When is it Okay to Sin?

Wages of sin is death.

How desperate do you have to be before you make a deliberate decision to sin? Do you tell a lie to cover something you did wrong, so you don’t lose your job or your spouse? Do you take money that isn’t yours because you don’t know how you will make it financially? Are you that desperately lonely that you get into the wrong relationship?

King David had an affair with Bathsheba. Then he had her husband placed on the front line of the battlefield, knowing he would most likely be killed. Why? An attempt to hide his sin.

I know a minister who recently told his daughter it was okay to live with her fiancé before marriage. Why? I believe he is counting on them getting married so his new son-in-law would support them. He probably wants a more comfortable life.

  1. It is never okay to willfully sin. Sin as defined by God’s word. If God says no and you do it anyway, it’s a sin. A big problem today is humanity is trying to make their own definitions of what sin is.
  2. The truth always comes out! (Numbers 32:23) King David’s sins were revealed when the prophet Nathan brought them into the light of day. (2 Sam. 12)
  3. God is faithful to forgive us of sin when we ask for it. (1 John 1:9) There is nothing we can do that prevents us from being forgiven.
  4. Whenever someone sins, people get hurt. King David, though forgiven, still had to pay a price for his sin. I have had to pay big time for some of the sins I have committed. Several people have been hurt too.

The minister I mentioned earlier is already paying a price for blessing sin. Some members of his family are now not speaking to him. And what will happen when the people in his church hear of what he allowed his daughter to do? He might say, “Well. She wouldn’t have listened and have done it anyway.” Then that’s on his adult daughter to pay for her sin. Until she is married, there is no guarantee he will marry her.

God doesn’t list certain parts of life as “sins” to prevent us from enjoying life, but ironically the opposite. A life obeying God brings about an abundant life. A good life full of God’s blessings and provisions.

Do your best to live according to God’s word. Ask Him to help you because keeping our flesh in check is difficult. It is too easy to justify why circumstances call for us to sin. God loves obedient children and rewards them accordingly.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

I’m Not God

I’m not God. That’s for sure!
For He is Holy. For He is pure.
I have moments where I imitate him,
but not consistently because of sin.

I want to be, for He is love.
His Spirit is gentle as a dove.
He accepts everyone for who they are.
I have expectations that hurt and leave scars.

I don’t like it when my attempts to be like him fail.
It makes me feel as though I want to die and deserve hell.
Is that what God meant when He said, “You eat this fruit, you will die.”?
Satan certainly didn’t want us to believe that and said, “it’s a lie.”

I’m grateful for second, third, fourth, and more chances to get it right.
It’s a daily challenge, a yearly struggle, and a lifetime fight.
There is grace for the times I fall short of the Glory of God,
It’s for everyone through Jesus. I know his grace is so odd.

We don’t deserve it, yet it is there for us to receive,
if upon Jesus Christ and his forgiveness, we believe.
I’ll keep trying with his help to be like him, for God is love.
The world needs me to obtain, conquer sin, and rise above.


Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Grace is Enough

What reason do I have to wake up with the rising sun
And not be held down by the weight of all the things I’ve done?
What reason do I have to feel this hope instead of hurt?
How can it be I don’t receive the judgement I deserve?

How can you see me at my worst and still say I am loved?
What promise can I stand on when I don’t feel good enough?
When the enemy’s reminding me of all that I’ve done wrong
What freedom do I have to sing this new creation song?

I know the only reason I can stand here free of all my shame
Is wave upon wave of grace upon grace
Wave upon wave of grace upon grace
Upon grace

I have done so many things wrong in my life and, at times, still do. I’m not too fond of it when my wife, who is full of love and grace herself, sees the darkest side of me. There are times I am ashamed of my behavior. I thought by now, with God’s help, all my personal struggles would have been defeated. I can only continue to ask for forgiveness, ask for help, receive God’s grace, and continue fighting the good fight of faith. God’s grace is for you too!

But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses. 1 Tim. 6:12 (MSG)


Parts of the song “Grace Upon Grace” were used.
Songwriters: Matthew West, Aj Pruis

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

He Knew

Photo by: Pixabay

I don’t usually open with scriptures, but I need to today to set the stage. I love this true story from the Bible. It speaks of love in action and adequately uses of “words of knowledge.”

John 8:1-11 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

One could write about a lot from this passage, but I want to focus on one part. Most theologians, of which I do not consider myself to be one, honestly I had to look up how to spell it, agree that when Jesus bent down and wrote in the dust, he was writing the sins of the woman’s accusers.

So one might ask, “How did Jesus know their sins?” Yes, Jesus was the son of God, but he was the son of man when he walked the earth. Here is the answer; Jesus was filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

16-17 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” Mat. 3:16-17 (MSG)

The Holy Spirit filled Jesus the moment the dove landed on him. With the infilling comes power, as Jesus foretold his disciples before he ascended into heaven. Part of that power is knowing things about people. Sometimes, something they don’t want you to know. This is called; “word of knowledge.” This gift of the Spirit is sometimes needed to lead you on how to pray for someone, to get someone’s attention, so they will hear what comes after the supernatural event. One should not focus or get hung up on the gift when it is demonstrated but instead focus on what God wants to do.

