Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

IMG_1513.JPG

I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!” (Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭8‬ NLT)

By the time the 2007 NFL football season kicked off, disappointed fans of the New York Giants were ready for a change, especially after losing their first 2 games early on. And then things did change! After going all the way to a Super Bowl championship, people in New York were glad that they didn’t give up on their team, even after years of struggle.

Any time that we fall short of the mark for God, which is usually daily, we are afraid that God might give up on us, moving on to a “better grade” of followers. But God doesn’t and with good reason: He understands your imperfections and knows what you are truly capable of. Where we see failure, God sees the chance to bring growth and strength into your life, as well as the lives you can touch.

Be careful about writing yourself off as a spiritual failure. What happened yesterday, last week, or last year doesn’t matter anymore. Live today with the desire to honor God and do right. If the Enemy would take you back for failing, then how much more will God, who loves you with an infinite love! Let today be different! You are loved!

Advertisements

IMG_1349.JPG

For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.” (Hosea‬ ‭11‬:‭7‬ NLT)

As I treadmilled and ellipticaled my body into painful submission this morning, the television at the gym was turned to national news. Between stories, hundreds of political ads beckoned uncommitted voters to choose their candidate. As the smear ads raced on, I realized that there’s not a single candidate running that’s not guilty of extortion, embezzlement, adultery, or some other illicit or illegal vice! At least that’s how all the local commercials portrayed it.

In our text, God calls us out on OUR hypocrisy. I say “our” because we can’t point fingers as they do in the campaign spots. I must stand on my own two feet before my God, just as you must, and give an account for how I behave. I have to realize that either I am or I am not doing the Christ Life right, and all that this realization may bring.

I love to vote and engage in my country’s wellbeing. But I hate having to settle for the lesser of two evils. Don’t live in such a manner that God feels the same way when looking at your life. Develop a non-hypocrite lifestyle that makes Jesus look real to everyone you meet! You are loved today!

IMG_1327.JPG

But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made.” (Esther‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬ NLT)

“Hey, Pastor Mike, you got an extra cellphone I can use?” I looked at the young man with a confused gaze; he had gotten a new phone not long before. After saying I didn’t, I asked about the state of his new phone. With a rather sheepish look, he explained that in a fit of rage, he had thrown it at his dashboard only to have it bounce out the window of his car and into eternity. Bummer.

Like King Xerxes, we can sometimes fly into a lather over negative situations, but we can’t react in such a way that harms us. Regret cannot restore what we break, especially if it involves other hearts. While a cellphone can be replaced, albeit expensively, relationships are trickier.

If you have a habit of reacting in “fits of passion”, take a beat before you do. Never respond if you feel your blood pressure spiking; wait until you can be calm and civil. A moment of quiet grace is worth 10 cellphones and all the relationships you treasure! You are loved today! Calm thyself!

For God has no favorites.” (Colossians 3:25 NLT)

Dutch Nazi Klaas Faber was a very bad man that managed a Jewish concentration camp in the Netherlands, a stop before Auschwitz. Guilty of war crimes, Faber fled to post-war Germany and was allowed to live free, thanks to a 1943 Hitler-installed law that was never taken off the books, allowing European Nazis to find a non-extradition home in Germany. In spite of appeals in 1954, 1957, 2004, 2006, and 2010, Germany allowed Faber to live in favorable peace until his death in 2010.

It’s with a grateful heart, then, to know that God doesn’t play favorites! While He did choose to create the Jewish nation as His timepiece to reach the world, He loves us all the same. And while race, age, or wealth won’t gain you favor with God, one thing notably will: Obedience. God has favor and blessing available to all, but who He makes it truly available to is those that will live life as the Creator of it said to. By setting aside selfishness and embracing the Christ Life, we find a life that makes us a better neighbor, friend, and citizen.

While some may think they’re getting away with things because of who they are or the connections they have, they are wrong. God sees all and will accord to every person their just due. But by living obediently to His leading, we know that true grace, mercy, and redemption favor can be ours! Live right to live blessed! You are loved!

20140516-101251.jpg

Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent.” (Mark 3:4 NIV)

Genovevo Salinas was being questioned about a murder in 1992. He had voluntarily answered several other police questions before falling silent on the question of whether shell casings found at the crime scene would match his gun. Salinas’ silence was used against him during a murder trial to argue that jurors should infer guilt from his silent reaction to a police question.

Jesus’ accusers were reacting the same way when He asked them a question that would reveal their guilt. To answer would show their true motive and hatred of Jesus. Yet not answering did the same thing.

In your relationship with Jesus, He loves you enough to ask you the questions that cause you to confront your guilt. He is never a brutal prosecutor, but a Savior that desires nothing to come between you & Him. Don’t remain silent! Answer, change, then grow! You are loved today! Have a great weekend!

20140307-082044.jpg

You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
(Psalms 139:3 NKJV)

Jack McCullough was a 73 yr old highly decorated military veteran & a former police officer. Retired & living near Seattle, he appeared to be a model citizen, and may have been. But in 2012, Jack was arrested during the investigation of the oldest “cold case” in American crime history, the murder of a 7 yr old girl from IL in 1957. He lived a life haunted by a dark shadow in his past.

Many of us do to. Perhaps not so insidious, but very condemning to us. Psalm 139 speaks of the fact that God knows EVERYTHING about us; nothing is hidden from His eyes. Yet God still loves us passionately, faults & all. But He loves us so much that He guides our life towards positive change if we’d just allow it.

Guilt only exists in the heart that refuses to admit, confront & be willing to change. God already knows, so come clean with Him. Living under a shadow like Jack is a life haunted by fear & regret. Choose to live uncondemned by doing what is right! You are loved today! (1/3/14)

20140103-141646.jpg