“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1: 8 NIV
Have you ever deceived yourself? That sounds silly, doesn’t it? Why would we deceive ourselves? Yet, SIN always involves self-deception. Sadly, we to frequently believe we know more than God.So one of the keys to stop doing wrong is to stop deceiving ourselves. To do that we have to take an honest look at our life. We must face the truth and deal with the issues. What is it in our life we’re pretending isn’t a problem?
· Are you reconciled to that other person or persons in your life causing you emotional, financial, marital, or even spiritual “pain?”
· Are you reconciled with our church? Are there unspoken “hot spots” here at GRACE that remain unresolved or painful?
· Have you been faithful in supporting the work of GRACE with your Time, Talents, and Financial support?
· To what extent have we faithfully implemented Matthew 18:15-20 (The Office of the Keys) in attempting to get back on track with others?
What you’re doing doesn’t matter much. What really matters --- is that you’re probably using it to try and escape from your pain and from sin. You/we --- can’t get healing until we acknowledge the root of the problem.
Some say one must hit rock bottom before getting help. Yet, whenever we’re doing something wrong, there are always “wake up calls.” The dilemma is: we’re not listening to the Holy Spirit like we should. We’re so easily tempted to head down a path of destruction and, a lot of times, we choose to do it … “full speed ahead!”
You/WE … don’t have to do that. You, and even our congregation, doesn’t have to go that way. We can acknowledge the root of the issue and deal with it. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Counselors report that the biggest mistake people make is waiting too long to seek help. Often times, people have already made up their minds on a situation or set of circumstances. They come in the proverbial 11th hour, do not really want to work together to solve problems and hurts, rather, what they want from the counselor is permission to resolve things their way. They have ignored all the warning signs. BUT … then the crisis comes and one or the other of them says, “What do I do now?” I feel compelled to insert the following practical application of this devotion.
The painful truth dearly beloved, is that GRACE is facing a serious shortfall in our General Fund financial support. The budget for 2018 is honest and responsible, but it’s no longer possible for GRACE to continue in deficit spending. Here’s what we can do before you get 11th hour point. Admit we need help and seek it. Be transparent and responsible Good Stewards of the many gifts we’ve been given. The help we need in our personal life and in our congregation of fellow Christians, is totally found in our Savior Jesus Christ. “But seek FIRST His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 You can avoid an awful lot of unnecessary pain if you’re willing to do that.
Remember our verse for today: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” If we want healing we’ve got to acknowledge the root of the problem. We’ve got to face the truth about ourselves. PRAY fervently that our loving Savior will provide us the will and way to serve Him and be a blessing to the church at large. May the Holy Spirit dwell among us and in your life with HIS POWER!
Rev. Dr. Gary J. Carstens