Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want. They will say whatever they need to say, believe whatever they need to believe, do whatever they need to do, to get there. We live in a day in which people lack convictions. So today, I want to talk to you about convictions.
What is a conviction? It is a concrete, immovable belief on a certain issue that you believe either this is the right way or this is the wrong way. It has the idea that you are absolutely determined and clear in your views on certain areas of life. In some areas of life that we talked about in our previous Life Lifter, you can have a personal conviction, but it's not an absolute conviction for everybody. Instead, here I'm talking about the convictions you have for your life. Do you have convictions in your life? Things that you will absolutely never do? Things that you will find acceptable to do? The Bible says having convictions will keep you from sinning.
I want to look at James 4:17. It says, "anyone that who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Anyone who knows the good he ought to do—that is, convictions—and doesn't do it, sins. By the way, that tells us that there are sins of commission, sins that you commit, and sins of omission, sins of something you should do but didn't do. So sin isn't only something bad that you do, but it can also be something good that you withhold or don't do. Here's the point. It says when you know what to do, and you don't do it, it's sin. And here's the thing, we should all have convictions, and then our convictions should lead to actions.
So, do you have convictions? Do you live by them? Is there a line you will not cross? Or, is there a line that you write in pencil so that you can use an eraser to move it when it's convenient? It's really tough, isn't it? It's tough to maintain your convictions all the time. Perhaps its convictions like "I will not lie." That's hard. Or, "I will not steal". Or, "I will not talk behind somebody's back." We have to have convictions and we have to live those convictions. So what convictions do you have? Are you living them? I will tell you this: sometimes living with convictions is difficult in the heat of the moment, at least in the short term, but in the long term, it's the only way to live. So I hope you'll live with convictions and I hope you'll have good convictions to guide you.
With that, let's pray. Father in heaven, I pray that you'll help all of us have convictions, convictions based on the truth of the Bible, and that you'll help us live them out every day of our lives. Help us to have lines we will never cross. Help us to have convictions on the truth that we will only try to live by the truth and that we will not live in lies. And when we violate those convictions that we'd have very short accounts with them. And I pray that we'll have well-drawn lines, clear lines that we don't even flirt with. We don't even get close. We don't even tippy-toe over the line just to see what it's like over there, but that we will stay far away from them. I pray that you'll help us do that because we will live a more satisfying life in the long run even if in the short run, sin is pleasurable. We thank you for this in Jesus' name. Amen.
I hope you are a person of convictions and that people around you see it in your life. Thanks and have a great day.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
You have to understand your limitations. Why does God give you limitations?
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 11
So I want to talk to you about limitations. We all have limitations. Some of us have limitations in our education, or our intellect. Some of us have limitations because we've gone through bad experiences in our life, and they just limit our ability to trust or love. I don't know what your limitations are, but you have limits. Maybe you're just never going to be the visionary person, or you're never going to be the smile-all-the-time person, or you're never going to be this or that. You don't have to be any particular thing, but you have to understand your limitations. Why does God give you limitations? To fortify your faith, because faith is like a muscle. It must be strengthened and developed and fortified. Limitations will fortify your faith.
Where do I get that from? I get it from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 11 TLB. This is what Paul says, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed or broken. We are perplexed... but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.... Yes, we live under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord, but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying body." See that? Paul had limitations, but he wasn't broken or crushed. Limitations didn't let him give up or quit. What was Paul's limitation? People were after him because he was so on fire for Christ. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. He said, "Our bodies are dying." You can take all the supplements in the world. You can exercise until you're blue in the face, but your body is dying. And Paul says even though we have that limitation, the power of Jesus Christ is going to show forth. What's happening in Paul's life? Despite all these limitations, Paul's faith is being fortified. Your body is decaying. I mean, when you're younger it's getting stronger and healthier, but when you get to a certain age (which we usually expect to be about two years older than what we currently are) your body becomes weaker.
God wants to give you faith in those limitations. When you say, "I can't do this," God says, "Beautiful! I can." That's what Paul was essentially saying, "I can't change all these people who are after me. I can't change all these limitations in my life. But guess what? The one thing I can change is my faith in God through them all." And God gives us limitations to fortify our faith. What limitations are you staring in the face right now, nose to nose with? Fortify your faith, trust God with them. Go to God and say, "I know this is a limitation for me. But I know you can break through the limitation." God can help you through those limitations if you put your faith in him like Paul did in 2 Corinthians 4. Are you willing to put your faith in God through those limitations?
Let's pray. Father, I don't know what is limiting those watching this Life Lifter today. Whatever is limiting them, I pray that their faith would help them break through the limitation. We will always have limitations. But I pray, God, that through every limitation we face, our faith in you will be fortified and strengthened like it was for Paul. He knew he could only do so much, but that you would do the rest. We'll put our faith in you. So, whatever people are struggling with, give them faith to trust you help see them through the other side. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.