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  • Kept Safe in the Arms of Christ

    To all who have been called by God. God the Father loves you, and you have been kept safe in Jesus Christ: Jude 1:1 NCV

    Have you considered how securely you are held in the arms of Jesus?

    I had cause to think on this the other day when there was a tremendous storm in our area with gale-force winds throwing branches around, the windows were shaking, and the electricity was flickering. A large branch fell on a window and I went outside to shift it before it broke through the glass. As I stepped outside, my foot slipped from underneath me on the wet tiles and I started falling back into the window, unable to save myself. All I can recall was crying out to Jesus in fear to help me from certain harm. It was only by His grace, by an act of His love, that I did not crash to the ground and was steadied back onto my feet.

    But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. Psalm 73:2 NIV

    Before we knew Christ, we had certain death and torment before us, held cruelly captive by Satan. We were unable to stop sliding and tripping up in our sin, desperately trying to wrench free of its power and be washed clean of the guilt and shame that weighed down our hearts.

    Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord. Jeremiah 2:22 NIV

    But God, in His love, called us and kept us for Jesus Christ from the beginning of time. He laid hold of us by His righteous and steadfast right hand through His dearest Son.

    Jesus, a good man on behalf of sinners (1 Peter 3:18), walked into our darkness at Calvary, taking each hidden and fearful sin from our hearts and placed them in His body. Burdened and slipping with the weight of the wooden beam of the cross on His back, He dragged Himself to the top of the hill at Golgotha and surrendered to each nail of crucifixion. Our sins were fastened through His bleeding flesh to the cross, canceling out our guilt, settling forever the debt on our behalf for our unholiness before His Father.

    Forgiveness was poured from His heart into ours as we knelt in the sacrifice of His scarlet, atoning blood at the foot of the cross, the epicenter of His magnificent victory over sin, death, and Satan. Jesus fixed His loving gaze on each of us in that blessed moment forevermore!

    Do you feel Jesus’ heartbeat of love for you to wrap Himself, as your substitute, in pain and injury and ultimately death so you could be wrapped eternally in the love of God?

    Our ultimate security does not lie in our weak and sometimes slipping grip on Christ, but only on His strong grip of us because of the most stunning moment in history when grace and truth broke into this world through Jesus.

    We now have "an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" and we are "protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:4-5 NASB) What awesome security is this!

    Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26 NIV

    posted in Gospel Teachings
  • The Honey Moon Never Ends posted in Gospel Teachings
  • King of Kings

    In the darkness we were waiting
    Without hope without light
    Till from heaven You came running
    There was mercy in Your eyes

    To fulfil the law and prophets
    To a virgin came the Word
    From a throne of endless glory
    To a cradle in the dirt

    Praise the Father
    Praise the Son
    Praise the Spirit three in one
    God of glory
    Majesty
    Praise forever to the King of Kings

    To reveal the kingdom coming
    And to reconcile the lost
    To redeem the whole creation
    You did not despise the cross

    For even in Your suffering
    You saw to the other side
    Knowing this was our salvation
    Jesus for our sake You died

    And the morning that You rose
    All of heaven held its breath
    Till that stone was moved for good
    For the Lamb had conquered death

    And the dead rose from their tombs
    And the angels stood in awe
    For the souls of all who’d come
    To the Father are restored

    And the Church of Christ was born
    Then the Spirit lit the flame
    Now this gospel truth of old
    Shall not kneel shall not faint

    By His blood and in His Name
    In His freedom I am free
    For the love of Jesus Christ
    Who has resurrected me

    posted in Cross Focused Music
  • RE: "We Respond to God not Others"

    Wow.....I never thought about it like this, or maybe I just need this constant reminder. It seems like it comes down to taking our eyes off the person that has hurt us and placing them squarely on the Cross of Jesus and leaving them there. Otherwise, it's utterly impossible to forgive the person that has hurt us nor even desire to do so.

    posted in A United Front
  • RE: You Have Captivated Christ!

