Friday, August 03, 2012

Breaking Free!
Mankind has a universal problem. It all began in the Garden of Eden when the first man and woman sinned. Today, we don’t like that word “sin”. We refer to it in abstract terms. We call it a ‘mistake’, or an ‘error in judgment’.  But the Bible calls it SIN.  In the Bible, we learn that sin was violating any of God’s laws. So as a result we think of the ten commandments. But sin is really more than that. Paul teaches us in Romans 3:20, when he says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."  Jesus came because the rule of Law was insufficient. Today, through our understanding of the law, we become more aware of sin in our lives. When preachers fail to preach the Word, the Law of God, society walks in ignorance of what is right and what is wrong. It is like a parent who never tells their developing child “no.” They tolerate misbehaving, overlook mistakes, and distract them from problems, instead of telling them outright, “NO.” That child fails to learn the boundaries.  We tend to look the other way, and those who sin, often have to discover the hard way that there are consequences for sin.
Consequences of Sin
There are numerous consequences of sin in our lives. If we fail to deal with the sin God’s way, through genuine repentance, we will pay the price.
Sin puts a gap between us and God. Isaiah 59: 1-2. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."
Sin makes you sick. Our bodies react to sin. Our bodies react very definitely to what our conscience condemns. Stress through fear, anger, resentment, or anxiety' produces a slow breakdown of our bodies. Disregarding the temple of God and treating it carelessly will also result in sickness. “Believing prayer will save the sick man; the Lord will restore him and any sins that he has committed will be forgiven. You should get into the habit of admitting your sins to each other, and praying for each other, so that if sickness comes to you, you may be healed. Tremendous power is made available through a good man’s earnest prayer.” James 5:15-16
Sin can kill you. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 AV)
None of us are exempt from the sin problem. We all need repentance. Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Sin puts us into bondage while repentance sets us free. (John 8:34-36) Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin..... "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
The world around us who do not know forgiveness are bound just as a slave is bound to his master. He has no rights of his own. He does what he is told whether he likes it or not. Satan is a tough taskmaster. We must remember that his sole purpose is to come against what God desires. The Word of God tells us that Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. But God is there to bring life in abundance. John 10:10 Sin when unconfronted, unacknowledged, unconfessed, and unrepented, will bring depression, sorrow, and pain. Confession and reconciliation brings relief, happiness, joy, and peace (Prov. 3:1, 2, 8, 16; 4:20-22; 1 Pet. 3:10-12). Charles Spurgeon once said, “a mind enslaved by sin builds its own dungeon, forges its own fetters, and rivets on its own chains.There is nothing that you or I can do to break those chains of sin. Each person must come to God for himself, seeking forgiveness and freedom from the chains. The Christian’s responsibility is to point the way to freedom.
It is unfortunate that today, the word “sin” is rarely spoken. Yet when one reads the Bible, and Romans in particular, sin is not only mentioned, but is taught that it is man’s chief problem.  It is because of sin that men and women divorce. It is because of sin that homosexuality exists. It is because of sin that the church of Jesus Christ is filled with compromise. Sin produces a harvest of greed, selfishness, lust, perversion, abuse, and anger. Why do so many marriages fail today? It is because of failure to acknowledge sin. Instead they count on feelings, and when the feelings go, the marriage ends. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that husbands and wives are to love each other. But they say, “We can’t do that”. Then you are to at least love your neighbor...but they struggle loving each other even as a neighbor. Yet the scripture still goes a step further and tell us we are to love our enemies. Refusal to bring our lives into line with the scriptures is sin—disobedience—rebellion.
Are you bound by cords of sin? You can be set free! There is no sin that He can not forgive. Sin may have destroyed your home, your relationships, your past, and left you with nothing but ruins. There is nothing that can stop you from choosing to repent and allowing God to change your heart and make you into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Let the Word of God bring freedom into your heart today.
When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's cross. Col 2:14 The Message
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. James 4:7-10
  J. Johnson
Praise reports and prayer requests…..
Pray for revival!  Pray for those whose lives are filled with arrogance, struggling with forgiveness,  anger and doubt.
Pray for the Johnsons as they seek a new place of full time ministry...a church that needs loving  leadership. Pray as they interim pastor in Wisconsin churches. Pray for grieving families who have lost loved ones (Aurora Colorado families). Pray for Evangelists, Missionaries, and Teachers. . Pray for US Army Chaplain Steve Maglio. Pray for the God Mobile in the county fairs!
Pray for those needing a healing touch in their bodies: J. Berens (cancer) Rosemary (chemo treatments) Joyce Johnson (healing her muscles and feet —neuropathy and second round of chemo) Praise the Lord, Joyce’s tumor is gone! Pray for those who are in a famine of the Word of God. Pray for the nation, for the President, for our service men and women, for Israel, for Christians in Muslim countries, for the unsaved,  and don’t forget to Praise and thank the Lord! 
Dear friends,
Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s future for our lives. Praise the Lord! We are so thankful and so appreciate each of you who take the time to pray and write. Your financial gifts are so important and needed. Even though the tumor is gone, we continue to face many added bills from the treatments for Joyce’s cancer. Your cards and notes are so encouraging. God bless you all! God is faithful and we anticipate great things in the future……Serving the Master!  David and & Joyce Johnson
Update…..Joyce is getting stronger each day. We rejoice in the Lords touch. She is having a second round of chemo to treat two lymph nodes and to clean up any remaining unseen cancer cells. Join with her in faith and prayer for complete victory! God is able!