Continual Repentance ‘Is’ That Blessed Assurance. (or, Is your saying “I’m sorry” really enough?) By Timothy Baugh.

“Take heed (Pay attention) to yourselves: (not just ‘momentarily’ but constantly): If thy brother trespass (offend, or sin) against thee seven times in a day,(seems completely helpless in his sinful condition) and seven times a day (continually) turn again to thee, (has a firm determination to quit) saying, I repent; (I change my mind and my course in Life) thou shalt forgive him.” (Our heavenly Father does that much, you must too!) Luke 17: 3-4. (with my own insights added.)       The life of most people is determined by a series of bad choices. We have all “been there, done that” in one sense or another, even if only in our own imaginations or dreams. Evil is relentless. And its hold is sometimes “still there” even after our most sincere dedication or commitment. But thankfully, we are NEVER without hope of forgiveness. Nor does it mean that the battle that is fought is NEVER going to end or get any better. Our victory is not only assured, it is ‘ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED’ once we have settled with a “no turning back” attitude! Our daily struggle may convince us otherwise, yet the Word of God tells us that it is so. Dying to Self-will and our memories of all past indulgences are extremely, tenaciously clung to. We do not surrender ‘that easily’ despite what our hearts may feel is complete; because our sacrifice must often be “beaten” into submission. Our minds and wills are more readily aligned with our habitual patterns of behavior. Victory however is NOT A THING! Victory IS Jesus Christ! It is NEVER our merit for our willingness. It is His merit for His willingness! Once we finally ‘see’ this essential point… how can we not forgive our neighbors, friends, family, WHOEVER their offences “as what” God forgives us? Hallelujah! Come to Him when you “mess up” things. It’s the only way.

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Are You Obsessed by Something?

 

Who is the man that fears the Lord?  Psalm 25:12

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.

If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

“He himself shall dwell in prosperity…” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge…” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 17-18; John 13:1-20

 

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come.

from Shade of His Hand, 1226 L

From the desk of Billy raham

 

Q:
Several times a year I do prison visitation to bring encouragement to inmates who feel they have no one to turn to for a listening ear and a word of hope. Some are so hardened it is like talking to the cement walls, but others warm to the message that God will pardon them and give them a new purpose. Many people tell me I am wasting my time. Am I?
A:
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

History reveals that there are those who have actually refused a pardon. From the records of the U.S. Supreme Court comes such a story of defiance. In 1829, a man named Wilson was indicted for robbing the mail and endangering the life of a government mail carrier. Wilson was tried and sentenced to death. But President Andrew Jackson issued him a pardon. The man refused it and chose death by hanging rather than receive forgiveness.

This is a picture of what Jesus Christ has done for us. He offers mankind a pardon for sin and waits for our response. Many refuse Him, but Jesus stands ready to forgive and has paid the penalty for man’s crimes against Him.

Chuck Colson, a former prisoner himself, had a great ministry reaching prisoners with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people will be in Heaven whose lives have been transformed because of the message that penetrated hardened hearts. Keep proclaiming God’s truth, even if the message falls on deaf ears. When inmates find themselves alone in their cells, the Gospel message can work in unresponsive hearts after your departure.

Never cease telling people about this great rescue mission that brings freedom to those imprisoned, whether inside or outside prison bars. “Preach the gospel to the poor” and “proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:18).

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

What is the Gospel? Find out more.