Tuesday, December 29, 2009

1 Corinthians 10 Believers Freedom

1 Corinthians 10:23 "Everything is permissible"- but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible" - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (see Romans 15:1-2, 1Corinthians 6:12)

This is hard to fully understand or embrace, at least it was for me for awhile. I believe Paul is eluding to the fact that Jesus came and crushed the law (scripture anyone?). We aren't to be like the religious folk who believe their salvation is in their law abiding works, no; we are saved by faith alone. God imparts the grace to take our blinders off and reveal His truth to us then we exercise our faith that is essentially gifted to us.

Paul is saying that we shouldn't condemn ourselves or others so everything is permissible but many of these things in the world shouldn't be done because they have no value. Why would we waste our time doing something of no value? We usually do it because it feels good for a minute and we listen to the lies that say there is value in these things (always selfish). An easy way to check ourselves is to analyze our motivation and decide whether it is for ourselves or others. If our motivation is for the benefit of others then we typically won't be wrong. It is when we are serving ourselves that everything gets sticky, we hurt others, we offend people, and we rub folks the wrong way.

I think this scripture is a great reminder and is well laid out in the sense that Paul makes a controversial point but then brings it back to the basic home of serving others not ourselves. Priceless advice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lift scrips not weights?

"Bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present lie and also for the life to come." - 1 Timothy 4:8

Here is where I'm at... I'm not making my spiritual training number one in my life. It's second to my physical. I was talking to Jules last night on the phone and praise be to God I just blurt out that I need him to seriously challenge me and hold me accountable for setting my alarm in the AM and opening God's word. To be still and read and soak it up before I turn on this world. Now for some of us that might be a little grindy. Kids, work, roommates, etc. But if you find yourself making excuses or it seems like too much work, then usually it's the right thing to do. (Thanks Terry) Johnny Mac Piece McNugget pointed out this scripture to me in his devotional I read today. "By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life." -1 Peter 1:3

What's your excuse now? I can't find one and believe I looked all morning laying in bed. Most of us here are athletes and God has blessed us with some serious competitive fire. Use it! Want to study and obtain God's word. Memorize scripture and be a leader for others around you. Not for the recognition or to pump up your pride but for Jesus Christ! He saved you dumb dum! So let's crank up some accountability in this group and study HIS WORD. Pick a time and shut off everything and read. Pray that God would transform your mind and allow you to be more like him. If you don't feel that guilt after reading this then your a really good Christian and I'm not, so whatever. ha


New Years Resolutions

I know I know..., it's not quite the new year yet. But, maybe it's time to start thinking about it. A lot of people make New Year's Resolutions every year. Most of the rezzies I see people make are the same one's they made a year prior. But this year's gunna be different. Yep, "this is the year I'm gunna make _____ happen, and i'm gunna stay consistent all year." Things go great for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two and then BAM! You take a day off here and there. Then all of the sudden you've stopped doing it entirely. Sound familiar? To me it does. Last year Jenny and I were gunna read our Bibles everyday. We were going to grow together and keep on each other so we could go over each chapter. Kinda like a in home nightly Bible study. And you know what happened there. So, this year I want to go on record and say that my resolution will be to make sure I have my quiet time with the Lord every day. I, like the rest of you, may have a wierd schedule right now that may not be conducive to having a consistent time in the mornings for study. But..., there's no excuse for not giving a few minutes each day to our Lord, His Son, and His Spirit. I have continued to fail miserably at that so I'm going to attack it. All of you have my permission to hold me accountable on this subject at any time to keep me in check. My wife just spent the whole last week remodeling the front room in my house into a sweet office. I even got a nice big fancy desk, and I've already got a Bible sitting right in the middle. I think it will be important for me to use that office, or somewhere, that's not my comfortable bed, to do my quiet time. I've found that quiet time spent in bed at night ends up being a quick ticket to dreamland.
On a side note, the other day I was thinking about some of the people I admire most in life. I was trying to, in my own head, think about some traits that each one brought to the table in their own walks with Jesus. One common denominator was that they all spent the first part of their day in quiet time with the Lord. So, my first thought was "man, it'll be awesome when I retire and I can get into a routine like that." Then it hit me..., was I claiming to be too busy for God? Yes. Was I putting God first? No. Here's the thing. Twenty years from now if I haven't got myself on a good schedule it will be even harder to break bad habits, or start good ones. And, I know my set of excuses will just change to something else like a early golf game or hunting trip or something. All the more important I get myself going NOW! To give my Lord a few minutes...., God deserves more than that. He sent His own son to do WHAT for us? Wow!!! Golf clap would be necessary right now. So my question to you e-fellows..., how or what are you gunna do to grow your own personal relationships with God? If we do this right our resolutions aren't just resolutions..., they're life changers.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Copy and Paste piece

"But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him" (Heb. 2:8).

