Tag Archive | sins

Roadblock #6 – Disobedience – The Enemy of Righteousness

It’s pretty simple—disobedience to God is sin. Clearly, sin separates us from God. He despises sin and doesn’t want to be anywhere near it. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” This verse confirms that sin and an unrepentant heart can keep God from hearing you. When He hides His face from you, most likely, He will not speak to you either. Does sin, or disobedience, stand in your way of hearing God’s voice?

Confession of sin is not only required by God—it is necessary for your own peace of mind. Confessing your sin, turning from it, and attempting to lead a clean life of obedience open the door of communication between you and God. In our humanness, we won’t ever be completely free of sin on earth, but we should try to live our lives in a different way than the rest of the world.

Of course, if you’ve never confessed your sin and accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you already live apart from God, and the Holy Spirit does not occupy your heart. In that case, you should not expect to hear God’s voice within at all.

If that’s you, please click on the Ground Zero link below and view the video in which I share the Gospel of Good News. Learn more about how to invite Jesus into your heart and begin a new relationship with Him. When you do, God’s Holy Spirit, and the ability to hear His voice, are God’s amazing gifts to you.

1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” Sounds like it’s not if we sin, but when we sin, confession is required. Then, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. Our full acceptance of His pardon releases us from all guilt and shame for that offense. God remembers our sins no more, so we can forget them also, and strive to do better next time we are tempted.

Ground Zero Video – Click Here to Watch (Hosted at Gumroad.com – Click to “Buy or Rent” the video, then enter 0 as price to watch it for FREE.)

Even after accepting Christ as my Savior and being a Christian for many years, it’s still nearly impossible to live a sin-free life. That’s the goal, but sadly, in my humanness, it’s not achievable on this side of the pearly gates. Jesus is the only person who ever accomplished that feat. One role of the Holy Spirit is to empower me to overcome temptation and resist sin. However, if I am not tuned in constantly, listening to God’s voice within, or if I am not willing to obey Him, I will fall short of God’s glory. Therefore, it’s still possible, on any given day, that disobedience, unconfessed sin, rebellion, or repetitive sin could erect a roadblock that impedes my clear communication with God.

No matter how hard we try to defeat sin, at times, it becomes our master. Thankfully, we serve a High Priest who hears our confessions and daily intercedes on our behalf, restoring our relationships with God the Father. We worship an awesome God who sent His Son to be a sin offering in place of us, and then, He also sent us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live our lives according to the Spirit rather than the sinful nature.

Satan has only as much power as we give him. How powerless have you become? Whatever your weakness, it’s time to take back control! All of it! We’ve been given Jesus’ authority over all sin. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and He lives inside us. Instead of relinquishing our power to the adversary, we must draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to resist temptation and our tendency to believe the lies Satan introduces in our thoughts. We have the ability stand firm in our faith and resist all temptation because the Lord does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who live in all parts of the world, suffer similar trials.

Be vigilant about guarding your heart and your mind. Do not allow the deceiver to carry out his battle plans on your watch. When I stood on the sidelines of life and did not participate in the big game, the devil did not need to concentrate his focus on me. The moment I invited Jesus into my heart and sought a more intimate relationship with Him, I enlisted in the battle of good vs. evil. Choosing God’s side, I put a large target on my back for the dragon, Satan, to take his aim. Satan sat up, took notice, and stepped-up his plan of action to derail me.

Most often, the common battlefield is our mind. Satan will continue to sway us toward disobedience. But Jesus triumphantly conquered this battle for us already. We can claim our victory over sin in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to stand firm in your faith and embark on a barrier-free journey of intimacy with Jesus? If your desire is to do so, but you feel unprepared, I suggest you beef up your plan of counterattack against temptation and sin by practicing these steps daily:

  1. Confess your sin.
  2. Turn from your disobedient ways.
  3. Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Meditate on it day and night.
  4. Dress yourself in the full armor of God.
  5. Be ready to draw the sword of the Spirit by being prepared with Scripture to battle temptation and lies.
  6. Know your weak spots and vulnerabilities.
  7. Take control of all your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
  8. Remove any other roadblocks between you and God.
  9. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit all day long.
  10. Obey the voice of God in your thoughts.