I once got word of knowledge concerning a man and a woman in our church who weren’t married to each other. The Holy Spirit whispered, “affair.” After the initial shock, and I didn’t tell anyone in the church, which would have hurt them tremendously, but I prayed for them. A few weeks later, the woman’s husband was offered a job out of state, and they moved. God wanted me to pray, potentially preventing their desires from overtaking them. Am I special? Am I a saint? Am I a super Christian? No! The Holy Spirit chooses who to give this gift to, when, and where. (see 1 Cor. 12:11 but not now. After you finish this post.)

It is humbling to know things, to be used of God. So take it seriously, and be responsible with what you know. Jesus used his knowledge of the woman’s accusers to demonstrate forgiveness and love. Do you think the woman went away unchanged? No. She left forever changed, and no doubt shared her story with everyone. Be filled with the Spirit of God, and be open to being used by God to help change lives for eternity.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

“Open?”

I am writing this blog post while at a church. I’m not listening to the sermon, for one is not being given. That’s because today is Thursday. I’m assuming the main doors are closed. The office is probably open, but I have no business inside. Although I would prefer to be inside because it is warm outside and there is not much breeze.

Some churches utilize their buildings all week while others do not. Kind of like people. Some people only have a use for God on Sundays. The rest of the week, they live however they want to. It seems as if I will never be able to forget the shocking statement of one of my classmates when I was in the eleventh grade. That was a long time ago! She said, “I love being (popular religion). I can have my sins forgiven on Sundays and live like hell the rest of the week.” I think I recall almost falling out of my desk after she made that declaration.

Her statement seemed to go against everything I had been taught about God and living for him instead of living for myself. Sadly, a few months later, her life was cut short when her husband put a shotgun in her mouth and pulled the trigger. I have often wondered if she regrets living the way she did.

“Going” to church doesn’t guarantee you will make it into heaven. It comes down to accepting Jesus Christ into your life, asking him to forgive you of your sins and wrongdoings, and then living for him. It’s about the attitude of your heart, and only God can know that. So maybe it doesn’t matter if the “church” is open or not; God is! It never hurts to attend church, though. There you can find people like you, and together you can encourage each other as we all face the challenges of living like God in an ungodly world.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Heb. 10:22-25 (MSG)

I wish this building was open, and I had the nerve to go in and ask to use their bathroom. That is my most significant need right now!

This church’s building is beautiful! I only hope the people who attend here are as well. I know for sure two of them are because they are my neighbors, and this is their church.

(This blog post continues on Friday, July 8th, 2022)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Irreconcilable Differences

Being in a relationship can be challenging at times for a variety of reasons. When married couples find that changing, or compromising is harder than they think it is worth it they many times end up in divorce court claiming, “Irreconcilable Differences”.

I had to look up what those two words mean.

Definition of Irreconcilable Differences

Noun

  1. Differences of opinion or will that cannot be brought into harmony, or cannot be brought into an agreement through compromise.
  2. A relationship that has become relentlessly hostile.

One could make the case that God and Satan declared, “Irreconcilable Differences”! That God and Satan have a relationship that has become relentlessly hostile! Although there is one definite distinction; God had the final say-so when it came to the final judgment of their case. When Satan insisted on being a “god”, in his own eyes, and having the angels worship him God said, “No way! There is only one true God and it is me, and He was not about to compromise.

To this day Satan is working day and night trying hard to appeal God’s final judgment. He is even trying to use people to win his case. He tells them lies, half-truths that convince them of things like there is no God, there is no punishment for sin, or that there is no eternity. In other words, as he told Eve in the Garden of Eden, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4) People believe him when he tells them, “There is more to life than what you currently have now, and you deserve more. You’ve earned it.”

It’s sad when they buy into his deception. If they are not set free with the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ then they will stand before God when they die and He will declare with them as well, “Irreconcilable Differences” and they will be forever divorced, separated from the presence of God, and that is called, “hell”!

Please, accept Jesus Christ into your life before it is too late. Ask for forgiveness of your sins, and wrongdoing. Read God’s word, “The Bible”. Learn about the love of God and come into harmony with Him. When all truth is revealed, and it will be, you will be glad you did.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What To Do

A whole lot is going on these days in our world, in America, and most likely in your private lives. It would be easy for one to look at others and focus on what they are saying or doing. One may be invading a country another maybe ignoring that a lot of Americans are financially struggling, and a lot of people are more concerned about their own selfish rights than the life of a child who can’t yet protest their opinion of wanting to live.

I can just see the devil having a hay day laughing while so many people are running around screaming trying to get their view heard. He is behind these evil things, unjust actions, and selfish rights.

Instead of joining those trying to be heard I implore you to keep your eyes on Jesus! To keep a good, strong, and tight connection to the vine. Continue to bear, produce much fruit, the fresh fruit of God.

Psalm 1   The Message

How well God must like you—
    you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
    you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
    you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I Was Found Guilty!

“Mark, you have the right to remain silent. In fact, just don’t say anything at all unless I ask you to. Anything you do say will definitely be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, and at the age of seven I doubt you can, one will be appointed for you, but you won’t find any available.”