God gave man dominion over all the earth, and the earth supplied his every need. All he had to do was accept and enjoy the earth as provided for him. But Adam sinned and Satan usurped the crown. A new chain of command was born: the earth now rules man.

To know how true that is, all you need do is look at the amount of effort expended on restoring the ecological balance of the earth. Environmentalism is a popular watchword of our day. Yet with all our modern technology, we are still unable to gain control over the earth.

Look what happened once Adam sinned: no longer could man easily harvest what the earth provided--now he had to toil by the sweat of his brow (Gen. 3:18). Women would experience pain in childbirth (3:16). Murder soon followed in Adam's family. God had to destroy virtually all mankind in the Flood because they had become so debauched.

Much of the animal kingdom now lives in fear of man and cannot be tamed. Where once the earth produced good things naturally and abundantly, now it produces thorns, weeds, and other harmful things. Extremes of heat and cold, poisonous plants and reptiles, earthquakes, typhoons, floods, hurricanes, and disease were all products of the Fall. Man was no longer a king but a slave--a dying creature fighting a losing battle with a dying earth.

Amazingly, the earth is aware of its condition: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it" (Rom. 8:20). Now it eagerly awaits for the day when the sons of God, believers, are manifest in the kingdom, for then it will be liberated from the bondage of corruption (vv. 19, 21-22).

There is coming a day, in the wonderful plan of God, when man will receive once again the dominion that he lost. May our Lord hasten its coming!

Suggestion for Prayer:

Thank God that He will one day redeem the earth from its subjection to the curse.

For Further Study:

Read Isaiah 60:21, 65:25, 2 Peter 3:13, and Revelation 21:27. What will characterize the new earth?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8:8 "Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?"
1 Corinthians 8:19 "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more."

The background for this chapter is that many people (Corinthian believers) were struggling with their own gray area. The example used is the one of believers buying inexpensive meat to eat that had been offered to idols in Pagan practice. Some of the believers felt it was okay while others thought that demonic entities could be in the food and then could enter your body as you consumed it. There was no scripture to lay claim to either side of the argument so it was a huge gray area for the people. Johnny Mac throws out some examples that are current in our times, drinking alcohol, playing sports on Sundays, styles of music, wearing make-up for woman, playing the lottery, etc... All these things are seen as a gray area to many believers. Paul clears this up in the end with this idea (v 23, v 24, v 25-27, v 28-30). He basically says that Christian Liberty should be seen as edification over gratification (v 23), others over self (v 24), liberty over legalism (vv 25-27), and condescension over condemnation (vv 28-30).

My personal opinion on this matter is that these gray areas are not a deciding matter in whether or not one can be saved/salvation therefore like Paul says we should not condemn ourselves or others with regards to these issues. If you're feeling unsure about an issue or gray area in your life pray diligently about it and let the Holy Spirit guide your heart. If you can honestly say that you have no conviction in correlation to your actions, I would assume you're alright. Remember that this only applies to gray areas (issues that are not written about in the Bible), knowing myself I've tried too many times to apply this principle to areas that are spoken about in the scriptures only to learn a tough lesson.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Significantly Significant

