Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil – Part 1

Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil

Written by Joseph T. Lee

Part 1

We live in a nation which is rampant with evil and perverse practices. As Christians, we are surrounded by temptations and an evil that is so dark, that it comes straight from the pit of Hell. Even in the day when Christ Jesus walked physically on this earth and practiced His ministry, those were very evil and perverse days. Jesus said as recorded in Mark 8:38, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus said over 2000 years ago, that his generation was adulterous and sinful. No wonder in our current society, our nation is as adulterous and sinful as it were in the time that Jesus said this. We live in a society where pornography is rampant on the internet, in printed magazines, in movies, on DVD’s, on cable television, in commercials (soft porn), and in television programs (soft Porn). Our nation is being saturated with it coming from all directions and as a Christian, we are being bombarded.

I chose to call this “Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil” because of the last verse in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us “The Lord’s Prayer” as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13.

        In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
(NKJV)

Let us focus on verse 13. In this translation of the Bible, Do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil or the evil one. The evil or the evil one is Satan and his demons.

Jesus wants the forgiven to pray this petition so that they will trust God and not just trust themselves. In Matthew 4:1, Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit and he was to be tested and tempted by the devil. Just as Jesus was tempted, our Heavenly Father may allow us to be tempted . According to Scripture, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond capacity. See 1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Now look at James 1:12-13, 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one.”

So we know that the temptation comes directly from the evil one, Satan and his demons. We know this because it is written in the Word of God. These temptations are saturating the members of our churches to the point that many are addicted to pornography because they have succumbed to these temptations. Pornography addiction can be as strong as any drug or alcohol addiction.

I am going to share some facts about how pornography has and still is affecting the Church and it’s leaders and pastors. The following are the results of research studies conducted by the Barna Group and Covenant Eyes. This information was found the Mission Frontiers website and will be credited at the bottom of the article in the references. Here are the results of these studies:

  1. Over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit lasts 6 minutes and 29 seconds.
  2. There are around 42 million porn websites, which totals around 370 million pages of porn.
  3. The porn industry’s annual revenue is more than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. It is also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
  4. 47% of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home. Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300%
  5. 11 is the average age that a child is first exposed to porn, and 94% of children will see porn by age 14.
  6. 56% of American divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
  7. 70% of Christian Youth Pastors report that they have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with pornography in the past 12 months.
  8. 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.
  9. 59% of pastors said that married men seek help for porn use.

10. 33% of women aged 25 and under search for porn at least    once per month.

11. Only 13% of self-identified Christian women say they never watch porn—87% of Christian women have watched porn.

12. 55% of married men and 25% of married women say they watch porn at least once a month.

13. 57% of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue in their congregation. 69% say porn has adversely impacted the church.[1]

As one can see, we have literally a pandemic going on in our nation with pornography addiction being the illness which is causing sexual sin in the lives of millions of people. In my last article on porn, I mentioned that when men and women seek pleasure and pleasuring themselves through the use of these pornographic images, they have in fact committed fornication by proxy as well as committed adultery by proxy. By proxy, I mean that they have used a visual means and fantasized of having sexual intercourse with the person in the image, instead of having marital sexual relations with their wife or husband. They used the pornography and masturbation as a replacement or substitution of the actual act of sexual intercourse with their wife or husband. To support this, read Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus is saying that just by looking at a woman, with lustful thoughts, including wanting to have sex with her, has committed adultery with her. Can you imagine that by viewing pornography and hundreds of images, one has committed adultery already in their heart’s multiple times? And if they act on those images and masturbate, that is where I coined the term adultery by proxy, using those images and a substitute for one’s husband or wife. Although, the previous description is graphic in nature, it must be discussed so that we know what the root problem is and be able to discuss how to overcome pornography addiction, which is rampant in our churches and across our community.

This is the end of Part 1. We will be discussing this epidemic in the coming days ahead. Please consider subscribing to this blog for Part 2 and other articles.

References:

Mission Frontiers Website

[1] Mission Frontiers, Retrieved August 29, 2022, (November 01, 2020 by Kingdom Works Studios https://conquerseries.com/15-mind-blowing-statistics-about-pornography-and-the-church/) Mission Frontiers – 15 Mind-Blowing Statistics About Pornography And The Church

Kingdom Works Studios

https://conquerseries.com/15-mind-blowing-statistics-about-pornography-and-the-church

Barna Group

Covenant Eyes

Photo Credit:

TextArt.com

Copyright 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Parents, Are You Monitoring What Your Children Look at Online?

