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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Is it Real?

I was at work and a customer handed me a hundred-dollar bill. Something didn’t feel right about it. I guess I have handled enough money to know when something isn’t right. I looked it over carefully and couldn’t put my finger on it so I took it. That nagging feeling didn’t go away. I almost gave it to another customer but chose not to. I’m glad I didn’t because as my manager and I looked over it for a few moments we finally discovered it was fake. We got so intent on looking for what was supposed to be there we didn’t look for what wasn’t supposed to be there. Needless to say, I was kicking myself.

It reminded me how clever the devil is. He can present something so well that it looks real or the truth but in reality, it’s not.

I realized, even more, how 1. Important it is to know scripture 2. Listen to the prodding of the Holy Spirit and if needed 3. Check-in with someone that is trustworthy to give spiritual counsel.

The Word will never steer us wrong. It’s God’s word after all. If something doesn’t line up with scripture or who God is it’s more than likely wrong. Granted the Bible doesn’t give us everything in scripture such as marrying Johnny or Nancy, but we can hold an activity or decision up in view of God’s character; are they going to strive to be a godly spouse according to scripture.

The Holy Spirit was given to us as a counselor. He will put the warning beacon up if we are on the wrong track. It’s called a check in our spirit.

If there is still confusion go to someone who is strong in their walk with the Lord and who won’t tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.

Have you come up against questionable ideas, activities, and desires? I would encourage you to check scripture, pray and seek godly counsel.  Remember God is not a god of confusion Satan is. By doing these three things we take the risk out of missing what is there and not, there according to God. Had I checked with my manager sooner I wouldn’t have accepted that fake bill.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 NIV84

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I was cooking the other day, a Matthew West song came over the speakers.  I was taken back by the concept portrayed.  Love keeps no record of wrongs.

 

Does it sound familiar?  “Love is patient..it is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong…”  (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV84)

 

If you’re like me the first thing that comes into my head is not holding onto resentment.  It so easy to keep a list of the wrongs people have done to us.

 

However, there is another way we hold on to a list, a list of our own wrongs.   I find it’s easier to forgive others  than I can forgive myself.  If I sat down right now and wrote out every mistake I could remember it would be a doozie of a list.

 

Love does not keep a record of wrongs.

 

I think it’s the reason I and so many others are miserable, or freeze up when having to make a decision.  We’re reminded of all the mistakes we made, and they hang on to us like the chains of Jacob Marley in Charles Dickens’ book  A Christmas Carol.

 

The rehashing of mistakes and the fear that freezes me to moved forward replaces the calling God has given me to live and to live an abundant life.  I also push away from the rich love God has for me.

 

When I hold onto the list of my wrongs  and mistakes tightly, in essence I’m saying, “Your Son’s sacrifice was worthless, and your forgiveness is nothing.”  I’m doubting and that is sin.  Catherine Marshall in her book The Helper states this:

 

“He (Jesus)*  claimed to be the Savior, to be able to save us from any sin, any bondage, any problems. By disclaiming that with regard to any one of my problems, I am calling Jesus a liar and a charlatan – a fake prophet – as truly as did those who long ago howled for His death before Pilate and who drove in the nails…we think of sin as the breaking of laws, whereas Jesus thinks of sin as being bound.  Why would anyone with good will condemn a poor man bound with chains or tied with heavy rope?  Would he not rather want to free him?”

 

When we take our mistakes to God for forgiveness, He forgives and forgets.

 

See I have another problem that is linked to all this.  I can’t tell you how many times, the enemy reminds me of things I have done, and immediately I ask for forgiveness again, and again.  I can picture the Father smiling and saying,  “What mistake?”

 

Take a look at some of these verses:

 

“ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from  all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NASB)

 

He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west.”  (Psalm 103:11-13 NASB)

 

A person is blessed when they are forgiven, sins are covered and God doesn’t count it against them (Psalm 103:11-13 NASB)

 

“…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34 NIV84 based on the new covenant that was fulfilled through Christ.)

 

Loving God means keeping no record of our mistakes for this simple fact, He loved us so much that He doesn’t keep a record of them.  The list was ripped up when we received Christ as our Savior.  Confession is for our benefit.  He forgave us at the cross.

 

It’s time that we forgive ourselves, let go of the past and move forward.  It’s not easy but through the work of Holy Spirit it’s possible.   If God is love then He keeps no records of our wrongs, so it stands to reason we should not keep a record of our wrongs.

 

*My emphasis

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Easter is the holiday that ushers in a new season.  Spring marks the end of the bitter cold, snow, and ice. The sun replaces the dreary gray skies with the bright blue horizon. Trees are turning green, bunnies are hopping out of their burrows, ducklings waddle down to the ponds with their mothers and the sounds and smells of new life are every where.

 

However, Easter is more than nature coming out of a winter’s nap.  It’s also an amazing  celebration of the new life we are offered through Christ Jesus.  Because of His willingness and the Father’s plan, He went to the cross to pay the debt that our sin deserves; death and eternal separation from God.  Then three days later He rose from the dead.

 

I know, there are those who say there are many ways to God, like there are several paths to reach the mountain’s summit.  Some of the paths are just harder than others.  I would love for there to many ways to God. That would mean more people wouldn’t go to hell due to their sins, but Jesus Himself told us the complete opposite.

 

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”

John 14:6  (NIV 1984)

 

The key word is “the”.  He is not a way, but the way.  He is not a truth, but the truth.  He is not a life, but the life.  What a comfort this is.  There is nothing we can do for an eternal relationship with God.  Nothing.  Why?  My good may outweigh the bad but that isn’t good enough.  The requirement is perfection.  Jesus was the only one who fit that description.  In the end it doesn’t matter how we see ourselves.

 

Jesus also gave us this hope;

 

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies (*physically); and whoever lives and believes in me will never die (*spiritually)…”

John 11:25-26a

 

Anyone who is spiritually dead due to their sin and choose to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, will be given a new life, and a abundant life in Him.  That choice also gives us a hope for the future even when we look around and see the mess our lives and the world are in.  God sits on His throne, and a day will come when this world will become new.

 

Friend if you have all ready accepted the free gift that Jesus has extended to you, praise God and celebrate this Easter.  If not, I would encourage you to visit the tab at the top “An Invitation”, which walks you step by step in what it means to be one of His children.  The Heavenly Father desires that all come to Him and be adopted into His family.  Jesus asks one more question:

 

“Do you believe this?”

John 11:26b

 

 *emphasis added.

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