Drowning in Guilt

How often do we let ourselves become overwhelmed with guilt for our past sins? Or feel grief because we fall short and sin even after becoming a Christian?

Guilt is good because it shows that you love God and want to strive for better but if we constantly remind ourselves of our sins we are allowing the sin to win.

You need to repentant and move forward. Repentance in the Bible actually means to change your mind, you can’t change your mind if your mind is still focused on your sin.

Remember satan will get into your head and tempt you. If you fail to be on guard you can fall into sin again but if that happens satan will be there to remind you of what you just did, he will tempt you then ridicule you for listening to him.

Don’t give in to him twice.

If you do what ends up happening is we drown ourselves in guilt. We drown our spirit with negativity and we lose focus on God.

Change your ways focus on what you can do now, you can’t change the past but you can change your future, keep fighting.

Remember Jesus died for our sins and we have the grace of God. It is a precious gift we must hold onto.

The first people to sin were Adam and Eve and they tried to run away from God, He found them.

Don’t run away from Him in your sin, run to Him!

Remember the Prodigal Son, God like the Father in the story will be waiting for you with open arms because He loves you.

If you do run from God and continue to feel guilty, you are more likely to fall back into the sin for comfort.

Let God comfort you, not the sin.

God is greater than yourself, if He forgives you than you can forgive yourself.

The Bible instructs us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we can’t do that if we loathe ourselves. We will loathe our neighbors as we loathe ourselves.

It has been proven that people tend to get angry with others who possess the same flaws that they hate about themselves.

Don’t resent yourself, you will resent others just the same.

Love yourself as God loves you.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

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F.R.O.G. Fully Rely On God

I once saw a poster at a Frozen Yogurt place called Sweet Frog. It said
F-ully
R-ely
O-n
G-od

I smiled and thought that was nice but soon forgot it.

Really though it is easy to forget.

In the times of success and prosperity you can be proud of yourself and your accomplishments and forget God.

In the times of failure and poverty you can feel shame, worry, anxiety, depression and sometimes anger towards not just your situation but at God.

In all times we must fully rely on the Lord because He will always provide for us.

I think it is best not to take my word for it but instead the word of God.

Here is two links, first to a good list of verses on depending on God and the second on how God provides.

https://dailyverses.net/dependence

https://www.openbible.info/topics/god_provides

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Stay the Course

We hear that God has a plan for us. I of course agree with that. I do feel however it is up to us to follow Him and know His will in order for the plan to come to fruition. We have free will so it is up to us to follow God’s will.

We have seen many times in the Bible men of God ask God to relent and He does or gives a way to turn back to Him so He will change the outcome.

This is not in every scenario obviously. If God is firm on something He will make it happen.

Jesus knew this about the Father that is why when He was scared about His upcoming crucifixion He asked the Father if it was possible to remove the task ahead of Him. God sent an angel to comfort Him and He accepted the Will of the Father. Let’s follow that example.

Asking God is always okay, listen to Him and always follow His guidance.

If you hear silence then know sometimes His silence is the answer.

So in the silence we stay the course.

Always stay the course.

Even if the route changes we still must stay the course because the course is God’s will.

Listen and follow the Way.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Biblical Source:
Luke 22:39-44 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 [a]Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22%3A39-44&version=NKJV

Resources for Christians

Feeling a little under the weather this week if those who see this can keep me in their prayers. I’ve decided this week to provide a list of resources I use that help with Bible study.

First I use Dr. David Jeremiah’s study Bible. He writes a lot of notes and articles to help understand the Word. It is a great resource.
https://www.amazon.com/Jeremiah-Study-Bible-Says-Means/dp/1617956740/ref=sr_1_2?crid=27CKW2BHU6Y4H&keywords=dr.+david+jeremiah+study+bible&qid=1563821279&s=gateway&sprefix=Dr.+David+%2Caps%2C129&sr=8-2

Remember it is always good to get more than one perspective from teachers and make sure it matches the Bible. Most importantly let the Holy Spirit guide you to the truth.

Two men I suggest for online sermons are Messianic Rabbi Johnathan Cahn and Pastor Steve Cioccolanti.

http://www.hopeoftheworld.org/

https://discover.org.au/

Both are very insightful and offer much material on the Lord.

