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Born This Way

What if I told you we are NOT born naturally good? In fact, that is EXACTLY what I am saying. We are born wicked and it is only through Christ alone that we can produce good fruits.

What?! How could you?

I think I am a pretty good person…

I would then have to ask you– measuring by what standards are you counting yourself as a good person?

At this point in time most people go on about how they help people, feel like they are a good friend/parent/etc., and say things like I mean I haven’t killed anyone.

Well, yes that is good and I am certainly glad to hear murder isn’t on the table. (insert chuckle)

However, if we measure by the ultimate judge on weather we are good or wicked, I think you may come up with a different conclusion.

I now ask you to be completely honest with me, yourself, and God. Answer the following questions.

  • Have you ever told a lie? Even a little white lie?
  • Have you ever taken something that was not yours or that you didn’t pay for? Think hard, because it happens on accident a lot! (a pen, something you carried home from work, something you found at a public location)
  • Have you ever said something about another person out of anger, hurt, etc.?
  • Have you ever talked about someone else to a third party, when it was not your place to tell?
  • Have you ever looked at another person in a lustful way?

If everyone is being honest, the answer should be ‘yes’ to all of the above questions. It is common for mankind (men and women) to naturally do these things because we are NOT naturally good. So, if we measure by God’s standard, which He has the ultimate say, then we are liars, thief’s, unforgiving, gossiping, adulterers.

YIKES! When you put it that way… we are not naturally good.

Which is precisely why the Bible tells us in John 3:3-7 that we need to be born-again.

John 3:3-7

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Why are we born this way?

God created mankind (Adam and Eve) and called it all very good. He gave mankind freewill and CLEAR instructions, in this case they could eat from any tree in the garden except NOT from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent and disobeyed God’s instruction and ate the forbidden fruit. If you read the whole story of the creation and fall of mankind in Genesis 1-3, God tells us that the land and mankind is cursed from the time we are born until we die because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

From here the Bible is full of stories about the wickedness of mankind’s hearts. Stories of murder, stealing, betrayal, adultery, and so much more. (Doesn’t sound much different from what we hear today on the news and in social media.

As the story goes on you will read about periods of time that mankind used animal sacrifices in attempt to atone for our sins. However, nothing was good enough to cover the disobedient wicked ways of our sinful nature. None of these sacrifices were able to bridge the gap of separation between God and mankind (us).

This is where Jesus comes in and radically changes EVERYTHING from that point forward!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus came and fulfilled many prophesies spoken. He is fully God and fully man, which is how he lived the perfect life during His time walking the Earth. Jesus’ purpose was to be the ultimate example for us to follow and to ultimately be crucified on the cross as an atonement for our sins.

Jesus conquered sin and conquered death. He was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead on the third day. He is alive today and will return for His people. Those who are born again– that repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness, and confess Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior

Just as John 3:3-7 says born again is by spirit and water. This is our new birth or re-birth. This is not just a stated prayer. It should be followed by devout study of God’s Word. It should be a life changing radical moment in a person life.

Being born again doesn’t mean we are instantly perfect and will never sin again, it means we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus.

Born again also doesn’t mean we are free to sin when and how we please or that we should continue down the same paths, making the same choices, it means the old has passed a way, we are free from the bondage of sin and we are a new creation in Him.

A born again Christian who has had true repentance and a life changing renewal spiritually will want to seek God’s direction and to know Him more. They will be intentional when it comes to prayer time and reading the Bible.

Reading the Bible and prayer is our way of communication with God, to learn His instruction and renew our minds and soul. An internal noticeable change.

There is a common misconception that ‘most people are naturally good. have your best interests at heart’. This is just NOT the case, the Bible tells us so and not in a ‘because I said so’ type of way. The Bible clearly explains why the evil and wickedness is in the hearts of mankind from birth. It goes all the way back to the original sin of disobedience to God’s Word.

What is the root of disobedience to God’s Word or disobedience in general? Pride, thinking we know better then God or someone else who has given clear instruction for our safety, health, and well being.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

This is why in Luke 9:23 we are to to deny ourselves daily, and take up the cross to follow Him. Our ways are wicked and will lead only to destruction and death (an eternal separation from God).

