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One reality of living is that we sin. No matter how hard we try to leave a godly and clean life, there is always an imperfection creeping in. Needless to say, we are not perfect beings. We are only human. God, alone, is perfect. However, as a person, I have always tried to be perfect. To control what I can control. I try to avoid sinning. I try not to do to others what I don’t want them to do to me. I try not to gossip, not to lose my temper, not to dishonor anyone and a whole lot more. But that’s pretty much what I can do by myself…to try.

Have you ever been frustrated with a recurring bad habit? How many times have you beaten yourself up for always “falling into a temptation”? Have you reached the point when you absolutely hated yourself because you have repeatedly failed to stand firm on your resolution to live a clean life? Were there times when you feel that you are already abusing God’s forgiveness and because of that you just don’t ask for forgiveness anymore? The reason why I am asking is that I have been there and most of the time…I still am. The fact is that the enemy is everywhere and he is present in every temptation and circumstances in our lives. He exists for a purpose: to steal, kill and destroy.

Everyone has his own “demons to battle” and it is mostly manifested by your weakest areas. It may be a blatant sin such as sexual perversion, lust, rage/temper, greed, pride or lying. It may also be subtle like cheating, gossiping, people pleasing, and procrastination. In every battle, the most important thing to know and understand is your enemy: to identify and pursue it head on. We have been given a natural alarm if something we do is wrong. Most sociologists and psychologists may identify them as the feeling you get when you act outside of the norm – when society, in general, does not accept what you do. I have a different view. Our natural alarm is that queasy feeling, that troubling whisper, that nagging and persistent feeling that bothers you every time and causes you to repeatedly ponder on what you have done. It is simply…GUILT.

Like most people, we try to justify our actions. We make logical analysis and worse, consider these “demons” as part of our human nature…our natural built. If we believe that we were made in the image and likeness of God then it should not be hard to understand that we were not designed to sin. To sin is not our natural make-up…rather; it is something that we need to conquer. This explains, then, the reason why we feel guilty…because sinning should not be natural to us. Similar to injecting a diluted or impure fuel to your car engine…sinning will not only bring troubles in your life but damage your soul as well.

I’m pretty sure you will agree with me that we can’t shake off guilt…that is why we feel the urge to recompense our misdeeds with good actions. The best way to remove guilt really is to conquer the cause. In my personal experience, the only effective way to conquer sin is to draw near to God. It is not a one-time solution. Never is. It is an unending process.

James 4:7-10 says,

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

I realized that I am most vulnerable to making wrong decisions and give in to temptations and even unintentionally sinning when I am far from God. You see, the enemy seizes every opportunity big or small to attack us and being near God (in my case through prayer and devotion) enables us to be totally dependent and guided by Him. Our battle then is not ours alone to face since God is our ally!

I would like to share the following passages which inspired this entry:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12: 1-2

Romans 12 is replete with Paul’s admonition of living right but it all starts with his basic instruction (paraphrased version):

“By the mercy of God, present yourselves as a living sacrifice: a sacrifice that is holy and acceptable unto God.  This is your reasonable service to God. ”

How can we do this?

“Don’t follow the ways of this world but transform yourselves into God’s glory by renewing your mind so that you will show what is good, acceptable (by God’s standards) and perfect will of God in your lives.”

God’s Word is clear. Listen to your “gut feeling”, acknowledge that “guilt”. It is your signal that what you are doing or about to do is NOT natural…it is NOT God’s design for you and by all means…you have to end it.

I like the way how Paul ended his lesson:

Do not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.     Romans 12:20

I don’t know with you but to me, it is an assurance that yes…it is hard to break sin…to be free from your bondage but it can be certainly done!

I want to share the lyrics of this song which has blessed me and assured me of God’s love many times.   God speaks in various ways…through His Word, through others’ lives, and sometimes through a random song.   I last sang this more than 10 years ago in high school and I think the message is timeless.  I hope that, as you read through this, you will be reminded of God’s love.

