Friday, January 25, 2013

Condemnation is a Lie

Have you ever felt guilty or condemned?  I think we all have at one time or another. The truth is that before Jesus Christ's death the whole world was condemned because of Adam's sin.  There is no one righteous, no NOT one. But here is the really GOOD NEWS.

John 3:16,17 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, but whoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have eternal life. But God did not send His Son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but in order that the world might be SAVED through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not CONDEMNED, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." 

For the believer, Satan has no legal right to condemn us anymore.  We are totally set free from condemnation by the POWER of His BLOOD of the CROSS. Don't let the devil deceive you.  He is a liar.  Believe me, he will try, especially by making us feel guilty, when we sin. Sin makes us feel guilty, but by acknowledging our sin, and repenting, the Lord will meet us at the cross. We don't have to carry guilt.  We can confess it, and know that it has been dealt with by the blood of our Lord Jesus. We are no longer sinners, but saints. (ones set apart unto the Lord). God hates sin, but loves His children and we  also are growing to hate what God hates, and to love as God loves.

Personally, I found the best cure for guilt is to memorize Psalm 103:10,11,12, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities (sin). For as high as the heavens are above the earth ,so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear (awe) Him , as far as the east is from the wet, so far does He remove our transgressions from us."

I lived in condemnation for many years. I would read in Romans 8:1,2 "There was no more condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life, has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." I knew in my head this was true because it was God's word, but how was I to apply it?  Condemnation was such a strong feeling.  Most of the time it felt stronger than the truth! What was my problem?

I had to admit that I was in the sin of UNBELIEF. It was hard for me to believe that I was forgiven ALL my transgressions, and that the Lord's love for me was REAL. It was too good to be true.  At the time I didn't realize that I was being deceived by the enemy.   When I did repent of unbelief, the power of Satan was broken in my life.  The Holy Spirit had patiently brought me to repentance. I could confess my sin of unbelief and receive His forgiveness that had already been paid . Now that is FREEDOM. The spirit of condemnation is real and will keep you in bondage as long as you believe it. Condemnation opens the door to the enemy with his suitcase full of lies.  We do have an enemy, but Jesus has defeated him at the cross and resurrection. DO NOT FORGET THAT!

 The past has NO more control over us, only what we choose to believe; the voice of God or the voice of Satan?  "It is finished" was the heart cry of Jesus, when he gave up His spirit to His Father.  What was finished?  The JUDGEMENT and CONDEMNATION of God towards Adams sin.  Jesus paid the price to break the  POWER OF SIN in our lives, to enable us to repent and receive His forgiveness. By grace, through faith, we are new creations in Christ Jesus, created unto good works that will please God.  May the joy of the Lord be your strength today.  Jesus loves you.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Holy Spirit's Encounter


 It was three o'clock in the morning , when I first awoke, overcome with a deep sorrowful grief like I had never felt before.  Not to wake my husband I left the bedroom, and went downstairs to continue to intercede. I knew it was the Lord  weeping in me and wanting me to pray with Him for America. He was very grieved how far we had fallen from His gospel. I knew then, in my heart, that ONLY the REAL Jesus could save America from Her destruction. I was on my face before the Lord crying out for the sins of my forefathers in New England, who were part of our country's birth. They had the gospel, but by my generation it had been sadly watered down. I cried bitter tears of repentance, for how long I don't know. 

 In one of my deepest moments, I remember the Lord saying , "This Nation has been won by the blood of men, but it has yet to be won by the blood of the Son. It is a proud, arrogant nation and an independent spirit is fast shutting Me out.  I love America.  I established America and put my spirit in the land. But if  My people, who are called by My Name, will NOT humble themselves and pray, or seek my face and turn from their wicked way, I will NOT heal their land.." At that time, I knew Lord Jesus Christ was our only hope for our country. (2Chronicles 7:14) This first encounter was in 1976. the year of our Nation's TriCentennial.

Since then, I have witnessed America slipping away from the God of it's birth and becoming more secular. However, I believe the Lord is WAKING UP  His church to take a stand and to bring America back to her God, the LORD JESUS CHRIST.  Because if we don't, what will be the future of our children, grandchildren and great grand children? Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people whom he has chosen as His heritage."  Also, Proverbs 29:2 says the same thing,"When the righteous rule, the people rejoice, but when the unrighteous (unbelievers) rule the people groan." 

Judgement has begun in the house of the Lord. (1 Peter 4:17).  One thing about the 'house of the Lord' it isn't in just America. Jesus loves ALL the nations and if His people in every nation will humble themselves and turn back to God, He will heal their land. I don't think we realize the importance of our prayers for our nation.

