Is Forgiving Yourself Necessary?

The self help movement has infiltrated church teachings. If you are not a LOVER of the word of God, you most likely will fall for lies. I believe the whole concept of forgiving yourself is one of them. I have heard this talked about a lot through the years.

Forgiving YOURSELF is not in the Scriptures. Please hear me out. Jesus never commanded it; the apostle Paul never talked about it. What IS in the Scriptures is GOD’S forgiveness that was obtained for you through Jesus’ sacrifice. BIG difference.

I maintain that if you feel the need to forgive yourself, check to see if you have REALLY received the forgiveness that Jesus died to give you. The death of one innocent Man was enough to pay for the forgiveness of all the sins you have ever committed or WILL ever commit in the future. God was absolutely satisfied with it. If you say you need to add something to this, like forgiving yourself, you have not really accepted what He did for you, once and for all. You have not yet come to FAITH in the Word of God.

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4 “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:12-14. That last part is perhaps one of the most hope-filled passages in the bible.

The distance from the brain to the heart is approximately 18 inches. The word of God must move from mental assent to heartfelt belief and faith. In order for this to happen, it has been my experience that saying those promises out loud is necessary. My ears and my heart need to hear the word of God.

The bible talks about confession. “If you confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart, ….you shall be saved,” Romans 10:9. (The Greek word translated saved has many implications. Salvation is not just from sin, but that discussion is for another time.)  This is my confession, that “if I confess my sins, He is faithful and just to forgive me and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9.  “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103: 2-4.

Do you believe these scriptures? Rom. 8:35 “What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38-39.

If you can’t say yes to that question, check the status of your salvation. Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice as payment for all of your sins? If you are truly saved by faith in his sacrifice, then let’s work on  developing your faith in the word of God. You first must know WHAT it says, what those promises are. Studying His word is so important. Then confess it out loud. Incorporate it into your prayers. His sacrifice has FOREVER paid for all your past sins and any that you may commit in the future. There is no need to forgive your SELF! His forgiveness is ENOUGH!!! Receive it today! You won’t be disappointed.

Pray this. Dear Jesus, I am so full of worldly thinking. I repent for conforming to the world rather than to Your word. Forgive me for not studying your word as I should. I thank you for your cleansing power that brings wholeness into my life. With Your help, I want to commit myself to studying Your word and renewing my mind to it. Thank You for everything You have done for me.

Posted in God's Power, Relationship with God | Leave a comment

What does it mean to be made righteous?

I was listening to Pastor Joseph Prince talk about Abraham and how he sort of lied to Abimelech the king about his wife Sarah. The story is in Genesis Chapter 20. Abraham was afraid the men of the land would kill him to get his wife, so he told the king that Sarah was his sister (she was a half sister, so it was not entirely a lie, but he left out the wife part). The next thing we see is God appearing to King Abimelech in a dream saying “You are a dead man for taking Abraham’s wife.” The king did not know Sarah was Abraham’s wife, so it’s hard to fault him for the situation. But God gets on his case. We wait to see if he says anything to Abraham, but we never see it. I’ve always wondered about that situation. Pastor Prince said he thought God was getting onto the wrong guy. I tend to agree!

So why didn’t God chastise Abraham about his deception? Could it be God was not aware of it?  I doubt it, if one believes God knows everything. It seems to me that God was OVERLOOKING Abraham’s part in the whole thing. Why would he do that? Because “Abraham’s faith was accounted to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6  In God’s eyes, Abraham was righteous because of his faith in God. He had favor with God and a covenant just by having faith. Abimelech did not.

If we believe that God has accounts on everyone and is keeping score, let’s look at it this way…before Abraham had faith, his sins were mounting up higher and higher in his account. Then one day, he came to faith in God, and believed that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him, as the New Testament says in Hebrews 11:6. All of a sudden, Abraham’s sins are wiped out.  There is nothing in the account, EXCEPT now God puts a positive in the place of the sin. It’s called RIGHTEOUSNESS, right standing with God. Once we come to FAITH, and in the new testament, we call it salvation (whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, Romans 10:13), God puts our sins away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12) and remembers them no more.

That’s why, as we look at the life of King David, who actually committed adultery and murder, and even after the prophet corrects him, he is still called a man after God’s own heart. God still likes him even though he did those things. (David still suffered consequences, but did not lose God’s love.) 

The same way that Jesus, who knew no sin was MADE to be sin (2 Cor. 5:21), we were MADE the righteousness of God in Christ. It was an exchange. He became sin and we became righteous. He lowered Himself for the human race. We were elevated back to the original position that Adam had before he sinned. It’s as simple as that. This is how deep is the love, grace and mercy of our God.

Posted in Position of Man in the Plan of God | Leave a comment

Can We Command Angels?

I’m not even sure I can answer this question from the scriptures, but it’s something I thought I might toss around and we’ll look at some scriptures pertaining to angels to see what we can learn.

Some charismatic believers in the 1980s thought they could command angels, but can we really? Are angels real? What is their purpose?

In a thorough study, we would look at all Old Testament examples and New Testament scriptures to see what patterns are there and what the Word has to say about them. Where there is no direct command, I believe patterns in the bible are important to look for. God told Moses to “Be sure to make the tabernacle according to the pattern” He had shown him on the mountain.

The NT says angels are sent to assist the heirs of salvation. Heb.1:4 That would be us.

Heb. 2:5. The world to come will not be in subjection to angels. Heb. 2:16 God does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. That’s us.

We see angels in Genesis when they come to talk to Abraham about the coming judgment and then go on into the town of Sodom to get Lot and his family out of there. We see an angel appearing to Daniel in the book of Daniel to let him know why his prayer was delayed for three weeks.

In the Gospels, there is a lot of angelic activity around the pregnancy of Mary with Jesus. An angel appears to her and one appears to Joseph. And before that, one appears to Zacharias in the temple and gives him a message about his coming son.

We never see anyone in the OT or the NT actually commanding angels to do anything for them. Most of the time they are delivering messages. In the OT we do find Jacob hanging onto an angel and saying he will not let him go until he (the angel) blesses him.

Ps. 103:20 says Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.” So it would seem that angels perform the will of God, and if they’re working for me, that’s what I want!

An angel came and delivered Peter out of prison when the church prayed.

The archangel Michael disputed with Satan over the body of Moses in Jude 9. I suppose satan tried to make a claim on it, that Moses had sinned. Moses had sinned, but he was made and declared righteous because of his faith. Satan will probably contend over our bodies too.

And here is another interesting Scripture about angels, Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Entertaining angels. Now that would be interesting!

Angels came and ministered to Jesus after his 40 days fast and his confrontation with the devil’s temptations in the wilderness. An angel was present in the tomb after his resurrection speaking to those who came looking for Jesus.

So we see angels delivering messages  of warning and future events and giving assistance. But we really don’t see anyone ever commanding them except the instance with Jacob insisting the angel bless him. That is what the record shows. I’m sure there are other places where angels are mentioned that I have not covered.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the angels! We are grateful for all the assistance they can provide us on this earth, because we certainly need it.


Posted in Position of Man in the Plan of God | Leave a comment

Power Over Our Enemies

Oh my. God has given us power over our enemies, our spiritual enemies, that is. People are not our enemies.

This is a spiritual reality. In the New Testament, we are “seated in heavenly places, far above all power and dominions.” Jesus defeated our spiritual enemy satan on the cross. He did this for us, to give us back the position of dominion over the earth that Adam lost when he sinned. He rendered the devil to be powerless and toothless. His bark is worse than his bite. The only power he has is the power of deception. If he can get us to believe a lie, he wins. We have to know the TRUTH, which is in the Word of God.

When Jesus met up with the devil in the wilderness (look up scriptures), he showed us exactly how to defeat our enemies in the spirit. The book of James says, Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.” (James 4:7) We can defeat all of his works in our lives, but we must fight. And our fight is the struggle in our minds and emotions to come to a position of rest and trust in God and His promises. The circumstances no longer frighten us. Step 1: “Submit to God”…I say the word of God is true FOR ME! This first step is a must. My confidence is in the promises of God and His absolute love for me. Step 2: “Resist the devil.” The thoughts and beliefs that are against the word of God must be brought down by the spoken word of God. That is how we win. All thoughts not in line with the word of God must go. Results?…”and he will flee.” THAT is how we win!

Look at the life of King David. Before he was king, he was a 17 year old boy who spent all of his time out in the field tending his father’s sheep. He worshiped the Lord while he was there, playing music and singing. He fought off a bear and a lion who came after the sheep. This prepared him for what was coming. One day he visited the army of the Israelites, taking lunch to his brothers who were on the battlefield. When he arrived, he found God’s army cringing in fear at a 10 foot tall giant named Goliath. The giant is scary, but David had been fellowshipping with God. He was strong in faith. He said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine to defy the armies of the Living God?” David wasn’t looking at Goliath’s height or strength. David was looking at the fact that he himself had a covenant with God and that Goliath did not have that covenant. That made David on the winning side!

That 17 year old boy from the sheep herd, with no army training, challenged that great big giant of a man with a slingshot and five smooth stones (for Goliath’s brothers, should they show up). He ran toward Goliath and shot him right in the forehead with a stone, knocking him to the ground, at which point, David ran up and cut his head off with Goliath’s own sword. How’s that for winning?

Are you in covenant with God? Have you experienced salvation? You can be on the winning side too. You can win your “Goliath” battles too.

I did a study on the word “enemies” and found so many Old Testament promises about the victory God has given us. Even that “lesser covenant” promised the people victory over their enemies. We have better promises in the New Testament, but I got excited just getting the mental picture. Genesis 14:20 “And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Gen:49:8 “Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies,” (a promise to Judah, who was generally thought to lead praise). Ex. 23:22 God says, “I will be an enemy to your enemies…” Ex. 23:27 “I will send My fear  before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.” Lev. 26:7 You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.”  Deut. 20:1 “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”

Dear Jesus, I receive your word regarding power over my enemies. By faith, I declare my freedom from them. Thank you for all you have done for me.

Posted in God's Power, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Things Written for our Instruction

I am a questioner of all things. I have a natural curiosity about things. I believe God made me that way, in accordance with my purpose here on this earth. I love to solve a mystery and have always been drawn to mystery shows on tv. I have to be careful these days as there are some scenes I don’t want in my head. Sometimes that curiosity has led to places I have to pray myself out of!

So one of my questions is…if the first generation of Israelites died in the wilderness without getting to the Promised Land  because they didn’t change, how did the second generation turn out so well? They went over the river, fought battles, drove the enemy out, and gained their inheritance. One could say they learned the lessons of their parents and didn’t want to go down that path, which is possible. But in my own experience, even though I didn’t want to make the same decisions my mother did, I found I did not have the power to make good decisions before salvation, but instead, I followed the exact same path she did, making unwise decisions.

The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 10:2-4 that “They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.…” All ate the same food, all drank  from the Rock (which is a picture of Jesus), but with MOST, God was not pleased and their bodies fell in the wilderness. My notes on this say, “Most? A majority?” It would seem that is what “most” means.

The wilderness will make or break us. Jesus overcame in the wilderness, and we all have wilderness times in our lives too. But we CAN make it. The bible reveals that they didn’t make it and spells out what they did…they grumbled and complained, doubting God. They lusted and were sexually immoral. We too must not fall into these sins.

“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them…Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day, twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” I Corinthians 10:6-11

Bring this into our times. Everyone in your church gets the same “food” (teaching) at church, everyone “drinks” or is saved by Christ (we assume). Why do some of us fall? Because the wilderness proves us. It tries our faith. We either make it through the hard times or we fold. Jesus made it because He knew His identity in God and He used the Word of God to battle the temptations that came by actually saying them out loud. Could this work for us too?

If you are a believer, you can win in the wilderness, just like Jesus did. He never wavered from who He was and He spoke the Scriptures to win the battle. If you aren’t a believer, you absolutely will fold in the wilderness. Experience salvation now!!! Jesus died to make you a winner!

How did their kids turn out to be such winners? I suppose there’s only one answer…they all got “saved,” so to speak. Salvation as we know it was not available in the Old Testament times, but FAITH was available. We see Abraham was justified by FAITH. The second generation Israelites believed and obeyed God and went into the Promised Land; they marched around Jericho according to the instructions God gave them and saw its walls fall down. The next battle didn’t go so well, because someone had disobeyed, which caused their defeat, but when they obeyed God, they prevailed.

There were two survivors of the group of 12 who were sent to spy out the Promised Land. They were the only two who had faith to go in and take it, but they had to wait because the other ten caused the hearts of the Israelites to fear. Joshua and Caleb were 80 plus years old before they got to see their dreams come true. The other spies who spread the evil report all died early. Joshua and Caleb, at 80 years of age, led the younger generation into the Promised Land. These two must have mentored and taught that generation how to be overcomers.  At least, that’s how I see it in my mind.


Posted in God's Power, Relationship with God, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Where is Your Identity?

Where is your identity?

Most of us, as children, reflect the image  of our parents. The truth is, our spirits were made to reflect something, to become the image of something. As little babies and then children, our eyes watch what goes on around us. We learn to behave in certain ways, usually by watching those who are raising us. Our identity is in what our family name is, who our family is, what behavior they exhibit. Our inner image is based on the image of our parents. That’s why people can lose their way when their parents pass on. Who they are becomes a question mark in their hearts and minds. Identity is important. It defines a person. I remember the first time I ever saw my elderly grandfather very drunk. His weakness made me shake to the core. I was very dependent on him. He and my grandmother raised my brother and me, so my identity was built on who they were. It really upset me to see him in that state.

In Scripture, when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, we see a manifestation of the triune Godhead appearing….God the Father announced who Jesus was from Heaven. Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22  After that, Jesus was driven into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. It’s interesting to note that two of the three temptations He went through included a questioning of His identity. Twice the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God….

As believers, we too are bombarded daily by questions about our identity, although maybe not so blatant as that. They will usually be more subtle. The enemy is always seeking to place doubt within us about who we are.

The Scriptures say we are now “in Christ.” We are seated with Him in heavenly places. Scriptures clearly tells us where our identity now is. Our identity is in Christ. We are dead to the world. We have become “new creations” and the old is passed away. It is one thing to know it in our heads; it is quite another to believe in our hearts. Believing in our hearts is where we need to be established. The book of Colossians in the New Testament says to “establish ourselves in the love of Christ.” That means we are to come to KNOW, without any doubt, the love of Christ. When the bills pile up and the money isn’t there, we still KNOW and believe in the love of Christ. That becomes the anchor of our soul. When we are sick, we still KNOW and believe the love of Christ. When people gossip about us and spread lies about us, we still KNOW that Jesus loves us and all things are working for our good, according to Romans 8:28.

If Jesus had doubted the Word He heard his Father say over Him at His baptism, He could have lost the battle with the devil in the wilderness. And there’s no doubt he could have entertained the temptation, first to turn stones into bread after fasting for 40 days. Let’s face it, the guy was hungry! What would you do????

Then the devil took him up to the top of the temple and quoted Scripture to Him. That is a dirty trick. We need to be on guard for this too. The devil told Him to throw Himself down, that the angels would catch Him. What a twist on the Word of God.

The third time, the devil didn’t even bother to say, “If You are the Son of God,” he just went direct and tempted Him with the lust to be worshipped. Each temptation was met with the Word of God, a Scripture that Jesus used to shut him up. That is how we are to fight our own battles, just like Jesus did, using the Word of God, which is truth. That is the path to victory.

Posted in Position of Man in the Plan of God, Trusting God | Leave a comment

According to the Pattern, Part 2

The longer I know and walk with God, the more I am convinced that God says nothing, and does nothing without a purpose or a reason. He doesn’t speak without a reason. Whenever He tells us something, there is a purpose and a reason for it. He doesn’t give words of knowledge out just so you can know a secret about someone else. He doesn’t give dreams without a reason. He does nothing that is wasted or is just meant to be gossip or a “prayer request.” God does not gossip. He is not vain. There is purpose in everything He says and does. He is trying to get something accomplished in the earth…and we get to be a part of it! He is trying to bring heaven to earth.

Remember Jesus said this: I only do what I see My Father doing and I only say what I hear my Father say. Jesus was keyed in to only doing and saying what he saw His Father do and say. That’s why Hebrews chapter 1 can say He is the express image of the Father. Jesus always had a purpose and reason behind everything he did.

So knowing this and believing this, I ask, why was God so adamant that Moses follow the plan for the wilderness tabernacle that He showed him on the mountain?

God could not have direct contact with mankind after Adam and Eve sinned. He is too holy and man is not holy. His presence would kill men, without an intermediary. But God longs for a family and He loves mankind, which to me seems obvious as I look at the great lengths He went to to make it possible for His presence to come and dwell in the tent.

In the New Testament time period in which we live now, we don’t need the tent. The intermediary has come in the person of Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, the huge tent curtain keeping man AWAY from the presence in the tabernacle was torn from the top to the bottom. Angels had to do that because the curtain was very tall. Now the way is open in to the presence of God and all are welcome.

I am grateful for the obedience of those saints who have gone before me. Their lives are an example for me to follow. The scriptures say that these things were written as examples to us. We can learn from their mistakes and their faith.

Pray with me: Dear Jesus, Thank you for the faith of those who have gone before me and the record of their lives that instructs me how to live for You now. As I follow You, let my life, my actions and my words, also be a light for others, helping them to know You and love You.

Posted in God's Power, Position of Man in the Plan of God, Relationship with God | Leave a comment