Archive for March, 2014

We are Dead to Sin

For me when God wants to drive home a point He normally will give me something to chew on for a few days and then bring me right back to the same truth He is trying to teach me. As a follow up from my last entry I want to share the words of Andrew Murray from his book The Secret Of The Cross.

“Taking Adam as a figure of Christ, he teaches that just as we all really and actually died in Adam, so that his death reigns in our nature, even so, in Christ, those who believe in Him actually and effectually died to sin, were set free from it, and became partakers of the new holy life of Chirst. He asks the question: ‘We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?’ In these words we have the deep spiritual truth that our death to sin in Christ delivers us from its power, so that we no longer may or need to live in it. The secret of true and full holiness is by faith, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in the consciousness: I am dead to sin. In expounding this he reminds them that they were baptized INTO THE DEATH OF CHRIST. We were buried with Him through baptism into death. We became UNITED WITH HIM by the likeness of His death. Our “old man” was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away – rendered void and powerless. Jesus, teaching us that our “old man,” the old nature that is in us, was actually crucified with Him, so that now we need no longer be in bondage to sin. But remember it is only as the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death a reality within us that we shall know, not by force of argument or conviction, but in the reality of the power of a divine life, that we are in very deed dead to sin. It only needs a continual living in Christ Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit to make our death to sin in Christ such a reality that we know ourselves to be forever free from its power, and so yield our members to God as instruments of righteousness.”

Pray that the Holy Spirit will make the truths of the Gospel connect in your head and your heart.

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Do You Really Believe You Are Dead Too Sin?

We are saved by grace through faith alone. Our salvation is totally made possible by God and God alone. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be saved from our sins and have our sins forgiven by His blood. It was God who turned our heart towards Him, and it is God who gives us our faith to be saved. The more I know and understand God’s grace; the core of my being is just rocked. It blows my mind to know that God in His love and mercy not only choose me to be one of His children, forgave me of all my sins, (past, present, future) stripped my sinfully unrighteousness off of me and placed Christ’s full righteousness on me. He forgets my sins when I sin and confess those sins, He sees me as holy and clean. He loves me unconditionally, despite my brokenness. His grace also frees us from our sins. Do you believe that? Just yesterday God challenged me with this question. To be honest with you, I could not answer yes. There are times, more than I would like to admit that I don’t feel free from my sin, I feel enslaved. Romans 6: 6-7 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be salves to sin, because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” We have died with Christ, when we give our lives over to Him. Romans 6 speaks clearly too this. This is where we have to lean on our faith. Our faith is our hope in God and in Him alone. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. We are dead to sin even if we don’t feel like we are. We have to allow our minds to be renewed by God (see Romans 12:1-2) We have to stop believing the lies from the enemy that we are still enslaved and that God didn’t really free us. I read a blog yesterday by John Piper and the title was satan’s Candy Store. We don’t have to be in satan’s candy store anymore, we don’t have to partake of porn, sex, drugs, drinking or what every candy he is tempting you with. That candy is deadly! God’s salvation frees us from the bondage of sin; it frees us from being salves. We just have to believe it!

The Pharisee I was the trenches I am called

Before I finished high school I felt the Lord’s calling on my life to go into the ministry. I passed up a great opportunity to have a scholar ship to go to a four-year university to study sports medicine and went on to Columbia International University to prepare for ministry. As I started to do ministry I soon became a Pharisee in that I was enjoying having the attention focused on me instead of God. I started to look towards ministry to gain acceptance and approval from others, and I was looking towards ministry to bring joy and happiness into my life. Finally, I believed the lie that ministry would be my cure-all for my addiction to pornography. I really believed if I could just get into full-time ministry everything would be better. Oh, what a lie I believed. In fact my struggled cost me three ministries where I had to leave the ministry because I knew in my heart I could not be serving others with my struggle. God in His grace did not allow me to go into a full-time vocational ministry after I finished up college. I had my head and heart set on a vocational ministry and that’s all I wanted to do. I would seek and seek a ministry and God would close door after door. I became very frustrated and upset with the Lord that He was not moving me into a vocational ministry. I believed my schooling and education was being wasted. My heart was not ready for ministry, I was still believing lies that ministry would bring me healing in my life. I was still a Pharisee at heart. For eleven years God moved me away from ministry and I was on a journey of healing from my sin and the pain and hurt that came from an addiction. God moved me into law enforcement after I finished college and it was here that I learned valuable leadership skills. From their God moved me into the health insurance industry. In 2012, God started showing me what kind of ministry He wanted me to do. In 2012 I developed Refuge, a ministry to help men who struggle with sexual sins. Once again I wanted to go big, but that is not what God wanted. I wanted to reach out to men who are struggle, I wanted to reach to churches, and I wanted to reach to other organizations and ministries to help men. This is not what God wanted and once again I was very upset and just didn’t understand why God would give me a ministry just to have it sit and not grow. I totally understand it is God who grows a ministry, and He was not growing Refuge. Then God in His loving grace started showing me He wants me to ministry somewhere different. He wants me in the trenches, where it’s cold and dark and lonely. He wants me there because there are a lot of men in the trenches. I fully understand what it feels like to be in the trenches and to be totally alone in the dark. For me in my life, it was God who joined me in the trenches with me, and even though I would beg Him to take me out of the trenches and to take away my struggles, in love He chose not to answer those prayers. He left me in the trenches and He brought people into my life that got down into the trenches with me and helped me. It is here that God wants me to ministry from. I know the trenches I lived in them for over 20 years. God can take a broken, sinful, man, and use his sins and brokenness to bring Himself glory. This is what God is doing with me. He is using my past hurts and struggles to bring Himself glory, by me working in the trenches for Him.
If you know someone who is in the trenches and are struggling with purity issues let us help. The leaders of Refuge know and understand what the struggle they are going through and are willing to be with them in the trenches.

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