The Danger of Cherished Sin

In Psalm 66:18, the Psalmist says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” What is “cherished sin”? The Psalmist is talking about the love of sin. He is talking about clinging to, reveling in, and rationalizing sin. That’s the kind of sin that hinders answers to our prayers.

1 Corinthians 5 describes the tragedy of an adulterous man among the church of Corinth who had come to cherish his sin. It had become precious to him – so much that it had completely hindered the Lord’s work in his life. His only hope was to be shocked back awake by facing the consequences of his sin.

A cherished sin does not have to be something as seedy as adultery. It can be something much less lurid, even seemingly respectable. Take, for instance, the rich young ruler who met Jesus. He asked the Lord what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, knowing the man’s heart, told him, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). But the young ruler loved money more than God, and his love of money had become a cherished sin – a hindrance to following the Son of God.

So what is the remedy? Repentance. When we ask God to shine His light on our sin and then repent and confess those idols to Him, He promises to cleanse us from all guilt and unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9), restoring full communion with Him.

Are there cherished sins in your life? If your prayers seem to be bouncing off the ceiling, come to Him now and confess, saying in the words of poet William Cowper: “The dearest idol I have known, whatever that idol be, help me to tear it from thy throne and worship only thee.”

Prayer: Lord, help me to face and tear down the idols in my life. I long to worship only You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer” (Psalm 66:18-19).

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This devotional plan comes from Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon entitled What Hinders Answers to Your Prayer.

For more resources and information from Leading The Way, please visit LTW.org.

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KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

 

There is a story in the life of Jesus that has always struck me as odd. Jesus was leaving Jericho and a large crowd began to follow him. In the midst of the commotion two blind men were sitting by the road. “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” they cried out. The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet but they raised their voices even louder. “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. The men responded, “Lord, we want our sight.”

Usually when we read a story like this we are primarily struck by the outcome – it’s no small thing that at the end of that story Jesus gave the two blind men their sight. So the question Jesus asked often goes over looked.

When Jesus asks them “What do you want me to do for you?” he wasn’t asking because he didn’t know, but because he needed them to declare what they wanted God to do on their behalf.

The Psalms tell us that we are to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart. This means we need to know our hearts, we need to know our desires, and we must allow those desires to be informed and then formed by our love and worship of God.

If you don’t know what you want, then God trying to give you what he wants is a wasted effort. You have to want what God wants in order to receive what God wants to give you. There are times in life when it is not within the scope of God’s intention for our life to give us certain things we ask for. But wouldn’t you rather err by asking for too much than too little?

What do you want from God? Is that a question you typically ask yourself? Is there anything you want that you’re afraid to ask for?


Matthew 20:30-33

Psalm 37:4

2 King 4-1-2

Ephesians 3: 20

Psalm 2:8

Source: What hinders answers to your prayer devotional 

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DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU ARE FINISHED

 

The concept of The Last Arrowcame to me when I was reflecting on a story from the life of the prophet Elisha in the Hebrew Scriptures. In this story, Jehoash is the king of Israel in the midst of a massive war, and he seeks the wisdom and counsel of Elisha in how to win against the armies of Judah.

Elisha tells Jehoash to ‘get a bow and some arrows’ and then to ‘take the bow in [his] hands.’ After commanding Jehoash to shoot one of the arrows out of the east-facing window, he declares that Jehoash will have victory in battle. But then Elisha asks him to take the remaining arrows and ‘strike the ground.’

Jehoash strikes the ground three times before he stops and, quite unexpectedly, Elisha grows angry with him. ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’ And that is where the story ends.

Jehoash began with the promise of a complete victory and afterward found himself the recipient of much less. And it all centers around one decision: he struck the ground three times and then stopped. To put it another way, he quit. For Elisha, Jehoash striking the arrow was connected to his ability to receive the full measure of God’s intention for him, and when he quit the victory was lost.

It makes me wonder how many times in my own life I thought I failed, but actually the only thing that happened was that I quit. When you come to the end of your life, will you be able to say, “I gave everything I had,” or will you have a hollow feeling inside of your soul that you quit too soon, that you expected too little, that you did not strike the last arrow? Make the commitment to not stop before you are finished, because you are truly stopping before God is finished.

Are there areas in your life where you too easily give up? Can you identify patterns in your past where you thought you failed when you actually quit? What makes you want to be a person who lives their life fully alive and dies with their quiver empty?


2 Kings 13:14-20


Source : Daily reading by Erwin Raphael Mcmanus

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Poolside Healing

When Jesus asked a paralytic if he wanted to get well, you would think his response would be enthusiastic, but the man made excuses as to why he remained in such a sad condition. His will had become as paralyzed as his body. How often has Jesus reached out to you, only to hear an excuse as to why you never change?

The man had a good excuse. He said, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” All the man could see for 38 years was the impossibility of his condition. He had resigned himself to remain just as he was – unchanged. Have you also given up on the possibility of changing? Ignoring his excuses, Jesus said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

He told the man to do the very thing he had been unable to do; but, in His command was the power to do it! Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For whatever God says to us is full of living power…” It was the power of Jesus’ word that enabled this man to change. He was instantly healed. The Bible says, “He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!”

