Giving a Defense for Jesus in Me

1 Peter 3:15-17 — “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

My Sins Are Always Before Me

This verse (above) is extraordinarily helpful. It is also fills my heart with guilt.    Psalm 51:3. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”

So many times I:

(1) have NOT been prepared and equipped with the word by diligent study of it. Therefore, when opportunity arises to give a defense for the HOPE that is in me, I am not prepared and even shame the gospel of Christ. By by slacking who have I ultimately offended? Yeah, maybe I’ve embarrassed myself in the situation, which can be laughed off EXCEPT that it offends a holy God. By doing so, I have NOT revered my LORD.

This should be me EVERY day towards the commandments of God:

Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Proverbs 7:3. “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Not only by not giving testimony of Christ is it sin, but by failing to do what He, through Peter, through the Holy Spirit, has commanded.

James 4:17. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin.”

Other texts (beside the one from James) define sin:
Leviticus 5:17. “And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.”
1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Romans 10:5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
And more definitions on God’s law:

Matthew 19:17-19. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 22:37-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

John 14:21. “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

1 John 2:4. “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

So I have broken God’s law by breaking His commands and therefore have disproved my love to God by being unprepared when challenging Christian situations arise.

Thankfully, the guilt is followed by His forgiveness, only through Christ Jesus.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After Peter healed, through the Holy Spirit, a lame beggar at the Temple gate in Act 3, he was arrested and questioned at the Sanhedrin. When he was asked to give a reason for the Hope that was in Him, Peter said:

(Acts 4) “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a]12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

The Christ of who i am to give a defense is JESUS, the only One through whom salvation is possible!

(2) Another guilt that He will forgive me through Jesus Christ is not always showing respect, especially to my superiors. While I certainly try (sometimes), it is not always with the heart, and therefore certainly not physically always demonstrated either. Christ certainly showed humility, how much more so than myself, a worm?

Psalm 22:6, 9-10.But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”

Romans 13:1. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

There certainly is no need for any pride! For,

2 Corinthians 10:17. “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Make Every Thought Captive To Christ

Why should I NOT be afraid of tearing down the prideful front and allowing humility in? Because no matter how *intellectual* the person I speak to is, EVERY though must be taken captive to Christ. By saying that it is clear that every thought, idea, and argument, CAN be taken captive to Christ. This will help me OBEY Christ! And I don’t have to be intellectually aggressive and snobby for this to be true. In fact, I shouldn’t!

2 Corinthians 10:4-6. “4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”                  

Colossians 2:8.See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”

 Well, thus ends the verse part of analyzing my life to 1 Peter. But next Lord’s Day I should have studied more amazing verses and continued to find proof texts!

 

Can I Talk to You for a Second?

Well. Perhaps it was the cup of soda I cheated on tonight that’s making me do this–I haven’t had soda in a long time, you see– but even more probable its the peace and realization of God’s mercy.

No matter the reason why, this evening I’m gonna be brutally honest with you.

You see, for the past few months–well, year, more likely (or even two years) life hasn’t been so black and white. It’s been pastel, rainbow, indigo and violet, pink, neon, sparkles and sawdust. Confetti, hemoglobin, cartwheels, tears, laughing, weeping, onions, frogs, puddles, and well, you get the picture. Insane.

And even crazier, it’s not because God isn’t in control, because He is. And it’s not that everything works out for bad, because it so clearly works out for good. It’s because like Peter when he took his eyes from Jesus to look at the crashing waves, he lost trust and started drowning. My focus has been a bit off, and so has my faith.

Still, the Lord works everything for good. In many ways He has brought me closer to Himself than ever before during this time. But with his mercies so I have had more opportunities to squander them. If not for those mercies and His great love upon my heart, this blog wouldn’t have existed. It was HIM flooding my soul that wanted me to pour my heart out before the world.

But if i don’t look to Him everyday, if I don’t seek Him diligently in the word, if I don’t care about what He thinks of me than what the world thinks if me, to sum everything up if I don’t put Him first, then no matter how much He blesses me with opportunities to hear His love, I will suffer. Because I AM A WRETCHED SINNER AND SO OFTEN WOULD RATHER HAVE A MISERABLE LIFE THAN THE REWARDING LIFE WITH GOD.

Confession:  (not because confession will atone, but it is something, I desperately need prayer for.) I don’t confess my sins to God enough. 1 John 9,10 says,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

HIS word is always so straightforward! How can I expect forgiveness if I do not even confess my sins to Him?! And without a truly repentant heart, even the confessions I may mumble every now and then are not accepted in His sight, because it is not said in truth. Did Christ die in vain? Certainly not!

To think, the Lord’s Prayer, which I utter every night, says,

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debters.

Every night forgiveness is asked, but usually I couldn’t even tell you if the Lord’s Prayer came out of my mouth. It is a mechanical worship, and almost worse than not saying it at all, if piously without conviction.

On the same note, the verse I cited from 1 John is something my pastor quotes almost EVERY WEEK! Is my heart so segregated from my ears?!

But even now I know He has heard my cry for forgiveness. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

Well, everything seems so clear this Lord’s Day evening.

But tomorrow, things are going to start exploding again, most likely. There is so much more that I wanted to say tonight, but methinks 1 John covered the most important stuff.

I am not worthy. But worthy is the lamb that was slain. to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! (Rev. 5:12)

Christ is excellent.

Christ is king.

Christ is God.

God is LOVE.

Jesus endured hell

It’s absolutely awful, to read about WW1 in one sitting. All Quiet on the Western Front, two war poems, and several pages of my textbook and wikipedia.

To think what hell the soldiers on both fronts experienced. The pain, the wickedness, the horror, the horror.

And to think it only scratched the surface of the horror Christ willingly endured on the cross. To pay for my sins.

Because I deserve hell.

So He endured hell for me, though I do not deserve it.

Lord, please help me to cast my burdens on You because You care for me.

Because my heart is heavy and your yoke is light.

Joy

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” 1 Peter 1:8.

Let me tell you about Jesus. He is everything. He fills me with joy that I cannot contain, and peace that cannot be taken away. Twice in five days I’ve heard the same thing from different people: when Christ begins to work in you, you can’t contain it all, or you’d explode. JESUS IS WONDERFUL. HE IS THE LORD! THE LORD GOD. MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, ABOUNDING IN MERCY AND TRUTH, SHOWING MERCY TO THOUSANDS, FORGIVING INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSIONS AND SIN, BY NO MEANS CLEARING THE GUILTY AND SHOWING MERCY TO THOSE THAT LOVE AND OBEY HIM. LIFT OPEN YE EVERLASTING DOORS! AND THE KING OF GLORY WILL COME IN. CLAP YOUR HANDS ALL YE PEOPLES AND LAUD HIM ALL YE NATIONS!

You took my place on Calvary, you took hell for me. Thank you Jesus. I cannot contain my love and excitement. You are my all, tho I fall so often you never let me lose hope. I hope in You let me never be put to shame. You are glorious. You will reward your children. You will watch over and protect us. You loved us first, and forever. Lord, i’ve never seen you. Not with my naked eyes. But Lord I know you. And my soul has seen you. You say “you who have seen me have seen the Father.” And you and the Father are one. And when you showed your character to Moses, your words began with Lord, and then “merciful, gracious, longsuffering” and continued to list Your glorious love and attributes. That love I know. Through you. Thank you.

Christ is the SON that gives LIGHT

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:11-14