Tag Archives: Sin

Making sure part two

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Yesterday I wrote about health issues, today I write about spiritual health and well-being. We often forget that we are spiritual beings inside our bodies of flesh and some of us don’t even believe that. We will some day live outside of the bodies we are born into. Those bodies will see decay but our spirits live on. Many has been the time when I wrote about Jesus Christ here on my site and many has been the time when I urged those who don’t know him as their Saviour to earnestly seek him. I will continue doing this as I am led to do so but it will continue to be an occasional post for fear of driving people away. I don’t wish to turn people away from God and Jesus Christ by attempting to ram the information down their throats, that would be wrong and in any case final decisions are made by those who wish to respond or not. I was watching a televised lecture or teaching if you will by a prominent Christian Pastor who was talking about the true nature of God as our Father in Heaven.

When God chose a group of people out of the many there are in this world to be an example for the rest He chose the Israelites or the Jews as we know them today. He laid down Laws for them to follow, laws meant for their well-being if they chose to follow them for God wanted His people to live in accordance with His will. If they failed to adhere to the laws (sin) they were expected to offer a sacrifice by way of atonement and this they did by offering the blood of an animal, an ox, a lamb, a goat or even a pigeon. God required the shedding of blood as a sacrifice. It meant that the Israelites had to own thousands of cattle, sheep and other animals in order to pay the price for their wrongdoing or sinful ways. Had they been obedient there would have been no need for the vast quantities of livestock but sin was in them just as it is today in each of us. God, our Father loves each of us with a love that is incomparable to any other. The Pastor related this observation in his teaching…..When his three-year old daughter cries out to him in the night because she is frightened of the dark or that she believes there is a monster beneath her bed she doesn’t cry out ‘Oh Father who is married to Mommy and who supplies us with food and shelter and who looks after me’ but she shouts ‘Daddy, I am frightened’ (paraphrased throughout). This is who our father in Heaven really is, a loving daddy whom we can rely upon and who genuinely loves and cares for us as any daddy would do (should do). We approach our Father as little children knowing He won’t reject us but is always there for us at all times. Our cries of help do not go unnoticed. He is Abba, Father our loving God. If we do wrong, and we all do wrong at times, He is there to comfort us and to chastise us but He does it for our own benefit. What loving father doesn’t chastise his children? That is how they learn good from evil. Following God isn’t a punishment, something we have to endure else be damned but rather it is the most natural thing in the world to want to please our Daddy, Abba Father. It is because of His great love for us that He came in the flesh as a human being, Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, even our sins, mine and yours. We don’t need herds of cattle to offer as sacrifices for our wrongdoing for Jesus has already paid that price on our behalf. Jesus shed his own blood, he became our sacrificial Lamb. All we have to do is repent and accept that free gift of life in His name. This is how much our Daddy loves us…….Make sure you don’t miss out on His love…..

Shirley Anne

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Copyright Stuart Townend

Shirley Anne

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Are you justified?

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Justification

Romans 3:23–24

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We live in a culture that thinks hard work gets us what we want or what we think we deserve. This is especially true in the workplace. If we work hard enough, we get a raise, bonus, or promotion. And if something goes wrong, we can usually work hard enough to make amends. We live in a meritocratic culture.
But God’s kingdom functions differently. He has given us something we don’t deserve: right status before him.
The doctrine of justification tells us that we are considered righteous before God, not by our obedience to the law—for no one can fulfill the law’s requirements—but because of the perfect work of Christ. He alone lived perfectly according to the law and fulfilled it. Because of Christ’s work, God no longer sees us as sinful or guilty. He sees us as righteous and holy. Therefore, we do not have to fear God’s wrath, because our sins are forgiven and the weight of our guilt has been removed.
In his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion, reformer John Calvin says that no sinner could ever justify himself. Not only that, but wherever there is sin, there also “the wrath and vengeance of God show themselves.” Conversely, a justified person is one “who is reckoned in the condition not of a sinner, but of a righteous man; and for that reason, he stands firm before God’s judgment seat while all sinners fall.” This happens when we trust not in ourselves and our own works—because we will find nothing righteous within us—but in the righteousness of Christ through faith. That’s good news!
Connecting
As human beings, we are constantly trying to justify ourselves before others. Fearful of our inadequacies and sins being exposed, we work tirelessly to prove ourselves. This leaves us only exhausted and joyless. But when we begin to grasp the truth that in Christ we are wholly accepted by God regardless of what we do, we experience a peace that allows us not to be preoccupied with ourselves—our successes or failures. Further, we can have confidence as we perform the work God has set before us, even with all of our human limitations. The doctrine of justification brings an incredible freedom in our work, because if God, the ultimate judge, has already deemed us righteous, then no one and nothing can steal our security or status in him.

