Is your “Sin Reel” on repeat?



Have you noticed the unique aspects of all the social media platforms feeding us information daily? Twitter provides condensed one-liners, Instagram comes in the form of catchy pictures, Tik-Tok teaches us trendy dance moves. Then there is Facebook, the highlight reel of strategically chosen snapshots of people living their best life.

I often wonder what these social media platforms would look like if they instead showed the “highlight reel” of our sins and mistakes. I want to suggest that we know what that looks like, at least in our own lives. The reel is in our minds, and Satan is the “feeder,” sending us daily reminders of all the past and present sins in our lives.

Satan is cunning, conniving, and cut-throat. He has repeatedly proven that he is no respecter of persons and looks to destroy anyone who chooses to follow Christ. He will say, do, and remind you of anything that will keep you from remembering that your sins have been paid for IN FULL.

In the book of Hebrews, we see that God promises not to recall our sins. “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12

In Revelation, Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. Why? Because the enemy is a liar, he will accuse you day in and day out to instill fear that we aren’t worthy of living as new creations. Satan knows that if he can keep you dwelling on your past mistakes and failures, you will never be effective for the kingdom.

John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Satan’s primary purpose is to keep your eyes OFF of the One who saved you. The enemy knows how dangerous YOU will be to his plans if you walk in your TRUE authority.

Here are my questions for you today: 

  • Do you watch your “sin reel” each day?
  • What do you do with it?
  • Do you use it as a testimony, or do you allow it to bring you fear and shame?

Whatever your answers are, LISTEN UP! You don’t have to give the enemy or your “sin reel” one more minute of your mind or time. Paul revealed to Timothy three reasons why this is true. 

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of (1) power and (2) love and (3) self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

1. POWER – USE IT TO GROW

Yes, it’s ok to look at our sin and use it to measure our growth because we learn from our mistakes, but there should be no condemnation.

1 Corinthians 15:57: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 8:37: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3: “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

Remember, you have the power of the Holy Spirit on you, in you, and flowing through you.

2. LOVE – USE IT TO HELP OTHERS

God loves us so much, he sent his ONLY son to die for us. He sacrificed so much for us. We should be willing to share the same love to help others. Don’t be afraid to use your past sin as a warning for others who are on the same dangerous path you once were.

2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

When dealing with sin and shame, people tend to think they are the only ones with shameful pasts or struggles with things like lying, stealing, pornography, adultery, and many others.

1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Don’t let them stand in isolation without sharing you were in bondage to these things too.

Love them enough to show them God’s mercy and work in your life and how through Christ’s love you are now walking in freedom.

3. SELF-CONTROL – USE IT TO WALK IN GOD’S AUTHORITY

God gives us self-control and a sound mind so we don’t have to succumb to the distractions the enemy throws at us. You don’t have to play games with the enemy anymore.

Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

Combat every “sin reel” the enemy feeds you with scripture, worship, or prayer. More importantly, God gave us the WEAPON OF WARFARE, the WORD.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”

Use the Sword of the Spirit to slice and dice the enemy’s tactics.

Zechariah 4:6: “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

I challenge you this week to change your daily scroll from the “sin reel” to the “glory reel” and play the moments of glory God has in your life over and over.

Your past prepares you for your future. Recognize it, grow from it, but don’t live in it.


SATAN CAN HAVE HIS SHOES


As Christians, we see culture paint an interesting picture of what is considered an “influencer” these days. It may even appear these “influencers” are celebrated for such disgusting perversion while Christians are hated for spreading hope and speaking truth.

The week before Easter, I posted this video about a popular “artist” that has released a song and put out a product, a pair of shoes that he’s calling “satan shoes.”

This rapper, Lil Nas X, has reportedly taken some Nike shoes and infringed on their trademarks by modifying them with some very concerning things. To be quite honest, it’s sick. These “satan shoes” are reported to have a drop of blood in them. They also display the satanic symbol on the outside and inside of them. He even went a little further with this, making the shoe launch a limited edition and only offered 666 pairs of this product. Of course, 666 is the mark of the beast. Now, the launch of this project is not the only sad thing going on here. It’s reported these shoes sold for over $1000 a pair AND sold out in minutes.

