So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

8/18/12       Ricardo,    18
Before we can have a personal relationship with Jesus, we must have a personal relationship with our sin! What? It isn't enough for people to know "For all have sinned..." because our God-given conscience makes sure we already know that. No one in their right mind thinks they are perfect. But most people think they are "good enough". They believe there is safety in numbers. "Compared to others, God would say I'm pretty good" - they reason - "at least I have good intentions." But God doesn't compare us to others. His standard of comparison is His law. I used some of the Ten Commandments to make this point to a young man named Ricardo. I was talking with him at a nearby park and we had reached a point in our conversation that let me know he assumes God would judge him to be a good person, so I asked if I could give him a short "good person test". He confidently agreed, so I asked how many lies he has told in his life. He responded "I lie all the time, but sometimes I don't have a choice" I said "I know life can get complicated, but it really is possible to stick to the truth" and gave examples of how wonderful it is to have a reputation for honesty as a result. Then I asked "What do you call someone who lies?" "A liar" he said, though I could tell he didn't like the sound of it. I asked if he thought I was being judgmental, and he didn't because he could see it is just common sense. If he has lied, he is a liar. "Have you ever stolen anything?" He had, agreeing he is a thief; and because he uses God's name in vain, he knows he is a blaphemer. God's perfect justice will not overlook these sins and our "good works" won't erase them. I talked about what Jesus taught about murder, that even calling our brother a fool puts us in danger of the punishment of hell; and that Jesus condemned adultery but went on to say that even one who simply looks with lust has committed adultery in his heart. "But we can't control our hormones!" Ricardo said, so I told him "We do have control of our thoughts and actions, we aren't dogs on the street" and gave him advice on how one can be disciplined not to entertain lustful thoughts. In the end I gave Ricardo a hard truth: "By your own admission you are a thief, a liar, a blasphemer and a murderer and adulterer at heart, and you will have to face God on judgment day. Will He say you are guilty or innocent of breaking His law?" Ricardo agreed that he was guilty, so I went on to describe this life as our chance to "settle out of court" with God and how that is possible through faith in Jesus. After all this, however, Ricardo claimed that he didn't care. Right now he would rather ignore God's law and his own guilt in breaking it. But God's timing is best, and focusing on and personalizing those sins that people commit regularly will help allow the law to do what it was intended - to lead them to Christ that they might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)

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