Tag Archives: forgive

Recovering From Addiction

How far are you willing to go in destroying your life with an addiction?

Written by David on 28/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Repentance, Forgiveness, New Life, Restitution, Brokenness
If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.

James 5:16
The end of the line for an addicted person is a self-made prison with four walls — Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. There seem to be no doors or windows, and fear fills your life as you see that you’ve embraced self-destruction of your own accord. There is no protection for what awaits you in the deepest, darkest, isolated, solitary moment of an out-of-control life of sin.

God’s Word is there to give you hope. But first there must be a "death:" “In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.” (Romans 6:11) This is because the hope is not found in yourself: “I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot.” (Romans 7:18)

Apathy Gives the Enemy Power
Do you spend a daily time with the Lord? Make it a daily quest in your life. Many days I falter in this goal to be in the presence of the Lord through His Word. But I know that my mind, left to itself, will wander to a place of apathy. And I know where this leads: shame, anxiety and destruction. This is what the Bible calls evidence of the "natural man:" a sinful nature seeded in our heart. “More than anything else, a person's mind is evil and cannot be healed. No one truly understands it.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Where are You Looking for Your Fulfillment?
King David allowed his own heart to wander. It threw him into the four-walled prison: Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. “In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.” (2 Samuel 11:1-2) King David should have been fighting alongside his men as other kings went out to war. Instead, he stayed behind, allowing his eyes and mind to wander and looking at the beautiful Bathsheba. He fixed his eyes and didn’t turn away. Acting against God’s will according to his own desires resulted in an unexpected sequence of events. His sinful thoughts and pattern of behavior led to a terrible outcome.

Hope is Found in Brokenness Before God
God searches the heart to find what is good in us. The good is what He has planted. It is a seed that yearns to have a true, authentic relationship with Him. You must have a broken spirit, as David eventually expressed: "I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me." (Psalm 51)

And Once You Have Confessed and Received His Restoration…
Focus on what is hopeful and favorable. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) True faith continues to take God at His word. “If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

This is the turning point of our conversion: repentance, total acceptance and submission to Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us. In spite of this, it’s possible to wander in dissatisfaction, looking to fulfill our lives with worldly pleasures and worthless things. When we do this, we can quickly be distracted from God. Losing our perspective about what is important leaves us with emptiness. So the temporary pleasure ends with shame and self-destructive despair. It’s like falling on the sword of our own actions and desires.

The Path of Restoration for a Broken, Sinful Life
God is the answer for the broken hearted and sinful man. Addiction may have taken you to a place of desperation and even complete destruction of some things in your life. Remember that God is much bigger than any "hopeless" situation. Yet there has to be a complete turnaround. You must confess. Admit your sinful habits. Complete confession means confronting your ways from the moment they led you away from God all the way to the end. You need true, transparent, genuine repentance. God will forgive your sin if you confess. (1 John 1:7-10)

Pray this week:

Lord, keep me safe from the sinful ways of my heart. Fill my heart and mind with your thoughts and keep me in the path of righteousness. Create in me a pure heart and make my spirit right again. Amen

Your story could be complicated, like that of Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:1-10)

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Did God Put a Hole in My Pocket?

Does your money vanish like a vapor?

Written by Lois on 07/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
You have planted much but harvest little…You earn money, but put it into a bag with holes.

Haggai 1:6
On a hot summer day you can actually see water evaporating from a stream. Does your money appear to be vanishing? Are you constantly spending more than you earn? Maybe the solution is not getting more money into your hands. Let’s go to God’s word to see what the Scriptures say about money. Do you believe God cares about what you do with the money you earn?

What has first place in your life, God or money?
For one month, try writing down all of your purchases. This is a good way to reveal where your money is going and what has first place in your heart. Does God have first place, or do you spend most of your money eating out or buying clothes and other material things? Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “…first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing…the attitude and character of God), and these things will be given to you also.”

How often do you help those less fortunate than you?
Selfishly using money we earn is the opposite of what the Father has instructed us to do. Do we forget to help someone else or help the church we attend? “Give, and it will be given to you…running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38)

At some point in my walk with Jesus, I realized that it was part of my obligation as a Christian to give a portion of my income to my church. The Apostle Paul told the church he planted in the city of Corinth, “On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering.” (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Pray this week:

Father, forgive me for not putting You first in my life. Help me remember to keep You first in my heart.

