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Letting Go of the Sin Releases the Healing

Letting Go of the Sin Releases the Healing

“For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17

The fact is God’s heart is to bring healing into our lives, yet, when we hold onto our sins we don’t allow Him to heal us. When we are stuck in our state of denial and refuse to confess the sins in our lives we can’t be healed, we can’t grow, nor can we move forward. We are stuck. We simply lengthen the pain within our lives. How foolish is that, especially when God’s heart is to heal us?

Often times admitting our shortcomings is embarrassing and painful. However, if we refuse to face the initial pain and discomfort of coming out in the open with our sins and shortcomings we are choosing to live in the pain rather than be healed of it. A few years ago my daughter severally broke her ankle. In order for her ankle to properly heal she had to allow the doctor to reset it. She was pregnant at the time so she couldn’t take any pain medication. She was in great fear and dread over allowing the doctor to reset her ankle but allowed him to know that it was the only way her ankle would properly heal. It was extraordinarily painful for her at the time, but today she can walk, skip, run, and jump.

When we choose to sweep our sins under the rug we’re not hiding them. We are holding on to them. We have placed them into storage allowing the pain to remain. We will live in fear wondering if someone will one day lift up the edge of the rug and look underneath, and, we will continue to live in bondage to the sin allowing it to keep a hold and influence over our lives. Yet, when we confess our sins God removes them as far as the east is from the west; they are gone. Healing can now take place. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.”

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Step Out Of Your Fantasy Into Reality

“You have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Number 32:23

Children live in a world of fantasy and make-believe. Therefore, a child is easily persuaded that the word of make-believe is reality. Adults should know the difference. Unfortunately, too many adults remain childish with their lack of a perception of reality. They will make statements of fantasy like; “Just because she died of an overdose doesn’t mean I will,” or, “just because he was caught doesn’t mean I will be,” or “just because everything blew up in his face doesn’t mean it will in mine.” They think they are above and beyond everyone else who was caught in the snare. This is a childish state of mind. They need to repent of this and put on their big boy and big girl pants and step into reality. In other words, they need to grow up and become mature men and women.

We are childish when we try to pretend that the elephant in the room isn’t there. When I was a child my dad had a 57 Chevrolet pickup. I loved that truck. One day he left my sister and I in the truck while he went into a store. We started wrestling around in the seat, I probably started it, and then one of our feet accidentally kicked the back window shattering it into thousands of little pieces. With our childlike minds we simply sat straight up in the seat and pretended like nothing happened. Surly, no one would notice, right? Unfortunately, for us, our dad noticed immediately.

That is the same mindset we have when we think no one knows of the destructive sins we are harboring and holding onto. We think we are crafty and sneaky. We think we have cleverly hidden our sin from the rest of the world. In reality, the only one who believes that lie is the one who is telling it. This individual is in denial, living in a fantasyland of lies.

Ephesians 4:22 says, “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.” Satan operates in the realm of deceit. If we are going to be set free we must step out of our fantasy and into reality. We must be honest. We must be honest with God first and confession of our sins to Him. After all, He does already know everything. I John 1:9 says,  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Secondly, we need to be honest with the rest of the world, especially our loved ones. When we live in the fantasyland our lies alienate us from the world, especially our loved ones. Remember, they already know. The only one you are lying to is yourself. However, when we are honest, even if we are a total mess, people are much more likely to walk with us and help us. Deliverance starts with honesty.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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You’re Not God

You’re Not God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

It is not my intention to share with you a mutli-step plan to deliverance. However the first step to deliverance is obviously coming to the realization that you have a problem. It is stepping out of denial and into reality. Whether your issue is anger, lust, bitterness, addiction, or anything else, you first need to admit that you have a problem.

