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Posts Tagged ‘Communion’

I’m not a really a political junkie, but I do enjoy watching the presidential coverage and am excited to see how the candidates will do in the next debate.  At first, Donald Trump really got my attention as well as thousands of others, since he brings up issues everyday people are concerned about.  However, after listening to him describe his spiritual beliefs, I can no longer support him for president.

In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, Mr. Trump stated, “I try and lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness.  Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?  I work hard, I’m an honorable person.”  He also stated, “I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness” when he took communion; although, he did admit that he had never asked for forgiveness from God.

As a follower of my Messiah, Jesus Christ, these statements certainly got my attention.  I was under the impression that the only person who had never sinned was Jesus.  Obviously, I have never read the Book of The Donald.

According to I John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

I do not doubt Mr. Trump’s love of the Bible, the Church, and G-d.  I do believe, however, he has a skewed understanding of what sin is and what asking for forgiveness looks like.  Sin is not “making a mistake”.  Sin is doing anything that is offensive to the Creator of the universe, the Lord G-d Almighty.  G-d gave His plan for humanity to live holy, moral lives when He gave the Torah to Moses at Mt. Sinai.  Even the Christian church obeys many of these teachings given to Moses (although they often deny it).

Sin doesn’t have to be something big, like murder, theft, incest, etc.  It is as simple and “innocent” as gossip, little white lies, worshiping anything other than G-d such as money, power, reputation, etc.  It is inconceivable to me that Mr. Trump never makes even one of these little “mistakes”.

Let’s imaging that Mr. Trump has an employee who has made a “mistake”.  Picture said employee coming into Mr. Trump’s office, sitting down in front of his desk and slowly opening his briefcase.  The employee carefully brings out a small cup, a bottle of grape juice, and a saltine cracker.  While bowing his head, the employee pours a small amount of juice into the cup, then gradually eats the cracker and pensively drinks the juice.  Slowly, the juice and cup are placed back in the briefcase, the employee looks up, smiles broadly at Mr. Trump knowing he has been forgiven of his mistake, and happily leaves Mr. Trump’s office, secure in the knowledge that he has been forgiven and still in good standing with the boss.  I don’t think so!

I can imagine there would be quite a few words being spoken, most of them being from Mr. Trump.  The employee may be lucky just to get demoted if not hear those famous words, “YOU’RE FIRED!”.

Fortunately for us, G-d doesn’t do that to us, but He does expect us to “say” we have sinned and ask for forgiveness, which He freely gives when we are truly repentant.  We can’t just go through a ritual without any admission of guilt and receive forgiveness.

America needs godly leadership, both in the White House and Congress.  It is my prayer that as we all get ready to vote, we will ask G-d to give us wisdom when we go into the voting booth next November.

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When you take communion at church or at your home, for that matter, what does it mean to you?  Most of the sermons I’ve heard represent it as a time when you are to review your life, repent of any sins that are still lingering between you and God, and remember the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross for all of us.  All of these things are well and good, but I believe there is so much more involved here that we are overlooking.

In Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22, Jesus gives His disciples the cup of wine, speaking either of His blood representing a New Covenant or being poured out to forgive our sins.  He also breaks the bread to be eaten and states it is His body being broken for us.  While handing out the bread and wine, He instructs them to remember Him whenever they do this. 

Paul goes into greater detail in I Corinthians 11:17-34 as to the meaning of this remembrance.  In verse 26, he explains that by doing this, we are continually recalling what the Lord has done for us until He comes again.  Verses 27 – 31 hold a wonderful key for believers to be excited about, or fearful, depending upon how you look at it. 

In verses 27 – 28, Paul speaks of sinning against the body and blood of Jesus if we take it unworthily and that we should examine ourselves first.  Most sermons refer to this portion of instruction as seeing if you have any unconfessed sin and repenting of such if found.  However, I believe that this is not the total picture of what’s supposed to be happening here.  Of course, we always have a break in our relationship with Jesus when we have sin in our lives that we have not repented of, so that does need to be taken care of. 

Verses 29 – 31 tells us that if we have the Lord’s Supper without honoring His body, we are eating and drinking judgment upon ourselves.  This is the reason many are weak, sick and have died.  But, if we examine ourselves, we will not be judged by God in this way.

So what does all this mean today, now, in 2009?  How are we not honoring the body of Christ?  Jesus did a whole lot more for us than just pour out His blood for our sins.  Isaiah 53:4-5 explains ALL that He did for us.  “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 

Jesus has taken our sorrows.  We do not need to carry them any longer ourselves.  We can give Him our broken hearts and He will heal them for us.  He will take our guilt of past mistakes, heal our emotional woundings of the past and give us peace in our minds and lives.  He has taken the punishment for our sins and offers us a new and vibrant life through Him.  He will heal our bodies.  So many of the diseases we face today are because of the emotional conflicts and woundings we carry in our spirits (anger, bitterness, rage, shame, guilt, unworthiness, regret, unforgiveness, etc.).  Jesus came and died to bring us into freedom; into a new way of living and thinking.  Many medical studies have been done reporting that unforgiveness plays a big part in the cause of arthritis and other diseases (Baseline of Health Foundation article), (Washington Adventist Hospital article May 2008)(WebMD article) , (Health Spas Guide – South Africa article), (Health Unlimited Ministries article).

When we do not believe in Jesus for ALL He has done for us, we do not honor Him and we bring God’s judgment upon ourselves.  This judgment is not necessarily punishment for our actions, but inaction because of our unbelief.  If we do not believe Jesus can heal us emotionally and/or physically, we forfeit this wonderful blessing and are left to our own devices to deal with this pain. 

The next time you take communion, please think about everything Jesus has done for you.  He is still alive and well, fully powerful and faithful to meet your needs right where you are.  Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).  He is our hope, our peace, our deliverer, our healer.  God bless you.

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