It is finished

What is on my heart today is not an easy topic. In fact, it is something that often makes people run from church or anything having to do with the judgement of God. Today, Easter, signifies the finished work of Jesus that washes away our sins. Through Him we are forgiven and will not have to endure the wrath of God. He took our place. Once we finally allow ourselves to believe that then we start to view our sin differently. We start to be disgusted by it.

James 4:9 says:
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” This is a point we all must get to in order to let sin go in our lives. So disgusted with the sin that, for a moment, we turn from joy and laughter in the sin and we mourn and feel heavy over it. This can often turn people away. They feel like they were happier in their sin and all this “church stuff”, “Christian stuff”, or “God stuff” is nothing but a bunch of judgement and expectations they can never live up to. I once felt that way, too. Until one day I realized just like Jesus’ suffering was temporary, so is ours.

There came a time when Jesus breathed one last suffered breath to proclaim “It is finished.” There will also come a time when you will say the same. We suffer over our sin so we will not want it anymore. It needs to be at a point of such disgust that you never want to bring it to the cross again. That is not to say that if you stumble you dont need to bring it back to Jesus. You most certainly do! His forgiveness is unending! But if you really want to let it go, turn your laughter into mourning over it. Let it take you to your knees, tears streaming down your face, praying to Jesus to forgive you and wash you clean. Cry in His lap as He comforts you and releases you from your suffering yet always remember this moment. Then, when you are ready, stand up and rejoice in your freedom from that sin and with a sigh of relief breathe out “It is finished.”

Choose Him

I struggled with a event from the Old Testament. I wont say which one here because it doesnt really matter. I have struggled to understand many events from the Old Testament. Today God spoke to me. “See what Jesus did for you?” So, blessed to be living in a time such as this. Under the new convenant God provided for us through Jesus. All the people of the Old Testament lived thousands of years on the promise of a Messiah. They were saved by a promise not yet arrived. Most died without seeing the promise fulfilled but they were still loved by God and those that loved God back were given a way to salvation. They lived in some pretty rough times. I can see God’s love for them and His many ways of pointing to the Savior to come even in their harsh times. Now, we live in a time where no more sacrifices are required. No more living under the law. Our salvation is bought and paid for as soon as we place our belief in Jesus Christ. The law is no longer our salvation from above but is now the road beneath our feet that guides us on our way. It is the guide God gave us to show us which way to go. I may not always understand why or how things went down in the Old Testament but some things I know for sure: God is good. He was good then and good now. His ways are just. I can trust Him without a doubt. Jesus is our savior. What He did for us is beyond true comprehension. There are people that waited years for His arrival and here we are waiting for His return. What it must have been like to be on earth in the short amount of time that Jesus was here in the flesh! To see Him. To be smiled upon by Him. Oh what it will be like when I do see Him. How can I ever thank Him? How? By living in and respecting the freedom and grace we have been given through Him. That was the whole point. Allowing Him to give me this gift of grace and mercy and doing my best to pass it on to others. That is as close as I can get to showing Him just how grateful I am. God chose us to come to earth so we can choose Jesus and live an eternal life with Him in heaven. God WANTS to spend eternity with us amd gives us the choice to do so. All you have to do is choose it! Choose Christ! Say yes! Let Him heal you and give you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It is the quality of your life here on earth and it is your life in eternity that depends on this choice. Choose Him!!!

All about the context

So, if you read only the verse in the picture what do you think it is saying? To someone that may not understand God’s love and isnt very familiar with the bible then they may take the verse as meaning they need to be perfect and not have any darkness in order to have a relationship with God. Many verses are misconstrued when they are taken out of context. Read the verses that come after that verse:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 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 that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
1 John 1:7-10

Now, the verse seems a little more clear. Walking in the light means we dont hide our sin. Granted, you dont have to publicly declare all of your sins but we dont have to be ashamed to the point that we try to hide them even from God. If we are trying to hide or justify them then we are not truly believing that Jesus cleanses us from every sin. If you read in to chapter 2 you will see that this is not a permission slip to have a sin free-for-all:

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
1 John 2:1

So, lets tie this together.

You cant say that you dont sin because you do. If you say you dont then you are either hiding it or not recgonizing it. If you are hiding it then you dont believe Jesus will forgive it and heal it. If you are not recognizing it then the Spirit that convicts you is not there. Either way, you can not say you are walking in fellowship with God.

Now, dont be running out looking for ways to sin because sin should be avoided. Sin hurts and harms and sin hidden in the dark hurts and harms and grows. So, when you do sin, remember that you have an advocate in Jesus Christ. He is God’s love sent to earth to cleanse our sins and make us blameless. What a wonderful Father we have! Recognize that, believe that and trust that. Then, you can claim your victory over sin. Stay in the light. Dont hide in the dark.

If ever you read a verse that makes you feel condemned (different from convicted) make sure you read the context.

Joy and peace is mine

One of the biggest things that has held me back from receiving the joy and peace offered to me through salvation in Christ is how I hurt people in my past. How can I receive joy and peace when people I had a hand in damaging are still hurting? That’s not fair. I should hurt with them. And I do hurt with them. It is just now my pain feels different. It feels shared. Like Jesus is right there with me. He suffered through pain He didn’t deserve so He could be there to take pain I do deserve. I look forward with joy and peace because I see what God saved me from. I know He will do the same for those I hurt, damaged, or directed down a wrong path. I do my part in saying I am sorry. He does His part by working in their hearts to give forgiveness and no longer use their pain as a reason to keep sinning. Exactly what He did for me is what He will do for them. God knew exactly what I would do and He put these people in my life anyway. He has a plan. He wants them, too. I will accept that joy and peace because I trust Him. I will accept it because me walking around in a defeated, sorrowful way will not lead one soul to my Father that heals. I want you to see the work God has done in me. I want you to see the Christ that saved me. I want you to see the Spirit that moves in me daily. That joy and peace is mine. I don’t deserve it but I inherited it the moment I submitted my life to the salvation offered by Christ. It is my inheritance and I fully accept it! You can inherit it as well. Pray for the power of God that redeems, resurrects, and relieves! There is more to life than this punishment you are doling out to yourself. You don’t have to live like this anymore. Let today be the day.

Ezekiel 36:33

“Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.

Lord, I pray over every soul that reads this. If they don’t know you, I pray that soul becomes so restless without You they have no choice but to give in. I pray if this soul does know you but still living in their punishment that they accept the inheritance You have offered. For the souls that have reached this level of joy and peace I pray You shine on them so others can find them and be led to You. In Christ name, Amen

God knows your heart

“What is wrong with you? I thought you accepted Jesus, why are you still acting like this?” Does that sound like you? Yeah, it did me, too. What you are trying to do is reason with the flesh. And there is no reasoning with the flesh. Even the great disciple Paul struggled with this in Romans saying that what he doesnt want to do, he does and what he does want to do, he don’t. What he figured out is God knows our hearts, He knows our intention. Whether it is you saying it to yourself or maybe someone else is also throwing expectations at you…please know this: When you are truly saved a change does happen and it is automatic but not always visible. Your desire shifts. You start to see what needs to be corrected and you DESIRE for it to be corrected instead of just accepting it as a part of you. You won’t get it right, right off the bat. And you will never perform perfectly. But when you let Jesus in your heart then He knows your heart. He knows your desire to do better because He put it there. Pray for that desire to grow so big that it overshadows the action you are trying to correct. Then you can tell the voice in your head or in your ear…yes, I have accepted Jesus and He knows me a lot better than you do. You just let me and Jesus worry about that change!

Permissible and Beneficial

So many dont follow Jesus or the bible because it tells them they cant do all these things that they really want to do. He never says you cant do them. He says He doesnt want you to. Jesus died for our sins, and as the bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.” He doesnt want you to do them because they will harm you. He isnt a God of “because I said so”. He is a protector. He wants you to behave in a way that benefits you and He knows the way. He doesnt want us to be obedient to fulfill some pride filled “I have rule over you” type mentality. Jesus is humble and kind. The law isnt there to provide a way to prove your salvation or to earn your salvation. The law is there to protect you from harm and an unhealthy life. We live for Him and His way because we learn we can love and trust Him. Like when a trainer tells you how to work out and eat to lose weight. You can trust that what they tell you will give you the promised results if you are obedient to it. Yes, you can fully believe Christ is your saviour, yet never live for Him. When you do that you are truly missing out on the power afforded to you by putting full trust in Him and knowing His way is right. God made the law. Jesus provided a way for us to be forgiven for falling short of obeying the law, but He did not take the law away. It is there to help, guide, and be beneficial to us all. Be willing to let go of what is holding you back. Ask Jesus to transform your rebellious spirit into an obedient heart. Before long you will see the changes. You will appreciate the changes and wonder why you held on to the other stuff for so long. Jesus doesnt want to order you around. He wants you to come to the Father willingly. He wants you to see how you can trust Him with all your heart. On the solid rock you stand. All other ground is sinking sand. May Christ be with you all, Amen

Is this where you want to be?

If Jesus came right now. Right this second. Where would He find you? Would you be right in the middle of that sin you like to justify? Be strong and run your race well my friends. We don’t know when the hour will be, but we do know that hour will come. Pray over the sins you justify and let them go. Perfection is impossible to achieve, but you have to set your aim on progress. The sin you justify is the hardest to surrender. The first step is the simple acknowledgement of it. Get in agreement with God about it. Yes, Lord, I know this is a sin. I know it needs to end. I know I need You to end it. Pray over it constantly and watch God work.
Lord, I pray over these sins that attach and we try to justify it as ok. Your word clearly lays out where sin lies and we come in agreement with You today. Search our hearts, oh Lord, and remove what is not from You. Thank You for Your love, grace, and forgiveness while we work with You for change. We pray in Jesus name, Amen

Fight with your heart for a change

I love this excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird, but these days I would replace head with heart. Not everyone who comes at you has a problem with you. Many times the problem is within themselves and when you choose not to fight but to love like Jesus then you start to make a difference. You plant a seed in their heart and you give yourself freedom. Freedom from drama, anger, and regret of words you said. Replacing a habit of fighting back with a habit of love will allow God to move more in your life and others. Stop looking at how much they hurt “me” and look for how much they have been hurt. When you walk in strong confidence with God and allow Him to declare your value then what others say doesn’t sting so hard. And when it does sting, you know where to take it so you can release it quick and get back to your Father’s business.

His purpose alone

This is part of the prophesy of Jesus, written hundreds of years before He came. Two sentences stick out to me. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” And “a man of suffering, familiar with pain” He was not sent here in the name of beauty. He was never meant for that. His looks and stature in life were never what was important. He was sent here with a purpose and He lived for that alone. He was always meant to take all the pain of sin and bear it so that someday we will no longer feel it. We may suffer for a little while but joy comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5) Some sweet day we will rest in the true beauty of our Lord who understands our pain. Just look at how He was rejected and eventually “pierced for our transgressions”. These actions were prophesied long before they happened! Jesus always knew. He was never surprised by the actions that took place, yet He came here anyway. He isnt surprised by your actions either, yet He sent you here anyway. You are here for a purpose. Maybe you dont feel you have great beauty that attracts others to you. Maybe you strive for that. You dont have to. Maybe you feel that you suffer great pains and no one could possibly understand. There is a Man that does understand every bit of it, and He is a Man that promised to turn all bad to good if you will just give it to Him(Romans 8:28). “By his wounds, we are healed” Resurrect what Jesus has put inside of you. We all have purpose. My prayer is that we all see that, understand it, and live for that purpose alone. In Christ name, Amen