Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Proverbs 11 12-11-18

December 11, 2018

Left on our own, our hearts will lead us astray. This is why we give our hearts to Jesus. Ask Him for pure desires.

Proverbs 11:20 The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

“Detests” and “delights” are two very strong words. We would do well to note that God feels strongly about us. We know that upon salvation we receive new hearts:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

The new heart comes with His Spirit. Positionally, we are safe. But, there is the relational side of our salvation that is where we live. We are now in constant contact with God; what shall we do about it?

We can:

  1. Ignore it, which means that we revert back to old ways and old habits. If this is what we want, then why be saved in the first place?
  2. Relish it. Give ourselves over to our new heart and to Him. Allow Him to transform us into His image. He takes great satisfaction in doing so and we feel His satisfaction in the form of love, joy and peace.

Stay washed*. Stay covered**.

Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

We have these words to comfort and encourage us:

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied,’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Now THAT’S heaven!

*washed by the water of Bis Word. Eph. 5:26

**covered by the Holy Spirit, based on Eph. 1:13-14

More on the Mark of the Holy Spirit

I Never Imagined…

December 11, 2018

The question has come up whether Jesus was complete when He entered Mary’s womb (which would make Mary a surrogate mother) or whether God joined with Mary’s chromosomes in order to fashion Jesus–just as every baby is fashioned. While both sides have good arguments, I would like to explore one that seems stronger than the other.

Let’s string some pearls:

Luke 1:31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the set time had fully come [in the fullness of time], God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

My son-in-law postulated that a woman’s egg was still sinless until it mated with the male counterpart, thus, David’s statement in Psalm 51, “Surely I as sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” David, along with all mankind (both male and female), was conceived in sin. In Mary’s case, her egg mated with the Holy Spirit, therefore begetting God in human form. The Greek meaning for the word, “conceive,” is…”to conceive.” But, in Isaiah 7:14, we find the Hebrew term, “conceive,” as meaning…”to conceive.” It does add one more thought, and that is of a mental conception, as in original thought. It was something original!

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Philippians 2:5-7 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Now, before someone cries, “Heresy!” let us remember that all things in the timeline happen outside the timeline, as well. For instance, Christ died for us both BEFORE time,

Revelation 13:8b …the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

and IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. Likewise, Jesus was “brought forth” before time began, but also had a place in our history some 2000 years ago. Do I pretend to understand it? Absolutely NOT!I have faith in our LORD that His plan is perfect and complete, and it is well above my purview. I accept it on faith because of the passage in Hebrews.

  1. He shared in our humanity (2:14);
  2. He was made like us, fully human in every way (2:16);
  3. He Himself suffered when He was tempted (2:18).

Now Hebrews 4:15-16 comes fully into play:

  1. He EMPATHIZES with us (not just feeling pity for us, but actually feeling what we feel because He has experienced what we experience-yet, without sin-v15);
  2. We can approach God with confidence (v16);
  3. We will receive mercy and grace as needed (Jesus lives as our Intercessor – see 7:25 -and Advocate – see 1 John 2:1).

Is it necessary that Jesus have human chromosomes? It stands to reason so that He could share in humanity in every way: from pain to joy (each time He healed), from dismay to thrill (when the disciples finally understood), from fear to peace (in the garden), and from temptation to victory (at His desert experience and upon His death). The point is identification. God created all emotions, but God, through Jesus, identified with us on a level that we need. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…

To me, the whole subject boils down to Gabriel’s statement, “You will conceive…” He didn’t say, “You will be implanted…”

An interesting passage, which takes on new meaning under these new parameters, is Proverbs 8:22-31:

Proverbs 8:22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
[23] I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.
[24] When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
[25] before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
[26] before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.
[27] I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
[28] when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
[29] when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
[30] Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
[31] rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.

