Category Archives: Conviction-Confession-Cleansing

The Truth About Sin

 

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Francisco de Goya: Prisoner

Why do parents train their children to look both ways before they cross a street?

It’s because they love them, and want to protect them from harm.

Why do you think God gave us commandments?

It’s because He loves us and wants to protect us from harm.

It’s interesting the Greek translation of ‘sin’ has similar letters of ‘harm’: hamartia, it means ‘to miss the mark.’ Have you ever tried to throw a wad of paper in the trash and miss it? Well, it was no big deal because you can pick it up. But to miss the mark in one of God’s commands is a matter of life and death.

God does not give us commands because He doesn’t want us to enjoy life, but because He wants us to have life abundant in Christ. Even though sin may ‘feel good’ for the fleeting moment, the consequences are harmful. It is harmful to you, and harmful to others. In fact, it breaks the greatest two commandments: loving God and loving others. Once the counterfeit enjoyment of sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived…sin steals, kills and destroys.

  • Sin destroys relationships: you hide from God and His people; you no longer hear God’s Truth as love but as hate. You become insecure with your relationships with God and others and you become oversensitive and selfish.
  • Sin kills and destroys faith: It produces doubt and insecurity. Doubt that God could forgive ‘this’ sin.
  • Sin kills and steals grace: bringing you condemnation
  • Sin kills and steals confidence: bringing you shame
  • Sin kills and steals your purpose: instead of bringing glory to God you bring shame to yourself and testimony

Sin brings discouragement, depression, and division. Sin binds us. Chokes us. Mutes us. You become entangled and you have given Satan a foothold, and begin to believe his lies, after all he IS the thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.

With this shame and discouragement, you begin to stop reading God’s Word. Even though you’ve been born again of the Spirit of God you become the walking dead. It’s not a matter of eternal salvation but of sanctification-growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. You can’t grow because the ‘lying’ words of weeds wrap around and choke you, making you feel you’re in bondage. If you are a child of God, there’s no joy in your life because your sin has grieved the Holy Spirit living inside you.

What are we to do with this shame and condemnation?

  • Some live alone in bitterness and anger hardening their hearts, perishing until the day they die.
  • Some run full force into sin, searing their consciences and numbing their hearts, denying the toxic affects of sin not realizing the consequences of sin begin in this life, not just in hell.
  • Some live in a façade. Outwardly living ‘normal lives’ pretending everything is ok, but they know they are not. Instead they start to ‘do good works’ and try to make themselves feel good by serving in ministry.
  • Some hear and remember the gospel, turn from their sin and are healed: They remember in order to obey God’s commandment we need a Savior:

(God) He made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

They remember they have ‘begun in the Spirit and must be perfected by the Spirit’ that ‘apart from Christ’ they can do nothing. They remember it is by grace through faith they were saved, and are being saved. They remember: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”

The longer I walk with God, the more I cannot fathom His love. I see the reason He asked fullsizerender-9Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I see what type of death and condemnation He was trying to protect them from. Indeed it IS the kindness of God that leads to repentance, which leads to abundant life in Christ.

“…He Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might DIE to sin and LIVE to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25

Heavenly Father, thank You for being so loving and patient with me. Thank You for setting boundaries to protect me and others from harm. Thank You for Your loving discipline to help me to return to You when I willfully disobey. Give me a love for You and Your commandments as never before. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

 

May God be glorified. May Christ be magnified. May the brethren be loved and edified.


The CROSSroad

 

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Romans 8:1-2

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2

Conviction is a pathway leading to the CROSSroad of condemnation or freedom.

The narrow road to freedom comes through Jesus Christ as we confess and repent of our sins.

Daily we get to choose whether we will walk in condemnation or freedom. The choice is ours but so are the consequences.

May we walk and live in faith by the Spirit.

Stay focused: Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren

*Galatians 5:16-26 *Romans 7:14-8:1-17


A Change of Heart

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You begin life with a selfish heart.

Everything you say is right and everyone else is wrong. It needs to be your way, you hurt people with the things you say and do but don’t care. If they hurt you, you harden your heart and cut them out of your life pretending they don’t exist.

But one day after making another selfish decision it doesn’t “feel” right. You wonder what this “feeling” is about…maybe your conscience? You shrug your shoulders and ignore the “feeling,” sometimes escaping and using things of the world to numb your heart.

This “feeling” happens often enough you begin to see other things, like how your selfishness hurts others. At first you react indifferent as if you don’t care, but deep inside you do. You begin to see “ugly” in you. It comes to the point when you can’t handle it anymore and you wonder, “Can I ever change?”

