Adversity Is Not A Licence To Sin

Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:10 HCDB

We don’t worship God because things are good or otherwise. We worship Him because of His sovereign oversight and care for our life. Even in adversity, I am here:
(i) by God’s appointment;
(ii) in His keeping;
(iii) under His training; and
(iv) for His time.

Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917)

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The Significance Of Sin

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. Leviticus 23:26-28 NASB

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur and the ten days preceding it (sometimes referred to as the Ten Days of Repentance), are, for Jews, a time of deep introspection on the past year, on the sin the penitent has committed, on seeking forgiveness for it, and on committing to a better (less sinful) life in the coming year.

Jesus Christ’s atoning death and resurrection has resulted in the Day of Attonment largly falling off the Christian calendar. Nevertheless, its underlying premise remains just as relevant to the Christian today. We are sin prone, no less in need of forgiveness. And we can always profit from the renewing of our minds.

Much is said about sin.  Sin began in the garden of Eden, and is a theme throughout the entirity of the Bible.   Sin separates us from God, and wreaks havoc in all aspects of our earthly lives. 

Beyond simply being wrongdoing, sin has other attributes in our relationships with God and our fellow man.   In his 2021 Yom Kippur sermon Dennis Prager (Note 1)  discussed nine attributes of sin that we might not think about. And while he was speaking to a Jewish audience, the message applies equally to Christians. Here, then, nine other reasons why sin matters:

  1. Sin requires taking personal responsibility;
  2. Sin requires acknowledging “I am not a victim;”
  3. Sin requires being personally accountable to God;
  4. Sins confirms we have free will;
  5. Sin and atonement mean we can be forgiven and we can begin again;
  6. Sin means we have the ability to change;
  7. Sin means that God cares a great deal about how we treat other human beings;
  8. Sin means that behavior is everything;
  9. Acknowledgment of sin requires humility and forestalls arrogance.

Note 1: Dennis Prager is a devout Jew, Biblical scholar, highly regarded radio personality, and public intellectual. He has led annual Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services for over a decade.

Note 2: Prager acknowledged that sin obviously has other attributes, but that, in no particular order, these are nine of the most significant.

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A Sabbath Fast

No email.
No telephone.
No texting.

No worries.

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How God Views Character

We are only what we are in the dark. All the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark; the imaginations of our minds, the thoughts of our hearts, the habits of our bodies. These are the things that mark us in God’s sight. The Love of God. The Ministry of the Unnoticed, Oswald Chambers [Paraphrased]

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Character, Continued

In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8 CSB

A.W. Tozer described character as “the excellence of moral beings.” Just as the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character.

Persons of character are noted for their honesty, ethics, and charity. Those lacking in character behave dishonestly, unethically, and uncharitably.

A person’s character is not based on a few isolated actions, but on their whole life. It is the sum of his or her disposition, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions.

Godly character is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification in us, manifested by a life lived with persistent moral virtue.

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Character

You reveal your own character most clearly when you describe someone else’s.  @nickygumbel

To be continued.

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Perspective

Your bad day is probably a day that someone else wishes they could have.

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Fear Not

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. Psalm 3:25-26. NKJV

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Sorry. Thank you. Please.

I am the way the truth and the life.  John 14: 6-10.

Turning away from the things we know are wrong. Saying sorry.

Thanking Jesus for dying for us. Putting our faith in Him. 

And then saying please. Please come and fill me with Your spirit.

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We Are Your Flock And You Are Our Shepherd

For our Jewish brothers and sisters, September 16 was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. 

On this Sabbath we share a prayer that has formed part of the Yom Kippur liturgy for thousands of years. During Yom Kippur worship services it is often both spoken as a piyyut (prayer, liturgical poem) and sung as a nigun (melody, a form of Jewish religious vocal music). It is a prayer with which Christians can also identify, and from which we can learn much.

For we are Your people; You are our God.
We are Your children; You are our Father.
We are Your servants; You are our Master.
We are Your community; You are our Heritage.
We are Your possession; You are our Destiny.
We are Your flock; You are our Shepherd.
We are Your vineyard; You are our Keeper.
We are Your handiwork; You are our Creator.
We are Your faithful; You are our Beloved.
We are Your treasure; You are our Protector.
We are Your subjects; You are our King.
We have chosen You, And You have chosen us.

Amen

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