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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

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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I just received an email with a hilarious video from YouTube about daddies changing their babies’ diapers.  Thinking about this later on, I realized that I have a wonderful Daddy who still cleans up my messes, no matter how big and stinky they are.  He still looks at me with eyes of love regardless of whether I’m covered in “it” or not.  As I depend upon Him, He is always there to wash me up, get rid of the dirt and “stuff”, and make me as good as new.  I owe so much to Him, but so seldom show my appreciation as I should.

You have a Daddy like that out there, too.  He’s waiting for you to bring Him your messes.  Just give them to Him and He’ll put them in the “great diaper pail in the sky”, clean you all up, and give you a fresh new start.  He’s “gloved” and waiting.  Aren’t you ready to get out of those stinky diapers?

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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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“DANGER, DANGER, Will Robinson!” is a famous quote from an old television show from the 1960’s. Will Robinson, a young boy, and his family, were on a space ship, lost and unable to find their way back to Earth. Will has a trusty robot that is always warning him of pending danger with the above quote. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a device that would keep us out of all trouble?

As children, there are dangers we didn’t know about; that knives could cut or that a liquid may be poison. We could not reason why it should be dangerous, nevertheless it was and we learned from others or the hard way. Today, we receive warnings all the time. Warnings of approaching storms, hurricanes, tornados, traffic signals, labels on numerous products of all kinds, and many, many more. We hear all the time of the failure of persons to take heed of these warnings. It is a fact that failure to listen to some warnings could cost you injury or even death. It’s just a matter of choice.

There are warnings given at times of things that are not detectable with our senses. While you cannot see, smell, taste or hear them, the fact is some of these dangers are real. Some gases and chemicals are not detectable, but they can cause great harm or death. You hear from time to time stories where an event took place, such as a gas leak in an apartment building, and of someone running through the building giving the warning for everyone to evacuate before it explodes into flames. What if you couldn’t detect the danger with one of your own senses? Wouldn’t you want to be warned? And after being warned, would you stay in the building and hope that it was all a lie? I know I would get out. Burning is said to be one of the most painful injuries you can receive. Therefore, what you do with the information you receive during your lifetime is important to the quality of life you have and the time you spend here. It’s just a matter of choice.

This brings me to another warning that is very real and it will be up to you as to how you receive it. This choice is real and it is yours. It is the ultimate of all dangers and just as real as the examples given. If you are listening, there is only one escape; all other routes lead to the wrong choice. This warning will affect you more so than the person running through the building yelling out the danger of the gas leak.

DANGER, DANGER (your name)! Hell is real and warnings of it have been given for thousands of years. You say, “I can’t see it and it hasn’t happened yet, so it doesn’t affect me”. You can’t detect the gas leaking into your home and it hasn’t exploded yet. If told about it, what are you going to do? Now listen to your heart as you read these next questions. Do you believe in good and evil? Which would you pick as a roommate? This choice IS yours.

We will all stand before God’s Judgment Seat and give account of ourselves ( Romans 14:10-12). Without Jesus, we will be left without a way into God’s house, Heaven. God gave us the clues of the coming Savior long before His arrival. But most important, He gave us the teachings of Jesus. And it is Jesus running though the hallways of your house this very moment trying to give you warning of the danger. He is the one who will show you how to avoid being with evil forever in Hell. The Bible says that Heaven will be so great that it is beyond our wildest imagination ( I Corinthians 2:9 ). Jesus said He had come so that you may have life more abundantly (John 10:10). How can you become a Christian and know with certainty that you are going to Heaven? This is what the Bible says:

(1) Romans 3:10, 23  = We have all sinned. Adam introduced sin into the world. We do not start life with even the possibility of living it sinlessly ( Romans 5:12-14 ).  (2) Romans 5:8  = God loves us anyway. (3) Romans 6:23  = Sin results in death and hell, but God offers the gift of eternal life through Jesus. (4) John 3:16 = God loves you so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. (5) John 14:6 , Acts 4:12 = Jesus said that He is the only Way to Heaven. (6) Hebrews 9:22 = Jesus shed His blood as the only acceptable payment for our sin. (7) Romans 10:9-10 = Confess Jesus as Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (8) Romans 10:13 = Call upon the name of the Lord. (9) Romans 10:17 = Accept the free gift of faith in Christ that comes by hearing the Word of God. (10) Acts 3:19 = Repent. Change direction. Turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

Will you pray to receive Christ and His forgiveness? “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins and that God raised You from the dead. I admit that I am a sinner, and the best I know how, I’ll turn away from my sins and turn to You. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving and forgiving me. With Your help, I will never be ashamed of You, and I will live for You the rest of my life. All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.” What should you do next? Study and obey God’s Word, the Bible, and attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. May God Bless you and smile upon you all your days.

