“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the way of the Lord.”—Psalm 119:1
Yesterday I had breakfast with a good friend. During breakfast he mentioned that he would be teaching Sunday School this weekend. At first I didn’t think anything about it but then later realized that the date didn’t sound right. After getting home I checked my schedule and it appeared my friend was wrong. The long and short of it was I was wrong. I thought I was supposed to teach on the 15th but actually I am scheduled to teach on the 8th.
This sequence of events showed me just how much God loves me and cares about even the small things in my life. It was my friend who suggested we have breakfast and if he hadn’t done so I would not have discovered the error of my date to teach. God knew all of this long before I did and orchestrated events to ensure I was teaching on the correct Sunday. This may not seem like much to talk about but to me it just shows me God at work in my life.
I praise God for His love and mercy. The very first verse in Psalm 119 says, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the way of the Lord.”
All I can say is “Thank you Lord. I give you all the praise, glory and honor. I pray your Holy Spirit will guide me in my walk today.”
You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”—1 John 4:4
How often do you sin? Every day? Once a week? Once a month? When you think about it, sin is sin and the frequency of your committing sin is not the issue. The issue here, of course, is that you have sinned.
God’s word says that, “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23). Not immediate physical death but future spiritual death and ultimate separation from God. It’s impossible to have self-control over committing sin. Especially if the sin you commit is one that has haunted you for a life time. If you fall into this category of sinner realize that Satan has your number. He knows exactly where you are weakest.
But there is hope for those who have failed to remain righteous in their life. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He gave you the Holy Spirit to live within and help you with just these sort of things and weak moments.
God’s word says, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The Holy Spirit is greater and more powerful than Satan will ever be. It’s up to you to tap into that power, harness it, and use it for strength to resist temptation, which happens just before you sin.
Now’s not the time to throw a pity party and wallow in the failures of the past. Instead it’s time to praise God, for his goodness and to move forward! You are an overcomer.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.”—Genesis 3:17
Christians tend to categorize sins, rating some as small and inconsequential, and others as huge and far-reaching in the damage they cause. In reality, no one sins in isolation. Each act of disobedience affects not only the sinner but also others in both the present and the future.
If we were to separate Adam and Eve’s sin from its context, few of us would convict them of great transgression. All they did was swallow some fruit from a tree with a “do not eat” sign. Today people think nothing of ignoring commands—even biblical ones.
But God has a totally different view of our sins. Each one is followed by negative consequences. Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to pain and frustration in two basic areas of fulfillment—relationships and meaningful work. The whole earth fell under sin’s curse, and all people born since then have entered the world with a sin nature that alienates them from the Lord.
That first rebellion plunged humanity into a terrible condition. Civilization is now plagued by ramifications of the sins committed by millions of human beings throughout the ages. Is it any wonder the world is in such sad shape? Sin not only causes suffering; it also robs us of God’s best. The Garden of Eden is closed and locked to sinful mankind.
The good news of Christ’s grace and forgiveness is our only real hope in this fallen world. Though unpleasant, focusing on sin’s consequences is necessary at times to remind us of the greatness of our salvation and to move us to obey God, even in the small things.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 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 we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us”—1 John 1:8-10
Confessing our sins can be a very freeing experience. After our confession it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from our shoulders. Of course confession is not telling God something He already knows. That’s impossible.
Confessing our sins is a radical reliance on God’s grace. The thing is, people who confess find a freedom that deniers of sin do not! Scripture says, “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.”
Did you catch that? All of our wrongs. Not some or a few or only the big ones. He will forgive ALL of them. I know it’s not easy confessing our sins to the Lord, but you and the Lord need to agree that what you’ve done was wrong and you are now turning away from that sin.
Let the pureness of God’s grace flow over you and your past mistakes. That’s right. Past mistakes. You no longer have to carry the burden of your sins. Why? Jesus died to set you free.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matthew 11:28
Are you attempting to “save” yourself? I can guarantee that you will experience nothing but exhaustion from your attempts. Scampering around trying to please God by collecting “atta-boy” badges and brownie points just doesn’t work. Scowling at anyone who questions your accomplishments won’t help either. What’s the result of all this tedious effort? As believers we become the weariest people on earth. We fear failure because we don’t want to appear as anything but perfect. I guess you could call those who do all this as the church of hound-dog faces and slumped shoulders.
You should stop all this craziness once and for all. Enough of this frenzy. Hebrews 13:9 tells us, “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules.” In Matthew 11:28, Jesus promises, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
There is no fine print. Waiting for a second shoe to drop is not going to happen. God’s promises have no hidden language. With those thoughts in mind, let grace happen to you. You have God’s unending affection. He’s crazy about you and loves you very much.
So, take it easy and relax.
“God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.”—Romans 3:24
Do you want more than anything to be set free from the guilt of sins past? Do your sins grind you down on a daily basis? How do we get set free from all this guilt? I know it’s something all believers want but somehow just can’t manage to get a good grip. We are incarcerated by our past. In our minds we have been found guilty! Our executioner’s footsteps echo against stone walls. We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting our final moment. We don’t look up as he opens the door. We know what he’s going to say.
“Time to pay for your sins.” But we hear something else! “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you!” The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out.”
And we find ourselves with shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering what just happened? Grace just happened! Christ took away your sins. Romans 3:24 says, “God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.” What happened? Grace happened!
Our goal as believers is to become unshakable in our faith. Rock solid if you can. Peter and John didn’t flinch from their responsibility to proclaim salvation in Jesus’ name, even in the face of imprisonment and threats. Yet, we may wonder how we could ever endure persecution.
The truth is that in ourselves, we can’t do it. But we are never alone. When we stand for our convictions, God’s Spirit is always present in us. He gives us the physical, spiritual, mental, and moral strength to stand firm when we are tested and tried (Luke 12:11-12).
God wants His children to trust Him with the future; He doesn’t want you or me becoming panicky about what may lie ahead. But, if He ever calls you or me to suffer for Him, in that moment He’ll provide the grace we need in order to remain faithful.
Therefore, we know that God is good all the time and in Him we live and move and having our being. Without Him we can do nothing but through Him all things are possible which includes being unshakable in our faith.