Sunday, January 8, 2012

Teen-Agers and Texting

A couple days ago my daughter bought an IPhone. She asked me later that night if I would help her sync up all her songs from her iPod to her iPhone. Apparently she got tired of standing over my shoulder as I set up the account, etc.; so she went upstairs. As I was finalizing the sync a friend of hers texted her and used profanity. The next day I told her I seen the text and asked if that was the kind of language her friends typically used. She said most high school kids talk like that. I asked if she did, to which she said; "no".

Now, I am not completely stupid. I understand that kids can get pretty profane. In my case, I was very profane. Growing up I swore continually and my mom didn't seem to care; as a matter of fact, the only word that seemed to bother her was the "f" word. I tried to reserve the "f" word for my buddies as to not receive a dirty look from mom for using the word in front of her.

I am not completely na├»ve when it comes to the language of teen-agers, however; my daughter received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior 2 years ago and she needs to know that she is called to walk in a manner worthy of her calling. I am not saying she uses this language, but I wanted to compile some Scripture to show that all those that consider themselves Christians need to repent of the works of the flesh, profanity included.  We can walk in one of two ways, in the flesh or in the Spirit. We will either see the works of the flesh continue in our lives, which indicates that we are not born again; or, we will see the fruit of the Spirit manifest itself in our life, indicating that we are born again and we are being sanctified.

Clearly, Jesus calls all men, everywhere, to repent of the works of the flesh:

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

Before we continue, let's look at the definition of repent; after all, there is much confusion about this. When I was young I thought repentance just meant saying you’re sorry; which will help to explain why I lived, what I call, a sin-sorry-sin-sorry-sin-sorry life.

REPENT', v.i. [L. re and paeniteo, from paena, pain.]
1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.

2. To express sorrow for something past.

Repentance has also been defined as "turning away". I have also heard it said that repentance is turning away from your sin and turning to God.

Putting all this together, we can clearly conclude that to repent is to have sorrow and regret over your sin because you have hurt and offended your Heavenly Father; therefore, you are genuinely brokenhearted because of your sin and have a desire to confess and forsake your sin. Such a brokenness in your heart that you do not want to experience it again.  The desire to continue in the sin is over taken by a desire to walk in a manner worthy of your calling, and please God.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

So, back to the original thought; someone could logically ask, is swearing that big of a deal, after all, everyone does it. That would be a typical response from "the world" and the answer is, "no, everyone doesn't do it, and yes, God does consider it a big deal”...take a look:

Colossians 3:5-10 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Galatians 5:16-21 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul gives us a very clear list in both Colossians and Galatians what the works of the flesh are. If we consider ourselves Christians, and truly consider ourselves born again, these works of the flesh should be disappearing from our everyday life. After all, the Holy Spirit will not allow us to rest if we belong to God and we are practicing these things. The Lord prunes out the garbage and chastens those He loves. If you do not see this “pruning”, “chastening”, and “conviction” you should be concerned.

A commitment on your part to “walk in a manner worthy of your calling” is evidence of your willingness to take up your cross.

Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

Choosing to live for this world instead of living for Christ amounts to the same thing as denying Christ before men and Jesus had strong words to say about this:

Matthew 10:33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

When we would rather live for the world instead of living for Jesus, many times it is because we fear the reaction people will have if we become, what the world calls, “Jesus freaks”. In many parts of the world it is more severe than the getting a negative reaction from friends; in many countries standing for Jesus will cost you your life. Whether it is because of ridicule or death, Jesus has strong words to say to those that let this fear over take them:

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Yes, Matthew 10:28 are the Words of Jesus, and He is the One that can destroy both soul and body in hell. This reality can give us great anxiety, or great excitement depending on whether we are included in the group Jesus is talking about in verse 32 below:

Matthew 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.

Many people have the world view that we should not “rock the boat”, and that we should “just all get along”. Jesus made it clear that His message was, and is, radical and the world will hate you for receiving it, sharing it, and preaching it.

Matthew 10:34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

DO NOT MISS THIS PART! If you have read up to this point and recognize that one or more of the works of the flesh are a part of your everyday life and are concerned as to whether you are right with God; there is GREAT NEWS. Jesus wants to set you free. Whether you are burdened with addiction, anger, bitterness, religion, or anything else….Jesus wants to set you free. He wants to set you free from the lusts of the flesh, but infinitely more amazing, He wants to set you free from the law of sin and death. Without redemption in the Blood of Christ our sin will condemn us forever on the Day of Judgment; on the other hand, when we do receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He sets us free from sin and death. When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! You are accredited with His Righteousness and you will be blameless on the Day of Judgment.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 6:15-23  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 19:13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous(willful) sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Praise God if you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you want to belong to Christ, but in truth have not truly repented, you should know this. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for sure, but look who else Jesus rebukes, and why:

Matthew 11:20-22 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

Jesus did all the miracles, primarily, to demonstrate who He is; yet many people loved their sin too much to repent. Clearly the people He is speaking of in verses 20-22 seen the miracles, heard the message and still refused to repent.

To all the unrepentant then and now, Jesus says “come.” To all those burdened with sin and the lust of the flesh, Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” To all those laden with the guilt of their past, Jesus says, “I’ll give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

If you will come to Him, the wickedness of the flesh will be replaced with the fruit of the Spirit; you will be a new creation in Christ!

Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

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