Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 3. .Fast Fact Wednesday!

First things first. .
I think I may have confused people in the beginning instructions. .
I have edited that for anyone that joins us in the future. .
You should be reading all 5 chapters of 1 John. .
Each week.
Read the entire book, as many times as you can during the course of the week. .
SO. .
If you haven't been doing that. .
You may want to backtrack to my other postings again over the next few weeks. .
because they will totally make more sense to you then!
At THAT point. .
if you still feel like adding discussion to the comments. .
please do that. .
I anticipate that there will still be people who will be able to go thru the study on their own later.
Sorry. .
And thanks for understanding!!

In our email bible study of 1 John. .
we had some pretty great conversations on the subject of sin. .
and forgiveness. .
and guilty conscience vs peace in our hearts. 
During that study God impressed on me. .
a need to add some things to that discussion. .

In some recent studies of my own. .
I picked up on this concept (like picking up a 2X4 to my head multiple times). .
and God has been using that in my life. .

Sin is serious. .
Period. .
any sin. .
all sin.

God SENT His Son. .
to free us from the CONSEQUENCE of sin. .
which is death. .

by dying on the cross in OUR place.
God inspires John to tell us that He is PERFECTING us. .

BUT. .
we can’t just use the grace and forgiveness card and NOT try to make changes in our lives. .
I believe that these passages are referring to PATTERNS of sin. .
And I believe He gets our attention by convicting our hearts.

One of my top favorite sins. .
WAS gossip. .
I enjoyed it.
 After I realized what a huge sinful thing that was in my life. .
I decided I needed to make changes in my life.
How did I do that?? 
I told myself that gossip was OK. .
IF. .

I camouflaged the gossip. .
under the heading of CONCERN. .

Then in a sermon. .
 I learned that you can talk about someone if you were trying to help solve a problem!
 no matter that they weren’t there. .
that WASN’T the message I know. .
but it was I heard. .
and how I convinced myself that ALL gossip. .
WASN'T bad, especially if you might be able to solve their problem FOR them! 

You can see. .
I was TRYING to fix the problem. .

but only after I IDENTIFIED gossip as a PROBLEM. .
AND then. .

I tried fixing the sin pattern I had. .
by slowly trying to making changes.
 I had to learn how to bite my tongue. .
some of you may be laughing to think I don’t say EVERYTHING I think in my head. .
but it is the honest truth. .
I had to learn which friends I had to start avoiding to a point because they always brought that sin out of me. .
I had to learn how to excuse myself from the conversation and find something else to do. .

I STILL slip up. .
BUT. .
I am not being CONTROLLED by that worldly. .
fleshly. .
sinful pattern anymore. .
I AM trying to take every thought captive. .
and my life is different because of it. .

God tells us to analyze ourselves. .
David asked God to ANALYZE him. .
and bring to light those ugly things that he/we just can’t see because
1.) we have blinders on. .
2.) flat refuse to call sin. .SIN!

That’s why John tells us that IF we sin (when we sin) God will forgive us. .
BUT. .
if we aren’t willing to live GOD’s way. .
Are we with Him??
 Who’s way are we gonna do God and our relationship. .
His way. .or MY way??

I think that’s a question that we need to ask ourselves. .

a painful question. .

The commandments were written so that we knew what SIN WAS!!
God knew when He gave the commandments to Moses on Mt Sinai. .
that we couldn’t obey them! That’s WHY He spent time in the Old Testament eluding to the prophets that a Savior was coming!! As we get to the book of Romans in December. .
I think we will see this for ourselves. .
if you just can’t stand to wait that long. .
check out Romans 6 and 7 (exclusively on sin. .and why we can’t break it loose on our own).

The coolest thing to me about the bible??
You CAN’T know it all. .
but just reading a single verse. .
If we don’t understand it in one area. .
like 3:20 that several of us struggled with earlier on guilt. .

be SURE that the issue is likely clarified somewhere else. .
Just as if we were ONLY reading 1 John. .
it would seem that ALL we have to do to be saved. .
is to say that Jesus is the Son of God. .
which. .is true. .
and to be saved we must do so. .
as we will see in other books soon. .
if we DO that. .
we will grow fruit. .
there will be changes. .
people should see us for who we are by WHO we are!!
I do not believe. .
and you may disagree, which is fine. .
I do NOT believe. .
that we can be IN Christ. .
and NOT be changing. .
for multiple reasons I believe this. .
but that discussion is for another day.  

Now you know what I think about it. .
Let’s see what GOD has to say about it. .

