Monday, August 15, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, August 15, 2016

“Coming Clean” Before God

As one who grew up awed by the Russian dominance of sports, I was sad to find out that much of that preeminence came from illegal performance enhancing drugs. The August 8, 2016, New York Times had an article entitled, The Soviet Doping Plan: Document Reveals Illicit Approach to ’84 Olympics.  Dr. Sergei Portugalov, a Soviet sports doctor, testified, “By the 1970s, he said, most of the several hundred athletes with whom he worked were asking about performance-enhancing drugs...” It is quite shocking to know that Ivan Drago, the Russian Soviet boxer in Rocky IV, was probably juiced up with steroids too.

But the Bible states that if you do bad things, you will get bad results (Galatians 6:7).  One cannot expect to do negative things and not expect someone will stumble upon them eventually (Luke 8:17). The Lord wants us to endeavor to refrain from doing the things that will bring us shame if exposed (James 1:27).  We are to not let evil deeds fall onto our to do list.  We must make the effort to resist the temptation to do like others who seem to be getting away with bad things because God said they would be soon caught (Numbers 32:23, Psalm 37:1-2).

Our Father has a solution for all who are caught up in evil behavior.  God says that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse any behavior that prevents us from being like Him (1 John 1:9).  Do not wait to be exposed.  Go to God and ask Him to deliver you from whatever it is that is not like Him.  He wants us to be like Him, to get all of His blessings, to have a direct relationship with Him, and to be at peace with Him.  Don’t be like the Russians who were embarrassed on a national stage.  Let Him make us day by day to be more like Him.

Galatians 6:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Luke 8:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

James 1:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Numbers 32:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

Psalm 37:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

1 John 1:9
New International Version (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

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