So, in five days Christmas will be here. Time for presents, Christmas trees and lights, and...oh yeah...Jesus Christ. The birth of our Lord is no small thing. Although it may not have been Dec 25th, that's a whole different story, Christmas whether celebrated in Dec or April is all about Jesus. Or should be. It is here to celebrate the birth of our lord Jesus Christ. This year our family for the first time is getting a small cake. We are gunna light candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus just like He was a family member or close friend (He is). We want our kids to grow up knowing the significance of Christmas for what it REALLY is. Growing up for me Christmas was presents, presents, and hopefully some more presents. I love me some presents, and turkey too. But, Christmas is our Saviors time. I'll tell you a couple things that make our beliefs different and awesome. Our God, sent His son to DIE for us.... that is love! Our sins became so great that an animal sacrifice wasn't cutting it anymore. In Hebrews 9 and 10 it says that those animal sacrifices were temporary anyway. In Genesis 2 and Romans 6 the Bible tells us the punishment for sin is death. It took a man to die for mans sins. A perfect and sinless sacrifice...it took Jesus. Jesus has walked this Earth in human form, was tempted by Satan just like we are, suffered worse than we ever will, and came away from it all as clean as a whistle. Jesus faced all the same junk we have to put up with...our Bible tells us that in Hebrews 4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. My admiration for Jesus continues to grow each day as I realize how incredibly tough it is to go five minutes without a sin much less a life time. Our Jesus is battle tested. God really got it right with His Son didn't He. God made it so much easier to have a personal relationship with Him by sending Jesus to us in a human, fleshly body that we could touch and talk to. Our ancient ancestors had a chance to watch His miracles and listen to Him preach. They got a chance to see Him stand firm even while He was being literally tortured and whipped and beaten down. He left such an impression that His disciples were willing to die for the sake of His name (all but one). Think about that. I'll tell you what else. Jesus depended on God. He asked God to take Him out of the situation but that His will be done. Imagine you were Jesus up in Heaven hanging with God. You and the Holy Spirit were throwing the football around the clouds or wherever and then all the sudden BAM...you know it's your time to go die for a bunch of knuckle heads that cant seem to get it right. I'da been like "naw, i'm good Dad. Lets send Gabriel." Our God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit are pretty significant....i'd say they are Significantly significant.

Merry Christmas studs,


ps...and that whole raising from the grave thing........that's pretty cool too I guess

Friday, December 18, 2009

Imma just speak..

I don't want to share a word today. I just want to talk. I want to be real about how I feel. I want you to be real in response. If you do not like what I say then tell me, if you agree then share why. I might offend some people with this but that is the least of my concerns right now cause I am rollin from the heart. Lemme tell you what gets at me, eats at me, and makes me entertain the thought of not being a Christian. No, its not the world, its not money, its not a girl, or any other insta-pleasure. It is not my adversity, or sadness at times, or even doubts. The one thing that puts me off kilter and/or fires me up is Christians. Yep, thats the truth, no holds bar. Nobody has been more misunderstood than Jesus. I mean Muslims reject Him, Hindus suspect Him, Buddists ignore Him, atheists hate Him, and agnostics deny Him. But I feel like it is the people who claim to represent Him the most, "Christians", who have misunderstood Him and therefore misrepresented Him the most<--real talk.

I live in Tennessee where it is known as the part of the "Bible Belt", ya know the region of the States where people are coo-coo for Christ. But, more and more each day, I am realizing that people are just coo-coo. Now, Im no saint. I have messed up 24,792 times in my life...or somewhere around that, give or take a bunch more thousand. I admit my faults. Ask me and I will tell where I messed up. It makes me think of Tommy Boy where Chris Farley says, "Let me tell you why I suck as a salesperson." Sometimes I just want to do that, just be like, "Let me tell you why I suck at being a Christian." And after a whole day of explaining, conclude it with "you know what though, God still loves me just the same." I don't want to hide who I am, how I've messed up, or who I have been. I'm not ashamed of those things anymore. Those things remind me more and more of how in desperate need I am of a Savior. They remind of how imperfect I am, how far I fall short, and "how I suck at being a Christian". I'll never claim to be the world's greatest. I'd rather claim the title of world's worst, to be honest.

I have a lot of non-believer friends, well to put it more accurately, non-caring about believing friends. They admit that there is a God but thats...about...it. And this "holier than thou" stuff I see all the time puts my friends and everybody else like them off from anything having to do with Jesus. See, I just want to love on those guys and girls. Be around them some, let them see me for who I really am, a broken, hopeless, lifeless dude if it were not for Christ. I'm not sayin I am going to go out and get hammered with them to share the Gospel. I'm just sayin I do not want to pretend to be more than I am. I can't and don't want every conversation with them to have to involve Jesus. I love having everyday talk with them. I want them to see Jesus, not puke it up because I have shoved it down their throat so many times with every word I say. I hate talk in a way. Cause more times than not, the people that talk talk talk it, are not balanced enough to walk walk walk it. Yes, there are many opportunities to share Christ, and God provides those times, and the Holy Spirit definitely leads in those times. But, I mean come on "oversaved" people. Ha, my PAO guys will get that.