    This seems too good to be true. That Jesus would really see me, this way🙌

    posted in Gospel Teachings
  • RE: Exposition of Man of Sorrows

    Yay! That worked I was able to post to both Groups...really cool!

    posted in Exposition of Gospel Music
  • RE: Exposition of Man of Sorrows

    ughhhh....... I can't figure out how to post this on Facebook 🙂 🙂

    posted in Exposition of Gospel Music
  • RE: Learning to Forgive others and not to become Bitter

    @Bill-Miller said in Learning to Forgive others and not to become Bitter:

    ” Again, it is not a matter of forgetting, but one of remembering and reminding myself, over and over again of some past transgression. It is the “remembering” that re-opens the sin and hurt. It is here at this point that we go to the Cross and place those “memories” at the foot of the Cross to be washed by the blood.

    Bill, I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit deployed you to share this. It has blessed and helped me tremendously especially considering the journey the Lord has me on right now. Bill, I really needed to read this;

    ” Again, it is not a matter of forgetting, but one of remembering and reminding myself, over and over again of some past transgression. It is the “remembering” that re-opens the sin and hurt. It is here at this point that we go to the Cross and place those “memories” at the foot of the Cross to be washed by the blood.

    I practically needed to know how to handle those past memories of hurt and pain when they pop up, or when something is said or done or seen that causes them to come flooding back. Now I know at the moment they pop into my head, is when I need to go to the Cross for the washing my heart needs?

    I appreciated reading this too;

    **It does NOT say that God forgets, God knows everything. But, He does choose NOT to “remember.” (μιμνήσκω mimnḗskō "to remember, recollect," NAS dictionary – accurately, recall, bring to mind, remind oneself actively (purposefully); to remember, have in mind, "be mindful of." "actively remember" (intentionally) – i.e., not off-handedly or merely incidentally).

    So, when I choose to remind myself of something (a particular sin), I bring “it” up again. I re-hash, rehearse, re-live, remember that sin. It becomes “alive” again, and the pain and emotional consequences follow. This is why we continue to return to the Cross – that too is a reminder, remembering what Jesus has done to deal with our sins, once and for all.**

    When those painful sins that have been done against me come to mind, I have a choice. I can't always stop them from coming but I have a choice when they do come, to either dwell on them on or to dwell on the Cross. To look at His broken body that was overwhelmed with the pain and hurt of my own sins against Him and remember His choice to love me, die for me, forgive me, and His choice to remember my sins no more as well?

    I think I knew these things intellectually in my head but today the Holy Spirit is bringing them home to bear in my heart. Praise God! What a wonderful day of Gospel renewal this has been.

    posted in Gospel Quotes
  • Think on His Love!

    Think on His Love!
    “God set his love on undeserving sinners by turning his back on his deserving Son – all because he loves. How is it possible that we will stand confidently before him on the day of judgment? Because “his love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). How can we war against our selfishness and learn to love God and our neighbors? Because “he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

    Drink deeply of his love, the kind of love that he has given us - justifying, propitiating, adopting love. Because of his love, we are the “children of God” (1John 3:1-3). Don’t let familiarity with this truth anesthetize your soul to its power: his beloved son left his heavenly home, traversed down into our world, lived sinlessly, died shamefully, was forsaken by his Father, and was buried in a cold tomb. The Father gave his Son in exchange for us so that he might claim us as his sons. Then he raised him from the dead to assure us again that we are now and forever his. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, has taken our flesh into the throne room of heaven, and therefore nothing - not our weakness, not our sin, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).

    Think on his love. You can’t do it enough. Be enraptured by it; let it overwhelm you.” p. 65, “Counsel from the Cross” by Fitzgerald and Johnson.

    posted in Gospel Quotes
  • Learning to Forgive others and not to become Bitter

    Learning to Forgive others and not to become Bitter.

    Jesus experienced bitterness toward Himself from the religious leaders and the Romans. His response was one of silence to the accusations, and a prayer, “Father, forgive them.” It is when we look at the Cross and realize that Jesus has been in our situation. Jesus did not blame or make counter-accusations, no; He remained silent. Keep your focus on the Lord, and may He give you the strength to stay faithful to Him and forgiving others.