Parents, Are You Monitoring What Your Children Look at Online?
Written by Joseph T. Lee

In today’s society, parents are buying their children smart phones. I have seen kids as young as 8 years old with their own smart phone. The mindset behind this is to allow them contact with their parents in the event of any incident that occurs at school. Unfortunately, kids being kids are exploring the internet, and many times with no parental control.

On any smart phone, the user may download apps like Google Chrome or any web browser, just like what can be downloaded on any computer. Google will allow the user to type in any combination of words to find pornography and then the user may select images at the top of the screen and then see any image that has words similar to what was typed in. Sometimes these images are very, very graphic. Anyone can type in an acronym and select image and see the vilest images from graphic websites. The worst part of all is that your children may be viewing these graphic images.

Once these images are seen, then they cannot be unseen. There are many school children addicted to pornography (porn) as young as 11 years old.

According to Summit Pediatrics website, “On average, children now experience porn for the first time at age 11. Teenage boys are the most susceptible to the suggestive messages. However, at this young age, all children are vulnerable to addictive nature of these graphic images. That’s why it’s important to have conversations with your children early. It’s also crucial for parents to recognize the warning signs that their child might be viewing porn on a daily basis. Below are four signs that your child might need help.”

These are the four warning signs according to Summit Pediatrics in Draper, Utah:

1. Isolation, Disinterest in Friends and Activities.

2. Depression or Sudden Changes in Mood.

3. Increased Secrecy.

4. Sexual Explicit Language and Drawings.

If your child is experiencing any of these warning signs, you should seek psychological counseling from a Christian counseling center as soon as possible or talk to their pediatrician for guidance. A specialized therapist will be able to help you and your child.

Pornography can be very addictive and may start out as looking at ladies nightgowns and then click on one picture that excites them which leads to another and another. Before long, they will continue to explore to find a photo that excites them even more until they have viewed hundreds and hundreds of images and have become addicted to porn.

As adults, addictions are hard to break but children are very vulnerable and addictions could potentially last a lifetime. These addictions can lead to exploration of their own sexuality including masturbation, sexual encounters with other children, and potentially unwanted encounters of other kids such as improper touching or an unwanted sexual advance.

Giving your child a smart phone with no parental controls is like giving them a loaded handgun to play with, in that smart phones can cause damage psychologically. Pornography addiction can last a lifetime and can damage relationships including marriage.

People who are addicted can hide their addictions very well. Pornography can cause married couples to end their marriage in divorce.

Every time the man or woman looks at another male or female with lust in their eyes or hearts has broken the 10th Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” According to the Reporter Times, “Covet means to want something that belongs to someone else. A person who covets may be led to break almost all the other commandments.” If the person looking at pornography masturbates to the images, they have physically committed adultery not just in their hearts but physically by proxy. This means they have broken the 7th Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Looking at pornography and becoming addicted can lead one to worship it. Porn has become an idol to the one who is addicted. This person most likely has broken the 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other God’s before me.” It is also possible that this person has broken the 2nd Commandment as well, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.” Any one who worships anything other than God has broken these commandments, which God originally gave the Israelites, His chosen people. As Christians, we are to abide by these Ten Commandments because those are God’s laws for us as well.

For those who are adults and are addicted to pornography, when you view porn, you have lusted after someone who is not your spouse. If you have masturbated to the image, you have committed adultery by proxy and have denied your spouse, thus cheated outside the marriage. Those who have not married, but still exhibit the same behavior, you have committed fornication by proxy which is a sin against God as well as your own body.

Addiction is a form of slavery. One can be a slave to pornography and ultimately a slave to masturbation. These addictions can be as strong as addictions to cocaine or meth.

If you are a Christian, there is nothing that pleases Satan more that to attempt to cause a separation between you and God. Don’t let Satan have victory over your life. Immediately confess that you are a porn addict, ask forgiveness, and repent, meaning stop looking at it. If you cannot stop, then you will need outside intervention through Christian counseling.

There is also an organization that is located In Lynchburg, Virginia called Proven Ministries. Their web address is www.ProvenMen.org. This non-profit organization deals exclusively with overcoming pornography addiction. Their mission statement is as follows: “We have a passion to see men being set free from their sin and passionately pursuing Jesus in a personal relationship with Him. We desire to see this transformation and growth to happen within the walls of the local church! It’s all about men experiencing the power of the Gospel within their lives and struggles!”