Taken from NIV Faith & Work Bible

Redemption:  deliverance from sin; salvation.

Why does anyone need redemption is saying why does anyone need salvation? For those who are not believers in God the words are meaningless and they are meaningless to them because they have no conception of sin. If you are an unbeliever for you there is no such thing as sin and therein lies the danger. Let’s get one thing straight, we are all sinners. Believers know so but unbelievers do not know they are sinners. Then what do they believe? They have no need of a creator God, they are all sufficient and in control of their own destiny. Most haven’t a clue about God and Jesus Christ because their minds are closed books yet they will most certainly form their own opinion about such matters. Their fate is sealed in their ignorance, they condemn themselves. They remain in their sinful state oblivious to the danger. ‘Nothing happens when we die’, is what they say. How do they know that? The same question is levelled back at the Christian, ‘How do you know’? The answer is as true as it is subsequently disbelieved. The Christian knows they are redeemed, forgiven and their sins no longer can condemn them because God’s Spirit is in them.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Why? Because Jesus took the punishment for the sins of mankind upon himself thereby setting free those who believe and accept this free gift of life. God now doesn’t see the sins that cover us because Jesus has set us free, washed us clean and we have been redeemed and saved for all eternity. What about the unbeliever? Whilst there is breath in them they have the opportunity to repent and have that same assurance. The alternative is total separation from God forever! Do you really want to take that chance because of your refusal to turn to God? Reach out and take the hand of Jesus……

Shirley Anne 

For all have sinned

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Romans 3:9-18

No one is righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.
10 As it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.’
13 ‘Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practise deceit.’
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.’
14 ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’
15 ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.’
18 ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Psalm 14

(For the director of music. Of David.)

1 The fool says in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,
no one who does what is right and never sins.

Some realise these things and endeavour to do something about it but the truth is they cannot. By ourselves we are helpless but for those who trust in the Lord God and in Jesus Christ there is hope. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Jesus is the Name.

I was watching the appalling events which took place on Monday evening last week when a suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of many around him, injuring many more too. It was considered an act of terrorism by the perpetrator as with many other acts of a similar nature which have taken place in these past few years. ‘All done in the name of religion’ is a frequent expression used by those who pass comment. Probably true but based on a false religion and totally against the will of God, the Only True God, not a god of wickedness and evil but a God who is loving, kind, merciful, faithful, righteous, holy and who gave His Son to save all those who repent and turn to Him. I pray for those who have suffered because of evilness in this and other ways but I pray more for the lost souls who follow a false god in the hope they will be rewarded for their evil deeds. They will face their Creator and have a lot of explaining to do.

Through Jesus we are saved and we turn away from and resist the evilness that is sin………

Shirley Anne

Not worthy?

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Undeserved (Luke 7:37–39)
I am sinful, yet God calls me righteous. Is there anything I can do to thank him?
Read…….

English: Parish church Saint Vinzenz - Sacred ...

Parish church Saint Vinzenz – Sacred Heart altar – Jesus and the Pharisee

One day a Pharisee asked Jesus to come to his house to eat. “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner’ ” (Luke 7:37–39). The incredible thing is that Jesus did know what kind of woman she was. But that didn’t stop him from loving her.
Think……..
Like the woman, we all stand before Jesus with a spiritual rap sheet that is miles long. At this very moment, he sees every area of our lives that needs refining. Yet despite our sin, he loves us anyway. Dearly. That doesn’t make sense. But God’s love doesn’t make sense. We can’t figure it out.
Live…….
Let grace amaze you. Ponder it. Dwell on it. Feel the intensity of God’s love behind it. The woman had it right. She was well aware of her sinful past—she had lived it. And when she found the Saviour who knew her completely and still offered acceptance and forgiveness, she could do nothing else but fall on her knees and pour out her praise on him.
When your messiness runs into Jesus’ perfection and you find him there loving you, be like the woman with the alabaster jar. Just love him. Pour out your praise; drench him in worship. Stand in awe of the One who gave it all. He is worthy of every ounce of your praise.

Taken from The Great Rescue Bible

Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of love meted out to you? It is so readily available to those who recognise their God and believe in Him, turning in repentance and allowing Jesus into your heart is the only way.

Romans 3:22-24 New International Version – UK

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Repent therefore and turn to your Saviour who is Christ Jesus our Lord…

Shirley Anne

What is the point?

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I was at home all day today and during the afternoon watched television for a brief time, However that turned out to be longer as news came in of a suspected terror attack in Westminster around the Palace of Westminster and on Westminster Bridge nearby. As I write this I have just learned that a policeman on duty there who had earlier been reported as stabbed has just died. I had already heard about a group of French students having been mowed down by a motor vehicle and a woman had also been killed in the same incident. Many of the students sustained horrific injuries during the incident. The police reaction was swift and we are told that the man who had stabbed the officer was shot dead at the scene.

English: Westminster Palace in London, The Gre...

Westminster Palace in London, The Great Westminster Clock; The bell within the clock tower is named ‘Big Ben.’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a worrying sign of the times. There have always been people who for some reason are willing to commit offences like these and there is only a limited amount of precautions that can be made to prevent them. What can be done is being done as far as it is possible. Fortunately these incidences are few but even so they cause much suffering by those directly involved as well as the friends and families of those killed or seriously injured.

I pray for all those who have been affected by this horrible incident.

Whatever some people might say this world is in a sorry state and it is going to get worse despite our attempts to prevent it. It is the very fact that we are all different that we have people bent on anti-social activity for whatever reason that may be. People talk about what can be done but in real terms it is down to every individual to look at their own heart and see there is something missing, love. We are all sinners, it is just that some sins affect others besides ourselves. Judgement will come for all those who sin…………..

Shirley Anne

Oh stubborn heart

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English: Not Guilty (The Acquittal)

Not Guilty (The Acquittal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think no-one loves you? Think you are so full of wrongdoing that you are a hopeless case? Well think again. You are loved and you can be set free from your sins if you would only believe. Sin is common to us all but we can fight against it. Whilst we breathe we will never overcome the sin in our lives but we can determine not to sin if we will it. We will fail sometimes and that is a certainty. How then can we be freed from our sins if we cannot do that ourselves? The truth is that we cannot but God so loved the world (us) that he gave His only son as a sacrifice to pay for all our sins once and for all time (John 3:16). His name is Jesus. He paid the price for all our sins. We don’t deserve it but that is the nature of God, He loves us all.
Shirley Anne
and ….

God Frees You from Sin (Romans 3:22–24)

What a glorious promise! God loves us so much that he wanted to make us right with him. Because he is a just God, he could not simply overlook our sin. His justice required that someone pay the penalty for it. And someone did. God sent his only Son as the perfect sacrifice to take the punishment our sins required.

God promises that when we trust in what Jesus did for us, he will take away our sins—no matter who we are or what we have done. No sin is so great that God cannot wipe it away. Because of Jesus’ death, God declares us not guilty and sets us free. Of course, we will never be completely without sin until we get to heaven, but in the meantime, God looks at us and sees Christ’s righteousness instead of our sin.

Today, declare your independence. God has freed you.
God’s Promise to Me

You are made right in my sight when you trust my Son to take away your sins.
I declare you not guilty.

My (your) Prayer to God

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to declare me “not guilty” by his death on the cross. I trust you, Lord.

(Taken from Once a Day Bible Promises)

Shirley Anne

The right decision

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‘I would rather believe in God and die finding out that I was right rather than die not believing and discover I was wrong’. I don’t need to take out insurance in the hope that God exists, I know it in my heart for that is where He resides by His Spirit. I have that blessed assurance, a guarantee written in my heart and underwritten by my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the one who makes it possible to be at one with God when we are separated from Him because of our sins. If we don’t have a Saviour we remain unsaved and destined for destruction because we cannot save ourselves. We cannot save ourselves yet many think that salvation is gained by their good deeds. Nothing could be further from the truth for it says in Scripture

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast

If you wish to trust in another that is entirely up to you but there is only one way to be saved and that is through Jesus Christ who died and took upon himself our sins, yours and mine. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus died for us and repent of our sins we will be saved. Jesus is our gift from God, he is the one who makes us at one with God, he atones for us in other words. Take that step of faith and have that assurance from God who loves you.

Shirley Anne

 

 

Beans at the ready

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It has become somewhat of a tradition for me over the last few years, having beans on toast for my Christmas Day dinner.

