Response is Necessary

I encourage any response that you may have. PLEASE comment. Tell me if you agree, disagree, don't understand, whatever. Just let me know what you think.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Everyone likes a man of integrity until his integrity gets in the way of their own lawlessness.

I was coming home today on a stretch of road that is a bit windy and is only two lanes across. The speed limit is 55 mph. the whole way except for a school zone where it dips down to the standard 25 mph. People hate being behind me on this road because I go the speed limit. When I get to the school zone and slow to the posted speed limit, all too often people take this opportunity to speed past me either on the oncoming traffic lane, or some times even on the shoulder. It is dangerous enough to be speeding as it is, but to pass on the shoulder in a school zone is a bit much. It amazes me to what extent people are willing to go to, to do what they want. They are willing to break the law by speeding, but when they aren’t able to do that they are willing to break even more laws in order to do what they want. People want others to have integrity but they only want it as long as it doesn’t interfere with something they want more.

I find it ironic to see the same people sitting just in front of me at the next light 6 miles up the road.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Battlefield of the Mind Part III

Many people claim that God speaks to them, and that they are prompted in various ways by the Holy Spirit. I agree with this, and would add that I think that one of the ways that God does this is through our thoughts.

Is it that hard to imagine that perhaps not all of our thoughts come from our own intellect? Could God be blessing us by giving us certain thoughts? Maybe giving us thoughts of encouragement or thoughts that would influence us to act in a given situation. I know personally of times when I have been reasoning out various ideas, and am given insight from a different direction that allows me to continue the idea further. Call me crazy but I attribute that thought to God.

Now if that is true, and some of my thoughts are not my own but given to me by God, could it also possibly be true that Satan could do the same thing? To illustrate this point I think of lust since lust is a sin that takes place in the mind. There are times that I am tempted and an image will cross my mind. At this point I believe that the image is still only a temptation and that I have the choice to dismiss it, or I can take hold of that image and manipulate it with my mind, turning that temptation into sin. I don’t believe that the image just happened to flow through my minds eye by chance. I believe that the devil is able to give us thoughts just as God is able. In fact I would go so far as to say that if Satan doesn’t put these thoughts in our mind, then how exactly is he able to tempt us? I mean, really, we’ve all been tempted probably countless times, but do we ever stop to think about the precise manner in which we are tempted. I think that because of the subtlety of it we don’t think about it, and that is exactly what Satan would want. If we were to realize the venue for which he infiltrates us then we could stop it. This is whole reason why God gave us armor (The Armor of God Eph 6:10-20). This is armor not to protect our body, but our mind. Remember that if the mind is the battlefield; we need to always be wearing our armor.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Battlefield of the Mind Part II

The mind is so crucial for Satan’s plan because our thoughts are what give way to our emotions. I heard a story about a man who was at work, and at the end of the day on Friday a co-worker came and told him that he heard that he was going to be fired on Monday. The man became bothered by this and went home that weekend constantly in thought about why he would be getting fired. He was agitated and would snap at his wife and children. He thought of all the things that he had done good, and how he excelled over some of his other co-workers. By the time Monday rolled around he was ready to let his boss have it. His boss called him into his office. As he walked to his office all he could think about was going on a tirade about how he was more qualified to manage the business than his boss was. He took a seat and just before he let loose, he was told about the promotion that he was getting. The lie that he was told by the co-worker had been mulled over and over in his mind, and produced a huge amount of anger. Most of us have a situation that we have been in that if we think about it, or replay the circumstances in our mind, we will get ourselves riled up about it. It doesn’t even have to happen to us again. The mere thought of it stirs up those emotions. This is why our thoughts have to be kept in strict check. We need to make sure that our thoughts are true, and that they aren’t going to illicit emotions that will be hard to control.

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.

Keep in mind that the emotions themselves aren’t wrong or bad, but they can compel us to do things that we shouldn’t.

Eph. 4:26, 27
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

We live in a society today that wants us to, “follow your heart”, but I say no, that is the opposite of what we need to do. As in the case of the mad above, our emotions can be based off of a lie. What we should be saying is “follow the truth”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Battlefield of the MInd Part I

I think of the mind of the believer as being Satan’s playground. This is where he has the most fun and the most influence over you. Your heart is secure, God has won that already, but the damage that he can inflict on us through our thoughts is possibly immeasurable.