Wisdom is usually a personification in Proverbs, but 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that Jesus became for us “wisdom from God. If He is the “wisdom” in this passage, He brings new meaning to the words used. As I looked up each word, I found that the setting can be taken as a ceremony where Jesus is anointed and appointed (the Hebrew meanings of “possessed me,” “set up,” “brought forth”) to be the sin sacrifice and then presented as an offering (a libation) to be poured out for us. In light of Revelation 13:8, “...the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world,” we see that God’s first act IN creation was presenting the Light of the World:

Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

In the words of my daughter, “That Light is Jesus Christ,” Who was presented to the physical universe in human form, was the Creator, and is the One who holds all things together:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning.
[3] Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. [4] In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Hebrews 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. [3] The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. [16] For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. [17] He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Did “the One and only Son (John 3:16)” who was “begotten by the Father (John 1:14),” indeed, mix with Mary’s chromosomes to fashion God in a human body? How? When? Good questions. Concerning the “when,” we must remember that everything outside of time has a place in the timeline. Christ died outside of time, but we also know that “in the fullness of time, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4).” Paul calls Jesus “The firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15).”

So, was Jesus fully human? I believe He had to be in order to complete the task given Him. Is it worth withdrawing fellowship with those who don’t believe as I do? No. In fact, we should be focusing on the PURPOSE of the Incarnation i.e. the CROSS (that’s for another article). Do I understand the nuances of the Incarnation? No, but I do understand enough to know that it was something special and new:

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

God was providing us a way back to Him through Jesus our Savior and He is using His natural design to do it. Now, THAT’S worth celebrating!

 

Proverbs 10 12-10-18

December 10, 2018

What we are willing to do to know Christ better reveals to us and to the world where our treasure truly lies.

Proverbs 10:3 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Are we interested in the things of God? Do we really want Christ to be our LORD? Are we listening for His voice and looking for His direction? If we acknowledge His Spirit within us, He will give us the desire to know Him.

Proverbs 13:25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

As Christians, heaven has begun for us. Heaven is wherever God is, and He is in our hearts, therefore, we have heaven in our hearts. He is training us in holiness and righteousness, and He knows our limitations in the flesh. One day, we will shed our skin, so to speak, and enter His presence fully. Until then, we enjoy His fellowship the best we can as He has prescribed:

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Let us have the same attitude as Paul:

Philippians 3:10-12 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Remember that obedience brings blessings–it also brings the right feelings. “If we change the way we think, then we will change the way we feel” (Beth Moore). So, let’s get busy being obedient so that we can enjoy those blessings!

Proverbs 9 12-9-18

December 9, 2018

Are we willing to do whatever it takes? We must reach the point that we are willing to try by trusting Him.

Proverbs 9:2 She [wisdom] has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

Preparation is key to success. God had everything lined up for His Advent (Jesus’ birth). How do we know?

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

The fullness of time means that everything was ready. How can preparation affect our lives? As Christ followers, we would do well to:

1. Learn as much as we can in order to know what pleases our LORD.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Ephesians 5:10 and find out what pleases the Lord.

2. Put off the old person with his selfish attitude and put on the new person–with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

3. Put into practice what we know and allow the LORD to sharpen and hone us into effective ambassadors for Him.

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Let’s remember who we are in Christ and that “nothing is impossible with Him (God-Luke 1:37).” Let’s worship Him in Spirit and in truth in our respective places of worship today.

Proverbs 8 12-8-18

December 8, 2018

Our goal must be Jesus Christ. HE is why we read the Bible, pray, and work on holiness. Connect with Him RIGHT NOW!

Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?

There was a long time when the written statutes of God were the only way for most people to know God. I’m sure He made Himself known, but the relationship was vague and obscured and was based on obedience to the Law of Moses.

When Christ came, He introduced a new way to know God: Through Him!

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 7:24-25 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Why do we settle for less?

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C. S. Lewis

Many people today discount the Bible because it has too many unexplainable events in it. Let’s take it from God’s perspective: He wants us–His children, His creations–to know about this world in which we live, about Him, and about His plan. He gives us a collection of correspondence explaining why He has lost contact with us and what He has done about it. Why is it hard for us to understand that He would write on a primer level? We judge God when we consider His Word as “beneath us.”

I hold to this verse as my reason to consider The Bible and all its truths as trustworthy–more than that, they are VITAL to us if we are to know God on a deeper level:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

His Word is written for us and He speaks to us as His Spirit leads us moment by moment. He speaks through the Bible and interprets our world for us through His Spirit. If we did not have the Bible, I believe that He could still lead us into holiness and righteousness through His Spirit–but WE DO! Let’s use it to learn and to communicate with Him. Let’s read it and allow Him to interpret it according to our lives and needs.

