Entry Submitted by John at 11:05 PM EDT on March 26, 2017
Yosef, first of all, just let me say that I'm. It in any way comparing what I went through, with your experiences. What compels me to write this is, your feeling the need to apologize and, in a sense, I empathize with you and, I think that we all can relate to having said something or done something in our lives that, if we could, we'd go back in time and clean it up. The truth is, yesterday is best left right where it is, in the past. It's said that "confession is good for the soul" and, it's been my experience that, whoever said that, knew what they were talking about. In truth, and it's been my experience that with each time I found necessary to confess, I was actually drawing closer to God. It is written, "if we would draw nigh unto God, He would draw nigh unto us." It's in that process that the parts of our lives where He is most greatly magnified, are brought to life in ways that only He can give life and, That reminded me of a time, when I couldn't imagine life being more bleak and hopeless. It's been over 30 years ago and, the details of what I was going through are less important than what I learned in the process but, suffice it to say, I was devastated and, looking for some answers. I was listening to a guy on the radio talk about "going through times when it seemed that God was so far away...like, there was something that had placed itself between me and God and, that's why I felt so alone." That's when I discovered Proverbs 3:1-10
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;"
We could actually stop right here and make a complete study of this first verse. I've studied the scriptures for a long time and, I have to confess, there've been times as recent as this week when I've forgotten who I am in Christ. Sometimes, life can be that frustrating. We get all excitied about something we expect and, in our exuberance we spread the good news and then, things don't work out exactly the way we anticipated that they will. Then, in our frustration we may say something that is totally out of character and, wouldn't you know it, the very person you hoped would hear or know, is the very one who comes pointing the finger of chastisement. Then, the feelings of guilt try to take hold but, right here in verse 1, I find comfort because, God knows my heart. He knows my intentions were to do no harm and, it's your heart that's the most important. Solomon knew this but then, Solomon was taught by David, his father and, it was King David of whom God said, "he is a man after my own heart." So, Yosef, be comforted in knowing that God knows and looks upon your heart and, He said,"...but let your heart keep my commandments...
2 for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. 3 Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; 10then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine."
Yosef, I anchored my life to this verse, so long ago and, I expected it to be easier and, it's been anything but easy. In truth, there've been times when I truly had no idea how I was going to make it to the next day but, I held onto the rope tied to that anchor and, today, I can look back and see how God worked in my life to mold and shape me into who I am today and, with James, I'm able to sincerely say,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,"
...and, to answer that soul who is reading this now and wondering how that's possible, let's read some more of what he had to say.
"for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:3,4
See that last verse? When "steadfastness" has its full effect,
"that you may be perfect lacking in nothing."
When we're able to realize that the burden of our "missing the mark" in life, is all on Him...that our righteousness, which is just being in a right relationship with Him, is a matter of our trusting Him and, having faith in the finished work of Christ's Cross, living for Him is no longer a burden in any way.
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,"
...and, in Romans 8:30
"And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory."
Everything about our relationship with a God, must be looked at from a past tense point of view, after we've accepted His free gift of salvation. When He was nailed to the cross, so was I....that is, "the old me"...and then, to give us an opportunity to have a sense of what that means to us spiritually, He gave us the act of baptism...symbolic of our dying to be raised from the dead to walk in newness of life.
"For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." Romans 6:4
Be blessed Yosef! God's got this all covered...
in Christ, John
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Entry Submitted by John at 11:05 PM EDT on March 26, 2017
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