Worship Jesus for all He has done and is doing for you!
Worship Jesus for all He has done and is doing for you!
Easter is almost here. I call it Resurrection Day. Easter is the world’s name for it. The church commemorates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son and Savior of the world at this season. It is the most pronounced act of LOVE ever known. Has anyone else ever died for you?
Consider this song. It’s been out a long time, but the words say it all. Bet you’ll cry.
“I’m forgiven because You were forsaken”
I’m accepted, You were condemned
And I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again.
“Amazing love, how can it be
That You my King would die for me
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You
In all I do, I honor You
Jesus, You are my King.
If that one doesn’t make you cry, try this one.
If you have been attending a church for any length of time, you may have noticed people getting “saved” over and over, accepting Jesus again and again. Why do they do this? I believe it is because they may fall away, go back to their old sinful ways, and then, doubting their salvation, they make their way back to the altar to do it all over again and again. But the truth may be, they are saved, but they sin and feel they aren’t saved. At least that is what the devil would tell them. I think they are in need of the “band aid scripture.”
What is the “band aid scripture” you ask? It is 1 John 1:9. The band aid scripture can save your life.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all sin.” John is writing to believers in this passage and giving them assurance that when they sin, forgiveness AND cleansing is always available. Jesus always takes you back after you mess up, simple as that. He does not discard us. We don’t have to keep going to the altar to “get saved” again. We are saved. Now we need to start believing His promises. This is one of them.
In my Christian journey, I found that the longest distance was between my head and my heart. It is helpful to pray scriptures out loud. My heart hears my verbal confessions of the word of God and eventually my heart embraces the scriptures and agrees with them. I’m not sure why it works that way. There are scriptures that allude to it, such as Be careful what you hear, and scriptures about the power in spoken words. I believe that because we are made in the image of God, this establishes the power of spoken words in our lives too. When God spoke, He created. All mankind has this same power in their mouths. It’s a mind-boggling thought!
So feel free to use the band aid scripture every time you have (make) a “boo-boo.” Jesus thought of everything we would need.
Many years ago, I became part of an organization called Al-Anon. The group is for families of alcoholics. The twelve step program offered by this organization is based on Christian principles. The program aims at helping people start to believe in God again and to have hope in their seemingly hopeless family situations. Through weekly (or more) meetings with others in like situations and accountability with a sponsor, many find help. Many Christian leaders deny the effectiveness of twelve step programs, but it is only their pride that says that.
I’m not going to go into a big long defense of 12 step programs, but I will say this: The Scriptures say that only the Father can draw people to the Son. “No one comes to the Father except through Me, Jesus said. And no one comes to Me except the Father draws him.” The principles of Al-Anon, along with the fellowship and mentoring provided for me there by a Christian woman, brought me to the Son!
What these Christian leaders fail to see is that God is using 12 Step programs to draw people to His Son! God can use anything, or, anyone (even a donkey) whenever He wants! There are things that the church misses as far as relationships and mentoring, that 12 step programs have provided.
At this point in time, I was just learning how to have a relationship with God. I journaled everything. One spiritual thing I learned was that if the same thing came by me twice, or happened to me twice, that was usually God trying to get my attention. The key to relationship with God is surrender. God is ALWAYS right. I found that I was most always wrong back in those days. My thinking was messed up. I wasn’t thinking at all along heavenly ways. In the group,the pain from the way I had been living drove me to get honest with myself and others. I learned to make a personal inventory, and make amends to those I had harmed. After some measure of freedom had been obtained, I learned to daily continue aiming to be the best, but making amends immediately if I needed to. It became possible to have some measure of peace and not be plagued by guilt. God meets you where you are.
But there was a deeper surrender coming. I wanted to be free of a sin that had dominated my life for many years. I needed the power of the cross of Jesus Christ to get there, and even then, it was a battle. But I won. Finally.
All praise goes to Jesus Christ. He paid the price on the cross so that I could have His power living in me that would set me free from all sin. In my mind, the greatest gift from God is our freedom from sin that is provided for by the death of Jesus. He overcame all sin and works of darkness FOR US. He rendered the devil’s lies impotent FOR US. All of it FOR US. If you haven’t experienced release from the burden of your sins (and you do have them, believe me!), you simply must come to Him and acknowledge your need. You have not LIVED until you have experienced freedom from sin!!! Only then can you begin to TRULY LIVE!
Oh, how He loves us!
Pray with me: Dear Jesus, I am not living the way I would like to. I need help. I want to have a clear conscience. I want to experience this freedom from sin that You paid for me to have. I surrender my life to You. From this day forward, I pledge to read Your Word so that I can learn who You are and how much You love me and what You have done for me. I believe that only You can restore my life. Thank You for all You have done. Fill me with Your Spirit every day. I want everything You have for me.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’ Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” Malachi 3:16-18
I love this passage of Scripture. I have always taken it as a commendation of those who love God and talk about Him to each other. I love to talk about Jesus and what He is doing in my life. The things He does are so exciting. Not only is it fun to share with another believer, it is also very exciting to see Him doing things on your behalf, and especially when they are unexpected.
In the context of Malachi, this scripture comes at the end of Chapter 3. God has previously been chastising Israel for their disrespect of Him. Their offerings are polluted, their gifts to Him sick and lame, and He takes no pleasure in them. He disdains their attitude. They divorce the wives of their youth and call what is evil, good. In the following chapter, he tells them of a coming messenger. He begins to speak of Jesus. Then He tells them they have robbed Him of the tithe. The people have complained, saying it is useless to serve God, and that those who are wicked are raised up. They see no good reason to serve God. They are fully deceived.
But in Chapter 3, verse 16, it’s almost as if God says, wait a minute. There are some other types of people still out there. God seems to be remembering something, and relishing the memory. He even writes it down. He hears those who are speaking well of Him and loving Him. They are His jewels and they will be rewarded. Those who stay faithful and love Him will be rewarded.
I plan to be in that bunch. How about you?
It all started here…
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him…’ Genesis 2:18. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Genesis 18:22.”
This scripture explains why the pairing of men and women is so strong among people. A monogamous, committed relationship like marriage provides companionship, as well as the Godly context to express sexual desires. All other ideas the world may have are doomed to failure and unhappiness. Ask people who have been married multiple times. Ask those who live together for years without a marriage commitment. But today, traditional one man/one woman marriage is under assault. It takes lots of work to stay married too. Before becoming a Christian, I believed that divorce was an option. After becoming a Christian, I no longer believe that. It is no longer an option for me. It is not the solutions to my marital problems. My husband and I made an agreement when we married, that divorce was not an option, ever. That is the only way to stay married in today’s society.
Jesus had this to say about divorce: “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it was not so.” Matthew 19:8.
So, hardness of heart brings on divorce.
“For the Lord God of Israel says that he hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 2:16
Divorce tears up people, children, families, churches, societies.
It’s a proven sociological fact that children have a better life with an intact, healthy father and mother marriage. Both role models are represented and the home has security when both parents are committed to each other and the well-being of their children. Witness the cost, not just financially, to society as fathers leave the family and the mother and children have to go on the public dole because they cannot make enough income. The mother then has less time to devote to the emotional well being of her children and someone else raises them. Then children without their fathers have their own emotional troubles.
I am sad to say it, but Christian leadership has often not proven to be role models in this arena. The Church has bought into the lies of the world concerning sex and marriage. It cannot credibly practice nor teach biblical principles about marriage and child rearing in that condition. There is too much pornography addiction in the Body of Christ, destroying marriage relationships and the lives of children as well.
If you have such an addiction, I say to you, stop hiding and come out of the shadows, and you can be set free. There is help for you in Christ. There is complete freedom from this addiction if you want it. You can be whole and free. God has a better life for you!
2017 is gone now, but it was a joyful year. And I am expecting 2018 to be even more joyful! I managed to get two books published this year!
Happy New Year from our house to your house. Jesus is wonderful!