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One Man’s Death Every Man’s Guarantee

Hope for a "new world" must rest in God, not man

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Death, Easter, Hope, Life, Power, Resurrection
We all keep hoping for peace. World War I was "the war to end all wars." Then we found ourselves in the midst of World War II-again sending out sons, husbands, and fathers who may not return.

The wars kept coming. Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. Each one pouring out death and destruction to an extent the world hadn’t witnessed previously. If only military victory carried a lifetime guarantee of no more death, no more failure, no more fear. Or better yet, an eternal guarantee.

But only one man’s death carries that guarantee.

No human effort to build a better world can guarantee lasting peace in the Persian Gulf, or Somalia, or anywhere else for that matter. The freedom that costs the blood of our precious young men and women isn’t permanent. It lasts only until another aggressive power comes along, unjustly claiming supremacy over others. Then the bloodshed starts all over again.

Hope for a "new world" must rest in God, not man. Death is man’s legacy; life is God’s. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26).

Good Friday, when we remember the cruel death of Jesus Christ on the cross, is a day that man made because of sin. But Resurrection Sunday is God’s Day. He made it. Only the power of God could have raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Man’s deepest yearnings for life, power, and hope find fulfillment in the meaning of Easter.

Life
Resurrection speaks of life. Jesus Christ is alive today! Here in the northern hemisphere, Resurrection Sunday comes in the spring. After a long, cold winter, nature comes alive. In the spring, one is prompted to think of resurrection. It’s a new beginning.

Death is our enemy. But life is ours in Jesus Christ. Death brings fear. The Resurrection gives peace. Thoughts about death often lead to depression. The reality of the Resurrection leads to hope. Death speaks of separation, but the Resurrection speaks of a life that is indestructible, in union forever with the risen Jesus Christ.

The Bible says, "When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins" (Colossians 2:13). We are alive to God because the risen life of Christ is our life. All of us who have Jesus Christ in our hearts know that He’s alive. That’s why we love to sing, "You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart." The Lord affirmed, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). That speaks of His life in us!

When Jesus came out of the grave, having finished the work on the cross, having shed His blood, having taken the punishment for our sins on His own body, He was able to give us life, because He was alive, risen from the dead.

Do you have this life? Have you experienced what it is to come alive in Jesus Christ? Have you experienced what the Bible calls a "new birth"?

To be born again means that Jesus Christ actually comes into your life. Instead of being dead to God, dead to the things of God, not understanding what God is like, you come alive. You become a new person who can understand the things of God.

The Resurrection speaks of life; not only the life of Christ, alive from the tomb, but also an abundant inner life for us, here and now, daily.

Jesus Christ also opened a way into heaven. We no longer have to fear death, because we are united with Christ. A Christian has been resurrected with Jesus Christ. Christ’s victory is our victory both now and in the future. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ destroyed him "who holds the power of death-that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

Power
Resurrection also speaks of power. Before the Lord was raised from the dead, the apostles were quite a miserable lot. What was wrong? What was it that they lacked? They lacked power!

Until the Lord Jesus was resurrected, was raised up into heaven and the Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles were still afraid and in hiding.

But on the Day of Pentecost, Peter, who had earlier been afraid of the accusations of a servant girl, stood up in front of several thousand people and said, very boldly, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). What brought on this boldness?

Peter now was filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit! He had the risen life of Jesus Christ in him. The power that brought Christ out of the grave is for us now. God’s power is not something that we work up ourselves. It comes only from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

If you lack power in your life, power to overcome temptation, power to witness for Jesus Christ, then you need to allow God’s Spirit to fill you. You need to acknowledge His life in you and let Him live through you.

The life of Christ dwells in every one who by faith receives Him. Your life can be filled with the power of the living Lord Jesus Christ. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, and love and of self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hope
Hope? Yes, resurrection also speaks of a secure hope. My father’s body is buried in a little cemetery in Argentina. But my father has been with Jesus Christ all these 48 years since his physical death. One day his body is going to be resurrected, just as the body of Jesus was resurrected.

For those who know the Lord Jesus, that fact is very real. The Lord is coming back! The Bible says that one of these days, we shall be changed "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). What a marvelous reality!

When my father died, we sang a hymn at his funeral:

Face to face, O blissful moment.

Face to face, to see and know.

