Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lessons From 2016

Sin is a horrible mess
Nothing good ever comes out from sin. This year has been another reminder of the terrible consequences of sins in my own life and the lives of others, family and friends included. From Adam through to 2016, life and relationships have felt the effects of sin. Sin not only affects the person committing the sin as they battle with the guilt, shame and all the awkwardness that comes with it but it also affects the people around you. Either your sins are against them and you are affecting them directly or they are feeling the consequences of your sins and they then have to suffer emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically. Your sins ultimately affect your relationship with God. David cries in Psalm 51, “for I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Sin messes up your life, the lives of others and your relationship with God. Nothing good comes out of it and for those secret sins we somehow think we can get away the Lord warns us that “your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Local church family is essential to a healthy Christian life
Churches like homes are never perfect. In fact that might be deemed as an understatement by some people! The simple fact that churches are made up of people means that every church will have issues, sin has a way of messing up things! However, local church family is essential for the growth and stability of even the strongest of believers. It is dangerous arrogance to assume you do need the support and encouragement of your local church family. It is in fact trying to be clever than God who instituted the local church for that very purpose. I really feel sorry for people who neglect and see no good in their local churches, they actually do not realize how important the family is to their lives. Show me a person who is not a healthy church member and I will show you a person who is suffering from spiritual malnutrition and probably living in sin. We all need the support and encouragement of the imperfect, sometimes difficult and trying local church family.  

The Lord’s work is the Lord’s
Christ says he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18). That’s a truth I constantly have to remind myself of. Our task is that of a steward managing the master’s work. It is both foolish and pride to assume the Lord’s work is your doing and dependent on you. Foolish because you then bear burdens you do not have the grace to handle. It’s like a child trying to figure out where the next bag of mealie meal will come from, it is unnecessary stress because they do not have the ability and it is not their job. Pride because you think too highly of yourself in thinking the Lord’s work is actually yours. I am learning to know where my stewardship ends.

People need the gospel
It does not matter your race, gender, age or social status, we all suffer from the sickness of sin and God’s remedy is the gospel. People from all walks of life need the gospel. It is God’s power unto salvation (Rom 1:16). We have the tendency to be clever and come up with clever ideas and solutions. I learnt that God’s solution is more than enough! You can for instance tell a couple the principals of communication all you want, if they have not learnt to acknowledge their sinfulness and humbly submit to Christ, you are pouring water on a dark’s back. People need the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Lord is good all the time

He provided all our needs at the right time. He showered us with many blessings both spiritual and physical. He gave us grace every day of the year. He answered many of our prayers. He was patient with us and forgave our many sins. Truly what the Lord has done for us we cannot tell it all. I will praise His name for His mercies endure forever!

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