Archive for November, 2007

Accountability?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Psalm 32:3-4: “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” (NASB)

1 John 3:7-10: “Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices (lifestyle) sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot (remain in) sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” (NASB)

Just a thought: There has been a movement formed within God’s Church called “accountability” in an attempt to keep people, pastors, and ministers from sinning. This movement pairs you up with another person to keep you accountable – to keep you from sinning. Can I ask you this question: Why? In my Christian walk there have been times in my past when I’ve stumbled and sinned, but when I did, the above passages of Holy Scripture came alive within me. Oh, there were times that I tried to be recalcitrant, but as my vitality drained away from within me, I soon found myself face down in repentance. I think the record for my recalcitrance was about thirty days. Believe me when I say that thirty days is a very, very long time to remain beneath God’s heavy hand. And that’s an experience that I never want to repeat as I felt my heavenly Father’s heart break – yes, even His heart within me; through which, I’ve learned the meaning of being constrained from sin by His love – by His Spirit within me. How can I remain in sin as it now breaks my heart – His heart within me? I’m kept from sin by knowing its sinfulness – by knowing its ability to bring death and separation.

So I ask again: Why do we need to pair up with mankind to keep us (mankind) accountable when we have God’s Holy Spirit within? By using mankind, isn’t that a little like leaving a fox to guard a hen house? After all, we can hide from and lie to man, but not so with the Holy Spirit. Did we need to begin this movement because most people, pastors, and ministers within the Church at-large are not born-again with God’s Holy Spirit? I’m asking, because you cannot find such pairing up in the Holy Scriptures. I see pairing up in the Holy Scriptures to eliminate the possibility of accusations, but not for the purpose of keeping someone “accountable” – of keeping someone from sinning. Isn’t that the Holy Spirit’s job? If you need mankind’s presence to keep you from sinning, perhaps – just perhaps, you need to be born-again with God’s Holy Spirit!

Prayer: My Father, my Lord, search my heart to see if You see Your Holy Spirit within me. Lord, if I’m not sure, may I stay on my face until I am, because it is written that no one will see Your Kingdom – Heaven without being born-again with Your Holy Spirit. It is also written that without holiness no one will see You, and that holiness must be produced from within – not from without. Therefore, may I also seek You without delay, for again it is written: Today is the day of salvation – the day of Your favor. Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

In the Pursuit of Holiness:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index3.htm

Many Among You Sick?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

1 Corinthians 11:28-32: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (NASB)

Before I even begin, I want to make sure I’m not misunderstood so I’m making the following statement: I do believe all sickness and death began with the original sin of Adam and Eve. However, in the following paragraphs I’m not saying that all personal sickness is due to personal sin and/or personal lack of faith, and may God forbid anyone from saying I do.

Just a thought: Being personally heavily involved in prayer networks for more than twenty-five years, I’ve noticed a seemingly vast increase of sicknesses within the Church at-large over the past couple of years. And now, for the past couple of weeks, I have not been able to get the above verse of Scripture off my heart and mind. If I combine the above Scripture with the fact that the Church at-large is now statistically identical to the world, ranging from divorce to pornography, the above verse of Scripture has to give you pause, doesn’t it?

That said, perhaps if we find ourselves sick, we should at least take a spiritual examination before we do anything else. This is something that only you can do. And perhaps, we should not be so quick to encourage someone to even take communion without first encouraging that person to take the time to look within – to reflect – to take a spiritual self-examination.

Prayer: Father, it concerns me greatly to see so many sick among us. If we fall sick, please my Father, and my Lord, help us by way of Your Holy Spirit to spiritually examine ourselves, before we even take our next step – our next breath. Help us to at least eliminate the above possibility first – not only for the sake of our temporal lives, but more importantly, for the sake of our eternal lives. Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

The Portrait of a Christian:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index37.htm