I have to remind myself, that I cannot expect the unbeliever to pray. Only a believer has 'throne rights' through the blood of Jesus, and can stand in the gap for the unbeliever.  God will answer our prayers. We can cry out to God for them and our nation.  I also need to remember that "Mercy triumphs over judgement." (James 2:13) The Lord is merciful and doesn't want to bring judgement, He desires mercy, but the church has to pray and He will give us back our land.  He wants us to occupy until He comes. God is calling out all His intercessors. It is time to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, and ONLY unto Him be true. 
  
It is NOT impossible to turn this nation back to the God of Israel.  The Lord told us to pray " thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven". His body, the church, is the ONLY instrument through which this will be accomplished.  Until then, the Lord will continue to build His church in every nation.  One day His "knowledge will cover the earth, as the water covers the sea", and that is a promise. (Isaiah 11:9)


    












Monday, January 14, 2013

AS HE IS...


This is a TRUE story about a seminary student and how the Lord transformed his life during the summer before he graduated. I found it very thought provoking and something to ponder. He tells the story as follows.

"When the summer vacation rolled around, I took a job at a builder's yard assisting customers. I spent my lunch breaks in the park listening to  Christian radio. I didn't believe that I was a know-it-all, but I was head of my class in theology  and believed that I had a good grasp of the Gospel. I knew the various theories of the Atonement and did not think any one could teach me something that I didn't know in that area."

"That day in the park, I heard that the DEATH AND RESURRECTION  of Jesus, His ASCENSION and His sending the HOLY SPIRIT , were the making of a COVENANT on my behalf.  I was forced to confront what Jesus did on the cross in terms of what He was DOING for me.  In my head I knew how to describe what He did to pass an exam, but this was utterly different.--MY HEART WAS GETTING INVOLVED. If asked, I would have told you that Jesus died and rose again to save me from eternal death. I had made Him Lord of my life and was doing  my best to obey and serve Him. "

"As the days passed, I was confronted with a totally new concept: that Jesus was my REPRESENTATIVE making a covenant with the Father, as if He were me.  His obedience to the Father in His going to death, His rising out from death, and His return to the Father was AS ME:  I was included in His action.  I had thought that I was to produce the perfect obedience and to somehow die to my selfishness.  Now I was confronted with the Gospel that said He had obeyed as if he were me.  He had died  AS ME,  and in His resurrection I had risen from the dead.  It was no longer my trying to keep a regimen of spiritual exercises, but my BELIEVING  that He had CARRIED ME to the Father in His ascension and that I lived in the heavenly realms in the Father's presence. "

"I realized that I thought of the fullness of my Christian life as being experienced in some act of obedience that I would do some day or some experience of God that I would achieve by hitting on the right set of spiritual exercises.  I believed and worked toward that 'something' that would happen to me so that I would feel and act dead. It was  always in the future, and I was always striving to do whatever it would take to make me dead with Him."

"Now I saw that I had been working backwards--trying to achieve what had ALREADY been done instead of moving from it as the starting point of life. I had been looking for the experience that would catapult me into an experience of God instead of realizing His resurrection and ascension had carried me into a COVENANT of friendship with God."

"My baptism came alive to me.  Prior to this, it had meant very little in my life.  Now I understood that it was the physical expression of my faith in His action, as the Spirit JOINED me to Him."

"It was now so plain to me that I had died and risen again in my representative.  It was accomplished in history never to be reversed.  I was DEAD!   I had risen from the dead.  I was a man who had returned from his own funeral alive in the power of an endless life.  And it had all happened in my REPRESENTATIVE.  I was now a resurrected person in Christ Jesus. "

"I had always thought of my relationship with God as being between God and me, which made it very shaky and conditional, upon my being dependent upon my current spiritual state.  I can't tell you what it meant to know that my relationship to God was based on and dependent upon Jesus, who was acting as me.  My relationship to God, then, was as strong as that of Jesus' to the Father"

"Now my whole existence depended upon Jesus.  Apart from Him, I had nothing and could do nothing. Apart from Him, I had no history with God and no hope of living the Christian life in the here and now. Looking back, I realized that my Christian life was a struggle to try to fit the image of what I thought a Christian should be.  Jesus was the ONE I tried to imitate.  Now, for the first time, I understood what Paul meant when he wrote, "For me to live is Christ."

Personally, I could relate to this testimony and I knew that I had to share it with you. It is all about a heart relationship with the risen Lord . Every time we take communion, we testify to the blood covenant that Jesus made on our behalf. We are in THAT COVENANT and it is an everlasting Covenant that will NEVER fail.

"As He is, so also are we in this world".  1John 4:17,b)



This testimony was taken from "The Power of the Blood Covenant"
by Malcolm Smith; page 224