Saturday, January 14, 2017

Home

In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on seeking the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living a life of holiness, righteousness, and truth.

As the Scripture says:

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

And "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

Some of the topics covered include seeking the Lord, prayer, worship, tithing, inquiring of the Lord, hearing His voice, obedience, grace, godly attire and adornment, sanctification, consecration, backsliding, repentance, brokenness, suffering, humility, the fear of the Lord, the role of the commandments for the disciple of Christ, and the conditions of the New Covenant.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Seeking the Lord Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God Holy Fire Baptism
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Lifting Hands in Prayer Crying Out to God Loudly
Pressing on Toward the Goal Taking Heaven by Force God Exalts the Humble and Brings Down the Proud
Whom Are You Seeking? Should you fear the Lord? Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?
Aim for Perfection Obedience by the Spirit Is Obedience Optional?
Salvation with Fear and Trembling Holy Living in a Perverted World Drifting Away
The Cost of Discipleship Deleted Scriptures in the Bible? Is Tithing Required?
Where Should You Give Your Tithe? Walking in the Perfect Will of God Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian
The Obedience of Faith Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross? Law of Love in the New Testament
The New Covenant Law of Love in the New Testament The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith Costly Grace The Law of Christ
The Eyes of the Lord Garments of Godliness The Three Elijahs
The Burning Ones The End Has Come Now, But Not Yet
The Happy Hunters on Fire You're Better Off Following Jesus God Chooses the Weak Things 
The Beauty of Brokenness Seeing Jesus, Loving Him, Character and Glory Hearing the Lord's Voice
Hearing the Lord's Voice Inquiring of the Lord Praise the Lord!
The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come One thing Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham? From Self-confidence to Confidence in the Lord The Self-Help Gospel
Checklist for Revival God Has Not Rejected His Jewish People, Has He? The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Flaming Sword Clean Hands and a Pure Heart The Spirit of the Law
Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy An Open Mind that Loves the Truth Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?
Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth? The Apostasy Parables

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
The Disciples’ Prayer Is Tolerance a Virtue? Righteousness by Faith not Law
Life is Short. Eternity is Not. Noah's Ark a Type of Christ Grace, Mercy, and Peace
Ultimate Accountability Separation from the World The Knowledge of the Holy
The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness Ask for the Ancient Paths Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven
The Straight and Narrow Path Unhealthy Competition A Peculiar People
Listen to Jesus, Who Upholds Moses and the Prophets Hope for You

Beware of Philosophy and Empty Deception
The Love of Jesus The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer Having a Servant's Heart
Avoiding Worldly Worship Purge the Evil from Among You Who is God?
Living a Life Worthy of the Lord Praying for the Lord Jesus Who is God? - Part II
The Way, Will, and Word of God Overcomers in This Life The Afflictions of the Righteous
Saints Alive in Jesus Bowing Low in Worship Repentance That Leads to Life
Keeping a Good Conscience Remember Lot’s Wife Called to be Blameless
If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words The Lord Will Rejoice Over You The Nature of Persecution
The Wardrobe of the Saints Filled Up to All the Fullness of God Loving Deeply
Seeking Glory from God Amazing Grace God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes
Abominations in the Sight of God Identification with Christ

Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Seek My Face" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Donate


Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. 

There are two ways to donate to Doulos Missions International. You may either send a check or money order by mail or you may donate securely online.

Doulos Missions International, Inc. is incorporated in the State of New Hampshire as a publicly-supported non-profit charity.  We are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3). Contributions made to this organization are tax deductible.

Online Donations
You may use an electronic check or a major credit card to make a gift today. Click here to donate.

By Mail

You may send your check or money order made payable to Doulos Missions International to the following address:


Doulos Missions International
PO Box 5526
Manchester, NH 03108-5526

By Paypal or Payza
You may also securely send money directly to Len Lacroix via Payza or Paypal, which are alternatives to donating to DMI, especially for those who are not within the US or Canada.  DMI only accepts credit cards from the US or Canada, but Payza and Paypal are more international. Please note that these alternatives are not tax-deductible, and will not be given to DMI, but to me personally. Just message me through the comments section of this post to get my email address for Payza or Paypal.




