Give Your Shame/Guilt To God’s Spirit

Hebrews 10:22 (WEB)

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The Gift of Forgivness

Matthew 22:36-40

Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.

But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?

God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.

Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.

The Power Of Forgiveness

The Power Of Forgiveness

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD — Psalm 130:1

There is a story from Spain about a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away from home, and his father set out to find him. The father searched for months, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the father took out a full-page ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next Saturday, 800 men named Paco showed up, all looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!

How many people in life are walking around looking for love and forgiveness from their Father in heaven?

If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably messed up once or twice in your life. We all make mistakes! As it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (NLT). However, there is also a danger in thinking that you are only a sinner. Every time we fall, there is the risk that we will be too discouraged to get back up again. The next step after sin is repentance; yet sometimes, we find it hard to move on.

In Psalm 130 King David exclaimed, “Out of the depths I call out to you . . .” The  sages explain that the “depths” David was referring to was the depths of sin. Sometimes when we sin, we feel so low and so far from God. We feel like we are deep in the gutters of life. How can we possibly climb out? How can we face our God again? We feel distant, unlovable, and unworthy.

The sages caution us, “Do not consider yourself wicked in your self-estimation!” If we give in to those feelings of unworthiness, we will never be restored to our true selves. In Psalm 130 David also reminded us that God is forgiving. He implored us to put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (v.7).

God is waiting for us, loving us, and anticipating our return so that He can forgive us. We just need to return to Him.

Imagine that you open the newspaper today and you see an ad with your name on it: “Dear _____. Meet me in church on Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” Believe it — God is sending us this message every day! We just need to turn to God in repentance, and He will do the rest.

djs

Let God Be God

Let God Be God
Promise: If you persist and do My will, you will receive what I have promised.

The KJV Bible says that we need patience, the NLT Bible says that we need patient endurance. The NIV Bible says that we need to persevere. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are called to run the race uniquely marked out for each one of us. In light of eternity, it might be just a sprint. However, in the grind of daily life, it mostly feels like a marathon race that we are running.

That is why the writer of Hebrews encourages us to keep on persisting to do the will of God in order that we might receive all that He has promised. We know that we could never do anything to earn or deserve the free gift of grace that God has given us in Jesus Christ. So I do not believe that this Scripture is referring to self effort or human works.

Jesus told us that the work that God requires is that we believe on the One He sent. I believe that God is saying that if we will just believe in Him and obey His leading, that we will receive all that He has promised in His Word.  So don’t lose hope, don’t give up!  God’s promise is true for both me and you!  Keep running your race!

Trust, Surrender, and Let God be God in your Life.
djs

The Dark Side Of Self Defeating Jealousy

 The Dark Side Of Self Defeating Jealousy

A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
— Proverbs 14:30

It could be your neighbor’s new car or maybe it was your fifth-grade teacher praising your best friend, but not you. There are so many scenarios that can catch us off-guard and bring out one of the ugliest traits that we are all susceptible to — the experience of jealousy. Whoever came up with the expression “eat your heart out” in reference to producing jealousy in another person was speaking a truth. In Proverbs we learn “envy rots the bones.” Jealousy destroys us from the inside out.

But there is a flipside to self-defeating jealousy. The very same verse begins, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” Literally translated from the original Greek, “a heart at peace” is called “a healing heart.” The sages explain that a healing heart is a soft heart, one that accepts and forgives and is kind and generous.

A healing heart is the exact opposite of a jealous heart. A jealous heart wants what others have. A healing heart is happy for others when they succeed. A jealous heart is never satisfied. A healing heart is always content. A jealous heart is focused on its own personal gain. A healing heart looks out for the well-being of others.

Yet, for all jealous people do to better their own lives, they only bring ruin upon themselves. In contrast, kind, content, and generous people will bring peace and healing to themselves and to others. People with such a positive and peaceful attitude allow the body to function properly while spreading peace and health to those with whom they interact.

Of course we’d all prefer to have a healing heart over a jealous one. But how can we avoid jealousy?

The following story can help us. Once there were two eagles who would fly together. One eagle was able to fly higher and faster than the other, making the less adept eagle very jealous. One day, the jealous eagle spotted a hunter and asked him to shoot the other eagle. The hunter said that he could, but needed a feather for his arrow. The jealous eagle was happy to oblige, plucking one of his own feathers.  The hunter missed and needed another feather, and then another and another. The jealous eagle supplied so many feathers that soon he didn’t have enough feathers to fly. The huntsman turned around and shot the eagle who could no longer fly or escape.

This story shows us how to avoid jealousy — by knowing deeply that it harms us most of all. When we feel jealousy beginning to grow and fester inside us, we must allow our hearts to be healing hearts, bringing life and joy to ourselves and those around us.

djs

Reject Rejection/Approval of Others!

Reject Rejection/Approval of Others!

Rejection is a lying spirit that draws us into thinking in a way that is contrary to what the Word of God states. Rejection plagues most people and has been built up as a stronghold in many people’s lives.

It creates disunity in relationships, destroys destinies and releases bitterness, resentment and offense.

So, how do we conquer rejection?

Acknowledging you are suffering with rejection is the first step is removing this hindrance from your life. As you recognize rejecting thoughts, casting them down and taking them captive will be instrumental in receiving your deliverance. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, it instructs us to take every thought captive. In the Complete Jewish Bible, taking the thought captive actually means submitting the thought and making the thought obey Christ.

When thoughts of rejection come in, you must surrender them to the Word of God. Ask yourself, “Does this thought line up with the God’s Word or contradict what the Bible says about me and who I am?”

Rejection comes in through words people speak to us or actions they invoke on us. Rejection can also be how we perceive a situation. Just as most of the things we worry about never happen, so it is with rejection. We perceive into a situation the thoughts of reactions of another person that are not true and thus it causes us to take on rejection.

The yearning to want acceptance and approval are linked directly to why we feel rejected. We have this longing to fit in, be accepted, exalted and have people approve of us. We are consistently seeking words of affirmation and confirmation of our anointing or a pat on the back for a job well done.

It is when we don’t get an affirmation, a thank you or a firm well done that the spirit of rejection sets in. Coming to the realization that we are accepted and affirmed by God is the key to releasing ourselves from rejection.

As we grow closer to the Lord in our walk, we will internalize that the acceptance and love of the Father is all that really matters. We should desire to love and live in unity with people, but people are not where our identity should come from. Our identity comes from knowing who we are in Christ and whose we are. As we read the Bible and learn about our kingdom inheritance and our rightful position and authority in the kingdom, it will affirm us.

We will then take our eyes off the need for man’s approval and know we are accepted and loved by God. When we know that God accepts us and are living in the fullness of his love and power, what man believes will not matter because we know who we are in Christ. The words and emotions of this world do not have everlasting value compared to who we are in Christ.

When we are seeking man’s approval more than God’s approval, we are idolizing man.  We are saying what they think is more important than what God thinks. God wants no idols before him.

Casting down the thoughts of what other people think is an ongoing battle. However, it is a battle you can conquer. As you spend time in the presence of the Lord, you will become like him and full of His love.

When you are in God’s presence, He will speak to you and reveal the lies you are entertaining in your mind. He will assist you in removing those lies through His Word. When you are reading the Bible, don’t just read, study it so you can learn what the Bible says about you.

By renewing your mind through being in His presence and in His Word, He helps us conquer the insecurities that lead us down the road to rejection.

We are here on this earth to serve God and serve people, love God and love people. If we continually focus on that, then we will never feel we are owed anything. Servants give without an expectation of anything in return.

We have to renew our mind and be servants. We need to give without an expectation of someone saying thank you, that was nice or other words of affirmation. When we give and love with no expectation of anything in return, then we can guard our hearts and minds from rejection, because rejection sets in when we are expecting a return or looking for a response.

Can you conquer the rejection you are faced with today? Yes, you can, and here is how:

  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the pockets of rejection.
  • Repent of where you have taken in rejection.
  • Declare this: I am accepted and loved by God and that is the real truth I need to believe.
  • Ask God to help you get over your need to feel accepted and approved by man.
  • Learn your identity in Christ through reading books and the Word of God.
  • Be love and give by serving without any expectations in return.
  • Take every thought captive and cast out the ones that don’t line up with the Word of God.
Practice casting thoughts of rejection and  peoples approval off you until this spirit is released and conquered 
djs

 

Listen, See and Understand

Listen, See, and Understand!

Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
— Isaiah 28:23

I recently read a story about a young, successful executive who was driving too fast down a neighborhood street in his brand new Jaguar. He was watching out for children and slowed down just a bit. For a moment, he thought he saw something, but when nothing obvious appeared, he rushed on. Suddenly a brick smashed into the side of his car door. The man pulled over, furious, and grabbed the first kid he saw.

“That’s a new car!” he yelled at the terrified child. “That damage is going to cost! What were you thinking?” By now, the boy was in tears as he pointed to something farther up the block on the ground, half in the street. “I’m sorry Mister,” he sobbed. “My brother fell out of his wheelchair. He is hurt, and I’m not able to pick him up. I threw the brick because no one else would stop to help us and I didn’t know what else to do.”

By the time the boy was done speaking, the businessman was in tears as well. He walked over to the boy’s handicapped brother, picked him up, made sure he was OK, and put him back in his wheelchair. The young boy was grateful and happily pushed his brother home.

The young businessman later said that he decided never to fix the dent on his Jaguar’s side door. He wanted it to stay as a reminder to never go so fast through life that you don’t see another person’s suffering. He wanted to remember not to be so blind that someone has to throw a brick to get his attention.

Similarly, God constantly whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Yet, often we are going so fast through our lives that we don’t hear what He is saying. Or maybe we pause when we think we might have heard something, but when nothing obvious shouts out at us, we carry on as if that tiny nudge to do something had never even happened.

Sometimes, God has to throw a symbolic brick at us to get our attention. Only then do we see or hear what He’s been trying tell us or how we might need to act to help someone in need.

In Isaiah we read, “Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.” God sends us messages all day long; we only need to pay attention and listen. When we see a problem, try to solve it. When we see someone in need, try to help. When we need to change something, change it. When God calls to us softly, answer Him – before He needs to do something more drastic to get our attention.

djsaker