Friday, September 23, 2011

Devotion and Desire......

There is a song I like called "Devotion and Desire", it is actually about someone claiming to be dedicated to a cause but in all reality they are not. The chorus goes like this:

"How could I know, that everything you said are lies about devotion and desire?"

Devotion is a word that I think has gotten really hard to define in recent years, we all have this loosely defined idea of commitment that we tie in with devotion but my question is are we ever doing "devotion" enough justice?

Merriam-Webster online gives us the following definition:

Definition of DEVOTION1 a : religious fervor : piety
b : an act of prayer or private worship —usually used in plural
c : a religious exercise or practice other than the regular corporate worship of a congregation
2 a : the act of devoting
b : the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal


The words I want to focus on in the above definition are words like "fervor", "Worship" and "ardently dedicated"

We can clearly see that the truest definition of devotion is something far beyond just a commitment but more like a lifestyle choice, a dedication that makes the thing you are devoted to a part of who you are and how you make you decisions on a daily basis.

I also want to take a look at what Scripture says about being devoted.

Paul says we should live with "undivided devotion" (1 Cor 7:35)
He says "don't be lazy in showing your devotion" (Rom. 12:11)
He tells Titus we should live with "wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God"

these are merely a few scriptures which use the word devotion, but to see true devotion, I want to examine one of Jesus' sayings

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26 (ESV)

We must first identify that a common Jewish metaphor is being used here by Jesus, the same man who commands us to "Love our enemies" is not now teaching us to "Hate our family"
We can trace this back to the story of Esau and Jacob. In Malachi 1 God tells the prophet:

“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob, 3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”

What God is saying here is not that he hated Esau in the sense of personally despising him, but when compared to the blessings and calling of Jacob to be the father of Israel and the beginning of the nation which would bring the messiah into the world.

So when we go back to Jesus' saying and use Malachi 1 as context we can see that Jesus is not commanding us to hate anyone, but rather is telling us that our love and devotion to Him should be so great, it should be so clear and focused that it is as if we hate everything else in our lives.

Is anything in your life so important that everything else looks hated in comparison to it? Are you so dedicated to anything, that it is by far the most important thing in your life and even more important than your life itself?

Most people have no problem with small commitments... "I'll meet you Saturday" "We'll catch the game together" etc....

Some people are even ok with bigger commitments like marriage, contractual agreements with employers or landlords, or even the cable company for that matter. But as we can see these commitments are mostly "empty promises" as more than half of marriages end in divorce, contracts are continually broken leading to lawsuits and broken relationships, and lots of people stop paying their cable bill :)

How could we know, that everything we said were lies, about devotion and desire?

It's because we know nothing about true devotion, many Christians float through life thinking that what you "believe" is the important thing, and what you "do" is secondary, they refuse to accept the biblical notion that what you believe IS what you do, they think that saying they love Jesus is the same as actually loving Him, they think that believing the things their church believes is the same as following the commandments of Christ, this could not be farther from the truth, and the Bible will tell you why this is.

In John 14:15 Jesus says this: "If you love me, keep my commands. "

Probably the most simple yet profound portion of scripture I've ever come across, Jesus says "do you love me?" and gives us a foolproof way to determine if we are lying or not.....if WE KEEP HIS COMMANDS.

Are you keeping Jesus' commands? then you truly love him

Are you sinning everyday all day? then by default you hate Jesus

These are the words of Jesus himself, loving Him COMES WITH obeying Him, you CANNOT do one without the other

the book of James takes this even deeper for us he says that "faith without works is dead!"
a faith without works is NOT a saving faith, regardless of what the Calvinist or partial Calvinist will tell you, workless faith, is faithless faith, it is not a biblical faith and it will not save you from anything.

What does this have to do with devotion?

if you are devoted to something you are DOING something about it and if you are not doing something about it, then you are not devoted.

God should be the thing you are most devoted to, we've clearly shown this, and devotion to God looks like keeping His commands, if you are not doing that then you are not devoted and your faith is dead.