Some online resource websites that are really good are…
-Blue Letter: https://www.blueletterbible.org/
-Bible Gateway: https://www.biblegateway.com/
-Bible Study Tools: https://www.biblestudytools.com/
-Reasons for Jesus: https://reasonsforjesus.com/
A nice apologetic website run by a former new age follower turned Christian.
-Bible Project: https://thebibleproject.com/
The Bible Project offers fascinating insightful videos based completely and only on Biblical Teaching. They also do podcasts where they discuss the Bible.

Lastly some organizations that do great work that I think people should know about.
https://www.worldvision.org/
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/
https://www.persecution.com/

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Bridge the Gap

It is very important to reconcile people to the Word of God. There are many types of reasoning’s and situations that have shaped people’s opinion of God. It is up to us Christians to not just spread the Word of God but to explain it as well.

Today I am going to discuss three types of thought when it comes to God.

First is a lack of understanding. Many will take scripture out of context, not knowing the “who, what, where and why” of the scripture. If you are ignorant to what the Word means it’s easy to have an opinion based on emotion rather than understanding. That is why we Christians need to be ready to help those come to understand the Word or refer them to someone or a teaching that can help them.

Emotional opinions fall on both sides however.

It’s a shame when a person doesn’t understand scripture but has a strong opinion about the Word but it is dangerous to the faith when a Christian has the same issue.

Which leads to the next section.

Some may have an angry opinion of God and Christianity because of how they were treated by a church or someone of the Christian faith.

It’s up to us to listen to them, hear their pain and help them. We can explain to them the love of God and how all are welcomed in the church, the message of the Bible is about God’s love for us and His desire for us to love Him back. He gave us rules to follow to benefit our lives and honor Him but knowing we are flawed individuals we became justified through our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

God loves us all no matter what and He wants to take our pain away. Help send His child back to Him.

The last type of thought I want to address is sinners relationship to God. Many think God hates sinners and He expects perfection, this leads to people thinking church is filled with self-righteous people and they don’t belong. This is obviously not the case we are all flawed. Any church that behaves in that way or gets wrapped up in the image of their church has lost its way.

If someone ever tells another to leave a church because they’re a sinner, God will walk right out of that church with them.

He surrounded Himself with sinners. Jesus wined, dined, talked and walked with sinners. Most importantly He healed those sinners.

If you, yourself while attending church feel certain types of sinners shouldn’t be there then you are in the right place.

Why?

Because you need Jesus to come back into your heart. Go find Him, He’s sitting right next those you’re judging. Come take a seat next to Him.

Remember the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector from Luke 18: 9-14

“9Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be [d]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Now for us Christians it is very important to study scripture and to know it. Listen to Biblical experts and know the context of the Word. Don’t speak based on emotions or an opinion based on your own views but do so by the Word and Spirit of God.

It’s extremely important to let the Holy Spirit guide you. If you do scripture will flow from you like never before. You will also know how to address someone, everyone is different in how they will receive information positively. Let the Spirit set the tone.

Bridge the Gap between those who are away from the Lord. Don’t just stand and look over to the other side. Figure out how to bring all those standing over there to God’s side.

The Lord is waiting.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18&version=NKJV

God in Modern America

God is everywhere in America. Christianity is the number one religion, there are thousands of churches. He is mentioned in America’s most important documents, God’s word shaped our laws and foundation. Even “In God We Trust”, is on our money.

But unfortunately God is not in the hearts of many Americans.

The truth is Christians helped mold this nation more than any other group.

I highly suggest watching the PBS documentary, “God in America”, which is available here…https://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/

If you watch that series truly you will see how involved Christianity was in America throughout its history.

One point people always bring up to argue against having God’s influence on the nation is the separation of church and state but what many don’t realize is that law was put in place to protect the church from the government interfering and discriminating against churches. The law was based on a letter written by Thomas Jefferson.

Now groups are using the constitution to attack the church and force them to follow their beliefs.

The government is supposed to be neutral to religion not force them to follow secular views and laws.

For those who wish to read the letter here is a copy of the original letter written by Thomas Jefferson

“To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.”

Lord I pray for the spiritual revival of this nation. We see more darkness in this country than ever before. Guide us God to be the light of the world as You asked to be. In Jesus name I pray for Your will to be done.

Amen.

Have a blessed week,

Chris.

Sources:
https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

Freedom

Independence Day is this Thursday. We celebrate being free.

But while many celebrate being free they truly aren’t.

The only way to true freedom is through God and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

Those who are not followers of the Way are still ensnared and enslaved by their sins and ultimately death. Some are ignorant to this while others don’t seem to care.

But God freed us from our sins and death.

The new culture and society teaches us to love self, get as much money and pleasure as you can. YOLO (You Only Live Once) is the motto.

But our souls are eternal, we can have ever lasting life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Or we can refuse and accept an eternity separated from God.

I’ve heard some say Christianity is restricting and they left the faith because they always felt guilty and judged after making mistakes.

How sad is that?

That is not what God expects.

It’s society that expects perfection. Your always judged on your looks, your money, what you own, what you do. Society pretends to build you up but they can’t wait for your first mistake to tear you down.

If perfection was possible in God’s eyes Jesus wouldn’t have had to sacrifice Himself on the cross for us.

God loves you no matter what.

The Lord died for your sins because He chose to accept you as your imperfect self.

All He asks is for you to love Him back.

How freeing is that?

So let’s show the world what it is like to truly be free. Praise God in both the good and the bad times, show how He has positively influenced your life in every way.

There is nothing more free than being a child of God.

That is something to be celebrated every day of the year.

Have a blessed week,

Chris

 

God and Baseball

Summer is officially here so it’s the perfect time to write an entry combining two of my biggest passions.  Today I’m writing about God and Baseball.

When something occurs on the field that seems miraculous or like justice is occurring in favor of a wronged player or team people often times like to use the term, “the baseball god’s”. When these things happen I prefer to say God is a Baseball fan.

Rather than discussing memorable Baseball moments there is a quote and a joke I love that I want to discuss.

First the quote, “Baseball is like Church. Many attend few understand.” -Leo Durocher, Hall of Fame Baseball Manager.

I think that’s a brilliant quote and it is very true. In church many do attend but often times miss the point of the Gospel or misquote the Gospel to get a point across that fits their view.

I know for a fact that not only have I made that mistake but there have been times that I have sat in Church confused as to what is going on or being said.

In Baseball I often times hear from a person that the game is boring or nothing is happening but that is because they don’t understand the game.

Things are occurring constantly that can affect the outcome of the game and even games down the line. A guy stands at the plate in the 1st inning and forces the pitcher to throw him ten pitches could set the tone of the game and cause the pitcher to raise his pitch count high quickly. After 100 pitches a starting pitcher is usually taken out. If he reaches that total in let’s say the 4th or 5th inning. The team will have to exhaust their bullpen of pitchers and not only affect this game but future games where they will have a tired group of pitchers. Someone may even have to be sent to the minor leagues or even cut off the roster entirely just to bring up a fresh pitcher and it all started because of an at bat in the 1st inning.

An early three run homerun can be enough to decide a Baseball game.

But as Yogi Berra said, “It Ain’t over till it’s over.”

The 2003 Cleveland Indians were down 12 runs in a game and came back to tie then win the game in Extra Innings. Yogi Berra was indeed right.

Famed Orioles manager Earl Weaver said about baseball, “You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”

For some it may seem with both God and Baseball that nothing is occurring in front of them but truly if you look closely you start to realize there is so much happening at all times and it truly is beautiful.

I will close with the promised joke.

A man is at his best friend’s death bed he looks at him and says to him, “Frank, I love you like a brother and I will miss you terribly. But I have a request, I know it may be hard and I shouldn’t worry about things like this but I have to know. When you get to Heaven, you have to find this out for me. Come back to me in a dream and answer this question. Is there Baseball in Heaven?”

Frank stares at his friend and says, “George I promise I will come back and answer your question.”

The two men say their goodbyes and Frank passes away.

Weeks go by, George waits and waits. Finally one night Frank comes to George in his sleep.

“Frank!” exclaims George. “Thank God, you’re here. Please tell me, I have to know, is there Baseball in Heaven?”

Frank replies, “Well George I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that there IS baseball in heaven. The bad news is you’re scheduled to pitch on Sunday.”

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Father’s Day

Father’s Day can be tough for many people out there. Some like Jane and I have lost our Father’s.

Others may have never had a Father in their lives.

For those out there who are struggling there is good news.

You always have had a Father, He has been with you since the beginning. He knew you before you were in your Mother’s womb.

God is your Father.

He created you.

He is there for you.

He provides for you.

He loves you unconditionally.

He will never forsake you.

If you have left His embrace or have never known Him, He is waiting for you. Just like the Father in the story of the Prodigal son, when He sees you coming home to Him, He will run to you with open arms. There will be great rejoicing.

Thank you Lord.

Happy Father’s Day God.

Love,

Your child,

Chris

Psalm 68:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows

is God in his holy habitation.