English: Beans on toast

Beans on toast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually though mine will be topped with a lightly fried egg. Since I no longer celebrate Christmas as I once did, at least in the way that has become a tradition in the homes of many throughout the land and around the world, I have no need for the rich food and drink that came with it. I celebrate Christ‘s coming of course I do, as a Christian this is quite a normal thing to do but I do it in another way. I have turned my back upon the hedonistic celebrations that have no part in the meaning of the birth of our Saviour. People say they honour Christ in the celebration but in fact the opposite is true. The worldly celebrations are self-centered, self-indulgent and dare I add selfish? People who believe in God should believe in what He has to say about things. God really hates our festivals and our rituals, what He requires of us is that we should look after the widows and orphans, the poor among us and live holy lives before Him. Listen we are all sinners, me included, I try to live as I should too and I guess I miss the mark often enough but Jesus came into this world from Heaven, in order to save the likes of me and you. Without the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we would all perish and end up in hell. Those who repent and accept Jesus have their sins forgiven and have eternal life. This is the real reason for Christmas, not an excuse to revel, get drunk and party. I am glad I have Jesus as my Saviour for surely I need him. I thank him too for many other things, hey, and not least of all baked beans on toast. I wish everyone reading this will enjoy their holiday (holy day) but give thought to what it should be about.

Shirley Anne x

Just who is God?

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live-by-faith-copyI meet many people who tell me they do not believe in God. I once numbered among them myself. Some simply say they are not religious and think God doesn’t exist. They have no explanation as to where everything originated but will ask who created God when it is suggested that He made everything. They ask that question out of ignorance and from a human perspective. If God did make everything then He must have created evil too, they will say. Maybe they will say, ‘Then why does God allow all these horrible things to happen?’ making reference to paedophillia, murder or natural disasters to name but a few things. That becomes their stumbling block, their reasons for not believing in God. If sin is mentioned many will deny they sin but don’t make the connection between sin and God. Sin exists because God exists but sin was not created by God. God did not create many things, love, peace, happiness and all things good would suggest He did but these good things are simply aspects of God’s being, they exist because He does. Without God there would be none of these things. Sin separates the unbeliever from God, in fact sin and evil of all kinds are merely the result of the absence of God. When Adam and Eve took what they were not supposed to take they sinned. Their actions, their sin, resulted from the fact that God wasn’t in their hearts for if He had been they would not have disobeyed. When subsequently they realised their error the way back into the ‘Garden of Eden‘ was blocked. There was no way back to God. They had lost the eternal life which God had bestowed upon them when they were created and decay set in. Had God not put an angel there to guard the way back they would have returned but still in their sin. They would then have lived forever in their sinful state, that is eternally separated from God. That is the description of Hell, eternal damnation and punishment and separation from God. God could not allow that to happen. However all mankind subsequently suffered as a result of that disobedience. Paradise lost indeed. Having been cast out of God’s presence there was no way back. They were helpless and could not change their circumstances. Today we also have no power in ourselves to make amends and be able to return to the everlasting life which God wanted us to share with Him. God however loves us all and knows we cannot help ourselves but He cannot allow us back into His presence whilst still in our sinful state just as He couldn’t allow Adam or Eve back. Our sins keep us separated from Him. God provided a solution, the only solution, an atoning sacrifice. Our sins needed to be dealt with and the punishment meted out for them in order that we might have a clean slate and start anew. That sacrifice was His Son Jesus Christ. He alone has paid the price for each and every one of us. The debt has been paid and we are set free. There is just one thing, we have to believe in Jesus and in God, we have to repent of our sins, which means turning away from them and from deliberately turning to them and then we must take hold of the free gift offered to us. Without Jesus we would remain in our sins and remain separated from God, not just for now but forever! To believe in anything else is futile for there is only one way to salvation and that is through Jesus Christ, no-one else has the power or the authority. Make that choice before it is too late, not tomorrow or the next day, not next week or some time in the future you don’t know how long you have left. If you really wish to make that commitment then say this prayer…

Dear Father in heaven my creator God, I realise that I am a sinner and am in need of salvation. I regret having been a sinner all my life and I repent of my sins. I thank you for the gift of forgiveness and atonement that you have provided through Jesus and I take hold of it as my own. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and for taking my sins away. I am now yours and I ask you to be my saviour. Help me to seek only your will in my life from this day forward. Amen.

Now go out into the world where you are and tell others of this wonderful gift of everlasting life, The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

We will all bow down

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Original Sin

Original Sin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zephaniah 2:10-12

10 This is what they will get in return for their pride,
for insulting and mocking
the people of the Lord Almighty.
11 The Lord will be awesome to them
when he destroys all the gods of the earth.
Distant nations will bow down to him,
all of them in their own lands.