Has the devil ever captivated your thoughts with the following deceptions? If not the lies listed below, then identify any other lies regarding sin that you have believed and disprove them with the truth from Scripture.

#1: Your sins are too big for God to forgive.

#2: You need to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sin.

#3: God will never speak to you because of your sin or past.

 Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Roadblock #2 – Fear – The Enemy of Confidence

Apprehension about the unknown can keep us from understanding the mystery of God. But fear is not from God. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I had a fear of God, but not the right kind of fear. Before I got to know God better, apprehension shrouded my desire to speak in conversation with Him. I feared that everything that came out of God’s mouth would convict me. I dreaded His wrath, because I did not know the truth about His character.

God is loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, faithful, trustworthy, and so much more. He loves us so much He wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. I had to get to know God more intimately before the only fear I felt toward Him equaled awe and reverence. Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” God delights when we fear Him with a reverence that acknowledges we can put our trust in Him and depend on Him for everything.

Now that I know God better because of spending time in His Word and listening to His voice, I no longer fear Him with anxiety and apprehension. I can’t wait to speak with Him because He amazes me. I now fear God out of reverence and respect because He has made His loving character known to me through His Word and His voice. I can depend on Him to meet all my needs. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

            Read Acts 9. It’s the story of Saul, later renamed Paul. After the death and resurrection of Christ, Saul threatened to kill Jesus’ disciples and take His followers as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus, however, he saw a light from heaven flash around him. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’” (Acts 9:4) It was the voice of Jesus. Saul could have fallen from the fear and dread of what was about to happen, or from the awe and reverence of being in the presence of the Lord. As he met the Lord face to face, Saul may have feared his own identity as one who persecuted the Jesus who stood before him.

Is it possible your identity causes you anxiety in communicating with Jesus? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are a child of God. No longer are you a slave to fear. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” However, you may not feel connected to God. Maybe you’ve strayed from living a life that pleases God, and the shame you feel causes you to fear God’s wrath. Perhaps you have stopped attending church, reading the Bible, or praying regularly. As a result, you experience apprehension about how Jesus would relate to you if He spoke to you.

Many times, we claim our identity from external sources in our lives. My identity branded me early in life when I heard my mom repeatedly refer to me as “an accident.” Accidents are unwanted, unexpected events that we don’t plan for and that sometimes cause pain: physical, emotional, or spiritual. I knew my mom had not planned me; therefore, I believed I was unwanted and unloved. My conception and birth had caused my mother undue emotional pain and then emotionally scarred me for much of my life. The external label “accident” spawned an internal insecurity about my identity that stuck with me for more than thirty years.

Another fear that blocked my communication with God was the fear of intimacy. I feared He wouldn’t speak to me; therefore, I didn’t want to experience the pain of rejection. I wasn’t even sure He listened to me when I talked to Him. I hesitated to get emotionally close to God and become too dependent on Him because I feared He would let me down, as others had.

I knew I was a child of God, but I didn’t feel like His child. What if God also viewed me as an accident? What if He didn’t love me either? What if my sins were too big for God to forgive? God wouldn’t speak to me. I was nothing to Him. I was nobody special. Why would He talk to me? Do you ever experience conversations like this within yourself? Are you insecure about your relationship with Jesus? Are you unsure about your identity in Christ? I was. My uncertainties caused me to approach the throne of God with fear and trembling, not in confidence with awe and wonder.

The first time I sat down to listen for God’s voice, I needed reassurance from God that He wasn’t angry with me. I wanted to know how He felt about me. I longed to know who He saw when He looked at me. I craved His attention, positive or negative. I prepared myself for whatever He would say to me. I wanted to know who I was to God and that He had a plan for my life. Battling depression for the second time, I desperately needed a reason to go on.

My depression counseling sessions had turned into spiritual mentoring meetings. My counselor described how he listened to Jesus’s voice and encouraged me to try it. He instructed me to record my conversations with Jesus in a journal. During one session, we talked about how God has His own special name for each of His children. My counselor invited me to consider asking God, “What is your name for me?”

A name is more than a way to identify someone. It’s a birthright; it represents our heritage, our legacy, our inheritance. It becomes our own challenge to make our names good and live up to our full potential as God’s creation. This starts when we seek God for His name for us. We can’t live into our God-given identity and purpose until we understand what that is.

