Saturday, October 29, 2005
I am building a list of must read books, this is a definite addition. The following is a description taken from the author's website.
"Everett Lester and his band, DeathStroke, ride the crest of a wave to superstardom. But the deeper they become immersed in fame, wealth, and power, the more likely they are to be swallowed alive by the drugs, alcohol, and discontentment that have become their only friends. Discontent and dabbling in the psychic realm, Everett is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return when he's charged with the murder of his personal psychic. The only hope he can cling to comes from Topeka, Kansas, and the letters written by a prayerful young lady who lives there. Consistent and persistent, the notes cut straight to Everett's empty heart, offering a fulfillment he's never grasped before. But what if he's found guilty of murder? Will he recognize the spiritual battle raging for his soul?"
To buy the book click on the title link.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Step 3: Examine root causes of behaviour
As stated previously, repentance is turning away from sin. Sometimes we encourage ourselves to continue in sin by not changing underlying situations that contribute to our weakness. We need to examine unhealthy patterns of behaviour, mindsets and the state of our spiritual life and see how these may have affected our actions.
Patterns of behaviour
Sometimes overcoming our weaknesses means not hanging out with certain friends, watching certain movies/tv shows or listening to particular kinds of music if they encourage our weaknesses. For example if you have a drug problem that is encouraged by so-called friends, part of turning away from this would be to abstain from these ‘friends’. Also, in the case of David, sin entered in at the eyes. We need to guard our mind and heart – David should have turned away when he saw Bathsheba but instead sent after her.
Additional points to note in terms of patterns of behaviour are disobedience and idleness. In 2 Samuel 11 David is guilty of both of these. While his troops were in battle, where he should have been, he was at home. Verse 2 of this chapter describes David as arising from his bed at eventide. Disobedience breaks the hedge and gives the serpent opportunity to attack, and, as the saying goes, the devil will find work for idle hands.
If in our minds we have given up, and count ourselves slaves to our weaknesses then we have already lost the battle. Hebrews 4:15 says that Christ our high priest was tempted just as we are but he did not sin. 1 Corinthians 10:13 makes it clear that God will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to bear. With temptation comes a choice, we could choose the way out that God has provided or we could fall into sin. We need to believe God’s word and make the right choices.
Most times it is when we are weakest that we fall. We are weakest when we are not spending enough time in prayer and study of God’s word. Psalm 119:9 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” We need to feed ourselves spiritually just as we do naturally in order to stay strong. When we have this firm foundation to stand upon it’s easier to withstand temptation.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Step 2: Repent
REPENTANCE (Gk. metanoia, a "change" of mind). In the theological and ethical sense a fundamental and thorough change in the hearts of men from sin and toward God.
(from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)
A turning away from sin, disobedience, or rebellion and a turning back to God.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
In 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Paul speaks concerning godly sorrow and specifies that it is godly sorrow that brings about repentance. Godly sorrow is not simply regret at what we’ve done or the pain caused. It means understanding that we have grieved the heart of God and turning back to Him. Sometimes we think that repentance is simply being sorry for our actions but in truth true repentance is turning away from that which we know is wrong.
The greatest example of true repentance can be seen in words of David (Psalm 51). He came before God with a broken spirit and a contrite heart. After asking God to cleanse him from his unrighteousness we see David’s purpose to change. He tells God that he will teach others to do right and give God the praise.
He also asks God to uphold him with His free spirit. It’s not every weakness that we can overcome by ourselves. Some may require counselling or medical attention in extreme cases (drug dependence) but in everything GOD is our safety net who will keep us from falling.