Month: July 2013

The Cure for Guilt


The other day I lost my temper. It was only for a moment, but it was enough. Damage was done. Later, I felt sick about what I did and took steps to make amends. This is how guilt works. Guilt is a signal that our lives have been disrupted by sin. Guilt is a sign that a hurt needs to be healed.

But there’s a problem.

Ever since sin was given free leash in the Garden of Eden, guilt has gotten out of control. We feel guilty for things we did and didn’t do. When we do well we feel guilty for not doing better. And when we fail, guilt pounds us. Worst of all, guilt never goes away. Like an alarm that won’t switch off, guilt is the soundtrack to our lives.

Burdened by guilt we may turn to religion in the hope of finding relief. Instead, we encounter the condemning ministry of the law. Religion tells us we’re even worse than we thought. We have not only let down friends and family, we’ve let down God.

With religious zeal we try to make the guilt go away but it’s no use. We keep nine laws but break the tenth. We’re good six days a week but stumble on the seventh. No matter how hard we work, the guilt pile just keeps growing.

Guilt is a killer

I am convinced that guilt and condemnation are at the root of many of our health problems. Guilt breaks us. Our emotional bones were made soft for love, not hard for guilt-bearing.

I was a pastor for ten years and I can tell you that a lot of counseling done in the church is guilt-based. Pastors spend the much of their time helping others manage their guilt. Which is ironic since pastors are the ones making folk feel guilty in the first place. (Please don’t feel condemned my preaching brothers! But please stop preaching mixture. It’s making others sick and sucking the life out of you.)

I’m not here to point fingers. We’re talking about the crippling effects of guilt.

If only there was a cure for guilt. There is!

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb 10:22)

Since the cross is God’s cure for your sin, it is also the cure for your guilt. Do you battle with guilt? Then look to the cross. Your sins are there not here.

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Justified = not guilty

To be guilty means to be held responsible for your sin. I’m all for taking responsibility for our mistakes but when it comes to sin all the responsibility in the world isn’t going to clear your sinful name. Your sin burden is simply too great.

On the cross, Jesus took responsibility for all our sin. He literally became sin and in him all sin was condemned (Rom 8:3). The gospel declares your sin problem has met its match in Jesus Christ.

Do you know what this means?

Under law, the best of us is justly charged guilty of sin. But under grace, the worst of us is justly charged righteous, on account of Jesus (2 Cor 5:21).

This is one of the most profound revelations of grace yet many miss it. They say, “I know I am righteous and justified but I still feel guilty.” Connect the dots. If you are righteous and justified, you are not guilty.

“But, Paul, I feel guilty.” That feeling is a symptom of unbelief in the goodness of God. Don’t let that feeling run around like a rat in the attic. Deal with it. Take that feeling and make it bow to the obedience of Christ.

He has forgiven you all your sins: Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over his own head on the cross. (Col 2:13-14, Phillips)

Under the law, there was a long list of charges against you. “You’re a lazy Christian, a lousy parent, and a poor excuse for a human being.” Want to know what Jesus thinks of those charges against you? He nailed them to the cross. Don’t agree with those charges. Agree with Jesus!

Guilt from the Bible?

Many Christians battle with guilt because they’ve not fully grasped the finished work of the cross. They’re filtering life through the obsolete lens of the rule-keeping covenant.

Guilt is what you get when you are constantly told you are not doing enough, giving enough, praying enough. Since this mixed-up message is the predominant theme of graceless Christianity, is it any wonder guilt has become an epidemic?

Much of what gets done in the name of the Lord is motivated by guilt. “Jesus died for you, what will you do for him?” Crumbs. I’d better roll up my sleeves and get busy. “There are people going to hell because you are not evangelizing. Sign up for our outreach and make your guilt go away.” It’s appalling. It’s manipulation of the worst kind and it is about as far from Jesus as you can get.

Making matters worse, many of our Bibles were translated by the guilt-conscious. Do you know how many times the words “guilt” and “guilty” appear in the New Testament? The answer depends on which Bible you’re reading:

2    Young’s Literal Translation 3    American Standard Version 6    King James 13    Message Bible 16    New International Version 34    Good News 45    Amplified

What do these numbers mean? They reveal how much guilt is in your reading diet. For instance, if you read the NIV you’re getting nearly triple the guilt that you’d get from the KJV. If you read the Amplified, you’re getting nearly eight times.

Some Bibles should come with a health-warning: “Contains added guilt and traces of religious nuts.”

I looked up all the Greek words for “guilt” and “guilty” in Vines and found there are very few. In fact, Vines spends more time listing words that have been incorrectly translated as guilty. I won’t bore you with the details of my study but here’s an interesting question:

Do you know how many verses there are that say Christians are guilty?

