Yesterday I wrote a micro post about the need to continually be open to sin being unearthed and asking for forgiveness. Today, let’s look at how to move forward when sin is revealed.
Peter gives us hearty advice and encouragement on throwing the weight of sin overboard. Here are four simple steps you can take now (based on Acts 2:22-47):
ONE: RECEIVE GOD’S TRUTH
Ever have something caught between your teeth? The other day this happened, then my niece said, “You have a little something…” we all know how this ends, a hand gesture and mumbling of sounds that lead us to the culprit.
Are you doing that with God’s truth? Are you listening closely when reading through verses and the Holy Spirit is mumbling to you, “Um, you need to get that little thing over there…” If you’re reading scripture, this is going to happen, and often. This is a good thing.
How can you grow close to someone when you won’t listen? Americans have so much pride and want to save face it keeps them from growing a closer relationship with God.
Will you pray before reading that you would have the humility to receive God’s truths?
If you haven’t ever acknowledged your sin before God and received Him as your Savior, I hope you’ll take a moment to read HERE, where I explain how deeply loved you are; how much God wants a relationship with YOU.
TWO: BE BAPTIZED
If you’ve never been baptized, please consider why you have waited. Believers are baptized for a few reasons, denominations have some variances on the practice, but ultimately, it comes down to:
Following in Christ’s steps
An individual identifying with Jesus. Think on this for a moment. If you were a follower of Jesus when He was alive, there was a cost, a stigma attached. When people chose Jesus, it was a conscious deliberate and costly decision.
Are you willing to choose to serve God in the break room? At they gym when illicit content is broadcasted on the television units? Are you unashamed when your child professes your beliefs in childlike ways in mixed company? (This has been a spotlight on areas I’m walking the fence!!!! Praise God for redemption through kids!)
Don’t walk fence, decide today who you’re going to serve and do it wholeheartedly. When you make this choice for God, GET BAPTIZED!
THREE: CONTINUE TO GROW AND DEVELOP OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:
Get involved. As I was saying yesterday, don’t simply receive salvation and morph into a cultural Christian (that would be a great book, right!). God made you different from anyone else and you will thrive when you walk in stride with God! Make it a point to be part of a bible study. As nerdy as that sounds, it can take many different shapes! Years ago I was so scared of messing up, I began on “off-grid” group. I identified a deep need as a new mom of connecting with other moms. A group formed and we met weekly, supporting each other through prayer and practical help as life happened. Praise God, and despite me, this group continues to meet the needs of women.
If God is leading you, if He is revealing a need in your heart, it’s likely not just you. Prayerfully consider asking a few people to pursue God with you. Again, sounds way more formal put like that, but find people to live life with, believers who may have different interests and personalities than you, but the love of God unites us all! A
Being with people who are different and don’t mirror my views on the minutia of theology are significant in my life. We need each other; we need to be open to discussion because we usually don’t have it all figured out on our own. Thank God for the details person, for the literal interpreter and the inspired follower. Dear Lord, you knew we needed every one of us! Step out of your comfort zone, invite believers different from you and be amazed at what God does!
FOUR: SHINE LIKE THE STARS!
I wear sunglasses CONSTANTLY. I claim my eyes are “sensitive” (they are), but I’ve also coddled them so the sun is too much to bear. The world is so buried under the weight of sin, so hopeless that a Christian will shine like the sun (actually a quite small star). Are you that Christian?
For the sake of our Savior who was willing to tortuously die on the cross for your sin and mine, for the lost, we must be courageous.
Tucking my son in bed he mentioned the county clerk unwilling to sign her name to same-sex marriage licenses. He spoke truth to me, “Mom, even if it means going to jail forever, we must follow God.” I hope he knows that truth deep in his heart and while I pray he would never face this, I pray he is strong enough to follow Christ no matter what. In this conversation we spoke of the influence, the gigantic reach of ONE courageous person.
When ONE is willing to stand, others find strength to do the same. Will you be the one? Will you shine where God has you geographically, relationally, occupationally? What could God do through your courage?
Be brilliant! Be bright! It may be obnoxious to some, but shine for God, this desperate world needs you to shine! Yes, the world desperately needs you to shine God’s loving truth like a spotlight!