God’s chosen name for you may be different than the name your parents gave you. Many people throughout the Old and New Testaments received their names, name changes, or identity, directly from the mouth of God and Jesus: Abram (Abraham), Sarai (Sarah), Isaac, Jacob (Israel), John the Baptist, Jesus, Simon (Peter), and Saul (Paul), to cite a few.

Considering the possibility that God had a special name for me, I was excited to learn it.  It was the missing link to my identity, my sanity, and my confidence in Christ. One evening, I escaped the noise of my family and retired to my quiet bedroom. This marked the first time that I really tried to hear God speak. I wanted to capture whatever I heard from God that night, so I wrote all my thoughts in a notebook.

I asked God, “What do you think of me? Who am I to you? Do you have a name for me?” I listened intently but heard nothing. I kept asking the same questions but didn’t know what to expect or how the answer would come to me. Would I hear an audible voice? Again I inquired of God, “Who do you see when you look at me? What is your name for me?”

In one very distinct moment, I heard a name whispered in my thoughts. I wrote it down, but I quickly dismissed it, not being able to relate to it at all. I asked God again, “What is your name for me?” Again, the voice in my head repeated the name. Once more, I thought I’d heard it incorrectly. I couldn’t identify with the name. I didn’t understand its meaning. I had expected to hear a name like “beloved one,” similar to the name one of my friend’s had heard.

A third time, I requested God’s name for me. Yet again, God confirmed it in my thoughts, and this time the words took center stage in my head, displayed in all capital letters. Three times God clearly spoke the same name to me in my thoughts. I knew it must be the name He had given me—but I didn’t recognize the meaning behind it.

One way to confirm and comprehend what God says to us is to go to Scripture. Using the concordance in my Bible, I began a two-hour search for all the verses and meanings I could find about the name God had spoken to me. Seeing the name appear in more than twenty-five verses surprised me. As I read each verse and the surrounding passages, a feeling of peace and joy came over me. Emotion overwhelmed me. When I discovered the meaning of God’s name for me, it resonated with me. This name would most likely not mean the same thing to any other person, but it embodied everything I longed to be to God and everything I desired to hear from God at that moment.

That evening, God met me at the bottom of the pit of depression I occupied. He showered me with His loving kindness. He lifted me up out of the darkness and washed off the mud. I connected with Him in a way I never had before. I had a new understanding that God is alive. He’s a loving Father who cares about me and wants to have a relationship with me. I felt special, wanted, and loved by God. I felt important to God, a priority to Him. When I discovered how God felt about me, nothing else mattered. My fear dissipated and my confidence in the Lord replaced it. When I felt loved and wanted by the God of the universe, I had a new reason to live and a new excitement about what the future would hold for me. No longer did I fear spending time with God.

Shortly after I received God’s name for me and began spending more time alone with Him, my church went through a 40 Days of Purpose study from the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. From this study, God revealed and confirmed many things to me as He healed me and strengthened me.

God brought to light the reason He created me and His purpose for my life here on earth. He wants me to help set His captives free, like He set me free, by awakening hearts to Him. He wants me to help lead His people to the promised land, which is the abundant life in Christ, through a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He wants me to be a light to the Gentiles, people who do not know God yet. Really, these assignments represent activities He calls all of His children to carry out. It’s what Jesus did when He walked the earth. God’s Word promises, in John 14:12, we will do even greater things than Jesus did. Can you believe it?

If you have not yet heard the voice of God, I encourage you to listen. If you do not yet know God’s name for you, I pray you will ask Him. If you find yourself imprisoned by Satan’s lies about your identity, I invite you to seek God’s truth and let God Himself set you straight.

God is a gentleman. He pursues us, but He doesn’t crash in on us and take us over. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus continually pursues us. He is pursuing you now. He stands at the door to your heart and knocks, saying, “Here I am!” He patiently waits for you to listen, hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in to enjoy intimate relationship with the living God.

Open the door to Jesus. He will come in, sit with you, and eat with you. Are you hungry to hear God’s voice? Are you desperate enough to listen? He waits for your response. Will you open your door, and your ears, to what God has to say to you? He calls you by name. No need to fear God because of who you are or who you are not. You are His child, loved and redeemed by Him. Identify yourself with the name God so carefully chose for you before the world began. Your name is engraved on His palms (see Isaiah 49:16).

