The Jesse Tree – Sin Enters

 

Adam and Eve were enjoying the garden (Genesis 3) when a talking ‘snake’ approached them.  Have you known a couple of those?  I’ll bet you have.

How about the ‘friend’ who talks you into doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  Like, just run the red light or stop sign.  Or, no one will ever know if you cheat  on …  How about, I know it’s late but just one more … Gossip, put-downs, bullying…

Rationalizing can get us into all kinds of trouble.  And yes, both Adam and Eve started the whole ‘passing the buck’, it’s not my fault, the other person made me do it.  Some no’s are meant to be no.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Adam and Eve had everything?  By God’s design, they had each other, the perfect home, great health, plentiful food and water, God’s presence…  It wasn’t enough.  It never is.  There’s always something more, isn’t there?

That’s what that darn snake wanted them to think.  That it wasn’t enough.  That they could have more.  That God doesn’t always know everything.  In fact, the snake wanted to replace God in their thoughts and lives.

Now, here’s the thing.  Any time we consider replacing God with anything, good or bad, there’s going to be a consequence.  That’s what they didn’t take into account.  The fruit looked good, smelled good, probably even tasted good.  But, God had said no!

Can you imagine the scene when they heard God walking in the garden that evening?  He was looking for them.  He wanted to talk to them.  So, here’s the rub.  It’s impossible to hide from God.  He knows where you are, always.  He knew where Adam and Eve were but, He wanted them to come to Him.

And they did, dressed in leaves.  “What have you done?”  Adam said she made me do it.  Eve said the snake made me do it.  The snake snickered at the whole thing.

God put them out of the garden.  You know the rest of the story, right?  Adam would have to work for all the things that had been his.  Eve would have painful births and would desire her husband.  Both were banished from the garden.

But God knew the rest of the story.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

The Jesse Tree     Day 1     The Creation

Praying the Jesus Way

 

In Matthew 6 Jesus gives us a model for our prayers and a few pointers on the how to do it.  In verses 5-8 He wants His followers to pray in a way that draws them close to God the Father without making a show of it like the hypocrites.  Then He gives the ideal place for it to happen, a place that is secluded.  By shutting the door He shows that there should be no outside influence.  He also said don’t be constantly repeating your words and going on and on.  You see God already knows what we’re praying for so keep it short and focused.

The perfect model is then given in verses 9-13:

the-lords-prayer

Each of the 6 points of this prayer lead us to total focus on the One who hears and answers.

  1. Focus on God and praise Him–Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  
  2. Focus on God’s plan and purpose–Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
  3. Focus on what you need–Give us this day our daily bread
  4. Focus on forgiveness for yourself and for others–Forgive us our debts (trespasses/sins) and we forgive our debtors (those who trespass/sin against us).
  5. Focus on God’s guidance in daily challenges
  6. Focus on giving God total control–For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory

Verses 14-15 are extremely important!  We must forgive others if we expect to be forgiven by God.  It’s pretty clear isn’t it?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Why I’ve Given Up On Forgiving Myself

 

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Whenever I read or hear someone saying, but you have to forgive yourself, I ask, why. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that says forgive yourself.

We are told to forgive others but never ourselves. (Matthew 6:12b) Why? Because we are not God. We cannot judge ourselves. Only God knows the reasons or motives behind our actions.

God chooses not to remember our sins. He doesn’t forget them He just doesn’t want to remember them. Perhaps that’s what God wants us to do. Move on, get over it, quit rolling it around in our minds…just forget it. If we are dredging up the past in our thoughts, we are recommitting the sin. Yes, that is Biblical. Take a look at what God says about lusting in Matthew 5:28. Basically, even if you’re thinking it, you’re doing it. Look at Proverbs 4:23. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Another way to look at this concept is through the eyes of one who is forgiven. Do you believe that you are forgiven? Do you understand that when Jesus went to the cross He took every one of our sins on Himself? Aren’t you basically saying His death doesn’t matter?

The evil one loves this thought pattern. When we minimize what Jesus did by saying I must forgive myself, satan has a door to enter our thoughts. The second we try to make forgiving about our own ability we have made ourselves God, or at least tried to.

Paul says in Romans 8:1, there is no more condemning for those who believe in Jesus. If you believe that is true, then there is no reason to be concerned with forgiving yourself. Jesus already did the hard work. We are cleansed, washed clean and totally forgiven because of His never-ending grace. We’ve got to get over this need to do it ourselves. He did it! Let that be it!

I must add, however, that we cannot assume that we can go on sinning. It should be our greatest desire never to sin again. Even though we have been ‘made new’ we are probably going to fall into the sin pit again. The Bible is quite clear on the process at that point… Ask for forgiveness from the One and Only… Accept His loving response (Go and sin no more-John 4:1-42)…Do not return to that sin in thought, word or deed… Move on, walk away, give it up…

Heavenly Father, it is my greatest desire not to sin against You in thought, word, or deed. Yet I do. Forgive my bent to thoughts, words, and actions that do not reflect You to the world around me. Help me to listen for the ‘voice’ of the Spirt in everything I think, do, and say. Teach me Your word so that I will know what You want. Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I have been greatly honored to write this article for Blogs for Christian Women.  Click on the highlighted words and see what others are writing about it.

 

If My People

praying-1319101_960_720One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It calms my heart every time I hear a new report of violence, shooting, terrorism, election rhetoric, job loss, sickness… I fully believe that God can do what He says He can do.  In this verse, He gives us the privilege of knowing what He will do if we follow His command.

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We are His people, called by His name.  He wants us to humble ourselves, to remember that we are not God.  We cannot do anything without Him.

We are to pray.  That’s the one thing He desires most by those called His.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He really doesn’t care how.  He simply wants to hear from us.

We are to seek His face.  Every nuance of facial expression tells the listener what the speaker intends.  Since all scripture is God’s (2 Timothy 3:16) it stands to reason that He wants us to know His word.  Unless we know His word we cannot know what is sinful or in the words of this verse, wicked.

Once these are part of our life fabric we can expect some really powerful things to happen.  Remember, God can do what He says He can do.

First, He will hear us.  Is your prayer for healing…He hears it.  Is your prayer for no more violence…He hears it.  Is your prayer for forgiveness…He hears it.  No matter what our prayer is, if we are humble, turn away from our sins, and seek His guidance HE HEARS IT!

Second, He will forgive our wickedness, our sins, any way we fall short.  It really doesn’t matter to Him how big or small our sin is, He can and will forgive it.

Then, He says, “(I) will heal their land.”  With our country in the condition it’s in, with families falling apart, with trust at an all-time low, with…  He will heal this land.

It’s definitely time to get on our knees, to humble ourselves, and to pray (fervently) for his forgiveness and healing.  He, alone, can do what no human can.  He, alone, can forgive.  We can totally trust Him.  He loves us!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

church-768613_960_720Check out this beautiful song that uses the words of this scripture.  (Just click on the picture.)

 

Recall Notice

Sometimes I wonder if God would just like to RECALL the whole project.  I know He loves Go and sin no more!us more than anything but I really think He gets tired of it all.  Don’t you?  A dear friend sent me this and I thought it would be good for all of us to read.

Dear Human.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype unit’s code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.  This defect has been identified as “Subsequently Internal Non-morality”, more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.  Some of the symptoms include but are not limit to:

Loss of direction…Foul vocal emissions…Amnesia of origin…Lack of peace and joy…Selfish or violent behavior…Depression or confusion…Fearfulness…Idolatry…Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.  The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs.  There is no additional fee required.

Duerer_praying_handsThe number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.  Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.  Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.  No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems to numerous to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.  For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

Fiery FurnaceDANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.  The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

 

God Letter Closing

 

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by ‘Knee Mail’!

Always Forgiven!

ResurrectionWE CANNOT OUT-SIN HIS FORGIVENESS!!!!

For Heaven’s sake don’t even think that I would ever suggest even trying.  One of the ways we get ever closer to Jesus likeness is our whole-hearted desire not to sin.  But we are human and we are sinful and that’s something we simply can’t ignore!

In Psalm 103:2-3 David tells us that we are not to forget His benefits and one of these is the forgiveness of sin.  For me, David’s words speak mountains of truth about forgiveness.  His story helps us understand that even the one (David) who had a Heart like His could and would sin!  David depended on God’s forgiveness, asked for it and it was given. Fully!

God is the God of the second, third, forth….chance.  Take a look at Jonah 1:1-3.  God told him to go to Ninevah and preach against its wickedness.  Jonah tried to run away and had the adventure and epiphiny of his life.  (Yes, my God is the Only One who could keep a man alive in the ‘belly of a whale’!)  Jonah 3:1 says the LORD spoke to him a second time and said go to Ninevah and proclaim the wickedness of the Ninevites.  Jonah obeyed!  God will forgive our disobedience but does expect to eventually obey.

Jesus tells us clearly in Matthew 6:14-15 that we must forgive others when they sin against us.  If we don’t the consequence is to big to imagine…the Father will not forgive us.  We are to be the picture of God to those around us.  If there is no way to out-sin God’s forgiveness then there is no sin of another that we can’t forgive.

Mighty, Awesome, Forgiving LORD!  Forgive my sins, the ones I know and the ones I don’t.  Give me Your super-natural ability to forgive those who have and will sin against me in some way.  Nurture in me a heart of forgiveness!  Make it so!!!

Grab On

“Is my Master satisfied with me?” Does everything I think, do, and say reflect my El Elyon (Most High God) to the world around me?

How I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately we fall into the ‘sin pit’ to easily. However, by reading and studying His Word (to know Him), praying (keeping open the lines of communication with Him), and worshipping (putting our focus on Him) we are able to focus on Him and not on whatever we let put us in the pit in the first place. 

Psalm 60:2 tells us, “Save us and help us with Your right hand, that those You love may be delivered.”David knew God so well that he could depend Him and know without question that God would come to his rescue. We, too, can reach up and grab the hand that is always there to pull us out. Grab on!!!

My El Elyon,  Creator of all that is, was, and is to come give us the courage to grab on…not just when we should but because we can.  Open our hearts to Your Word, our souls to worship, and our thoughts to constant communication,  with You.  I lift this request in the Precious Name of Jesus      Make it so!