That being said, you can be fully sincere in your admittance that you have a problem and still be in denial. You are in denial when you think that you are in control. Know this, you are not God. Now, I know no rational thinking person ever truly thinks that he is God. However, when you believe the lie that you are in control of your life you are assuming the position of God; and you my friend are not God. If you think you have everything completely under control you are in denial. Your pride has consumed you and will eventually destroy you. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

Haven’t you already made a big enough mess out of your life? Been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it. Why then do you not turn your life over to the Lord and allow Him to transform your mess into a masterpiece. There is no doubt in my mind hand I not surrendered my life to the Lord when I did I would be either dead or in jail today. Only a master can make a masterpiece. And, we are not masters-but God is.

This scripture tells us not to lean on our own understanding. Remember, it was your own understanding that spun your life out of control in the first place. It then tells us to trust the Lord with all your heart and in all of your ways acknowledge Him. Simply stated, that means we surrender full control over to God. When we do, He has promised to straighten out our mess and make our paths straight.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Christian Persecution

Christian Persecution

Almost daily we here about Christians around the world being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Unfortunately, we are only hearing about a tiny portion of all of the world wide suffering of the saints. Is this proof that Christians are weak? Absolutely not! Any coward can get in a large group with massive weaponry and terrorize the defenseless. Nor, does it take much courage to cower down and hide. However, the Christian who stands in faith knowing they can be killed, tortured, or victimized in a number of ways for their faith in my opinion is extraordinarily courageous. They are the perfect picture of strength and faith. Their courage doesn’t come from their own strength. Rather, it comes from their love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are Christians being persecuted because God has forsaken them? Of course not! The Word of God promises that God will never leave us nor forsake us. In fact, the bible tells us that Christians will be persecuted. Jesus told us that the world will hate us because it hates Him. (John 15:18). Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” At the same time the Word of God gives us assurance that God’s blessings come to those who are persecuted. Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Let us not forget that Jesus Himself suffered greatly at the hands of wicked men as did all of the Apostles. And, we should not forget that Jesus died to ultimately put an end to all of the suffering this world offers. Romans 8:18 gives a comforting promise reminding us that this world is only temporary, but there is an eternal reward to come, stating, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Jesus foretold that persecution and violence would increase just before His return. (Matthew 24:9). He also said many would fall away as a result. (Matthew 24:10). Today, in almost every nation, Christian persecution is greatly increasing; some nations are obviously much worse than others. What can we do about it? 1st if you don’t know Jesus come to know Him for His return is imminent. 2nd, we need to stand firm regardless of what persecution we may face. Jesus is worthy and God can and will use it as a bold witness. 3rd, we need to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know That we Have Passed Out of Death Into Life

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” I John 3:14 NASB

As we have already seen love is one of the “by this we know” evidences of genuine salvation. Love is not the means of passing out of life into death but an evidence of going from life to death. The one who does not love abides in death. We clearly see in our world today those who claim to act on behalf of God but act out of hate rather than love. Their domain is death, which is seen clearly in their lack of love and heart of hate. The one who is truly living for God has passed out of death into life and as a result has love.

The bible speaks of three types of death, spiritual death, physical death, and the second death which is eternal death. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and again in Colossians 2:13, “you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh.” Paul wasn’t talking to people who were physically dead, they were spiritually dead.

Sin separates us from God. God’s heart is to have a relationship with us. However, sin prevents us from having a relationship with Him. Separation from God is spiritual death. For this reason Jesus died for us so our sins can be forgiven and we would no longer be spiritual dead but alive in Christ and through Christ. Romans 6:23 not only tells us that the wages of sin is death but also says that the free gift of God is eternal life. Accepting the sacrificial atonement of Christ cleanses us from our sins and reconciles us into a right relationship with God.

The bible is clear-all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;” Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;” I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us;” I John 1:10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar and His word is not in us.”