"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


Thank you!

We invite you to visit our Collection of Blogs.

Doulos Training School


Doulos Missions International now offers discipleship training online through the Doulos Training School (DTS).  Please visit the DTS online at Doulos Training School to find out more about how you or someone you know can participate.
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Identification with Christ

When you become a disciple of Christ you have total and complete union with him. You now identify with Him in every way -- those that are pleasant and those that are painful. Let's look at some of those here now.

Identification According to Jesus
The Lord Jesus told His disciples how they would identify with Him when He said:

"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” (Joh 15:20)

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (Joh 15:18)

"The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." (Luk 10:16)

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (Mat 10:40)

"Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. (Mat 10:14)

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'  (Mat 25:40)

"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (Mat 25:45)

"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33)

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luk 9:26)

"And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'" (Luk 9:23)

“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father…” (Rev 2:26-27)

"He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Rev 3:21)

Let's go back now and review the ways the Lord said we identify with Him in the preceding verses:

  • If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
  • If the world hates you, it has hated Me before it hated you.
  • The one who rejects you rejects Me.
  • If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
  • The one who listens to you listens to Me.
  • If they do not listen to you, they do not listen to Me.
  • If you are doing My work, then those who receive you receive Me.
  • Whatever they do to any one of you, they do it to Me.
  • Whatever they do not do to any one of you, they do not do to Me.
  • Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father.
  • Whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father.
  • Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, I will be ashamed of him when I come.
  • If I denied Myself and carried My cross,
  • You must deny yourself and take up your cross daily.

This means that if we are seeking to live godly in Christ, we can expect the world to persecute us, hate us, and reject us. If Jesus went through those things, then we certainly can’t escape experiencing them. But if we teach what Jesus did, speak the truth, and testify of Him, we can also expect those who are on the side of truth to receive us, listen to us, keep our word, and love us. If we confess Christ before men, He will confess us before the Father. But if we deny Him before men, He will also deny us before the Father. If we are ashamed of Him and His Words, He will be ashamed of us when He comes. Since He denied Himself and carried His cross, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. If we overcome and keep His deeds to the end, He will give us authority over the nations, just as He received authority from the Father. He will grant to us to sit down with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with the Father on His throne. This is what it means to identify with Christ in every way.

Identification with Christ According to Paul
The apostle Paul also taught us how we have become identified with Christ, too. He said:

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection," (Rom 6:5)

"It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;" (2Ti 2:11-12)

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Php 2:5)

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:16)

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Phil 3:10, NIV)

"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1Co 12:26-27)

  • If one member of Christ's body suffers, He suffers with it.
  • If you follow Christ, you must have the same attitude that was in Him.
  • If you have been buried with Him into death,
  • You have been raised with Him in newness of life.
  • If you have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,
  • You shall be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.
  • If you participate in His sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
  • You will know the power of his resurrection, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
  • If we died with Him, we will also live with Him.
  • If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
  • If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

As disciples of Christ, we are united with Him in every way. This means we should seek to and expect to know Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, being made like Him in His death, so that somehow we attain to the resurrection of the dead and reign with Him. We should pray earnestly and ask for total and complete union with Him, so that we would have the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ, and the will of Christ in our lives. I hope this has encouraged you to do so today.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: I recommend reading the following articles: Covenant Prayer,  All Things Handed Over to Jesus ChristSupernatural Power for All Disciples, An Incomparable InheritanceThe Cost of Discipleship, Persecuted or Popular?, The Priesthood of All Believers, and The Highest Form of Slavery. I also invite you to read my daughter's poems, called "The Cost" and "Mirror of Christ." You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

No comments:


Post a Comment

If you are going to comment and you want it to be published, do not write in ALL CAPS, and use clear English. All comments will be evaluated before publishing. If they are of a hateful, belligerent, or vicious nature, they will not be posted.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Abominations in the Sight of God

Boa Constrictor Snake
In the Church today, we rarely ever hear the word "abomination", if at all, unless it is in reference to something that applied only to the Israelites under the law of Moses. But we need to be reminded once again that abominations still exist for the saints today under the New Covenant in Christ's blood. The holy people of God must still avoid abominations, so it's important to know what things are considered abominations.