Trust His Heart

By: Babbie Mason

All things work for our good

Though sometimes we can’t see how they could

Struggles that break our hearts in two

Sometimes blind us to the truth

Our Father knows what’s best for us

His ways are not our own

So when your pathway grows dim

And you just can’t see Him,

Remember you’re never alone

~~~

God is too wise to be mistaken

God is too good to be unkind

So when you don’t understand

When don’t see His plan

When you can’t trace His hand

Trust His Heart

~~~

He sees the master plan

He holds the future in His hand,

So don’t live as those who have no hope,

While our hope is found in Him

We see the present clearly

But He sees the first and last

And like a tapestry He’s weaving you and me,

To someday be just like Him

~~~

He alone is faithful and true

He alone knows what is best for you

~~~

When you don’t understand

When you don’t see his plan

When you can’t trace his hand

Trust His Heart


This is my first post so pardon me if it’s rusty.  I just want to share with you my thoughts from my quiet time and I hope that you could do the same.  Like most Christians, I experience constant struggles and I know how it would be extremely helpful to have someone along to share our pains, insights and stories.

As I was doing my quiet time this morning, I realized that my Bible reading centered on one theme: HOPE. I am just starting my annual Bible reading finishing the first 6 chapters of the Bible. I have read through the book of Genesis perhaps more than 10 times in my lifetime mostly due to my Christian school background. But this morning was different. It was as if I was reading the Scripture for the very first time.

First realization was – we were created for God’s pleasure. This is quite a revelation even after reading THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE. Anyway, looking at the Creation and all of the processes and thought that came into it – there was really no reason for God to create man except that it pleased Him. I was just thinking – like a child creating a paper boat out of an old newspaper, the purpose of our existence is simply to please God. I could just imagine how frustrated God is as a Creator with all of the disappointments and hurts we gave Him. But more than that, I am amazed with how He fell in love with us that even with all of the pain and frustrations – He kept us and loved us.

I remember how I usually hold on to things because of memories. Even when I cannot use the object anymore, I would hold on to it because of the pleasure and memories it gave. However, no matter how attached the object is to me, I would eventually throw it or give it away. That is the normal relationship between the creator and the creation. Imagine how great God’s love for us to give up His Son to make us worthy to be saved from being thrown away. Rather than looking at our elaborate plans to fulfill our life mission, perhaps, it will be better if we just focus on our single, most important purpose and live it every single day of our lives and fulfill it on every single thing that we do: to bring pleasure (delight, joy, happiness, fulfillment) to God. Maybe it’s just as simple as doing our tasks the best way possible, making an effort to clean the environment, helping an elderly cross the street or just making our day as productive as possible.

One interesting story that I focused on was the story of Cain.  Most of us would remember Cain as the evil brother who killed Abel.  Well, Cain’s story can mean a lot of things.  When I read it today, I saw a beautiful and touching love story.

One revelation from Cain’s story is HOPE.  After murder, Cain’s life have turned upside down.  He was an outcast.  A murderer.  He can be easily judged with death.  But God offered him an alternative.  God offered Cain a new life – it may be a life outside of his old one but a new one nonetheless.  In a way, God might have said.. “Hey, we cannot change the past…what you have done in the past…but here’s a new life – take it and start anew.  Your life does not end here.”

Cain’s story shows many lessons.  But this morning – it showed me the reality of God’s immeasurable love. When God threw Cain from Eden – Cain pleaded that he will not be given a mark because the men who will recognize him will try to kill him for vengeance. God did not only command that no man should kill Cain but also gave a consequence – that if anyone should kill Cain, he shall be avenged seven-fold. This much work for a murderer!  God offered a new start for Cain! It is not only forgiveness but great love!  It’s as if God was saying, “Go ahead my child, start a new life with Me and I will guarantee that no man will harm you.”

If God can love us like that – then we have eternal hope. There is hope to change our bad ways, quit our vices, resist temptation, break our bondage, restore broken relationships and such forth. God has not only given us an avenue to do so through Jesus but has also shown Himself that He will love us no matter what.