I appealed to have my hearing moved to the neighbor’s house, hoping that would allow for a fair trial, or at least a lighter sentence. The judge denied my request. As we begin, I looked around and failed to see a jury of my six, seven, and eight-year-old peers.

“Mark, where were you on the morning of July 7th?” asked my mother.

“I was in my bedroom, building a new train station,” I replied.

“Did you or did you not take cookies from the cookie jar after being told not to?” she persisted while raising her voice hoping I would crack.

Sweat began to bubble up on my back. “No. It wasn’t me.”

“You sure?”

“Yes!”

“That’s odd because I have an eyewitness that says you did.”

Gees! My accuser struck again. Seems like my older sister always caught me doing what I wasn’t supposed to be doing, and then she would run and tell my mother. In this case I was found guilty as charged. I would forever be known as a convicted cookie thief.

We all will stand before God one day. And the accuser of the brethren will be there telling on us. Informing God what we did wrong, our sins while we were on earth. We will be found guilty. But then, Jesus Christ will step forward and say to his Heavenly Father, “No punishment will be necessary. I have already paid the wages of their sin. We will escape eternal damnation, and not spend eternity in hell.

Jesus Christ did that for every one of us, out of love. Out of obedience to his Heavenly Father, God. It’s there for the asking, and it’s free. His forgiveness of our wrongdoing means we can no longer be known as a cookie thief or be forced to wear any other degrading title. We will be known as children of God and invited to enter heaven, and live happily ever after.

Salvation and power are established!
    Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
    who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
    and the bold word of their witness. Rev. 12:10-11 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

God, Crazy?

If you created something, perfected it, and then gave it away, most would call you crazy!

If you gave your only child’s life, so that someone else could live, most would call you crazy!

God did those very things. He made you, and then gave you away to exercise your own freewill! And when you failed, and would then die for eternity in hell, he gave you his only Son, Jesus to pay for your failures, sins. Jesus’ blood was spilled for you. God’s only Son purchased you back, so you could live for eternity in heaven with your maker. BUT then he gave you away again, because He wants you to CHOOSE to love him, and accept him.

Some might call what God did, “crazy”,
but He calls it, “love”!

Yes, God loves you that much! It doesn’t matter what you have done, He loves you regardless.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16-18 (MSG)

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Rom. 8:37-39 (MSG)

“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.  Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Who’s it For?

“Hi. How can I help you?”

“I need to…”  “Sorry.”

“It’s quite alright.”

“I need to pick out a casket.”

“Okay. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Thanks.”

“Step this way. Did you have something in mind?”

“Yeah. Nothing ‘over the top’. It should be simple, but natural looking. Not that there is anything ‘natural’ about dying. I think it should reflect the kind of life the one lived who will be using it.”

“I understand. What do you think of this model over here?”

“Model? Gees! You make it sound like they are vehicles that transport the dead into eternity. Is this the newest model or a late model?”

“My apologies sir. It’s a particular style of casket. It’s in our ‘Wood Grain’ family.”

“Umm, not bad. May I see the interior, please?”

“Of course.”

“No squeaks. That’s good. Wouldn’t want to scare any children that may be at the funeral. I guess that one will do.”

“Very good, sir. Why don’t we go back to my office now and we can start the paper work.”

“You mean loan papers don’t you? With what these cost and everything.”

“Sir, they must be paid for upfront. We certainly don’t have a ‘Lay-a-way’ plan here.”

“Is that supposed to be funny?”

“It was.”

“Oh. Well I guess it kind of was. I’m just not in a laughing mood.”

“My apologies, sir.”

“Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

“Ok. Tell me about the deceased.”

“In general, all his life he tried his best to be a good man. To live according to God’s words, and overall, live a life pleasing to God. He was born here in this town, reared here also, but lived in several other places as an adult. He loved to travel. He was married twice, to two different women, had two children and two grandchildren. His first wife poisoned his children about him though, so after they became young adults they told their father he was a horrible man, and they never wanted to see him ever again.”

“Was he?”

“What?”

“A bad man.”

“No. Not perfect, but not bad either. He provided everything he possibly could for his children. Even though he was paying child support, if he saw his kids had a need, he met it. He took them places in America too. They loved traveling as much as he did. He also took them to church. He introduced them to the loving, one, true, God of the universe. He was faithful in taking them there so their faith could grow.

I guess it has become obvious which force won his kids over. They chose ‘evil’ over ‘good’. They know that their sins will cost them their life for eternity, but even though they saw ‘God” at work in the life of their father, it didn’t make the impact it should have. That broke his heart more than not getting to see and spoil his grandchildren.”

“That’s too bad. Seeing, or hearing from their father most likely brought on guilt, and the Holy Spirit bringing to their mind they should be living for God, instead of for themselves. By the way, I’ll also need where all he went to school, and the primary places he lived and worked, and for how many years. Any affiliations he was associated with and any other hobbies he had. Oh! One thing I failed to ask, who’s the casket for?”

“Sir?”

“Sir?”

“Who’s the casket for?”

“Me.”

Hebrews 9:27 (MSG) Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.