I love my lost friends because they are broken, they are hopeless, and they are dark. I love them because I know Jesus loves them and because I know He loved me just the same when I was just like them. I never want to forget who I was before Jesus was Lord of my life. I have a compassion for them because the Holy Spirit allows me to see them for who they really are. Without Jesus, they are dead. But, I want them to see how I am alive in Christ, and how He brought me from my brokenness, hopeless depair, and saved me, wiped me clean, and gave me new life. And if they do not see that in me, that one thing that is different in me, then I am just like every Christian that makes me mad, that misrepresents our Lord and Savior.

In the midst of all this stuff I have typed out, I hope to challenge you all to a sense of realness. I cannot do fake anymore. Yes, like I say after all my posts, I am trying to die to myself, and it is still a work in progress. I'm just not gonna claim to be something I am not. I'm not Billy Graham and I'm not Shayne Graham (kicker for the Bengals). I am Todd Martin, I struggle to not be worldly, I let my flesh win a bunch of battles over my spirit, and I cussed yesterday. That is just a few things on a huge list of where I messed up or that I struggle with. I want people to see that I am broken away from Jesus. I want people to see my faults. I want to be open. And I believe whole heartedly that, that is what attracts lost people to a life with Jesus Christ; not having a Bible verse to correlate with every sentence you say, or letting people know you spent this much money on this many things for the Kingdom, or letting them know you pray at least an hour on an off day. I am turned off by that, so I can only imagine that they would be more so. No, see I want them to see how they are not that much different than me, that they are one decision away from being made alive in Jesus Christ, and that they are not as far off course as they think. I want to be real, see through, and open. I challenge you all to be the same. If you already are, then you are steps ahead of me. I hope yall's week has been good. Thank you for letting me share my heart.

trying to die to myself,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1 Corinthians 7 (Affection Due)

1 Corinthians 7:3 "Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband."

Let's all take some time out to let the woman in our lives know how much we love them and give them the affection that they need and deserve. We as Christian men need to respect woman at the highest level to be an impactful living example. Just a thought. "Stay righteous e-Fellows."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kingdom Currency

What up fellas, hope yall good. Imma keep goin with some faith. Yep, Kingdom currency, that would be faith, it is necessary for living in the Kingdom. If you lose it, it's like spiritual bankruptcy, which leaves us unsuited for Kingdom life. Satan will attack us for this very reason, I mean, he did it to Job, so why not you and me? Adversities in life, whatever they may be will bang on your faith, try to tear it down, and even try to kill it. I've been there, we all have I am pretty sure. Satan is after our faith because he knows that it is what we live by in our lives. Some people who are not believers can read the Bible, study it, and even quote it as well or better than you and I, yet it has no positive effect on their lives because "faith activates the law." Faith is the currency that activates all the promises and principles of the Kingdom. It is the style we live by, the style we wear like clothes. It is the way we manifest the Kingdom culture. Plainly, faith keeps us alive.

Faith can be a tricky and touchy subject. It is like people make it an isolated doctrine, making it seem like there is an exclusive club that leaves the people who don't have the "right kind of faith" feeling spiritually inadequate. Which, in actuality, faith was intended for the opposite. It was supposed to breed hope, not produce a sense of deficiency. Maybe the problem with this is that faith was not intended to be an isolated doctrine but rather meshed together within the bigger picture of God's plan for us. I mean, Jesus didn't teach faith as an isolated thing, but it was always in the context of His principal message: the Kingdom.

True faith means a "sure hope." But wait, kinda seems like a contradictory statement, but not with a biblical perspective. The world tends to think of hope as something you desire but have no certainty whether you will actually receive it. But I say biblical hope is different. Biblical hope is sure and certain because it is anchored on the integrity and promises of God. In Romans 8:24-25 Paul says, "24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." And in Hebrews 6:19-20a it says, "19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf."