Satan is the father of lies, so his job is easy. He doesn’t have to get us to believe one particular thing, all he has to do is get us to believe anything but the truth. Really he doesn’t even have to get us to believe it either, merely doubt it. I heard a story once about Satan having a garage sale, and he was selling all kinds of tools of destruction. On one table he had items such as a brand new chainsaw for $25, some dynamite for $30, and other tools used for doing a lot of damage of reasonable price. On a separate table he had a well used steel wedge that he was asking $5000 for. The reason that the other tools were so much cheaper is that the victim can tell when he is under attack from one of those tools and can easily take steps to avoid or counter. Think of the average person being tempted to murder someone, probably not going to happen. The wedge on the other hand is used to separate incredibly strong bonds with minimal effort. I think of the conversation Eve had with the serpent. The serpent distorted the truth just enough and introduced doubt into her mind. Remember, Satan has been in the business of deception for thousands of years, and has tempted people an innumerable amount of times. I think he’s probably gotten pretty good at what he does.

1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guilt vs. Shame

Many people couple guilt and shame together as though they were synonymous. I would argue that they are not and that there is a key difference between the two. Guilt is that nagging sometimes painful feeling that you get when you know that you’ve done something wrong. This can be, but is not always is a tool of the Holy Spirit convicting us of wrong doing in an effort to prevent us from doing it again. When used in this way it is good and beneficial for the believer. Shame on the other hand is a tool of the devil. He uses it in a way as to deceive the believer. He tells us that we are a bad person. This focuses on the person’s identity and who the person is rather then what they did. We need to always be carful to separate the action from the person. This is true when dealing with other people as well as with ourselves. God does not condemn you (Romans 8:1), but the devil will take every chance he can get to trip you up (1 Peter 5:8).

What is SIN?

In essence sin is missing the mark, God’s mark. Anything that is outside the will of God is sin. This makes the category of what would fit as being sin very large. Nearly all people when thinking of sin think of actions such as stealing, lying, murder, or other things of that nature. But these things are all tangible things. I don’t think of sin as being tangible at least in the sense of it being physical. Maybe the effects of sin are tangible, but the sin itself I don’t think so. What if all these things that people see as sin are actually just a physical representation of the sin but not actually sin itself? What if the actual sin takes place at the level of our heart? So that when I steal something, its not the action of me taking something that doesn’t belong to me that is the sin, but my heart, in essence, telling God, “I don’t care what You want, I’m doing things my way”. The action then is just the outward expression of what has just taken place in my heart. When you boil it down all sin is the same in that it is a willful defiance of your heart against God.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why do I sin Part II

Why is it so hard to choose not to sin though? Well, let’s be honest, sin feels good. God replaced our heart with a new sinless one, but our body is still the same sin soaked flesh that we started with. While we have it we are going to be hard pressed to keep from sinning. I want to make it clear though, that I don’t believe it is impossible to live a sinless life after becoming a Christian. Very difficult yes, impossible I’d say no. I believe this for two reasons. First, in Matt. 5:48 Jesus tells us, “be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”. This is the standard, and I don’t take God as being the kind of Father that sets impossible standards. Secondly, Paul in 1 Cor. 11:1 asks the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. He could only make such a statement if he were imitating Christ perfectly. This is aside from the point though. Before conversion our flesh influenced our mind which in turn dictated our emotions and will. Post conversion we have the choice of allowing our spirit or our flesh to influence our mind. Which is it going to be?

The hope in all this is that we won’t have this same sin tainted flesh forever. The fact that Christ resurrected physically gives me so much to look forward to. I can’t wait for that day when I hear Christ’s call and I am given that new perfected, resurrected, sinless body. There is so much to look forward to.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why do I sin? Part I

You may be asking yourself, “If I am a saint and not a sinner, then why do I still sin?” First things first, let’s keep in mind that what you do doesn’t make you who you are. Just because you sin, doesn’t make your identity that of a sinner. You may think of yourself as a saint who occasionally sins. Your identity is secure no matter what you do. That is the beauty of what Christ did for us.

Also realize that we as human beings are not just flesh and bone. I believe that we have three distinct parts that make us up: our body, soul, and spirit. The body being pretty self evident, the soul which I think of as more or less our personality and mind, and our spirit which is the eternal component. When we are born we are born into sin, and both our bodies and our spirits are corrupted by it. It is natural for us to sin at this point. When we become a Christian, we are given a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26) This is the point when a person actually is able to choose to sin or not. You were a slave to sin but no longer. Now that you have a new spirit that is no longer tainted by sin you have the choice. Think about this though. Every time that you sin you are choosing TO sin. The reason our new sin doesn’t taint our new spirit is because Christ’s death on the cross covers all our sin past, present, and future. This is also why our identity is not that of a sinner anymore.

Sinner or Saint?

If you had to choose to align identity with that of either a sinner or a saint which would you pick? Do you see yourself as being more of a sinner or more of a saint? I have asked this question to many people including myself, and about 95% of people (including me when I first answered it) said that they felt more like a sinner. Yet nowhere does the bible ever call a believer a sinner. After the point of conversion Christians are called many things in regards to their identity.

You are….
the salt of the earth Matt. 5:13
the light of the world Matt. 5:14
a child of God John 1:12
part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life John 15:1, 5
Christ’s friend John 15:15
chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit John 15:16
a slave of righteousness Rom. 6:18
enslaved to God Rom. 6:22
a son of God; God is spiritually your father Rom. 8:14, 15; Gal. 3:26; 4:6
a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with him Rom. 8:17
a temple-a dwelling place-of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in you 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19
united to the Lord and are one spirit with Him 1 Cor. 6:17
a member of Christ’s Body 1 Cor. 21:27; Eph. 5:30
a new Creation 2 Cor. 5:17
reconciled to God and are a minister of reconciliation 2 Cor. 5:18, 19
a son of God and one in Christ Gal. 3:26, 28
an heir of God since you are a son of God Gal. 4:6, 7
A SAINT 1Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2
God’s workmanship-His handiwork-born anew in Christ to do His work Eph. 2:10
a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family Eph. 2:19
a prisoner of Christ Eph. 3:1; 4:1
righteous and holy Eph. 4:24
a Citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:20
hidden with Christ in God Col. 3:3
an expression of the life of Christ because He is your life Col. 3:4
chosen of God, holy and dearly loved Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4
a son of light and not of darkness 1 Thess. 5:5
a holy partaker of a heavenly calling Heb 3:1
a partaker of Christ; you share in His life Heb. 3:14
one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house 1 Pet. 2:5
a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession 1 Pet. 2:9, 10
an alien and stranger to this world in which you temporarily live 1 Pet. 2:11
an enemy of the devil 1 Pet 5:8
a child of God and you will resemble Christ when He returns 1 John 3:1, 2
born of God, and the evil one-the devil-cannot touch you 1 John 5:18
(this list is taken from Victory Over the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson p.51-53)

This is a huge list of what the bible has to say about our identity as believers, but never does it call us a sinner.

I think this is one of the Satan’s all time best lies. If he can get Christians to believe that their identity is that of a sinner he’s that much closer to getting them to sin more. Just think, if you view yourself as a sinner are you more or less likely to sin again? More importantly though, if the devil can get you to think or worse, believe that you are a sinner then Christ dying on the cross meant nothing. It’s his way of keeping you in bondage. Christ died, forgave our sins, and still most Christians will tell you that they are sinners.


As my first blog I feel I need to start with a topic that is central to a great deal of what I believe. Much of everything else that I will write about will deal in some way with identity. How we view ourselves is crucial to the way we live, the expectations that we place on ourselves, and even the way that we process our ideas and thoughts.

If I was to ask you, “Who are you?” what would be your response? Most people would immediately tell me about what they do. “I’m a teacher”, “I’m a carpenter”, “I’m a student”. This however is what you do, not who you are. Many people have the false assumption that what they do makes them who they are. They have it backwards. It’s not what you do that makes you who you are, but who you are that will determine what you do. I attribute this error in thinking to the ability of being able to see what people do, but not who they are.

I can’t see into someone’s heart or soul to see who the person is. So I form that person’s identity based on what they do. To me, I base who they are from what they do. It would be easy to catch someone in a lie and instantly label them a liar. Think about this in regards to yourself. Most people would consider themselves to be honest people, but ask that so called honest person if they have ever told a lie. If we are what we do then I think we would all have to admit that we are all liars. That’s not what the bible has to say about our identity though. Our identity is not based on what we do.