Since all have sinned, all stand in need of salvation through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. Apart from salvation they abide in death. Because of the sacrifice Jesus paid the bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As we see clearly that all have sinned we see just as clearly that the offer of salvation is for all. Romans 10:13 says, “For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

The sacrifice Jesus paid through the shedding of His blood made it possible for Christ to be our atoning sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption of sins.” I peter 3:18 says, “Christ also died for sins once for all,” and Romans 6:10 says, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.” The moment we confess our sins and by faith accept Jesus work on the cross God saves us. As a sign and seal of our salvation God gives to us His Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 “the Spirit gives life.” When we are forgiven of our sin through the sacrifice of Christ we stand in right relationship with God. He then gives us His Spirit which gives us life. We then “have passed out of death into life.”

Romans 8:9-11 says of those who have passed out of death into life, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The assurance of scripture to those who are truly saved is that they have, past tense, and at the moment of salvation, passed out of death into life.

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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know we will be Like Christ

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” I John 3:2 NASB

Through the first coming of Christ many of the mysteries of God were revealed. They have been revealed to those who are now in the light. When the true light came, Jesus, His light drove away the shadows of the Old Testament unveiling Himself for all those who choose to walk in Him. Although He has revealed Himself, allowing us to become Children of God, there are still things we do not know. As Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight allowing the Word of God to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. By faith, we walk in the light knowing God will make straight our paths and lead us down the paths of righteousness.

Referring to the second coming of Christ, “when He appears,” John states, “It has not appeared as yet what we will be.” In the midst of Paul correcting the Church of Corinth over misuses of spiritual gifts he said in I Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” In verse 9-10 he said, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”

What is the “perfect” that is to come that will make us know just as we are fully known? Some would suggest that the “perfect” is the completion of the New Testament. I agree that through the Word of God we now know everything God wants us to know. But, I have one question. When is Jesus coming back? We don’t know do we. Obviously, we do not yet know just as we are full known. I believe the “perfect” can only be the person of Jesus Christ. When we stand face to face with Christ, we will know just as we are fully known.

John said, “when He appears, we will be like Him.” Wow, what an amazing promise. How is Jesus? He is perfect. He is perfect in every way and so shall we. He isn’t just perfect in spirit and character, He is also perfect in body. When He rose from the grave He rose with a resurrected and glorified body that would never know death, pain, sickness, nor decay. He is the first fruits of the resurrection and just as He is, so shall we be. Remember though, Jesus is Lord and is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then, will be submissive to His Lordship just as we are today. Nevertheless, we will be like Him. He is perfect, and because of Him, we will be spotless, unblemished, and perfect in every way with a resurrected and glorified body.

John has shared this promise to those who know that they know Jesus to remind them that eternal life is not something to be feared. In fact, we should long for it. Even so Lord come! Please share.

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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The Assuring Promises to the One Who Knows

I John is all about assurance. We have looked at seven statements from John that assures the believer of what true Christianity looks like. In each of these statements John said, “by this we know.” By this we know that we truly walk in the light if the by this we know statements are evident in our lives. They are assuring evidences that we are in Christ and He is in us. Again, these are not the means to salvation, but the evidence of salvation.

As John’s heart was to assure the believer of their salvation that they may know they have eternal life, he was also assuring them of the promises and gifts we have as Children of God who walk in the light; those who know. All seven “by this we know” statements were to assure the hearer of their salvation. Seven other times in I John he simply declared “we know.” Each “we know” statement was to assure the hearer, who knows he has eternal life, of the rewards and promises we have because of our faith in Christ who is the atoning sacrifice of our sin and our advocate before the Father. Some of these promises are immediately received at the moment of salvation while others will be received in the future.

These seven assuring gifts and promises to the believer are:

  • We know we will be like Christ. I John 3:2
  • We know that we have passed out of death into life. I John 3:14
  • We know we are of the truth. I John 3:19-21
  • We know God hears us and will answer us. I John 5:14-15
  • We know we have overcome sin. I John 5:18
  • We know that we are of God. I John 5:19
  • We know that we have eternal life. I John 5:20

We now will change our focus from looking at the assurance of salvation to looking at the assuring promises of those who know they have salvation. If you know that you truly are a Christian these promises are for you.

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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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