Believers, Renounce Guilt!

Believers, Renounce Guilt!

Did you realize that guilt is a weapon of our spiritual enemy, the devil?  It’s designed to destroy the faith of Christians. 

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.   (Rom 8:33-34)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  (Ps 32:1-2)

 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 Joh 1:9)

The enemy’s plan is to bring about such condemnation upon a person that they will abandon faith in God.  That happens gradually, as the person battling guilt begins to question the very Word of God.  As the person slides into self-doubt, He may begin to question God’s faithfulness.  Will He really give the victory?  They begin to feel alone in the battle.

ALL of these things are from the pit of hell.  The Lord says that He has made a way of escape!  (1 Cor 10:13)  When temptation knocks, actively LOOK FOR the blessed way of escape.  It is hidden in your heart in the form of Bible verses.  Here are some very helpful and spiritually powerful verses to memorize and to review daily.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.  (Isa 54:17)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  (Rom 8:1) 

. . . even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe . . . (Rom 3:22)

. . . so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rom 5:21)

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  (1 Cor 1:30)

. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  (Col 2:14)

Fill your mind and heart with these truths from God’s Word, and focus on studying the Bible.  Memorizing Scriptures will give you strength against temptation.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  (Ps 119:11)

Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer; He is our righteousness.  He loves His children and surrounds us with His presence and His grace.  Begin to appreciate these precious truths, and your faith will be strengthened as well as your Christian walk.

Unjust Suffering

Unjust Suffering

The Bible gives us notice in numerous passages that followers of Jesus Christ will experience unjust suffering.  We are told that any suffering that we go through is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us!  (Rom 8:18)

Christ suffered for us, and He left us this as an example, so that we would follow in His steps—being forewarned.  (1 Pet 2:21)

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  (1 Pet 2:19 NIV)

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  (1 Pet 3:14a)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (2 Tim 3:12)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33)

In all situations of life, we can never be separated from the love of God for us.  (Rom 8:35)  God promises to comfort us in all of our troubles.  (1 Cor 1:3-4)  These passages of the Scripture are meant to support us and to encourage us when we suffer.

Our perseverance in suffering, holding on to our faith in Christ, proves the genuineness of our faith according to the Word of God.  (1 Pet 1:6-7) 

We are told to count it a joy when we face many and various types of trials. (Jas 1:2-4, see also Rom 5:3-5) 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Mt 5:10-12)

Prepare your heart, mind, and will to follow Jesus in every circumstance; and when you arrive in eternity, you will be filled with rejoicing and extreme thankfulness that you did.

Walk Worthy of God

Walk Worthy of God

The Bible calls us, as believers, to “walk worthy” of God and of our calling.  Here are some examples:

. . .  who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well . . . (3 Joh 6)

. . . that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.  (1 Thes 2:12)

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called . . . (Eph 4:1)

. . . that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God . . . (Col 1:10)

We are called to walk in a way that corresponds to and is in harmony with the glorious nature of our Savior God, whom we serve.  He is loving, kind, merciful and forgiving.  We must use His nature as our example.  We must see the blessings of our salvation and realize that our calling is to share them with as many people as we possibly can.

Our own value is not in question here due to the fact that the Lord has already demonstrated our extreme value by sending His own, beloved Son to be our Savior.  Jesus came to suffer, die, and to be resurrected in order to reconcile each one of us to God, the Father.  We have already been reconciled to God!  Hallelujah!

Here is a wonderful insight into this topic by Ed Elliott:

“Paul wrote this letter to the church in Ephesus while he sat in a Roman prison. He didn’t identify with being a prisoner of Rome. He saw himself as a prisoner of the Lord. He was locked in God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Paul walked worthy of the Lord by knowing whose prisoner he really was.” – Ed Elliott (referring to Ephesians 4:1)

Be Watchful

Be Watchful

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  (2 Tim 4:5)

. . . praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—  (Eph 6:18)

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.  (1 Pet 4:7)

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  (1 Cor 16:13)

Often the Bible urges us to watch as well as to pray.  (Mk 13:33; 14:38; Lk 21:36; Eph 6:18)  It’s important that these two actions go hand in hand. 

Watch means to stay awake; to be sleepless.  We need to take this command literally as well as spiritually.  We are meant to be vigilant, on guard, alert, and intently aware.  Spiritual watching combined with prayer will give us the strength we need to resist temptation and to overcome difficult situations in life.

