A Real State of Emergency

Psalms 25:4-5, 8-10 ESV

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.”

“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should desire to know the ways of the Lord so that we may walk in his ways and in his truth and righteousness. We should want to obey our Lord and to do what pleases him. We shouldn’t be fighting to try to prove that we don’t have to do anything to please God. We shouldn’t have this mindset that God does it all and that we do nothing, and then call that grace. If we are left still floundering in sin, that is not grace!

We should be those who hunger and thirst after God’s word and his righteousness. We shouldn’t see time spent in the Word each day as a drudgery and as some chore we have to do. And we shouldn’t look at it as some religious exercise we are going through each day just because that is what we should do. Time spent in the Word each day in fellowship with the Lord should be to hear from the Lord what he wants us to do.

When we come to our Lord with God-given faith, we are crucified with him in death to sin and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, but created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, in practice, it will end in death not in life everlasting. For we who are in Christ are to walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For if we live according to the flesh we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body (the works of the flesh), we will live.

[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Psalms 25:16-21 ESV

“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

“Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.”

When we are walking with the Lord in fellowship with him, and when we are seeking his counsel and his truth so that we might walk in his ways, and so we are now following in his ways and we are also sharing the truth of the gospel, we are going to have enemies. We are going to be opposed even by others who call themselves Christians, and even by pastors of churches, and even by family members. For who were Jesus’ persecutors? The rulers in the temple and the teachers of the Scriptures and his fellow Jews and his family.

And so we may have a lot of people, even family members, and even those who also profess faith in the Lord, and even pastors of churches who will desert us and who will turn against us or who will want nothing to do with us, and so they will hope we will disappear. Or they may even invite us to leave their fellowships and to go someplace else where we will be a “better fit.” And so it can be a lonely existence to follow the Lord in his ways and to do what his word teaches and then to share the truths we are learning.

For so much of what is called “church” today is not the church the body of Christ. They are businesses of human origin being run just like businesses and they are being marketed to the world just like any other product. And so they have altered the meaning of “church” and the way “church” is conducted in order to “draw in large crowds of people from the world.” And so they have also altered the message of the gospel to be acceptable to the people of the world and to human flesh so as not to offend anyone.

And so what this has resulted in is many people professing faith in Jesus Christ who are still living in addiction to sin, or to very specific sins. They are intoxicated to sin. They are the self-indulgent who love to engage themselves in all sorts of evil. They are the selfish who want what God will do for them but they don’t want to have to obey the Lord. For they want to hold on to their sins and their sensuality and sexual immorality and lying to cover up what they are doing in secret.

So, they are hypocrites, for they put on a show or an outward performance of being godly and of being followers of Christ while they are continuing in deliberate and habitual sin against God and against other humans without conscience. Yes, they are responsible for their own actions. And yes, they are making their own choices. But we are seeing a rise in this with the altering of the church and with the altering of the gospel and with the removal of God’s requirements for repentance and for obedience.

And this is troublesome. This is a state of emergency within today’s modern church here in America, and perhaps in other countries, too. And those who are professing faith in Christ, but who are continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, are enemies of God. They may pretend to be his friends, but they are truly his foes. And if we are following Christ with our lives, they will be against us, too, even though they may fake otherwise. So our trust has to be in the Lord Jesus and we must trust him to do what is required to bring people to genuine repentance and to genuine walks of faith in our Lord.

A Believer’s Prayer

An Original Work / July 31, 2012

With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.

Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.

Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.

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