Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for February, 2014

The Secret Life: Is It Really As Secretive As You Think?

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 28, 2014

secrecy in marriage
Why do we try to hide things from one another? This isn’t something that just started in modern times. In our relationships, marriages, and even on our jobs, we literally work hard at keeping the lie, protecting a life of pleasure or concealing something from the very ones we love and care about. And whenever we do this we only end up hurting the very people we love – our spouses, our families and children, and those who are in our sphere of influence. But why? Why do we bring this “secret life” mentality into our marriages and relationships, knowing that at the moment of exposure our only defense is to lie about it! We can be caught red-handed, hands all in the cookie jar, and swear it wasn’t us. And this happens to both spouses so I don’t want to single out any one spouse. What’s our reasoning or justification for this behavior? Well, I’m not an expert on the subject but I do know this much: fear and a lack of honesty are key contributors.

FEAR
Fear is one factor that has so many of us ensnared with pretending because we don’t want to face the reality of the truth. Being honest and true in our intentions have been null and void in many of our lives because it wasn’t prevalent in our homes growing up or in our relationships as children. We would always have to lie, or cover up the truth because the truth would put us in a not-so-favoring position with our peers or associates. I can remember for years I would lie to my friends I grew up with that I had this or I went here or there, only to hide behind those lies. I couldn’t, or I should say I wouldn’t tell them the truth because I know they wouldn’t be my friends. That stronghold bound me for years, continuing into my adulthood and eventually into my relationships and marriage. I was afraid of the truth and told the lies. I was afraid that the truth would reveal itself, and the results would have left me by myself, all alone. Yes, being a man I can say that. But I have learned since from the Word of God that I don’t have to live in a lie because the lie will be exposed.

“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” – Luke 12:2, 3

HONESTY
As fear continues to grasp our thoughts and perspectives, it leads us to not being honest in our intentions with people. We give a false impression of the way we live, what we have, and where we work so that our identity of whom we portray ourselves as will stand with those we surround ourselves with. When we look at what is happening we are only deceiving ourselves. And we are willing to take the risk and lie, and be dishonest with anyone and everyone to meet approval, gain affirmation and/or respect and be pleasing to everyone we can. But when will it stop? Lie after lie, hiding day after day, with no end in sight. That’s how so many of us live today. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you want to face your lies and make your secrets known and be set free.
We hide our feelings behind fear for reason of guilt and shame. Because of our lack of self-esteem, our lack of confidence, we don’t want to face life in the real world, to take responsibility for our inadequacies and try to make better our perspectives. We engage in conversations that are worthless and unmeaningful, evil because that’s what the world is doing and we want the world’s approval to belong.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” – Ephesians 5:11-13

hiding in secret

But you can change that thinking and mentality if you choose to. I believe no one wants to live like this, not in their right mind. Sooner or later our lies will catch up to us, and we’ll have no more lies to tell. This is called exposure. At this point, our lives and the lies we’ve told will reveal the so-called “secret life” which was really no secret at all. We were only fooling ourselves.
It’s time to get real people, those of us who think we can continue to try to gain the edge on life. I learned something a long time ago: I can’t cheat God and I can’t cheat life. They both are too powerful and too good to waste on trying to cut corners.

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 28, 2014

Daily Manna
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-17

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 27, 2014

Daily Manna
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” – 1 John 1:1-8

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 26, 2014

Daily Manna
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” – Matthew 4:1-11

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Doing The Right Thing: It’s A Struggle For All of Us

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 25, 2014

Doing the right thing
Why do we struggle with doing the right thing? Some of us ask ourselves time after time this very question, “Why can’t I just do what’s right?” A lot of us have just developed the “habit” of doing anything and everything for a variety of reasons:

“It’s my nature I guess!”

“Everyone is always looking for a shortcut so why not!”

“No body cares. So I get what I can!”

“Right or wrong, I’ve got to get mine!”

And then the most common response . . . “I don’t know why I can’t do the right thing!”

So many of us have been doing the “wrong” thing for so long that it has become a part of lives, a lifestyle in some respects, and its almost like taboo to try to change it. When we try to change this mentality, some of us feel like “why do the right thing, what’s the purpose, you’ve got to get what you can however you can!” WOW! With that kind of thinking, it’s no wonder why most of us can’t establish meaningful relationships with those we surround ourselves with. We have our own agenda, our own motives, and we don’t care where the collateral damage falls, even if it’s in our own marriages. But let me pose this question: Have we ever tried to just look inside our hearts and see what in there that’s driving this desire? We could say selfishness; we could say maybe hurts and/or wounds from the past; or we could say it’s my decision and I’ll do what I want. But what about looking at possibly, maybe, there is some sin in our lives that has not been exposed or dealt with, and it’s prohibiting us from moving forward into righteousness and our already appointed destiny.