Some lies swirling around in our heads evolve from the idea that the only things God will say to you are: He will convict you of your sin, or God will ask you to do something you don’t want to do, or He’s full of only wrath and fury toward you because of your sin. Are these falsehoods feeding your fear of intimacy with God? Get your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, and start identifying and eliminating any lies you may be unknowingly investing in.

Click here to purchase book

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Zero – The Foundation for Hearing God’s Voice

Following the 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, and removing the 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, should help you achieve the result your heart longs for—hearing God’s voice. However, there is one pre-requisite to hearing the Spirit of God within. I call it, Ground Zero. You must have already established a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son.

When you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him! This is Good News. The journey to greater intimacy with Jesus begins with acknowledging your sin. The God of all creation is righteous and holy. He doesn’t want to be near immorality. So our disobedience, rebellion, and sin separate us from Him. Sin is anything that doesn’t please God. It’s not just committing one of the big ten, like: murder, adultery, idol worship, stealing, etc. Sin shows up in our everyday behaviors, like: gossip, lying, cheating, pride, jealousy, unrighteous anger, gluttony, greed, and judging people, just to name a few.

The Bible very clearly states that those who do not enjoy a saving relationship with God through Jesus are condemned to a life apart from God for all eternity. Born into the sin of Adam and Eve, we are all sinful by nature. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, despite our sin, God desires to be in close relationship with every individual He created. How is that possible? God sent His Son, Jesus, to bridge the enormous gap that sin creates between Himself and us.

Although our sin separates us from God, no sin is too big for God to forgive, and we don’t have to get our lives in order before coming to Jesus Christ. God loves you just the way you are. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God, in His unconditional, infinite love for His creation, established a way we could be forgiven, redeemed, and reconciled to Him. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb, and die on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. In doing so, He formed a bridge between a sinful people and a perfect God. He provided the only way we could experience restored relationship with God, the Father. John 3:16-18 says,

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

God gives us the opportunity to live with Him eternally, through His Son, when we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God promises that we will be saved when we accept Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sin and believe in His resurrection from the dead.

Did you hear that? Jesus didn’t remain in the grave. He’s not dead! Jesus is alive! We can have a relationship with a living God through Jesus Christ because He lives! Isn’t that the greatest news you’ve ever heard? Yes! Give God a shout of praise!

If you have never confessed your sin and invited Jesus into your heart, what are you waiting for? Simply believing in God isn’t enough. To reiterate, Jesus Christ is the only way to a restored relationship with your heavenly Father. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Do you desire to walk with Jesus? Do you want to let Him heal your hurts and fill that hole in your heart that nothing else and no one else can fill? Do you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord today?

There is nothing you can do to earn your own salvation, and no measure of good behavior and good works will get you into heaven. It is by God’s free gift of His amazing grace and the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross that your sins are forgiven, and you are reconciled to God. The way to experience forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God is to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, accept that He died for your sins, ask His forgiveness, and invite Him to be the Lord of your life. When you do this, God sends His Holy Spirit to live in your heart.

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus stands at the door of your heart today and knocks. Do you hear His voice? Will you open the door and invite Him in? If you are not a follower of Christ yet, and your heart’s desire is to know and feel God’s presence and peace daily, then accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and start your new “relationship” with Him today.

You may sense the Holy Spirit of God encouraging you to make a decision for Christ right now. If so, say these words in prayer to God:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I confess that I have sinned, and I know that my sin separates me from You. Please forgive me for all my sins. I accept that Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to save me by Your grace. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin and provide the only way back to You. God, I believe You raised Jesus from the dead. He is alive and lives to intercede for me.

Jesus, I invite You into my heart today to be the Lord of my life and give me a fresh start. Thank You for the promise of eternal life in heaven with You, and for the gift of Your Holy Spirit Whom You send to live in my heart right now. Please help me hear Your voice within me and lead a life that glorifies You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

If you prayed this prayer for the first time and were sincere, there is great rejoicing in heaven today! You are forgiven, and you will spend eternity with your heavenly Father. Your fate has been sealed by the Holy Spirit Whom God gave you just now. You are a child of God! Welcome to His family. The Bible says,

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:11-15)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you invited Jesus Christ to be your Savior today, you now have a new life in Him, because He lives in you. By the power of God’s Holy Spirit within you, your actions and attitudes will change. With His help, you will discard your old way of living and seek to live a life that is more pleasing to God.

