Sin is Sin

Have you ever had someone wrong you? Have you ever had someone say something bad about you? They could have hurt you, but can you forgive them? I know it’s not easy. If you think about it, the hurt that you feel is exactly how God feels everytime you disobey Him. Yet God is gracious that He forgives you no matter how many times you have hurt Him in the past.

If God who is the almighty powerful God, who has control of everything, who doesn’t even need us (it is we who need Him), yet chooses to forgive us. Who are we to refuse forgiveness of one another? When we start doing that, we are basically saying that we are better than God.

“Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”” – John 8:9-11

Jesus came not to condemn the world but to convict the world of its sin so that the people may turn from their ways and turn to God. Jesus came so that people could be forgiven of their sins, no matter how big a sin, whether it is telling a lie or committing adultery, sin is still sin to God. Yet whatever it is that we have done God is faithful and just to forgive.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Let us forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you. Forgiveness not only benefits the offending party but also benefits you. As you forgive you let go of that bitterness, harbouring that bitterness will only cause yourself to be hurt even more. Eventually bitterness leads to death.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32

Differences

Jesus is the perfect example of someone who is anti-racism. Jesus treated everyone equally, Jesus loves you just as much as He loves the next person. Back in the day, the Samaritans and Jews were not the best of friends. The Jews discriminated Samaritans, and so no Jew would even speak to a Samaritan.

One day as Jesus was on His way to Galilee, He CHOSE to go through Samaria – even though it would have taken Him longer. Jesus being a Jew spoke to a Samaritan woman, not only did He defy convention by speaking to a Samaritan, He spoke to a WOMAN – which was even less common.

Jesus knew the importance of setting our differences aside, we cannot discriminate people just because they are from a different race, or maybe they are a different colour. You and I are no better than anyone else in this world, we were all created from dust and we will go back as dust.

You will never know how much of an impact you can make by reaching out to someone. Jesus knew He had to go there, and I’m sure the Samaritans had longed for someone to speak to them. They were probably feeling a little left out.

“And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”” – John 4:27

The bible says, not one person complained about Jesus talking to the woman. The Samaritans would have been more happy than angry that a Jew actually crossed the boundary and came up to speak to one of them. In the end the people loved Jesus so much that they asked Him to stay with them for two days – which He did.

So let’s take the example of Jesus and set aside our differences. God wants you to reach out everyone, He wants us to go out into the world, that includes all countries, not just Asian countries or Europeans countries, but the WHOLE world.

Greatness

The world sees greatness as something that is all powerful, to be great you must be on top of everything, to be great means to be in control at all times, to be great you cannot afford to show weakness.

The Bible talks about greatness, but in gentleness. To be great means, being able to suffer without having the spirit of revenge, to have a humble and meek spirit, not demanding rights. When we continue to humble ourselves, God will exalt you.

Jesus showed us what it means to be great. Jesus had done nothing wrong, He committed no crime and yet when He was sentenced to be crucified, He said nothing. Jesus had the power to escape from it if He wanted to, but He chose to submit to the authority. From that obedience and His gentle spirit God exalted Him to the highest place.

“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.” – 2 Samuel 22:36

Now don’t think that being humble means letting others step over the top of you. Being humble means to think of others before yourself and gentleness is a gift of the spirit, so we must always be guided by the Holy Spirit.

“But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” – Psalm 37:7-11

The Mind

Our mind is powerful tool and yet it is one of the most vulnerable parts of our body. Before we do anything, we must first think about it. Before you decide to go browsing on the Internet, you would have first thought about doing it or the thought must be present somewhere on your mind.

Satan can use this vulnerability to his advantage. When he attacks the mind, and if he is successful, he will cause you to do things you would not normally do. By being able to control our mind, Satan has control over us. This is very dangerous, we must not let Satan take a hold of our mind. The only way we can avoid this is to keep our mind set on God.

