the problem with sin

PRAY

Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read, ponder and write.

Read Matthew 1 John 1:5 – 1 John 2:2

 If we say we have fellowship with him
while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth.”
1 John 1:6

WRITE

I’ve noticed something lately. We live in an age of moral relativism. Using this world-view we get to make up our own morality. We get to decide what is light and what is dark. What is sin and what is acceptable. I hear phrases like, “I’m not as bad as______” or “it’s not that bad…” or “it’s only a little lie”. Really?! Sin is sin! We have whitewashed sin and use others as our barometer of wrong-doing. But God’s word is pretty specific about both who we are as man (Romans 3:23) and who we are as believers in Christ (Romans 3:24-25, 1 Corinthians 5:17). It’s easy to disregard our sins, but as followers of Christ we are called to be “living sacrifices” and to change the way we think and live to be in tune with God’s word and His desire for our lives. I love what Romans 12:2 in the NLT tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” He loves us so much… he desires to transform our lives for our benefit and His glory! Now let’s dig into 1  John to see what God says about our problem with sin…

  • Where does this message come from?
  • What does verse 5 make clear about the attributes of God.
  • Write down the 5 “IF” statements in this passage as well as their corresponding result. – what is your reaction?
  • God is faithful and full of love.What does 1 John 1:9 tell us about what God does with our sin when we confess?
  • I love 1 John 2:1 – What does the “But” tell us about the solution to our sin problem?
  • Jesus “is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 – What does this tell you about the thoroughness of the forgiveness available to all who put their trust in Christ?
  • How does this passage make you reconsider the way that you look at your own sin? Ask the Spirit to guide you as you seek His will and His transformation…

GROW

Praying this for us all today…

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalm 139:23-24

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The Path

PRAY

Remember to pray & read the entire passage before beginning.
John 14:4-6

 “And you know the way to where I am going.”
John 4:4

WRITE

  • Even though Jesus reassures His disciples that they “know the way.” Thomas asks what question?
  • Jesus gives a clear answer as to the path to where He is going. What is the way?
  • In our day and age truth has been watered down and moral relativism reigns. Here, Jesus thwarts the idea that everyone gets to decide their own truth in one simple statement. What is it?
  • What do you think Jesus means by His statement, “I am the life” (see also Romans 6:20-23)?
  • Christianity is completely inclusive in that Jesus’s invitation is extended to everyone (Genesis 26:4) (John 3:16) (Matthew 28:19) (Galatians 3:8). Still Jesus makes it very clear, while all are invited there is but one path. What is the path?
  • More than anything… as Christians we must remember that we have a beautiful gift. We know the way, the truth, and the life! Alleluia! Paul says it beautifully in Colossians 1:27-29NLT – How does the following passage encourage & direct you?

    “For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.  That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.”
    Colossians 1:27-29

GROW

May our lives be an eternal witness to the power of Christ! May we live our lives looking to Him as The Way – The Truth and The Life. May we desire to share with others the beauty of His life changing love, and seek His glory in all things!

This is Love

PRAY

Remember to take time to pray & read the entire passage before you begin.

Romans 5:6-11

” But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

WRITE

  • What was our position before God when Christ died for us (v. 8 & 10)?
  • How did God show His love for us?
  • What did Jesus’s death and resurrection accomplish for us?
  • What should our response be?
  • When you consider the amazing act of love – what new insight about your relationship with your Heavenly Father do you come away with?
  • When you consider the amazing act of love – what new insight about your relationship with your Jesus do you come away with?

GROW

We rejoice because we have life – life in our living Savior! It really is too much to fathom. Recently I have had the gift of studying the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. While these books can be challenging to pour over, God has impressed on my heart the awesomeness and holiness of God! There were consequences for those who chose to offer improper sacrifices or impure adoration. And yet… while we are still sinners, He chooses to make us righteous and holy in his sight through the blood of His Son Jesus! The perfect sacrifice, once for all. And so… we can freely come before Him with praise and thanksgiving – Alleluia!

This song says it all! “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” – Austin Stone Worship

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

© 1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

Praying that you would know the Love of God today!

Even the Heavens Speak

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Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Psalm 19:1

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  • My friend posted these pictures on her facebook page from the Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore.  Our God truly is an awesome God. Look upward, where did you see the glory of God today? Where did you see His handiwork?

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Praying  that you will see the glory of God everywhere today. He is so amazing, every part of His creation cries out to Him.

In the Mirror

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

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Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

Romans 12:9-21

  • Paraphrase the whole passage we’ve been studying.

That is what your life should look like.

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 Our lives should reflect the love, mercy and truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Praying that His Spirit will work in you to transform your life for  His glory. Praying for you!

How to Win

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

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“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 
Romans 12:21

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”
2 Timothy 1:7

  • According to Romans 12:21 what is God’s plan for overcoming evil?
  • As we see this world filling with more and more immoral and evil acts we can be certain it is not by accident. What does Ephesians 6:12 & 2 Corinthians 4:4 tell us about who we are fighting against.
  • But, if you know Jesus, God has provided His Spirit to dwell within you. Using 2 Timothy 1:7 describe the spirit that lives in you?
  • We are not called to overcome evil on our own. No, God has given us His very own Spirit! Jesus Himself shared with us how the Spirit would aid us in doing good and defending ourselves against evil. Write down His promise in Luke 12:11-12.
  • We can overcome evil with the love of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Ask the Lord to give you insight and discernment about how to do good in the face of evil…write out your prayer.

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Praying  “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,  so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11

Love All Around

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

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“To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.'” 
Romans 12:20

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

Matthew 5:44-48

 “But I say to you,
Love your enemies and
pray for those who persecute you.”
-Jesus
Matthew 4:44

  • Using Romans 12, instead of vengeance, what are we called to do for our enemy?
  • Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that it means nothing to love those who love us. To stand out in a self-centered society, what instead does He ask us to do?
  • Society tells us it’s ok to call names and make  horrible accusations to those who oppose us or our views. But Jesus calls us to more. He asks us to pray for our enemies and Paul tells us to feed and provide for the needs of our enemy. Is there someone who you need to pray for? Is there someone who you need to feed? DO IT!

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It is not enough for us to love those who love us. No, we must show God’s love by loving, feeding, praying for those who oppose us.  Praying for you!