Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting to the Root of the Problem

If you have ever had to pick weeds, you know the importance of removing the weed with the root.  Not doing so is just vain work, as the weed will quickly grow back.  I am currently preaching though the book of Matthew, and I am in the middle of a three part sermon I called, “Getting to the Root of the Problem”.  The text is from Matthew 5:17-34.  In this section of verses you will find Jesus stating something like, “…It was said of them of old….”, and he then goes on to quote something from the law.  He then shows how the law was misinterpreted or used in an improper manner.  In the Sermon on the Mount, of which Matthew 5 is a part, Jesus was dealing with the Pharisees of his day.  The Pharisees, for the most part, only worried about outward actions and tradition, but cared little for areas of the heart.  They never got to the root of the problem!

I think we see the same problem in our day.  We concentrate on the outward but rarely get to the root of our sin problem.  As a result of this, our Christian life becomes a roller coaster going up and down, faster, slower, and still returning to the same place you started!  We need to get the root out or our sin will quickly return.  In our text, Jesus deals with what I call “root” sins.  Sins of the heart, i.e. anger, lust, lack of commitment, deceit.  All of these sins are “root” sins and lead to other sins.  Many times we concentrate our efforts on the “other sins”, which are simply manifestation of the root sins.  If we eliminate the root sin, the other sins which stem from them will die off. 

For some a root sin is unrighteous anger.  Jesus dealt with that sin first in our text.  We see how it leads to murder and other sins.  Jesus demonstrates how it affects our prayer life, walk with God; how it affects our relationship with others and our community.  If we get the root problem out, anger, it takes care of so many other problems in our life.  Anger will destroy your marriage, your walk with God, your relationship with your family and your co-workers. 

For some a root sin is lust.  Lust is another sin which leads to many other sins.  Lust leads to adultery, fornication, stealing, etc…  If you remove lust, adultery will not be a concern, neither will many other sins such as living for money, new houses, new cars, etc…  Stealing will not be a problem.  One horrible effect of this sin is it will cause the Word of God to be of no affect in your life (Mark 4:19).  The lust “of other things”, is what will consume you, and God will not consume you!  Is it any wonder the preaching does nothing for you, when all week long you lust to have things of this world, and then try jump to the Spiritual for one hour a week!  May we desire God and Him alone!  All else is vanity!

My point is, if you are struggling with your walk with God perhaps it is a “root” sin.  Maybe you have cleaned up the outside, but the root is still there.  If the root is not removed, the weed will grow right back! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Back in Papua New Guinea!

We are back in Papua New Guinea!  Although, there are only four of us now instead of seven.  My three oldest are all in the States attending Fairhaven Baptist College. We miss those three very much.  Well, I already have several stories I could tell and we have only been here a few days!  We have seen the Lord watching over us on our travels, and help us through our adjusting again to the field.
For this first post, I will go with a lizard story.  We have been very busy and have faced several battles since we have been back.  On our first morning back, Sunday morning, as we prepared to leave for church, Levi noticed our vehicle had a flat tire.  I am not back two days and I have my first flat tire!  We also have a short somewhere in our wiring in the house.  We currently have no ceiling fans working, the majority of lights are out due to the short and the fridge is fried!  Welcome back!
On our second night here, we all fell asleep very quickly.  We have been working hard all day long to get things back in order.  I woke up shortly before 6:00am.  Mariann was still sleeping and as I sat up and looked at her, I noticed she had a tattoo of a Lizard on her arm!!!  I was pretty confident she could not have snuck out that night and went to a tattoo parlor, so I decided to take a closer look.  As I looked  closer, I am still thinking, yep that is a tattoo of a lizard!  Mariann woke up and noticed me starring at her arm.  She looked at arm and freaked out, and then the “tattoo” fell off!  Only it was not a tattoo, it was a real lizard! Mariann had laid on the gecko and squished it, and the lizard became one with her arm!  It was in a perfect “S” format.  The poor thing suffocated to death!  I certainly hope that gecko had life insurance!