Record today’s date and keep it somewhere safe. This is your spiritual re-birth date. You are born again in Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday! God adopted you as His son or daughter today. This is the first day of the rest of your life! You have just established your new personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit of God now lives within you, and He is eager to speak with you in two-way conversation.

To learn how to recognize God’s voice, I will refer you back to my recent blog posts beginning with January 4, 2018, entitled, Step 1- Expect and Believe. Also see my book, 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, available on Amazon.com in three forms: Audio Book, Kindle, or Paperback.

Click here to buy 7 Simple Steps book

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Click here to buy 7 Roadblocks book

Book Two in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

Click here for FREE Ground Zero Video Course

Cover - Ground Zero

 

 

GROUND ZERO – THE FOUNDATION FOR THE PATHWAY TO HEARING GOD’S VOICE

I am so excited about letting you in on a new project I’ve been working on. It’s my first online course on the topic I am most passionate about: PATHWAY TO HEARING GOD’S VOICE 101 – 7 SIMPLE STEPS.

Pathway to Hearing God's Voice 101ONLINE COURSE COMING SOON! As in most courses, there is a PRE-REQUISITE to complete before enrollment. In order to hear the voice of God’s Holy Spirit within you, just believing in God is not enough. You need to accept the FREE gift of God’s saving grace. God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in your place to save you from your sins and restore your relationship with your heavenly Father. Your disobedience and sin separate you from God, and Jesus is the ONLY way back to Him. You need to confess your sin, accept that Jesus died on the cross for YOU, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and invite the living God into your heart to be the Lord of your life. That’s GROUND ZERO. That is required in order to regularly hear the voice of God within you.

I have put together a short video which will lead you, or anyone, through the gospel of good news, including a Salvation Prayer, which you can repeat with me. Taking this step, will not only ensure your eternity with your Father in heaven, but will also complete the PRE-REQUISITE for my new online course coming soon.

Are you sure about where you will spend eternity? Do you desire to know God better and experience His daily presence in your life? Do you want to fill that God-shaped hole inside you that nothing else and no one else can fill? If so, then watch this FREE video and seal the deal today.

Watch GROUND ZERO video now! Click Here. When you get to the video, Enter 0 in the price and use the Offer Code: free


 

“United” States of America? Not!

The One and Only True God of the "United" States of America

Jesus Christ is the One and Only True God of the “United” States of America.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of UNITY among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (emphasis mine, Romans 15:5-7)

The one star on the flag pictured here suggests UNITY–Fifty individual states that come together to form ONE nation under GOD. In a week of divided discontent and the protests of a nation against the man elected by its people to serve as the next leader of the free world, it would behoove us to consider the Scripture above.

As followers of Christ, we are called to a spirit of unity, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify God. Therefore, we MUST ACCEPT one another, just as Christ accepted us, in order to bring praise to God.

If you find yourself wanting to protest the most recent leadership choice of the nation, should you instead channel your energy into glorifying God by accepting one another? Remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 & 31, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

UNITY–“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Since Jesus Christ graciously accepted me, a sinner, shouldn’t I imitate and obey Him by accepting others? With man (or woman), this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Paul is the perfect example of how God can use even the worst of sinners for the good of those who love Him. I think God can handle the latest election results. Yes, God can use even Donald Trump for the good of those who love God. Let this be your testimony to your friends who are eager to sign their name to a petition and march with a sign in their hands. Imitate God and encourage a spirit of unity. Accept one another in order to bring praise to God.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Pray for Donald Trump as he prepares to lead the Not-United States of America.

 

No Sin is too BIG

Have you ever felt that your sin is too BIG for God to forgive? Let me assure you, it’s NOT.

When I was a new believer, I wondered if God could really forgive my sins, or were they too great. Over the years, I felt I needed to keep asking God’s forgiveness for the same old sins of my youth, even though I was a new creation in Christ, the old ways were gone, and I hadn’t returned to them. Was my sin too BIG for God to forgive or was God’s forgiveness too BIG for me to grasp?

