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Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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How Long Has It Been?

November 25th, 2016


Last Sunday, the sermon from Leviticus was all about the seriousness of sin.

Awkward…

Why? Because we ALL sin. Me too. And Mrs. Jamie, and Bro. Wilson, and Ms. Sarah, and Pastor…

Need I go on?

So, am I a hypocrite for preaching against sin when ALL the leaders are sinners, too? No. We’re all working on this thing together. Paul (the apostle) knew God closer than any of us, yet the Christian walk was a struggle for him, too.

So when you hear about how BAD sin is, and the you—YOU—have sin that offends God, what do we now DO with a sermon like that?

If you don’t plan on changing, that’s between you and God. God will chasten His children, sooner or later, so it won’t be a fun road for you.

But, if you’re not in-your-face about it and hateful against God, and you sin in the general course of life (like ALL of us do), what then?

We’re all sinners, but there are a couple different types of sinners:

  1. Those who care
  2. Those who don’t care

Those who don’t care (2) won’t be into it, anyway, so until God’s Spirit gets a hold of their lives and they give in to His conviction, they’ll have a rough road. Some of YOU are on that road, and I hurt for you. You haven’t read today’s announcement sheet, so you won’t read me saying this, but I love you, and want you to surrender to God. I want to help, if you’ll let me.

Those who DO care (1) are going to try to do what God instructs—live by the Spirit, confess and forsake his sin, draw nigh to God, etc. But here’s a news flash: you will still sin. What?! I thought when I surrendered to God, everything would be EASY! Wrong-o.

So what do you do when you CARE (1), but you still sin?

Same thing as always: confess and forsake. Yeah, but I’ve done that. Do it again. But I’ve done it, like a LOT. Keep it up. Don’t stop. Keep the struggle real. Don’t give up. Rise yet again. But I feel like a hypocrite. At times, we ALL do, because we all sin.

Here are some practical tips to help you that care (1)…

  1. Pray without ceasing. Like, pray daily, throughout the day. Have a time of prayer in the morning, but then as you go through the day, keep God on your mind. Always be thinking on God, as if He’s right there beside you (He is, btw.)
  2. Read Scripture. Find something to take with you—one verse, or phrase, or thought. Something—anything—from your Bible. Start small, and grow. It’s a love letter, and it will help you.
  3. Be honest. Maybe it’s an accountability partner, maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a leader or a parent. Find a few people who will love you enough to sit beside you and understand. Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong—we’ve all lived enough to know that’s false!
  4. Get closer to your youth leaders. I want to help you, and so do the other youth leaders. Some of you have been in “big” trouble and have seen how we still love you unconditionally. “Big” trouble is smaller than you might think. He’ll be so mad. He’ll be so disappointed. He’ll yell at me… Nope. We’re shoulder to shoulder WITH you in this.
  5. Consider Christ. Think about HIS stripes for YOUR sin. Just think. Think about the blood pouring from His head, hands, back, face. Think about those that said He was unrecognizable as a human, or think about the whipping He endured. For you. He knows you best, yet He loves you most.

The song lyrics I read Sunday were so good, here they are again:

How long has it been since you talked with the Lord

And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?

How long since you prayed?

How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?

How long since your heart knew no burden?

Can you call him your friend?

How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?

How long has it been since you knelt by your bed

And prayed to the Lord up in heaven?

How long since you knew that he’d answer you

And would keep you the long night through?

How long has it been since you woke with the dawn

And felt this day is worth living?

Can you call him your friend?

How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?

– Bro. Ryan




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