In this modern world there is so much sin. There is selfishness and many are slanderous, disobedient, self-seeking, dishonest, liars, cheats, unreliable….the list just goes on and on. Every day we hear of murders, assaults, robberies and all sorts of different crimes yet according to many we are making this world a better place. The problem is that we are incapable if we try to do it in our own strength but there is nobody on this earth capable of leading us to that ‘utopia’.  Is it even possible? Well it is, God says so. The future of this planet is not in our hands, it is in Gods hands. Once that original sin was committed the world started to decay. Decay is all around us, everything is dying, even the Universe itself. Things can only get better but will get far worse first. God will intervene. Jesus is returning but before that great day there will be much suffering, the suffering we inflict upon ourselves and that which God metes out to those who continue in disobedience. It is written in Scripture, it is a prophetic message and we ignore it at our peril. In the end all will bow down to God, every person in every nation will bow down. Why not do it willingly rather than being forced to? Come to the author of life and bow the knee before Him. Do it before it is too late. Jesus will save you, no-one else can, especially yourself.

Shirley Anne

They think it is right

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Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently same sex (gender) marriage was pronounced lawful in the US. As in many other western countries supposedly and purportedly claiming to be Christian they ignore what God says on the matter and quote ‘Human Rights’ for justification. For myself I don’t care what they might think about same sex marriage, it still doesn’t make it right and in God’s eyes it isn’t. Yes God demands that we love one another and some think that is an excuse for their unnatural behaviour. It isn’t, they are deluded. I don’t judge them. It is God who will judge them.

Romans 1
God’s wrath against sinful humanity

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 14:11

It is written:

“As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“Every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.”

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

And also….1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

Shirley Anne

What is wrong with you all?

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Hatred, Passions and Infidelity

Hatred, Passions and Infidelity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Damn the thief, the liar, the cheat, the proud, the arrogant, the adulterer, the child molester, the paedophile, the slanderer, the fornicator, the wife beater, the fraudster, the false witness, the idolaters, the murderer, the dishonourable, those who covet and all who do such things. Now wait a minute, that means the whole of mankind should be condemned should it not for we all fall short in some way? Those who claim to be squeaky clean are disillusioned, no-one is perfect I keep getting told. I often wonder how we all manage to live in close proximity without some sort of friction. The fact is we don’t if we are being honest. We may get along with most people we meet but the truth is we don’t get along with everyone. Why is that? The saying goes that love covers all imperfections might be true for those we are in a close relationship with but I doubt it applies to everyone else in our lives. There seems to exist different levels of love and appreciation toward those in our lives ranging from absolute love to absolute hatred and everything in-between. Personalities and lifestyles of others may be disagreeable to us and some of us carry those traits to the extreme either on the one hand making an aggressive stand against those we perceive as abhorrent to our nature or on the other hand endeavouring to bridge the gaps between us. If there was one single thing that could overcome our differences, our biases, our dislikes, what might it be? More to the point why should we bother? The real problem is love, a lack of it in our lives. Where there is love there is also hatred and life is a struggle because of them both. On the one hand we try to be loving but sometimes we have to fight against the hate. When God created the world and all living creatures He did it out of love. Everything He creates He loves. He loves us so much He didn’t want to leave us with no hope in our struggle against sin for we are unable to overcome the wickedness of sin without His strength. Now some may say that they are not sinners and they are able to combat evil but that is far from the truth. They may not admit to committing any of the things listed in the opening sentences of this post but they are wrong for at some point their guard will fall and they will make mistakes. No-one is perfect and no-one is without sin but does that matter? Well yes it does, it matters to God. Romans 3:23 says…’for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. For this reason we are all condemned but for this reason too and because of God’s great love for us we can be reconciled with Him. John 3:16 says…’For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ His Son is Jesus Christ. We can know real love when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and we can look at the world through a changed heart and with opened eyes in a way that was impossible before because of our sinful nature. We continue to struggle against sin because we remain here immersed in it. Look around you and see the sin that abounds then turn your back on it and come to Jesus.

Shirley Anne

O Stubborn Heart

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Sitting here with nought to do
But all my thoughts are fixed on you.
I’ve tried so many times I’ve tried
To reach you with the love of Christ.

Your heart is hardened like a stone
And all you do is moan and groan.
I hope and pray your life will be
Forever changed so that you’ll see.

You don’t believe there is a God
His message isn’t understood.
You know your life will end one day
And that’s the end I hear you say.