No sin is too BIG for God to forgive. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul assures the new Christ followers who previously were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

When you accepted that Jesus Christ died for your sins and invited Him into your heart to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, He wiped your sin debt clean. By His death on the cross, He paid the penalty for all your sins—past, present, and future. By His resurrection, He made it possible for you to know and experience a living God who dwells in you. Jesus cleansed you of all unrighteousness, and the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify you through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

It turns out my sins were NOT too great for Jesus to forgive, however, His forgiveness was too BIG for me to comprehend. Once I dug deeper into God’s Word and more fully understood His plan of salvation, I could more fully appreciate His amazing grace and accept His forgiveness. Then I could let go of the guilt and shame I tightly held and claim the freedom that His forgiveness offered me. I no longer dwelled in the prison of my past sin, but I lived the life of peace that God intended for me.

Have you asked Jesus to forgive you? He has. Have you fully accepted His forgiveness? If not, dive into Scripture to more completely understand and appreciate His plan of salvation and His promises. You are a child of God. You are forgiven. You have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. Enjoy the peace that a Spirit-filled life extends to you.


 

Are You Ready?

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.

A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.

Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one.   *******

Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?

When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.

It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, Bride getting readyHe accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!Sindy-Bride001

Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.

Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?

I Believe

Day 4 – God woke me up early to the lyrics of this chorus from This I Believe – The Creed by Hillsong

I believe in God our Father I believe in Christ the Son I believe in the Holy Spirit Our God is three in one I believe in the resurrection That we will rise again For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27)

Sons & Daughters of the King—When you believe in me, you will live. I came into the world to save those who are lost. I died in your place for your sins, but even more, I rose again. I am the resurrection and the life. Even though you will die, you will rise again with me. Believe in my Name and live forever.

Do not give in to the customs of this world, but live for me, the One who has saved you. You once were lost, but now you are found. The old life has passed away; your new life in me has begun. Turn from your former ways and live in the fullness of the life I intended for you. Seek me with all your heart and you will find me. I dwell in your heart. Listen to my voice within you. All my wisdom belongs to you. It is within your grasp any time you need it.

Spend time with me. Dig into the Scriptures. Listen as I speak to you through the verses in my Word. I am the bread from heaven. I will give you some of the hidden manna. Dine with me and I will satisfy your hunger. I am the bread of life. Believe in me and live.shutterstock_105444911

Obedience is Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 6)

Children of God, I ask you to walk in truth and love—the truth that I am the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ, and the love that the Father has bestowed upon us. True love is this: that we obey the commands of God. I have asked you to love one another, just as I have loved you. Love is obedience. Obedience is love. One does not exist without the other. When you are obedient to His commands, you demonstrate your love for the Father. When you love the Father, you demonstrate your love through your obedience. I love God, therefore, I demonstrated my love with my obedience, even unto death on the cross. Obey God, and walk in His true love. This love is a gift from God above. You cannot manifest this kind of love from any efforts of your own flesh. You must draw on the pure, unadulterated love of God, in order to love another in His grace. Do not be taken in by the kind of love the world offers, but cling to the love that has saved you from your sins. My blood was shed for your atonement. Claim your victory in my name. Live as I live. Love as I love. Demonstrate your love of God by loving one another. Love from the depths of the Spirit of God within you. When you do, your reward will be great.

Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

PA211652Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)

My children, you are my sheep. You are my people and I am your God. Bring your songs of worship before me and serve me in thankfulness. I am Lord of all the earth, the Master of all creation. I make provision for all your needs. I am the Good Shepherd and I take care of you. I feed you in green pastures and lead you beside still waters. The bear and the wolf are no match for me. I will lay down my life to protect you. I love you more fully than you will ever comprehend. My love endures for all time.

I am the source of everything good in your life. I am faithful to all generations. Stand together and lift your praises to my holy name. Rejoice in the knowledge that I am the Lord God and I am good. Glorify me with your songs of praise. Exalt me above the heavens and the earth. Lift high the name of Jesus, your Savior.

I have prepared a feast and I invite you to sit at my table. Commune with me and partake of the bread and the wine. My body was broken for you. My blood was shed for your sin. I demonstrated the depth of my great love for you as I hung on the cross in your place. The cross was not the end. I have risen from the dead. I am alive, and I live in you. The gift of my Spirit in you is priceless! Do not take it for granted. I am your life and peace. Rejoice with thankful hearts. Again, I say rejoice!