It’s Our Blood On Our Hands

Our own personal sin does extreme violence to our soul, causing an unrecoverable wound that develops an incurable infection, destroying our soul’s immune system that makes us susceptible to the viruses of Satan’s temptations, deceptions, and lies. Without a Divine intervention, the end result of our own personal sin is an existence of suffering in this world, followed by an eternity in a hell, a final separation from God that the human mind cannot comprehend.

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things.”

~ Isaiah 59:1-3

We have our own blood upon our own hands due to our own sin. No other tragedy, suffering, and sorrow that may come our way in this lifetime is ever really comparable to what we have done to ourselves.

And yet we have this human propensity to rage against God when extreme violence, illness, or tragedy comes our way as a result of others’ sins against us, or just seemingly random events. Our being stabbed, raped, robbed, divorced, falsely accused, exposed to HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, abused physically and emotionally, widowed by a murderer, laced with cancer, gripped by organ failure, bankrupted by medical bills… the list can be long. However, whatever might happen to us in this lifetime is never as big and tragic as what our own personal sin has done to our own body and soul.

Perhaps you beg to differ because you have suffered some very heinous and totally reprehensible things in your life that are not a direct result of your own sin. I won’t begin to compare scars with you, but I do make the point out of some personal experience, not callous ignorance.

Please understand, I am not diminishing what we have suffered. In fact, it is the largeness of what we have suffered to which I am drawing our attention. Our own personal sin has done more violence and tragedy to our own body and soul than what anyone else (human or demon) or anything else has possibly done to us.

We may not physically die for a few years or even for several decades, but the violence perpetrated by our sin upon our own body and soul still results in the biggest, most traumatic thing that can ever be done to us. So, the next time something bad happens in our life and we are tempted to rage at God, let’s stop and reconsider how much more we have done to ourselves than what anyone else or anything else has done.

In either case, God desperately wants to hear from us. He has a plan for us that will change everything that we have done to ourselves, and that others have done to us.

“They will say of Me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.

All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord and will make their boast in Him.”

~ ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:24-25‬

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#PastorsTip #Isaiah45 #Rage #Violence #Sin #Sickness #Death #NewLife

Strategic Training for Our Children

Training and preparing our children for life and eternity involves far more than just providing housing and an education. It requires a lot of loving relational time, personal sacrifice, strategic parenting, role modeling, and most of all, intercessory prayer.

As human beings, our early years are our formative years, where our thought patterns and character are first shaped through observing parental role models and through parental discipline so that the rest of our lives we have a picture of what we should be like.

“Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.”

‭~Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬

As parents, as role models, as shepherds of God’s children we have been entrusted with the responsibility and the opportunity to raise up children to know how to walk with Christ through life and how to enter into eternity’s Heaven. Too often history’s lesson has been that absent parents make for an emptier Heaven, while engaged parents make for a more populated Heaven.

Whatever our role is among God’s children, be it as parents, teachers, pastors, or as a good neighbor, let’s awaken every morning with a fresh perspective on how we can populate eternity’s Heaven by training “a child in the way they should go.”

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#PastorsTip #Proverbs22 #Children #RaisingKids #Parents #Heaven #RoleModel #TheWay

Holy Spirit Headphones

There are a lot of things going on in our world, aren’t there? Keeping up-to-date on just the headlines can be an hourly effort. The multinational conflicts in Syria and Iraq; the Chinese expanding their territorial waters through island building; North Korea feeling ignored so they launch missile tests; Iran using proxies trying to undermine Western Civilization; ISIS picking fights with Iraq, Syria, Jordan, England, France, the USA… and with the rest of the world; there is more news than any one person can consume everyday.

The noise of the news can begin to numb our spiritual ears, if we are not deliberate in staying tuned-in to The Spirit. Headphones are handy instruments that cover the ears, block out a lot of the noise that surrounds us, and focuses upon the ears a stream of clear audio. Holy Spirit Headphones are very much needed, now more than ever. We need to have frequent quiet times where we can clearly hear what The Spirit is saying to us, The Church.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

‭‭~ Revelation‬ ‭2:7‬

What we will hear from The Spirit will strengthen and lead us in living a faithful and victorious life in these Last Days, and what He says will have an eternal impact upon us. There are masses of people around us (even Christians) who are not interested in putting on the Holy Spirit Headphones that will reduce the Last Days noise. Let’s be a people who know the Holy Spirit’s latest news more than we do the news networks’ latest headlines.

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#PastorsTip #Revelation2 #HearTheSpirit #HolySpirit #Listen #Headphones

Get Dirty in Service!

There are days and seasons when it is a leader’s time and prerogative to get dirty in their service. The Israelites who were returning from captivity had their ancient city of Jerusalem sitting in shambles, and every able-bodied person (including leaders) was needed to rebuild the city for purposes of religious worship, security, and for functioning once again as a community.

“The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun… ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place.

He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David.

Beyond him, Nehemiah… ruler of a half-district… made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.”

~ Nehemiah 3:15-16

While we [as Pastors] should not be busy doing things on a day-to-day basis that are at the expense of prayer and preaching (see Acts 6:1-7), there are times that the most needful of things is to get down and dirty! Our service should be based upon what the Kingdom of God (the Church) needs the most, and not based upon our pride of position. Jesus Himself set the tone and example for leaders getting dirty in service:

“When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ He asked them. ‘… Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you… ‘”

~ John‬ ‭13:12-17‬

Different personality types with different giftings will gravitate to certain kinds of service, whether it is a physical, cerebral, empathetic, administrative, or other form of service. Let’s be sure we are serving in ways that are most needful that day, and not just in forms of service that are always personally satisfying.

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