    Let’s look at this “forgiving others” a little bit more. When someone has sinned against you, they ask for your forgiveness, and you forgive them – what does that mean? Let’s look at the forgiveness aspect of these confessed sins. We are told to forgive in the same way Jesus has forgiven us.

    "bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you." (Colossians 3:13 NASB)

    "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (32) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB)

    So how has God forgiven? “He remembers no more...”

    "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jeremiah 31:34 NASB)

    "FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE." (Hebrews 8:12 NASB)

    "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." (18) Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:17-18 NASB)

    "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins." (Isaiah 43:25 NASB)

    "'In those days and at that time,' declares the LORD, 'search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.'" (Jeremiah 50:20 NASB)

    "He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19 NASB)

    It does NOT say that God forgets, God knows everything. But, He does choose NOT to “remember.” (μιμνήσκω mimnḗskō "to remember, recollect," NAS dictionary – accurately, recall, bring to mind, remind oneself actively (purposefully); to remember, have in mind, "be mindful of." "actively remember" (intentionally) – i.e., not off-handedly or merely incidentally).

    So, when I choose to remind myself of something (a particular sin), I bring “it” up again. I re-hash, rehearse, re-live, remember that sin. It becomes “alive” again, and the pain and emotional consequences follow. This is why we continue to return to the Cross – that too is a reminder, remembering what Jesus has done to deal with our sins, once and for all.

    "For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God." (Romans 6:10 NKJV)

    "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10 NKJV)

    So, when I forgive someone of their sins, it is finished and is not to be brought up again. But there is a cost to forgiving.

    Example: You stole $20 from me. I had left it laying around, you saw it and took it. Then you took that $20 and went out to the movies and bought popcorn and a drink. The money is gone. Then your conscience reminds you that you stole $20 from me and need to confess that sin. You ask God’s forgiveness and then come to me.

    So, being the repentant sinner, you come and ask for my forgiveness of stealing $20, but you are unable to repay. (You ought to repay – because you stole – but you are unable.)

    Now, what do I do? I forgive you. And in that forgiveness – it cost me $20. I wipe the slate clean – you owe me nothing. It is forgiven. It is painful to forgive because I was going to take my wife out on a date, and now I can’t. But to forgive – is also to bear the cost of that forgiveness. This matter is never to be brought up again. “It is finished.” (I’m sure you see this is how God has forgiven us at the Cross, and it wasn’t a mere $20, but an enormous amount of sin that was forgiven.)

    All is good, we are reconciled, and all is at peace once again. But a few weeks later, I come up to you and say, “You rotten thief, you stole that $20 that I was going to take my wife out on a date, and YOU ruined that date.”

    Now have I really forgiven you? No, I have now sinned against you by reminding myself (and you) of your sin and how it hurt me. I am allowing a root of bitterness to take hold within, and it oozes and spills out on you. (Hebrews 12:15) And of course, I told my wife of your thievery, so she is also mad at you. And it was a “prayer concern” that I shared at the men’s Bible study. Now, they think of you as a thief. And on and on it will go – because I did not really forgive.

    We hear, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget.” Again, it is not a matter of forgetting, but one of remembering and reminding myself, over and over again of some past transgression. It is the “remembering” that re-opens the sin and hurt. It is here at this point that we go to the Cross and place those “memories” at the foot of the Cross to be washed by the blood.

    As we forgive one another, we forgive and by God’s grace, put it behind us and not bring it up again. But I will not leave money out, putting temptation in front of you, because I love you and don’t want to put you in a situation that might cause you to fall. (^:

    When I sin, I bring that sin to the foot of the Cross. When I forgive, I bring that sin (of another) to the foot of the Cross. And declare, “It is finished.”

    I hope this is helpful. I know it has been a great reminder of the importance not to be bringing up past sins that have been placed under the blood and have been forgiven. The only one who does bring things up again is Satan – the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10) And we don’t want Satan to be our role model.

    posted in Gospel Quotes