Thursday, August 15, 2019

The effects...

The wonder of salvation is that God completely dealt with sin. He did what we could not do. Through Christ's sacrifice, God, by His grace, offered His salvation and canceled the penalty of our sin. By His grace, He takes a life that has fallen short of God's best and gives it meaning. He provides the opportunity to immediately confess our sin and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). He mends a broken heart. His grace erases anger and bitterness. He restores severed relationships. He takes a life devastated by sin and makes it whole. He takes our failures and produces something good. Only God can heal sin's devastation. Only He can bridge the gap between His glory and your sin (Rom. 3:23). You must trust Him to do so. If you will ask Him, He will free you from the bondage of your sin, reestablish your relationship with Him, and restore you to wholeness. - Blackaby

I have been around long enough to hear of the list of reasons why people won't come to Christ.  They still believe they have to get their life right first.  They don't think He would want them. They have LIVING to do.  The list goes on.  The truth is everyone from Adam and Eve to even Paul or Billy Graham was deceived by sin.

Yes, even them.  The only exception is Jesus Christ.  The perfect answer to sin. The perfect sacrifice to deal with it.

I used to have a grand list of things that I wanted to do.  Over the years a great deal of them have happened.  Many have not.  Physically and logistically they won't happen.  The problem with a list like that is what do you do after it's done and you still have years ahead of you?

I spent several trying to find myself again.  But the truth is that I was already where I needed to be, I just wasn't accepting it.

I, like many of you, look for external things to bring joy or peace etc.  Who doesn't like good times?  But they end eventually.  As Scripture says it's like grass, here today gone tomorrow. 

Sin degrades and ruins everything.  It needed a solution.  That solution is Jesus.
You will never escape the effects of it until you die, but you can neutralize most of it by coming to Christ. 

The answer to every question in your life is found with Jesus.  What you do, where you go, what you think etc. When filtered through God, it will find more meaning than you could ever imagine.  When your life is in harmony with God, when you are where He leads you to be, there's nothing you won't succeed at.

We are very deep into a culture that tries to tell you what to think, say, and believe.
The so-called majority wants sin to be accepted as a way of life.  They do not want to call it sin.  But God always will.

The Bible says that in a right relationship with Jesus, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  The blinders will come off.  You will see the world differently.  You will see how you have been deceived by the world.  How you wasted time and money, wasted opportunity.  It's very revealing, truth is.

As Blackaby wrote, there's so much more to be had in Christ if we but realize it.

Letting go of things, of anger, of disappointment, of bitterness, of sadness, it IS possible in Christ.  People hold onto so much baggage that is ruining their lives, and these are Christians!
Stubbornness does a lot of damage. 
So-and-so is being this way so I will be THIS way.  It goes on and on and nobody wins.

I am always reminded of a picture of a little girl standing before Jesus holding a doll. Jesus has His hand out wanting it. She tells Him that her doll is her favorite, does she really have to give it to Him? Behind Him is a much better doll that He knows she would love.

How often have we let sin's influence ruin what Jesus has wanted to give us?

Oh dear reader, I am guilty of that more than you know. 

We struggle through times in our lives for no good reason other than we won't let go of painful memories or bad situations. Grudges are held, bitterness has taken root due to our stubbornness.  We shut people out because we refused to forgive as Christ forgave us.  It's colored our thinking and blocked blessings that God made for us.

There is so much more possible from a right relationship with Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 "but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”"

Let go of whatever you are holding against anyone else.  It's not worth it!
Let go of whatever is taking place of God in your life.  It's not worth it!

Just think about that last part of that verse.  All that God has prepared.

Sin is the problem.  Jesus is the cure.

I, of late, am seeing just a scratching of the surface of just some of the things that God has prepared for me.  The things happening this year have blown my mind.

What happened to bring it about?
My only goal has been to put Christ where He needs to be in my life.

Removing distractions. Talking to Him more.   Am back working where I had been for 13 years.  In the last 8 months I have accomplished far more than I did in 13 years.  The difference has been where I am with Jesus.

We tend to hold onto so much hurt when we don't have to.  This one said this so we withdraw.  That one did that, so we withdraw.  Notice that the odds are good that the other person has no clue that anything happened to become a problem to you.  So this version of them lives rent free in your head over something that Scripture says you should have dealt with.
Forgive as Christ forgave you. Let go of it.

Blackaby gives a glimpse of what is possible for the one who comes to Christ. For the believer there's much more in the way of attracting distractions and troubles.  Satan's best tactic is to keep believers looking inward rather than outward.  Keep us dwelling on things that are not ours to deal with.

Look at your life again.  Get off the beaten path, find time to unplug and have a true one-on-one with God about your thoughts and life.  I am still a work in progress.  Jesus is still showing me things that have to change.  With all of us there are two ways that change happens.  Willingly and unwillingly.  The choice is ours.

Don't let stubbornness get in the way of obedience.

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