Proven Ministries will also work with women, wives and families. Our ministry endorses Proven Ministries. If you are addicted and want to change, I would highly recommend that you reach out to them for help or a local Christian Counseling Agency who will use the Bible for guidance and encouragement.

References:

Summit Pediatrics, Draper, Utah

The Reporter Times

Proven Ministries

Copyright 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Frivolous Spending: Being a Good Steward of God’s Money

Frivolous Spending: Being a Good Steward of God’s Money

Written by Joseph T. Lee

Good day friends!  First of all, I would like to apologize if my post on $80,000 offended anyone yesterday. That was not my intention. I am a firm believer of being a good steward of God’s money, especially when it comes to ministry money. The story yesterday was not about “your church” but about frivolous spending of God’s money.

I do not have any issue with a church serving up coffee, tea, or pastries before the Sunday morning service. Although I personally do not care for coffee, I do love a great cup of hot tea. I know that many churches have coffee areas in their fellowship halls or lobby. There is nothing wrong with providing coffee for your visitors and congregants and certainly nothing wrong with sitting around before church having godly conversations with each other.

The reason I felt led to write that story is that there are many churches that are forsaking community evangelism and changing the church appearance to look more secular in order to attract more people. The idea is to remove the church look and change it to look like a theater or auditorium. Some church organizations are removing their denomination name to attract people who may not want to attend a Methodist or Baptist church. The reason why church congregations are dwindling is because potentially the existing leadership and/or deacons or elders are not engaging the gospel in the community. The leadership are not making disciples who make disciples.

The Bible spoke of this over 2000 years ago when it was written in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” What this means is “itching ears” is a term used in the Bible to describe individuals who seek out messages that apply to their own lifestyle as opposed to adhering to the teaching of Christ Jesus and His Apostles. If it is something they do not like, they will either try to change it or seek to find what they want.

Certainly, modernizing a church building may be needed, but why would a church need to put in a luxury coffee shop or anything that is of a luxury nature in a church building? I am not talking about necessary plumbing or air conditioning or heating. I am talking about elaborate and luxurious services to possibly attract more people. To me, this is a waste of Gods money. It is satisfying the itching ears of those who want to change things the way they want them. Many church bodies are removing the names of their denominations as well as watering down the gospel from the pulpit. Those preachers may be teaching what the itching ears want to hear.

I mentioned yesterday that we should be planting seeds of faith in our community and ministering to almost anyone and everyone. This can be done if everyone who professes to be a Christian would get out into their communities and have “godly conversations” with those who are lost and hurting. We could make a huge difference for the Gospel of Christ by investing our time in other people’s lives.

In reality, if a church wants to put in an $80,000 coffee shop, it is really none of my business because I am not a member of that church. But when I hear of things happening like this when just two years prior, churches from all over were applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and some large churches received hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I then hear of churches doing these luxury additions, and they are asking their congregants to donate money for it during a pandemic, then I have serious concerns about stewardship within a religious organization.

We must be good stewards of God’s money. We must focus our resources on the ministry God has called all of us in. Regardless, whether it is an $80,000 coffee shop or spending multiple millions of dollars on a private jet, these ministry dollars spent need to be accounted for. I ask, is this the best use of God’s money? Is this a need or a want? How is this useful for the cause of Christ? If it does not bring more people to the saving grace of Jesus, then it is money that should not be spent. Are we being salt and light in our communities? Are we engaging the gospel daily? If not, then we need to pray for forgiveness, repent, and start to do what God has called us all to do.

Copyright 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Church, What Can $80,000 Buy for the Gospel of Christ?

Church, What Can $80,000 Buy for the Gospel of Christ?

Written by Joseph T. Lee

Most recently, I heard about a mega church who wanted the congregants to pay for an $80,000 coffee shop in the church lobby. I was told that by having a coffee shop at church, people could sit around drinking their favorite coffee and having godly conversations. Then I thought, are you serious? There are people that are suffering in our own community and yet a church wants to spend $80,000 for a coffee shop in order to attract more people and have godly conversations over a cup of coffee.

Certainly, having a nice up of Joe can be inviting, but there are several coffee shops all along the way to any church such as Starbucks and some Mom and Pop shops. If you do serve coffee at your church, I do not have a problem with that. Many churches serve coffee and that is fine, but I am quite sure that they did not spend $80,000 to build a luxury coffee shop inside their church.

