Saturday, May 24, 2008
" So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus!" Romans 8:1
In week 9 of my Bible Study we have examined principles for living in spiritual victory. Increasing our victory will result in less guilt in our life.
Day 1: God's Incredible Provision.
Why do I feel guilty? Because I AM guilty. It's as simple as that. I have sinned against God, and unfortunately I will continue to sin and make mistakes in my life. Guilty feelings are symptoms of the shame of sin. My guilt becomes very heavy and overwhelming at times. I cry out to God, "Why do I keep doing things to hurt you, O God? Please help me stop." However, God identifies the basic problem and offers a true solution.
God died for my sins. He paid my spiritual debt. I am to accept the forgiveness he makes available to me.
Day 2: No Condemnation in Jesus Christ.
In my spiritual life, guilty feelings indicate a broken relationship with God. This means I need to take action to change those feelings. I learned what conviction is. It's an awareness of my separation from God. It helps me to reach out to God. It is because of Jesus Christ that I am NOT guilty of sin. Yes, I "feel" sadness and remorse when I don't live up to my potential in Christ. I "feel" disappointed when I don't draw fully on the Holy Spirit's power to resist temptation. BUT, I learned that I SHOULD NOT ALLOW FEELINGS OF GUILT TO OVERWHELM ME and hinder my ability to move on with my life. That made a big difference to me when I read that statement. Here is real good news. God receives me as his own child when I respond in faith to him. God took Christ's death on the cross as the punishment for my sins. My debit is paid. I' m forgiven , I have no reason to" feel" guilty.
Here are 2 principles I learned to guide me on how to handle guilt.
1. When I sin, I must immediately confess that sin to God, receive his cleansing and restore my intimacy of my relationship with God.
2. I must learn from my experience with sin and trust the Holy Spirit to help me avoid that sin in the future.
God forgives me totally. He chooses not to remember my sin. Isn't that awesome? That makes me want to live as good a life as I can for him. As a Christian, I am cleansed before God. I live now as God's child. Any guilt or condemnation I feel from now on does not come from God. It comes from Satan, the accuser.
Day 3: The Life-Changing Gospel.
In Romans 12:1-2 Paul teaches: " And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is."
This good news, or gospel "should "transform the way I live. It will change the way I live. It HAS changed the way I live.
Here are the positive truths of the Gospel:
1. I am a valuable person. Chris was willing to die on the cross for me.
2. I am forgiven. My debt of sin has been fully paid by Jesus.
3. God knows every sin I have committed, or ever will commit, and he still loves me!
4. God now lives in my life. I can live with his Spiritual Power.
When God's spirit lives within me, His influence can be seen because his positive influence impacts all that I do!
Day 4: The Struggle With Sin.
The Christian life is based on great truths about God's love, forgiveness, and power. I struggle every day with wanting to do the right thing. I'm like Paul, sometimes the more I try to do good, the more I mess up. I have plenty of desire, but lack of following my desire. I become as frustrated as Paul did. But at least I am not alone in my frustration. However, I have learned this week that I don't have to feel helpless or trapped. I just have to learn how to live in the power of Christ's Spirit. Galatians 5:25 tells me how. It says: " But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. " These are the gifts of the Spirit. How beautiful and wonderful they all are.
Day 5: The Holy Spirit in You.
I can reject Satan's lies because God's Holy Spirit resides in me. Jesus lives in my heart. He is with me forever. I can affirm the truth that In Christ, I am not guilty. Because of Christ, I can live in power. Through the Holy Spirit, I can break the cycle of sin, failure and guilt. To live with Spiritual Victory and avoid the cycles of failure and guilt, I need to learn and remember what the Holy Spirit want to do in my life. They are:
1. Help me resist the desires of my sinful nature.
2. Help me live with power and discipline.
3. Give me spiritual power in my inner being.
4. Produce positive character traits in my life.
Dear God, Thank you so much for sacrificing your son Jesus on the cross so that I may live eternally with you. There is no greater love than that. I am so grateful and proud to be a Christian. Because you have forgotten my sins, I refuse to limit you in how you will use me in the future. I don't need to listen to Satan's lies any longer. I am your daughter. You have adopted me into your family. Help me to live in your ways so one day you will say to me, "Well done, daughter." In you loving name I pray, Elayne
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I am not a parent, but whn I received this in my mail box today I had to pass it on to all of you who are parents. May God Bless you all, as I can see how challenging this vocation is for all of you.
To Text or Not to Text
By Tracie Miles
“Young people are prone to foolishness and fads; the cure comes through tough-minded discipline.” Proverbs 22:15 (MSG)
To text or not to text…that is the question. My husband and I struggled with this question when our two daughters entered middle school. Some how they convinced us that we would be better parents, and they would be safer children, if they were given cell phones. We fell for it.
Since then, they have come to believe that texting is one of the four primary food groups which sustains life as we know it.
I am a strong believer in random text checks. On occasion, I will pick up my daughters’ phones, without warning, and skim through their messages. Something in my spirit told me it was time for a random check. I immediatately glanced at the conversations taking place in her private world of texting. As I read through the messages, my heart sank. I was devastated at the conversations she had been engaging in. Although her responses were not entirely inappropriate, the things that were being said to her were. I was disappointed that she would allow boys in her school to say such offensive things, and crushed that she had not stood up for her faith and distanced herself from people who obviously did not respect her.
As I sat there, feeling like a complete failure as a parent, I received an email. My friend Mary Beth had posted an entry on her blog regarding texting problems among teenagers, and thought I might be interested. I immediately linked over to read it, and praised God as I wiped away the tears from my eyes. Through a simple blog entry, God communicated to me that I was not alone. He used Mary Beth’s words to reassure me I was not a failure as a parent. We live in a corrupt world, and the enemy will use whatever means he can to pierce the hearts of our children and gain control of their thoughts and actions.
Although I trust my children, I had to recognize that even good kids make mistakes. Even good kids, from good families, raised in Christian homes, can get caught up in the trappings of this world, and pulled into ungodly actions. It is our job as parents to help our kids set themselves apart from the fads of today’s society that are not healthy for them. If we allow our kids the privilege of their privacy so much that they are living a life that parents are not a part of, then we, as parents, have gotten pulled into the trappings of this world as well. As my mom used to say, just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t mean that you have to do it. This also applies to us parents! Just because other parents allow their kids to have cell phones, unlimited texting, and completely private lives doesn’t mean I have to! Mary Beth said it perfectly when she wrote, “Today, I realized that our position on cell phones is “weird” by our kids and the rest of the world’s standard, but that is okay. If it means helping our kids emerge from the teen years holy and healthy, I am willing to be weird.”
My husband and I made the difficult decision that we would not only block texting from cell phones but the phones would be temporarily, if not permanently, taken away. Did that win us the parent popularity award? Absolutely not. Did our daughters expend all of their energies trying to convince us they would be social outcasts in society? Yes. Did they use scare tactics, like something might happen and they won’t be able to call us? Yes they did.
But do we believe we are doing what God would have us do to protect our children and teach them what is holy and just? Absolutely.
If need be, are you willing to be “weird”?
Dear Lord, parenting is hard. Please guide me in making difficult decisions that are in the best interest of my child, even if they don’t agree. Please wrap your arms around them and keep them safe from the evils of this world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Be the Parent by Kendra Smiley
Visit Tracie Miles’ blog
Teenagers and Cell Phones, by Mary Beth Whalen
Do a random text check today on your teenager’s phone.
Be willing to take appropriate action to protect your child, even if it is not a popular decision.
Am I unaware of my children’s world?
Am I affording my teenager too much privacy?
Am I being the parent?
Proverbs 19:18, “Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” (MSG)
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NKJ)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.
This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Subsequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as SIN, as it is primarily expressed.
Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.
The number to call for repair in all areas is P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.
Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or smal l the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
9. Self control
Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), for further details on the use of these fixes.
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being
DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will need to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.
Thank you for your attention!
Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "kneemail."
Saturday, May 17, 2008
A friend sent this to me today and I just had to share it with my Spark Friends. It is so beautiful and so very moving. May we all reach out to others and " Just Stay."
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
'Your son is here,' she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
'Who was that man?' he asked.
The nurse was startled, 'He was your father,' she answered.
'No, he wasn't,' the Marine replied. 'I never saw him before in my life.'
'Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?'
'I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.'
The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.
We are not human beings going though a temporary Spiritual experience.
We are Spiritual Beings going though a temporary Human experience.
I believe this is what we are put on this earth to do anyway. So next time you are needed, Just Stay. And Pray.
We are commanded to love one another. This is an example of that kind of love.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"Not by might nor power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD Almighty..
Week 8's Bible study in this series I've been blogging about is about Overcoming Temptation. I don't know about you, but I am tempted is someway every day. And yes, I am sorry to say, I have given into some temptations and I feel badly about what I did afterwards. Praise God I am not perfect. Whew, I feel better just getting that off my chest. Didn't want anyone thinking I was perfect. Not yet, anyway! Oh, that's right, I'm on a journey of progress, not perfection. Have to remember that when I try to do something perfectly. That is a temptation I have that I try to become, and then it causes me to have the defect of procrastination. Then I get nothing done because it won't be "Perfect". Well Duh....I am getting better at not wanting to be perfect because that is an unrealistic goal. Only God is perfect. I am grateful He forgives me when I fall into the perfection temptation.
1 Corinthians 10: 13 says : " But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
God wants to help me with my temptations of eating too much and of spending to much. I used to depend on food and on buying new things to make me happy, or so I thought. God has delivered me from both of those defects of character today, and I a very grateful. I know I can depend on God to help me with this on a daily, and sometimes minute by minute basis. However, I have also learned something very important. If I should give into temptations, and I know I will not always be able to resist the same because of my humanness, I must take responsibility for my actions. I cannot say, "The devil made me do it!" because that is not true. Satan can't make me do anything I don't want to do. I have a choice today, and I have to take responsibility for the choices I make. I am not to rationalize my choice away and make excuses for my behavior. God does not want me to do that.
I have learned once again that whenever possible I need to avoid situations in which I know I will be tempted. For example to handle my addiction to sweets and chocolate candy, I have no business even walking down the candy aisle in the store. I know where that aisle is, and I can not "mistakenly" or "accidentally" be walking down that aisle. I need to stay clear of it if my thoughts are saying to me, "I'll just look", or "one small bag. I can handle it now." H E L L O----I don't think so! I cannot handle just one of anything.
Tempting thoughts run through our minds on a regular basis. I have to be careful what thoughts I will allow my self to focus on or not focus on. What happens is my mind is window-shopping as it considers those tempting thoughts. If I allow those thought to tpen the door and enter the store, I am walking into sin. Temptation plays on my desires and lusts, It appeals to my passions, my possessions, and my pride.
God doesn't tempt me. He never will tempt me. He wants to help me. I have to be careful of Satan's trickery. He will take things that look good, taste good and feel good and turn them into sinful desires. When sin does enter my life, I can confess that sin and return to full fellowship with God. God will make me strong where I am weak. I am grateful that God knows my every thought even before I do. He provides me with a defense against my weak points. by providing me with Hiw powerful Word. I can meditate on God's word and use it to help me fight against strongholds in my life. I can tell Satan to leave in God's name, and he must flee from me. what a wonderful thought to know that is possible just as much today as it was in Jesus's time.
Thank you so much for knowing me as well as you do, and for providing me an escape from temptation and sin. Please help me to make the Godly choice, and stay away from what I know is wrong for me to try and handle. Please squelch those food and spending temptations, dear Lord. I don't want to go back the way I used to be. Thank you for saving me by your Grace, ad for teaching me that your Grace is sufficient for me. In your name I pray, dear Lord. I am you r loving adopted daughter, Elayne.
Get An Email Alert Each Time ANGELBELIEVER Posts