This also applies to every other aspect of your life, work, exercise, relationships and any other healthy thing in your life.

If you are devoted to these things you will DO SOMETHING to make yourself better, to make yourself more wise, to become a better friend, etc...

If you merely "wish you were" better or healthier or more of a friend, then you are NOT devoted to these things and are lying to yourself, devotion makes it way out in action

Devotion - action = stagnancy

Devotion + action = change

Jesus says it clearly: "If you love me, DO what I command" He doesn't say believe what I command, or wish you could do what I command, or think what I command is good, but He says DO what I command!!

Why are you still reading? GO DO SOMETHING :)

in Christ,

j.knizzle

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Great Physician

I have a doctor's appointment today. I don't know if it's just me or if everyone is a little weary about seeing the doctor, especially if there are things you've noticed that may be potentially bad. No one wants to have the doctor tell them that they are sick or that they have something wrong with them, especially something that may potentially be deadly.

I think I've heard that it's a guy thing, to ignore aches and pains and really just all together try and avoid the doctor. I know that is what I do, which is funny because all the little dings I've encountered since my last visit will be brought up, so you never truly can avoid them only delay them.

The Bible refers to Jesus a Physician. Jesus actually calls himself this, he says that the "healthy are not in need of a physician, but the sick are" (paraphrased)

Here is the problem, while many of us do ignore many physical ailments and pains, in hopes that they either go away or that they are nothing serious, many times we may be ignoring a truly dangerous thing, as if it's like if we don't know about it, then it doesn't really exist.

We all know that this is a ridiculous way to live. Jesus in saying that the healthy do not need a physician, was saying two things.

1. Jesus came to diagnose our problem (sin) and to treat it and cure it.
2. If you do not come to the physician (Jesus) and learn whether or not you have an illness, you may be ignoring a life threatening disease, and if you do not acknowledge your illness, the physician cannot treat it.

When I go to the doctor today, I will probably have blood taken, He will ask me a few questions, maybe some simple tests, pokes, prods, and examinations. He will be doing all of this to determine if more involved testing needs to be done.

God has a similar process, He has given us the list of sins (10 commandments, as well as many others within the old and new testament). When we come to Jesus he looks at his examination of us, against his "x-ray" of the commandments, and determines if we are sick (hint; we are all sick with a deadly disease of sin) the commandments are our x-ray or our blood work, that prove to us we have an ailment. No one can honestly examine themselves against the 10 commandments and say they've never broken one, we all have sinned and we all need to see the Doctor to be cured.

Matthew 9:35 says this "Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness."

Jesus healed every kind of disease and and every kind of sickness. This can be understood in two ways.
1. The people had to come to Jesus and ask for healing, which means they acknowledged their physical sickness and disease. Jesus healed these people based on their faith and in order to show that he had power to heal the real sickness of sin.
2. if you did not think you were sick or if you ignored your disease of sin, then you would not go to Jesus for healing and you would not be able to be cured of your condition.

We must go to Jesus, humbly asking for Him to diagnose us, once we accept the diagnosis, we then can begin healing and treatment. Jesus came to cure the most grave disease of all; sin. He came to cure all of us of this disease and there are only two conditions to getting this cure.
1.Having the disease of sin is required (Romans 3:23 tells us clearly that we ALL suffer from this condition)
2. You must see the Physician in order to be tested, diagnosed, and finally cured.

Will you come to Jesus today and let Him examine you against His x-ray of the Bible? Will you accept His diagnosis of the deadly disease of sin? He is waiting patiently with the cure ready to give to all who seek it.

Don't ignore the cancer growing inside of you, spiritual death is much slower and less noticeable than physical death and it is also much more dangerous and much more permanent!!

Let Him heal you today......

