Redemption

Self-ForgivenessPremium Content

An alcoholic woman told me, "My dad was always drunk and in and out of prison." She sniffled and continued, "I hated him for that. Now I'm doing the same thing to my family." She leaned over my desk, sobbed and said, "I can't forgive myself."

A drug addict told me he couldn't forgive himself because his use left him with short-term memory loss and in financial ruin.

Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." John 19:30 He never said it is finished except for alcoholics and other addicts.

Do you identify with them? What is at the root of this lack of self-forgiveness?

Maybe you've done something awful. You asked God for forgiveness and He forgave you (1 John 1:9). However, you think you need to punish yourself anyway. God doesn't need your help. Jesus paid the price in full for your forgiveness.

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But What Am I Guilty Of?Premium Content

I would almost make a presumption that almost everybody in the world knows what guilt is and that they are guilty of something in their life. Who has not told a "white lie" in order to make things look a little cleaner than they actually are? I admit to telling more white lies than I can count and I am only 36 at the moment. And even if you were to argue that you are not guilty of anything, have I got some shocking news for you. According to the Bible, everybody is guilty of sin. In fact, when we are born, we are born into a sinful world and we automatically become part of that sinful world. (Isaiah 53:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 RSV)

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

And the Bible tells us that if we think we have not sinned that what we are indeed doing is calling God a liar -
1 John 1:10 King James Version
(KJV) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

What we are guilty of depends on how we were raised, what we were taught to believe in school, at home, and our other places of meeting. But the Bible makes it clear that all sin is equal. There is no one sin greater than another like we as humans class them as, save one special sin. According to the New Testament, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the ONLY sin that is not forgivable.

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A Believer Who Struggles with Depression, Anxiety, Alcoholism, Sexual Addiction and Codependency

Hi, I’m Sharon, a believer who struggles with depression, anxiety, alcoholism, sexual addiction, and codependency. It’s taken half a century, and five marriages and divorces, and a near-fatal car accident but here I am. I’m glad to be here to share my story with you . As Romans 8:38 & 39 proclaims:

...I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I believe this whole-heartedly because I’ve been in some situations I should NOT have survived. I spent years of my life trying to separate myself from God. But God, through Jesus, has walked with me every step.

I grew up in a small country town in New Mexico. We weren’t well off, but we weren’t dirt poor. My father worked hard as a welder to support the family and my mom stayed home with the kids. There were four of us. My older brother and sister were from my mom’s first husband and they were 9 and 11 years older than me. Because they were so much older, I really had no relationship with them. My sister married when I was in 2nd grade. My older brother was out of the house shortly after that and I don’t really have many memories of him growing up. My younger brother and I were from Mom’s second marriage to my dad.

In Trouble? You have a Privilege and a Future

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble! I will deliver you--and you shall glorify Me!" Psalm 50:15

In this portion of the divine Word, you will discover:
1. your present portion--trouble;
2. your constant privilege--prayer;
3. your future prospect--deliverance.

1. Your present portion is TROUBLE.
You must expect trouble, and will certainly be deceived if you expect to escape it. Sin is the parent of trouble--and our sin-cursed earth its fruitful soil. Trouble springs up all around us, and appears in an almost infinite variety of forms.

Every connection we form,
every character we bear,
every office we fill, and
every relation we sustain--
is a fruitful source of trouble!

We shall have...
trouble in mind,
trouble in circumstances,
trouble in body;
trouble from almost every quarter!

New Year's Resolutions

written January 1st but applicable to any new beginning

Today is traditionally a day of resolutions: I will eat more healthy. I will exercise more. I will spend more time with my family. To be honest, I’m just horrible with resolutions. Even if I make just one, I can do that one thing regularly... for a while... and then life comes crashing in and I find that my resolution (and all my good intentions) go right out the window. I just can’t handle looking at life over a long period of time. Too many things happen that make demands upon me... demands on my time, on my emotions, on my energy, on my focus.

Feel too far Gone to Claim His Promises?

Do as thou hast said. 2 Samuel 7:25

God's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they be used. God's gold is not miser's money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, "Lord, do as you have said. We glorify God when we plead his promises.

Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said

"Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool."

Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, "This is a precious promise, I wonder if it is true?" but it goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, "Lord, here is the promise, 'Do as you have said.'"

Our Lord replies, "Be it done to you as you desire."

When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonours him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou hast said it;'" then his desire shall be granted.

Are You on the Safe Side?

The Safe Side!

There are usually two sides:
the one dangerous--the other safe;
the one is uncertain--and the other is sure.

It is always the wisest--to be found on the safe side!

Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God's book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.
If the Bible is false--then he is safe; BUT
if the Bible is true--then he is damned forever!

Making Choices

Romans 6:16-18 NRSV
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about how I make decisions. There has been instilled within me a strong Puritan work ethic: God only helps those who help themselves. And while I do believe that Christians are commanded to work and to work hard (and often), I think that my own worldview has been corrupted with the idea of American self-determination.

Romans is an interesting book. Of all the books, this is the one that is the least personal. All of Paul's other epistles are letters written to churches with whom he had personal relationships, but the letter to the church at Rome was written to people he had never met. Thus, Paul takes the time to outline the doctrines of Christianity. In essence, this--even more than the other epistles--is a book of the Bible written to us for this time, a church which Paul never meets and a church which desperately needs the anchor of correct Christian thought and practice.

What Should My Response to Suffering Be?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 NRSV
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t address the persecutions of the Thessalonians in the same way that we often address persecutions. If you think about it, most pastors tell us that our faith is exemplified when we take authority over Satan and believe that our trials will disappear based on God’s love. But Paul, rather than preaching that, says that faith is based on persevering through afflictions.

We need to ask ourselves what we believe.

Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ JesusPremium Content

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

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