Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday, February 1 ~ tammi

Today's Bible In a Year reading: Exodus 13-14; Psalm 24; Matthew 24
Today's scripture focus passage: 1 John 2:16 ~ "For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world."

Accompanying MacArthur sermon: The Cardiology of Worldliness

Happy February!!  Hard to believe, but the temperatures, even on the Canadian prairies will start to rise this month.  Spring is on its way!!!  Of course, we won't FEEL the increase until we're well into March, but still...  :)

And let's face it, almost ANYTHING is warmer than what we've experienced the last two days!!

ANYWAYS, getting down to business...  I like the section in MacArthur's sermon where he addresses common ideas for where sin originates as it relates to us.  What makes us sin?  Some say "the devil made me do it," some claim we and our sin are merely products of our society and surroundings, some even say that because God allowed Satan's rebellion before time began, GOD is ultimately responsible for causing us to sin.

While there are shreds of truth to some of these arguments, MacArthur draws our attention to a little sermon Jesus gave in Mark chapter 7:14-17 and shows that:
"The problem is inside of you.  We have met the problem and the problem is us. This is basic. Genesis 6:5 says, "All the imaginations of man's heart were only evil continually." Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Then as I noted earlier, the passage in James chapter 1 perhaps it's worth looking at, "Let no one say when he is tempted, verse 13, I'm tempted by God, God cannot be tempted by evil, He Himself does not tempt anyone." Here's the problem, verse 14, "Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust." It's not about the outside, it's not about God and it's not about Satan and it's not about society. It's about you. And if you lived in a cave, you'd be living with sin. If you lived in a cave, like a monk, if you isolated yourself from every societal influence, if you hold yourself up in some assumed to be holy environment in a church monastery, away from the realm of Satan and demons, you would still be literally in the grip of sin because it's not outside, it's inside. It originates in man's sinful nature. It's really important to understand that."

And why is it important to understand that in relation to this verse?  Because it is through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life that sin enters our lives.
"Those are the three gateways to which the world system finds its way into the fallen heart and generates sin. All that is in the world, the world is the anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Scripture, anti-righteous, deceptive order, controlled by Satan. The world is synonymous with the kingdom of darkness. It is dangerous. It is deadly. It is designed by Satan to appeal to these three avenues into the fallen heart."
This is all kind of a downer, eh?  But fortunately, there's a big "BUT" after all this.  BUT...

"That's not us. Let me close with this. Back to 1 John for a minute. That's not us. We're not a part of that anymore. Gratefully all that is in the world is not from the Father and the world is passing away and also its lust, but the one who does the will of God abides forever. That's not us. We are not driven by the world, we are driven by the will of the Father. We don't always do it the way we should, but that's always the longing in our hearts, always the longing in our hearts. We don't love the world. We don't love the things in the world because the love of the Father is in us, we are not of the world. We still have the residual impact of sin in us. We still can be tempted that way. But it goes against the grain of who we are. We do not love that system. When we fall victim to it, we hate the system and we hate the sin. This is how we are distinguished as true believers."

Whew!  And hallelujah!!  That is NOT us!  As guilty as we are, as easily as we are still tempted like anyone else, succumbing goes against the grain of who we are because we have been TRANSFORMED and are continually BEING transformed into His likeness.

Amen?  AMEN.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Exodus 15-16
Monday's scripture focus passage: 1 John 2:17


Miriam said...


TammyIsBlessed said...

I love the last part that you highlighted there in blue. It goes against the grain of who we are. When we succumb we hate that we have done so, we don't glory in it. And there's the difference. The way we view sin.