Sin: Hidden or Forsaken?

Proverbs 28:13   (KJV)   13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Hiding or concealing sin has an adverse effect or consequence: it causes some kind of failure. Conversely, confessing and forsaking sins has a positive or favorable consequence: mercy—withholding of corresponding punishment or penalty.

Proverbs 28.13 - Sin - Hidden or ForsakenInstead of regarding or hiding sins in our hearts and being more concerned about effectively covering them to avoid being caught, we confess them quickly and sincerely. There may be discussions as to the extents of the meaning of “not prosper,” but regardless of anyone’s interpretation, we would like to avoid it at all cost. We sin—that alone is always heartbreaking as believers, why linger there?

For others to come to a point when they would rather cover their sins than confess them is a proof that they’re already treading a very dangerous ground in their Christian walk—it’s a clear indicator that there’s a part of their walk where they are already off-course—they’ve been derailed and need to do everything to get right back on track as quickly as possible. We don’t hold on to sin; we discard and throw away every sin from us because they weigh us down and sidelines us. We don’t want to miss out on anything that our good God has for us. We desire the prosperity He wants us to have.

The more we’re tempted to cover our sins, to sugar-coat them, the greater the need for us to get rid of them as quickly as we would a burning coal or a ticking bomb in our hands. Mercy is a better choice than failure. Some people feel like they get away with it because they’re still succeeding even as they continue secretly sinning. But they don’t know what much greater benefits the Lord would have poured out on them had they chosen to walk faithfully instead. Besides, there really is nothing hidden; men may not see everything, but God sees all things. He already declared that there’s nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and that our sins will find us out. Why risk it?

Truth be told: we don’t ever want to find ourselves with a slightest inclination of covering our sins. We’d rather live in His pleasure.

Suffering Saints

mark-6-27-suffering-saints

Mark 6:27   (KJV)   “And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison”

How many of our brothers and sisters throughout history have suffered because of their commitment to Christ? The mental torture of knowing you’re about to be killed, the physical pain–these combine together in horrible persecutions of the faithful. There are those of us who have it so comfortably in living out our faith, but this doesn’t diminish the truth that many of our fellow believers don’t have it so easy. They are under attack.

Day after day, Christians are under a tremendous amount of terrifying threats and situations in so many parts of the world. People who know not God the way we do ask, “Where is God in all this? How can He allow His people to undergo such suffering? Why doesn’t He rescue them everytime they’re in trouble?” Those questions are understandable, especially when born out genuine concern. But there are of course people we continue to pray for because they ask those questions out of spite for God who many of them claim they don’t believe anyway.

But those questions rise from more need of knowledge and understanding about our God. He’s a very good Father to His children, a very good Master to His servants. There’s no question about His rescuing power; He’s done it so many times–many of them in absolutely amazing miraculous ways. He can. But God never promised us a suffering-free life. The opposite is true: with all His blessings, rewards, grace, aid, and mercy, He declared that suffering is a part of Christian experience. And unless He comes, we will still experience physical death. The righteous suffers, the wicked prospers–this is a fact of life. But God’s ways can’t be contained in a box. There are also righteous people who prosper and wicked people who suffer the consequences of their wickedness. The sense in all this is found in the right perspective–not the earthly temporary sphere, but the spiritual eternal reality.

We don’t run after it, but suffering for our Lord is a joyful honor for us, and death is sweet; it’s a blessed experience–even in the Lord’s sight. Our suffering results in glory that far outweighs our suffering; our death is a transition from the imperfect, trouble-riddled temporal world, to the perfect problem-free eternal life. As for the pain involved; I pray that when/or if it happens, our sights and thoughts will be captured by the glory of the Lord as we see Him standing at the right hand of the Father, preparing to usher us into out eternal home.

Blessed Nation

Psalm 85:12   (KJV)   12 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

That our land will be righteous and blessed, that our land will be good and godly, that our land will be healed, that our land will prosper, this is the cry of our hearts. It’s possible; despite the direction its going right now, our nation can be a country that fears God again. This can happepsalm-85-12-blessed-nationn; nothing is impossible with God. The good and increase of our nation depends solely on God. All blessings flow from Him. All good and perfect gifts come from Him.

We’re praying for revival. In the Name of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus, we pray and believe and declare: revival is coming to our land. God longs for the nations to turn to Him. He’s not pleased with a backsliding people. It hurts Him terribly. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us living in deception or lie; He doesn’t want us lost. He longs to gather us back under His wings. There, in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty; we find refuge and strength.

