Category Archives: Hustle

The Truth About Sin

We all have a sin problem. Some have sin issues that are loud and easy to recognize. Some have hidden sin issues that are not quite as obvious. But make no mistake; we all have sin issues.

The Bible is full of people who had sin problems. Even Paul, the writer of two-thirds of the New Testament spoke about his personal sin problem in present tense.

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15 NLT

Sin is attractive. Let’s be honest. There is pleasure associated with sin. That’s the reason why every single one of us has given in. It’s fun to get your own way. It’s fun to indulge in selfish desires. Sin is pleasurable and it has the appearance of a good thing.

Sin is destructive. While there is pleasure associated with sin, it is fleeting pleasure.

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23 NLT

There is spiritual death associated with sin, but sin also comes with circumstantial destruction and relational pain. God defines sin out of his great love for us. He sees the consequences set in motion by wrong decisions and he seeks to protect us from the ravages of sin.

Sin is forgivable. Here is the good news of the gospel, the core of Christianity. Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for our sin so that we would be forgiven and free. You don’t have to live another day under the destructive force of guilt and shame. You don’t have to manage it, rationalize it, justify it or try to live with it. You can let it go. Here’s how:

  • Be ruthlessly honest with yourself.
  • Accept responsibility for your faults
  • Ask God for forgiveness
  • Just believe God is that good
  • Receive fully his forgiveness
  • Choose to forgive yourself

Sin is defeatable. You can overcome sin in your life. You just can’t do it on your own. Faith in God and the work of Jesus on the cross provides complete and total forgiveness of our sins. And faith in God provides complete and total victory over sin.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Psalm 32:1-2 NLT

Even though we will never be perfect in this life, his power is available to give us the victory.

5 Reasons Why You Can Put Your Faith In God

 

We all have a desire to grow, to develop, to progress and move forward. We all want to build a successful life. That may look differently for each one of us but we all have the same thing in common, we need a good foundation in our lives. A foundation that will last, be strong and can be secure.

Faith is a critical component to a foundation. In Luke 22, Jesus told Simon (later renamed Peter) “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.” And he goes on to say in Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus didn’t spend too much time explaining to Simon that the enemy wanted to attack him. He focused on what was important, his faith. Our foundation will be unstable and shaky if we lose our faith in God. Even if our faith is small, when we put it in a Big God, we can build securely.

I have found that there are many reasons why I can put my faith in God. Isaiah 9:6 reminds me of a few, it says “..and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

You can put your faith in God because:

He is Wonderful – He is good to you. God so loved us that he gave his son as a sacrifice for our sins. Think about all the good things in your life, they have come from God. We have a new identity, we have his presence in the Holy Spirit, we have eternal life, good friends, the list is long. He is Wonderful.

He is your Counselor – He will guide you. God gives wisdom, direction and guidance. Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye upon you.”

He’s a Mighty God – He will fight for you. He will defend and protect you. You are not alone and you don’t have to fight on your own. He gives us the Victory. Isaiah 54:17 says “No weapon turned against you will succeed. I will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.”

He’s your Everlasting Father – He will never leave you. He is your constant companion and delights in you. Maybe your earthly father let you down. Your Heavenly Father is committed to you and will always be there for you.

He’s the Prince of Peace – He will sustain you. Maybe you have put your faith in God and have been waiting on a prayer to be answered. He promises that the “…peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

Be encouraged today, God is faithful, he keeps his promises, he loves you dearly and you can put your faith in him.

Understanding Who You Are

God never stops trying to persuade you to see yourself as he sees you. When you see yourself as God sees you – you see your true identity.

What you believe about your identity determines your destiny. You have to believe the right stuff because you will behave out of what you believe.

It is easy to lose sight of our identity – to give in to insecurities and self-doubt. We question our identity when we face hard times, when we get rejected, when we sin, when we fail, when we compare and when we are asked to do something we’ve never done before.

Moses is a prime example. God called him to lead the Hebrew children out of slavery and into the land of promise. But Moses questioned his identity.

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 NLT

God wants to answer that identity question with the truth about who he created you to be. This is the core of your identity:

You are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26) Your identity is not found in what you do, what you have accomplished, your associations, your ethnicity, in what others say you are or what others want you to be. Your identity is not unstable. When God made you he used himself as the blueprint. You were created on purpose for purpose.

