Accountability, Apologies, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Guilt, Repentance, Scripture

A SECOND WOE

HABAKKUK 2:12

“‘Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed, and founds a town with violence!’”

Any abuse of others to further your own agenda is frowned upon by God. He not only disapproves of it, but He will punish the wrong doers. Unfortunately, in my 40+ years of ministry, I have seen this take place over and over. I have to trust that God will seek His vengeance when His time is right.

The Lord states His second woe against the Chaldeans and states that because they have built their cities large and strong on the backs of others, they will suffer His wrath at the appropriate time. We do not understand why God tarries in His judgment, but we have to be faithful during the times of testing.

APPLICATION

Are there people in your life you have wronged? Have you done them an injustice and you think you are getting away with it? Take note of today’s verse. You have time now to make amends. You can make things right. You can confess your sins and seek forgiveness.

Too many of us, myself included at times, look right past those we have hurt. We either are not aware of the pain we have caused or we are just calloused to it. Jesus tells us to go and make things right with those we have hurt before we bring our offerings to God.

Will you ask the Lord today if there is someone you need to ask for their forgiveness? Go to them and do that. Perhaps you can’t recall anyone you have harmed. Then pray for all those you know who have been harmed by others. Ask the Lord to convict the wrong doer(s) to make things right.

Father, show me my sins against anyone I have hurt unknowingly so that I can confess that and do what is right.

Standard
Accountability, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin

YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT

HABAKKUK 2:8

“‘Since you have looted many nations, all the rest of the peoples will loot you—because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the town and all its inhabitants.’”

When I read today’s verse, I was reminded of Numbers 32:23. This was the story of Moses telling the tribes (Reuben, Gad and Manasseh) who wanted to live on the other side of the Jordan that they needed to keep their word to fight for the other tribes. He told them, “But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure that your sin will find you out.”

The Chaldeans were ruthless and unforgiving in their conquests of other nations. Their cruelty knew no bounds. So, God tells them here that they would suffer the same fate as all the nations they had conquered. They would face bloodshed and looting. Their chickens were about to come home to roost, as the old saying goes.

APPLICATION

I have committed many sins in my past. To the best of my knowledge, I have confessed those sins and made things right with my Lord and with others. If anyone reading this blog has been hurt by me in the past, please forgive me. I do not want any unconfessed sin to come between me and my heavenly Father.

How about you? Do you have a sin or sins you need to confess right now? They say confession is good for the soul. Indeed, it is. God’s Word will direct you in this confession. If you are a child of the King, all those sins are already forgiven, but He still wants you to clean the slate with Him. He wants to hear you confess those, to say the same thing about that sin that He does. That is what confession is.

I am so thankful the Lord forgives us. I am thankful He doesn’t hold any grudges. I wish more of His children were that way. I know of far too many Christians who struggle with confession and forgiveness. May you make things right with others and with the Lord today.

Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.

Standard
Accountability, Accused, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin, Surrender

HOPELESS

NAHUM 2:1

“The one who scatters has come up against you. Keep watch over the fortress, watch the road; bind up your waist, summon all your strength.

When you come up against a force that is greater than you, all your defenses are worthless. I played high school football many years ago. I remember vividly playing against a high school from Alabama that was far superior to our small, rural high school. We were overmatched from the start and despite our great efforts, we were trounced.

Nahum turns his attention fully now to Nineveh and its pending destruction. He almost jokingly tells how they can watch the road and bind up their waist. They can summon all their strength, but nothing will prevent God’s judgment falling upon them. They will not be able to resist His power.

APPLICATION

We read this prophecy against Nineveh and point our fingers at them. We think how could they even hope to defend themselves against God. But we do the same. We fight against God daily defending our own actions that we know are not what God desires. But because we think we have the right; we just do it.

There is nothing that gives us the right to do as we want. We are free in Christ to do as we should. That is a big difference. We are just like Nineveh in so many ways. We put up our defenses. These are useless against a holy God. The best thing we can do is surrender and agree with God about our sins.

Confession is just that – saying the same thing about our sin as God is saying. We agree with Him. The problem today in our society is nothing is sin. Sin is an outdated word. To say someone is sinful is being intolerant. God’s standards have not changed. Neither has the way He deals with sin. Confess your sins today and feel His mercy and grace.

Forgive me, Lord. I have sinned against You and Your principles.

Standard
Accountability, Bible, Confession, Confrontation, Consequences, Forgiveness, Holiness, Judgment, Scripture

FROTHING AT THE MOUTH

NAHUM 1:6

“Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath gushes forth like fire, and the rocks are broken up by Him.”

I had a football coach once who would get so mad that he would actually froth at the mouth. Do you know what that means? It means little pieces of foam appear in the corners of the mouth, and as you speak or yell, you spit white chunks from your lips. Very appealing, lol.

As unappealing as that may be, that is exactly the picture Nahum is describing in today’s verse. The Hebrew word for “indignation” gives us the picture of someone frothing at the mouth in anger and rage. God is fed up with Nineveh, and this time His full wrath will fall on the city.

APPLICATION

Excuse me, but that is not a sight I want to see. Thanks be to God; I never will have to face God’s frothing mouth of wrath. All that was done away with at Calvary. All I will experience is the peaceful, kind smile of my heavenly Father.

Maybe you are afraid today that you are going to face His indignation. Perhaps you are not a believer. If that is the case, you have much to fear. The justice He demands for your sins must be paid. Come to Him today.

Or maybe you are a believer but still think God is out to get you. You think He spends all His time finding new ways to entrap you. That is a lie of the devil. God’s desire is to show you His love through His Son, Jesus. He has paid the price so that you do not have to. Rest in Him today.

O Lord, thanks for rescuing me through Your Son from ever having to witness Your frothing wrath.

Standard
Accountability, Bible, Confession, Repentance, Scripture

A HEAVY BURDEN 

NAHUM 1:1 

“The pronouncement of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:” 

Sometimes you have to deliver a message that is hard and painful for someone else to hear. I will always remember having to tell a young teen girl that her father, her only living parent, had just died. I can still hear her cries of agony. I have delivered similar messages since then, and it has never gotten easy. 

The Hebrew word translated here for “pronouncement” is a heavy word. It sets the stage for what is about to follow. Nahum (whose name means comforter) is not delivering an encouraging message. He is dealing with a Nineveh that has returned to the sins it had repented of when Jonah prophesied to them. God’s mercy will not be the theme of Nahum’s message. 

APPLICATION 

I pray you are not a Nineveh. I pray you are not someone who repents of a sin and then returns to it. I have heard stories of meth addicts who would spend a year in lockup, get clean and upon their release, go right back to the meth. God does not play games with us regarding our confession of sin. He expects, no, He demands a change in behavior. 

You may be saying, “Well Carl, I don’t have that problem. I am squeaky clean.” Oh really? 1 John 1:10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” Listen, we all have sins. God knows we are not perfect. But He does not want us repeating and repeating the same sins. We have to break those strongholds. 

I am thankful the Lord has given me the Holy Spirit who convicts me of my sins. I am thankful that the more I study and memorize His Word, the less I want to sin. Sin is not a lure to me. The Spirit is so much stronger. Will you truly repent today of any sin(s) you have been holding on to? 

Father, You are so good to forgive me. Help me to live to honor that forgiveness. 

Standard
Bible, Confession, Forgetting, Forgiveness, Redemption, Scripture, Seeking

THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA 

MICAH 7:19 

“He will again take pity on us; He will trample on our wrongdoings. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” 

I went fishing recently on lake in Burundi. Well, it wasn’t a serious fishing trip. There were five Burindians and me on a boat with one makeshift pole. (There has to be a joke there) This lake is deep, very deep. We didn’t have the right equipment to fish that deep. We could not catch the fish we wanted. We could not retrieve the fish. 

Micah reminds us today that God forgives our sins (He will trample on our wrongdoings). And then He “cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” You have got to get the picture here. God completely gets rid of our sins. It is us who remember them. We need to trust His actions. 

APPLICATION 

Why do we keep bringing up our past sins? Why do we do the same to others? If we truly repent of our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

Do you believe that? Then stop bringing up the past. If you have turned away from the way of the flesh to the way of the Spirit, God will remove those sins. Now, you know if you are a believer, all your sins, past, present and future, are under the blood of Christ. We still need to confess those sins and allow the Lord to remove them. 

I am so thankful that Jesus has set me free from the bondage of sin. I strive daily to live to honor Him. But I am flesh and blood and can slip and sin. I am so thankful to know that I can come to my Lord and receive forgiveness. So can you. Confess those sins today and walk in freedom. 

I don’t know how deep that sea is, but I am sure it is too deep to retrieve those sins. Thank You, Lord. 

Standard
Accountability, Advocate, Bible, Blessing, Confession, End Times, Judgment, Rapture, Scripture

THE DAY OF VISITATION 

MICAH 7:4 

“The best of them is like a thorn bush, the most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, your punishment is coming. Then their confusion will occur.” 

Don’t you love it when family comes to visit? I do. I enjoy reconnecting with loved ones. My wife and I have always lived away from family. So, when the opportunities were there for visits, we looked forward to them. Those were good visitations. 

The “day of visitation” in the Bible meant several things. Listen to Isaiah 10, verse 3. “And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?” This is the same message Micah is giving. God is here. And when He comes, things happen. 

APPLICATION 

Jesus is coming again. There is no doubt about that. When? No one knows, not even Jesus. One day (and it could be soon), the Father will turn to His Son, seated at His right hand in the heavenlies, and say, “Go get Your bride.” Then Jesus will come and take up the Church. 

When He comes the next time, it will be in judgment. He will come to judge the earth and all who are still dwelling there. The evil one will be dealt with. All things will be set straight to prepare for the new heaven and new earth. 

This is not a cliff note version of the end times. I just want you to see that when God visits, things happen. And the most important visit He will ever make in your life is when you accept His Son Jesus as Savior. Have you done that? If not, prepare for His visit! 

Lord, I know You are coming again. In the meantime, use me to lead many to You so they can experience Your presence in their lives. 

