Can we smell spring? The birds even sound different! I had two very rough posts this week. It was on my heart for a time, but the Lord really weighed me down with it. In fact, I didn’t write at all Monday because I didn’t want to write what I was supposed to. So, come Tuesday, I started to write. It was a long post that took a lot of time to pour through scripture, but the words flew off the keyboard. Turns out I wasn’t done writing. Same thing Wednesday. It turns out the same thing is happening today.
Folks, the Lord has put it so heavy on my heart about sin and our unwillingness to see it in our lives. Sure, we all admit we are sinners, but, honestly, how often do you hear people celebrating broken chains? Yes, there is the occasional new believer who may have been freed from addiction; but once we become believers, we seldom rejoice about new miracles. I’m not talking about someone saying, “Praise the Lord!” because of an answered prayer. I’m talking about life-changing types of transformations.
Maybe the problem isn’t even sin. Maybe it is. I don’t know, but I see a lot of unresolved sin issues. Listen, I have my own, so I’m speaking to myself as well. But when is the last time you heard someone say, “Listen, I just have to tell you what Jesus has done for me!” We’re Christians. We have free access to “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, see also Hebrews 4:16). Do we not?
Just think about the prayer requests from your bible studies. Let’s face it, most don’t go deep. Some do, but how often do you hear someone ask for prayer for a particular sin they are truly bothered by? Have you ever been the one to offer a sin problem up? If so, how did it go? Did Jesus break your chains, or do you still wear them?
Let’s take a look at the Ten Commandments:
1. No gods before God. Got any cars, boats, home, business, job, kids, friends, hobbies, church, etc., etc. that is getting in the way between you and God?
2. No carved images. How about them material possessions? How often do you slobber over a new car or house? See #1.
3. Don’t take the Lord in vain. How about this whole lesson? Jesus breaks chains. Ignoring him on this is taking his name in vain.
4. Sabbath Rest. One in a thousand obey this command. Maybe not even that many.
5. Honor your father and mother. Let me guess, not enough time or money to do this right?
6. You shall not murder. How we doing with supporting pro-life movements? Do you have any resentments or hatred towards anyone?
7. No adultery. Three of four people would have an affair if they wouldn’t be caught. How about you?
8. No stealing. How’s your tithe going?
9. No lying. Don’t bother answering that.
10. No coveting. Considering most people are flat broke with no retirement fund, I would say overspending is a huge problem.
“But that is a list to prove we can’t live a perfect life!” Yeah, it does prove that, but Jesus also told the adulterous woman to sin no more. The point is not that we sin; the point is that we need Jesus to stop.
How about the damage done to us by someone else’s sin? One in ten children are sexually abused. One in six women have been raped. Do you think there is some chains that need breaking there? One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Forty-three percent of children in America grow up without their fathers. Anyone have alcoholics in their families? How about mental illness? How many might be trapped (seemingly) in a bad marriage?
Can Jesus help any of these situations? Of course, he can. Yet, how many victims do you hear praising Jesus for breaking these chains? I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been heavily affected by someone else’s sin. Why aren’t we like Paul and Silas?
Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Are we seeing much of that? Prisoners rejoicing and signing about Jesus to other fellow prisoners? To those still stuck in bondage?
Victim, perpetrator, or both, we are all in the same boat. All of us are both, in one form or another. Are we hearing what Jesus is telling us?
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering the sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
John 8:31, 36 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my name you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth; and the truth will set you free.” “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1 John 3:8b the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
John 10:10b I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Trustworthy and true. Are they? Do you believe Jesus? I believe we have not even begun to scratch the surface of the power that God is EAGER to unleash if only we take him up on his promises.
John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
I am on fire right now! FIRE! With goosebumps all over! Did you read that last passage? Ok, so I need to glorify the Father in the Son. Jesus took away my alcoholism on June 13, 2007. In an instant, he touched me and completely removed my desire to drink. He has changed my life so much that I don’t even recognize myself in how I act. But, there was still a great sin in my life – gluttony. I tried in vain for years to get control over this to no avail. Last year, at this time, the Holy Spirit hammered me about it. I was NOT treating my body as its temple. I was NOT seeking Jesus about it. My actions proved I did NOT believe he would heal me. So, I went to Him and he delivered me. I have lost over 50 pounds and have kept it off. I would like to lose a little more, but he has definitely done all the work. There is no way I could have done this without him. Glory be to God!
I haven’t said much about it. Why? Because I was ashamed. Why? I felt as if I was a failure and freedom only pointed to my chains. Baloney! I need to point at those chains – that are no longer on me – and tell everyone about the power of Jesus! He went to the cross for stuff like that. It’s high time I give him credit and encourage all of you to go to him. “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it!”
Please, please, examine all this. Don’t be satisfied with chains any longer. See Jesus with all your mind, heart, and body. He is making all things new. Greater works will you do because of him. Just IMAGINE the possibilities!!!
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Amen! Father, let it rip! Tear up this world, starting with everyone reading this. Fill them with abundant life and heal their wounds. Break their chains. To your glory alone. Amen!
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers