Sin-It Isn’t What You Do, It is Who You Are

These are some excerpts from my message in Germany

“We are going to read in 1st john tonight, the entire first chapter. John wrote this letter to a group of Christians who were struggling with some pretty tough questions. And you know what’s something really awesome about god? He can handle all of your toughest questions. Questions like: Does God care if you are a good person or not? Is sin even a big deal to God? Once you become a Christian, should you not sin ever again? What do we have to do to be cleansed from sin? Was Jesus really god? Does God ever sin? were addressed.

Let’s read 1 john chapter one together. This is the most perfect thing I can ever say, it is precious, beautiful and true. ) Let’s all stand to show respect and reverence to God’s word:

1 John 1

Two quick things: Every time you read the bible ask yourself, what does this tell me about God? And secondly, if you don’t know what to be reading in your Bible, Johns writings are a great place to start. 🙂 Anyway, the first few verses give an eyewitness account. Jesus really walked and talked and bled and died and rose again. Those CLOSEST TO HIM SAW HIM EVERYDAY FOR YEARS SAY, YEP…Jesus Christ really is God.

Then, you can see how the text goes on to talk about how you know for sure that people are really believers in Jesus Christ? The answer is not if you’re a good person, but 2 parts, 1 if you have realized/confessed that you are a sinner and 2, God has opened your eyes to trusting in the payment that Jesus Christ has made for your sins! Atonement! And once you TRULY BELIEVE ONE AND TWO, then you r truly a believer in Christ and you will less and less want to sin and more and more want to honor and serve God with your life.

As for me, even at a really young age, i KNEW I was a sinner. Though I didn’t do drugs or kill anyone, I KNEW that I WAS a thief a liar and a manipulator, and that God was as good as everyone around me seemed to think he was, I bet he didn’t really like it when I did bad things. So I confessed to God that I knew I did wrong things, sins, and told him that I believed In Jesus and wanted god in my life to help me not to do wrong things anymore. And probably that is what many of you have done and thought. I did the first part, of confessing, but I didn’t do the seconds trusting. I didn’t trust in the payment that Jesus Christ made for my sins. Because I was afraid that god didn’t love me after I would do bad things, or that he would punish me, like hit me with a lightning bolt or something! If you struggle with those thoughts, you are not realizing the beauty of the truth if what Jesus’s PURPOSE was when he died on the cross FOR YOUR SINS.

So let’s go back to the first part: confessing you are a sinner.

So confess or admit  that you are a sinner? What does that mean? What is a sinner? Is it JUST the bad things that you do??? I think helpful way to answer that question is to watch the beginning of a cartoon that I remember watching as a child about a frog and a man who wants be rich, let’s watch that now!

Love that song! It’ll be stuck in my head for daaaays now! 🙂 anyway, here is my question…when the little green creature was sitting a croaking, what animal was he? Everyone say A frog! That’s right! Good job! Now, when that animal was dancing and singing, what animal was he? Right! Even if he acted differently, that didn’t change what he was. Still a frog.

In that same way, Sin Isn’t just what we do so much as it is who we are. We are sinners. We have a sin nature. So we are each born this way.

It is like we are that frog in the video! There are things we would naturally do as a frog, live eat flies, jump and hop along and croak like this ribbitt. And if we stop and start singing and dancing it does to make us a human, just a dancing frog.

NATURALLY WE ARE SINNERS. NO ONE TAUGHT US HOW TO LIE, OR CHEAT,  OR HIT OUR BROTHERS OR SISTERS WHEN WE WANT THEIR STUFF- we just do! And if you just try to stop sinning, without having the faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you are not a Christian, just a well behaved sinner, who still is separated from a perfect, holy, loving, and just God.  Just a dancing frog!

God is amazing and wonderful and perfect. He is the ruler, judge, and flawless king over all things. Sin is everything opposite of that…rebellion against God, and  in compete opposition to God. Sin says, “I am the ruler, only I matter, I should be worshiped.” God says he should be worshiped and the ruler!  So clearly these two things cannot coexisted. You must choose which one will be the ultimate ruler and authority in your life!

So let’s recap, shall we?

Sin is not JUST the bad things you do. But who YOU ARE NATURALLY. And God is so incredibly and so perfect and so wonderful, he is not just a little annoyed by your sin, he is not okay with your sin, he does not simply see it as an inconvenience, but God HATES IT WITH A HOLY PASSION! It is against him, it hates him, and therefore he wants nooooo part of us. The bible tells us in that we are Gods ENEMIES! It shows us that he is beautiful and good and perfect! And we, though initially created to be those things too, chose to rebel against god and are now all sinner, naturally you are opposed to God.

