Apr 29, 2012

Escape the Guilt Trap

How often do you commit a sin, and then fail to find a way to move past the regret and shame you feel? Most people wrestle with guilt from time to time.

The dictionary defines guilt as 1.) "the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, esp. against moral or penal law" and 2.) "a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined."1 In other words, guilt has two components—the actual offense and the feelings that accompany it.

A. Handling our Guilt. Once we start to feel remorseful about our wrongdoing, we often fail to respond to our guilt in a healthy manner.
B. The Purpose of Guilt. Guilt is actually a God-given emotion. It has at least three functions: to prompt us to ask for forgiveness from those we hurt; to motivate us to make restitution whenever we can; and to draw us back to the Lord. In terms of our relationship with the Lord, the solution to guilty feelings is simple.
C. Receiving Forgiveness. Many believers are unable to receive God's forgiveness due to the emotional programming they've received from their upbringing, their church, or their culture. For instance, their parents might have expected them to be perfect, so they have a difficult time accepting ourselves when they make moral mistakes. Or, other authority figures may have emphasized what horrible and shameful children they were when they did anything wrong and refused to comfort the children after disciplining them.

How can you escape these negative patterns of dealing with guilt? The secret is to train your mind to believe God's truth—found in His Word—instead of your feelings.
  • Acts 10:43 says everyone who believes in Christ receives forgiveness for his or her sins. All sins that we confesss are forgiven (Colossians 2:13).
If you feel guilty after confessing your sins, you know your feelings are not lining up with God's truth. Find Scriptures that talk about God's forgiveness and your righteousness in Christ, such as Colossians 1:21-22. Write them down in a list or on note cards. Then, read through the encouraging verses and dwell on what they mean. Your emotions will eventually follow your thoughts, and you will be free from feeling guilty.

Closing: Christ's death made a way for you to be completely free from the guilt of sin—not only the offense but also the feelings that accompany it. Admit your guilt to God and those you offended, make restitution when you can, and return to living in a manner that pleases the Lord.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your amazing grace that covers our sin. We never have to wallow in feelings of guilt. Remind us to turn to You, focusing on the truth in your Word, instead of trusting our emotions. I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.

I read this today on Charles Stanley's website (story reference) and it was written by him.

Apr 24, 2012

There's POWER in Knowing Who You Are in Christ


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9,10

One of the main things that holds us back in our Christian walk is not believing what God says about us. We don't embrace who we are in Christ, we reject the Word of God concerning ourselves & instead embrace guilt, condemnation and self-hate. Self-hate keeps the Holy Spirit from overflowing our lives and setting us free from patterns of behavior and sin that traps us and thus we don't grow.

When we surrender our lives to Christ, we become new. Colossians 3:10,11 says, 'we have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator ... Christ is all and is in all.' In other words, how we identified our life before Christ no longer applies. Our identity is no longer determined by our physical heritage, social standing, our racial distinctions. Our identity lies in the fact that we are all children of God and we are in Christ.

At the place where they were told 'You are not My people,' there they will be called 'children of the living God.' Romans 9:26

Who we are determines what we do. It's so important to believe we are a child of God, because we can't consistently behave in a way that's inconsistent with how we perceive ourselves. If we don't see ourselves as God sees us, then to that degree we suffer from a wrong identity and a poor image of who we really are. It's not what we do that determines who we are, it's who we are that determines what we do.

Finding out who I am in Christ has been so powerful for me. It has made so much difference in my walk with God. It's built my confidence and helped me to know I can do what I need to do and be who I am because Christ lives in me. Learning who I am in Christ has also helped to dispel fears and doubts. I can stare the enemy face to face, knowing HE must back down because of who my Daddy is and that Christ lives in me.

No longer live as a defeated Christian. Stop hating yourself because of what you've done in the past. Choose to forgive yourself, accept God's forgiveness, and let yourself off the hook.

You are special, you are wanted, you are loved, you are accepted, you are the home of the living God.

Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir. Galations 4:6,7
Believe and be free ... we are NO LONGER products of our past.
Not sure who you really are? Read (out loud if you can) the list of Biblical truths below that reveal who God made you to be, compiled by Joyce Meyer. Read them, confess them, get them deep down in your spirit, and believe them.
Father, I pray that You help us to learn and believe who we are in You. We belong to You and You love us. Reveal to us just how important and special we are to You in Jesus' name, amen.

see related blogs of mine:

Don't Look Back, Enough is Enough
God Hates Abuse ... So Stop Being a Martyr and Let Go
Step Away .... from that Stale Cracker


Knowing Who I am in Christ by Joyce Meyer

CONFESS and BELIEVE these truths ...

I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18).
I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17-19).
I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9-10).
I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).
I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am a spirit being alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).
I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25).
I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).
I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).
I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).
I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
Joyce Meyer's Story Reference & Website - you can download the confession list from this link & put it up on the wall or in your Bible for future reference.

Apr 18, 2012

God's Great Love

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

God’s love for us is so deep that we have a hard time comprehending it. It reaches down to us through the darkness of this sinful world, even though we are hopelessly undeserving. The Bible says that before God created our planet, He had decided to display the depth of His love for us through His Son’s death on the cross.

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20

In my imagination I look back over time and see the Lord raising mountains to majestic heights, cutting valleys for flowing rivers, and stretching out vast plains. I envision Him creating the mighty oceans and beautiful lakes. Then I see Him pause and reflect on the goodness of His creation. He gazes at that part of the world where His Son will be born. He knows that Jesus will be rejected and crucified. With a sweep of His hand He could obliterate the world and spare His Son from the agony of the cross. But He doesn’t.

Because of God’s love, the Son came to earth and was slain. On Calvary He died to pay the penalty for our sins.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God's love does not waver, does not get pulled off track, does not run dry with time. God is not regretting anything He has done for us. He would do it all over again, if needed. His love is not conditional on how wise or perfect we are.

His love never fails.

Prayer: Father, help us to realize just how much You love us. You loved us so much, You sent Your Son to die in our place. That kind of love, unconditional love, is beyond my comprehension. Thank you doesn’t seem quiet enough. May we spend our life trying to bring You the honor that You’re due. In Jesus’ name, amen.