Out of the human heart: Mark 7.20-23

“He said, ‘What comes out of a person defiles him. For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. All these evils come from within and defile a person.’”

Mark 7.20-23

Jewish tradition concerned itself with what defiled and made one impure. Jesus went to the heart of the matter. Defilement starts from within, in the mind.

Control of mind starts with Scripture. Reading, meditating, and praying over the Bible purifies and strengthens. God renews the mind, Rom 12.1-2, and thus the whole person.

#votd #sin #mind #heart #inner-person

Sin cannot be controlled nor contained

Which is the more dangerous sin, the one that creates a chemical dependency, such as drugs or alcohol, and destroys a body, or the one that creates an emotional or behavioral aberration, such as envy or complaining, and twists a person’s spirit?

via The more dangerous sin – Walking with God

This is a shameless plug for my devotional article today. I invite you to read it and comment with your perspective.

#links, #sin

Writing: 1 John 2.1 VOTD

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”

1 John 2.1 NLT

John writes that God’s marvelous plan has us covered in all circumstances. False teachers claimed sin was a non-issue. God considers it serious, so much so that Jesus serves as advocate.

The Lord doesn’t expect sinless people. He expects people not to live for sin. What are some wrong ideas about sin that people have?

#sin #Jesus #Advocate #VOTD

Sealed: Ephesians 4.30 VOTD

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Ephesians 4.30

Failure to live according to the gospel truth grieves the Spirit, especially unwholesome talk, for he is the revealer of God’s words. The sins Paul mentions “oppose the very direction of his reconciling, unifying, new-creation work in the believer” NBC21.

We always live in relation to God, whether for his approval or as the cause of grief to him. In what ways, if any, have you caused him to grieve?

#Holy-Spirit #sin #VOTD

Foreheads with a mark

If you watch or listen to the news, the idea that this world’s heart is “only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) starts to ring true. A mass of people gets killed by a single gunman. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people die every day due to a drug overdose. Political leaders seem to be constantly guilty of corruption. What are we to do?

Edmund Burke was quoted as saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The duty of every Christian is to do something about that evil. The apostle Paul by inspiration wrote that we should, “Preach the word; be instant (be ready) in season, out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Paul is telling us that whether people want to hear the truth or not, it is our job to preach the gospel.

Perhaps the best thing we could do is follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If people do not see a difference between your life and theirs they probably will give no heed to the gospel message you preach. Continue reading

#evangelism, #sin, #society

Thorns and snares: Proverbs 22.5 VOTD

“Thorns and snares are in the path of the perverse,
but the one who guards himself keeps far from them.”

Proverbs 22.5

Righteousness saves a person from many a heartache and problem. Those who disregard God do not have a carefree life.

What “thorns and snares” have you been spared from? What does it mean to guard oneself?

#sin #self-control #VOTD

Store up: Psalm 119.11 VOTD

“In my heart I store up your words,
so I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119.11

This psalm focuses on God’s word. The second section begins by asking how a young person can remain pure, v. 9. Purity is preserved through following God’s instructions. This is accomplished by storing up his words in the heart.

What has replaced the memorization of Scripture in most people’s lives? How can storing up God’s words be done today?

#sin #purity #VOTD

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7-31-2017 Mixed-up Morals

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV). It’s not enough that some people want to sin and ignore the love of God, but many, it seems, want to condemn any who express concern for their souls. Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7 NKJV). Christians should follow Jesus’ example and show compassion on sinners, to “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 23 NKJV). Concern is not condemnation.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#concern, #love-of-god, #sin

Sinning Against God

The Lord was with Joseph. He was a prosperous man. When Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand, he made him overseer over his house and all that he had. The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake. Potiphar left all that he had in Joseph’s hand. Joseph was a good man and well favored.

Potiphar’s wife liked Joseph and set her sights on him. She asked him to “lie with her.” Joseph refused and told her that his master, and her husband, had committed all that he had to his care. He reminded her that he was the greatest in his house, and she was Potiphar’s wife. Then he asked the question: “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Continue reading

#bible-study, #sin

A difficulty that needs to be addressed

Reflect on Proverbs 18:19 for a moment or two. As you look at the three translations below, it is easy to see that each version conveys the same idea. To separate oneself from another by thought, words and/or actions makes for a difficulty that must be addressed.

