Tag Archives: sin

Rest

Matthew 11:28 KJV — Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

What weighs down the soul?

What things cause hearts to be heavy and burdened?

Grief, fear, pain, loss, need,…sin.

Behind most things, which weigh like lead upon the soul, is sin.

Other’s sin or our own, cause such pain, such hurt, such damage.

It doesn’t take much sin nor does it take generations of sin to wreck the peace of a heart.

Look at Adam and Eve.

Their own sin drove them out of the Garden and separated them from all that God had provided for them there.

Their son’s sin caused them to be the first parents to lose a son.

And one really can’t find a worse way to lose a child, he was murdered by his brother.

They literally lost both sons in one day, one moment of sin.

Which cultivated the broken and hurting sin filled world.

The sin at the Garden, the sin of Adam and Eve, the sin of every person, Jesus came to save.

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

True rest is found in Christ Jesus alone.

When our soul is safe in the cleansing blood of Christ we find no need to fear.

Peace, joy, security, goodness, kindness, faith, love, and so much more is in the gift of salvation.

Yes, there are still the daily struggles with our flesh which wars against the Spirit.

Yes, there are still continually trials and tribulations from the enemy.

Yes, there is still the pain, grief, loss, need, and all the other consequences to sin all around us, but even in it all we have hope.

Jesus promises to return.

He will deal with sin and the enemy.

Jesus is preparing a place for us.

This world is not our home, but merely a journey.

And while we travel we have the privilege to share the Good News of the blessed rest we have in Christ.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for salvation. Thank You that we need not strive and labor to earn our way into Your presence, because we could never do it. Thank You for making the way, for bridging the gap, for paving the road. Lord, sometimes I forget that I need not strive and struggle. Sometimes I think I have to do this or that. I forget to lean on You, to seek You when it’s difficult, to rest in Your ways when I’m frightened or disappointed. Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me. Thank You for saving me. Please help me to rest in You each and every day. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

Dealing with pride

It hadn’t seemed like a big deal.

Yet, I knew something was off.

As I prayed the certainty grew.

Something was wrong.

And that something was within.

“Lord, please show me my sin that I might repent. Please cleanse me within.”

Pride.

Yikes!

“Lord, please forgive me! Where have I let pride in?”

And as gently as a mother removing a bandage which has been on too long, the Lord revealed my sin.

Underneath a patch of “doing what is expected” was hiding the real motive.

pride.

Uhg.

With the revealed heart motivation came a clear picture of some other areas.

Off and on for a couple of weeks I’ve been feeling emotionally prickly.

Unable to place it before, I simply tried to ignore it.

Obviously, a poor choice.

It’s a bit embarrassing to look upon one’s sin and to realize it had been left undetected by me.

Yet, I’d rather see my sin than allow it to linger and grow.

Because just like all sin, it begins to taint all areas.

Before long the heart can be overcome with bitterness, envy, strife, unforgiveness, and a host of other things.

All through one spot of sin ignored and therefore allowed.

Praise God for His mercy!

What a blessed gift to be shown the danger within and to have my Savior deal with it!

How great is His loving kindness!

-sigh-

smile

Until the day when my LORD calls me home, I will need to be cleansed by Jesus of the sins I commit.

No, I don’t do it on purpose.

Yes, I study His Word that I might be aware of His commandments and do my best to follow them.

No, I’m not able to make it even a single day without falling into sin.

Yes, I keep as short account of those things as possible.

Yes, He truly does love me enough to forgive me and continue to hone my heart that I might not sin against Him.

It’s a beautiful daily walk with Christ.

My Lord and Savior who cleanses me.

As I seek Him this morning, I’m so very thankful for His dealing with my heart yesterday.

For each of us, who are called by His name, may we never walk with hidden sin, but instead confess and become cleansed daily.

1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for loving me so deeply. Thank You for freeing my heart from the pride I had allowed. Lord Jesus, I don’t want to do that again and I am ashamed for doing it, thank You for forgiving me. Please protect me from that in the future. Protect my eyes, my heart, and my mind that I might not sin against You. Please keep me from looking at worthless things, but instead let me focus on You. Lord, thank You so much for Your mercy and grace. I am humbled by Your love. Amen.

Lost his voice

Circumstances can crowd in upon someone before they realize.

The consequences of behavior can begin to hide the heart.

And yet those things are a direct result of the choices made.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:7 NKJV

Recently, as I shared with another, the brokenness of my past relationship with my father, I was able to see the truth in a crystalized phrase.

“He had lost his voice with me by the way he used anger.”

From my perspective, he was always angry and therefore I didn’t want to hear anything he had to say.