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The sun was shinning, the breeze was warm, and it was a beautiful day. A young man was enjoying the environment he was in when his father came to him and said, “Here is the key to my new house and the directions to it. A storm is coming and you need to come into this house for it is the only shelter which is built to withstand the coming storm.” The young man took the key and directions, only to later throw away the directions to his father’s house. Just as his father said, a storm came and the young man ran from house to house trying the key in each door, to no avail. He began to scream at the top of his lungs, “ I have the key, you must let me in!” No one answered and the young man was swept away by the storm.

The young man had everything he needed, but he chose to discard one-half of what was required to avoid his own destruction. The key in this story is Jesus. You’re not going to get into the Father’s House without him. The directions are the rules by which you live after you accept Jesus. If the acceptance is real, you will be different and will see things differently; II Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

It’s a fact that there are some who claim to be Christians, only to act otherwise. It’s obvious that they are not following the Directions or have discarded them, as did the young man. Some who claim to be Christian are not going to be welcomed into the Father’s House. This is what the Bible says about who is NOT going to Heaven.

Matthew 7: 21-23 Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

You must be asking; “What is “the will of my Father?” (1) Obey the Ten Commandments –  Exodus 20:1-17 . (2) Fear the Lord, Walk in His Way, Love and Serve the Lord –  Deuteronomy 10:12 . (3) Show Mercy and Love – Hosea 6:6 . (4) Act justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God – Micah 6:8. (5) Put into practice God’s Word – Luke 8:21 . (6) To have spiritual and moral growth – Romans 12:1-2 . (7) To be sanctified, avoid sexual immorality and live a Holy life – I Thessalonians 4:1-7 .

Now listen to your heart as you read these next questions.

Do you believe in good and evil? Which would you pick as a roommate? This choice IS yours. We will all stand before God’s Judgment Seat and give account of ourselves ( Romans 14:10-12 ). Without Jesus, we will be left without a way into God’s house, Heaven. God gave us the clues of the coming Savior long before His arrival. But most important, He gave us the teachings of Jesus. He is the one who will show you how to avoid being with evil forever in Hell. The Bible says that Heaven will be so great that it is beyond our wildest imagination ( I Corinthians 2:9 ). Jesus said He had come so that you may have life more abundantly ( John 10:10 ). How can you become a Christian and know with certainty that you are going to Heaven? This is what the Bible says:

(1)  Romans 3:10, 23 = We have all sinned. Adam introduced sin into the world. We do not start life with even the possibility of living it sinlessly ( Romans 5:12-14 ).  (2)  Romans 5:8  = God loves us anyway. (3) Romans 6:23  = Sin results in death and hell, but God offers the gift of eternal life through Jesus. (4) John 3:16  = God loves you so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. (5)  John 14:6 , Acts 4:12  = Jesus said that He is the only Way to Heaven. (6) Hebrews 9:22  = Jesus shed His blood as the only acceptable payment for our sin. (7) Romans 10:9-10  = Confess Jesus as Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (8) Romans 10:13  = Call upon the name of the Lord. (9) Romans 10:17  = Accept the free gift of faith in Christ that comes by hearing the Word of God. (10) Acts 3:19 = Repent. Change direction. Turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

Will you pray to receive Christ and His forgiveness? “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins and that God raised You from the dead. I admit that I am a sinner, and the best I know how, I’ll turn away from my sins and turn to You. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving and forgiving me. With Your help, I will never be ashamed of You, and I will live for You the rest of my life. All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.” What should you do next? Study and obey God’s Word, the Bible, and attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. May God Bless you and smile upon you all your days.

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