Abominations in the New Testament
Let's begin with the Greek word for abomination in the New Testament, which is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” To put it very simply, an abomination is something God utterly hates and finds disgusting. Idolatry in its various forms is the chief of all abominations and perhaps the most common, but there are many other kinds of abomination, as you shall see.

Jesus spoke about the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel, which will stand in the holy place (Mat 24:15; Mar 13:14). It will probably be some sort of idol set up in the temple by the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition doomed to destruction. The apostle Paul said he "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Th 2:4). So the idol would be the son of perdition himself or his image.

The revelation given to the apostle John states that a false prophet will arise who will tell those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast (Rev 13:14), and he will give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed (Rev 13:15; also see Rev 14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4)

The Lord also said, that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable to God (Luk 16:15), so that means the things men value greatly are abominations in God's sight. In the context of that passage, the Lord was speaking specifically about wealth, which is at the top of the list of things that men cherish. This is why the prosperity gospel is so dangerous. However, there are many other things that men value highly like status symbols, big titles, political power, business prowess and success, intelligence, educational achievements, physical strength, athletic ability, muscle-bound bodies, perfect outward physical beauty, sex appeal, fashion, fads, and the like.

Abominations are part of what fills the gold cup of the woman on the beast (Rev 17:4), who is known as Babylon, the mother of the abominations of the earth (Rev 17:5).

Abominations in the Old Testament
Tarantula spider
Now that we have seen that abominations still exist under the New Covenant, let's look at the Hebrew Scriptures for more insight. The Hebrew word for abomination is "to‛ebah", meaning "something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: - abominable (custom, thing), abomination." This is the same meaning as the word for abomination in the New Testament, so there is no difference. In fact, in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, this Hebrew word is translated with the Greek word “bdelugma,” which is also used in the New Testament for abomination.

Here is a list of people and things God considers to be an abomination, according to Scripture:

  • Homosexuality (Lev 18:22,26,29,30; 20:13; 1Co 6:9-10)  
  • Approaching any blood relative to uncover nakedness or have sexual relations (Lev 18:6,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your mother or step mother (Lev 18:7,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your sister or step sister (Lev 18:9,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter (Lev 18:10,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your father’s sister, or your mother’s sister, which is your aunt (Lev 18:12-13,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with the wife of your father's brother, which is your aunt (Lev 18:14,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife (Lev 18:15,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your brother’s wife (Lev 18:16,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter, or with either her grandchildren (Lev 18:17,26,29,30)
  • Marrying a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness (Lev 18:18,26,29,30)
  • Approaching a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity (Lev 18:19,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with your neighbor's wife (Lev 18:20,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it (Lev 18:23,26,29,30)
  • A woman standing before an animal to mate with it (Lev 18:23,27,29, 30)
  • The silver and gold of the pagan idols (Deu 7:25)  
  • Graven images (Deu 7:26)
  • An idol (Deu 27:15; Isa 44:19; Eze 7:20; 8:6; 14:6; 16:36; 1Co. 12:2; 2Co. 6:16; 1Th. 1:9; 1Jn. 5:21) 
  • Making idols (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Idolatry (Eze 16:43; 18:12). Likewise, the New Testament Scriptures teach us that no one who practices idolatry will enter the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20), so we must flee from idolatry (1Co. 10:14). Let's not forget that even covetousness is a form of idolatry (Col. 3:5).  
  • The acts that the pagans did for their gods like human sacrifice, burning sons or daughters in fire, inquiring after the gods. Giving any of your offspring to offer them to Molech (Deu 12:31; Jer 32:35)  
  • He who chooses false gods. (Isa 41:24)  
  • Sacrificing to Baal, and walking after other gods. (Jer 7:10)  
  • Burning sacrifices and worshipping other gods (Jer 44:4)  
  • Burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings and making cakes in her image. (Jer 44:22)  
  • Adulterous hearts which turn away from God, and eyes which play the harlot after idols (Eze 6:9,11)  
  • Women weeping for the false god Tammuz (Eze 8:13-14)  
  • Worthless men going out and seducing the inhabitants of a city to serve other gods. (Deu 13:14)  
  • Serving and worshipping other gods, including the sun, moon, heavenly host. (Deu 17:4; Eze 8:15)  
  • Making your children pass through the fire, divination, witchcraft, interpreting omens, sorcery, casting spells, mediums, spiritists, those who call upon the dead (Deu 18:9,12)
  • Those who make their son or daughter pass through the fire, who use divination who practices witchcraft, who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deu 18:12)
  • Burning incense as well as burning sons in fire according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ch 28:3)  
  • The false gods Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom were the abomination of the Sidonians, of Moab, and Ammon respectively. (2Ki 23:13)  
  • The things that the Hittites, Amorites,  Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites did for their gods. (Deu 20:18)  
  • Sacrificing to demons, neglecting the Rock who “begot you”, forgetting the God who “gave you birth” (Deu 32:16)  
  • Building high places, erecting altars to false gods, worshipping and serving the host of heaven, building altars for all the host of heaven in the house of the Lord, making your children pass through the fire, practicing witchcraft and divination, dealing with mediums and spiritists, setting the carved image of a false God in the house of the Lord, seducing God’s people to do evil (2Ki 21:11; 2Ch 33:2)  
  • Ahaz walked in the ways of Israel’s kings, even makings his sons pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ki 16:3)  
  • Evil deeds committed by King Manasseh, according to the nations. (2Ki 21:2; Also see 2Ch 33:2)
  • Kings committing wicked acts (Pro 16:12) 
  • Sacrificing blemished/defective animals (Deu 17:1).  
  • The person who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex (Deu 22:5)
  • Practicing ritual prostitution, as in the work of cult prostitutes (1Ki 14:23-24)  
  • Sacred female prostitutes and sacred male prostitutes (Deu 23:18)  
  • To bring the wages of a female or male prostitute into the Lord’s house (Deu 23:18)  
  • For a man to take back his former wife after having sent her away (since she has been defiled). (Deu 24:4)  
  • Those who act unjustly and those who have differing weights and measures (Deu 25:16)  
  • Those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous (Pro 17:15)  
  • Differing weights and measures (Pro 20:10, 23)  
  • A false balance (Pro 11:1)  
  • That which fills the heart of the man who has hatred (Pro 26:25) 
  • The devious (Pro 3:32) 
  • Haughty eyes (Pro 6:16)  
  • Those who are proud in heart (Pro 16:5)  
  • A lying tongue (Pro 6:16; 12:22)  
  • A false witness who utters lies (Pro 6:16)  
  • Hands that shed innocent blood,  (Pro 6:16)  
  • A heart that devises wicked plans (Pro 6:16)  
  • Evil plans (Pro 15:26) 
  • Feet that run rapidly to evil (Pro 6:16)  
  • One who spreads strife among brothers. (Pro 6:16)  
  • Wickedness (Pro 8:7)  
  • The way of the wicked (Pro 15:9)  
  • The perverse in heart (Pro 11:20)  
  • The prayer of the person who turns his ear away from listening to the law (Pro 28:9)  
  • The sacrifice of the wicked (Pro 15:8; 21:27)  
  • Pompous and costly devotions of wicked people, such as incense offered with hands full of blood (Isa 1:13)  
  • The acts of Sodom and Samaria, which were arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but not helping the poor and needy. (Eze 16:47,50)  
  • Lending money on interest and taking increase (Eze 18:13,24)  
  • Stealing, murdering, committing adultery, swearing falsely (Jer 7:10)
  • Shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Treating father and mother lightly (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Oppression of the alien (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Wronging the fatherless and the widow (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Slanderous men shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Eating at the mountain shrines (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing acts of lewdness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Uncovering your fathers' nakedness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing abomination with your neighbor's wife (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Lewdly defiling your daughter-in-law (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling one’s sister (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking bribes to shed blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking interest and profits (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Injuring neighbors for gain by oppression (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Forgetting the Lord (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Despising the Lord’s holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Profaning His Sabbath (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests hiding their eyes from the Lord’s Sabbaths (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests doing violence to God’s law and profaning His holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests making no distinction between the holy and the profane;  priests not teaching the difference between the unclean and the clean (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Princes shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Prophets covering up for such evil rulers, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken; practicing oppression and committing robbery, wronging the poor and needy and oppressing the sojourner without justice (Eze 22:2-12)  
  • Bringing in uncircumcised foreigners to be in the Lord’s sanctuary to profane it, thus making His covenant void, and appointing these foreigners to keep charge of the Lord’s sanctuary." (Eze 44:6-7)
  • Giving daughters to sons of the “peoples of the land” and taking their daughters for your sons (Ezr 9:14)  
  • Profaning the Lord’s sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. (Mal 2:11). The New Testament still teaches us this is evil. "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. (2Co 6:14-18) 
  • Food-related abominations, regarding the consumption of unclean animals and creeping (swarming) things that go on their belly or walk on all fours or on many legs (Deut 14:3-21; Lev 11:41-43). This one is now apparently obsolete under the New Covenant, since the Lord Jesus declared all food clean (Mk 7:19). And the Lord said that what He has made clean, we must not declare unclean (Ac 10:15). You must not let anyone judge you with regard to what you eat or drink (Col 2:13). Nevertheless, just because you are allowed to eat them does not mean it is healthy to do so either physically or spiritually.
Putting it All Together
Aside from this last one about unclean animals, God still detests all of the abominations listed above. He detested them then and He still detests them now. What was an abomination to God thousands of years ago is still an abomination to Him today. He did not change His mind and decide that He now likes these things or that He does not mind it when people do them. At no point in Scripture does it say that God's grace means we are free to do these things. There are still Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven. It's important that we know about these things, so we don't miss heaven.