In reflection, after God’s healing me, I can see I missed a lot of things he was trying to say, but he had already lost his voice with me.

Our conversation continued and we each reflected upon times when our own voice was lost.

Although all three of the circumstances and choices were different, we each had lost the privilege of sharing truth because of our misuse of our words, actions, or attitudes.

But it didn’t end there.

Jesus had redeemed each of us.

It was humbling and uplifting to realize how Jesus had used these sins in our lives to hone us, to teach us, and to change us.

And before I thought it I spoke.

“I really hope God will help me to teach this truth. I want to pass on the value of guarding one’s actions, attitudes, and words so they might not lose their voice.”

Of course Jesus already spoke so clearly upon these truths, all I’m responsible for is sharing them with others and walking in them myself.

No, I don’t have it down perfect, but I’ve learned that when I sin it’s my responsibility to repent and ask for forgiveness, both from God and those I’ve sinned against.

I’m also on my guard about making allowances.

“Well, I just reacted that way, because I’m hungry and I didn’t sleep well and I…”

Nope!

Refusing to accept the truth that I sinned is as damaging as the sin.

Trying to down play my responsibility in the sin is as deadly as approval of the sin.

Blaming anything rather than repenting of my sin is wickedness, for what I’m doing in my heart is refusing to admit that I’ve transgressed before the Lord.

Humility before God and then others is the best choice.

1 Peter 5:5 KJV — Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

If you have allowed your voice to be lost through sin, it’s not too late to humble yourself before God and those around you.

If you are walking in the path of restoration, praise God for His mercy and grace. Pass on the knowledge of God’s truth.

Galatians 6:10 NKJV — Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. It is so full of all we need! Thank You for teaching me how to be careful of my words and how to continually humble myself before You and others. Please continue to teach me and to guide me along Your paths. Jesus, I want to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and full of Your wisdom. Please help me to sow truth, love, humility, and righteousness daily. Please place a guard over my heart and my mouth, that I might not sin. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Blessing and lessons

Mother’s day tea!

It was so sweet and I was truly blessed.

It placed a beautiful memory in my heart.

The tea party was lovely and I was so thankful to God for my family.

As the day came to a close, I realized I needed to get by myself and pray.

There had been an underlying something bothering me.

It was an unsettling, almost fidgety emotion, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Before the Lord, it became clear.

This fidgety unsettling feeling was simply my old nemesis: fear.

Uhg!

Where did that creep in?!

Yet, I knew it had to be confessed and submitted to the Lord, rather than worried over.

So, I began, with the Lord, unraveling the balled up mess of fear.

One strand at a time, until I came to the center, hurt.

Something I thought was way back in my past and long since dealt with was the center of this.

My heart hurt and I had to confess this hurt and choose again to forgive, to place it in Jesus’s understanding hands, and to ask Him to fill my hurt with healing and love.

Because when I’m full of love for the ones who hurt me, then I’m no longer afraid the hurt will come again.

Crazy thing about this circumstance, I know it was not intended, nor were they ever aware of it.

Sometimes hurt happens, and just like someone accidentally dropping something on my foot, when they dropped something on my heart I can feel the pain and realize it wasn’t on purpose.

I can walk in forgiveness.

Which was the lesson for my evening.

Although, I didn’t really like having to deal with this sin (because fear of any person but God is sin) I was thankful the Lord showed it to me.

When I first began my “Good morning” chat with the Lord, He pointed out another sin.

My feet hadn’t hit the floor, I hadn’t really done more than roll over and greet the Lord, when He unveiled my heart to me.

This time it was discontent.

Uhg, uhg!

It didn’t take more than a moment for God to show me my error.

I immediately recognized my need to repent and return to a place of contentment.

Which I did.

My sorrow lingered, after all I don’t like having sin creep into my life.

It’s disgusting, it hinders my walk with the Lord and my family, it’s a cancer which eats away at my relationships.

I truly appreciate God’s mercy and grace in showing me my heart that I might turn away from sin and choose what is right.

How I long for the day when I no longer struggle in the mire of my own sin and can be completely at rest in Christ.

But I would not shorten my time God has given.

That too would be sin.

Instead, I must continue to learn humility before my Lord and my fellow man.

To keep my heart daily before God, that His light of truth and love may hone me.

Although it was uncomfortable, I feel so much peace now.

To look at my sin and repent, to be washed by Jesus’s love and forgiveness is so refreshing and beautiful.

I know Jesus will continue to walk with me into today and I’m so thankful He loves me enough to deal with my sin.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for walking daily with me. Lord, thank You for dealing with both discontentment and fear in my heart. Please help me to place guards in my actions, my attitudes, and my activities that I might not slip back into either of these sins. Lord, if You would have me speak to someone in more detail so they might hold me accountable on these, I am willing. Lord, I want to live with a pure heart, and You alone are the only One who can create that in me. Please continue to polish my heart, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Thank You for all Your love, mercy, grace, and truth! You are incredible! Thank You for forgiving me. I love You, Jesus!

Allowing circumstances to teach

Beautiful Christmas gift with an excellent reminder.

It had been happening all weekend.

I’d find myself yearning.

Not all the time and not often enough to pay attention to.

Just little bits, little bites out of my day, slowly consuming my thankfulness.

It was yesterday, during the quiet.

I realized the yearning had a name: discontent.

“Uhg! Lord, what have I done to allow this to creep in? I want to be thankful for each day, not waste my blessings in longing for those of someone else.

Lord, please forgive me! I have so much! I am so blessed by You. Please help me to throw out this enemy to peace and joy. Help me to see where I’ve stopped being thankful.”

God is faithful.

He showed me several little things which had all crept up and robbed me of my contentment.

It’s embarrassing, but the two main areas where my guard had fallen were covetousness and self-pity.

It’s difficult to even write that.

To look upon the ugliness of either is repulsive to my soul.

But the truth was brought through by Jesus shining into my heart and I have repented.

I’m now rebuilding the guards which had fallen.

I’m being much more careful what I allow myself to look at online.

It’s easy to “get creative ideas” and fall into “want my house to look like that, it only takes…”.

Or, “I’m only looking for tips on house keeping” and find a list of items you need to keep your home up to par.

What I look at really does get into me in ways I don’t always realize at the time.

So, instead of searching the internet for an idea to an organization issue, or a creative boost, I’m praying.

The self-pity thing is all about what thoughts I allow to linger in my brain.

When I see the stain on the couch cushions what do I think?

Today, and as often as possible, I’m purposing to think:

“Praise God for this couch! It has been such a blessing and a perfect fit to our needs. Lord, thank You for blessing us with this!”

Or something very like it.

Because that couch was and is a blessing from God.

I got it used for $25 and after arranging to buy it realized I couldn’t go pick it up. It’s 7′ long. Even healthy I can’t move it.

My husband was away on a business trip and wouldn’t be home in time.

I prayed.

God placed a name in my heart. I called my dear friend.

Her husband borrowed his father’s trailer, drove the twenty plus minutes to get it. He and their son loaded it. Drove across the road to pick up the bed I’d purchased and then drove back to our place and set it all up.

That was a couple years ago, but I’ve not forgotten how much God blessed me through all of it.

But I had allowed the stains and blemishes of discontent to tarnish the gift.

All because I’d not been on my guard about my thoughts.

After the Lord revealed the reason for my yearning, threw His light upon my sin, and I repeat, I made sure to tell my family.

I asked for their forgiveness for allowing this into my heart.

I also asked them to hold me accountable.

This Monday morning I’m purposing to live a simple content life in Jesus.

There are so many more important things for me to pray for than stains on the couch or my inabilities to organize.

Yes, I want to be a good steward of the things God has given me, but they don’t have the right to draw my attention away from the things which really matter, nor to steal my joy.

I’m so grateful to God for not allowing me to slide further down the slope of self-pity and covetousness.

O Lord , You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1‭-‬3 NKJV

Praise the Lord!

He is so faithful and generous to use circumstances to teach me!

Waves

image

The ocean is beautiful.

At least I never grow tired of looking at it, even if it is only a picture.

But it is not a safe thing.

At times it can shift and drown you or tow you out to sea.

The constant change of tides and ever moving water is always rearranging the sand, rocks, seaweed, and shells.

Nothing is left motionless.

Nothing is “finished” and the work stopped.

The waves are ever going in and out.

And so is life.

The waves of sin and temptation can seem to be retreating before you,  faster than you can run after
and you feel safe from them.

But turn your back for a moment and suddenly they are sucking at your ankles, threatening to smother.

The stress daily wears, and worry can smooth off the bumps of joy and happiness.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We build a jetty to hold back the tide.
Each piece carved out of God’s Word.

We can lift our minds from the tossing and rolling of the cares by remembering this is not our home.

We can reach out a helping hand to those who are being sucked down into sin by prayer, encouragement, and being willing to ask the tough questions.

Our life isn’t to be focused on ourselves, our struggles, our worries,  and we don’t have to have all the answers.

Instead we need to lay them at the feet of the Father in prayer and patience. Knowing He has the answer.

We simply need to trust
and
obey.

Isaiah 49:4 NLT
“I replied, ‘But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose, Yet I leave it all in the LORD ‘ s hand, I will trust God for my reward. ‘”