Answer: Zero. Nada. Not one. So the next time you hear a message that makes you feel guilty – that seeks to hold you accountable for something you’ve done or not done – you can safely reject it as unbiblical.

When I lost my temper the other day, I apologized and quickly made amends. There was nothing religious about that. It’s just love. It’s common sense. But dead religion would’ve said, “Paul, you’ve not done enough. Every sin is a sin against God. On account of your sin you are now out of fellowship with him. You broke it, so you fix it. Examine your heart, confess your sin before God and he will wipe your slate clean.”

Such a message appeals to our religious flesh but it’s an anti-Christ and anti-cross pile of manure. Instead of leading you back to the one you hurt, it’ll cause you to withdraw and stare at your navel. Instead of thanking God that in Christ you are always righteous, you’ll waste time asking him to do what he’s already done. Instead of laying hold of the grace that empowers you to sin no more, you’ll beat yourself up like a religious flagellant.

(If you think I’m against confession, I’m not. And if you want to write in and tell me about 1 John 1:9, read this first.)

Learn the new language of grace

Guilt may be the lingua franca of dead religion but it wasn’t a language the New Testament writers spoke. It’s certainly not a language they speak in heaven. If you speak the faithless language of guilt, may I suggest you learn the new language of God’s love and grace.

When you have seen the finished work of the cross, it changes the way you look at your mistakes and failings. You no longer dwell on your weaknesses – there’s no power there. Instead, you fix your eyes on Jesus who was “delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom 4:25).

ImperfectionsWhen you sin, the accuser will seek to bring a case against you. And in the eyes of the flawless law, he has a good case! However, the issue is not whether you have stumbled but whether Jesus has been raised. If he has been raised then you have been justified. Case dismissed.

It takes no faith to look at your mistakes and condemn yourself. It takes faith to look at Christ and say, “Because of you, I have been judged not guilty for all time. Thank you, Jesus!” —

DON’T GO TO WAR WITH FOOLS


To walk in foolishness is to lack the quality of a good sense of judgment or intelligence. David calls men who refute the existence of God as fools…The unregenerate mind lacks the quickening of God to access the deep things of God. To walk in their counsel is a recipe for failure

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

Such men, you must turn away from – Their foundational, underlying sense of thought is established on humanistic ideologies. They are sense knowledge men and operate through the sense realm of human wisdom which is foolishness unto God. They have no access to the wisdom of God which can only be appropriated through the spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:20-21(NKJV)20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe

The unregenerate world through its own wisdom did not know God. I don’t dispute some of the greatest discoveries and invention of the natural mind. He has made air travel possible, good road system, hospitals, educational system, electrical gadgets to do all kinds of things and he keep inventing every day. Friend, with all these achievement by men he has not been able to know God to connect with Him in alignment with His thoughts. He cannot live by faith; he only walks through human reasoning and logic which is contrary to God.

Many has become so obsessed with the wisdom of men which God calls it foolishness to the neglect of the counsels of the word of God which is able to build them up and give them an inheritance which have eternal value. The underlying though of the spirit directed believer is Christ and not the foolish counsel of unregenerate men. Paul warns the believers at Collose to be careful with the subtle, enticing and persuasive wisdom of men by learning to walk in Christ. Christ is the final authority and not the academia.

Colossians 2:4-6 (NKJV) 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

King David in the Psalms unveils the secret of an unceasing flow of prosperity in all areas of life is to not be controlled by the senseless counsels of the ungodly but is to have a great delight in the law of God by meditating in it day and night;

1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)

What weigh so heavily on your mind and in whose report did you believe? It’s the bad report of the media or the negative report of the family doctor?

Your Bible records an account of one of the rulers of the synagogue called Jairus in Mark 5 who came and fell at Jesus feet that He might come and pray for his daughter who was sick to the point of death. On His way to the synagogues rulers house Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. Due to that encounter with the woman, Jesus could not reach Jairus house until report was sent by the servants of the ruler that her daughter was dead…

