Google+ 03/13/13 Throw Away Your Stones!

Nehemiah 1:5-6

 

Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God

Who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,

Listen to my prayer!

Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel.

I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 

 

I wonder if you have ever knelt down and uttered a prayer like Nehemiah's.  We go through our lives on a daily basis, literally being surrounded by God's love and blessings.  We do not deserve God's love or blessings, nor can we earn them.  We get to experience God's mercy and grace, through His Son Jesus Christ, up close and personal.  And yet, like our Scripture today mentions, we still sin.  Not just against each other, but against God.  How can this be?  How can we sin against God, in any way, if we experience His love, grace, and mercy so often?  The news for us, in this area of consideration, is not good or easy to hear, but extremely necessary to ponder and pray about, daily.  Ever since the Garden of Eden, our basic nature is evil.  We have talked in great length about this, and it is not the subject of today's devotion.  In order for us to determine what we need to do to avoid sinning against our God and Father, we must understand why we do it!  The danger of many modern-day churches is that they preach that everyone is good and will do the right thing.  What a disappointment, on so many levels, when we Christians realize that this is not true for us, or our fellowman.   Here is a the prescription to minimize our sin and accentuate our Christian walk.  Start by realizing that everything we do and say, done without God's influence, will be sin.  All our actions will be ugly and angry.  All our deeds will be heinous.  All our motives will be wrong.  If we ponder these things BEFORE we act, less sin will occur and fewer people will be hurt by our tongues.  Fellowshiping with God in this way will allow us to better see His love for us and the promises He keeps.  We will then be able to cry out to God as Nehemiah did and ask God to watch us as we pray, giving Him "permission" to move in our prayers.  Without this honest and open "conversation" with God, we will miss all His blessings.  For most people, when we miss God's blessings and love, the manifestation of Satan comes out in most of us as anger, bitterness, jealousy, and envy.  These four emotions with destroy and derail us, and in an uncontrollable rage, drastically harm others around us.  Here is the big finish.  Many of the people that we interact with every day have little knowledge of God and His love and affection for His children.  When they learn that we are Christians, and we exhibit this vial, evil behavior that is of Satan, they will walk away from any chance of communing with God and "shut the door" on Jesus and organized religion.  In other words, our inability to control our actions or words, may condemn an "innocent" to a life of eternal banishment from God!  Maybe thinking about this fact the next time we choose to let Satan overrun God's love, will help all of us to sin less.  I know just writing this down for all of you, is helping me in this area!!  Finally, when we have sinned, do what Nehemiah did.  Tell God, and admit it out loud, to everyone that will listen.  Ask God for His forgiveness, along with anyone we might have hurt in the process.  Then, do what Jesus taught us to do and TURN from our sin, and "sin no more."   As Jesus tells us in the gospel of Matthew, those of us without sin, should cast the first stone.  So, evaluate your situation carefully before acting on behalf of Satan.  Turn, put your "stone" down, and walk away.  You and God will be glorified beyond measure and we will all live in His Kingdom forever.