God’s Grace after Sin

After a Christian sins there is always remorse and hopefully repentance. But if you don’t remember what Christ has done for you and what grace He has offered you, there may be undue shame and depression. Read these words by Paul and be happy and thankful:

Colossians 1:21b-22

You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, 22 yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you standing before him without a single fault. (NLT)

But how can it be that a sinful person like you and me can be blameless? At times we feel so guilty! And ashamed. There is a song which Lauren Daigle has made quite popular, which is titled, How Can It Be. In the first few lines the author expresses his (or her) deep feelings of guilt and shame and unworthiness. I think we have all felt the same thing from time to time. Then the lyrics continue in the next few lines to remember what Christ had done for us. He died for us and so has righted our wrongs. And so the song goes.

 

How Can It Be

By Lauren Daigle

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How…

 

You can hear Lauren Daigle sing the song by clicking here.

Please, whatever you are going through, whatever sins you have committed don’t doubt God’s love for you. Don’t let guilt and shame overcome you. Except His forgiveness and reflect on His great love. Where there is sin there is always His grace.

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The Guilty Will Not Go Unpunished

 

Recently I listened to a speech by Dan Bongino. He was talking about his book Spygate. Near the end of his speech he mentioned that he didn’t think the key players of this scandal (that has been going on now for the last two years) will get anything (will get any punishment). He said that there is no will to prosecute Democrats, because the media is full of them. He said that some of them will be in trouble, but not the key political players, like Hilary Clinton, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Samantha Powers. The good news, he said, is that we will see cosmic justice. That eventually the truth will come out in the history books.

Well, that gave me some comfort, because it has been grieving me to see these people getting off scott-free.

But really, when you think about it in the light of the bible, we as Christian should know that God will definitely not let those who do wrong go unpunished—because He is a God of justice and righteousness. The bible declares this in five different verses.

See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the Lord Almighty.’ Jer 25:29

For thus saith the Lord; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it. Jer 49:12

Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,

But the blameless in their ways are His delight.

21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;

But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. Prov 11:20-21

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;

Though they join forces, none will go unpunished. Prov 16:5

 

A false witness will not go unpunished,

And he who speaks lies will not escape. Prov 19:5

 

Yes, we can be assured that eventually justice will be done and all who deserve punishment will receive it.

But when? Sometimes it seems so long. In Revelation 6, we read that those who will be martyred for their faith and go to heaven will cry out to God, asking Him how long it will be before they are avenged for their blood. And the answer He gave is that He was waiting until the right time. Here is actually what he said:

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. Rev 6:9-11

Yes, no one will go unpunished. It may take some time, but God will see His justice happen. And if it seems that someone is escaping justice on this earth, that should not bother you, because the bible tell us that in the very end the record books will be opened.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:11-15

 

 

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The Presidents Share a Time of Unity at the Bush Funeral

Funerals are a time to unite. No matter what feuds we have had with each other, we seem to always mend our ways and come together at funerals. May the funeral of George H. W. Bush bring unity and lasting peace between our presidents.

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Prayers to God for the United States and its Leaders–6 Requests

Prayer for Trump and Country

We are urged by God, through the Apostle Paul, to pray for everyone, especially for all those in authority over us (1 Tim. 2:1-2).  Here are six points of prayer for our leaders and for our country.

1. For Boarder Security

  • For the thousands of migrant people gathering on the southern boarder: that they would go back home, because they (as a group) have already demonstrated their bad behavior, and so they have already ruined their opportunity to enter.
  • For especially those migrants who have demonstrated their criminal intentions, that they would be prosecuted and sent back home.
  • That all innocent migrants (who need asylum) would eventually have their needs met, that God would deal favorably with them and would show them what to do.
  • For ICE, the National Guard, and the U.S. military: for wisdom and strength and courage while they defend the boarder.
  • That our government would quickly…

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Pretending to Pray with Earnestness

  

When I was young, I vividly remember sitting in church during prayer time, looking around, seeing how people were praying. I remember especially my mother, how she seemed to be very sincere, and even at times crying. I think she was the one who demonstrated to me what earnest prayer was. But I also think that many go through life just faking it, pretending to pray. Why? Because they don’t have a relationship with God. They either aren’t a real Christian, or they just haven’t developed a relationship with Him.

The following is a study I did a long time ago on what Earnestness in prayer is NOT.

 Earnestness in prayer is not prayer that is without sincerity, seriousness, and intensity; hence, it is not prayer that is phony, flippant, and indifferent.  Earnest prayer is not prayer that does not recognize prayer needs or the value of prayer itself; thus it is not insensitive.  Earnestness in prayer is not prayer without desire, or without work and effort; it is not prayer that is merely habitual, unthinking, and lazy.  It is certainly not prayer that is selfish—that is, prayer without a love for others or without burden or compassion or sorrow or pain.

But not so obviously, earnest prayer is not prayer that is without God’s help—without His Spirit, and without His power.  For this reason, even if prayers seem to be intense and serious, and even with loud cries (as if trying to get God’s attention), if they are without His help (worked up in the flesh), they can never be true earnest prayers.

The best example of this that I can think of were the prayers of the prophets of Baal, as they called on their god to answer them, in defiance of Elijah and his God (Read 1 Kings 18:26-29).  Here we read that they “leaped about the altar…they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.”

These prayers may at first glance have all the marks of earnestness; however, as we know, their earnestness wasn’t real because their god wasn’t real.  Those prophets had desire and effort in their praying, but it wasn’t true prayer because the true God wasn’t in it.  It was all worked up in their flesh.

We can pretend to pray with earnestness, we can be very serious and determined in our praying, but if our prayers are not led of the Spirit they are useless and are not true, earnest prayers.

 

 

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My Trip to Corpus Christi, Texas from Minnesota

Seeing God in Nature

I desperately needed to see my daughter and grand-kids. So me and my son headed out. Off we went from Minnesota.

We headed south with the sunset in the west.

We drove through Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, then Texas.

We saw the big windmills, and a water fall (in Texas) on the way.

In Corpus Christi we toured through the Lexington; and can you believe it, it was cold, about 45 degrees. I was expecting it to be at least 70.

This is nothing like Minnesota.

It was a little warmer one day, so we went to the beach. We were invaded by black birds–the Great-tailed Grackle. I put out some sunflower seeds and they came pretty close to me.

We were there for a week, and I feel confident that I accomplished my main purpose—to let my grand-kids see me and get to know me.

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How Abiding In the Word Brings Desire in Prayer – 5 Steps

 

If you are having some difficulty knowing how to abide in the Word, or knowing how abiding works to bring about desire, here are five steps to follow that I think will be helpful.

 Contemplate.  Before I pray I always find it helpful to read something from the Bible and to think about its meaning. Think about what God has said to you from the Bible, but also what He says to you in nature—think on and remember the wonders He has done (1 Chron. 16:11).  As you read the gospels, think of Jesus.  Think of all His qualities and what He has done for you.  Eventually you will find yourself longing for God.

 Reckon.  Reckon (know and believe) that He will never leave you, and that you are a member of His body. Reckon that His life flows through you as the living sap that flows from the vine to the branches.  Let this knowledge be a visual reminder of His life and power existing in you.  It will bring you a renewed desire for Him.

 Rest.  When we abide we don’t strive or struggle; we rest in Him.  This is what Hudson Taylor preached so well.  He spoke about “the exchanged life that had come to him—the life that is indeed ‘no longer I.’”  He, as Paul, lived his life “in Christ” (Gal. 2:20)—he rested in Christ for all that He needed.  And God rewarded Him by giving Him a great delight and satisfaction in Himself.   His life indeed overflowed so that he had “no more thirst.”

 Believe and obey.  Believe and obey all God says to you in His Word—which could be called faith.  According to Tozer, “Faith enables our spiritual sense to function.  Where faith is defective the result will be inward insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things.”  Again Tozer writes, “As we begin to focus upon God the things of the Spirit will shape before our inner eyes.  Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23).  It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all.”

 Drink.  Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (Jn. 7:37).  Hudson Taylor has explained this verse to mean that we are to be drinking of Him “constantly, habitually…we are to be ever coming, ever drinking [of Him].”  And if we do this we will be constantly satisfied and delighted in Him.  As John 3:38 says, He will flow out of our heart as rivers of living water.

 

 

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