The tragedy of churches today is that the faith of many professed believers does not rise to this level. But what about me? Am I trusting in my circumstances or in the person of Jesus Christ who cannot lie and is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8)? Faith is the sure hope that drives you to action. That is why James 2:26 says that faith without works is dead. So yea fellas, it is the currency. Faith is to Kingdom like oxygen is to humankind.

trying to die to myself,

Thursday late post (Priorities)

Our first priority needs to be meditating on Christ. Take time each day to get to know Him more and more. You hear it in creeds that God needs to be number one in our military. We all say it ourselves in the christian community, we just tend to bark more than bite on that. I really don't want to get into that today, I think we have hit on that numerous times that we are all guilty of not giving enough time to Christ from time to time. I wanted to talk about when you speak with somebody you don't really know well. Not a close friend, but an acquaintance or co-worker.
You ever ask someone what their priorities are in life? Most people generally say one of two things: 1. Family 2. Career (or if they are single or don't have kids they will say 1. Career and then something similar for number 2). I think that most of the time this is why it is so hard for people to believe in something bigger than them that could be so helpful like Christ. We all know what happens when you put your faith in other people. They are just as flawed as you are and will always fall short of your expectations. Or putting everything you have into your job, and then working so hard that you forget to enjoy the rewards of being "successful". It is a recipe for disaster. That is why most people are so jaded. They have just seen it too many times, and eventually decide to stop putting themselves out there.
So for us to be a flag for the Christian walk, we need to act according to what we know. We know there is an End Game to all this, which gives us hope and a positive outlook on our purpose. We have our daily struggles, and know more about sin than anybody so we make it hard on ourselves. That is why we always say how great this group is to come to and recharge our batteries and arm ourselves. So, I think we need to remember that when we are out and about to have that confidence in what we know. We always talk on here about being prepared for that confrontation or opportunity we get with a discussion with someone. Something needs to appear different about us, for people to want to "buy in" in the first place. The fine line is having that confidence, but also separating it from religious pride that makes us appear snobby or holier than thou.
Just a short post, but it's something to keep in mind.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Justified and Washed Clean

1 Corinthians 6:9 & 11 "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived... 11 and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and the Spirit of God."

This verse struck me and made me question "who is unrighteous?", am I? I know that I want to make sure by studying and filling myself with God's word that my life has been in pursuit of Him. Notice Paul's warning to not allow yourself to be deceived, that speaks volumes of how easy it is for us to fall into deception. After listing all sorts of catagories of sinners Paul points out that some of the members were catagorized like that once too. Paul's point is to show God's saving grace regardless of who you were. He can save you from anywhere and can use you from anywhere too. God wants desiring souls who are thirsty for conversion.

I felt the Spirit leading me to take time out for all of us today to just rejoice in how great our God truly is. He doesn't need our hands, a platform, our strategies, techniques, or our plans he just wants our hearts. At that point God can show His awesome power, purpose, and plan. It is hard for me to really understand His saving grace (I know many who come to tears when thinking of it) but I can honestly say I'm learning. Here is for serving a God who is worth fighting for!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Stakes Just Went Up

The past few days I spent at PAO (Professional Athletes Outreach) in Dallas, Texas. There were a few of us E-fellows there...TMart, Hawksworth, Pags, Brett Carrol, Boyer, and myself to name a few. I can say with a certainty that everybody had a great and spiritually enhancing time. Some awesome things came about there. Every year at PAO, there is an allotted time for individuals at the end of the conference to get up on stage and say whatever they want. It can be about the conference, a speaker that you really loved, literally whatever you want. Well, some of the E-fellas put our noggins together one day and decided when "open mike" night came we would get on stage and give every person at the conference a chance to start receiving our emails. Well, that is exactly what happened. Blake, Pags, and BC represented the fellas on stage and shared the history of E-fellowship. They spoke of the blog and E-outreach. The reaction was good and when PAO sends out their address and email list of everybody that attended the conference, soon after they will receive an invite to experience E-fellowship. This, whether we know it or not, has become a ministry. Sure, we aren't trained professionals. But, why do we have to have a fancy degree to tell everybody how God is working in our lives, and how much we love Him and need Him. Think about where it came from and how much it's grown. From a group of four or five guys to an ever growing list of ballers that is extending into pretty much every league. And from there, an E-outreach group that is reaching hundreds of people. Several different players approached me at the conference saying that they have really enjoyed the E-fellowship emails. Guys, this thing has taken a life of it's own and we need to make sure that when the numbers start to rise that we are honoring our days, and letting God speak as often as possible. This can, and in my opinion, should be a net with no holes to catch as many fish as we can. WE ARE FISHERS OF MEN....