Face to face with my Redeemer,

Jesus Christ who loved me so.

Face to face I shall behold Him,

Far beyond the starry sky.

Face to face in all His glory,

I shall see Him by and by.

This is the hope that the Resurrection gives you. We know we shall see the Lord Jesus face to face in all His glory. Do you have that hope? Do you have that assurance? Do you know for sure that you’ll see Him?

If the resurrected Christ does not live in your heart and you die today, what hope would you have? There is no "reincarnation," no "second chance." But if Christ lives in you, then there is the secure hope of eternal life with the Lord Jesus, forever. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish," He has said (John 10:28).

A minister’s son, 28 years old, married with two children, had cancer. Each of the several specialists who examined him said the cancer would take his life. I was the guest speaker at the minister’s church on the Sunday that his son died, early that morning. This pastor, who had suffered so much for two years seeing his son slowly dying, was at perfect peace. He described the last few hours he spent with him. His son had said, "Dad, tonight I’m going to be with Jesus."

"Aren’t you lucky to get there before me, David," his father said. "To think that tonight you will actually see Moses in person, and Peter, Paul, and John the Baptist!"

Then his father said, "But son, best of all, you’re going to see the Lord Jesus. And when you see Him, David, will you tell him that your father loves Him very much?"

The reason this man had such tremendous peace when I spoke with him a few hours after his son’s death was because his son was with the Lord Jesus. That’s what knowing Jesus Christ will do for you.

If the Lord Jesus returned today, would He welcome you into His presence? Have you opened your life to Jesus Christ?

You can receive the Lord Jesus by a simple prayer of faith. Believe in Him, invite Him into your heart, and become a child of God. Make sure that you will be part of that resurrection day when the Lord Jesus comes back for His own.

Make this prayer your own, quietly now, as you finish this article:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that because of Easter, You’ve made it possible for me to have a new beginning. Thank You for Your death on the cross, paying the penalty for my sins. Thank You for Your resurrection three days later. You’re alive and now You offer me new life, power and hope here and now and for all eternity. Please forgive my sins and make me part of Your family. I gladly receive You and put my trust in You. Amen.

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God’s Forgiveness of Your Sin

Sin ruins your life – Who is powerful enough to forgive and renew you?

Written by Hope on 11/10/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Creation, Forgiveness, Power, Sin
God, who raises the dead to life and creates new things…

Romans 4:17b
It’s no secret that we live in a fallen world of sin. From infidelity in relationships, to cheating, to lying, to stealing, sin is everywhere! This sin ruins our life and tears us down.

However, though we live in a world of sin, God is powerful enough to forgive us! But why would he forgive us? And how does he do it? Here are the three pillars to understand about God’s forgiveness of your sins.

God Is The Omnipotent Creator
The Bible teaches us that with His wisdom and power He created the earth and spread out the heavens (Jeremiah 10:12). The prophets praised Him: God said “I am Powerful” (Psalm 62:11) and “Lord God, you stretched out your mighty arm and made the sky and the earth. You can do anything” (Jeremiah 32:17). The Lord says of Himself, “I created everything from the sky above to the earth below” (Isaiah 44:24), and He created all things to be good, in His own estimation – perfect, like Himself, without sin.

God Cannot Stand Sin
But people did sin. And since God “can’t stand sin or wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13a), the sin separated people from God. This is the natural order of Creation, just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of bright light. When you know you have done evil and are disconnected from your Creator, “Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That’s why he doesn’t answer your prayers or let you see his face” (Isaiah 59:2).

He Is Powerful Enough To Declare you Innocent
In the book of Exodus 34: 6-7, God declares that He is a fair judge. Just like He is merciful and patient with His people, He also has the power to punish those who sin. “But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away” (I John 1:9). In His great love, He “is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him” (Daniel 9:9).

God promises this miracle through Jesus Christ alone. When you believe in Him, you can pray, “I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me” (Psalm 51:4) … “Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7a). No matter your sin or shame, no matter who has come against you, we can be confident of His power to “keep you from falling and make sure and joyful in His glorious presence. Before time began and now and forevermore, God is worthy of glory, honor, power and authority. Amen.” (Jude 1: 24)

Pray this week:

Dear God, I have sinned against You. I believe that You alone have the power to forgive me and make my life right in Your ways. Please forgive me, in Jesus’s Name, amen.

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