(Vv 35) While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

Can you imagine your boss hand you the resignation letter and the sense of shock that can run through your soul like tsunami. How do you react at the news that your husband has left you a divorce note and your kids has run into a problem with the law or your car has been repossessed for unpaid auto loan? Your world can crush down from all these itemized conditions. The good news is this; If you got Christ at your corner and circle of friends are anchored in the hope of the loveliness of God; you will overcome every form of emotional challenge. Beloved, you can lift your head up even at this moment if it feels like the whole world has turn upside down against you without hope. In the wisdom of men, it was the end of the story and there was no need for Jairus to keep believing but in the infinite wisdom of God the interruption of the woman who was healed from hemorrhage was to set Jairus up for an epic miracle. The fool and the naysayers can stop you on your way to destiny if you allow them to dominate your decision making, because they are too blind to navigate with you. God loves you personally and passionately to detail…whethere14bfd323fd344_2f_9_76efb21b-post too small or too big, it doesn’t matter. His eyes is on the sparrow!In the wisdom of men, it was the end of the story and there was no need for Jairus to keep believing but in the infinite wisdom of God the interruption of the woman who was healed from hemorrhage was to set Jairus for an epic miracle. The fool and the naysayers can stop you on your way to destiny if you allow them to dominate your decision making, because they are too blind to navigate with you.

Friend, see the model of Jesus on how he dealt with the unbelieving men and mould your life to success. He dearly loved the fool but never gave them the chance to control His emotions.

Mark 5:36-42 (NKJV) reads; 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

Jesus did not entertain the report of the servants who came with the report of Jairus daughter’s death. He decoded their negativity as soon as He heard them, with words of faith and assurance to Jairus who was probably about to give up with these words; “Do not be afraid; only believe.” He hands pick Peter, James, and John to accompany Him in this scenario to the exclusion of the rest of the disciples. He did not sympathized with the mourners at Jairus house, which should have been the norm but rather declared the wisdom of God; “The child is not dead, but sleeping” They ridiculed Him but He went ahead and put them all outside excluding Mr. & Mrs. Jairus who by now were in alignment with the wisdom from above to see their daughter raised from dead.

Scripture warn us not to be equally yoked with unbelievers. We cannot be in balance in our agreement of the truth of God’s word in so many areas of life. This will seem impossible for many believers but my friend; Jesus did not come to set peace even between fathers and their own sons. The cause of God will require a great price and there are hundreds of things that an unbelieving parent will not agree with their kid who has seen the light. You are not to hate the fool but to walk in awareness that they don’t drive you in perdition in your marital, business, health, struggles and every precious decisions of your life.

What drives your life? The wisdom of men which is based on trial and error or the absolute, inerrant truth of God’s word!

God armed Joshua with this truth when he picked the Burton from Moses in Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”

Be single minded and save your soul from the negativity of this world. Just as evil (unregenerate fool) communication corrupts good manners, good communication with men of wisdom will build you up and sharpen your edge to excel beyond your wildest dream. Speak the word into dead situations and indulge daily in it by learning to meditate on it day and night and see God wash your heart with Godly wisdom to overcome fear, doubts, and despair to walk in His perfect will unto a perfect day while other falls into manholes.

Peace and Hope to you and your!!

GRACE AFTER GRACE


Instead of seeking Christ and access all of the goodness of God available through Christ, many Christian pursues worldly gain which only brings pain and suffering. Moses was pressing right buttons in His negotiation with God in Ex 33. He knew without the perfect presence of God and His good estimate of them to lavish them all they need to get to the Promised Land; they will toast in the way. How beautiful the response of the Lord; “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. –Ex 33:19”

McDaniels Gyamfi (http://faithharvestchapel.org/)

WHY FIRST LOVE DEPLETES SOONER OR LATER?


 WHY FIRST LOVE DEPLETES SOONER OR LATER?

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! (Romans 5:10 HCSB)

Wow! Saved by His life… The only way to live the quality life as a believing Christian is to surrender self or come to the end of self and be conscious of the indwelling presence of Christ in your born again Spirit to live this life effortlessly on this side of eternity.

You remember the day you became born again? You probably didn’t have a Bible, never have done any good WORKS, name not registered yet in the Church’s registry, didn’t know how to dry fast nor paying your tithe and offerings (which are all good), wasn’t in your best self but you were on cloud nine (we call it first love) for just one reason…the presence of Christ living liberty in your human vessel independent of your efforts.. After sometime in your journey as a Christian you realize the honeymoon moments of your new experience was depleting and for all you know, everything just fizzled into the thin air. Some lasted for a month others fell of walking through the tight rope of the Church they identified with within a year or too. How so many wish they were in their first moments as Christians. I sometime hear people say; “wow, I remember the good old days” It’s possible, my friend to live today better than yesterday!

Hmmm! What really did happened McDaniels? There are a whole lot of transitions but Here is one of the unfortunate reasons among the lot; The Church sometimes distracts you from living His effortless life through you to following their 70 to 90 steps of its human tradition and dogmas without which you will be counted as unfit in that Assembly. Staring at this long list…you start trying through self effort until you climb to the 30th step and didn’t have the strength again to keep climbing. This attitude of trying to fit in instead of embracing how fit you are through Christ Jesus kills the benefits (Gal 5:2) that the life of Christ offers. There are folks who are bound in guilt, shame, unworthiness as they compare their journey to those they think are better than them as far as church ordinances are concerned (don’t get me wrong, there is a place for ordinances in but its diabolic when its human centered and not Christ centered)

For instance; if they don’t give tithes, offering (don’t throw stones on my head Pastor, I know you need the tithe) and can’t pray or fast like others and inadequate too, in the Church. These same folks were not able to do all these things I have just mentioned but never did they felt a sense of guilt or shame before God but were so excited in their new found relationship with Christ…money or no money they were the first on the front row of the Church, worshiping like they were crazy. The secret! They were more conscious of Christ and not of themselves! They have not yet get accustomed to the long list of DO’s and DONT’s of that denomination…To be honest with you, some have thousands of DONT’s and its followers look wretched and miserable than they were as unbelievers. When me and you deviates from being Christ centered (living His life through us) we fall into carnality and that form of religion breeds hypocrisy and frustration.

Listen to the Apostle of grace, Paul and download this truth for your freedom: Galatians 3:3 (NKJV) Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
When you start in the spirit, am not talking about being spooky or holier than thou attitude. Am talking about spirit controlled life. A life motivated and persuaded by the word of God. Your underlying thought is Christ…everything you did flows out of the abundant life of love, joy, peace, boldness and the totality of God in you. Fasting, Church attendance, evangelism, and Bible reading were all done not because you have to do it to earn points from God. The influential force was an absolute love of the Father shared abroad in your Spirit. If you read your Bible or pay tithe because you have to pay it and pray with the clock on your face…is what we call religious bondage. You do it but it is out of joy and peace. I pray that God will grant you the understanding even up to this moment. Halleluiah!!

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Revelation 2:4 (NKJV)

Your first love is the embracing love of Christ, (Revelation 2:4) and it’s this love from Him that keeps the momentum of the honeymoon till the day He returns. Do you have this life (John 10:10) or you are tired and weary of religion (Mathew 11:28-30). Jesus says; “Come and you will find rest for your souls” He want to love you and others through you…He brings new joy that religion has taking away from you. How much do you want it?

Let us pray: “Dear Lord Jesus, I surrender to you my life of trying to live your life on my own and by faith I embrace and rest in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the impossible. I boldly confess that I am worthy, dearly loved and accepted into your kingdom…Today your life shines through me and all will behold your glory’ Amen!

Run with Wisdom


“Wisdom is the towel which dries up perspiration from the face of the weary and moisturize him with inspiration to run the race of time with certainty and hope”

The basic line of thinking should be Christ and not of the worlds way of thought. Friend, Jesus has become your wisdom…walk in alignment with His word and see life have a new brightness and color like the rainbow. Everything gonna be alright with Jesus!!!

SPURGEON ON LAW AND GRACE


“There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relation which exists between the law and the gospel. Some men put the law instead of the gospel: others put the gospel instead of the law; some modify the law and the gospel, and preach neither law nor gospel: and others entirely abrogate the law, by bringing in the gospel. Many there are who think that the law is the gospel, and who teach that men by good works of benevolence, honesty, righteousness, and sobriety, may be saved. Such men do err.

On the other hand, many teach that the gospel is a law; that it has certain commands in it, by obedience to which, men are meritoriously saved; such men err from the truth, and understand it not. A certain class maintain that the law and the gospel are mixed, and that partly by observance of the law, and partly by God’s grace, men are saved. These men understand not the truth, and are false teachers.

This morning I shall attempt—God helping me to show you what is the design of the law, and then what is the end of the gospel. The coming of the law is explained in regard to its objects: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Then comes the mission of the gospel: “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
– Charles Spurgeon

The “gravity of…


The “gravity of grace” works like the earth’s water system, which always flows from the highest to the lowest. Just as the waters of Niagara roll over the fall and plunge down to make a river below, and just as that river flows ever down to the even lower ranges of its course, then glides to still more low-lying areas where it brings life and growth, so it is with God’s grace. Grace’s gravity carries it to the lowly in heart, where it brings life and blessing. Grace goes to the humble. – Kent Hughes

“Grace Gravity …


“Grace Gravity is like a scuba diver who plunge deep into the deep oceans of the Atlantic; observing, savoring and being mesmerized by the beauty of the depths of the ocean bed. He is so in tune with the pull of this whole new world…that the captivating evil pleasures of his natural world could not stand in parallel to this extravagant beauty of grace”

Savoring Christ is the greatest recipe to break the chains of sin and its containment. Sin shall not have dominion on an individual who yields to the persuasions of the empowering grace