Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Help for those in anxiety and fear

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.  Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 TPT

 We are living in trying times. The world seems to be in upheaval and so many are looking to make sense of it all. Many have questions. Many have concerns. Fear and anxiety have gripped the masses.  The challenge we all face though is this is, in fact, a real threat, not a negative thought, or a what-if, the enemy brought to people's minds.

 The world is on a modified lockdown if you will. A verified pandemic has been declared worldwide. This is a real and confirmed threat to people's livelihood and health and safety. This is the time where trust in God is paramount.

 This is also the time when we discover what we've been planting in our hearts. Words of Faith, God's Grace and Goodness and Love or words of fear worry and anxiety. Our words locate us and reveal what we've been planting. If words of Faith, trust in Christ are coming from your mouth, praise God. What if, though, anxiety and fear seem to more real to you than the promises of God? 

 That's why I was impressed to share some Good News for those in anxiety and fear. There is a way out. There is an exit door. There is hope and help for you. 

 Paul has given us insight into how to overcome fear and anxiety. Look at his words here;

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

in another translation for more clarity;

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

Paul has just given the answer to anxiety and fear. When anxiety comes, that is not the time to cower, to quiver, to shrink back, to fear. No, that's the time to pray. That's the cue to exercise Faith and give your concern, your care, your burden, your what-if, your need to God. That is, come to God petitioning Him for your needs. 

 When we do this, Paul declared that the peace of God comes and guards our hearts and mind. Why? How is this possible? Because we've turned to God in our time of need. We've asked God to intervene in our life. We've turned our care over to God. By coming to God, and asking Him for our needs to be met, we are saying God we trust you, we believe you, we have hope in your love and goodness. 

 God responds with His supernatural peace. We can have inward peace and comfort no matter the situation or circumstance. This is not the time to shrink back but the time to come boldly before the throne of His Grace and petition our Good Father and receive freely from Him and find that help and hope in these times. 

 Our hearts and minds can find rest and joy because we've turned to God in the anxious moments. Whenever anxiety arises take this as the cue, the signal, and come before your Father in Heaven in prayer. Peace will flood your mind and keep your heart steady. 

 Fear and anxiety have no right to control our thoughts or minds. When we give our requests and needs to God there is nothing to be anxious about. We trust that God is taking care of us and working our situation out for the best outcome possible. 

 Anxiety comes when we let go of trust, and try to do things ourselves. In these times remind yourself of God's all the time goodness and love. Think of the truth and relinquish those lies anxiety brings.

17 In this way God’s love is perfected in us, so that we may have boldness on the Day of Judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love. 1 John 4:17-18 MEV

14 So then, as the children share in flesh and blood, He likewise took part in these, so that through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver those who through fear of death were throughout their lives subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15 MEV

 His perfect love has cast out all fear. He has delivered us from all fear, especially the fear of death. We are no longer subject to the bondage of fear and anxiety. We can freely trust in a Good and Loving Father who meets our needs and fills our hearts and minds with His supernatural peace. 

In summation, there is hope. There is help for those struggling with anxiety. God. God, our Good Father is that help and hope. He is the need meeter, the way maker, and the One working when it seems like all is falling apart. Place your hope in His Goodness and Love and see anxiety and fear melt away in the presence of His Love and peace.

image by TheDigitalArtist from Pixabay

Monday, March 16, 2020

Strong in Grace: Fully Assured

So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.      
2 Timothy 2:1

 We've begun a new study looking at being strong in the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is growing strong and fully persuaded in what Jesus accomplished for us in the Finished Work. Fully trusting in His perfect redemptive work and not our own works or performance.

 Today, it seemed good to focus on another vital aspect of growth in Grace. That is being fully confident in the full assurance Grace provided. In this world, there aren't too many things that are assured. 

 Sports teams move from one city to another, changing their name. Businesses and restaurants close their doors. Sometimes people let us down. The one constant we who trust in Christ have is the full assurance of His great love and favor and goodness towards us. 

 Look how the Word describes this assurance;

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,  Colossians 2:2 NKJV

 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, Hebrews 6:11 NKJV

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 NKJV

 Fully assured. We who are in Christ have a confident expectation of good and are fully assured in our relationship with Christ. Paul sums up this Gospel of the Good news and the assurance that accompanies it.

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  1 Thessalonians 1:5 NKJV

 The Good News Gospel of Grace brings with it a fully assured Faith. A confident expectation of good and the assurance He is faithful to His Word. It leaves our hearts fully assured that He is with us forever and will never leave or forsake or abandon us. 