The “artist” launched these shoes simultaneously with his new song that takes demonic and perversion to a whole new level. It’s not even worth describing, but it’s drawn quite the response from many people.

It’s times like these as Christians, the future seems bleak, and we can feel like we are losing a battle with culture.

Here is the reality…
* Our leader was murdered 2000 years ago
* We’re going to be hated because they first hated Him
* We’re going to have trouble because the enemy only has plans of evil for us

But as we reflect on this past Easter Sunday and the Good News that Jesus is alive and well and available to ALL, I can’t help but rejoice even in this storm because I know God is still in control.

So Satan can have his shoes. He can wear them all the way to the end of his journey. I have no interest in walking a mile in Satan’s shoes because he can’t stand up to the power of our Savior. Jesus has the VICTORY! No matter what happens in this world, Satan shoes and all.

The truth is, this is just the latest installment of Satan’s failed plan to try to drag down the message of Christianity. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “TAKE HEART, because I have overcome the world.”

No matter what happens in this world, Satan’s shoes and all, God has OVERCOME THE WORLD! No matter the trials and tribulations you face, Jesus has the victory. No evil will ever be able to stand up to the power of our Savior.

Regardless of who appears to be winning in the world right now, remember God reigns supreme. Through Him, we fight FROM victory, not for victory.

Be encouraged.
Stand strong.
Be the light in the darkness.
Be the salt to preserve a corrupted world.
TAKE HEART, because HE has overcome the world!

 


ENSURING FAILURE



If we fail to submit, we submit to fail. 

One of the fundamental questions any organization has to answer is, “who is in charge here.” It may seem like an easy question to answer, but my years as a leader have taught me that this question is often ignored. In our homes, workplaces, and relationships, submitting to leadership is non-negotiable if we want to avoid disfunction and achieve our best. 

If everyone is in charge, no one is in charge.

Even when organizations take the time to develop comprehensive organizational charts, there is always a natural human tendency to drift over time. I believe this drift is a direct result of our struggle to submit to leadership. We all need to be reminded of the danger of blurring the submission lines when they aren’t supposed to be blurred. 

Blurred lines lead to messy lives.

Recently, I was watching a group of kids walk down the halls of our church in a line. Two leadership lessons stood out. First, the teacher was giving clear instructions that the kids were following. Second, a line leader was setting the path and the pace of the group as they walked down the hall together. It was easy to see that the kid at the front was happy to be in the Line Leader’s role. 

All the kids submitted to the Line Leader’s leadership, who submitted to the teacher’s supervision. As a result, the kids successfully walked down the hall in an orderly manner and arrived safely at their destination. Submission is so foundational and straightforward that a group of kids can understand and benefit from it. However, submission is also simple to mess up. 

If we fail to submit, we submit to fail.

Identifying the missing link of submission helps explains why the churches struggle to keep momentum. We are not submitting to Christ. I often tell my church that there is one man in charge of every decision made at our church; that man is not me. Every Pastor and every church in every town reports to the same guy, Jesus Christ. He is the great Teacher, and He calls some to serve as Line Leaders. If we don’t get this simple lesson, we will buy into the lie that ignoring submission issues will make them go away. 

I love these profound words from Dr. Tom Constable, “If God said it, it’s worth listening to.” Through Paul, God spoke about “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” in Ephesians 5:21.

The word “supporting” is a suitable synonym for the concept of “submitting” that Paul has in mind. Our motivation for submitting is built on love and respect. Submission requires that we trust God, respect others, develop Godly character, and do the right thing. The profound mystery of the Gospel calls for submission to Christ by His church. 

When it’s clear, submit. 

Christ modeled this very concept of submission in at least three ways. As you journey through the scriptures that follow, remember, if God said it, it’s worth listening to.

1. Jesus displayed His submission to the Father by quoting scripture.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:3-4)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” (Matthew 4:8-10)

2. Jesus displayed His submission to the Father through prayer.

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)

3. Jesus displayed His submission to the Father by accomplishing His purpose.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me. (John 6:38)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name. (Philippians 2:5-9)

As you reflect on Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection this Easter week, I encourage you to identify one way to submit to Christ in the small things. Then, take action! A simple place to start is with prayer.

If we fail to submit, we submit to fail.