Standard
Bible, Confession, Judgment, Pity, Scripture, Uncategorized

A HISSING NOISE 

MICAH 6:16 

“‘The statutes of Omri and every work of the house of Ahab are maintained, and you walk by their plans. Therefore, I will give you up for destruction, and your inhabitants for derision, and you will suffer the taunting of My people.’” 

What a strange title for my blog today, right? Well, I’ll explain in a bit. I am not talking about the hissing of a snake or of a tire that is leaking. I am talking about a hissing sound made by someone who was disappointed in something. It is that sound you make blowing air through clinched teeth. 

Why am I explaining that. Because the word for “derision” here in today’s verse means “hissing” in Hebrew. Jeremiah combines this word with “a horror” four different times (Jer. 25:9, 18; 29:18; 51:37). God was going to make Israel something horrible to look at. People would walk by them, shake their head and make that horrible hissing sound.  

APPLICATION 

Do people walk by you and do that? Do they wonder what in the world has happened to you. I know someone who recently has renounced their faith and walked away from their family. Hiss! Hiss! It is said to see what sin can do. It has been said, “Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray, keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay and cost you more than you ever thought you would pay.” 

But there is a remedy. Come back to the Lord. Confess your sins and seek His forgiveness. He stands ready to do just that. If you are a believer who has strayed, come home. You will be safe in His arms. If you have never received Christ as Savior, ask Him now. He is there, waiting for you to respond. 

Above all, stop your own hissing sound as you look at others. Instead, seek a way in which you can help bring them to Jesus. It may be hard, and they may refuse your offer, but don’t give up. Jesus did not give up on you.  

I am thankful, Lord, that the hissing sounds of others as they looked at me have ceased due to the blood of Your Son. 

Standard
Accountability, Battles, Bible, Cleansing, Confession, Deception, Devil, Eternity, Forgiveness, God's Will, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Mercy, Scripture

SELF-JUSTIFICATION

MICAH 6:2

“Listen, you mountains, to the indictment by the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth, because the LORD has a case against His people; and He will dispute with Israel.”

Boy, we love to justify our sins, don’t we? We can blame everyone and everything for sinning. I know I have done that. I sin against God by being unkind to my wife, but I blame her. I get angry or upset in traffic, but it is the other driver’s fault. We just cannot take the blame ourselves, can we?

This “case” God has against His people is exactly that. He is basically asking them what He has done to cause their sinful behavior. They see His goodness yet respond with rebellion. I am reminded of Jesus’ response in John 10:32. “Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’”

APPLICATION

What excuses are you giving God right now for your sins. You say, What sins, Carl? I am not a bad person. Well, we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). You cannot blame God or anyone else for your sin. Well, the devil made me do it. Nope, not true. He may have offered up that morsel, but you gobbled it down.

We have no one to blame for our sins but ourselves. Our flesh is so wicked. If it is left unchecked, it will wreck our world before and after we are saved. When you come to Christ and accept Him, He cleanses you of all your sins. But He does not take away that propensity in our flesh to sin. That has to be dealt with by our submission to the Holy Spirit daily.

Until we reach glory, sin will be an issue. I attended a funeral of a dear friend recently. His life was put on display at the service. His son spoke and shared what a godly influence his dad had on his life. But that man was prone to sin even up to the point of death. When his spirit was taken to glory, he began his sinless perfection in Christ. Glory, hallelujah! Praise be to Jesus. One day we will have the same. Until then, live holy lives.

Father, help me live each day abhorring what is evil and clinging to what is holy.

Standard
Accountability, Accused, Bible, Confession, Destruction, God's Will, Guilt, Integrity, Judgment, Modeling, Rebuke, Scripture

IT IS YOUR FAULT 

MICAH 3:12 

“Therefore, on account of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.” 

No one likes to be accused of something, especially if you are innocent. But what if you are guilty? You know you did it. You deserve the blame. Perhaps you have gotten “away with it” for a while, maybe even years. But now it is out. Your sin has been discovered and has cost others. 

This is exactly where the leaders of Israel and Judah find themselves. Their guilt has been exposed. God knew all the time but is just now bringing forth the charges. The judgment is falling. It cost not only them but the entire nation because the people had followed them right into destruction. 

APPLICATION 

I see two lessons here for us today. One, be careful who you follow. Too many of us are tunnel-visioned. As long as the church looks good on the outside and has all the latest and greatest programs and technology, we think they are on top of it. After all, can’t we trust someone in ministry? Just check your paper or internet stories, and you will find that not to be true. 

Secondly, we must have someone in our lives who can and will hold us accountable. When no one is watching over us, we can resort to all kinds of fleshly decisions. We make our decisions on what “feels” right instead of what God says. Oh, the danger in that. 

I am so glad I am part of a few accountability groups. I meet weekly with two groups and another once per month. I help lead a group of men through our Every Man A Warrior study which demands accountability. If you are not aware of this study, check it out at www.everymanawarrior.com. There is no better way to get a man to go deep with God and be a responsible disciple maker.  

Lord, I am so thankful for the men You have put in my life who will hold me accountable. 

Standard