God Bless!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

30 Day Fat Destruction Mission Pt. 2

The 30 day fat destruction mission was put on a temporary pause due to some injured ribs, due to a moshing related accident. I have a doctors appointment on Saturday and once I'm cleared by the doc, I will be resuming, or actually restarting my mission, all the stuff in the first blog still applies but only this has been moved back, and I've been eating like crap lately so it will probably need a little more destruction than it would have a few weeks ago.

This if life. I love every minute of it :)

and I love you for no reason but because of who you are!!

Did God change sin, or the sinner?

I want to address something that has been on my heart for a while and I feel needs to be released. I hope that it is helpful to anyone who reads it. So many people today believe that sin is the status quo for everyone, christian and non-christian alike. These are the people who quickly yell out verses like "he who is without sin" and "judge not". Typically they don't know any other verses of the Bible and they hold on to these two because it allows for their "grandpa god" viewpoint to stay in it's lazy boy recliner, high up on a cloud, letting everyone live as they please as long as they "learn from the experience".

I'm not the first person, and I pray I'm not the last to say that this is NOT a biblical view of sin, or the christian lifestyle. Someone told me once, I make God seem scary, to which I replied.... "No, the Bible makes God seem scary" We've forgotten how terrible of a thing sin is and we've ignored the warnings of God's wrath against it. The same God who rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, who destroyed all traces of life in a global flood, sparing only 8 people, who killed all of Egypt's firstborn sons, who sent the Jewish nation to destroy idolatrous and evil people....yes these are scary things and they should be, fear of God is healthy to your relationship to Him, I believe a very good book even says this "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom."

So here is my issue. Lots and lots of Christians, using the term loosely, consider anyone who speaks against sin a "legalist". My issue with this is that when using it this way, they are accusing God of being legalistic. I hardly am prepared to go there......so what we need to do is fond out that when someone becomes a christian, does that change God's view of sin or does God change the sinner? I believe firmly that it will take no time at all to show clearly which of these two options is right.

Romans 6:23 clearly states this "The wages of sin is death". All of us throughout our lives earn "spiritual wages", the unfortunate thing is these wages cannot pay bills nor buy clothes, because our works are tainted and our sin only earns us death. This is not a paycheck but rather a invoice. Ezekiel tells us that "the soul that sins, it will die". There is only one verse in the entire bible that states that the wages of sin are not death.... here it is:

And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die.” ( Gen. 3:4)

The one verse that says sin doesn't lead to death is spoken by none other than Satan.....so I think we are clear on what the wages of sin are.

So our only option is to understand that God changes the sinner, and not his view on sin, how do we know that? Well a quick glance at a few verses from the New Testament will clear it up in a jiffy. (please refer to your bible for the full verses, below is merely for reference. or this would be a 10 page blog, which I would never read and wouldn't expect anyone else to either :) )

Awake to righteousness, and sin not 1 Cor. 15:34

Little children, sin not 1 John 2:1

Shall we continue in sin? Romans 6:1, 2

Go, sin no more John 5:14; 1 John 8:11

He that committeth sin is of the Devil 1 John 3:8

Whosoever is born of God doth not sin 1 John 5:18; 3:9

Jesus came to save from sin Matt. 1:21

Let not sin reign in your bodies Romans 6:12

Sin shall not reign Romans 6:14

A pure heart, a clean life Matt. 15:8

Pure heart, pure thoughts Mark 7:21, 22

Cleanse hands, purify hearts James 4:8

Cleanse filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness 2 Cor. 7:1

The blood of Christ purges Heb. 9:14

Put off the old man Eph. 4:20-24

Crucify the old man Romans 6:6

I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20


The above are merely a few verses which touch on the topic of sin ALWAYS leading to death, spiritual death and separation from God.

So now comes all the arguments, that "you're saved by faith" "you're saved by grace" with which I agree 100%, you are initially saved by faith and you continue to be saved by faith, works NEVER EARN, or HELP KEEP your salvation, however WORKS are a NON-NEGOTIABLE side effect of salvation. You will not sin BECAUSE you are saved NOT in order to be saved.

