Salvation

Resting in His Righteousness

Have you been struggling with feelings of despair, fear, and anxiety? Do you think you let God down so He cannot possibly love you anymore?

I remember when I was so paralyzed by fear that I could not get out of bed in the morning. What seemed like endless nights tormented me as I lay awake through torturous hours filled with anxiety and loneliness. Yet the shafts of early morning light were only painful reminders to me that another long, empty day was ahead of me. I had lost the ability to look at anything through a positive lens, and my incessant negativity had driven away the few friends that I had known. I longed to be near the Lord, but I did not know how to reach Him. For I had given up on the promise of God found in Hebrews 13:5 Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].

Freedom for Prisoners: You Can be Set Free from Abuse

I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is Sheri, I am currently 42 and have been a Christian since the age of 13. I am a survivor of more than 20 years of sexual abuse and rape. I have been abused by both men and women, but the one woman scarred me more than all the men together. However, I am NOT a victim, but a survivor. I am not being abused anymore. I may have the occasional flashback or other issue that arises when you have been abused, but it is just the memory of the abuse, not the actual abuse itself. I am a SURVIVOR, not a victim. I am not fully healed, but am steadily working on my recovery and healing with the help of Jesus Christ and good counselors. I know what it is to be in bondage and I know what it is to be free. It is my prayer that you learn the way to freedom through this message.

I have had this message rolling around in my head and my heart for quite some time now. Just down the road about 30 minutes, maybe less, is a Federal Maximum Security Prison that holds only 3 types of offenders: rapists, murderers and armed robbers. For the longest time now, every time I go past that prison, I have a longing and a desire to go in and tell the prisoners that are there that there is hope for them and forgiveness of their sins. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That though they may never receive the forgiveness of those they hurt, they CAN receive God's forgiveness. There is another way to live that holds hope, peace, joy and truth. But after speaking to my pastor, who is very wise, he suggested something I have never thought of. Perhaps I am being called to minister to those in prison, but not necessarily those in a prison building. Perhaps I am to write this message so that those who are imprisoned in their past, pain, misery, sorrow or other such prisons and chains. This message is for you.

But What Am I Guilty Of?

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.

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!

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!

Behold, I Will Do A New Thing! - Genesis 1 Study

Several aspects of these verses in Genesis struck me in a powerful way, and for several reasons. However, they are all related, and so I want to attempt to tie them all together in this post.

The first aspect of this Scripture that really spoke to me is in Genesis 1:2, when the Lord says,

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Have you ever felt lifeless, without energy, kind of like a worthless "formless," lump on a log? I know I have. And, quite often, I still can find myself in that place if I do not watch my thoughts. I can feel totally powerless to do anything positive about my life and my circumstances.

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 Jesus

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:

Moving from Being "in Recovery" to Having "Recovered"

Would you like to recover from alcoholism and addiction? Do you believe that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, can relieve you of those problems? According to the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous--known affectionately within A.A. as the "Big Book"--an effective way to recover from alcoholism is to establish a relationship with God.

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