Your Sins Have Been FIRED!


Let’s say someone comes up to you, removes your coat, and sends it away. Would you say you still had your coat?

No. It was removed. It was sent away. Literally, the coat is no longer here.

Jesus takes our sins away. (1 John 3:5). When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:19)!”

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to FORGIVE US OUR SINS and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (Emphasis mine)

Just like that coat; they’re gone. Now, of course we don’t miss the coat or go shopping for new coats, right?

“No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin,” – 1 John 3:9 (AMP)

Therefore, if we repent and turn to Him, Jesus forgives our sins (something only God can do, by the way).

The Greek for “forgive” carries the word picture of discharging something so as to leave.
I note it because:

  • It is so much fun to say: aphiémi (af-ee’-ay-mee).
  • Its roots are apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send.”
  • Properly then, aphiémi means: send away; release (discharge).
  • By forgiving our sins, Jesus removes them and discharges them.

Therefore, because of Jesus’s wonderful Love & Grace, your sins have been:
Let go; fired, dismissed, sacked, axed, laid-off, and canned. They have been given their “pink slip” and “walking papers.” Like Elvis, your sins have left the building.

  • Stop re-living them.
  • Stop obsessing about them.
  • Stop beating yourself up over them.

Brother and sister, they are not even there! (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 11:27, Mic. 7:19, Psa. 103:12)

To pretend otherwise is to act like you still have that coat on that someone removed from you and sent away.

– If this blessed you, please like & share!

Villain Worship: A Dangerous Culture Shift For Our Children

villian

David Koresh led a cult in Waco, Texas wherein more than 70 men, women, & children died in 1993. Taylor Kitsch will be portraying him in a new 6-part miniseries.

Ted Bundy was a serial killer, rapist, & necrophiliac who murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Zac Efron is set to star in a new movie about him.

Tonya Harding was a two-time Olympian and Skate America Champion who was stripped of her title and medals when she allegedly conspired to have her competition assaulted in 1994. Margot Robbie is playing her in a new movie.

These are the monsters, people – not the heroes! These are the villains, not the victims!

This culture shift of presenting the bad guys as the good guys is very dangerous, particularly for our children.

Sadly, this is nothing new. Remember Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (Disney, 2014)? In the original Sleeping Beauty she was a fairy who cursed a newborn to die. In our Post Christian society, she is the misunderstood hero!

There is even a show called Lucifer where the devil is bored of Hell and wants to help humanity by solving crimes. I know that sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Lucifer was nominated in 2016 & 2017 for “Choice TV: Breakout Star, Breakout Show, & Favorite TV Crime Drama” for the Teen Choice Awards. (Teen choice! TEENS are choosing this show!) Lucifer is currently filming its fourth season.

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isa. 5:20

Here’s why this is dangerous:

Yes, there are good and bad qualities in us all. Each is capable of good and bad. In this sense, we have all at one time been a villain as well as a hero. That much is true. I understand writing more interesting, multi-dimensional, and rounded characters in a story. I understand the concept of an anti-hero (someone who is not the traditional hero and may do bad things for a good purpose, like Batman). I understand offering a more realistic mixture to the stale dichotomy of the Good vs Evil tropes in movies and television.

However, the same cannot be said of our enemy, the devil. He is not multi-dimensional and rounded. He is boringly flat. He is a one-trick pony. He is not an interesting character with many layers. He’s never been the good guy and never will be the good guy.

If a child grows up seeing movies or reading stories where the bad guys are actually kinda good, then it is not too far of a leap for that child to think the same thing about the devil. Maybe he’s not all completely evil like the Bible says. Maybe he’s actually a good guy that’s just misunderstood. Maybe he got a bad rep. Maybe he’s not so bad after all!

NO!

  • He is always bad.
  • He is always evil.
  • He is always the villain.

We should never, ever have (like the Rolling Stones song) Sympathy for the devil. If you give him so much as an inch, he will take everything from you (Eph. 4:27)!

He is not the anti-hero. He is the anti-Christ!

There is never a day the devil isn’t trying to get you to doubt God. There is never an instant where he wouldn’t set you up and then pounce on you. The devil doesn’t go on holiday. He doesn’t ever “take it easy” on you. He is always, always, always, monstrously evil.

We know (and he knows) that Satan is going down (Rev 20:7-10). So he’s trying to take as many down with him that he can.

He is trying to convince our youth that bad guys are actually good. Don’t let him.

He’s a sly, sly devil. But his time is almost up.


Ref:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2481498/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2481498/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580036/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587310/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4052886/

Jesus Will Lift You Up

featherLook, I know it’s heavy. Too heavy. Who can lift it? Troubles, trials, & temptations; I know they crush you. They weigh you down. I know you feel defeated. Conquered.

So please listen: Jesus can lift you up.

All that heaviness? Light as a feather to the LORD. Lighter still!

  • He’s eager to do the heavy lifting. Let Him!
  • He wants to take the burden. Let Him!
  • He longs to break your chains. Let Him!
  • He yearns to set you free! Let Him!

Sound too good to be true?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke? – Isa. 58:6

He desires for you to hand over the reigns of your life to Him. Is there anyone more able? Is there anyone more willing? He takes your burden and exchanges it with His rest. Where’s the verse for that you scream?

Come to Me, all you who labor & are heavy laden, & I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you & learn from Me, for I am gentle & lowly in heart, & you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy & My burden is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30

Jesus will lift you up no matter how heavy you think your life has gotten. Jesus will lift you up no matter how badly you think you’ve messed everything up. Jesus will do all of these things & more, if you but submit to Him.

Then WATCH GRACE WORK!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (also Psa. 55:22)

  • He will hear you (Psa. 34:17).
  • He will carry you (Isa. 46:4).
  • He will deliver you. (Isa. 40:11).
  • He will help & uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).

Its all for His glory, not yours. Its all for Him, not you.

So, go out now with a lightened load. Go out with renewed strength. Go out & help your brother (Gal. 6:2). Go out & bring others so He can do the same for them!

– If you were blessed by this please like & share!


Inspired by: X Ambassadors, “Feather.” (VHS)

Like Kids Playing in the Street

icy street 2

The road in front of our house was nothing but ice, so of course Charlotte wanted to go ice skating on it. We were crossing the street & she stopped to play around. I let her do that for a little while, but then I told her to come in. Like any other kid, I had to tell her multiple times before it got through that I was actually serious. Eventually, I had to go get her. For some reason this was all a great surprise to her & she appropriately made a big fuss.

Here’s what WAS going through my head:

  • She’s going to fall on that ice & get hurt.
  • She’s little, so any car coming might not see her.
  • Its icy, so any car coming may have a hard time stopping.
  • It’s cold out here & warm in the house.
  • I have hot chocolate inside ready for her.

Here’s what was NOT going through my head:

  • I don’t want her to have fun.

Someone who has not accepted Jesus, is like that kid playing in the street. There are cars coming. There is ice everywhere. The sun is going down & it is getting dark.

Love isn’t sitting complicit as they are play. Love is warning them to get out!

Of course, we can’t physically go get people out of the street like I did with Charlotte. We lovingly tell them the truth (Eph. 4:15). We tell them how warm the house is & what a wonderful feast there is inside (Isa. 25:6). We tell them how we also used to play in the street until our Father beckoned us safely away (Luke 15:32). We pray that message pierces their hearts as it did ours (Acts 2:37). But then, it is up to them to turn away from the street & to the Father (Deut. 30:19).

You know what? I did go over there & ice skate with Lovey. Sorta. I held her hands as she scooted across the ice. I walked along beside her & held her up. She slipped a few times, but I never let her fall. I just reassured her, “I got you. I got you. Don’t worry.”

Then after a bit, I carried her inside & we had hot chocolate. God will meet you where you are & if you let Him, He will walk along beside you & hold you up. When you slip, He will never let you fall.

He has you (Isa. 49:16). He has you (Heb. 13:5). Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).

If this blessed you, please like & share!

Letter From an Ex-Zombie

Michael-Jackson-Thriller
I was a zombie.

I was one of the undead. I was walking around and it looked like I was alive, but really – I was dead.

Sad thing about being a zombie is that you don’t know you are a zombie.

I was dead in my transgressions and sins. I walked in the way of this world. I followed the prince of the power of the air. I was a son of disobedience. I gratified the cravings of my body and mind. I was a child of wrath just like everyone else. (Eph. 2:1-3)

Then Jesus brought me back from the dead.

Jesus brought me back to life. He put skin on my rotten bones. He took this cold heart of stone and replaced it with one that actually works (Ezek. 36-37). He loved me when I was unlovable (1 John 4:19).

As a zombie, people said I was a good zombie. But a good zombie is still a zombie. And zombies are dead.

Folks get the idea that religion is about making bad people good. That couldn’t be more wrong. Religion may do that, but faith (relationship with Jesus) doesn’t. It’s not about making bad people good, but bringing dead people to life.

John Piper says that people think we’re in the doghouse with God. He’s mad at us and we need Jesus to get us out. That is woefully inaccurate. Actually, we are in the morgue and we need Jesus to bring us back to life!

Take it from this ex-zombie: No one’s good, but we’re all dead. Until Jesus intervenes.


Ref: John Piper: Why We Need a Savior

Short Distance Relationship

James 4:8
James 4:8

Long distance relationships stink. Anyone who’s ever gone through one will tell you: They are hard and most of them don’t work. Hey, relationships are tough no matter what. Add distance to the equation, and you are almost doomed.

You wouldn’t make a relationship with someone you loved long distance on purpose, would you? Why make a relationship harder if it doesn’t have to be? You want the person you love as close as possible. If it was in your power to close that gap, you would. Right?

Jesus wants a close, SHORT DISTANCE relationship with you. He wants to be the first person you turn to in need. He wants to be there to comfort and guide you. He doesn’t want to be a world away. He doesn’t want to be the fourth or fifth or sixth person you go to. He knows what’s best for you, He knows God’s plan for you, and He wants nothing more than for you to succeed… so He can spend even more time with you.

It is you and I that create the distance. I say, “create,” because, it isn’t there until we put it there. We disconnect. We disengage. We cut the lines of communication. Jesus is always there. Always waiting. Always hoping. He is there waiting and hoping that we reach out to Him.

Skype is cool. Facetime is really neat. But there’s nothing quite like spending time with someone in person.

Take out your daily planner and set aside 10 mins every morning. 10 mins to just catch up with the Lord. Now, once it’s on the schedule, it’s on the schedule. There’s something about actually writing it down that makes it… more official. Know what I mean? You can’t break it… unless, of course, something more important than Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God comes up… then, by all means, take it instead. (Thanks to my Pastor, Dr. Rev. David Cyphers for this practical application.)

Long distance relationships stink. Jesus doesn’t want that. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” It’s in your power to close the gap. All it takes is that first step.

May God’s Love be with you