Wow. What a great message at church today. I have to share some of it with you.
You will see your need for a savior so much more after you read this post, in a good way- a way that makes JOY come bubbling out of every pore in your body- not because of my words, but because of the gospel and the words of God. Not to leave out what a great job our pastor does sharing the word with us and helping us to really understand it.
The Blame Shifting Tendency was one aspect of our sinful state our pastor covered, but what he showed us was that blame shifting never recognizes and owns our sin, and that causes a small joyfulness in our hearts instead of a big joyfulness. That robs our family, not just us. Also, how each one of our hearts is capable of any sin. This helps me not just see my need for a savior afresh, but it also helps me see His mercy in a whole new light. He sent His son to die in substitution for our sins. We look at criminals and say, well I would never do that. But yes, we could. This gives grace a whole new hook, doesn't it? We are capable. Every evil comes from inside of us, Jesus said. We could be that woman who is in jail for breaking the law to get money, or that mom who loses her kids due to her neglect or abuse of them. These are just two examples I have seen recently of women trapped by their sin and thought, oh but I wouldn't do that...No, by God's grace I'm not in that same place, he said. Instead of looking at them and saying ' I wouldn't' i should be looking at myself and saying " How much has God spared me, by His grace alone?"
From my notes:
We Will Never See Our Need For a Savior if we place the blame for our sinfulness outside of ourselves ( Oh well, yeah, God says that's sin but I only do that because of how I was abused as a child, or because I have a hard marriage, or because I'm single, or because that person cut me off, because I am prone to struggles in certain areas more than others maybe so I can't choose to not sin in that way) Wow! That's big, isn't it??If we don't see our need for a savior, then how can we be saved? If we are a professing Christian but yet we excuse and rationalize our sin away, how can we grow in godliness? We also experience a lack of joy because we do not see our sin as 'big', so therefore our salvation is not a 'big salvation.'
Big Sin= Big Gospel
Big Sinner= Forgiven = Joy!
When we see our sin as big- for what it truly is- then we will have the joy that comes from being shaped by the gospel.
When we see our sin for how ugly it is, and how much God hates it, and we realize how utterly hopeless we are and that we are damned to Hell if we are not saved by the grace of God alone and our sin, then and only is, does the joy of our salvation break through our muddied minds!
If my sin is not big to me, because I rationalize it and Blame Shift, then my Joy will be small, because the gospel will not mean as much to me as it should.
My pastor once said that our sin is like the black cloth the jewel of the gospel sits on. The jewel of the gospel shines so much brighter over the backdrop of our recognition of our sinful state.
We are all BORN Natural Blame shifters~ we don't have to teach our kids how to blame shift; they know how to do that instinctively because of our sin nature.
Where we and our kids Need training is in the gospel!
How easy it is to tell myself "Well, I wouldn't have thought/done this, if he/she/that situation I was in/ wouldn't have done that." Blame Shifting.
I will never be so squeezed by a person or situation that I am Forced to sin.
My biggest need is to be saved from my sin ( Jesus and the paralytic.)
Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23 what is on the inside of man. ( scriptures call the heart deceitful above all things.)Sin is common to man and woman. ( There is not one righteous, No, Not One.) In light of these scriptures, I am forced to confront that my own heart is capable of any evil deed or thought.
Below is the verse Mark 7: 20-23 that my pastor used in church today. Look at all the evils that make us people unclean. I can find myself in every one! Below I list some specific confessions of sin in my own life just to help flesh out how easy it is to sin in all of these areas. Not all of them are from my own life, but most of them are, at one time or another ( all since I have been saved by the grace of God.)
Maybe you will see yourself at one time or another in my confessions, and repent and see the gospel as all that more glorious against the backdrop of our sinfulness. Maybe you will realize for the first time ( as I did today) that the seed of ANY sin really does exist in your own heart just as it does mine. The phrase 'There I go but for the grace of God's so much more full of mercy for fellow sinners when we realize it's truth fully...
Mark 7:20-23,He went on: What comes out of man( woman) is what makes him (her) unclean. For from within, out of man's ( woman's) heart come
evil thoughts: " I wish God would punish him/her/them for their sins!"
sexual immorality " But if he's/she's not caring for me romantically,I deserve xyz" ( Even if xyz is my unkind thoughts about someone.)This is not my example, but I thought it is one many could probably relate to if they were in such a situation.
theft:they charge too much so it's OK if I don't tell them they gave me too much change."
murder:"I hate him/her/them!" ( Murder in my heart is still a form of hatred, as murder is.)
adultery: Well, go right back up to Sexual Immorality!
greed:"My house isn't big,or nice, enough, I want more 'stuff'"
malice: Well, go right back up to Evil Thoughts and Murder!
deceit: "He won't allow me to buy that, but I really think it's a great deal! I won't tell him."
lewdness: Dirty jokes! Staying & listening or Cracking my own.
Envy: " I wish I had what she has, or looked like she looks,etc."
slander: Such a fine line ~ is warning a friend about possible problems with a person slander? Or gossip? Prayer is the key for me as to whether I will keep it zipped up.
arrogance: I am arrogant all the time! Any time I think I deserve some reward or rest,when I think my way is the best way, when I am more annoyed with another persons sin than caring for their growth in godliness ( this can also be Lack of Love.) ...so many more I know!
Folly: Well, just look up to Arrogance.
All of these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.
Coveting is one form of spiritual adultery, did you know that? I am not satisfied in God alone if I am coveting ( being sinfully unhappy about my circumstances.)
'Sin is not a disease I struggle with. It is a moral disintegration of obligation to obey God's word.'The problem is not with what is going on outside of me,it is what is going on within me.
But though we are completely at fault God has provided a substitute to take our blame if we are believers!
That is the shining gospel!
Isaiah 40:31: But Those Who Hope In The Lord Will Renew Their Strength. They Will Soar On Wings As Eagles!"
Thank You God, for sending your son to suffer my sufferings for me. Because of Jesus' obedience and your mercy I am freed from a great debt that I owed but could never have paid!! Please remind me, Holy Spirit, when I am tempted to blame shift. Remind me of my great sinfulness and my great need for a savior so that I can see my need for you and cling to you more and more every day that you have me here, living on this earth. Please help me to be more and more merciful as you are towards other people lured in by the same sin's I am, or sin's I am most capable of committing. Shape me with scripture and not my fickle feelings, what the world has to offer, or anything else, but lead me to a position of hope and faith that comes from seeing God's power in scripture and in my life. I know that I can never accept your forgiveness without first owning my sin and repenting of it. Help me to always do that, most quickly, from now until forever, so that I may draw near to you and'pour contempt on all my pride.'