Posts Tagged ‘sin’

A Centre That Cannot Fall Apart!


On the one hand you’ve the pseudo-entertainers stoking the fire of baseless ideologies in a society whose very fabric is being ripped apart. The last remaining threads of values can barely hold the weight of what’s happening in and around it. The value of empathy, the value of purity, the value of love, the institution of family, the importance of God – they’re all disappearing like melting crayons, leaving in its wake abstract puddles of colour.  And people are busy lapping it up like the post-Renaissance man did surrealism or Dadaism, cubism or abstract art, none of which anyone understood.  With no ideals to fight for and no pressing needs in life, we see young men and women give their own meaning to what has lost its inherent meaning.

The visual media is riding on this confusion by promoting voyeuristic, self-effacing, consumerist ideas to a generation which thinks it is feeding on organic food while the very genetic make-up of what they eat has been altered.  This visual media that penetrates the unguarded minds of millions spews forth the degenerate waste of wicked human imaginations. Almost everything from alternate reality games to movies border on pornography. Well, man’s imagination has been attacked and conquered through the power of the visual, so the sewage of evil is now attacking the intellect and through it the will of man.  The lust of the eyes has been served through the media. The lust of the flesh is currently being served and it is fast seeping into our societies.

Homosexuality.  Live-in relationships.  Sex the moment you attain puberty. Extra-marital affairs.  You say every society has had them throughout history?  Yes, but back then there was the accompanying sense of shame. There were prohibiting laws. There was the voice telling them it is wrong, if not by the force of culture, then their own consciences.  But do you know what is happening now?  These choices are being projected as the individual’s own choice and therefore as being right. There is no source to point fingers at. That’s the power of evil. It has no face. It assumes the face of the one who accepts it. People are placed on pedestals with their bodies symbolizing the ultimate source of pleasure. Is it really the ultimate source of pleasure? Is that all there is to life?  Is there anyone who is ready to think through this confusion and find answers? This is a generation which does not know what to stand up for or what not to stand up for. With no one to question and no answers given to valid questions, the society as we knew it is tumbling.  Who can stop this cascading of evil into our midst?

On the other hand now, you have the God-lovers who are enthusiastic about proving to the world that there is a God while their lives are blasting out a different message. It’s the Christian who carries the name of Christ, who is doing more damage to the watching world by living out a poor testimony.  They force the rest of the world to say again and again that a person without God lives a more moral life than one who imagines he knows God. These so called Christians nations and its teeming millions walk around like they won a lottery ticket to engage in bigotry.  Pathetic ? Yes.  Do you know why? Because they don’t believe in what they say they believe.

Christians are called to be the sons of God. Can they even imagine the power that such a position entails? Can they imagine what they are called to? Can they begin to imagine the depth and height and heaviness of that grace and love that they are supposed to reflect?  Sadly, they love the world too much to be set apart for God or find out the answers to these questions. They have not tasted of that glory to begin to speak about it. They have only silenced the voice of God with their actions along with the rest of the world. And the society as one is moving farther and farther away from that God. Is it any wonder then that the rest of the world under the guise of atheists and rationalists are crying out against the existence of such a God?  The Christian who does not believe in what the Bible says is as lost and rudderless and immoral as the next person. In fact, the so called Christian more-so, who does not understand the value of the Cross.

In effect, people are running amok looking in all the wrong places for love, happiness and trust.  There are millions committing suicide around the world. Elsewhere there are people being killed in the name of Allah.  There are hordes of people falling prey to alcoholism and drugs. There are a million others being led astray by the promise of love through homosexuality, bisexuality and so on which is really just lusting after the flesh. People no longer depend on God to meet their longing for happiness, sustenance and protection. That need has been wiped away and in its place the self has taken the centre. But has anyone thought about what happens when the centre falls apart?

The innate ability of man to recognize between right and wrong gets lost. Faith hope and love disappears. In its place fear, lust and pride appear.

Isnt’t that the reason for the existential chaos around us?  Is there a way to restore balance to our societies? Look to the cross today.  You will find there the power of evil. Its power to break.  To cut open. To lacerate.  To completely destroy. That is what sin is doing to you and me today. But it is on that same Cross where God took upon himself the world’s sin that you will find the holiness and faithfulness of God, the power of His grace and love that calls you and me away from that sin. It is not enough to know this. You and I need to feel the brokenness and the healing with our heart.

So let’s begin by recognizing in our self the emptiness and the need for a standard against which we can measure our self i.e.,  a God who cannot fail you and me.  A centre that cannot fall apart. There is such a God who can fill the emptiness within us. There is a God who can pull us together and love us eternally. The one who gave his life for us and rose again by the power of God.  A God who will come again to judge you and me.

Who would want to find themselves on the wrong side of the power and the glory on that day? It’s time to turn from the world’s wicked ways. Let’s open the Bible and read what the Word says. And let’s watch in awe every single one of the promises come true. And every one of the warnings too.