 Again things in this life may let us down, but we have confident assurance God will never let us down. This full assurance in Christ is louder than fear. Louder than insecurity. Louder than uncertainty. It's louder than any condemnation or accusation of the enemy or religious tradition.

 This assurance from God is louder than any sin or failure. We look at our failures, our mistakes, our shortcomings, our sin and feel like we are distant, far off and separated from God our Father. This full assurance that the Gospel brings silences these guilt and shame ridden accusations. Being fully assured of His great love reminds us of who we are and whose we are. It reassures us of our righteousness in Christ and full acceptance with God. 

 The assurance reaffirms our identity in Christ. It brings us out of bad habits, addictions, and sins. It helps us grow into who He already made us in the Finished Work. We rest in His unchanging Grace and Love.

 In summation, rejoice, this Grace produces a fully confident Faith. It brings with it full assurance. We can rule and reign over fear, anxiety, worry, insecurity, and uncertainty. We have full assurance of our Father's Love for us, His approval of us and our perfect right standing in His sight. We stand fully assured and shame and condemnation free. 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Strong in Grace: Completely Forgiven

 So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.      
2 Timothy 2:1

We've begun a new series of study, looking at becoming strong in Grace. People can be strong in various things. Things like education, athletics, and career ambitions. What about becoming strong in Grace?

 Sadly, many believers are strong in the religious tradition of men. They are strong in what they heard some minister say and not so strong in what God actually said. What we want to do is to get back to the truth of the Gospel and become stronger and stronger in the Grace of God.

 One area that will help us become strong in Grace is knowing our forgiveness in Christ. Knowing just how forgiven we are brings a boldness and confidence in Christ.  It also brings about a greater love for the Father, for Jesus Himself said, he that has been forgiven much the same loveth much.

Forgiven completely or not?

 Just how forgiven are we? Tradition has seriously muddied the waters with their confusing cocktail of partial forgiveness. The idea that only our past sins are forgiven but not our future sins. Or the strange concept that we are fully forgiven but only "judicially" and not "familial." These concepts are mere religious traditional double talk. Let's examine what God said and not what man says;

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

12 I am writing to you, little children (believers, dear ones), because your sins have been forgiven for His name’s sake [you have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because you have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior]. 1 John 2:12 AMP

He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s. 1 John 2:2 TLB 

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Colossians 3:13 AMP 

 I know who I choose to believe, God. I choose not to believe or accept the absurdity of religious tradition. I won't accept the foolishness of the traditions of men. 

 God declared we who've received Jesus are completely forgiven. Forgiven once for all time. If He declared us forgiven, who is man that may say, no God you're mistaken? 

 Religion says we are forgiven but not really. We are only partially forgiven. When you apologize, then God forgives you fully. Interestingly enough is that this isn't the standard God gave man when it comes to forgiveness. 

 He tells us to forgive those who trespass against us. He didn't say withhold forgiveness until they "repent" or "confess" it to you. He didn't say withhold total forgiveness until they come admitting their wrong. Jesus simply said forgive.

 Yet tradition says God has a completely different standard. He withholds full forgiveness until we apologize. Until we repent. So in essence, religion thinks man has a higher standard of love and forgiveness than God Almighty. 

 They claim, no we aren't speaking double talk, we are saying you're forgiven judicially just not familially. Wake up religious tradition you are speaking religious double talk. You're still claiming we're forgiven but not completely. 

 I am writing to you, little children because your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. 1 John 2:12 MEV

Little children, shows me He is speaking of His family. Also, He declared we are forgiven for His name's sake. We are not forgiven for our name's sake. So our apology is not in the equation.

 We are forgiven for Christ's name's sake. Not our own name. Not our own actions. In Christ's name, means the work is attributed to His doing and not any man's. The Name of Jesus, encompasses all Christ did, what He paid for, and all His Finished Work accomplished. It represents Christ's complete work. We are forgiven once for all for His Name. Nothing we've done. 

Rejoice, when you received Jesus, you also received the complete and total forgiveness of all your sins. Your past and present and future, completely forgiven. We can now come before our Father in boldness and confidence because we are completely cleansed from all sins and totally forgiven. 

 The enemy and his accusations and condemnation and guilt and shame have lost all its power over the believer. When we know we are completely forgiven the lying shame of the enemy has no more effect. The Cross, the Finished Work, the Blood, the redemptive work of Christ, has rendered the enemy and all his schemes harmless and ineffective.

 In summation, rejoice believers. You are forgiven. You are cleansed. All sins have been washed away by the precious Blood. We are forgiven, once for all time, all because of Jesus, the person of Grace.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay