Blogs by Deacon by Deacon Bruce McElrath

What are our values?
Some people think that worldliness is limited to external behavior – the people we associate with, the places we go, the activates we enjoy.
Worldliness is also internal because it begins in the heart and is characterized by three attitudes: (1) the lust for physical pleasure – preoccupation with gratifying physical desires; (2) the lust for everything we see – craving and accumulating things, bowing to the god of materialism; and (3) pride in our possessions – obsession with one’s status or importance.
When the serpent tempted Eve (Genesis 3:6), he tempted her in these areas. Also when the Devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, these were his three areas of attack (Mathew 4:1-11).
By contrast, God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. It is possible to give the impression of avoiding worldly pleasures while still embracing worldly attitudes in one‘s heart.
It is also possible, like Jesus, to love sinners and spend time with them while maintaining a commitment to the values of God’s Kingdom. What values are most important to you? Do your actions reflect the world’s values of God’s values?

Confession – is it necessary?
Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with God. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cares. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over, and then they wonder if they might have forgotten something.
Other Christians believe that God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us.
He allowed His beloved Son to die just so He could offer us pardon. When we come to Jesus, He forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God will reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean.
Of course we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Jesus is secure. Instead, we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with Jesus.