wears high heels, she will slip into them also. She will stand before the mirror and pretend to put on makeup. The child wants to be like Mother in every way.  For this reason, Mother, it is your sacred duty to live an exemplary life in word and deed. Mother, you are one of the most powerful influences on your child's life through your words and deeds. Are you giving them a Christian example? Do they see you pray and read the Scripture? Do they hear you witness to your love for Christ? Do they see you serve him in the way you live? If they do, your children will grow up to call you "blessed," as we read in Proverbs 31. 
Your TimeThe second thing you must give your child is your time! Each one of us knows how hectic life is these days. There are more demands on us and our time than ever before. And the sad result of all the time-consuming activity in our society is that we leave such precious little time for our children.

As Psalm 127 says, "Children are a gift from the Lord." They are a gift which must be nourished, cared for, trained, and disciplined. And that takes time - lots of time. Children must take priority over social engagements, clubs, adult activities, and in some cases, even work. Your children need you more than they need clothes. They need you more than they need a new bicycle or more toys. They need you - your time, your attention, and your affection - more than they need any other thing on earth.

For the full message shared on 05-12-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Lord's Prayer - Pt. 2 - It's All About God's Glory

Rick Warren said it well, "It's not about you."

Well, life is not about you.  Yes, I know, this world would have you buy into their philosophy that everything is about you, but they are sadly mistaken.

We are not here to gather all the toys we can, or amass great wealth.


That's right, it's all about God.  "To God be the glory, great thing He hath done..."  But, what does this have to do with The Lord's Prayer?  I'm so glad you asked.

The Lord's Prayer or better yet our Lord's model by which He taught the disciples to pray could be divided into two parts: God's Glory and Man's Need.

This blog will address the first while Man's Need will follow (click here).

When instructing the disciples on how (not what) to pray, Jesus gave this example:
Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

This is just the first half of His model prayer, and if you notice it focuses on God, not us.

Our Father - this address denotes a relationship.  Prayer is communication with God, but is only possible when you have re-established the relationship through Jesus Christ that was severed by sin.  The designation of "Father" also calls our attention to His adoption of us as His children.  We now have access to a very personal God.

Hallowed - God is to be revered above all things.  He is holy, holy, holy.  This eternal, creator God is not a whimsical fantasy made up by man, but He is the self-existent Creator of the cosmos and the One whose image we bear.   

Your kingdom come - How often do you reflect on God's kingdom?  Do you desire God's kingdom here on earth?  Consider how the earth was at the time of Creation, before sin corrupted that which God declared good.  Consider how your life would change if God were to rule over you completely.  Consider how His kingdom would increase as you share the Gospel with everyone you meet.

Your will be done - What does that mean?  God's will be done...  God, do with me as You will.  God, use me in whatever way brings You the greatest glory.  Jesus would present Himself as an example of this in the Garden of Gethsemane as He prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me.  Yet, not as I will, but as You will." [Matthew 26:39].  

See, it's all about God's glory.  

For the full message shared on 05-05-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to: