Pressing On

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20  Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. — Eccel. 7:20 NIV

We all fall, but we don’t stay fallen.  I am encouraged by Paul whose claim to be the “chief of sinners” could be contested by some of us in today’s society. He clearly knew who he was, Whose he was and where he was on his journey. He lets us know that he is not there yet, but he is on his way and he is determined to arrive there.


12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 3:12-14 NIV
”Forgetting what is behind” is the example Paul sets for us. That is a hard thing for humans to do.  But, if we don’t practice that, then satan will use those memories of our failures to condemn us and make us feel unworthy to approach God and ask for His forgiveness.  If we allow this to continue, we will soon become beaten down with guilt.  Condemnation is from the devil, conviction is from the Holy Spirit.  Rebuke satan and his condemnation.  Accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and ask for His forgiveness.  Accept that forgiveness and “press on toward the goal to win the prize”.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:8-10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -09-02-2018

“Godly Sorrow Brings Salvation”

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10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.  – 2 Cor.7:10 NLT
 
In his letters to the church at Corinth, Paul had admonished them to take corrective action against those members that were not living a Christian lifestyle  They were participating in sexual sins and not showing proper respect when taking communion. He wanted the church to be a shining light in a dark city.  Although, he spoke to them firmly, it was because he loved them as his own children and wanted to see them maturing in the faith. When we have erred, we need to accept correction from those who love us and want us to be stronger Christians. If we feel guilty and condemned, we should remember that condemnation comes from satan, not from the Lord. Condemnation is “worldy” sorrow that leads to death.  Conviction is “godly” sorrow that leads to repentance and life. When we feel convicted of an error, we ask God for His forgiveness.  We all fall down at times, but God is waiting to pick us up and restore us to Himself. It just requires us being honest with ourselves and with Him.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NIV

Once we have accepted God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves and move on.  We must never allow satan to use past sins to condemn us. This only leads to pain and confusion. Rejoice in the freedom that comes with confession and forgiveness and live in the truth of God’s Word.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-16-2018

Believe, Receive, Live!

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15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. – Hebrews 4:15 NLT
 
Sometimes when we sin, whether intentionally or not, we are overwhelmed with guilt. We walk around for days carrying that heavy load, too ashamed to face our actions, confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness.  That is exactly what satan wants us to do because in that condition, we are useless in witnessing for the Kingdom.   What we need most we are ashamed to ask for because we don’t deserve it. True, we don’t deserve forgiveness but God gives it to us because of His great love and mercy. Humans deserving forgiveness was never a part of God’s plan. Getting us to waste time trying to earn forgiveness is satan’s plan. As usual, satan couldn’t come up with anything original so he just takes the opposite stand on what God has done for us. We need to understand that the Holy Spirit does not make us feel guilty, what He brings to us is conviction that we have sinned and God is waiting, even longing to forgive us.  The times in our lives when we feel guilt is the most “needy” times in our lives. We need to be forgiven and restored so that we can fulfill the plan God has for each of us. Jesus came that we might have abundant lives which start with and always include forgiveness of our sins. Jesus wants us to live, really live a vibrant life for Him. If you spell “live” backward, you get “evil” which comes from satan and guilt is one of his most useful tools for defeating Christians. Don’t let satan cheat you out of an abundant life, get forgiven and get going. We have a Champion on our side who will never be defeated and we are covered with His righteousness.
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels ​– Isaiah 61:10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-06-2018

Who Do We Want to Please?

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43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. – John 12:43 NLT

John 12:37-43 NLT

 Isaiah had prophesied many years earlier that the people would not believe or receive Jesus. Because their traditions and praise from men had come to mean more to them than God’s law and God’s approval, God had chosen to blind their spiritual eyes and close their minds to spiritual understanding. Many of the people did believe in Jesus but were afraid to say so. They were fearful that they would be put out of the synagouge. If this happened they would be ridiculed and treated as outcasts in the villages. Their fleshly desires outweighed their faith that Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus had told the people earlier that they would have to confess Him before men.
32 “All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33 But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.—Matt. 10:32, 33 (NCV)
How many of us have felt that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to speak out but we have remained silent? We were afraid of being ridiculed by society and our flesh wanted acceptance from our little clique. How did you feel after that happened? Guilty? Don’t let satan beat you up because you failed. We can take a lesson from Peter. If we feel condemnation, it is from satan. If we feel conviction, it is from the Holy Spirit.
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.–Romans 8:1 (NLT)
God is still in the forgiving business no matter how many times we fail Him.
8 If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.—1 John 1:8, 9 (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-24-2017

From Where Did This Guilt Come?

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18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.           ​- John 3:18 ​NLT



God has not condemned anyone and He doesn’t send people to hell. People are condemned when they reject Jesus, That is a personal choice and they have to earn their way to hell; “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23) It isn’t God’s will that any should perish/go to hell. We each make a choice to accept the gift of eternal life or work our way to hell. A Christian cannot be condemned since we don’t “practice evil” We certainly fall occasionally but that is not our lifestyle. Condemnation comes from satan but conviction comes through the Holy Spirit. The feelings of guilt that a Christian has are not condemnation but conviction for failing to live up to the standards that Jesus has set for us. Jesus died once for all our sins, He is not going to the cross again. So, if you are feeling conviction and we all do at some time or other, don’t wait, ask God for His forgiveness and start to walk with Him in joy once again.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.–1 John 1:​8, ​9 (NLT)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-13-2017

Jesus Paid It All

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14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. — Hebrews 4:14 NIV


There are many times in our journey that we fall short of the mark. There will always be those times as long as we remain in these human bodies. When it comes to being tempted, we are very weak. Because Jesus went through the same temptations when He walked on this earth, He understands our failures. The devil will take those failures and beat us up over and over, telling us how we are no longer a child of God because we failed. But don’t let those failures stop you from repenting. Just remember that guilt and condemnation come from the devil, who is a thief and a liar. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and calls us to the throne room of God where we can ask for and receive His forgiveness. We can be very sure that we will receive mercy and grace from our Father. We will receive this not because we have done anything to earn it, but simply because of what Jesus did for us at the Cross. Even right now, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. The Father will not refuse anything that the Son ask from Him. So, hold on and press on because Jesus has paid the price.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 1-3-2017

Nourished by the Word and the Spirit

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18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud — Colossians 2:18
 
Condemnation comes from satan and weighs us down with guilt for things that we have done in the past or things that we are doing now.  If satan can keep you feeling guilty, he has defeated you because you will not be able to do good works when you are weighed down with guilt.  Remember that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.  Condemnation is different from conviction.  God’s Holy Spirit will bring conviction upon us but it will lead us to repentance. Once we have repented, our relationship with Jesus is restored and we can again be effective working for Christ.  Man should not add any requirements for salvation to what God has already laid out in His Word. No matter what anyone tells you, we cannot be good enough to earn salvation or bad enough to lose our salvation.  Our salvation depends on Jesus and His shed blood. God tells us in Romans that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from Him and His love. Why?  Because it is a gift from God and gifts cannot be bought or earned.

All the rules and precepts are shadows of what is coming.  It is our responsibility to use discernment and cross check what people say with the Holy Scriptures.  If the two do not agree, then we must always go with the Word.  Just as our physical bodies are controlled by our brains (head) and nourished by the blood flowing through it , so is the Spiritual body controlled by the head, who is Christ Jesus.  The whole body is held together by the power of His Word and is nourished by His Spirit flowing through us.