Tag Archives: backsliding

Stop! in the name of Love

chick stop

Last night I taught our teens from the Francis Chan study on Crazy Love and managed to heap huge conviction upon myself. I hate that! But it’s necessary in your walk with Christ to look at life through the eyes of God, not the eyes of self. I measure up pretty good next to me… as a matter of fact we’re dead even. But line me up next the disciples, or Who we should be lining ourselves up to (Christ Himself) and I’m not so hot. I fall far short of who I should be. I don’t fall in to the completely lukewarm category but I have tendencies that no doubt make God’s stomach queasy.

Going through the motions:

Isaiah 29:13 says “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

Does that not describe the church of modern day to a tee? Everybody’s a Christian (just ask them) but their lives certainly don’t back it up. SMO’s. “Sunday morning only folk.” If you’re one of them, I’m about to get on your last nerve. If we feasted on food like we feast on the word of God you could count our ribs. It’s truth. How on earth do we expect to survive in perilous times, when the only thing that’s going to get you through is the promises of God? And we don’t’ have them. I’m so proud of my group of teens at our church. Wednesday night we’re packed out! But the truth is, we could do better. That’s why I’ve been doing this Crazy Love series with them. I don’t want lukewarm Christians in my class, I want crazy kids who are sold out for Jesus Christ and they don’t care who knows it. I want them to look at their friends and understand if they don’t tell them about Christ, there’s a good chance no one else will either; and the end result is their friend will go to Hell.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” A funeral is better than a party? Yes, because a funeral brings the reality that our lives are like a vapor.

James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

If we lived what we say we believe we’d be telling someone about Christ. As a gospel singer I’ve sang at a great multitude of funerals. They’ve not all been for saved people. As a matter of fact the very first funeral I sang for was for a lost soul. His family asked me to sing “Hello in Heaven,” because it was too late for the one whose funeral was being held, but it was not too late for the rest of their friends and family. That was a real eye opener for me as a young convert. I’ve been blessed to be among a congregation of people who try to live for Christ. We all fail. Daily. But we’re trying.

I encourage you to live for Jesus today and tell someone about His saving grace before it’s too late. Live the crazy love that we’re taught the disciples lived.  God likely will not ask you to give up everything you own and serve Christ, but are you willing to use what He’s given you to serve Him? What friend or family are you willing to let go to Hell? You’ve likely said none… but what are you doing to stop it?

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A Reason to Cleave

Me and my Dad

When my girls were little and we’d go shopping or out into the community I wanted them as close to my side as I could get them. As long as I was able I carried them or had them in a stroller for safeties sake. I was quite the nervous Nellie when it came to their protection. As they grew older it grew more difficult to keep them reigned in to my side and eventually as all good parents do I had to lessen my grip on the reigns and see if my training had stuck. It didn’t always… they had lessons to learn on their own, but many of the lessons did stick because I see them re-teaching them with their own children today.

God, Who’s not a nervous Nellie, still makes it a practice to keep His children close, but much like our own children we have a tendency to stray a little further and further away each day. If every day were like Sunday we’d likely be in great shape; we’d stay on fire and in focus. But then comes Monday, and Tuesday and by Wednesday we’re a pretty good piece from the Lord. However, if we attend Wednesday Night Bible Study that reigns us back in again, but by Saturday our focus is askew once more.

When my Tiffani was about three or four we were in the Mall at JC Penney’s shopping and she decided she would play in the circular clothing wrack. She climbed up into the center of it and was concealed by the clothes. In a minute or two I went into a frantic panic looking for her. She finally popped up out of the center just when I was on the verge of a heart attack. She was playing…I was sick. Although we’re never out of God’s sight we’re away from His protection when we continue to stray further and further into the world. Deuteronomy asks the question this morning “Are you as close as you once were?”

A Reason to Cleave

Deuteronomy 4:4-6

But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

The children of Israel were literally alive because they were close to the Lord. We’re physically alive because of His grace, but we stay spiritually alive when we stay close to Him through His word and service. God is not for Sunday only, but for every day. I love that old hymn

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

That’s how we’re blessed by staying up close the Savior every hour of the day, in constant need of His presence. I’ve played the hiding game with the Lord that Tiffani played with me at the mall. I’ve gotten wrapped up in pretty things and knew in my heart that the Lord was near by waiting for me to pop back up by His side. The problem with that game is the same problem that I had with Tiffani, although she knew where she was, she couldn’t see me, and some creep could have been hovering close by to snatch her out of my life. Makes me nauseous just to think about it. It makes me sick to think about how many times I’ve gotten away from the Lord and from his blessings to cleave to the world for a little bit.

I hope today finds you cleaving, believing and receiving the goodness of God.

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No Turning Back

Quack pack

In my search for hunting apparel  to wear to Church on Sunday (A statement likely only said in a place like West Virginia) I passed by Tractor Supply and headed to Walmart thinking their sporting goods department would assuredly have the pink and brown Real Tree ® shirt I had set my mind on having. In my defense it was “Sportsman Sunday” in honor of Father’s and we were dressing the part, I truly am not that red neck. Anyway… it was a no go. So I got back in my car, drove back to Tractor Supply, certain that they would have a hunter chick covered… epic fail #2.  So I drive back to Walmart and purchased a Duck Dynasty shirt and then headed home feeling my back tracking had finally paid off. I was ready for church!

Back tracking irritates me!

I’m a “multi tasker” in the worst possible ways. I most always have two projects, or unfortunately two train of thoughts in progress. Praise God for voice activated dictation, because prior to that you would not have wanted to meet me on the road (just sayin’). So to have to go back or re-do anything just grates on my nerves. I want to get two things done at once, not redo the same thing twice! I think it’s godly, after all God doesn’t like back tracking either.

Hebrews 10:38 ~ Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

There it is, plain and simple. No back tracking! At least in the spiritual sense of the words. Proverbs 14:14 says “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” Why does anyone want to go back? Such a complete waste of time. It took me a second to get my mind wrapped around Proverbs 14:14 – and then the light went on… ding ding ding!

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways = self-serving life styles and a lack of dedication to the things of the Lord ends in misery. And a good man shall be satisfied from himself = contentment and great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

I don’t want to appear self-righteous or holier than thou. After all, I am but one step from back sliding myself – as is any other Christian. It just takes one wrong thought, one bad decision, one selfish desire… basically a discontent, unsatisfied heart to back track. So how does one get there? By focusing on self. That single minded nature which is inherently human causing us to want our own way in our own time and putting the servitude of others, not on the back burner, but still in the pantry on the shelf. In a nutshell – we get our eyes off Jesus. We forgot that day of salvation feeling when all we wanted to do was serve God and His people. We didn’t care if we had a dime in our pocket or title behind our name (other than child of God); we were just happy falling into line and doing the next thing that needed done. Woohoo, I just wrote myself happy again! That’s why Apostle Paul could write such encouraging words from behind the bars of a prison. And not a modern day prison, he did not have 3 square meals, possibly not even one; and he certainly didn’t have a television and video game. I started to say no one was offering him a book deal, but God did! How funny is that!

This is my fuel for your fire today. Move forward in your life. Stop looking at past failures and or even past successes. You cannot undo a mistake nor can you live in yesterday’s glory. If you’ve messed up, fix it the best you can or be content with where you are, but move on!

I could have gone home and pouted because I had to settle for something other than Real Tree pink camo or I could be content with my Quack Pack purchase. I know… silly right? Well, so are a lot of the reasons we fail to move forward in our life.