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Punch List – Part 3
PUNCH LIST (def.) = A list of those items that remain outstanding (or undone) and must be completed to finish a job and receive final compensation. Applied to the Christian life, no Christian can die with a punch list intact and expect to get to heaven. IOW: we must finish our punch list (1Co 9:24; 2Ti 4:7-8; Rev 2:23 w/26 w/3:2). The below items represent those things your pastor believes to still be on some of his people’s punch list:
- Ditch the skirt.
God commands men to repent of women-like behavior (i.e. crying, panicking, quitting and feeling sorry for themselves when they get scared, picked on or things get rough) and instead to “act like men” (the opposite of all those things just mentioned) (1Co 16:13).
- Teach sinners your ways.
(According to David’s words in Psa 51), we are to speak openly about our failures as the means to not only dissuade others from following the same destructive path but also to demonstrate our repentance to God.
- Imitate don’t “ignorate”.
We are commanded to imitate God/Christ in everything we do. Which means never giving the excuse, “I don’t know what to do” but instead finding the answer to WWG/J DO?
- Be a sponge, not a shield.
God commands us to be sponges (those who are always super excited to learn everything we can, be around the saints as much as we can, and change wherever we need to change) versus shields (those whose lives are guarded – or resistive, to such learning, fellowship, and change).
- Get your head in the game.
If we are to avoid becoming the prey of Satan, we need to constantly be aware and assessing our current situation/mission/purpose and what our situation/mission/purpose requires to stay the course to heaven. Every waking action is a winning play or a losing play in the game of life.
- Stupid is as stupid does.
A person is identified/judged by what they do – not what they want to do – or be (Pro 20:11; 1Jo 3:7-10; 3Jo 1:11).
To stop (therefore) being identified as stupid means stop making stupid decisions; to stop making stupid decisions starts by seeking to understand what you are dealing w/(i.e. the context) before opening your mouth or making that decision. Understanding often requires the help of others (Pro 11:14).
- Hell is paved with good intentions.
Stop deceiving yourself. Your good intentions do not matter to God. Either you were obedient or not. Per Mat 21, only those who were obedient when tempted are those doing God’s will and on their way to heaven.
- Watch your mouth.
Not only is God judging us based on every word we say, but our brain is also programming us according to what we say (Pro 23:7). So watch your mouth. By what you say, you will be judged – and directed (we are self-programmed robots).
- Beware of the earth-wind-water-fire people.
Life (and solving the problems of life) is often so complicated that it cannot be boiled down to something simplistic or only a few small things.
People who think this way today (“earth-wind-water-fire people”) are very dangerous since they are unteachable (to expanding their understanding) and tend to view anyone who teaches/believes things as more complicated as untrustworthy.
Which means at the end of the day, they’re not truly equitable, fair or just — but rather discriminatory and unjust. And that all because of their dumbing down, their simplicity, their naivety and their unwillingness to think through the complex things that need to be thought thru to get the right answer).
- Stop driving east to go to California.
(Pro 14:12, 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death) = You may think that you are heading in the right direction (i.e. the direction that leads to heaven), but if the focus of your life (what you spend your time thinking about or practicing) is contrary to God (and what He has called you to focus on and be) then you most assuredly are not going to end up where you were hoping.
That is like driving east to get to California (look on a map, it is due west!). And for some of you – especially those who have recently gone out under discipline, this is what you are doing. You are driving east and hoping to get to California. IOW: You want to go to heaven, but the direction of your life is in the opposite direction. Which means this is what you need to do (and for that matter, every one of us): On a sheet of paper write the following phrases: on the right side, write the words “I want to go to (blank)”, and on the left side, the words, “I am on the path leads to (blank)”. Then fill in each of the blank spots with either the word heaven or hell based on where you want to go (the left side)—and the path you are honestly on (the right side). (And for those of you who just recently get nailed for looking at porn and playing with yourself—you most definitely need to write the word “hell” (on the right side) since that is the path your actions demonstrate you have been on.) Then once you have done that, see if what you wrote makes any sense. Attempt to explain to yourself (or your parents) how being the path that leads to hell” will somehow get you to heaven (the word I assume you wrote on the right side). For those who find themselves in this predicament after doing this little exercise, understand you are the epitome of what Pro 14:12 and 16:25 are talking about. You are a crazy person who thinks the path leading to hell will somehow get them to heaven. Parents (I would highly recommend you do this w/your kids on a regular basis). Teach them to stop driving east to get to California. Teach them that if that want to go to heaven, then the path they are currently on (i.e. how they live their daily lives) needs to lead in that direction. And if it doesn’t, make them explain to you how they expect to do it. If there is any chance of waking them up, this is how you do it since connecting the dots regarding these things is the key to such spiritual awakening. It takes realizing that where I want to go (and the direction I am currently heading) are not congruent. Lots of people live Pro 14 and 16 simply b/c they have not thought thru what we are talking about right now, b/c they have not taken the time to realize that their life is a crazy and damning contradiction. This little exercise has biblical precedent btw (Jam 4:4).
- Stop robbing temples.
(Rom 2:22 “rob temples”) = Possible figure of speech referring to masturbation or sexual immorality (consider the immediate context “do you commit adultery?” – it is sexual in nature).
This makes more sense than viewing this verse as referring to the actual theft of idols from false temples by the Jews. No Jew would go near such a place! The only temple they would go to, was their own, but there were no idols. But in Scripture, our bodies (and most especially our sexual organs/genitals) are viewed in this light. Our bodies are compared to God’s temple and our genitals, its inner sanctum (or most sacred space), the Holy of Holies – the place where the high priests met w/God in the most intimate way. It was here that God would “reveal or unclothe” Himself. As such, what took place in the Holy of Holies can be compared to what takes place during sexual activity (and vice versa). They are sacred acts that are to take place in private only between those who are in holy covenant with one another. They are also acts that create a deep spiritual bond between the respective parties. Paul speaks of this in his first epistle to the Corinthians (1Co 6:15-20) = Notice how Paul is equating the union that takes place through sexual activity to the union we gain w/Christ (or God) (see again vv16-17; “joined to the Lord” = Where/how this takes place for the Christian is thru entering into the Holy of Holies – Heb 10:19-22; “becomes one spirit w/Him” =This is what Jesus prayed for – Joh 17:21). The point (then) not to miss = Anytime you commit sexually immoral acts (incl. masturbation or looking at porn), you are taking what is sacred out of its sacred environment and spiritually uniting yourself (thru such acts) w/what is false and filthy. You are (in essence) robbing God’s temple (which again is your Body) rather than honoring God w/it. Hence the reason all immoral sexual activity is also viewed in Scripture as a form of idolatry – the pursuit of false religion. Those of you who are guilty of doing these things need to realize (then) that what God has given to us as sex or sexual organs has far more importance and meaning than what you are currently giving it. Hence the reason you don’t respect your sexual parts (you don’t treat them as sacred). This (btw) is also an issue among some of the men in relation to your wives. You don’t seem to get that when you let them wear things that expose their nakedness to others, you are like the guy who runs the prostitutes, you are a pimp – only worse. You are (by allowing such exposure) soliciting other men to rob your temple! You are treating what God gave (only to you) as though it were not sacred, but common, something to be used by everyone. So once more, (to those of you guilty or playing around w/this stuff), stop robbing temples or soliciting others to do so.
- Same game, different ball.
One of the excuses that people sometimes make when their kids get excommunicated for jerking off or looking at porn, is “I think they were too young to comprehend what they were committing to when they got baptized (they didn’t know about sex!).
There are two responses to this kind of complaint (both which are crucial to the discipleship and restoration of that child): 1) There are no take-backs w/God. Which means once you make covenant (even if it is for the wrong reasons – e.g. Junior did it to make mommy and daddy happy), God holds you to it (and will declare you forever apostate should you choose to renege) (Deu 31:26-29 w/16 and 21), 2) temptation is the same when you are five as it is when you are 25 or 35 or 55 or 75! IOW: the intensity and feelings that need to be conquered are there and the same the moment you are born and last until the day you die (i.e. at every age we experience “10” level temptations). The only thing (then) that changes are the objects (of temptation) (e.g. when you are five, it’s wanting to eat or play video games all the time; when you hit puberty that changes to sex and when you get older that changes to money (or power). Which means it’s the same game, just a different ball. Which also means that if you didn’t teach your kids to get a hold of when they were young (i.e. b/c you didn’t teach them self-control w/the temptations of food and fun—you instead discounted those things as “not that bad”), then they won’t be able to control themselves when the temptations are more serious – even capital crimes (sexual sins).
(1Co 6:12-15 = Notice Paul is making the connection between food [what is “lawful”] and sexual sin [what is unlawful]. His point? Being “dominated” by what is lawful leads to being “dominated” by what is not.).
The key (then) is learning ASAP (or teaching your kids ASAP) how to overcome/resist temptation – since once you know how to conquer that game, it won’t matter the ball that is thrown in the court.
(Pro 22:6) = Teach the child to overcome the temptation in his/her life now, and they will not depart from the path (or give in to the temptations) when they get older (and experience) other things (that are tempting – whether it again is sex or money or whatever else).
Parents, are you practicing saying “no” to temptation and teaching your kids self-control when it comes to food and fun, so that you (and them) do not become susceptible to that temptation when it becomes more serious (as in capital crimes)? As I said last week, without a committed plan, you are planning to fail. And failing is what you will do if you leave any of the items we discussed on your punch list. So ONCE MORE, —GET TO WORK!