The KJV read, A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. The ESV reads, A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. The NET reads, A relative offended is harder to reach than a strong city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a fortified citadel.

What does the word “offended” mean? We are not to understand the word to mean “What she said offended me!”  Instead, what is in view is something much different. One Hebrew scholar used the word “wounded” in this context. A wounded person is one who had been attacked. Another scholar gave this sense, “The proverb is talking about changing a friend into an enemy by abuse” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary-Revised). Continue reading

#offense, #sin, #unity

‘Wandered away’ 1 Timothy 5.14-15 VOTD

“So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. For some have already wandered away to follow Satan.”

1 Timothy 5.14-15

The apostle Paul considered laziness and gossip two severe sins that ruined examples.

Fulfilling well our God-given roles brings glory to his name.

#VOTD #Satan #sin

You’re out of the sinning business now

My friend related how she was talking with a Christian when he said he planned to do something that she knew was sinful. Her reply was excellent. “Don’t you do that. You’re out of the sinning business now.”

What is the sinning business? A disobedience to the will of God is sinning. A person who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

Who can get out of the sinning business? The invitation is open to all. The vilest sinner can be forgiven of their sins. Jesus told the woman in adultery to “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Anyone who has faith in God and obeys His will can be forgiven of their sins. Who? Anybody.

Where can one get out of the sinning business? The Ethopian eunuch was riding in a chariot when God sent Phillip to teach him. The eunuch said, “Here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” He confessed he believed that Jesus was the Son of God. They went down into the water and Phillip baptized him.) He went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:26-39). Where? Anywhere.

Why should one get out of the sinning business? Only those who are sincerely trying not to live a sinful life will go to heaven when they die. There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end is the way of destruction (Proverbs 14:12). We are warned of traveling the wrong path, the way to destruction. Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He also said, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33) Why? It’s the right thing to do.

How does one get out of the sinning business? Faith plus obedience equals salvation. The plan is simple:

  • One must HEAR the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:17).
  • One must have FAITH in God. He must believe in God (Mark 16:16).
  • One must REPENT of their sins and desire salvation (Luke 13:3).
  • One must CONFESS that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10).
  • One must be BAPTIZED into Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38).

#sin

‘Separation’ Isaiah 59.1-2 VOTD

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

Isaiah 59.1-2

Israel’s idolatry, immorality, and injustice distanced them from God.

Sin separates from God. This is the definition of spiritual death. The Bible gives one solution.

#VOTD #sin #spiritual-death

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4-28-2017 It Is God’s Word

Sin entered the world when the Devil tempted Eve, and she gave in to it! The Devil questioned God’s Word: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 NKJV). The Devil contradicted and denied God’s Word: “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4 NKJV). The Devil promised humans could know everything God knows: “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5 NKJV). The Devil has not changed His tactic. Jesus has said His Gospel preached to every creature promises: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). The Devil asks: Has God really commanded water baptism? The Devil says: You can be saved if you’re not baptized. The Devil says: You will know you’re saved as if God has told you. Conquer sin, obey God.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#devils-tactics, #sin, #temptation

Secular tip that has a spiritual use – problem solving

I spent the last couple of days in Knoxville on a work-related trip. The trip was useful. I got to listen to several good speakers talking about things that can, could or do affect my day-job.

One speaker discussed the topic, “Best Practice for User Experience.” The topic revolved around tips to keep in mind when creating something that will be used by others. Some of the tips had a great correlating spiritual point that can and should be used by preachers – although a couple of the points aren’t as promising. Not saying the point isn’t true (because it is)…just saying the point needs to be kept in mind due to its poor, but honest, reflection of many listener’s mindsets. Over the next the few days I’m going to share the tips I believe are worth noting.

Tip #1: Continue reading

#preaching-point, #sin, #spiritual-applications, #spiritual-illustrations