Repent, Restore, Repeat

Repent, Restore, Repeat

by: Brian C. Collins

Romans 6


“But God watches over us for spiritual growth and maturity, trying to teach us the necessity for fully trusting Him and coming to the place of complete distrust of ourselves.” A.W. Tozer

As a Christian I can tell you, as most other Christians know, living the Christian life is not easy and filled with endless joyful celebration and financial prosperity. However, it also is not filled with despair and hopelessness. Actually, one thing we can always have as a Christian is hope and the peace of God. Few Christians experience the “peace of God that passes all understanding”, simply because they do not exercise the same faith they used to except Christ as their personal savior. Spiritual maturity, as referred to above by A.W. Tozer, once achieved opens ones eyes to the possibilities through Christ and obedience to His Word.

My thoughts today center around sin in our Christian lives. It is impossible to live life as a lost person and as a child of God without sinning. In Romans 7:18 Paul talks about the battle he has with his flesh and even states that, “For I know in me (that is, my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” Paul also wrote in Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

We cannot combat sin, our fleshly desires, supernatural temptation, and earthly media temptation all on our own with our own strength. We also cannot rely only on prayer or just reading our Bibles everyday. Combatting sin and our sinful nature takes diligence and awareness of our surroundings. I Peter 5:8 warns us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” In Job 1:7 When asked by God where he has been, Satan says, “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down it. Verse 8 God ask Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job.

God will not harm us or allow us to tempted beyond what we can handle, 1 Corinthians 10:13. Somehow, I think we forget that God allows us to be tempted by Satan. In 1 Peter 1:7 explains, “That the trial of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth,” Do you understand that? The trial of our faith is more precious than of gold. Not our faith, our faith is very important and it is the only way we can please God and live a successful Christian life; however, this scripture is telling us that the trial of the faith is more valuable then the faith itself.

Now, obviously, I’m not promoting martyrdom, or self punishment as a way to spirituality. I am simply stating that the hardships, temptations we face each day in our lives are there and allowed to be there to help us mature in Christ, to fully rely on God by faith, and keep pressing “towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).

We must seriously seek God in prayer each day for aid in our fight against sin and the flesh, we must memorize scripture that is specific to our individual sinful battle, obey God’s Word, be faithful to church (our church family can strengthen us) and we must take extreme measures to avoid the things that can lead us to stumble and fall back into sin. It is a combination of all those things, not just one or two. We must put on the Whole armor of God (Eph 6:11-18).

I wrote all that to get to this point, we cannot just live by 1 John 1:9, and keep living in sin, and wash, rinse, repeat or as titled above, Repent, Restore, Repeat. This type of flagrant disrespect for Christ sacrifice for our sins will soon backfire on rebellious children of God.

Allocating Jesus to a lowly washroom attendant in a high end hotel or restaurant, where the attendant will assist you in washing your hands fixing your appearance and apply some cologne and then just leave Christ there until you need to tidy up again will not do. The Lord Jesus Christ is not our cleaning slave, we are His bond servants, we owe Him our servitude.

An irreverent attitude like that will soon lead to the Lord allowing our hearts to hardened/callous to God’s Word and our ears def to the message of repentance. All to the point to when we reach the bottom of the pit of sin and finally, sincerely, and truly seek restoration; He will forgive us and cleanse us, and “bring us out of the miry clay, and set our feet upon a rock.” (Psalm 40:2) but the damage will have been done.

Yes, God can and will use us for His good work, and it’s never to late to Repent and turn back to God. There will be regrets, and you will recognize the fact that had you turned to Christ sooner you could have done so much more for Him and your heart will ache with the knowledge that you will not have more time to serve Him. For our lives are but a vapor, short, and our debt to Christ eternal.

Walking in His Ways

Walking in His ways

By Brian C. Collins

2 Chronicles 17:3-6

In my devotions today two themes were emphasized, the first how walking in the ways of the Lord God blessed the kings of Judah that chose to do so verses the tragedy that the wicked kings of Judah and Israel faced when they chose selfish or sinful ways.

The second theme was how as preachers of the gospel of Christ (the Way, the Truth, and the Life); that in order for us to be successful in spreading or telling the Truth we must be close the Holy Sprit. For it is the power of God’s Word and His Spirit that will speak to those we witness to.

It is not our works, our effort, or our words of truth that will break through the noise and distractions of sin and the world, it will be the Holy Spirit that will touch the hearts, stir the mind and weigh down the soul of the lost. Not us but Christ that lives in us.

It is really tough to live a life in this world today that is close and focused on Christ and directed by the leading of His Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, we must make the effort and seek to walk in the ways of the Lord God of Israel, the One True God.