In Christ you are made brand new. You were created in the image of God but sin scarred God’s original design. In his great love, God sent Jesus to restore all that was lost. The truth of your identity was reestablished on the cross. At the cross Jesus took away all your sin and gave you a brand new identity.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

There has never been and never will be anyone just like you. There is nobody like you. You have a unique fingerprint, a unique retina scan and a unique tongue. You have gifts, abilities, experiences, ideas and thoughts like no other person on the planet. God made you uniquely you!

As you begin to live out of your true identity in Christ, you will live with faith and confidence. When you believe right about yourself you will live the right way. You won’t ask, “Who am I?” You will understand who you are.

What To Do On A Bad Day

They were stripped, beaten bloody and thrown into prison. Their feet were clamped in stocks in the deepest, dankest depths of the dungeon. Can we all agree that it doesn’t get much worse than that? Just imagine the kind of conversation you would be having with your cellmate after a day like that.

And yet in their darkest hour, Paul and Silas were not cursing or complaining. Quite the contrary.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God Acts 16:25 NIV

What a surprising response! When I have a bad day I get discouraged, frustrated and emotionally deregulated. I focus in on all the wrong things. What Paul and Silas model for us is the choice we can all make to zoom out and get a God-sized perspective of our situation.

What do you do on a bad day? How do you zoom out?

One word. Worship.

Worship is taking our eyes off of our circumstances and focusing on God.

Worship is focusing on the fact that Jesus did on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin.

Worship is focusing on the extravagant love of God that restores us to relationship with him.

Worship is focusing on the fact that God works all things out for good.

Worship is focusing on the fact that we have eternity with God to look forward to where there will be no mourning, no sorrow, no suffering or pain.

Is it easy? No. But it is a choice we have the power to make.

It helps to remember these three realities:

We are all worshippers. All day, every day, we all worship. Worship is simply our response to what we value most. At the end of the trail of your affection, energy, money time and allegiance you will find what you value most.

All misguided worship leads to pain. There is an enemy of your soul who is trying to get you to love something else more than God. Jesus encouraged us to put God first, to seek first the kingdom of God.

All true worship leads to peace. The worshiper inside us is searching for something that satisfies. No money, status, person or thing can bring the peace we long for. When we focus our worship on God, we gain the perspective that rises above our circumstances. And we find true lasting peace.

Bad days are part of life on the planet. Complaining sweeps us away on that downward spiral. To respond in the challenges of life with worship would be so surprising! The peace that follows is the best surprise. Peace that passes our understanding.

How to Pray

Do you know how much influence you have with God? Do you know how effective your prayers can be when you approach God the way He wants to be approached? The good news, according to the Word of God, is that God is influenced by your prayers. Your faith moves the heart of God.   The Lord will meet you exactly where you are in life.

The great theologian John Wesley once said, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” There are numerous stories in the Bible about God taking action because a person prayed. Why not you?

Even if you believe that God hears prayers, you may wonder exactly how you should pray. To help equip you to reach your full potential in your prayer life and to connect you with God in a deeper way than you may have done previously, the following are eight tips on how to pray.

Pray Comprehensively – Pray about everything. Take the limits off. Before you complain, gossip or worry, pray, pray, pray. As a result, God’s grace and peace will reign in your heart.

Pray Conversationally – No one form of prayer works for everyone. No formula. No strategy. Simply pray as if you were having a conversation with a loved one or friend.

Pray Honestly – Pray what is really in your heart. Don’t pray what you think God wants to hear. If you’re honest with God, it prepares your soul to receive His honest encouragement.

Pray Boldly – God wants to bless you with more than what you can consume, so you can bless others and be part of extending His kingdom.

Pray Expectantly and Confidently – Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Pray Persistently – Don’t give up. Be persistent. Declare God’s promises for yourself and go to your heavenly Father like a child would go to her daddy with a persistent request. Will not your heavenly Father love you even more than the dad who loves and cares for his daughter?

Pray Authoritatively – John 14:13-14 says, “ And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Don’t pray with a weak approach, such as “I don’t know if this will work. I don’t know if this is going to happen.” Rise up in the authority that you have as a child of the living God.

Pray Collectively – Pray together as a spiritual family. Matt 18:19-20 says, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

As a believer, the Lord Jesus is with you. If you aren’t a believer, you can ask Jesus to come into your heart right now. That would be an amazing prayer, which the Lord would surely hear. The prayer of salvation is the most important prayer that anyone can pray.(Click here if you’d like a little guidance) According to the Bible, God wants you to communicate with Him and have relationship with Him, so that He can then bless you with His guidance, wisdom, resources, protection, grace, kindness and presence.

God is looking forward to hearing your prayers, and now you have eight practical tips on how to pray.