Mark 1:16-18 (New International Version)

16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

We don't need those nets.....we are nets. We love you Jesus....


Friday, December 4, 2009

That Daniel faith

E-fellas.....wow, for those of you who were unable to go to the PAO conference, it was an amazing four days! Though we did have a showing of 5 or 6 e-fellas there (props), I strongly suggest for those of you that have not been, that you would consider going next year in Orlando. Once you attend, you will know exactly why I seem so excited about it. I had a great time while hearing great messages and fellowshipping with solid peoples. The love going on in that place is only surpassed by the love of my family, that's the truth.

For those of you that were there I want to continue to talk a bit on faith. For those of you that were not there, former braves chaplain Walt Wiley tackled this subject. And he talked about how nothing pleases God more than faith. The story he was referencing can be found in Luke 7:1-10. He also said that anytime God tested anybody, He only tested one thing, their faith, and how that(faith) is our link with God. I want to run with this a bit.....

The word faith gets thrown around a lot, and because of this it can lose its purpose or meaning. Sometimes the question is do you or don't you have faith, or how much faith do you have. My question is "where" are you placing your faith? Is your faith in Jesus Christ the "bread of life", or are you satisfied with the bread of His blessings? Are you seeking to satisfy your spirit or just to fill your stomach, so to speak? Are you trusting in the things that never truly satisfy or in the One that satisfies forever? Myles Munroe says this (BC you knew I was going to throw some Myles in this),"Most people I have met focus their faith on the bread and not the baker. The principle of Kingdom faith is to trust the Source and not the resource." God will meet our needs, but we are not to trust in those things that meet our needs but the King who provides them. Jesus meant this in Matthew 6:31-33 when He said, "31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

We shouldn't follow God for what we can get from Him. Kingdom faith, as Munroe put it, is faith in the King, not the King's favor. If you look at Daniel in Daniel chapter 6 where he is about to get chomped on by some lions. You don't think that maybe on his chained walk down to the den, he was thinkin uh....ok....God enterrrrrr now. But Daniel seemed to shift his trust from the works of God to God Himself. And of course as you know, it wasn't until he was down in the den did he realize that the angel had shut the mouths of the lions. Ya know, truthfully, we need some Daniel faith, not this watered down 21st century faith that is built on avoiding troubles, trials, and tests rather than facing, enduring, and overcoming these temporary opportunities to prove the eternal power of our Kingdom.

We(and when I say we, I first mean I) need faith that is stable even when our expectation of God's strategy is miscalculated. "You are only as strong as what your faith survives.(MM)" Soooo how strong are you?

trying to die to myself

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

1 Corinthians (Unrepentant Sin)

1 Corinthinas 5:5-6 "deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?"

This scripture is written in the context of a church having a member sin without repentance. To make matters worse the church just excepted his sin and kept on going as if it was okay. The dude was sleeping with his dads wife (stepmother to him), ya you heard me right! And we think that the stuff we see on Springer is "new school". His sin was bad enough but for him to continue to live in this sin unrepentantly (not acknowledging it as wrong) was ridiculous and it even made the Pagans cringe (according to Johnny Mac). Paul is telling them they need to rebuke this guy and if he still is shameless they need to boot him out of the church. Paul makes his point clear with verse 6 that I love, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump". If you got a batch of dough and you put a little leaven in it the whole lump rises, the same way a little mildew can spoil a whole loaf.

We can look at this scripture in a couple different ways.
1) watch who we surround ourselves with and when our friends are claiming to be part of the flock (christian) and living in unrepentant sin we need to hold them accountable despite the uncomfortable nature of the conversation. When you accept Jesus you sign on for this.
2) we need to be aware of the sin that can creep into our lives. The small sins that starts to infect other parts of our life and then explode into a huge (possibly public) issue.

This really goes back to one of my favorite themes "keep fighting against temptation and sin".