God doesn't change, EVER, for anything or anyone, the moment God changes his attributes He is no longer God. God CANNOT, sin and CANNOT allow sin to go unpunished. Thanks and endless praise be to God for the substitution of Jesus' sacrifice for our well deserved eternal punishment. Is God scary? only if you don't know Jesus!!!

The gospel which excludes VICTORY over sin, is "another gospel" which the apostles did not preach! Without victory over sin, we are left saying that God somehow makes our sins different than other people's sins, this is ridiculous, illogical, and goes against God's very nature.

Understand that God has saved you FROM sin, not to sin!!! Faith in Jesus means that you love Jesus, that you will do anything for Him, an love so strong that it surpasses that of love for a mother or father. Jesus says this in John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." To me that is plain as day, you cannot "exegete" your way around the clear and precise words of our savior, in order to get to a gospel which allows for sin, you must twist Paul's words, but you cannot twist the words of Jesus, He left no room for that.

The question is not whether God loves you, the question is do you love God? If you answer yes, you should be meeting the criteria Jesus laid out for those who love Him.

For more information on this indescribably important topic please go here: http://www.eternalsecurity.us/a_theology_of_sin.htm

I wish nothing but God's grace on all of us, we are in desperate need......

"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, IF you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:1-2


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do moments of depression make you a non -believer?

Every now and then I will get depressed, more often now a days since some things happened that really got in the way of "my plan" for my life. Lots of people will tell you that depression or being sad is contrary to the faith, and I would agree if depression or sadness are the rule in your life rather than the exception.

To say however that true believers never get depressed is not only naive, but is also ignorant of scripture. I want to look at anexample of depression in a man that was most definitely a believer in the true God. This isn't to show that depression is ok but to show that it is real and that believers are not immune to it's grasp.

The story that sticks out in my mind almost always when pondering the issue of depression is that of Elijah.

So if you're not familiar with Elijah here is his story in a very small nutshell. Elijah was a prophet from God, who is credited with delivering many important messages and doing many miracles to prove his prophethood. There is no question that this was a man of God, who even was taken to heaven in a flaming chariot, without seeing death. Anyway, Elijah meets on a mountain with about 800 prophets of Ba'al and Asherah. Basically we had a showdown between Elijah, representing YHWH and the prophets representing Ba'al. The contest was to decide whose god was the real deal, the task; to send fire from heaven onto an alter and consume a sacrifice of two oxen.

So 8o0 dudes are chanting, dancing, cutting themselves, anything that they thought would bring an answer from Ba'al, but there was no answer. After a little trash talking Elijah instructs for the oxen and alter to be doused in water, not once but three times! ELijah says a prayer, and as sure as can be, fire comes down from the sky and totally obliterates the entire alter and sacrifice!! Elijah then has all of Ba'al's prophets killed. So basicaly Elijah is the baddest dude on earth right now, he has proven that God is on his side, and had a ton of dudes killed for standing against that God. I mean i wouldn't have messed with dude, that's all I'm saying.

So the amazing part of this story is that Elijah gets a message from Jezebel, King Ahab's dirty, idolatrous "wife" that says basically "you gonna die by tomorrow".

SO Elijah marches into the palace walks up to Jezebel and calls down fire again to consume here where she stands........

Actually, that's not what happens, it makes sense considering the events that had just taken place, but that doesn't happen. Instead Elijah " was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”

Elijah RAN FOR HIS LIFE, I mean seriously? This guy just killed 800 dudes and requested God send fire, and God actually did it!!!! This is the most intimidating man in the Bible at this point and all because of a threat from Jezebel, he is under a Juniper tree, crying and asking God to kill him.

I think we see the reason for Elijah's depression in the following passages. Elijah says to God "“I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Elijah saw that He lived for the Lord, he went hard for God's will and did everything he was asked. Elijah stood against all of his enemies with no fear, and witnessed a great triumph. Elijah's mistake was that he thought that victory would be the end, he didn't expect to have to keep fighting, he didn't understand how everyone didn't rebel and overthrow Jezebel right that second. He didn't know that evil would continue to rebel and now threaten his life once again. He thought his job was to accomplish the total victory that God will have in the end, he says "I'm no better than my fathers" meaning I've failed where they failed in not completely exterminating wickedness.