Friends, we should not miss what the church was designed to do. It was designed to minister to the lost and the hurting. If you want to attract people through your church doors, you must get out into the community and “be the hands and feet of Christ.” There are people who are legitimately homeless and could use a helping hand. There are people who could be retrained to do another job if someone were willing to teach them. There are people who do not know how to read, and the Church could teach them. There are people who are seeking the “Truth” and we must go to them to meet them where they are. There are hungry orphans in our own nation as well as through out the world whom we could help feed. Those who are sick could use help. The list goes on in how to minister to our community and to the world, yet what does a coffee shop in a church do for the gospel of Christ?

Here is just a short list of what $80,000 could do for the Gospel of Christ:

Purchase 80,000 New Testament Bibles to distribute to people hungry for the Word of God.

Purchase 16000 Bibles with the Old and New Testaments for Believers who cannot afford to buy a Bible.

Feed 1067 families for a month or about 4268 people for a month. This is based on the World Health Organizations Cost of a month’s supply of food for one family of four.

Purchase 800 tents for families to live in after a catastrophic event.

Provide clean water for thousands to drink in third world countries.

Clean clothing for those who have nothing in third world countries.

Provide emergency relief for those effected by wildfires, storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of storms, this money could help in the rebuild process of those who do not have the funds to rebuild their own homes.

$80,000 can mean the difference between someone in the community coming to Christ or not. If we want to make a difference for the cause of Christ, we need to stop thinking about ourselves and our comforts, and start thinking about our neighbors and their needs. Being the Church and getting off the pew and serving our neighbors in the community is that best way to get people to come to your church. It will show them that you truly love Jesus and by doing so, you are showing the love of Jesus to them.

Pastors, I challenge you to be a leader in your church and reach out to your local communities and BE THE CHURCH! Get out of the pulpit and start planting seeds of faith all over the community. If you think you need an $80,000 coffee shop, then instead, save the church’s money, which should be utilized for missions and evangelism, and go to Starbucks for that great cup of coffee.

Jesus gave us a commandment taken from Matthew 28:18-20, “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

In Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

We are not to sit around and drink coffee and just have godly conversations. We need to BE the CHURCH! If we don’t do it, who will? People are starving for the gospel of Christ. People need the Lord! People need Jesus! They are everywhere. We need to get into action and start praying and then go into our communities and be the hands and feet of Christ. It’s time! The harvest is ripe.

Copyright August 24, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Christians, Do You Proclaim to Send Prayers and Good Vibes?

Written by Joseph T. Lee

Last Friday, I had to have a serious shoulder surgery. I had a really bad tear of my rotator cuff and had arthroscopic surgery to repair it. They put me under with general anesthesia and when I woke up, the tear had been repaired. I had some after effects of the anesthesia and really felt very bad for about four days, then I started to feel better. I am on the mend and am feeling so much better, Praise God! At the time of surgery and well as the aftermath, I asked for prayer.

I had asked my prayer partners on social media to pray for me as well as those who attend my church. I truly believe that those who truly know the Living Christ Jesus prayed earnestly for me. I recently received a private message from someone that I do not know well who stated that they were praying for me and sending positive vibes. Although I truly appreciate the prayers, sending positive vibes is not a function of the Church. As a matter of fact, no human being has any power to send positive vibes.

“Positive Vibes” is not a Christian function. Although some people say this because they heard others say it, they most likely mean it harmlessly. Christians should not be using this terminology as it is not Biblical and is not a practice of God fearing Christ Followers. Positive Vibes is a term often found in occult practices. The Occult is not of our Heavenly Father but that of Satan.

People who truly believe they can send positive vibes are practicing the occult whether they know it or not. Where is the source that these vibes come from? It is definitely Not from the Holy Spirit, NOT from Jesus, and NOT from our Heavenly Father. So if these vibes are not from the Trinity, then they must be from Satan himself.

 Sending positive vibes is a New Age practice which is the occult. It is not of God and Christians should stop using this as a phrase or hash tag in posts. Man has no mystical power to send anything. All healing power comes from God Himself, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through His Son, Jesus.

If someone is sending “Positive Vibes” or if you ask for those to pray for you and also send “Positive Vibes or Positive Energy,” the latter request, you have included Satan in the mix. There are only two sides of spirituality, God’s side and Satan’s side. For someone to literally ask occultists to send positive vibes or positive energy is literally inviting demonic activity into your life as well as the lives of your family. You have opened the door to demonic activity.