Staying awake is connected with righteousness.  (1 Cor 15:34)  If ever there has been a time to stay alert and focused, it is NOW.  Many scholars believe that we are living in what is called the “end times.”  We must focus on strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ and living a holy life, by the grace which He imparts to us.

Believers must be prepared for the return of Jesus Christ; we must guard against temptation; and we should pray without ceasing.  We should prepare for the completion (conclusion) of our salvation!

“Vigilant watchfulness is a manifestation of genuine spiritual life.” ~ Billy Graham

In the Race

In the Race

Did you realize that we are born into a race?  We all run in the “race of life” which not only involves this life but eternal life, as well.

And, as you would expect, every race has its own rules and guidelines as well as its rewards.  The same is true in the “race of life.”

The Bible reveals everything to us about life and godliness. (2 Pet 1:3)  It tells about the guidelines for our lives, and discloses the nature and power of our weapons.  (2 Cor 10:4)  Here are some of truths that we all need to understand about the race in which we are engaged.

Training

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  (1 Cor 9:25 NIV)

A prize

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  (1 Cor 9:24 NKJV)

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Tim 4:8)

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  (Jas 1:2)

. . . and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.  (1 Pet 5:4)

Rules

And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.  (2 Tim 2:5)

Perseverance Needed

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.  (Rev 2:10)

Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Rev 3:11)

Application

Think about the nature of your own race, and how you can run it with more wisdom and power.  Blessings upon you!

You, Alone, Lord

You, Alone, Lord

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8 NIV, emphasis added)

According to the verse above, ONLY the Lord causes us to live in safety.  If we only realized it, everything in life depends upon the goodness of God, alone.

How do I know?  Consider these passages from the Bible.

  • Only God knows the hearts of all men (1 Kgs 8:39; 2 Chron 6:30)
  • Only God created the heavens and the earth (2 Kgs 19:15; Neh 9:6; Job 9:8; Isa 44:24)
  • The Bible tells us to wait for God, alone, with expectation (Ps 62:5)
  • God, alone, is the Most High God over the earth (Ps 83:18; 148:13)
  • He, alone, is God (Ps 86:10; Isa 37:16, 20)
  • God, alone, does great wonders—signs and miracles (Ps 136:4; Ac 2:22; Heb 2:4)
  • Only God has the authority to forgive sin (Mk 2:7; Lk 5:21)
  • God, alone, deserves glory, honor and praise (Rom 16:27; 1 Tim 1;17, 6:16; Ju 1:25; Rev 15:4)
  • We should boast only of the Lord (Ps 34:2; 44:8; Gal 6:14)

As we go about our daily lives, serving the Lord and His people, it would be good to meditate upon the truths noted above.  As we rely upon God and upon the leading of His Holy Spirit, He will help us to understand the hearts of men.  He will give us a revelation of His creation, as well as what to expect in our own lives and circumstances.

He, the great miracle-working Savior, will preserve us and deliver us by His power.  He will continue to forgive us and to pour out His mercy and grace upon us.  He surrounds us with His love.

Therefore, let us give Him all the glory, praise and honor; and boast only in Him.

The Inexorable Force

The Inexorable Force

Our God is the Inexorable Force of the universe.  What He says always, ALWAYS comes to pass.  When we become born again, He places His hand upon us in such a way that we must share His Truth and His Word.  These verses illustrate what I’m saying:

But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Ac 4:19-20 NIV, underlining added)

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  (Jer 20:9 NIV)

 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”  (Num 22:38 NIV)

In our hearts, we feel that force within us that compels us to testify that Jesus is the Redeemer of all mankind—the hope of all the world.  If we are not aware of an inner inducement to share the Good News with others, then it is time to renew our commitment to the Lord and to rededicate ourselves to His purposes.

In Acts 17:16-17, we read that Paul was provoked to share the gospel message with the people in Athens.  Jesus addressed His followers in Acts 1:8 to tell them that they would be His witnesses in this world.

We must confess, along with 2 Samuel 23:2:  “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue.”  Let us lift our voices and testify to the loving goodness and kindness of our God and Savior.  The Holy Spirit (The Inexorable Force) within each one of us lovingly requires it of us all.