You strive to succeed. You try to be nicer to people, try to say nice things, but your thoughts reveal the authenticity of your heart…”ugly.” You still press forward and begin to do charitable deeds to feel good about yourself but it never lasts.

But one day you’re introduced to perfection—Jesus Christ. You don’t know Him but you know about Him and You want to be like Him. He’s so loving, patient and kind, all the things you know you are not. You begin going to Church, reading the Bible and you try to be like Him but fail every time. In fact, the more you read the Bible, the more you learn about the Holiness of God and the more you see your “ugly” heart and your inability to love God and others.

You “pour” out your ugly heart and begin to “mourn” and weep about the “ugly” in you. You feel hopeless and doubt there could ever be a change in your “ugly” heart. and you want a new heart. You are overwhelmed on where to begin in this change…then one day you meet Jesus for yourself and are invited into a reconciled relationship to KNOW the One that heals hurts and hearts…the scales fall of your eyes and you see:

  • The only One that can change your heart is the one who created you–God the Father
  • The only Way to get to God the Father is to be reconciled to Him for all those times you cherished your “ugly” heart and hurt Him and others
  • The only Way to be reconciled to the Father is through Jesus Christ
  • The only Way to get a new heart is to be born again
  • The only Way to keep this new heart unstained by the world is to walk in the Light

The only Way to walk in the Light and be Revived is to place your faith in Jesus Christ:

  • Believe Jesus came to save you from your “ugly” not condemn you
  • Believe Jesus took the sacrifice for your “ugly” and it is finished
  • Believe Jesus reconciled you to God the Father
  • Believe you have been given the resurrection power to abstain from “ugliness”
  • Believe Jesus is praying for you
  • Believe God is faithful and righteous and will continue to forgive you of your “ugly” and cleanse you

So one day you give your “ugly” dark heart to God and He takes your heart of stone and gives you a heart of flesh and puts His Spirit in you, telling you the way to go and you begin to walk in the Light.

You know you are not perfect but believe God will complete the work He began you until the day Christ returns.

As you walk in the Light with your new heart you sometimes experience that same “feeling” and see “ugly” but now you don’t ignore this “feeling” and instead you daily pour out your heart to God and turn to Him and experience a new feeling a “burning.”

This “burning” is God refining you, making you more like Christ….isn’t that what you wanted? To be like Jesus Christ?  That is what our Creator, your Father wills.

***
*The “ugly” is sin

*That “feeling” about sin is conviction

*That “pouring” about sin is confession

*That “mourning” about sin is godly sorrow

*That “turning” from sin is repentance

*That “burning” of sinful flesh is sanctification making you more like Christ

A change of heart only comes through God by turning from your sinful ways to God and placing your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Repentance towards God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith…is the lifestyle of a child of God.

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“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22

‘”For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-21


Common Confession to Reviving Repentance

imageDefilement polluted the air threatening to drown out the fragrance of Christ
I was spiritually suffocating
My heart was hardening by bitterness, resentment and un-forgiveness
I was numb and could not hear God
I had forgotten the call
I had forgotten my purpose
I was lost in a fog of delusion, deception and depression
I called on God not believing He could hear me in this darkness
He did hear me…
He mobilized His Saint, my sister fragrant with Christ
I confessed with a hardened heart but not ready to repent
His vessel of mercy and grace listened and did not ignore nor exploit my sin
His daughter anointed my head with the perfume of Truth
My sister wielded the sword of the spirit to slash the bondage of lies

LOVE

Standing by my side she lifted her shield of faith to cover us
We approached the throne of Grace
She spoke, I broke
God’s Words of Life melted the ice around my heart and I began to feel again
First was humility, I wept and repented
Then I experienced grace, joy, power and LOVE
Radiant she turns to me and points up revealing what was hidden behind the fog but was always there…God’s banner: LOVE

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Faith is not a feeling.  We will be tempted many times to withhold forgiveness.
We must continue to walk by faith not by sight. Faith in God not by the sight of your current circumstances or how people treat us.

When we see our brethren struggling, we must not provide relief but allow God to provide repentance.  We must help them to find their way back to the throne of grace, for Christ died so that we may have access to God the Father though one Spirit.

God sent Jesus Christ to live for Him, die for the world, and live through us.

His death offers us forgiveness for our sins and new life with the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

Unforgiveness is the quickest way to lose the power that was given to us by God.

Unforgiveness grieves the Holy Spirit and quenches Him.

God said if we don’t forgive others, He will not forgive us.

It is a wretched state for anyone to be in the bondage of unforgiveness, but most especially for a Christian who KNOWS they have been forgiven much.  Praise God for His steady grace and forgiveness. May we love in deed and truth and dispense the grace and FORGIVEness we have been given.

“Love…does not take into account a wrong suffered…” 1 Corinthians 13:5b


Declaration of {In} Dependence

Today America celebrates ‘Independence day.’ A day when we declared independence from the British empire.  The preamble to our Constitution reveals our desire to ‘form a more perfect union’ and ‘establish justice‘ ‘insure domestic tranquility…’ It began as a noble effort with the acknowledgment of God, our Creator; Somewhere along the way we began to declare independence from God too, telling Him we no longer wanted to be ‘under’ Him nor did we need His ‘help.’  We have decided to make our appetite our god and glory in our shame setting our minds on earthly things, not on the things of God.

For too many years I celebrated the Fourth of July without any regard to God.  I placed my hope and thanks solely in our political forefathers and our military instead of seeing them as ordinary people with an extraordinary God. I know better now.

Daily I declare my dependency on God, and ask you to join me.

We need God but we can’t go to God without coming to Jesus Christ. It is the cleansing flow of the blood of Christ that allows us to call God our Father, and gives us fellowship and sweet daily communion.

To be in Christ is the most perfect union–a union with God the Father by His Holy Spirit. Jesus is the One that holds all things together, apart from Him we can do nothing. He is the One who establishes justice and ensures all tranquility.

I am praying God sends revival to America, only then will America have unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We have ignored God for too long. Are you living in dependence to God or are you living independent from Him?In Dependence to God

God is not dead, He’s still alive and He is looking for contrite confessed hearts turned towards Him to cleanse and revive. Cry out to Him for your sins and the sins of our Nation Beloved and don’t stop…

“…now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 7:7-8 (Read Luke 7:1-8 for context)

“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all thing , and IN HIM all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17

I am the Vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruity, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (Jesus)


Filled. {With What or Who?}

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{This is an entry from my prayer journal dated 7-23-13}
 
Abba, yesterday I experienced opportunities to bend and humble myself…I almost didn’t. Until I remembered what You are teaching me about revival. I need to die first—there must be a death before I receive Your breath. Your breath represents Your Spirit just as You breathed life into Adam Your breath still revives. Your breath is Your Spirit.
 
After writing this confession God gave me an illustration: The Balloon.
 A deflated balloon is like a humble and contrite vessel waiting to be filled: 

We must be emptied to be filled

The balloon can be blown up by human breath and be filled but once you tie it and let it go, it falls to the ground:

Blown up by human strength

Blown up by human breath = lacks God’s Holy Spirit Power

But filled up with helium the balloon floats up and goes where the wind takes it:
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

 
Then God told me to look at the word ‘helium’, and this is what He showed me:
 
HeLivesInUandMe. {He Lives In U and Me}
 
God is holy and can not dwell in vessels that choose to continually practice sin and want to remain in darkness. However, Jesus came so that He could take away the sins of the world and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness and God can now dwell IN US!
I have been cleansed and know this to be true–He does live in me! I know my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God and I am not my own. I have been bought with a price, with the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in me bears witness with my spirit that I am a new creation and a reconciled daughter of the King! Christ lives in me! I know, that I know, that I know!
 
I have been like a ‘fallen’ balloon for many years. Full of myself, possessions and money and mainly my own hot air. Even after being a Christian there’s a temptation to do things in my own strength and fill myself up but I’m learning to resist the temptation to help myself, defend myself, do it myself and instead acknowledge my continual need for a Savior…to deflate myself, empty myself, so that God can breathe His life into me and I may float and rest in Him yielding to the power of His Holy Spirit and go where His Spirit leads me.
 
I will no longer be like balloon on the ground because I know Christ lives in me and His love edifies and lifts however, the danger for me is resisting the Holy Spirit, where He wants to lead me.  Sometimes I can be filled with His Spirit but unable to float up because I am weighed down by a basket of burdens and lies:
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A basket of burdens and lies prevents flight…

God has been showing me what obstructs me from floating and resting in Him and I am learning to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and to lay aside the sin and encumbrances that so easily entangles me. I am learning to empty my basket of burdens by casting all my cares on the One who loves me and to continually confess my sins so I can live in Freedom in Christ.  God reminds me: Undo the bands of the yoke, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke. So I cut loose those bonds and rest in peace in Him.
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“…Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

 
 This is what God whispered to my heart:
 
Arcelia, I am looking for hearts to dwell in. Places where I can demonstrate My power to manifest My love.  I am looking for worshipers that will bow and humble themselves, calling out to Me for help, I want to rescue you. You have been given access to My heart through Jesus Christ to have abundant life and you are free to go in and out but the green pastures are only found in Me.  If you want this life abundant you must crucify your flesh.  Your death must precede My breath in you.  I can not fill what is already full.  Empty yourself and I will fill you up to My fullness and work within you to accomplish My will to bring My kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  I will go beyond what you can imagine, for my thoughts are not your thoughts nor are My ways yours…they are higher.  When you feel your flesh rising, humble yourself and call out to Me for I will rescue you, and you will glorify My name.  Stay in My love my daughter, stay in My love.
 
*Dear reader,
God is real and He still speaks! This is just one of many secret pearls He has given me and I prayed on whether I should share it with you because it’s so special to me.  You must know I am no one special, just a hungering one for Him that reveres Him. God rewards those who diligently seek Him and shares mysteries of His kingdom. But we can NOT hear God if we are entrenched in sin, or filled with ourselves or the things of this world. Most importantly we cannot have a relationship with God without Jesus Christ. He still is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. It is through Jesus Christ we have our access in one SPIRIT to the Father! Turn from your flesh and any disobedience and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and times of refreshing will come! God is drawing you to Himself, won’t you be reconciled to Him today? He is speaking right now to the hungry one that has tried everything but still feels empty. Won’t you come and be filled with Him today?
 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
 
 
Prayer:
“…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the innerman; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14.21

Recline Now, Or Later?

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Heroes are fearless and full of courage.  One of my favorite heroes is Harriet Tubman. “Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves…”

 What amazes me the most about Harriet Tubman is what she did AFTER she was free….she went back to set the captives free!

Like Harriet Tubman, I too was born into slavery…a different kind of slavery: slavery to sin, but praise be to God I have been set free through Jesus Christ and now that I know Him and have tasted and seen the LORD is good I have the calling to set the captives free!

I’m learning there are a lot of things that can happen between now and my physical death, and my salvation is more than living in heaven with God…eternal life started when I was born again and I was given ears to hear God, eyes to seek His kingdom and a heart to know and love God. I have been entrusted with these gifts and now I am a steward of the mysteries of God. What I do with these gifts will determine whether I am a faithful steward…or not.

God says, “to those who have been given much, much is required.” I am enjoying my relationship with God, and this sweet fellowship through the blood of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is more fulfilling than anything I can explain.

But now what? Am I to recline with my Bible, listen and sing worship music and pray in one place only? Is that what I’m called to do? No! God has been clear: I must go and tell others the good news while clothed and anointed by His Holy Spirit, I must proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners! (Matthew 28:19 Acts 1:4-5 Isaiah 61)

With a mournful heart I look out in this world and see:

  • People in bondage to sin, lonely and lost and yet do not know the remedy.
  • People in bondage to sin and yet do not want anything different.
  • People who have tasted and seen the LORD is good but have become distracted by the things of this world and quench and grieve the Holy Spirit living in them.
  • People who are free but are still standing in their jail cells with gates wide open unable to walk through the threshold because they lack faith and do not believe they have been forgiven because the accuser whispers lies to them.

With a joyful heart I also see soldiers for Christ clothed in the armor of God setting captives free through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have been every one of these examples but the one I want to remain is a soldier for Christ filled with His Spirit setting captives free!

The only remaining I want to do is to remain in Christ. The only waiting I want to do is in The Lord, waiting patiently for the filling of His Holy Spirit because it is only by the anointing of His Holy Spirit that the captives are set free!

I embrace the responsibility to be a faithful steward of the ministry of reconciliation I have been given. I don’t always do this perfectly and I’ve had plenty of missed opportunities but in those occasions I fall on God’s grace and mercy and press on toward the upward calling He has given me.

I’m learning I must continually be in a position of humility taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, confessing my sins and remaining in repentance toward God so I can remain holy as He is Holy.

I must be careful not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit Who lives in me…only then can God use me as a holy sanctified vessel for His use. He is the One who does it and He is looking for yielded vessels that will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, vessels of mercy and grace that will say, not my will but Your will be done...’

The love of God compels me to tell those in bondage they no longer have to be a slave to sin and death. Though sin has created a separation between us and God,  God has made a way to be reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ who has taken the punishment of the sins of the world. Jesus not only died for our sins but He rose from the dead three days later and He is alive today and has prayed we would receive a Helper, the Holy Spirit Who guides us into all truth and gives us the courage to live in this world!

We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths Jesus Christ as Lord and yield ourselves completely to His Holy Spirit and walk in newness of LIFE! May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Recline now or later? I choose later…

Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” Luke 12:37
More bread to feast on:
Luke 12:35-40; 2 Corinthians 3; 2 Corinthians 4
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