Let us not be “half-hearted creatures,” but hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

[I got that out of the Bible]

Why I May Never Say, “Merry Christmas,” Again (reprinted from FACT)

December 7, 2018

With today’s encapsulation of stories about schools banning certain Christmas songs and Christmas-related words and images, I couldn’t help but think about the protests in recent years over the shift from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.” I get that for many these things are a lament about the increasing secularization of our culture and that for others these things are about stifling religious speech. But something bothers me about the fuss, and this week I may have finally put my finger on it. In fact, I may never say “Merry Christmas” again.

I don’t know the origin of the phrase “Merry Christmas,” but whatever it might have meant at one time, what’s important to me is what it means now. Webster’s dictionary entry suggests that the word merry now means “full of gaiety or high spirits.” The “archaic” meaning of merry according to Webster’s was “giving pleasure,” and perhaps that understanding better captures what I’m about to say. In either case, merry just doesn’t seem to be the right word to associate with Christmas.

Is merry the right word if the point of a Christmas greeting is to distinguish it from a greeting like “Happy Holidays” that, for many, is not so much a nefarious slam on the celebration of Christ’s birth as it is an acknowledgment that some may be celebrating a contemporaneous seasonable religious event and that others may just see Christmas as a break from the usual routine?

The answer for me came as I was reading the most complete telling of the facts surrounding Christ’s birth found in the New Testament, the story in Luke chapter 2. The word first associated with the birth of Christ is glory. We’re told that an angel appeared to shepherds tending their flocks near where Christ was born and “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” Then a host of angels joined the one angel, and they all began singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” After the shepherds found the Christ child, they left glorifying God.

Glory, not merry or merriment, seems to be the operative word when it comes to how the Scriptures would have us think of Christ’s birth. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking of the word glory and the meaning it is intended to convey relative to God.

This is a subject too deep and full of meaning for this one little commentary, but I’ll focus on this: Glory is often used in Scripture to describe God’s moral beauty and perfection and as a way of describing its visible manifestation when a bit of it breaks through into our earthly existence. Glory is perhaps the best we can do when we try to describe what shone around the shepherds.

I don’t fully understand what is meant by the glory of God, but Scripture gives us some idea. It tells us that sin is more than doing something wrong or not doing what is right but is to “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Scripture also tells us that the natural inclination of human beings is to “exchange the glory of the incorruptible God” for something less glorious and find value, worth, significance, meaning, and praise in that lesser thing.

In this regard I’m reminded of what C.S. Lewis said:

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

In conclusion, it seems to me that by “Merry Christmas,” Christians settle for an expression that does not do Christmas justice. The phrase expresses contentment with and wishes for seasonal merriment when glory is what Christmas really offers. It is offered to all those who believe that the baby born in the manger was God incarnate, coming to provide a way by which those who had fallen short of the glory that was originally ours to enjoy—a relationship with the God of Glory—could again enjoy that relationship, both now and for eternity.

Wishing one a merry Christmas is a bit like offering people mud pies for their Christmas dessert. Wishing them a glorious Christmas? Well, that is the offer of a holiday at the sea!1

Proverbs 7 12-7-18

December 7, 2018

God gives grace to cover our sin, but He doesn’t necessarily shield us from its damage. Where’s the lesson in that?

Proverbs 7:7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.

When the Holy Spirit calls to our attention something He wants us to do or avoid, we sometimes don’t recognize His voice because it sounds like our own. We need to know the things God would say in order to discern what He is saying to us. Our familiarity with what God has already said coupled with our new nature gives the Spirit handles with which to work in our lives. The more handles (Scripture that we know, experiences we have had), the easier it is to distinguish His voice from our own or the myriad others around us.

This chapter is about sexual sin. DESIRE has been awakened in all of us; it is a terrible taskmaster, for the more we feed it, the more it wants. What this means is that we have an addictive nature. We must therefore guard ourselves against even the prospect of sexual sin. Know the rules! What does God say about sex? Just understand that we can no longer rely on culture to give us godly morals. In fact, we could argue that whatever the world is doing, it’s probably wrong.

Where does this quandary leave us? Back at the Word of God, back at church among godly examples, teaching and preaching, and strong worship, back at a called-out life with new friends and new habits and new pastimes, back at strong families (if you don’t have one, make one!).

It’s not forever. Soon, Christ will come or call us home. We can make it until then with God’s help and each other.

Let’s heed James’s warning today:

James 4:4-6 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely [He jealously loves us and He knows our sin is destroying us]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 6 12-6-18

December 6, 2018

What is it that uses up our brain cells? What dominates in our minds? Where does it take us mentally? Let’s make sure it’s godly!

IF it is not godly (if it takes us into mental sin), then do this:

Proverbs 6:5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

[4] Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.

[9] How long will you lie there, you sluggard [quit wasting time and brain cells]? When will you get up from your sleep [realize how important it is to make it right–right NOW]?

Of the seven things that the LORD hates (verses 16-19), it is the fourth one that scares me to death:

[18a] a heart that devises wicked schemes,

Why? Because if we allow our minds to build a scenario of sinful activities, we are training ourselves to sin. Where is God in that?! How can we think on godly things while entertaining sin in our minds? Does it not grieve the Holy Spirit?

King David knew the importance of training the mind:

Psalms 119:2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.

[37] Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

[48] I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.

[58] I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.

[97] Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.

[103] How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

[127-128] Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.

[131-133] I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

[147-148] I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

[165] Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Jesus thinks keeping our minds guarded is important:

Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” NOTE: David fell away from guarding his mind and thoughts and fell into sexual sin with Bathsheba. We must be diligent and vigilant!

Paul gave us some good guard rails pertaining to our thought habits:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.

Let’s get started, shall we?!

Proverbs 5 12-5-18

December 5, 2018

We have a certain honor as children of the King. Do not regard it flippantly. Once lost, it is hard to regain.

Proverbs 5:9 lest you give your best strength to others and your years [dignity] to one who is cruel,

Sin begins in the mind. When our thoughts become dark and we dwell on the subject, we are tempted to act on our own evil desires. When we do, we actually sin twice: once with the dwelling and again with the action.

James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire [the thinking], he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin [the doing]; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death [sin destroys us].

We are to “take each thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor.10:5).” How can we do such an seemingly impossible task? Through the process of sanctification:

  1. to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate–we are set apart by the Holy Spirit and chosen by Him to be His ambassadors.
  2. to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts–this is the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  3. to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vowOur struggle is what verifies our salvation; without the Holy Spirit, we would not be saved, nor would we have the fight inside.
  4. to entitle to reverence or respect. As we become more like Christ, we are honored–or ridiculed–as Christians: “little Christs.”
  5. to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing–this is where we live.
  • Christ is making us productive and conducive to His spiritual blessing. Our job is to make His job easier by doing all we can to honor Him in our lives. Let’s begin by finding out who we are, whose we are, and our role in this process by reading God’s Word. Now that we are armed with His revelation, let’s ask the Spirit to reveal to us what to do and how to do it and to do it with us! He will teach us our “triggers” (what tempts us) and how to avoid them. He will also teach us what to do when we are caught yet again in the traps of deception. He loves us and never grows weary in well-doing. He IS patience. Are we glad?!!!
  • Proverbs 4 12-4-18

    December 4, 2018

    We walk in the light, but it’s as if our eyes have scales. Jesus removes the scales one by one so that we see Him more clearly.

    Proverbs 4:18-19 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. [19] But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.

    1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

    Paul knew what it was like to have real scales on his eyes. It happened when He had his Damascus Road experience:

    Acts 9:18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.

    We know that the light of Christ is perfect and bright, which means that any obscurity comes from us. So, what obscures His light? Let’s look in Ephesians and see what Paul says:

    Ephesians 5:11-14 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them [in and to yourself]. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible [and, therefore, can be dealt with], for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

    How do we go about identifying the dark things–the scales–in our lives? We must first realize that we are children of light (v8) and that we are called to live as children of light “for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth (v9).” Then comes my favorite verse:

    [10] and find out what pleases the Lord.”

    If we spent even a portion of our day looking for what pleases Him, He would show us!

    Let’s have the wherewithal to open God’s Word and ask our LORD to reveal Himself to us by shining His light on dark places in our lives. Do we really want to be like Him? Are we ready to allow Him to sanctify us and ready us for His use?

    1. What takes up most of our free time?
    2. What do we think about most?
    3. What can we hardly wait to get back to?
    4. How do we reward ourselves?
    5. Do the answers to the questions have any eternal significance: Are they making us more godly (good), more righteous, and stronger in the Truth of God’s Word?
  • If not, give it up, let it go, throw it down.