No Comparison

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.

It is so easy to compare yourself to someone else and feel good.
You and I shine against serial killers.
We look good compared to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death”.
You and I never did the sins of people like that.
But God is not interested in sin you have not committed.
He is interested in the sin you have committed.
Add to this, the Pharisee compared himself to a tax collector, when in reality each of us are compared to Jesus.
Acts 17:31 says, “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
As Christians, we should not judge our righteousness to another’s sinfulness.
Rather, we should seek a way to help others discover the righteousness found only in accepting Jesus as Savior.

The Lie

Rom 1:25 …who exchanged the truth of God for the lie

The text does not say “a” lie but “the” lie.
What is “the lie”?
I can only think of one and it stems from the first lie, which is two-fold.
Gen 3:4, 5 – Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The lie is one that still exists today – you will not die [by disobeying God] and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
So many believe there is no accountability for sin. Some believe sin is an irrelevant, antiquated term no longer applicable today, which is the lie.
There is a belief you are in control of your destiny – be like God.
Again, the lie.
If we are like God, the Creator, then each of us can “create” our own god, that is, worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. (Rom 1:25)
Do not fall victim to the lie but read and believe the truth found in God’s word.

No Shame (in love and mercy)

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,

Am I ashamed of the gospel of Christ?
I want to say absolutely not!
But then, what exactly is shame?
Is it timidity at talking with someone about Christ?
Maybe it is hesitation at praying in front of others, no matter the cause or need.
Perhaps a reluctance to stand up to sin.
The world has Christian’s shell shocked to do certain things for fear of being called judgmental.
Do we stand up and say something to someone taking God’s name in vain or cursing in front of our family.
Do we contest abortion, adultery, fornication, or homosexuality all as sin?
I feel each follower of Christ should represent Christ as Christ represented God.
His love for people helped them overcome their sins by faith through grace.
He did not condemn and His judgment was tendered with mercy.
In this, there is no shame.

Preparing for something better

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.
Acts 13:13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

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