The word of God has the power to change lives today. But there was a much deeper change needed in this man, though, as there is in your life and mine. The man did not realize until later who it was that had spoken to him and healed him. Jesus had disappeared in the crowd. A while later, Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Stop sinning or something even worse may happen to you.”

This suggests to me that this man’s plight may have been the result of some bad decisions or sin on his part, but there is no record that the man sought forgiveness as had others that Jesus healed. How tragic to be that close to Christ, even experience a miracle, and yet remain unsaved. Miracles don’t produce faith. The greatest change in our lives happens in our hearts. It’s there where we need our greatest healing.

The miracle you need most leads you to what you really need most – a deeper relationship with God. Have you stopped short of experiencing the greatest miracle of all?

Source : Kerry & Chris Shook ( Finding your miracle )

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A Flourishing Finish

Everyone goes through seasons of disappointment or difficulty. We all have unexpected setbacks. Maybe you’re going through something right now that you don’t understand. Here’s the good news: that disappointment is not the final chapter. God never ends in a negative. If you will keep moving forward with your life, God promises that He will bring you to a flourishing finish. Not a defeated finish, a bankrupt finish, a betrayed finish, or a barely-get-by finish. No, in your future, God has a victorious finish.

That setback, disappointment or betrayal that seems like it’s working against you, God knows how to turn it around and cause it to work for you. The key is that when you’re in difficult times, don’t settle where you are. Don’t put your roots down and think that things are never going to change. No, for every setback, God has already lined up a comeback. For every injustice, He has vindication. For every disappointment, He has restoration. Right now, just begin to thank Him for what He’s going to do. Praise Him for His faithfulness. Rejoice today because He has a plan to bring you into a flourishing finish!

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. I choose to cast my cares on You. I choose to trust even when I don’t understand. I choose to believe that You have a good plan and will bring me to a flourishing finish in Jesus’ name! Amen

Source : Joel Osteen

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No More Excuses

Most people struggling to overcome their fears have had an encounter with disappointment so great that every dream they can conceive is contaminated with the toxic anxiety of failure. When your mind becomes cluttered with the possibilities of “what if,” there is no room for faith. Living life prepared for the worst possible outcome is like living in a cage—it’s not freedom. Over time, you will recognize the difference between guarding your heart and restricting it. You’ll learn to stop talking yourself out of the good things God has promised to all who live according to His purpose.

You, my survivor friend, will not settle for a life dictated by insecurities or previous experiences. You have access to power that is capable of working within you to free you from any mental and emotional bondage that has convinced you a better life is not within your grasp. We cannot tap into that power and hang on to excuses at the same time. Your heart, mind, and hands must be free to lay hold of all that is ahead of you.

Shedding excuses is a discipline that must be practiced with our thoughts, communication, and actions. There is only room for language that declares: I will! Growth occurs when we confront our personal experiences and how they’ve changed us. You can create a new pattern and move forward with determination like never before, but you must learn what’s stopped you in the past. If the challenge to heal and become whole has been issued by people other than yourself, then your journey will always require permission before progression.

Don’t allow your destiny to be determined by a democracy. Your immediate circle may not know how to coach you through your heartbreak or, even worse, they may need the company of your misery to distract them from their own need for healing. Avoid the temptation to make your healing contingent on approval and validation from other people.

The bridge from who you once were to who God has ordained you to be is created from bricks of vulnerability, humility as strong as mortar, and a master plan so perfect, even the things that once hurt you will serve in making you better. Your willingness to let go of the excuses and vow to move forward just laid the first brick, but there’s still work to be done.

Psalm 40 1-3

Source : Sarah Jakes Robert devotional

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God Wants You Well

by Kenneth Copeland

“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17

God wants you well! Did you know that? He wants you healthy and strong in every single area of your life.

He wants you to be spiritually strong. Strong in faith. Strong in the Word. Strong in redemption. Strong in the love of God.

He wants you to be well in your mind, to be strong and stable emotionally.

He wants you to have a healthy will, a will that’s aligned with His will.

He wants your body to be well. He wants you free from the bondages of pain, sickness and care. Free from the worries and woes of this earthly life.

Your heavenly Father wants you well!

What’s more, in this day and hour, He needs you well. He needs you living in victory and healing so that you can teach others how to do it too. We’re stepping in to a time when that kind of knowledge is an absolute necessity. There’s no more time for the Body of Christ to limp along, uninformed and unprepared for the devil’s attacks.

In fact, here’s what the Lord has told me:

The further you go, the more dangerous things in the earth will become. People will have to grow in the realities of redemption and the “how-tos” of living by faith in order to live in the great, overcoming way I have planned for them.

Jesus gave Himself in death so that we could be well. He was raised in life, ever making intercession for us nowso that we can be well. And He wants us to be healthy and strong as a witness in these last days to a world that’s filled with terror―a witness of His love, His grace and His power.

Receive Jesus’ healing power in every area of your life. Start applying it by faith right now. Commit yourself to getting well and growing strong in every area of your life today!

Source : Kenneth Copeland Ministries 

Psalm 107

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