Like the kings of Judah that Chose God’s ways, our ways will be stablished, prosperous in His ways, and blessed of God. We will have the power of the Holy Ghost and God’s Word of Truth and through us He can be glorified and the lost saved.

To see Him working we must be watching, to see souls saved we must share the gospel, and to see Him bless we must – believe.

Hold Fast

Hold Fast!

By Brian C Collins

Hebrews 10:23 

“Once you realize God’s purpose, to get you rightly related to Him and your fellow man, He will tax the last limit of the universe to help you take the right road.” (Oswald Chambers) 

My devotional today covered how as Christians all God wants is to make us pure and spotless.  So we either submit and make the choice to come clean before God and seek His face, or God will put us through the situations we need to go though to come out whiter then snow.

I have made a great effort to get closer to the Lord. Through that effort I have sailed in the right direction; but the waves of life have tossed me around a little. I know the journey ahead will be long and the sea of living for Christ will be a combination of gentle waves, boisterous winds, and plunging depths that will challenge my dedication, drain my inspiration, and strain my relationship with God.

Hold Fast!  Because although God will “tax the last limit of the universe to help us take the right road” the devil wants us to fail, wants us to get discouraged, and wants us to quit on God.  Hold Fast!  Through the difficulties and you will get stronger in the Lord.  Hold Fast! Though the fire, God will stand with you.  Hold Fast!  through the stormy seas, and the God of all creation will whisper – Peace Be Still.  

In the end we will come out cleaner, stronger, humbler, and filled with peace.  Yes, more storms will come and with each storm a new understanding of God.  And a peace that passes all understanding will be in you and with you through all your future journeys.  Hold Fast.   

Seek Your Reflection

Seek Your Refection

Matthew 6

Brian C. Collins

“Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere.” (Oswald Chambers)

It’s hard sometimes to look at your reflection in the mirror because all too often we don’t like what we see.  The same goes for our spiritual reflection.  We will never be satisfied with what we see no matter how much we grow in Christ.  The closer we come to Christ, the more we see our filthiness, the more we see a need for improvement.

At times I avoid looking in the mirror because I don’t want to see my flaws; so I just ignore the mirror and go on my way.  The problem with this is there might be some major issues with my hair, face, or outfit.  All too often we Christians just don’t look into our spiritual refection for the same reason, we don’t want to see our flaws.

Any who know me know I have many flaws, physically and spiritually.  After reading my devotional today, it was clear to me one flaw I have overlooked or perhaps ignored.  The flaw of refusing to grow where I’m at.  The above quote from Bro. Chambers really spoke to me.  It revealed to me to Consider the Lilies of the field, how they grow, they grow where they are.

Let’s not ignore our spiritual reflection.  How, you may ask, do I gaze into my spiritual reflection?  Well, unfortunately, my answer is always going to be the same as to many other spiritual questions.  Through a close relationship with Christ.  Lot’s and lot’s of prayer and much more Bible study.  

While it might be easy to tell you the solution, even I admit its not an easy endeavor to consistently, routinely, and devotedly come before Christ every single day.  There’s always something you’d rather do.  Sleep in instead of getting up for devotions, do a chore, watch TV.  Anything else.

Most times we just get pieces of understanding through hours of seeking but seek we must.  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” 

His Eye Is One The Gosling

His Eye Is On The Gosling

By Brian C Collins

1 Peter 2:2

I drive by the same small pond every day.  This spring when all the birds were returning from migration I witnessed a pair of geese land near the pond.  Eventually, after a day or two, I realized they were making that their home for a while.  I soon learned why, when a couple of young furry little goslings were waddling around mom and dad.

I remember thinking, man!  They weren’t there that long and they already have young goslings.

Driving by for one week and then another and another I had the opportunity to see the young goslings grow up.  Again I was surprised how fast those little ones grew from small furry creatures to large sleek beautiful Canadian geese in no time.  

I started wondering how those family of geese could be used as a teachable example.  The only thing I could think of is how we as Christians just waddle around trying to do what we think are very important things, and hoping to make some kind of big difference.  All the while God is going by watching us as we grow up.

Granted everyone’s life is different growing up as children, but I’m referring to our growth as Christians not children.  Think of mom and dad geese as our church, pastor, and the bread of life.  Growing does take time and to us running around this pond of life it seems to take forever,

Remember God exists outside of time.  To him, watching us grow and serve seams really fast.  Once saved it may be fascinating to God how fast we are growing to be like Him.  Or He may be disappointed that we are not growing at all.

Let us surprise God the next time he looks down at our little pond and show Him how much we can grow.

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