Wow, what a Title for a Christian website. Could that nice looking man on the ski slopes of Wintergreen Virginia last winter really be that kind of a guy.
You bet your boots.
As I progress along in my Christian life, and as I spend more time with the Savior, I begin to see my real self. Am I the image that I project to the world, or I am just an ordinary sinner saved by the grace of God, struggling to become more like Jesus?
I strive to be the latter.
In Psalm 116:11, the psalmist writes, "And in my dismay I said, all men are liars." (NIV)
In other parts of the Bible are these verses:
Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal. (NIV)
Leviticus 19:11 Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. (NIV)
Psalm 101:7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. (NIV)
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since your have taken off your old self with its practices. (NIV)
God has recently impressed these verses upon my heart as I study His word. You know, my friend, God deals with us in a very real way when we spend time in His Book.
The Bible is very specific about lyin', cheatin', and stealin'. And the Bible also states in 1 Corinthians 11:28, that we should examine our lives before we partake of the Lord's Supper. And the irony of it all, is that if we do not do this, then verse 31 kicks in. "But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment."
God loves us so very much, that he will bring judgment into our lives, by his reprimands if we choose not to listen to Him. Many times in my life, God has gently reminded me with his "still, small voice" and I have failed to respond. Then a short time later, He will allow some circumstance to happen to me, to warn me to obey Him. Some close call, where I almost get caught doing a wrong thing, and immediately after a narrow escape, God reminds me of what he is trying to teach me.
So I have learned that it is easier to obey the still, small voice of the Lord, rather than the two by four between the eyes.
God does chastise his children. It is much the same pattern that we have been given as we raise our children. We know that if we let them do whatever they want to do, it will lead to ultimate failure in their lives. No, we learn to gently correct them as small infants, and delight when they learn obedience to us.
Letting a child do "their own thing" is very stupid, and most of us have observed the screaming child in the grocery store, who totally controls his Mommy. They learn early in life, how to manipulate their parents and get what they want.
We try the same thing with God. But in His great love for us, he helps us to obey Him, gently at first, but later on He gets downright strict.
As I look in the "perfect law of liberty' in the Word of God, I find that real freedom in life, and real joy, comes in obedience. Parents, think back of your great joy as your own child learns this lesson, and recall your great sorrow as your child "reaps what he sows".
Our loving God feels the same way toward us. I hope I can listen to him, as I face many business and personal decisions each day about Lyin', Cheatin', and Stealin'.
Oh we have invented other names for these sins. We whitewash them and justify them. "Everybody does that". "This is the 21st Century, get serious". "Everybody exceeds the speed limit. The police won't give you a ticket unless you are ten miles over the limit."
And so we live our lives "ten miles over the speed limit". We stretch the truth, add phrases to make our business deal look a little more attractive, or 'fudge" a little bit on our tax bill. After all, everyone does it, and besides that most of us despise the IRS. We convince ourselves that these things are true, and refuse to listen to God when he gently corrects us.
And what about all those prosperous men we know, who do not have anything to do with God. They seem happy.
Don't you believe it! The supermarket tabloids are full of stories of these "rich folks" and all the turmoil in their lives.
So from a practical application of these verses in my life, I got alone with God, tuned out the world and the rat race, and asked him to gently tell me what I am doing that displeases Him. My list is not real long, but very personal. I suspect many believers share many of the same things. We have learned how to "hide our sin" from the world, but we cannot hide from our loving Father.
The list can be discouraging, as I reflect on how I fail God, but yet knowledge of His Word, spurs me on. He has said He will never leave us or forsake us. NEVER NEVER NEVER What a great promise.
Let's raise the standards in our lives, and commit to godly and holy living. You will surely stand out in the crowd, and some will mock you, but when you lay down at night, the "peace that passes all understanding" will flood your soul, and give you real satisfaction.
Read your Bible today. Then obey God as He gently instructs you to live for Him.