Monday, January 14, 2013

Condemnation Vs. Conviction

Condemnation versus Conviction

 A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some believers even think it's God telling them these things. My friend, nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47)!

What is condemnation?
Condemnation comes from Satan and is meant to tear you down. Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you've messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution.
Jesus did NOT come to condemn the world (John 12:47). There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Satan on the other hand is KNOWN for accusing the brethren (Rev 12:10).
Why won't you ever hear God telling you what a failure you are? Because Jesus said, "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47)

What is conviction?
Conviction is known in the Bible as Godly sorrow. God's Word tells us that Godly sorrow is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Condemnation tells you, "You are such a failure! Look at what you did!" while conviction tells you, "Come to me... and I will forgive you!"
Not only is God willing to forgive your sins, but He longs (deeply desires) to do so! Isaiah 30:18, "Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him." (NASB)
1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."
Romans 2:4, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
Conviction shows you the answer to your problem. Conviction shows you the blood of Jesus that wipes away your sins.

What is the difference?
Conviction shows you the answer (the Blood of Jesus, which washes away sin), while condemnation shows you the problem (the sin, the past and your failures). Condemnation shows you the problem, but conviction shows you the answer.
Condemnation shouts, "Your past! Your sins! You loser!" But conviction shouts, "The Blood of Jesus washes away sins. Come to Jesus and be forgiven of your sins. You can be forgiven. Your sins and past don't have to be a part of you anymore."

Understanding the nature of God's forgiveness
It's so important to understand the nature of God's forgiveness and His desire to wash us clean from our pasts. The Forgiveness of Sins is a great teaching that will show you the nature of God's forgiveness.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Easy Yoke, Light Burden

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Many of us have heard this's one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. But it can also be one of the hardest ones to follow when troubles hit..and fear and worry start pounding away.

One of the things that helps me is when the Lord gives me pictures, or describes a scene in terms that are easy for me to understand. Here's one for this verse.

The easy yoke
You may remember scenes of a farmer plowing his field, or putting a yoke around an animal and guiding it to plow a field. Very hard work either way. If I recall, there are some yokes that will attach to two animals.

Imagine yourself in one of those two sided yokes. It's only you. Now imagine that you are having to walk forward with this yoke on your back..and attached to the yoke are your worries, your fears, your trials, your struggles, your fears, your sickness. It doesn't take too long until you body starts to crumble under the weight of having to drag this yoke across this unplowed field, under the hot sun. That's how it is when we allow the enemy to attack our minds.

Now imagine that Jesus is on the yoke next to you. You are on one side, he is on the other. YOu say, Lord, I can't drag this yoke. It's too heavy." To which Jesus says "Nothing is too heavy for me to carry! If you give me control of this yoke, I'll drag it for you..all you have to do is walk alongside me. with that, Jesus starts to walk, and the yoke effortlessly starts to plow the ground. Jesus smiles and encourages you to walk with him. You barely, if at all..fell any of the weight of the yoke that is behind you. You are essentially walking alongside Jesus, who is effortlessly dragging the yoke on his side, while on your side, you are simply walking with the yoke around your neck..but it's effortless, since Jesus has taken the yoke upon himself.

The easy burden

What is it that burdens you? Is it fear? Doubt? There are many burdens that we deal with, sometimes on a daily basis. But Jesus wants to take those burdens from you as well!

Imagine yourself walking down a sidewalk with a backpack. It weighs about 200 pounds. Quite heavy! That's how our burdens are..they weigh us down, they depress. YOu hear the enemy screaming hopelessness in your ear. Suddenly Jesus approaches you with a backpack of his own. You say, "lord, I can't carry this backpack of burdens. It's too much for me." Jesus says"My burden is light! Trade me!" So you and Jesus exchange backpacks, and you notice that the backpack weighs only 3 pounds. Your back start to feel better, your muscles start to relax. 

Jesus smiles and strap the backpack with your burdens on, and says "Walk with me. you don't have to carry these burdens. I got them. anytime you need me to take your burdens and give you peace and rest, just call to me. I am greater than your burdens, I am greater than your fears. Walk with me in peace. I'll handle the rest."

So the next time a burden gets dropped on you, give it to Jesus and receive His peace. He will take care of you..through all things.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Relationship With God

One of the things I have been working on is my relationship with God. When one accepts Jesus Christ, they receive access to a relationship with God. I have struggled in the area of relationships in some areas, because I  tended to follow religiosity. I am getting better. Today in my quiet time, I felt compelled to look up what makes a strong relationship work between a couple (which is somthing I would love to have). They are:

These are the things that God desires me to have with Him. A relationship. I wrote a few things down, and here is what I felt the Lord say:
Honesty: It is okay to tell me how you feel. You don't have to worry that I'll be angry with you. I want you to share with me your fears and worries, and let me encourage you. You are safe with me.

Trust: You can trust me in all things. I am not out to harm you. I have plans, a hope, and a future for you. You can trust me in ALL THINGS. You are free to bring your concerns to Me. If you make mistakes, come confess them to me and I will forgive you and help you.

Respect: I am the Lord. I love you. Just remember that I am GOD and am holy.

Communication: I am available 24/7 for you. When you talk, I will listen, but also remember to listen as well. In my presence, there are presents. There is encouragement, counselng, direction, and so many other things. As you come to me in worship, I will return blessing to you.

Attention: In all relationships, people need to make time for each other. It's the same with us. Make time for Me. I desire to spend time with you. The Word is one way. Prayer is another. Worship is another. Let's make time together to spend so our relationship can build.

Intimacy: I desire to know the deepest parts about you...fears, struggles, etc.  I already know them. I desire for you to know the deepest parts of Me as well. You don't have to put walls up with Me. You can be vulnerable to Me. I am for you not against you. 

Commitment: Like any other relationship, I am in it for the long haul. Through thick and thin, good times and bad times, highs and lows..i am always here for you. If you stay in relationship with me, you will ALWAYS have what you need.

This isn't religion. It's something far, far beyond religion. It's a relationship.