God reminds Elijah, that HE is the one who will decide when victory comes, HE will complete the destruction of evil, but HE is also going to remain faithful to his promise to save a remnant of people through faith, He tells Elijah that people will be spared and the fight against evil will continue, in order to offer salvation to all men that have yet to come.

This story could not be any more similar to my own right now. Besides the fire, killing mass dudes, and miracles part :)

I've reached a point where I lived zealously, and did what I felt God was asking me to do, and then life happened and I'm still here, still having to fight temptation, evil, injustice, and my own fear, doubt, selfishness, and all my other flaws that become increasingly apparent.

I need to understand that the fight is until GOD says it's over, and my job is not to eliminate all evil, but to eliminate the evil in me, to eliminate the sin in my life that breeds from unbelief and disobedience. I cannot win a victory and think that is the last that needs to be won, I need to win every victory God gives me, be thankful and then prepare for the next battle. Depression is something that happens to people, we cannot avoid it, we cannot predict it, it may come immediately following the biggest victories of our lives. The depression is a reminder that we alone cannot win the war, that we alone cannot complete the victory, and that we alone are not God and do not know how long this fight must go on. Depression can keep us humble and make us dependent on God.

The key is to do what Elijah did when overcome with depression. TAKE IT TO GOD!!! go to God in prayer in humility and in desperation asking Him to show you His will and like He always does, He will answer. Maybe with something He's already said, maybe with something you haven't heard before. Your job is to listen, obey, and continue fighting until you have no life left in you.

The point is that if you are fighting for God, you may not win, but you will be on the winning side.....



P.S. - - - Read the rest of the story to find out what happened to Jezebel, Elijah, and Abraham. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who couldn't love a guy like you...

The funny thing is the above question was actually asked to me by a good friend, He and I were talking about my divorce and how things kind of went down hill and my wife fell out of love with me. I'm certain that I played more than a passive role in why she did, but that is not the focus of this blog. My buddy said to me, "who couldn't love a guy like you?" and my first response was, "Damn right! who in their right mind could NOT love me?" He was making a very good point in my mind.

Reality, obviously initiated by the Holy Spirit himself, set in almost immediately. The sheer expedience made for a chuckle but that chuckle was followed by a deep conviction, to remind myself just how UN-lovable I really am.

I'm a selfish person, I'm needy, can be controlling, selfish, arrogant, a know it all....did i mention selfish? Anyway, these are all traits that i notice in myself regularly, and I'm my biggest fan so what in the world do I look like to other people?

Well I know what I look like to God, the Bible is very clear about that. (at least what I looked like before Christ came into my life)

The obvious one is in Romans 3:23 where I find out that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" Isaiah tells me that my "good deeds" are actually equivalent to a menstrual cloth... and James says it clearly that " friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4

So apparently I am NO WHERE NEAR as lovable as I thought.....or as my buddy thought.....we are disobedient servants, bratty children who demand what is not ours, we are all enemies of God who is perfect and has provided for us all things good and pure, we take it look at it and demand more, I'm among the worst of his hateful children and when being honest with myself, lovable is not even in my top 100 adjectives I would use to describe myself. When viewed against the character of God, against the example of Jesus, or against the x-ray of His holy word it becomes apparent that I'm sick, I'm troubled, I've got a real problem, a disease called; Hardtolovealis jerkitis, there is only one known cure.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

God loves the unlovable, He sacrifices for those who are fighting against Him, He saves His enemies!!! This is utterly mind boggling. The most detestable person I know, myself, put Christ, the most lovable, amazing man ever on a cross because of my sin, my pride, my selfishness, I nailed Him there and watched Him suffer. And what did He do? Did he cry for justice? No. Did he curse my name and ensure that I would be punished? No. Did he point out how terrible I am for putting him there? No. what did he do? He stayed there.....

"ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

Jesus cried this out..... the most lovable, loving, sacrificial Savior cried out to His Father, why have you forsaken me? Don't you love me? Am I unlovable?

The unfortunate answer is yes, at that moment Jesus was unlovable but not because of anything He did, but because of our sin!!!! He took all of our unlovable-ness and drenched himself in it, covered in our filth he faced His Father only to be turned away from in His most vulnerable moment....

So who couldn't love me? the answer to that question is a trick.....because the real question is "Who COULD?"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30 Day Fat Destruction Mission

Tomorrow, Monday July 11, I will be embarking on a 30 day routine of a calories restricted/increasing intensity workout plan. I'm hoping to drop about 15-20 pounds in a month, I know that is ambitious but I'm wanting to push my mind, body, and spirit to the limit. I believe there may be something biblical in this adventure, and while it is partly for cosmetic reasons, I also believe that I can learn something valuable from the process.

Something interesting is said to us by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:27

"but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."

There is something spiritual about bodily sacrifice and discipline, often times we we separate our bodies from our spirits, it can be traced back to a Greek mindset of the body being a trap or constraint for the soul, something to be released. But when we look at the Bible this couldn't be farther from the truth. Soul and Body are constantly united throughout scripture as what makes up the whole person. So in order to truly be the example of Christ we are to be, we must care for our bodies and souls alike, we must make the effort to grow physically as well as spiritually, so they we ourselves "will not be disqualified".

With all that being said I'm hoping to achieve the physical goals I've set before me, but as well as the spiritual goals set forth through scripture. To be as Paul and discipline my body and make it my slave. To overcome those fleshly desires that begin so subtly as desire to over eat or to be idle on such a beautiful day, but ends up in abuse of the greatest gift God gave me, life and the ability to live it out for His glory.

It's definitely going to be hard work and there will be some sacrifice and maybe even suffering involved in my adventure, I will do all that I can to hold on to these words as I test my will, and my body during the next month. Prayers are of course, greatly appreciated.

"we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. " Romans 5:3-6

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Fresh Start

Welcome! I guess this is as good a place to start as any. Recently I've gone through a lot of changes in my life, I was married, now divorced; walked away from the Lord for a short time, now I'm back with Him. I have been up and down on one of the most far reaching emotional roller coasters I've ever been on.

One question was constantly on my mind.......What now?

I believe that there are lots of times in our lives where we need to realign and refocus our attention. Where we need to redetermine where we are with our beliefs and convictions. A fresh start is what comes to mind, and definitely what I needed after being on this spiritual voyage that has shown me the depths I was once rescued out of, are not that far away....

I believe there is something biblical about fresh starts and that, rededicating, and refocusing are things which we are constantly needing to do in order to make sure we are aligned with God's will.

I think back to my conversion to Christianity, it was a request, a cry out to God for a fresh start.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

So becoming a Christian is exactly this, a fresh start, a new beginning, a death of a sinner and birth of a saint. This is the first step into eternity with God is a fresh start, as a new creature. God is all about redemption; He advises it, He commands it, He came and died for it! There are so many stories from front to back of the Bible about humans, failing, falling, sinning and then being restored, being renewed, and getting a fresh start at continuing in righteousness.

Holiness is not a batting average, God does not judge based on percentage, you are either acting righteously or not, there is no 50% or 80% or 10% holiness it is all or none, and it is measured in moments. While we all stumble and walk away from God and will continually need to refresh and renew our faith, God remains faithful and ready to offer that clean slate, ready to erase the board and give us the marker to begin a new picture.

Paul tells us "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." This is a clear implication that refreshing and renewing our mind and faith is a continuing process that must be evaluated and re-evaluated and constantly checked against the litmus test that is God's word and example in Jesus.

I think we can all meditate on David's words, no doubt, cried out to God upon conviction of his sin and walking away from God. Psalm 51: 10-17

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.