Lie 8: Sin Should Be Left In The Dark

(A series on lies sin tells us to tempt us and trick us. Read the whole series here.)

We don’t like to look sin in the face and see it for what it is.

We’re tempted by it, yes. We have a propensity for it, yes. But we really hate to face it.

I remember one of the first times I did.

Case Study: The Christian Who Didn’t Need Saving

Early in our relationship, my husband and I kicked back in campus center arm chairs and slipped into conversation about God. I wasn’t saved, but as best I knew, I was a Christian.

My understanding of sin was wrapped in false humility and security. It was boxed in liturgical or experiential confession. My sin content was stuffed, I believed, with mere mistakes and results of others’ crimes against me. I kept it hidden behind my good deeds and spiritual talk.

But my then-boyfriend went digging. He showed me his sin stuff. With a big smile on his face, I remember him pointing to the floor like his sin was laid bare there. Then he pointed up and told me to understand the heights of Christ’s love and forgiveness meant understanding the depths of sin.

He didn’t ask me to expose my secret stash to him, but he demonstrated a reason compelling me to expose it to God.

Bringing sin into the light of Christ shows us what we are saved from, and by whom. It’s a glorious, relieving, revitalizing exposition. 

To keep sin in the dark, once a believer, is a bit like sitting in a hospital after surgery pretending you have no wound, no treatment to complete, no therapy to continue to work through.

Though the problem is taken care of, the effects are still to be dealt with. The wound needs to be seen, addressed, and cared for. It’s in the hard work of tending to exposed weakness that we heal.

That’s what bringing sin out of the dark into Christ’s light is all about: healing.

Believers still have mess and hurt and sin to face. But in all our still present darkness and pain, we also know the light, the healer. We know Him, and we know the warmth of His illumination- even in the cold of sin.

Saved sin is safely in the care of Christ.

But Saved sinners still need the care of Christ.

saved-sin-is-safely-in-the-care-of-christ-but-saved-sinners-still-need-the-care-of-christ

In Charles Spurgeon’s words:

“We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also…We have a strong argument to plead, for it is His own work of grace that we ask Him to strengthen—‘the power . . . by which you have worked for us.’ Do you think He will fail to protect and provide that?

There’s a reason He sent the Holy Spirit to help believers. Saved sinners still need God. In them, with them, every day.

Now forevermore reconciled to God, believers can be unhindered by shame and the bounds of saved sin. Believers can enjoy fellowship with God, stewarding their lives as those abiding in Him.

Through abiding, even addressing and confessing to God our saved sin, we “walk in the light” of Christ.

In the light, we can “have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7.)

but-if-we-walk-in-the-light-as-he-is-in-the-light-we-have-fellowship-with-one-another-and-the-blood-of-jesus-his-son-purifies-us-from-allb-sin-1

Sin thrives in the dark.

Come into the light where Christ is, where sin is forgiven, shame is disintegrated, and facing the truth means looking full in the face of our loving Savior.

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

 

Peace for a Lifetime Review-It’s Possible!

You and I pick up books for a variety of reasons. To be entertained. To understand more deeply something we know. To get lost in a story. There are many reasons to delve into Peace for a Lifetime. The one that compels me to encourage others to read it most is that this book will introduce you to parts of yourself you have not previously known if peace is something your struggle with.

In the very beginning of the book, Lisa points out that most of us learn about different aspects of ourselves from a young age. We’re taught to take care of ourselves physically. As our social skills develop, we learn what it means to be a person among other people.  In church, we learn how to maintain our Spiritual health. Few of us learn to care for ourselves emotionally.

The very idea sounds weird, right?

We think that emotions happen to us. No one can tell us that what we feel is right or wrong because feelings are subjective. In Peace for a Lifetime, Lisa explains that God created emotions for us. They are gifts and they are useful. Further, emotions don’t have to master us or remain a mystery.

Throughout the book, readers learn about the development of emotions, the different types of emotions, and how to experiences emotions in the healthiest manner possible. Lisa addresses the consequences of emotions running unchecked and misunderstood.

Many wonderful, crystal clear questions and lessons in the book make one thing obvious: to make peace with ourselves, we have to get to know ourselves. That means knowing and handling well our emotions. Lisa offers a multitude of tools to help us in this process.

A few specific praises about Peace for a Lifetime:

  • The tools given are useful for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Lisa’s approach is from a Christian perspective, but she is respectful of those doubting or questioning God
  • Examples from Lisa’s counseling experience make the principles she provides very practical
  • Although hefty, the book is neatly split into sections that can easily be studied over a long period of time
  • As a counselor, Lisa is able to explain concepts effectively to those of us with little or no knowledge of psychology

If you’d like to dive into a challenging but life-changing book, I encourage you to pick up Peace for a Lifetime. In another  blog post, I wrote a personal story about one chapter that was especially impactful for me. So many chapters were equally eye-opening.

I’ll spare you all the details. However, along with the encouragement to read the book, I have to offer one warning: you might find that some of the topics are painful or difficult. Put it down for a week and practice feelings those emotions just as Lisa explains. But pick it up again and finish it.

It’s worth it!

You can find Peace for a Lifetime on Amazon on starting on Monday, March 7th! Also, check out Lisa’s site and wonderful words for the heart.

This post is being shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #LifeGivingLinkup.

10. BEHOLD: The Adorner

Why do we decorate at Christmas time? Jesus was born in a manger, and yet many of us to celebrate his birth deck out our whole houses. It takes years to accumulate complete sets of decorations –from expensive pieces to enough simple lights to cover the trees, banisters, and yard. For some, it takes almost as long just to put the decorations up.

Despite the irony, it seems we do have a good reason for the adorning of our homes during this season: we’re symbolically welcoming the adorner.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one who brings news of peace, who announces good things, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!’”

Isaiah 52:7

By decorating, we announce that the Lord is come. We announce that salvation is available to all, and that eternal life with Him is something to celebrate.

And doesn’t it seem like the Lord joins us in the effort? December is beautiful. The December sky is striking. Up north, here, we have this chilled air that wakes you up, opening your eyes. Driving around, we see lights and bright colors everywhere. We must not forget that the Lord made those, too.

Along with the beautiful we see, there is also the beauty He adorns the world with internally. Beauty like hope and love. The “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4.)

Scripture tells us that Christ was there in the beginning. The same Lord who became that little baby, born to save us from this ugly thing called sin, created us in the first place.

And now, He creates us anew. Rejoice in that beauty. Rejoice in the “new clothes” He adorns us with. Rejoice in the Word and Spirit, written on our hearts to turn us from cold stone to living testimonies of His –yes His, glory.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”

–Psalm 29:2

Behold, the beauty of the good news.

Behold, the adornment of the world in light, living color, hope, and transformation.

Behold, the adorner who makes it so.

This post is being shared on: #DanceWithJesus and #LifeGivingLinkup.