While the apostles clearly stated that circumcision is not required for believers, they did reaffirm that believers must avoid certain things that God hates. They set forth the following decree for Gentiles: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Act 15:28-29). This decree states that, in addition to abstaining from fornication, we must also still abstain from eating food sacrificed to idols and from blood and from the meat of strangled animals. The New Testament warns us not to touch what is unclean.

In the revelation given to John, the Lord Jesus indicated that He still hates it when believers commit acts of sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. He said, 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." (Rev 2:20)

And the Scripture is clear that no one who practices what is detestable will enter the Holy City. It states, "And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev 21:27). The Greek word for "abomination" in this verse is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” All who do these things are offensive to God, since their conduct excites Him to disgust and abhorrence. Anyone who is practicing abomination, it doesn't matter how good of a Christian they or other people think they are, the Bible says they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Nobody is allowed into heaven who does such things.

Therefore, based on Scripture alone, we have certainly established who and what God considers to be an abomination. “Thus says the Lord God, 'Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations." (Ez 14:6). Let's take heed of these warnings and repent, if you have done these things. Let's walk the straight and narrow path, avoiding all abominations, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness as we wait eagerly for the coming of our Lord Jesus from heaven on the day of God. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ and of God the Father abide with His saints forever.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
 
Author's note: You are invited to read Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Aim for Perfection, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, Rachael Mushala Second Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala’s Third Testimony of Hell, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Tattoos and Body Piercing, Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, A Warning for Christian Married Couples, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular MusicIs Contraception a Sin? -- A Divine Revelation, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Led by the Spirit, Called to be Blameless, Holy Living in a Perverted World, , Separation from the World, and Fruit in Every Season. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Zipporah Mushala's testimony of hell Only the Holy -- Three Shocking Testimonies Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven
Baptized by Blazing Fire Taken to Hell Angelica Zambrano Second Visit to Hell
Australian Pastor Raised from the Dead Nigerian Pastor Raised from the Dead Revelation of Hell to Seven Colombian Youths

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, December 30, 2016

God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes

It's amazing and wonderful to consider the sovereign plans and purposes of God. His Word teaches us that events in our lives are ordained or appointed beforehand and predetermined. Scripture says,  “Whatever has happened was foreordained, and what happens to a person was also foreknown.” (Eccl 6:10a, NET)

“Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psa 139:16, NIV)

God told Jeremiah that before He formed Him in the womb He knew him and ordained to be a prophet to the nation. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jer 1:3, NIV).

God knows about everything before it happens. He says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Is 46:10a, NIV).

His purpose will stand. “I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Is 46:10b, NIV).

God is sovereign, and He is ultimately in control. Even things we would consider chance or fate are under His control. “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.”  (Pro 16:33)

His will is supreme. It is the very highest and best for our lives, and that is what we should seek. 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” (Mat 6:10)

God has a purpose for each one of our lives. “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Pro 16:4)

He is the one who fulfills His purposes in each of our lives. “The LORD will fulfill His purposes for me.” (Ps 138:8a, NIV)

“For the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of His good pleasure – is God.” (Phil 2:13, NET)

To those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, He causes all things to work together for good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

Those who are chosen have been predestined according to His purpose, and He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. “Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will…” (Eph 1:11)

God has a plan for everyone’s life and He directs our steps. “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Pro 16:9).

There is no use trying to resist the will and plan of God. “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” (Pr 21:30, NIV).

In Angels on Assignment, a pastor named Roland Buck received a visitation from angel Gabriel. “After a few words of comfort, Gabriel seemed to speak direct words from God in the first person. ‘The Lord speaks now to you. All your life forces are in me. Your drives, your talents, your skills, as you commit yourself, wholly, even your potential springs from me. Bring these words to the world. I have loved you, cared for you, yes, I have planned your steps, and when you would yield, have directed your path. Your successes come from me, your wealth has come from my hand. Your creative skills, your abilities to succeed are because of me. Because of your failure to recognize me and walk in my ways, you have limited the Lord your God, your lives have been restricted so that you have not known the potential of your life. As you make Him Lord of all, He will also be Lord of what you can be, not only of what you are (Exodus 31:1-6).’”

When brother Roland was in the throne room one time, God showed him that He has a file for everyone. He wrote:

“Then God said I could ask questions! My mind was whirling! How does a human ask questions of God? It was so awesome being in his presence I could hardly think. Finally a thought came into my mind to find out whether or not he actually made individual plans for each and every life…”

“In answer to my question, God let me see the vastness of his heavenly archives! My head swam! There was no way my finite mind could understand how God could keep track of these files. There must be billions of them! He said, ‘Since you are overwhelmed by this, and it staggers you, let me pull out one that you can relate to.’ And he immediately pulled out mine! He would not let me see the contents of it, but mentioned a few of the future items listed which I could use as confirmation of this visit.”

I hope this has encouraged you to know that God has a plan and purpose for your life. He loves you and has a file in His heavenly archives with the contents of your life, including the future events that have yet to happen. He has a blueprint for your life. All your days were written in His book before one of them came to pass. He is sovereign. Remember that no matter what happens, God is in control. Seek to do His will. Submit your will to His and watch Him fulfill all the wonderful things He wants to do in and through you. It all begins with repenting and giving your life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Others taken from the NET Bible and The Holy Bible, New International Version. Excerpts taken from Angels on Assignment by Charles and Frances Hunter. Majestic Sunset painting by my daughter, Charity Lacroix. You can find more of her lovely artwork at A Brush with Life.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading Walking in the Perfect Will of God, Supremacy of Christ, The Scripture Must Be Fulfilled, If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words, Should you fear the Lord?, Holy Fire Baptism, Costly Grace, Drifting Away, The Lord Healed My Backsliding, The Truth Set Me Free!, Is Obedience Optional?, The Cost of Discipleship, The Love of Jesus, Aim for Perfection, Living a Life Worthy of the Lord, Holding Fast the Faithful Word, Ask for the Ancient Paths, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, The Apostasy Parables, and Salvation with Fear and Trembling. See the Home page of this blog for more of my articles about Seeking the Lord. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Amazing Grace

All throughout the Bible we see that God is gracious and compassionate. “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Ps 145:8, NIV). I for one am a recipient of His amazing grace! Let’s look at some examples of those who received His grace in Scripture.
Adam and Eve
Through sin they knew that they were naked, so they became afraid of God and hid themselves from Him.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" (Gen 3:7-11)

God graciously made garments for them to cover their shameful nakedness. “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” (Gen 3:21). These garments required the shedding of blood. Therefore, we see God's grace all the way back to the garden of Eden.

Noah
All men on earth were wicked in the days of Noah. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.’"  (Gen 6:5-7)

However, Noah found grace in God’s sight. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” (Gen 6:8-9).

He was obedient. “Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (Gen 6:22)

He built the ark by faith. “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Heb 11:7)

He was thankful and built an altar to the Lord. “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.’” (Gen 8:20-21)

Abraham 
He was justified by grace through faith. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,” (Rom 4:2-5)

Lot 
Although he hesitated when he was told to flee from Sodom, the Lord spared his life and that of his daughters. The Scripture says “But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.” (Gen 19:16)

“Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (Gen 19:24-25)

The Israelites
God had compassion on them and heard their groaning in Egypt, when they were in bondage as slaves.

"Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt."'" (Exo 3:16)

"So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped." (Exo 4:31)

'I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.' (Act 7:34)

Though they worshiped idols and grumbled and complained, and many died because of it, He sent them bread from heaven and water from the rock, which was Christ.

"Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, 'THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.' Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1Co 10:5-11)

In the Promised Land, they went astray and worshiped idols again. They committed adultery with the false gods of the nations. Therefore, God gave them over to the hands of their enemies, sending them into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. Yet He brought them back to their land afterward and restored them. God was willing to take them back in spite of their unfaithfulness. He preserved a remnant.

Rahab the Harlot
Though she was a harlot, because she had faith and feared God, welcoming the Hebrew spies, she was spared when the Israelites destroyed Jericho (Heb 11:31).

Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her." So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. (Jos 6:22-25)

She became the wife of a Hebrew named Salmon. Together they had a son named Boaz who married Ruth the Moabite, whose grandson was Jesse the father of David (Mat 1:5-6).

David 
"David found favor in God's sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.” (Act 7:46)

Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? "And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD, for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord GOD. "Again what more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord GOD! "For the sake of Your word, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. "For this reason You are great, O Lord GOD; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. "And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? "For You have established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O LORD, have become their God. "Now therefore, O LORD God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken, that Your name may be magnified forever, by saying, 'The LORD of hosts is God over Israel'; and may the house of Your servant David be established before You. "For You, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. "Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. "Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You. For You, O Lord GOD, have spoken; and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever." (2Sa 7:18-29)

David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, "I am pregnant." (2Sa 11:4-5)

When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD. (2Sa 11:27)

Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. (2Sa 12:7)

Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. (2Sa 12:13)

Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him. (2Sa 12:24)

Gideon 
He is listed in the book of Hebrews as a man of faith, although he took the gold earrings he received and made them into an ephod and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

Yet Gideon said to them, "I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil." (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) They said, "We will surely give them." So they spread out a garment, and every one of them threw an earring there from his spoil. The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels' necks. Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household. (Jdg 8:24-27)

Barak
Although he did not go to battle without Deborah against Sisera and his army, he conquered by faith and is listed in the Hebrews hall of faith (Heb 11:32).

Samson
Although he fell into sexual immorality with a harlot in Gaza, as well as with Delilah, he walked by faith and was used mightily by God to deliver the Israelites. He too, is considered a man of faith in the book of Hebrews (Heb 11:32).

Jephthah
He was the son of a harlot (Jdg 11:1), who made a foolish vow that cost his one and only child her life, yet he conquered the enemy by faith and was another recipient of God’s amazing grace (Heb 11:32).

Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, "If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering." So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD gave them into his hand. He struck them with a very great slaughter from Aroer to the entrance of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the sons of Ammon were subdued before the sons of Israel. When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. (Jdg 11:30-34)

Peter the Apostle
Though he denied the Lord three times, the Lord restored him and used him mightily.

Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. (Mat 26:74-75)

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He *said to him, "Tend My lambs." He *said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He *said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He *said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus *said to him, "Tend My sheep. "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, "Follow Me!" (Joh 21:15-19)

The Adulteress Caught in the Act
Although she was caught in adultery, in the very act, Jesus did not condemn her, but told her to go and sin no more.

The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."] (Joh 8:3-11)

As the apostle Paul said, the grace of God teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness (Tit 2:12).

Woman at the Well
She was another adulteress the Lord saved wondrously. Though she had had five husbands and was living with a sixth man who was not her husband, the Lord saved her and used her to bring many to Himself.

He *said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus *said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly." (Joh 4:16-18)

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done." So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." (Joh 4:39-42)

Paul the Apostle 
Although he did much harm to the saints and persecuted the church, God had mercy on him. He considered himself to have been the chief of sinners.

He said, "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1Ti 1:15-17)

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake." So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; (Act 9:10-18)

Therefore, Paul could say of himself, "By the grace of God I am what I am." (1 Cor 15:10)

Corinthian Adulterer
Although this Christian man committed sexual immorality with his father's wife, and had to be put out of the church, he was later forgiven and restored to fellowship. The people comforted him and reaffirmed their love for him.

Paul said, “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife.” (1Co 5:1)

Later Paul wrote to the Corinthians about him saying, “Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2Co 2:6-11)

Jezebel the False Prophetess
Although she taught and led the Lord’s servants astray so that they committed acts of immorality and ate things sacrificed to idols, He gave her time to repent.

'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 'And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Rev 2:20-23)

Putting it All Together
From Genesis to Revelation, we see that while God hates sin, He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He is constantly showing amazing grace to people all over the world, and will continue to do so until the end of the age. It's no wonder He is known as the God of all grace (1Pe 5:10). Let’s remember that we are saved by grace through faith. As Paul said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9).

Of course, grace is not a license to sin (Rom 6:1; Jude 1:4). Anyone who is familiar with my ministry knows that I emphasize the necessity of Holy Living, Practical Righteousness, the Obedience of Faith, and Aiming for Perfection. Yet while the Lord is holy and requires of us holiness, perfection, righteousness, and truth, He also demonstrates abundant grace to the humble when we fall short. The key is to repent and confess your sin to him as David did when the prophet Nathan rebuked him. He said, "I have sinned against the LORD." If you read Psalm 51, you can see how deeply he humbled himself in repentance before God.

James wrote, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore 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. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (Jas 4:6-10)

In the words of John Newton:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading Costly Grace, Drifting Away, By Grace Alone, The Lord Healed My Backsliding, The Conditional Security of the Believer, The Truth Set Me Free!, Is Obedience Optional?, The Cost of Discipleship, God Forgives and Forgets, The Love of Jesus, Aim for Perfection, Walking in the Perfect Will of GodLiving a Life Worthy of the Lord, Repentance That Leads to Life, Holding Fast the Faithful Word, No Flesh Will Be Justified By Works, Separation from the World, The Straight and Narrow Path, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Ask for the Ancient Paths, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, The Apostasy Parables, and Salvation with Fear and Trembling. See the Home page of this blog for more of my articles about Seeking the Lord. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.