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

A born again believer is a new man, a new creation, and you should see changes in their life as evidence of that.

Ephesians 4:17-24

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Matthew 7:15-16

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Fruits of the spirit are NOT produced by our flesh naturally. We are not naturally born with these traits. They are produced by and through the Holy Spirit from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as the Bible tells us we must be born again through water and spirit to see the kingdom of God.

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Daily Devo: Peace Over Strife

It’s no secret that the world is full of hatred, strife, and down right ugliness. Friends are turning against one another- families are being torn apart- and the country has never been more divided than it is today.

It is nearly impossible to turn on the television, log in to social media, or read the news without seeing story after story about the hatred, violence, and anger that is sweeping our nation.

This is a heart problem above all else. People are lashing out toward one another due to the hatred, pride, and self-serving attitudes within their hearts.

What happened to the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all.”

It seems as if that is an outdated or moot teaching point with the new generations. Today’s culture is over sensitive, entitled, and hateful towards those who do not believe or live the same way they do.

It’s very much a MY WAY or NO WAY type of society.

God and the Bible have slowly been being phased out of schools and communities for years. This leaves one to wonder where the moral basis of life, love, and liberty are coming from.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

James 4:1 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+4%3A1&version=NKJV

The Bible tell us in James 4:1 where our fighting and troubles come from. They come from within ourselves- our desires for pleasure can quickly run our life, especially if we aren’t on guard and seeking God’s guidance above all else.

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+10%3A12&version=NKJV

Hatred and pride are roots causes of strife.

Currently we are seeing hatred for our president that is so strong it has divided our nation to the core. People are attacking each other because they think different- vote different- believe different- and live or look differently than themselves.

It is heartbreaking to see- I can’t imagine how our Father in Heaven feels!

God tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER- that love covers all sins.

Behind strife is pride- behind peace is humility.

By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+13%3A9-10&version=NKJV

Pride leads to strife- strife leads to destruction

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+16%3A18&version=NKJV

Nothing good comes from holding on to hatred- we need to humble ourselves before God. Begin to look within ourselves and get our own hearts right.

We are to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Just as we want God to forgive us when we fall short- we are to forgive others in the same way.

Humility comes from a place of self-reflection and self-growth. Learning to accept people’s differences and still show love knowing we ourselves are not perfect. God knew there would be trouble in the world due to our sinful nature and provided us with His Word (the Bible) as instruction on how to have a fulfilling life of peace, joy, and salvation.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NKJV

There is power in peace.

To gain peace we must humble our selves in the Word of God. Accept our own short-comings and seek God above all else. When we learn to be at peace with ourselves, accept our own faults, and live only to please God- we unlock a power that can’t be reckoned with.

Living in peace is giving God all your worries, fears, troubles, and your whole heart. Trusting in Him to provide all your needs and to guide your paths. Knowing no matter your circumstances God is with you and He works on your behalf.

The Lord wants to help us and be our guiding light but when we are living in strife our focus is quickly shifted from Him resulting in a downward spiral that robs our peace and joy.

The Bible tells us we are to do all we can to be at peace with everyone.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrew 12:14 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12%3A14&version=NKJV

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 

10 For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:9-11 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+3%3A9-11&version=NKJV

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A18&version=NKJV

We are not designed to live in such a high stress, violent, and hateful world. The Lord wants us to live a peaceful and prosperous life in Him. Like anything else in life- change starts with ourselves.

It is time for the country to stand together in peace and prayer. Each of us making the decision to change our focus and attitude- to diligently seek Him above all else- and learn to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a forgiving and patient God. A God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Lord the world is full of hatred and strife and it is very difficult not to be sucked in. The negativity, lies, and personal attacks on one another are at an all time high. Lord I ask that you help me search deep within myself- expose to me the condition of my own heart. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. I pray that each person would open their hearts to You- so that you may expose Your truth to them. I pray that each person who comes to You and truly seeks You with all their heart will find You and Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Father, I pray for our broken world- I pray that each would repent from their sins, so that you may heal the land. I pray Your guidance, protection, and mercy over our nation and world as a whole. Let us all shift our focus to You and strive to live peaceably above all men. I declare no weapon formed against our nation shall prosper- God You are in Control- Let Your Will be done in Jesus might name I pray

Amen

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