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11

As I mentioned the other day, I was in a bit of a funk. This particular funk came about in a period of convergence. I am not talking about some astrological event. I am talking about a much more terrestrial phenomenon. Though it has some similarities as I think about it.

Over the course of the last few months, I have said yes to a few people, while not pruning my existing schedule. All those ‘yeses’ seemed to converge on my calendar, aligning a number of schedule orbits.

When these orbits align themselves like this there is a pretty natural consequence. Pressure builds.

There is a sin that “easily besets me” as the scripture says, a temptation that tiptoes up and knocks on my door from time to time, that I normally can withstand pretty well, but in times of these schedule convergences, my resistance lowers and I buy in to my old friend enemy self-pity.

Now my problem here is that I don’t always see it as the ferocious enemy that it is. It presents itself as a cuddly kitten that clearly needs to be entertained and embraced. It feels like an old friend.

The tricky part about self-pity is that often times the ones who love you allow self-pity, unlike other, less ‘godly’ sins. My wife would never suggest I head down to the strip joint to let off some steam. My brother elders would not tell me to get drunk and forget my problems. But in my clever presentation of self-pity, I can elicit others to fuel my own self-destructive behavior.

The real point I want to make today is that there are sins in our lives, (clearly self-pity is one for me) that we don’t recognize as deadly, and so we allow them to slip into place, and begin their destruction of all that we have built. Once in, they set up house keeping. Paul calls it a stronghold.

We must identify these as sin and begin to hate them. We must go to war with them.

Sin – any sin – leads to death at some level. [Tweet This]

Remember James’ progression?

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. - James 1:14-15

  • Temptation of our own lust
  • Sin is born
  • Death is harvested

These ‘little’ enemies must be destroyed or they will eat our lunches. (and hey – I like lunch)

My self-pity and your _______________  is killing us.

This means WAR!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Let’s mix it up today.

Ben

9

 

The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. - Matthew 12:42

It strikes me this morning that Jesus is a big deal.

I am sitting here, honestly in a bit of a funk, and I hear the voice of my Wonderful Savior whisper sweetly in my ear:

It’s not about you.”

Jesus speaks of a judgment in this scripture that I have not considered before.

We know that every man will stand, on his own before the throne of God and his deeds will be judged – your life reduced to a crazy heap of wood, hay, stubble, gold silver and precious stones, and the Word of the Lord which is like fire (Jeremiah 23:29) will consume all the combustibles and purify (Malachi 3:3) all that remains.

But Jesus speaks of a couple other judgments.

Matthew 25 describes nations or people groups being separated like sheep and goats. Apparently we have a responsibility to be an influence of righteousness in our nation.

But here Jesus speaks of the judgment of a generation.

I have not really thought too much about this before, but Jesus tells us here that the age when He walked the earth would be judged, and those who worshiped Him in the past would testify against them.

How is it with our generation?

Does our age stand in danger of condemnation from the Queen of Sheba? Will Rahab who turned against her own nation and generation and chose Christ, will she stand in judgment against our nation and our generation for making it all about us and not considering it all about Jesus?

I hear the voice of the Lord calling me to re-focus on Him.

Will you turn your eyes upon Jesus today?

Lord, forgive my selfishness, forgive me for making it about me, forgive my self-pity, and help me see Jesus today.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

I’m gonna’ follow Jesus. You coming?

Ben

Press Here to Exit

Yesterday, after I blogged about prosperity, I had a great day. I meditated on the word and everything I put my hand to prospered, just like Psalm 1 promised.

How blessed is the man who does not
walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalms 1:1-3

So I decided to do a little experiment.

Late in the day, I decided that rather than glory in my wonderful Lord and Savior, I would feel sorry for myself. A couple of stupid circumstances that were out of my control, or perhaps I should say were the result of my inaction, got up in my face and said to me:

“Isn’t life unfair?”

Well, I decided to agree with them for a bit –
just as an experiment you understand
in the interest of science
for you, my readers

And I am happy to report back to you that the Bible is exactly correct! (who would have thunk it, eh?)

It was as though these little, stupid (can I say stupid in a G rated blog?) circumstances had a 200 horse power leaf blower and they pointed it right at my day’s prosperity.

All my joy blew out of the room.
All of my motivation seemed to be tumbling toward the door with it.
My productivity, my focus, my drive, my plan all cycloned together and exited, stage left.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalms 1:4-5

To test my theory just a little further, I went to bed with my eyes directly on my own plight – self-pity central.

You won’t believe what happened!

When I woke up I was right there in my funk. Can you believe it? A good night sleep didn’t clear things up at all.

So here is the big secret.

The gates that lead to the presence of the Lord, where there is ample joy, pleasure, productivity, prosperity and life for all of us to enjoy, say “To enter be THANKFUL”

Inside those gates there is one of those automatic door buttons with a sign above it that says “press here to exit.” The button itself read “Self-Pity.”

The great news is that I did eventually wise up, get up off the ground where I had been rolling in – well – you know – shook myself and began to thank God for everything I could think of.

And here’s the best part – I could here His voice almost immediately – “Welcome back son, how did that work out for you.”

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

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