Think of it like a bag, when we fill up the bag with stuff, it becomes full and nothing else will be able to get in because it is so full. Likewise if we fill our minds with Godly things then there will be no room for Satan to fill it with worldly (sinful) things.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” – Colossians 3:2

Alot of the times when people try to resist temptation, they try to think about NOT doing it. In their head they might be continually thinking: “I won’t do it, I won’t do it…”. This is where we need to realise that if you keep thinking about it, then you are still filling your mind with the temptation. The best way to go about it, is not to think about the temptation at all and only set your mind on what you need to do. That way you won’t even have time to think about resisting that temptation.

Religion

Most of the time people see Christianity as a religion. This is probably because people associate religion as being connected to some kind of God. However real Christianity is far from just a religious practice. What is religion? Yes, religion does involve believing in some God, but what makes Christianity different is that, all the other religions is about DO, DO, DO.

All religions focus on what man must DO in order to gain something. You need to follow certain rules and you must DO certain things in order to be good enough. Christianity on the other hand teaches:

“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” – Isaiah 64:6

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” – Romans 3:23

Whatever we DO, will never be good enough for God. WOW, you might think, God is a pretty tough guy to please isn’t He? The Bible says that all good things we do, no matter how great are like filthy rags to Him. We have ALL sinned and fall short of mark set by God, not one person on this Earth – no matter how good they are – has made the mark.

But I’ve got some good news. God loves us so much that He gave us a way to get to Him – Jesus. Jesus is the one that will DO the things required by God so that we may be able to have access to God. When Jesus came down to Earth, He came to DO the work and in the end, Jesus acknowledges that:

…It is finished!…” – John 19:30

He DID it on the cross and the work was DONE. So as Christians we no longer have to DO anything, we just need to accept what God has DONE and let Jesus DO the things that He needs to do in our life. We are not bound by things that we need to do, but instead we need to build a relationship with Jesus. When we do that we will automatically want to DO the things that God wants us to DO.

The Greatest Miracle

“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.” – Ezekiel 18:4

We belong to God, whether we like it or not that is the TRUTH. We are God’s creation and everything on this earth belongs to Him. However God is a loving God and He doesn’t treat us like objects, instead He gives us the freedom to choose.

“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” – Ezekiel 18:20

If we choose to live a sinful life then we must bear the consequences. Choosing to live in a sinful life is choosing to live in condemnation. We are responsible for our own actions, just because your parents are righteous does not automatically make you “ok”. Everyone must make their own decision, Jesus says “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3:16. Notice how Jesus basically says that “anyone” can believe and not perish, it’s not any “families” or any “relatives”. We are accountable for our own actions, there is nobody else to blame for our own actions but ourself.

“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” – Ezekiel 18:23

God doesn’t like to see His creation suffer. He doesn’t take pleasure when He sees you struggling on your own. God wants everyone to come to Him and turn from our wicked ways. The will of God is so that the people of this earth may receive salvation.

What are you doing with your life today? Are you living in God or out of God? Is your life controlled by the flesh (humanly desires) or is it controlled by the spirit of God?

Living for God is definitely not the easiest thing to do, in fact it is the hardest, but in the end it is all worthwhile, because you can be assured that Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life worth living.

Set Free!

Today I am longer bound by the strains and bondage that has plagued me over the past one and a half years – my braces. My teeth are now free, and boy does it feel gooood. Praise God! I don’t have to worry about getting food stuck in my braces. The only thing left is that I have to wear a retainer for a while, which isn’t so bad I guess.

Work has been so hectic the last week or so. A few clients are having problems putting orders into their accounting system. Plus we got a Melbourne trade fair coming up as well, so there’s alot of preparation yet to be done for that one. Melbourne is the BIG one, there will be over 1000 companies attending that fair. It’s so big, they had to take out the entire exhibition, a tent outside, plus another building not too far away from the exhibition centre.

The fair is going to run for 5 days, I can’t wait to see it, but at the same time because it’s going to go over the weekend, I’m not too keen on missin church again…