But life is more than simply that
And one day you will realise.
God loves you and He longs to see
You with Him for eternity.

Copyright Shirley Anne 23 Feb 2013

Many times I post here about the love and mercy of God, the sacrifice He made for each and every one of us through His son Jesus Christ. The message is so simple. God loves us but our sins keep us apart from Him. The only way to bridge that gap is through Jesus. He is our mediator, the one who took upon himself our sins so that if we believe in him and accept that sacrifice he made we can be forgiven and reconciled with God. It is God’s free gift to us but we have to take it for it to be ours. Head knowledge means nothing. It is through God’s grace and mercy and our own faith in what He has done that we are saved. We need saving for without it we are lost forever. We will never believe if our hearts remain stubborn but God will eventually turn His back on us completely if we continue to ignore Him. I could quote all sorts of Bible verses to show how much God loves us but to the stubborn heart it is a waste of time. Why do I persist in trying to reach you? Could it be that I am concerned for you? Yes I am. Could it be that there is a reason for that? Yes there is. Could it be that my eyes have been opened? Yes they have. Could it mean that I know something I didn’t know before? Yes I do. You too can know if you open your heart. Reach out to God and he will reach out to you. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

Shirley Anne

The Ostrich

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English: Ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope, S...

Ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a saying that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when danger looms but that is not true. We use the expression to show how others hide from things they either don’t wish to face or see, impending problems and things like that. The truth of any matter can be presented yet the recipient simply refuses to accept it and we say they are hiding their heads in the sand just like the ostrich. The fact is that ostriches are seldom seen in sandy places but we are, figuratively speaking from time to time. Sand isn’t a good material on which to build a house as it can shift about. Having said that my own house is built on very compacted sand but that sand fills its foundations as well as surrounding them which makes the building very stable and those foundations are deep. It has been standing since 1877 and shows no signs of falling down! We need foundations in life too, things that we can build upon knowing that when those foundations are strong we need not worry about anything. When the foundations are weak, we are weak, when they are unstable we are unstable and if there are no foundations at all we fall down, just as a house would. We can build solid foundations in life by placing our trust in those things we know will not let us down but like everything in life there is never a guarantee. So what can we place our trust in? Gold? Possessions? People? These can let us down too. Gold loses its value sometimes, possessions can be sold but once they are gone there is nothing left and people? Well I am sure we know that in times of crisis people can let us down too. We can also let ourselves down by choosing the wrong things in life, things that eventually lead to death! Of course material things can take the form of alcohol or drugs and too much food leads to obesity all of which can destroy us but what of our spirit? That can be destroyed too and forever! All it takes is being on the wrong path, the path that leads away from God rather than the one that leads to Him. God is our Rock, a solid foundation on which we can place all of our trust. If we have wandered from Him He is merciful to us when we return and we all have wandered away at some point. Some have never approached God and thereby leave their eternal future in the balance. Some deliberately ignore their sins and expect that nothing will result. We have only to read what God did to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to know that if He did not spare those cities He will not spare those who reject Him. Follow this link to read the truth about Sodom and Gomorrah….it is a little long but well worth the visit http://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah#.VGibXsmVv-s Now think about what is happening in our world today and compare the two, follow this link and see what I mean  http://www.visitbrighton.com/gay-brighton/ . Are you building your life on a solid foundation or is it being built on loose sand? Don’t be like the ostrich, face the facts and then do something about it.

Shirley Anne

 

It will happen

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Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church

Revelation 22:12-21

12 ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 ‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.’

17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

20 He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

What do you suppose this verse (highlighted in red) means? As sinners we are kept from Gods presence forever but loving as He is He makes it possible for that rift to be mended. God is righteous and expects His creation to be likewise but mankind separated himself from God by his wrongdoing and still does so today. We are filled with sin from the moment we are born but that sin can be dealt with. If we have dirty clothes we wash them and they become clean again. So it is with sinful man, we repent of our sins and wash them away. Unfortunately we cannot do that as we clean clothes, we cannot forgive ourselves and make ourselves clean once more. There is only one way to have our sins cleansed and that is having them washed in the blood of Christ, figuratively speaking of course. You see Jesus took our sins upon himself so that we might become clean and presentable to God. When we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to be our Saviour then the sacrifice he made for us comes into force. Imagine standing before God in filthy rags, still covered in sin. What do you suppose He would say? You would be cast out of His presence. Our dirty clothes need to be washed clean, our sins need to be washed away by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne