March 19, 2010

Faithful to His Word

Posted in Faithfulness of God tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:28 am by tclickenger

Amazing Grace

Image by jasohill via Flickr

One of my brothers in faith was describing an experience that he had while he was fallen away from God. My brother, we’ll call him “Allen” and two of his “friends” were drunk one night. At one point in the evening they began singing country music songs. After a while, two of them began singing “Amazing Grace.” One of them left the room because he didn’t want to hear it. Allen and his friend ended the song sobbing like babies, talking about how wrong they were to be living the lives that they were living.

While Allen was telling this story it reminded me of a passage of scripture, Psalm 22:3 “You are Holy, You dwell among the praises of Your people.” While these boys were in their intoxicated state, they began singing praises of God and He showed up, lovingly reminding them of their need to be right with Him.

This is just so wonderful to me. That even when were rolling in the pit of mud of our despair and corruption, God will do what his word says He will do. God will honor his word even when we are not in an honorable condition or are not being honorable to Him. How many men or women of this world can you say that about? God is good all the time.

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March 14, 2010

Desires of the Sinful Nature…continued

Posted in Desires of the Sinful Nature tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:28 am by tclickenger

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The desires of the sinful nature is many times called the flesh. I am currently studying material for recovery and addiction and I find it fascinating how science has discovered how the biochemical processes of the brain influence our behavior. Most of the behaviors that these processes reinforce are ultimately destructive. These biochemical processes could be called the flesh. Scans show that acting in behaviors that are “addictive” lights up the brain pretty much the same way, whether it is sexual addiction, substance abuse, gambling or workaholic, approval seeking, success addiction.

The bible describes it in this way, “He that sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” Galatians 6:8

While we are alienated from the life of God through Jesus Christ, the effects of satisfying our natural desires, personal needs and lusts, draw us further into alienation by becoming one with the condition itself. We are not only corrupted but we are the very agent of corruption. Our character and activity persuades and encourages corruption in the life of others.
All these behaviors are acted out to get some satisfaction or peace. The flesh is seeking out peace in worldly activities. Initially these activities deliver a sense of satisfaction or peace but ultimately they lead to despair and destruction. But Jesus said that He gives us peace, not as the world gives us peace.

Galatians 6:8 continued, “But he that sows to the Spirit, will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

The mind sowing its will into activities that are of the Spirit’s power and purpose, produce true peace and joy. This is because through obedience to the Spirits desires we receive a relationship by personal experience of the Father through the Son, which is life everlasting.

John 17:3 “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

When I made the post earlier this month about the desires of the sinful nature, I had not yet started the training in addictions. In that post I wrote that the sinful nature is self-gratifying, pleasure-seeking, entertainment loving, rebellious of authority, desiring social attraction (popularity), and public applause. This class confirms each and every one of these qualities. I am not saying that I was right but that God was. He always is. It is just so awesome to see science confirm what God has always said.

Holy and gracious Father God, I pray that Your good news is received far and wide. That all may see that You love us and desire to save us from this body of sin, despair and destruction. I thank You, Lord, for illuminating my understanding of Your love, my brokenness and Your will. I plead for your strength for all by brothers and sisters to grow in accomplishing your will through the peace you have given us. I could never express the gratitude I have for the gift you have given, an eternal peace for my soul. What soothing water it is. It is in the name that has provided my peace and salvation, Jesus Christ, that I pray right now. Amen