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Place your heart and soul in God’s hands


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Our heart becomes like the world around it when we do not give God place in there.

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

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

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If we place it in God’s hands he cleanses it and truth and light starts to shine through.

Isiah 1 : 18- “….though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. though they are red as crimson they shall be like wool.”

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And it will be lighted up by the Holy fire till Jesus becomes our heart; diffusing the darkness around us and spreading the light of God.

1 Corinthians 6 :19 – “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

Mat 5:16 – “let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”

 I remember Martin Luther’s words here – I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. 

(P.S – The pictures are google images which i have edited for this purpose in Photoshop. The pics as such do not belong to me. )

When sin comes in with a bang at the front door…..


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Our faith goes out quietly through the back door. In the last article I wrote about dents made on the ‘self’ by sin. Our sins being many can we imagine how corrupted we have become in body, mind and soul. Is there place for faith in a corrupt self?

Like many a Christian, I made the mistake of thinking – I have faith – faith that Jesus is the son of God, that He died for my sins and that He rose again. But did this faith stop me from committing sin? The answer was many times a sad no.

So what really happened in the bargain? Was not my kind of faith ‘the’ real faith? Let us look at what the Bible says about faith. John says :

…every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith.Who can defeat the world? Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. [1John 5: 4-5, Good News Translation]

Did u see that? We win the victory over the world by our faith in Jesus as Son of God.

Where then is the problem? The problem lies with our failure to put faith into action, to win over sin. When we sin some, an equal amount of faith within us is affected. Sin and purity being so contradictory, one cannot exist in the other’s presence. So the truth is, every time we sin and do not repent, a little faith dies within us. (How much faith have we left? :O)

As long as we are not tuned in to our spiritual life, we miss out on this utter calamity happening in our spirit. Now we know why it becomes a lot harder to go back and say with the same faith (that we once had) that we believe what the Bible says. And gradually, there comes a point when we become spiritually dead. We become Christians with a dead faith!!

But the good news is that the whole gospel is about the grace of God, forgiving us, cleansing us and renewing our faith; when we ask. And this new faith is oftentimes referred to as growing. What is this growing faith? Faith which exercises its victory over sin and the world; faith which gives out light like the lamp on the stand, giving light to everyone; and faith which does not leave a person to live in any way but calls a person to the life of quiet surrender, is growing faith.  And it becomes a Living Faith.

In my next and last article in this category I will write about what it takes to surrender to God.

Why this existential tilt towards an older self?


 

Even as the word of God assures me that I am a new creation in Christ and the old is done with (2 Corinthians 5:17), an uncannily familiar voice enters stealthily and blends into the background of my mind – “Don’t even bother to change. It is better to do things “your” way!

I often spend time thinking about why I always return to those very sins I have surrendered to my Lord and as a result of this search, God answered me through a few people. And I would like to elaborate on what I found out in a series of articles. Some of these truths are so simple and stares me in the face. But we tend to forget these simple truths because the word of God is often pushed out of our minds.

When I began this article, I spoke of two contradictory voices- one is the Holy Spirit asking me to trust in God’s word and His power to help me overcome temptation. The other is the voice of the tempter, asking me to exert my old sinful self. A person’s weaknesses are best known to the devil. Thus, our inclination (the devil’s and in turn mine if I give him space) will always be to move our ‘selves’ into that sin.

To better illustrate this point, imagine a plane, thin, wooden board balanced on a pointed beam. It is so balanced because the sharp point of the beam is touching the board at it’s centre of gravity. If a weight is added to one part of the board the centre of gravity starts to shift. The board is no longer balanced and it topples over.( U can look at the pic of the balancing bird to understand the illustration better :P)

It is so with our Christian lives. We were created to live beautifully balanced lives, with God as the centre of our existence. But when we sin, our focus begins to shift and our lives become unbalanced. And, as long as we remain under the weight of sin, we will be helpless. Once in a while we ask God to forgive us when we come to a sudden realization of our state, but what we don’t realize is that a little dent has been made where the weight of sin had been previously. Every time we commit that sin, the dent becomes a little deeper.

For this to be prevented, we should continually ask for God’s covering over that area. But often we make the mistake of thinking it is enough to ask just once. God is so gentle that when we later try to peek towards that sin, He moves away. So we need to ask God daily to fill us with grace to overcome our temptations. As we ask, His work to repair the dent becomes easier. We also need to remember that , the minute we go back to that sin, we undo the healing work of our Father which has to be started all over again.

As Christians, we all struggle with sin daily and so Paul reminds us in Romans:

So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. [Romans 8:12-13, Amplified Bible]

May our Lord Jesus Christ give us the grace to overcome our weaknesses and walk in His healing presence daily.

In my next post I will look at what happens to our faith when we sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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