Do you feel uncomfortable? Kind of like you suck? Me too! Sin is not good news!

But here is he crazy awesome, beautiful, wonderful thing. There is really, really, REALLY GOOD NEWS.

Another way to look at it is like this, God is a king, and his kingdom is a beautiful and perfect and it’s walls are high and it’s gates are impenetrable! Sinners are His enemies, from a nearby city. All They do is attack him and everything he stands for! They want to rule his people! God, the king is not worried, nothing can get past fortress, but instead of just getting rid of us, or waging war against us like he should since we’ve rebelled against him, he has made a way for us to no longer be his enemy, no longer be “frogs”…he can give us a NEW nature be on his side, in fact be his heir! Isn’t that awesome? Because without God giving us a new nature, we could never be part of his kingdom because we would just attack it!  So he is loving and just and thought of the perfect way to do that. He allowed Christ to take on all of our punishment for all of our sin natures .

The Bible tells us that because of his great love for us, that while we were still sinners, even though we are his enemy, Christ died for us!!!! It says in 1 Tim, 1:15 Jesus was sent into the world to save sinners. He took alllllll of gods wrath and anger and judgment that SHOULD RIGHTFULLY BE ON YOU, on himself on the cross, so that you can be united with God and no longer his enemy but now, his child.

If you do not believe that Christ is the only way to salvation. If you do not want to read Gods word to know God better. If you do not want to obey the commands he makes in scripture, even if it is really hard. If you do not want to submit to the authority of the local church…then you want to stay a frog…you want to submit to your ruler, sin.

But…if you see that it is a privilege and a joy to be ruled by the wise, kind, just, perfect, gracious creator of the universe, and you believe that Jesus is who he said that he was, and he did what the bible said that he did, and you want to live a life dedicated to pleasing him as your lord and ruler…then you have rid yourself of your sin nature and now have Christs nature.

Get this, I sin every day and I hate it! Just like Paul does in Romans! But God does not see me as a sinner, but as RIGHTEOUS, LIKE HIS SON, because HE BECAME MY SIN SO THAT I COULD BECOME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. And knowing that motivates me to WORK HARD TO TRY TO NEVER SIN!! Knowing that I deserve to be banished from his kingdom, because of my sin nature and that instead of banishing me, he has made his son take my punishment and I get his righteousness motivates me, causes me to PRAISE HIM AND LOVE HIM AND DEDICATE MY LIFE TO KNOWING HIM AND HELPING OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THIS INCREDIBLY GRACIOUS AND LOVING GOD OF THE UNIVERSE.

We are justified, seen as righteous in Gods eyes by our faith in Jesus Christ. And not just that he existed, but that he took on himself, all of my sins.

Listen carefully, you are NEVER, NEVER good enough to not need God. And you are never, never, never “bad enough” for his death on the cross not to cover alllllll your sins, and for you to be a NEW CREATION in him.

So I close with this, 1 if you haven’t yet, realized you are a sinner, and enemy to perfect, loving, and just God, realize that today! but please, don’t stay there go to part two and believe that God made a way through Jesus Christ for you to be his child and seen as righteous in his eyes and to be part of his kingdom here one earth and in the afterlife. Then let’s embrace being no longer sinners, but now children of God.


A Little Poem of Thanks

I should have, could have, and would have been



my own selfish deity.


Completely without hope beyond this age,


Destined to a life a cyclical misery.







YET. Out of all the rebellious hearts of stone,

you breathed life into mine.


I can live to bring you praise.

There is purpose for my days.

You’ve taken all my shame,

so your glory I’ll proclaim.

My eyes are opened to your grace.

I delight to seek your face.

This old creation, your made new.


For altering my



and purpose,


Yahweh, Thank You.

Is Salvation Beautiful to You?



“Just as a jeweler in a store will always use a black velvet background to display the splendor of an exquisite diamond, so the intricate, dazzling beauty of the gospel is only fully seen when we understand what the Bible says about man’s radical condition outside of Christ. It’s a bleak and dark picture to be sure. Yet only when we understand the immensity of the problem can we find the right solution – and see the futility of all other man made remedies. We need far more than a moral pep talk; more than some medical first aid for our gaping wounds; and even more than even an oxygen mask to help us breathe more easily. What we need is a miracle! What we need is a resurrection!” – John Samson

The moments when I am not as impressed by the work and wonder of Christ on the cross, just so happens to be the exact same moments when I am numb to my sin and or mesmerized by my own “virtues” and the fleeting pleasures of this world. Sometimes, I don’t see the beauty of my own salvation, because I’m being entertained and blinded by this life. The happy triune God of the universe and His gift of salvation is ever before me.  Beautiful. Stunning. Entrancing. It is right before my eyes and under my nose, but somehow I miss its brilliance and I’m not seeing it’s beauty.  Are you with me? Has the work that Christ did on our behalf lost it’s luster? Is it not so shiny? Not so sparkly?

Oh gee.

We often need a reality check.

We often need to see ourselves more clearly.

We often need to be reminded of the ephemeral nature of this life.

We often need to be reminded of what life apart from Him would be like.

We often need to be reminded of His gracious, unmerited, magnificent love.

Pray for your affections and understanding of God to be increased. Prayerfully read Scripture-even if you don’t feel like it! Especially if you don’t feel like it! Look at who He is and what He has done. Look at who you are and all that you have done. Each salvation story is a jaw-dropping, praise-evoking,  joy-bringing, undeserved, irrevocable miracle! Whether you were a 4 year old growing up in a solid, christian home, or a thief hanging on a cross-your salvation is a miraculous gift. What blessings come when we see God’s grace, and glory, and goodness against the backdrop of who we are apart from Him! How much more beautiful and treasured is my salvation when I remember where I should and could be without it! Peace and God-centered adoration and delight will flow through our spirit when we intentionally work to put the radiance of the gospel in front of our radical condition outside of Christ.

I’m not showing you a pebble and asking you to be in awe of it. I am showing you the most rare, precious, valuable gem in existence asking you to marvel at its worth. Jesus Christ and his gospel is the only exhilarating, essential, life-giving, fulfilling, captivating truth in the universe! Look at it and be amazed!

Marvel at the Gift of Adoption

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The Pompell Family

I was born Betty-Catherine Carolyn-Michelle Widenhoffer. It’s a mouthful-I know. Fortunately, eight years later I was adopted and my name changed to Betty Catherine-Michelle Pompell. I was so proud of my new name. I told anyone about my adoption who would listen! I remember leaving 3rd grade for an appointment with the judge in my “Sunday Best” gleefully exclaiming to my classmates-“I’m leaving to get adopted!” My aunt mailed me a card with my new name on it and I pinned it to my wall and kept it there for years, and years, and years. I love the family that God gave me. I shudder to imagine what my life would be like without the Pompells. Apart from my salvation, adoption has been the biggest blessing God has given me here on earth.  It is neat to think about and reflect on the gift of earthly adoption, and compare it to our gift of heavenly adoption.

My name was hardly the only thing that was changed-that was just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, my whole world was morphed into a new one.

  • My birth certificate changed. That’s right, the official document now says that my adoptive mom, Karen, gave birth to me on July 31st 1989 when she was 34 years old, and that the father is her husband, Robert, who was 38 years old. I know that may seem little to you, but to me, that was the coolest thing. To me it brought comfort that people couldn’t look at my past and dig up, “oh look who you were the first 8 years” no, according to the State of Virginia, I am now, and have always been a Pompell.
  • So I got a new birth record, a new name, and not just new parents-but a new family.  Bob and Karen had a daughter, so by default, she automatically became my sister once the adoption went through. I am so glad she is-what a gift God has given me in her! Though not flesh and blood, our bond is deeper than our DNA.  Bob’s mom became my grandmother, and I had new cousins and new aunts and uncles too!
  • Also, when I was adopted, my birth mother had certain restrictions placed on her. She could no longer be within so many miles of me; she could not ever take me back. She forfeited all of her rights to Karen and Bob, and could do nothing without their consent and approval.  The adoption was permanent; I was safe.
  • Lastly, I love that I played no part in my adoption-except to joyfully receive it! Mom and Dad were not “impressed” with me, or excited about what I could bring to the family. They didn’t see excellence in me, or hope of a comfortable retirement from me in their old age. No, no, no. They saw a broken, difficult, neglected young girl with a dulled sparkle in her eye and spirit. They saw a child whose innocence was taken too young, and whose life begged for attention, love, and direction. Despite being warned by psychologists, counselors, and the like of my high probability for leading a life of disaster, my Mom and Dad in faith, took me in, loved me as their own, and breathed a joyful hope into my young, fragile spirit. Since they didn’t choose me based on my good behavior or because of hopeful expectations they had for me, but solely because of their love-I had no fear of  them getting rid of me if I didn’t “measure up!”

Can you see how this mirrors our salvation? 

Your spiritual birth certificate says that you have ALWAYS been Christ’s. He knew and choose you before the foundations of the world. There has NEVER been a time where his eyes have not been on you and his heart has not been for you.

You not only received a new Father, but also a new family. You are a co-heir with Christ. You have a family of sisters and brothers in the Lord that are stronger binds than any earthly relationship.

Your birth mother of sin has no hold on you. You don’t have to worry about the adoption being retracted or her coming back to get you. Nothing can happen to you without your Father’s approval. You are a child of God! Sin no longer has a hold on you! No one can ever pluck you from your Father’s hand.   

And lastly, 17th century Presbyterian theologian John Flavel says, “As God did not at first choose you because you were high, so he will not forsake you because you are low.” What comfort in our adoption! God did not choose you because you were really bringing a lot to the table, or because he thought you would be a great asset to the kingdom. No. He chose you solely based on his perfect grace. Thankfully, since that is what it is based on, you can do nothing to earn it and you can do nothing to end it.  

Our gift of being adopted as God’s own child is something that we should all marvel at and rest peacefully in more. Think about the true implications that your salvation has in your own life. What does it change? What fears vanish in light of who your Father is? What lies dissipate knowing whose child you are? What gratitude is brought forth knowing what your life would be like if you were still with your “birth parents”?

ADOPTION Scripture Print // Ephesians 1:5 Bible Verse // Faith Art · MERCY iNK · Online Store Powered by Storenvy

Romans 8:14-16 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

Why Did God Save Noah?


I praise the Lord that like many of you readers, I grew up in a Bible teaching, gospel loving church. And I am sure that if you would have asked me about the story of Noah I could have echoed it back to you-flannel graph and all. If you would have pressed me, “Why did God preserve Noah’s life?” my answer would have sounded something like this:

“Well, all the rest of mankind was evil and wicked in every way, but Noah was righteous. Noah didn’t sin or lust or disrespect Yahweh, but instead tried to obey, love, and honor Him. God saw this good behavior and when deciding to punish all the evil men, he rewarded Noah’s obedience and preserved his life via the ark!”


Would you have said that too?

Would you have taught the lessons with a concluding statement of, “So even if everyone around you is sinning, YOU need to be good so that you too can sail away from God’s wrath and be safe from his righteous judgment”? If so, what that is teaching us is that God saved Noah because of what Noah was doing and not doing. Genesis 6:8 tells us

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

So my question is, is that concluding statement the point of the story? Did he “find favor” after he was being well behaved and doing all the “right things?” Is that when God’s eyes lit up at the sight of Noah? Or maybe because he was the smartest or the bravest or the most committed? Is that when God “finds favor” with us?


Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord not when he was obedient, but LONG before. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord before time dawned when the Trinity predestined him to be able to obey and have righteousness and please God and desire to do God’s will above his own. The order of events was not:

Noah’s righteousness –>            God’s favor —>              Noah’s Salvation

But instead…

God’s favor –>                              Noah’s Salvation –>                     Noah’s Righteousness

See the only reason Noah was seen as virtuous and blameless was because of GOD’S GRACE in his life empowering him to be that. His works of righteousness is a response to being found favorable in God’s eyes, not the other way around. And this is reason to rejoice! This truth makes God so much better! It is not that He is watching his people, searching feverishly for someone righteous to reward-he would NEVER find anyone-we are all naturally so self-glorifyingly wicked! Instead, he has graciously chosen to make people righteous in his eyes for His perfect plan and because of His lavish love!

Why did God save Noah? It’s the same reason why God saved you.

Friends, we should be the most grateful of all people. God does not love you because of your good works. He did not save you because of any potential He saw in you or any desirable attributes you have. It is all grace.  And therefore, He does not forsake you because of your shortcomings. He is not surprised by your failings or regretful of his decision to make you His child and heir. The love in God’s eyes when he looks at us is not based on our performance, but based off of his beautiful, gracious favor and kindness.

Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”