Let us review what the Bible says about this. I consider the Bible as the inerrant Word of God and it is what can be trusted. Let’s start with Isaiah 47:10-15, “  10 You felt secure in your wickedness; you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” 11 But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing. 12 Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire terror. 13 You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you. 14 Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before! 15 Such to you are those with whom you have labored, who have done business with you from your youth; they wander about, each in his own direction; there is no one to save you.”

Beware what you dabble in and invite into your home. Practicing these occult practices, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to destruction.

Now let’s look at Isaiah 44:24-25, “24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, 25 who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish.”

Look at Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”

No, we are not to accept “Good Vibes or Positive Energy,” as these are the workings of the occult, a practice of New Age and Witchcraft. We are to stay clear of these practices and go to God with all of our requests and petitions. See Philippians 4:6-7, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We are to bring all of our cares, desires, petitions, and everything to our Heavenly Father. We are not to request prayers and then also invite Satan and his demons into our requests. Be careful for what you ask for. Be careful for what you accept.

As for me, I will accept all the prayers of “true Believers in Christ Jesus.” I will not accept any positive vibes or positive energy because I know the source you are sending it through and it is not that of God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit.

If you have been involved in the occult or have dabbled in it or you are currently dabbling in it, you must repent from that sin and turn from this wickedness. You must renounce your participation and ask God to forgive you. If you do not, and you profess to be a Christian, you cannot serve two masters. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and He will. Repent means that you will stop doing what you were doing and follow Jesus and practice a life of Christ. I pray that you will come to Christ Jesus today.

Copyright August 18, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do you love your neighbor?

Do you love your neighbor?
Written by Joseph T Lee

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

If you want to make the difference for the cause of Christ, you must love one another regardless of their faith, color, lifestyle, or their political party.

The fact that people are so adamant about politics, people will run over other people, call them names, poke fun of their elderly years. Acting this way is so far from the cause of Christ.

We are to love others in a way that people will ask, why did you do this for me? If we are to make a difference for Christ, we need to start practicing and praying the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus said that we are to forgive other’s trespasses. If we do not, God will not forgive our own trespasses. If you don’t believe me, read this.

“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:15

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish in hell but have eternal life with Christ Jesus (paraphrased from John 3:16).

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

Jesus wants a relationship with YOU. If you do not truly know Him, the only requirement is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and repent from your sinful ways (wickedness and wrong doing).

I pray that you will accept Him today through faith in Him and repentance. Then I look forward to you following Him. He will make a true difference in your life.

Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. Copyright August 12, 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Have You Taken God’s Name in Vain?

Written by Joseph T Lee

I bet the majority of Americans as well as many throughout the world has taken God’s name in vain. Saying curse words with God’s name is one example of taking His name in vain. But this isn’t the only example.

Another example of taking God’s name in vain is the following. Some people who are excited over a new job might say, “Oh my God! I got the job.” They might say in amazement “Oh My God!” Some people may think this is harmless, but in fact anytime we use our Heavenly Father’s name without reverence, is taking His name in vain. According to the Bible, God’s name should be spoken reverently.

One of the Ten Commandments says in Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Look at some of the other supporting Scriptures as why you should not take God’s name in vain.

Leviticus 19:12, “You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.”

Matthew 12:36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Are you an enemy of God? Look at what Psalm 139:20 says, “They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain!”

Even using acronyms like OMG is not good. God knows everything and He sees everything. He knows your heart. You might as well have said it because the sin against God was already in your heart.

Christians, if you have a habit of saying “OMG or Oh My God,” please stop and repent immediately and turn from your sin. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. If you say worse, I am very concerned with your spiritual life, as it appears you may have fallen back into sin.

Pray and ask God to forgive you. Repent and turn from your sins and wicked ways. God wants a pure relationship with you. I pray that you will have a close relationship with Him today.

Copyright August 8, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spiritual Roadblocks of the Heart

Written by Joseph T Lee

While on your faith walk with Christ, have you ever hit a roadblock where you fell back into sin? If so, you are not alone. 

Sometimes, because of our carnal nature, we may fall into sin. It’s not because we are not committed, but because we have a sinful nature. We often think that we can save ourself, but the fact is, we do not have that power, only Jesus has that power to save us. 

As a Christian, to avoid these roadblocks, these instances when we fall into sin, we must stay focused on Christ Jesus. Because we were born into sin, we have a sinful nature, but we must fully surrender ourselves to Christ Jesus, ask forgiveness when we do sin, and stay focused on Christ. 

How does one stay focused? To stay focused is to read your Bible daily, pray often to Jesus and our Heavenly Father, confess often the sins we commit, and ask for strength in not committing them. 

The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Yes, we all fall short of His glory, but that is not a pass to willfully sin. To willfully sin is a direct disobedience to God. People who sin willfully must stop and repent immediately to avoid a separation between them and the Lord. 

Sin whether it is accidental or on purpose can cause a problem in our faith walk. There is nothing that delights Satan more that to see God’s children sinning. He relishes in it as he knows that those who are sinning do it right in front of God. Don’t think your “secret sin” is truly secret. What you do in private, you are doing it in the face of God. He sees everything and He knows everything. These secret sins can cause you to have major spiritual problems with God and Christ Jesus. “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

How can you be forgiven from these sins? Just pray and ask the Heavenly Father to forgive you. Repent from your wickedness and Christ Jesus will forgive you. 

 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

I pray that if you have fallen into sin, that you will pray and ask for forgiveness, so that you will be right with our Heavenly Father. 

Copyright August 5, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Is Profanity Part of Your Vocabulary?

Written by Joseph T. Lee

Do you profess to be a Christian? If so, do you use profanity in public? What about writing acronyms that represent curse words? Does your walk match your talk?

The world is a stage and we live in it. People are watching us when we speak and the way we live out our lives. Unbelievers are watching how we talk and every action we take. 

The Bible says that we should try to live holy lives, pleasing to the Lord. Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Now look at Ephesians 5:8-10, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and trueand try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” 

The Bible also says specifically that we are not to use profanity and rough talk. Look at the following Scriptures. 

Colossians 3:8, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

Matthew 12:36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Ephesians 5:4, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

Matthew 15:10-11, “And he called the people to him and said to them, ‘Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.’”

James 3:6-8, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

The fact is, the tongue can destroy a person by the hateful and profane words that spew from one’s lips. Even writing those words on social media can destroy your own testimony for Christ Jesus. 

I once knew a man who proclaimed to be a Christian. He was an Usher at his mega church. He greeted people and played the part of a wonderful Christian brother at church. But you see, he had two sides of him. His public face to face matched what one would think a Christian should look like and act like. The other side of him was his social media side. He was a huge supporter of a famous politician, and he would not stop at anything to make his point or put someone in their place. I saw a response he made on a News Station’s social media Facebook page where I wondered if his account had been hacked. He used terrible profanity and called the other person a “Demoncrat,” because this person was not of his political party. He used vile language in written form to attempt to make his point, all the while destroying his testimony for Christ. Perhaps this man never knew Jesus as he showed no fruits, no real evidence that he loved God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind, and he definitely did not love his neighbor as himself. 

Friends, as “true” Followers of Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to change us, mold us into the men and women Christ Jesus has called us to be. We must repent and turn away from our wicked ways. 

If you are struggling in your sinful nature, pray and ask God to forgive you and help you with your Christian walk. Get involved with reading the Bible. The Lord will teach you as you read. This is the best way to learn how to live a life of Christ, holy and pleasing to God. Also, pray often. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. 

Copyright August 1, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Rejection: Heartache and Disappointment 

Have you ever been rejected or hurt by a loved one? The feeling is like a scab that has been torn off old wounds and that old familiar heartache is felt all over again. If you have felt this, you are not alone.

Jesus said that we are to forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times, meaning indefinitely (cf. Matthew 18:22). Forgiveness is hard at times when people continue to hurt us. When we truly love someone and they constantly hurt us through words or actions, the wounds may never heal. But Jesus wants us to lay down “everything” at the foot of the cross. He has already taken our hurt, heartache, and disappointment to the cross with Him. 

When I am emotionally hurt, I take it to the Lord and pray. When that old familiar heartache and disappointment is crippling me, I lay it at Jesus’ feet, and release the person that has hurt me. Although we may love that person, we cannot change them. We must forgive them and release them entirely to the Father and allow Him to work on them! When I am so hurt and I do not know what to pray, I pray the Lord’s Prayer taken from Matthew 6:9-13.

Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,

12 and forgive us our debts,
 as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

Praying this prayer, forgiving, and releasing the person to our Heavenly Father will help to heal your heart and remove the sting of heartache and disappointment. At least it does for me. 

I pray that you will find peace only that Christ Jesus can give you. I pray that the Lord will remove your heartache and disappointment and replace it with joy and happiness. Others may let you down, but the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you. I pray that you will come to Jesus today and lay all your troubles and pain at His feet. He is waiting for you to give Him your all. Won’t you come to Him today?

Photo Credit: TextArt App

Copyright July 31, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.