“For I know that in me (that is , in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do . Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” – Romans 7:18-20

The Apostle Paul clearly defines this according to God’s Word, that the sin in our lives can and will prohibit us from doing the right thing in all cases. This is why we struggle with doing the right thing. All of us have some type of sin in our lives that has dominated our thinking, our mannerisms as well as our character, and it has become all that we know or how to do. Not everyone is subjected to this mentality, but those of us who have acknowledge that sin is prevalent in our daily lives have come to understand this verse of scripture. Some of us may be in denial, asserting that this is just a fad or some misconstrued analogy, but the Word of God says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
How can this prohibit us from moving forward? Let’s look at what’s involved:

Deception
“For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” Romans 7:11
The sin in our lives had dominated us from the beginning, changing and modifying our intelligence, guiding us to see things from a selfish vantage point of view. It slew us, meaning taking control of that which leads us to doing the right thing by sabotaging the truth with counterfeit perspectives, a mentality that is about getting yours and disregarding others that may be in your way.

Selfishness
“If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” – Romans 7:16, 17
According to these verses, the sin that is in us causes us to do what is natural to us, the wrong thing, thus, enabling us to carry out what is we desire and what is in our hearts. The Message Bible puts a little clearer for us . . . “So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help!”(vs. 16, 17)

There could be lots more involved if we want to look at family history because somewhere down along all of our family lines someone began this desire and it’s kept it’s course, tinkling all the way down to us. But we can stop this generational insistence by acknowledging it, admitting that it has taken hold of our family, confessing it, and allowing God to remove it from our lives today so that no other generation hereafter will ever repeat or carry this trait from the enemy on into the future.

do the right thing

But like all struggles that we go through, seeking an opportunity to “Do the right thing” is a choice, and if it has not ensnared us, has not put a stronghold on our lives and families or our marriages, we can make a difference right now by doing the right thing, and that’s allowing God to have total and complete reign over our lives, our thoughts and all that we do. How is that accomplished or explained? Again, let’s look at what the Word of God says . . .

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1, 2

You can begin to do the right thing today if it’s in your heart to do so. If not, maybe a look into the heart and evaluate what’s taking that place that God created for only Him to dwell in. There, my friend, is the struggle.

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 25, 2014

Daily Manna
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” – Hebrews 6:10-19

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Staying True to Your Convictions

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 24, 2014

Convictions

Have you ever been influenced into doing something that you didn’t believe in but did it anyway, and the results were not what you expected? Many times we find ourselves making decisions against what we believe for the mere sake of belonging or being accepted. We compromise our beliefs, even our faith, to become a part of something that we know is wrong, but because of our relationship with that person or entity we submit and allow the affirmation of others to override our beliefs.
A great example of this is the prophet Daniel. In Daniel chapter 1, we find that the children of Israel were captured by Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar. After sifting through the people of Israel, the King wanted to use the very best of men that Israel had to further his purpose in growing and educating his kingdom. Daniel was one of four men that the king chose to be girded and taught of Babylon’s heritage, culture and daily living. Being a child of God, and practicing the principles of faith that he learned from the Mosaic Law of Moses, Daniel didn’t want to follow through with what the King and his servant had planned for him and the three other men with him.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. – Daniel 1:8

But Daniel realized that he couldn’t allow this to take place and God had brought Daniel into favour with the prince of the eunuchs that he night not defile himself with the others(Daniel 1:9). So Daniel issued a challenge to the prince that he and the three men with him not partake of the food that the King ordered and requested vegetables instead, also indicating that at the end of ten days that the prince may observe that they would be more fit and healthier than those who partook of the King’s rations.

“And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.” – Daniel 1:15

Daniel had stuck to his convictions of being faithful to his Lord, not compromising his beliefs or faith. In turn, Daniel and the three men were brought before the King and were utilized in all matters of wisdom and understanding, and found them more favorable than his own leaders among his kingdom (Daniel 1:19, 20).

Daniel remained committed to his convictions, trusting and believing in who he was and who his God was, and the principles of faith that he learned from the Mosaic Laws. How about you? Do you compromise your faith, your beliefs, or even your own understanding to make a stand for righteousness? What about curving or adjusting your understanding to be affirmed just to be accepted by others to get in with the in-crowd whether you are forced to do it or not? In a world that is filled with compromise and faithlessness, it’s unfortunate that we see this everyday on our jobs, in our governments, in our families, our marriages and even in the church. We have to make a stand, and stand for righteousness through it all. Our obedience to our convictions can influence even the greatest of all people, relationships and authority. Stand on the Word of God, the very foundation that brings us life, and that more abundant. The truth of God’s Word can, and will, supersede anything and anyone if we choose to remain faithful, and trust our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in every situation.

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 24, 2014

Daily Manna
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yoke fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.– Philippians 4:1-9

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 21, 2014

Daily Manna
“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye , when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice , and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:1-20

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on February 20, 2014

Daily Manna
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme.” – 1 Peter 2:1-14

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