God in His goodness has given us a clear pathway to healing, restoration, and revival. His blessings are available to those who love and fear Him–people who recognize their rebellious ways and truly repent from them. We declare: America (and/or) other nations will again be filled with God’s glory. We share the conviction of the Psalmists: “10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. 13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps” (Psalm 85:10-13 KJV).

Blessing for Blessing

2 Corinthians 9:14  (KJV)   14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

Generosity attracts. It attracts good responses; it attracts good things. People are naturally inclined to be deeply grateful to those who invest in them. They feel “indebted.” They desire to return the favor and do good to those who bless them. In  a sense the “giver” becomes a “receiver.”

We don’t lose anything when we give. If we understand this, we will be givers. As sowing and reaping is a natural principle, so it is also a Biblical one. We reap what we sow. In fact, we reap much more than what we sow. Yes, with the same measure we use it’s also measured back to us. Whatever seed we plant, that’s the kind of harvest we have. But the great truth about giving to the Lord and giving to the Kingdom is not only that we reap 30, 60, or a hundredfold of the same kind; we reap above and beyond the same kind. We may be giving our financial resources, but we’re receiving more blessings than finances. One of those awesome blessings: people who experience our generosity get to “long after” or “yearn for’ us. There’s an increased affection and closeness from the recipients of our gifts. And to some, that’s way more than financial harvest.

Our most gracious and generous Father, please give us wisdom that we may approach this truth with godly balance. Please help us that our pursuit will be on lovingly giving to Your Kingdom work and to others. We also believe what Your Words say about the blessings that flow from it. May it never be our ambition to feed any kind of greed by emptying others of their resources, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Giving and Receiving

Mark 4:24  (KJV)   24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

There is a direct relation between how one gives and how one receives.

The Bible teaches us that we will sow what we reap. What we’ll reap is naturally more than what we sow. There’s really nothing ungodly about believing that God returns to us more than what we invest in His Kingdom. The greatest motivation for anything we do is love for God. This applies to giving. We sow, we give because we love God. With that, we also believe that we will receive more. Many of us have treated this as another “either-or” teaching of the Word of God. This ought to not be so. Yes, we ought to give because of love and not because we will receive more, but we ought to not undermine the Lord’s explicit teaching on giving and receiving. We believe both and apply them appropriately. It’s good to know that we have a small part to play in determining how much we’ll receive.

Our God of love and increase, please help us to enjoy the fullness of Your Word. Please give us wisdom to be careful not to downplay any of Your teachings in trying to affirm one, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

LORD Our Shepherd

Psalm 23:1  (KJV)   23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord God is the Great Shepherd. With Him as the Shepherd, there is sufficiency. As a Shepherd, He cares for His flock – sufficiently; He feeds His flock – sufficiently; He provides for His flock – sufficiently; He watches over His flock – sufficiently; He guides His flock – sufficiently; He protects His flock – sufficiently. That explains why His flock can find themselves contently not wanting. 

God cares; He cares both for the righteous and the unrighteous. But there is a special, and I would say, awesome relationship believers enjoy with Him. They have the Shepherd – flock relationship, and oh boy, that carries a lot of great benefits. Just imagine having the most loving, most powerful, unchanging Entity as our Shepherd. He’s a Shepherd Who will never leave us and will never do us wrong. That’s totally reassuring. That’s the reason our Lord Jesus can exhort us to not worry and mean it literally – not just as a figure of speech. With a Shepherd Who can supply all our needs – in all areas of our lives – at all times – in all places, we definitely have more than enough reasons to enjoy our days and sleep well at nights. We don’t have to worry about dangers, about troubles, about trials, about toils, about snares, about attacks, about our enemies, about our direction in life, about our provision, about our relationships, about our future, etc., etc.. We are really in a position of not wanting. We have more than enough of what we need.

Our God, our Great Shepherd. Thank You. Knowing we are well cared for. Many advertise their companies as giving the best care, but in You and in You alone do we really find it. In You we can rest in peace, and we can enjoy that wonderful restful existence here – now – in the land of the living. In You we can find refreshing for our tired, weary, and even faulty souls. In You we don’t have to wander aimlessly lost. In You we find calm courage to face even the most life-threatening challenges. In you we can celebrate life even when our enemies wish us death. In You we can rest assured that we will live out Your plans: good, not evil; prosperity, not harm; hope, not hopelessness; future and not rot. Praise You, our YHWH-Rohi. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.