A Better Way to Live

sin

NOUN

  1. an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law:
    “a sin in the eyes of God” ·

synonyms: immoral act · wrong · wrongdoing · act of evil/wickedness · transgression · crime · offense · misdeed · misdemeanor
· trespass · wickedness · wrongdoing · wrong · evil · evildoing · sinfulness
· immorality · iniquity · vice · crime

In a time where one’s, thought to be hidden sins, are being exposed like an uncontrollable leak in a dam.  In a time where an accusation brings quick judgement and sentencing handed down before all the facts are known.  You would think realizing that everything done in darkness will be exposed, would spur one to find a better way to live.

The truth though is we are sold a big fat lie by the devil.  That lie is: You won’t be the one that will get caught.  Guess what?  The devil is probably the one that will tell on you.  Why?  Because he wants to hurt you beyond belief.  I write about it often:  John 10:10 – Satan comes to kill steal and destroy!  Satan HATES you!  He can’t stand you, because YOU are made in the image of God, and he hates God.

A better way to live?  Sure.  Don’t sin.  It’s that simple.  Okay, it’s not, but you can actually learn, or train yourself to sin less.

  1. Capture every thought and bring it into captivity.  In other words, if a thought is about doing something wrong (sin) then realize it, and choose not to.  Love instead.  Do the right thing.  Say the right thing.
  2. Put on God’s bullet proof vest. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  Imagine a policeman these days not wearing his bullet proof vest.

Eph 6:11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.
Eph 6:12  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Eph 6:13  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Eph 6:14  Truth, righteousness,
Eph 6:15  peace,
Eph 6:16  faith,
Eph 6:17  and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
Eph 6:18  In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (MSG)

These are just a couple of purposeful things to do to live a better life.  Here are a few more:  Turn away wrath with love.  When one speaks out against you, smile and love them anyway.  When someone proclaims they are living a life you know is not pleasing to God, please don’t judge and sentence them, but accept them, and love them.  That is not the same as accepting their wrong doing.  Calling out sin on Facebook isn’t going to show anyone there is a better way to live either.  The world needs to see Love.  Jesus is Love.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Jesus is Lord!!

jesus-is-lordA young lady in my church, who hides behind a recliner to talk to her parent’s bible study group stands up with boldness in front of her class.  The 15 year old shared with them why God should be allowed back into schools.  She revealed students have a right to proclaim “Jesus is Lord”.  She stood there in the power of the Holy Spirit as He enabled her.  In her own might it would never happen, but she loves God and wants to be used by Him.

We are in full blown Christmas mode right now.  This is the easiest time of the year to share “Jesus is Lord”.  After all, Jesus is the reason for this season.  People are hungry for truth and Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light.  All, who know “Jesus is Lord”, should be watching for opportunities to share their faith.  Ready to give an answer to those searching.  The Holy Spirit has been drawing them to God.  Now we need to be asking the Holy Spirit to help us to be ready and bold, like the young lady in my church.

This holiday season give more than an earthly gift.  Give the gift God gave us.  His son Jesus.  Share with all, why Jesus is the answer to their needs.  Give a gift that hopefully no one returns.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

To Know

To know unconditional love;
is to know God.
To know real forgiveness;
is to know Jesus.
To know perfect direction;
is to know the Holy Spirit.

To know pure laughter;
is to know true friends.
To know great joy;
is to know a child.
To know time;
is to know an elderly person.

To know gratitude;
is to feed the hungry.
To know security;
is to clothe the naked.
To know health;
is to visit the sick.

To know peace;
is to know contentment.
To know lasting hope;
is to know faith.
To know wisdom;
is to know the Word of God.

What’s wrong with This Picture?

DSC_5568I just spent a week in Ndola, Zambia.  If one just drives through some of the poorer communities, as we did, you are filled with guilt, compassion, and sorrow.  We in America think we know how fortunate we are, but until you see firsthand how others on the same planet live you really don’t know the depth of our fortune.

This trip wasn’t just to drive through their communities, but to get out and to walk among them.  To talk, to listen, to build relationships that encourage, and to make sure their hope continues.  We were careful not to promise them resources that would be a strain to sustain, for that would be helping that hurts.  The perfect plan to change someone else’s living conditions is to find ways to get those that live there to come up with the plans that will change their lives, change their communities.

Building those relationships started out slow, but by mid-week bonds were beginning to form.  Smiles begin showing up on faces that on day one were not there.  It was strange being in a community where you were the first mazunga, “white” person some of the kids had ever seen.  I have recently learned there are three things that crosses any boundary; love, laughter and God.

DSC_5473By the end of our week some tears were shed as we cDSC_5524elebrated God together and said our goodbyes.  A lot had been accomplished as we visited each church of the seven in Fubuku.  As we led a bible study in spiritual gifts, as we “tried” to stucco a mill house, and as we moved most of the 3000 concrete blocks into positions so those who did know what they were doing could put them in place.  As we did some home visits to those who were HIV positive, or the widow who was raising 10 orphans on her own.  This group of God believing, God fearing Zambians find ways to survive, not just
every month, but every day.

DSC_5150We feel our goal of building relationships was accomplished.  We even gave them a DSC_5309picture of a person from my church section with their name, so they could pray for them.  Then likewise we took their pictures holding up the photo of the one they selected.  The response to this was overwhelming.  They stood in a line, some for 30 minutes waiting for their turn to be photographed.

Yes, there is a lot wrong with the picture of their lives, their schools, or lack of, but today their hope is stronger than ever as they now know there are disciples of Christ who live 8252 miles away, who are praying for them, love them, and who believe in them.

If you haven’t seen it yet check out the short video of our trip:

https://www.facebook.com/206Saturdays/videos/483025878547210/

Reach Out and Touch Someone

touching-heartThey’re all around you.  They are hurting, discouraged, lost, or broken.  Life has not been fair to them either through circumstances, or even perhaps by their own doing.  Regardless, they still need a touch.  There is nothing like the touch of another human being.  A study was done some years ago and found that infants who were touched, held, cuddled had fewer health problems in the early years of their lives.

There are so many ways to touch someone.  I heard a street beggar once say, “Even if you don’t want to help me at least acknowledge that I exist by looking at me!”  Wow!  So you see, a simple glance, or smile can touch a person’s life whether you know them or not.  But for those you do know, you can do more.  Encourage them with a spoken word, an unexpected hug, a note they will find later that expresses your love and appreciation of them.

One of the biggest keys to touching lives is seeing them, and being mindful of them.  Sometimes they give you clues as to what they need from you.  Sometimes it’s a shot in the dark, but an effort that misses the mark is still a message that says, “I know something’s wrong, and I care.”

When you look at others, and try to touch them in some way you will many times find that your own heart is touched.  It’s a quick and easy investment in others, and it pays back in great dividends.  I hope you will follow the One who first touched you, by touching others.