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rm 3:23) For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws. (James 2:10) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Rm 6:23)   But. .   God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it (Rm 6:1-2) We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Rm 6b-7)     And so now. .     we need to take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corin 10:5b) and throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Eph 4:22-25) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalms 139:23) and Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. (Lam 3:40) Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil Prov 3:5-7

and then. .      if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chron 7:14) Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (acts 3:19) "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (Jn 15:3-5)         And we should be encouraged to believe as Paul did and. . .      Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.  Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.  But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God,] just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.  Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. (Phil 2:14-18)
I encourage you to look these up. .
don’t just take my word that I am putting things in God’s mouth. .
or making up my own opinion as to what God says. .
After all, He also advises us in 1 John. .
Do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. .
You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world 4:1
I think the answer to our concerns about sinning as 1 John puts it is found in this. .
we have to CHOOSE not to sin. .
not wait for the sin to stop happening on its own (cause it won’t until we take it by the horns). .
not to call sin by a different name that doesn’t sound so bad. .
because we want to OBEY God by NOT doing what He says is wrong!

I realized something profound (I thought) last month during our Sunday School Genesis study. .
In Genesis chapter 2. .
God made Adam. .
and then Eve. .
 and made them workers in the garden of Eden. .
We all know. .
He gave them all the trees to eat off of. .
but He put in a tree. .
called The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
He gave Adam and Eve one rule. .
DON’T eat from that tree. .
God did NOT have to put that tree there. .
especially if He didn’t want them to have access to it anyway. .
so WHY did HE??

Simple, though I had NEVER thought about it before. .

Because He wanted Adam and Eve to CHOOSE to obey Him. .
not because they HAD to obey Him. .
He gave them. .and us. .
a free will and an ability to make decisions!! 

I’m adding another part to our assignment this week. .
which will make our assignment next week (as I described to you already) easier. .
Take some time this week and REFLECT. .
what is a CONTINUOUS sin on your part that you feel God wants you to get rid of. .

God told us not to make idols. .
have I put my family, my job, my hobbies before God (therefore making THAT an idol taking His time/position in our life). .

God told us not to murder. .
do we have a hatred (or intense dislike. .same thing, though some might disagree) for someone in our hearts. .
God tells us that THAT is murder. .

God told us not to covet. .
do we fight discontentment of our lives and seek worldly things to fill that up. .
do we ever have enough?

God told us not to commit adultery. .
are we addicted to romance novels, do we view porn or harbor thoughts about the opposite gender that could take the place of our spouse in our hearts??

Friends. .
we can look at those 10 commandments and think that we stack up pretty well. .
but when it gets right down to it. .
we are each. .
pretty bad!!
Thank GOD. .
that He never expected us to be perfect!!
Let God show you what HE wants you to get rid of in your life. 
 If God is convicting you on something that you would NEVER want to share with us. .
don’t NOT work on it, so you don’t have to talk!!
If God wants something in your life mastered and fixed. .
you don’t have to share. .
just be obedient and do it. .
(and maybe you should consider confiding that in a friend to help keep you accountable)
If it isn’t mortifying to you to share (cause I’ve got some of my own things I would never want to talk about!). .
I will ask you to reveal something that you want God to refine in your life. .
that also gives us accountability. .
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

 WOW!! God is SOO good!! Someone needed to hear some of these words this week. .
And He is going to work in a mighty way THROUGH that!!
God bless you girls. .
and be perseverant through your studies!!

Here’s another great song to listen to tonight. .It’s The voice of truth by Casting Crowns. .

Fast Fact today. .
Tell us a couple ways that you are like you mom. .
and a couple ways that you are like your dad. .

An obvious similarity between my mom and I, for those of you that have seen my mom. .
is our appearance!!
 We look very much the same!! Another thing that I inherited from her (and from her mom before her I think) is my love of gardening. .
We also both love decorating and hunting down antiques (my favorite thing to do with her). .
Even though I LOOK like my mom. .
I ACT like my dad. .
which isn’t always a good thing. .
I am a “take control” kind of person. .
often offer advice when it is NOT sought. .
and have no problem making my opinions heard. .
I also inherited his tendency to cook 3 times more food than would have possibly been needed. .
as well as his curly hair. .
my son Grant also inherited that hair. .
and Jeremy teased him this past summer that he had hair “Like a duck. .when it gets wet, the water just slides off and the hair is still dry!”
I love my parents. .
and miss my dad lots!!
I think it is important to identify those traits. Because they are part of who we are. .
and who we came from. .

Your turn!!


  1. In mannerism's I'm like mom. There are times when I say something or do something and I will be called "Billie". When mom is here, I will find pictures rearranged or furniture tweaked to her liking... I have stopped myself from doing the same thing at my kids homes (notice I said stopped!) Mom is a take control type of person even when it's not needed or when it's none of her business and that's me too... I'm not sure I like that quality or is it a curse... I'm learning to be quiet when I should be!

    Daddy... he liked being at home, didn't like crowds, didn't like attention to be focused on him, was a good administrator and in those ways I am like him. I miss him everyday!

  2. I am like my mom in looks, & in word phrasings. If i am having company for dinner i use Mom's method of organization...lists...lots of them. Our handwriting is difficult to tell apart. Flowers, birds, love of sunshine all from her.
    I am short like Dad, enjoy math, am short on patience, tend to come across as mad when responding to some my dad.
    Love to visit with people like both parents. People tend to tell me their problems & sometimes i can help...from both parents.