purity

Instruments of Righteousness

Instruments of Righteousness

Romans 6:12 Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Deceptive Allure of Sin

Though Christ has broken sin’s control, its residual influence remains while we’re on earth. If given an inch, sin will seize a mile in our lives. So we must be vigilant guarding our minds and bodies.

Sin employs clever deception – enticing us by omission of consequences and overstating temporary pleasures. We must recognize its tactics rather than blindly cooperate.

Yielding Our Bodies to God

As an act of worship, actively present your body to God daily as an instrument of righteousness, not wickedness. Ask Him to govern your eyes, hands, and speech for holy purposes.

Consciously yielding control protects us from drifting into sinful complacency. Regularly re-consecrate your body to purity and righteousness.

Lord, Guard My Vulnerable Heart

Lord, sin still crouches at my door, desiring to devour me. Daily I confess my weakness and total dependence on Your Spirit to restrain evil desires. Make my body an instrument You wield for righteous purposes.

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Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Old Yeast

Old Yeast

“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Examining Our Hearts

During the Passover feast, God commanded His people to remove all leaven from their homes.

Yeast causes bread to rise, picturing how sin swells up and permeates our lives.

This yearly ritual reminded Israelites to examine their hearts and take sin seriously.

As believers in Jesus, we also must regularly inspect our lives and root out “old leaven” – attitudes and behaviors that displease God.

Christ’s sacrifice frees us from sin’s power, making us new creations. However, we still struggle with remnants of our old nature that lead us astray if left unchecked.

Pride, greed, lust, bitterness, and selfishness can puff us up like yeast if not confronted and confessed.

Getting rid of sinful leaven requires brutal honesty. We must ask God to reveal blind spots and things sabotaging our spiritual growth.

While painful, facing the truth positions our hearts to be purified and transformed by the Holy Spirit’s cleansing fire.

Removing sin restores the sweet fellowship with Jesus that yeast corrodes.

Crumbs of Compromise

It only takes a small amount of yeast to leaven an entire lump of dough. Similarly, “little” sins or compromises spread and damage our whole lives if tolerated.

Believers often excuse gossip, white lies, inappropriate media, anger, or addictions as harmless. But these behaviors grieving the Spirit, have profound consequences if left unchecked.

Rationalizing and downplaying sins gives the enemy footholds. As issues accumulate over time, we become desensitized until flagrant wickedness seems normal.

Yeast is insidious and penetrating. The only solution is to sincerely confess specific sins and turn away from them.

We must remove even small bits of leaven to remain unleavened bread.

Living holy requires vigilance. Regularly evaluating our lives identifies areas needing God’s cleansing fire.

Even after cleansing, we must guard our hearts since sin crouches at the door.

Staying unleavened means promptly repenting when we stumble. God uses our trials to reveal and refine away sinful impurities.

Becoming New

Christ sacrificed Himself as the ultimate Passover Lamb to free us from sin and death.

Now saved by grace, we have a new unleavened identity in Him. Our old selves died on the cross so that we might live free in the Spirit.

However, living into our new natures requires intentionally removing the old leaven of wickedness.

As we increasingly yield control to the Spirit, He empowers us to reject temptations and walk in holiness.

Staying unleavened is only possible through relying on Christ’s strength. Our part is submitting our wills completely to Him.

God is pleased when we actively participate in the process of sanctification. Regular self-examination and repentance keep our lives pure and unleavened for Jesus’ glory.

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Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Heart Transformation

Heart Transformation

Jeremiah 31:33“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

In Jeremiah’s time, God’s people focused on external rituals, without sincere love for God. Their hearts remained unchanged. As a result, immorality and idolatry corrupted their society.

Outward religion means nothing without inward transformation.

A sinful heart will inevitably lead to sinful actions. No amount of rule-keeping can substitute for a changed heart.

New Covenant Promise

Through Jeremiah, God promised a new covenant to reunite Israel to Himself.

In this covenant, He would not just give external laws but directly imprint His truth on their inmost being. God would change their hearts to know Him intimately.

God’s Laws in Our Minds

To have God’s law written on our minds means His truth and wisdom shape our thoughts and perspectives.

Our minds become saturated with Scripture and centered on God’s kingdom priorities. We learn to discern right from wrong based on His standards.

The Holy Spirit renews our minds as we immerse ourselves in God’s Word.

Our thought patterns, assumptions, and values align with His truth. Our minds are freed from bondage to sinful ways of thinking. As we fill our minds with His truth, it transforms us.

Renewing Our Minds

Ask the Lord to renew your mind each day through Scripture. Submit your thoughts to Him for cleansing and realignment. Pray for grace to think His thoughts after Him. Let His truth reprogram your mind to reflect Christ.

More foundational than our thoughts is the orientation of our hearts—our motivations, desires, and will.

As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He replaces selfishness and sin with love for God and others.

Our hearts find their full satisfaction in pleasing Christ alone. Loving obedience becomes our joyful response to His abundant grace.

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Ask God to write His truth on the tablet of your heart.

May your deepest desires align fully with His gracious will.

Let your heart eagerly long to obey Him out of love, for His glory and the good of others.

Intimate Relationship

In this new covenant, God declares “I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

More than anything, He desires meaningful relationship with us. As we open our minds and hearts to Him, intimacy grows.

We were created for fellowship with God. Only in Him do our restless souls find purpose and complete fulfillment.

As His beloved children, we have the privilege of walking in personal relationship with the Lord of the universe!

Draw Near to God

Don’t be content with ritual and outward conformity. Draw near to God today. Immerse your mind in His Word. Yield your heart to the Spirit’s transforming work. He promises to meet you there with grace to renew your whole being.

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Hour Glass
Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Faith, Holiness
Pursuing Holiness

Pursuing Holiness

2 Corinthians 7:1Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

God pours out astonishing promises on His beloved children – forgiveness, guidance, eternal life! Since we have these assurances, we’re empowered to pursue holiness.

Removing Contaminants

We must examine our hearts and lives, asking God to reveal anything tainting our body or spirit. Sin and impurity grieve the Holy Spirit. As they’re exposed, we must repent.

Training for Godliness

Let’s cultivate holy habits and influences that will train our hearts God-ward – Scripture meditation, prayer, worship, Biblical community, and more. These shape us into Christlikeness.

Reverence for God

Our motivation is profound reverence for the holy God.

We yearn to live in a manner pleasing and honoring to Him who saved us at infinite cost. By His grace, holiness can flourish.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Holiness – Can’t See God Without It! – Part 2

Holiness – Can’t See God Without It! – Part 2

Today is part 2 of our discussion regarding holiness. Let’s have a quick review of what we touched on last week.

 

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

 

These words from the Book of Hebrews seem to echo an Old Testament passage from Leviticus . . .

 

Leviticus 20:7-8

“‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”

 

Since holiness is pivotal to our faith, it becomes a primary concern for us to understand completely what this means.

 

The definition of holiness is this: to be pure, righteous, consecrated. When we come to faith in Christ, we become holy; purified by His blood, which He shed for us! Remember . . .

 

Holiness is a product of God’s Grace; none of us did anything to become holy. In and of ourselves there is nothing holy about us; but by faith through grace, we came to Christ . . . and He made us holy!

 

 

When we come to Jesus, we were, as the Bible declares . . . rescued!

 

Colossians 1:13

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves . . .

 

We were rescued from a life of darkness and brought into a new place; the Kingdom of the Son. We are a part of a new family and the way this family operates is very different from the way we used to do things. God wants us to get to know Him and to become more like Him, and He is holy.

 

Last week we showed the difference between what we often call legalism vs. holiness.

 

Legalism: Following a set of man-made rules so that one appears to be holy before man; or as I refer to as “legislated righteousness.”

 

Holiness: Obeying God’s commands out of love, thereby bringing glory and honor to Him

 

When a person is truly living holy (used for God’s purposes only) something dramatic begins to take place in the life of that individual. That person begins to emulate the very lifestyle of Jesus!

 

Consider Jesus . . . we know He is holy. Do you recall some of the miracles He did; feeding thousands, healing the sick, the lame walk, the blind see, and so much more!

 

Jesus was, and is, wonderfully amazing! He still heals the sick, feeds the hungry, gives comfort to the suffering, and helps the weak and feeble. He is still in the business of being the Lord and Savior of all!

 

He does not do this alone; He uses those who truly have met Him and have chosen to follow His directives! Jesus was on a mission . . . do you recall what that mission was?

 

Luke 4:14-21

 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah chapter 61; this is His mission and He has called us to continue His mission, until He returns! This is why we do what we do!

 

It is why we take missionary offerings; it is why we feed the hungry and give clothes to the needy. It is why we donate thousands of dollars to the poor in our community. How awesome it would be if all of us got involved, if all had the desire to serve Jesus!

 

I am about to say a few things that might feel a little “stingy” and as I have said many times, if I step on your toes, perhaps you shouldn’t have had them out there!

 

A huge problem today: many folks within the church who DO NOT TRULY KNOW JESUS are trying to represent Him to others! Instead of giving testimony to His wonderful works, they give testimony to their religion! Instead of inviting people to Jesus, they invite them to church!

 

Now do not get me wrong; please invite and bring people to church with you; but your responsibility is to lead them to a Savior, not a church. Remember, coming to church does not make you a Christian any more than taking your car to the garage makes you a mechanic.

 

We are called to bring people to Jesus, not a religion! Speaking to the Pharisees who were doing this very thing, Jesus said:

 

Matthew 23:15

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

 

For those of you who have met Jesus; please do not be discouraged, but encouraged, to share your faith. Step up and be the ambassador that Jesus Christ has called you to be!

 

You must realize that your life is an open book; and people ARE watching!

 

2 Corinthians 3:2

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.

 

Remember, you and your life, the way you speak, the places you go, the people you surround yourself with; everything you do; even what you think you do in secret, is on display, and people are watching! Recall what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5 . . .

 

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

Some of you may remember the stories of King David; the Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart. He was a powerful witness to the faithfulness of God, yet when David sinned, he became a reproach. When you have an opportunity, read Psalm 51; it is King David’s confession of that sin and his repentance; Psalm 51 reveals the way out of sin.

 

Make no mistake though; the credibility of your witness for Christ is lost when sin rules in your life!

 

The world today has heard far too many “Christians” giving testimony to a life they are not living! This is the reason that so many view Christianity in such a poor light. People know what God is like and they will examine your life to see if your life reflects His truth, power and holiness; if it does not, then you will be considered a phony.

 

1 Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

 

I encourage you to be a witness for Christ, but to be effective; you MUST live for Christ as well!

 

I have seen so called Christians’ act in ways that betray that designation! Far too many neglect to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and give comfort to the suffering.

 

I have seen Christians fly into fits of rage, go on complaining rants, and don’t even talk about how they handle politics!

 

I have seen Christians complain when the church is in financial need, feeling like all they have is their own and will only give a smidgen, rather than be generous.  I have seen “good Christians” engage in gossip, to the point of obsession!

 

Yet these same “Christians” profess to know Christ, but their deeds deny Him!

 

Titus 1:16

They claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

 

So, how does all this fit, with the topic of holiness? It has everything to do with it! Remember, holiness is being set apart for God and His purpose only. As followers of Jesus, when we forget that, and start living for our own desires, rather than God’s, we become unholy and we sin.

One of the most profound instances of a man coming face to face with holiness is found in the Book of Isaiah, let’s read . . .

 

Isaiah 6:1-8

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 

Isaiah saw God! His first response was to declare that he was undone; literally meaning he would melt and dissolve! He confessed that he was a man who had unclean (unholy) lips and he lived among a people who were the same way and now he has seen the King of Kings!

 

Isaiah recognized he is a sinful man; and remember, it is what comes out of your mouth that makes you clean or unclean; that is why the first thing Isaiah knew, was that his lips were unclean; and he confessed that sin right away.

 

How about you . . . do you have unclean lips? What comes out of your mouth?

 

The first step toward holiness; is humility. The Bible declares:

 

Psalm 51:17 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

 

And . . .

 

James 4:6    “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

 

There is something very pleasing to God, when our heart is broken, over our brokenness.

 

When Isaiah saw his heart for what it really was, he melted before God and was quick to declare that he was a sinful man. An old friend once told me; “Come clean with God and you will be Clean with God.”

 

When we come to the place of humility and “get real” before God, when hot tears of repentance flow down our cheeks, an amazing thing takes place!

 

When Isaiah confessed and declared himself to be unholy, God sent the seraphim and they took a hot coal from the altar of God and touched Isaiah’s lips; the part of his body that he saw as unclean!

 

The fire of God purged the sin from Isaiah! The seraphim said that his guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for!

 

Total and complete restoration! AND ISAIAH DID NOTHING BUT CONFESS HIS SIN!!!

 

Suppose you are in Isaiah’s place today, and you see the Lord; high and lifted up, the train of His robe filling the temple and He looks at you . . . what do you say? I am a man or a woman of . . .

 

  • unclean lips              
  • unclean mind            
  • evil hands                 
  • lustful eyes               
  • greed
  • anger                         
  • envy                           
  • bitterness                 
  • hatred                       
  • unforgiveness

 

Are you ready for the fire of God to purge the sin from your heart? He will; if you would only humble yourself, and acknowledge your own sinfulness before Him!

 

When you have this defining moment in your life; when you come face to face with the Living God; everything changes, and your life reflects the One who rescued you!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Family, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments