VIDEO Missing the Mark

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Picture an archer with a bow and arrow, aiming at a round target some forty feet away. If the archer shoots the arrow and misses the target by five feet, it’s because his aim was off by a tiny amount at the point of release. Unconfessed sin is like an arrow that flies by the target and gets farther and farther away with every second.

The most-frequently used word for sin in the New Testament hamartia means “to miss the mark.” Perhaps the most graphic illustration of missing the mark and delaying the acknowledgement of sin is in Psalm 32. David recounts how, the longer he went without confessing his sin to God, the worse his life became. He wasted away; he groaned inwardly; he had no strength. He was a parched man dying in the desert of guilt. But then he confessed his sin to God and found relief. His dry soul was showered with the grace of forgiveness.

If you have missed the mark in any area of life—past or present—don’t delay confessing it to God. He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins.

Forgiveness is to be set loose from sins. G. Campbell Morgan


Andrew Wommack – 1 John 1:9 – (New Release 2018)

The Leaning Tower

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

You’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, but have you heard of the leaning tower of San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this fifty-eight-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly—in downtown San Francisco.

The problem? Its engineers didn’t dig a deep enough foundation. So now they’re being forced to retrofit the foundation with repairs that may cost more than the entire tower did when it was originally built—a fix that some believe is necessary to keep it from collapsing during an earthquake.

The painful lesson here? Foundations matter. When your foundation isn’t solid, catastrophe could ensue. Jesus taught something similar near the end of His Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24–27, He contrasts two builders, one who built on a rock, another on sand. When a storm inevitably came, only the house with a solid foundation was left standing.

What does this mean for us? Jesus clearly states that our lives must be built through obedience and trust upon Him (v. 24). When we rest in Him, our lives can find solid ground through God’s power and unending grace.

Christ doesn’t promise us that we’ll never face storms. But He does say that when He’s our rock, those storms and torrents will never wash away our faith-fortified foundation in Him.

By: Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

How has your faith helped you to weather the worst storms you’ve faced? What are some practical ways you can strengthen your faith each day?

Father, storms are inevitable in life. Help us to choose to dwell daily in Scripture and strengthen our strong foundation in You.

Doing God’s Work God’s Way

Zechariah 4:5-7

Zechariah 4 speaks of an approach to serving that will never become stale: All kingdom work that the Father considers valuable takes place through His Holy Spirit—not by means of human power or might (Zech. 4:6). Far from being aimed at a select few who are called to ministry, this is an essential truth for all believers.

God, speaking through the apostle Paul, addressed the struggling believers in the Corinthian church as “saints by calling” (1 Corinthians 1:2). In other words, Christians have been chosen by the Lord and called to honor Him with a life of obedience, which is expressed through faith and service. Here’s what this means for believers today: We must not rely on our own wisdom or strength, but on God’s Holy Spirit and Word.

Regardless of the situation, if you’re a believer, you are called—called to rest in Christ, to abide in Him, and to seek His will. The first step is to get your focus off the circumstances and redirect it to Christ. How can you possibly know where He’s leading unless you are looking and listening?

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: Searching Our Hearts

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)

One of the great axioms of Scripture is that the triune Godhead is not three gods, but rather “the LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Having just given the wonderful insight in the previous verse that the Holy Spirit helps our “infirmities” by transmitting our inexpressible prayers directly to God, the Creator now responds that the inseparable and omniscient triune Godhead already knows that the indwelling Holy Spirit communicates for the “saints according to the will of God.”

This is no new truth. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Bible abounds with this fact. “The LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9). “Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21). “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 John 3:20).

It is no wonder that God knows the “mind of the Spirit.” The core ministry of He who is “the Spirit of truth” is that He will “guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). HMM III

Meditate Long, Hard and Often

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.

—Psalm 143:5-6

Among Christians of all ages and of varying shades of doctrinal emphasis there has been fairly full agreement on one thing: They all believed that it was important that the Christian with serious spiritual aspirations should learn to meditate long and often on God.

Let a Christian insist upon rising above the poor average of current religious experience and he will soon come up against the need to know God Himself as the ultimate goal of all Christian doctrine. Let him seek to explore the sacred wonders of the Triune Godhead and he will discover that sustained and intelligently directed meditation on the Person of God is imperative. To know God well he must think on Him unceasingly. Nothing that man has discovered about himself or God has revealed any shortcut to pure spirituality. It is still free, but tremendously costly.   TIC135

Slow me down, Lord, and quiet my heart. Favor me with an acute awareness of Your presence as I meditate quietly. I want to know You, God, so I can indeed move well beyond that “poor average of current religious experience.” Amen.

 

The Holy Spirit Is God

7I will put my spirit within you…and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

—Ezekiel 36:27

How shall we think of the Holy Spirit? The Bible declares that He is God. Every quality belonging to Almighty God is freely attributed to Him. All that God is, the Spirit is declared to be. The Spirit of God is one with and equal to God just as the spirit of a man is equal to and one with the man….

The historic Church when she formulated her “rule of faith” boldly wrote into her confession her belief in the Godhood of the Holy Ghost. The Apostles’ Creed witnesses to faith in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Ghost and makes no difference between the three. The fathers who composed the Nicene Creed testified in a passage of great beauty to their faith in the deity of the Spirit:

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified. POM066-067

[A]ll that the Son is the Holy Ghost is, and all that the Father is the Holy Ghost is, and the Holy Ghost is in His Church. HTB020

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

The Pragmatism of Holy Living

Hebrews 12:10

It was Evelyn Underhill, writing in the 1930s, but with lasting relevance, who said, “There is nothing high-minded about Christian holiness. It is most at home in the slum, the street, the hospital ward.”

Holiness is for every day, hour by hour. It is for the workplace and the shopping center. It is for our dealings with all manner of people.

Most of all, and often most testingly of all, it is for our home life. None can overestimate the value to God’s kingdom of a holy life lived out among one’s relatives, especially when those relatives are unsaved and perhaps even skeptical about the gospel. There is no effective argument against the silent eloquence of holiness.

So many folk have a sadly mistaken notion of what holiness involves. They seem to think it’s about pious conversation in serious voices. Far from it! Laughter abounds and a sense of humor is essential. A natural, healthy interest in the opposite sex is only to be expected, but lust is out and so too are all forms of sexual impurity. Holiness sharpens your mind and your opinions. You can speak your mind, but strife, self-indulgent anger or deliberately cutting words must go. Irritability as a mark of personality cannot coexist with the fruits of the Spirit, but natural tension and stress through tiredness are not sins.

The believer who has set out for holiness still needs to eat, but is no glutton. He needs to sleep, but is not addicted to indolence. He needs to earn and spend, but is not in love with money. He will dress appropriately, but undue pride in personal appearance or lack of modesty will have no place.

Holiness is not an exemption from temptation. It is not moral perfection or infallibility. Mistakes will still abound. Holiness does not make a man or woman all-seeing or all-knowing. Hence the believer needs to recognize that the holy life can still encompass error, and that our errors can still hurt others. In the holy life, “I am sorry, please forgive me” will be words readily upon the lips and frequently spoken.

The essence of holiness is that deliberately choosing to sin has stopped by the rich grace of God. Bramwell Tripp summed up the possibility of pragmatic holiness in three sentences:

 

To say “I must sin” is to deny my Savior.

To say “I cannot sin” is to deceive myself.

To say “I need not sin” is to declare my faith in divine power!

 

Shaw Clifton, Never the Same Again