Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothing but the Blood Can Wash Away Our Sins

A friend called me Saturday night, she was distraught over a tough situation in her life. It's a hard season with no end in sight. A loved one is ill, refuses to admit she is ill, and does not follow any of the doctor's orders. The loved one is also loving conditionally, which makes it tough.

My friend said maybe God is doing this because of the evil things I used to do. I said hold on, I'm going to switch gears from listening to talking; God does not work that way! If He did, we would have been wiped out like Pharaoh's army in 7th grade.

I asked her if she had truly repented from the sins she thought were unforgivable. She said yes and I know she meant it. I said God forgave you. He knew you were going to commit everyone of those sins before the foundation of the world. We cannot save ourselves, we cannot earn a trip to heaven, that is why He provided the Atoning Lamb Jesus Christ the Righteous One for us. When Jesus' body was broken on the Cross, when His blood was spilled, when He was resurrected - we were saved.

She said well maybe I cannot forgive myself because these were big sins. I reminded her all sin is sin and when we truly repent and cry out to God for forgiveness, He grants it.

Is there anything you've hung on to and not forgiven yourself? Is the Cross big enough for everyone else but not you and a certain incident in your life? The answer is no! God is no respecter of persons. Accept the forgiveness He gives. Receive the mercy and grace which never ends. Live in the present looking toward the future with your eyes on the Lord.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Judge Not

A few weeks ago as I waited my turn to check out at the grocery store, I suddenly became a judgmental woman. It was not pretty.

The customer in front of my separated his groceries and used food stamps to buy a portion of them, then opened his wallet (I could not help but see it.) filled with 100 dollar bills and paid for beer, cigarettes and other items not covered by food stamps.

Suddenly, I was judging him. My 1st evil thought was: Maybe if you didn't spend so much money on your tattoo sleeves, tattoos on your neck, tattoos on your legs you could pay cash for all your groceries. Seriously his tattoos and spending habits are not my business. God did not make me the food or tattoo police.

I don't know his story. For all I know he's recently lost his job. His wife or child might be ill. He could be on disability due to an injury. I have no idea. I don't need to have an idea. I need to have godly thoughts. I am not the Ancient of Days.

I climbed off God's throne and thought Annette, why don't you pray for this man. God knows his needs, God knows his heart, God loves him so much He sent His Son to save him.

I need to remain grounded in Scripture and apply it to my life. I want to see all people with the eyes of Jesus and love all people with the heart of Jesus. I want to live the following verses out in my life:

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Amazing Love

Yesterday my friend Annette posted Testify to Love on her blog as her Sunday Song. I posted Amazing Love. The Bible has much to say about love. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I frequently blog about love. I certainly hope I live it out and treat people in a loving way at all times. (Though there is a post coming soon about me fuming over someone using food stamps for part of their groceries and cash for other items. It will fall in the Judgment category.)

I come across people of many religions - Hindu, Moslem, Wiccan, etc. One thing that many of these people have in common (besides not being Christian) is being treated very poorly by Christians. They've been spat on, told they are going to hell, reminded witches used to be burned at the stake and so on.

In Scripture, Jesus tells us to love, love, love. Love our enemy, pray for those who persecute us, Legalistic , self-righteous words and arguments have never advanced the Kingdom of God. Love and prayer advance the Kingdom of God.

Let us pray we see all people with the eyes of Christ and treat them as Christ treats us.

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ever Changing Seasons

Most people in southeast Texas look forward to fall which visually is not much different from summer, but brings an exciting drop in temperatures. My living room and dining room are adorned with pumpkins and fall foliage.

I am in a season of intercession for a church I want to leave. I was sitting in the pew one Sunday several weeks ago whining (I wish I could honestly call it praying, but I cannot.) to the Lord about cell phones ringing, women sitting behind me carrying on a conversation and children misbehaving during the service. I said when can I leave this place and join another church!!! Suddenly I felt deep in my heart what the Lord feels for this congregation. Since then I have prayed over the sanctuary and church campus as well as the people attending the services. I have no idea if the season is long or short, but I will be obedient to the Lord.

Some seasons are short, some are long, some are hard, some are sweet. Remember whatever season you are in will not last forever. Keep your eyes on the Lord, a heavenly banquet awaits us:

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 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. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."