Wednesday, July 23, 2008

God's Plan: Take Away Our Guilt

The Bible says that one aspect of the Holy Spirit's work is to convict us of our sin (John 16:8). His purpose is to turn us from our guilty ways and direct us to God. From sin. To God.

Peter felt great remorse after denying three times that he even knew the Lord (Matthew 26:75). When confronted about his wrong behavior, Paul fell to his knees (Acts 9:4). Both men responded to these convicting experiences by repenting and following Jesus.

At one time we all were spiritually dead in sin's wake. Sin's presence was corrupting us from the inside out, blinding us to spiritual truths. With our will directed toward us and away from God, "we were by nature objects of wrath" (Eph 2:3). In other words, we were all under condemnation and facing eternal death, God's required restitution for our sins (Rom 6:23). So in our natural state, we were completely unconnected to the Lord and headed toward eternal separation from Him.

Although we were totally helpless to correct our situation, God had a plan that would satisfy the requirements of His justice and place us in the family of God. He sent His Son into the world to be our substitute, to carry our sin and guilt and to die in our place. Not only did Jesus pay in full the debt we owed, but His righteousness becomes ours at the very moment we place our trust in Him.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our guilty standing before God, and thankfully we don't have to be separated from Him now or throughout eternity. Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior? If so, then recognize that your position or standing before God has been changed from guilty to righteous, having received our righteousness from Jesus Christ.


Hello, hello, hello, it's a brand new day with lots of potential. What shall we do with it? I don't know about you but I'm going to make the best of it. We had a wonderful afternoon yesterday with our oldest granddaughter and her Significant Other. They got here around noon and we piled in the car and drove to the pizza parlor and had a yummy, yummy lunch. Then it was back home for an afternoon of Mexican Train. (She won!) I came in third place. But then I made a couple really bad plays at the beginning. It had been so long since I'd played that I didn't remember to keep an eye on their trains. And then there was the time that I just absent-mindedly played a tile from the middle of my train. Duh! I deserved my third-place standing. It honestly took me about four rounds to get my brain engaged and running smoothly. Anyway it was just a wonderful day eating and laughing and having a ball. I love her so much!!!

I remembered my Wiersby study in Romans yesterday. He is so good at explaining things. I love his books. I also read the book of Mark in my New Living Translation. What a really great translation that is! It has quickly become my second favorite Bible translation. It is just so readable that you struggle to put it down. My plans are to read through the entire New Testament and then to start the Old Testament and read through it by this time next year. Which shouldn't be a problem if I don't tire out. With it as readable as it is, it's just a joy to spend time in it. I'm half way through my Billy Graham book on the Holy Spirit which means I'm coming to the end of all the technical aspects and more on into the areas in which He works in our lives and how He guides us into all Truth and influences our every thoughts and actions if we allow Him to. I want to get into Beth Moore's book on David but I want to first finish
The Holy Spirit. And I am enjoying my daily reading in Springs in the Desert. I had a nice Quiet Time this morning out on the deck again. The weather was absolutely perfect and Hog Back mountain was plainly visible except for a light layer of smoke in the air. I guess we're going to have to tolerate the occasional smoky days until the fires have been completely extinguished.

I have no real plans for today except to put my name and account number on a whole bunch of rolled coins and go buy some gas for my car. I think I have about $23 dollars in rolled coins in my
"found money" (money I find lying on the ground in parking lots, etc.) and then M brought out his rolled nickels of $20. So I should be able to buy more than two gallons. My trip in to see the Doctor last Saturday used up all the gas in my car. I'm grateful I had the gas in there when I needed it but it kills me that I used it all up just to go to the doctor! But I must always remember that I have been called to a life of poverty. The Lord always provides, Jehovah-Jireh! It seems like the more I give away, the farther my money stretches. But isn't that what He promises? I am here to tell you He is faithful. Out of my tiny disability money each month I am able to tithe at 11% of the gross (not a big jump from 10% but I'm trying!) and I have donated small amounts to three other ministries this month. And while I may end up rolling coins to make it through to the next check, I nevertheless have never been deserted by my loving God. He is faithful! That is my testimony.

I think my scalp is feeling better. It still has a long way to go to get back to a healthy state but I do think it's improving. I think the antibiotics are having a field day though. It's amazing how bad antibiotics can make a person feel. I was almost in tears a few times yesterday. I just ache all over. My muscles and joints are so painful right now. I have had this reaction to antibiotics before so this is nothing new to me. But between the aches and pains and irritated and infected scalp I feel a long way from good today.

My server is down right now and blogger keeps telling me not to publish because it will fail. I sure hope I don't lose this post. I will be very upset if I lose this post. I'm hoping to wait it out. To leave this up in FoxFire and wait until the server is back up before posting. But if we have a sudden power outage or some other little blip, I'll probably lose this post. Aw, life is a gamble! And wouldn't you know it this is an early post and it's not going to go out early. (Sigh.) I just thought of an illustration for the Trinity for all you bloggers out there. The Father is like the blogger. Always there and the very essence of our blog. Without the blogger there is no blog. Then the post, which is the body of our blog is like Jesus. He is our reality. And the Holy Spirit is like our publish icon. He makes things happen. Ok, ok, ok so it's not the greatest illustration. It's the best my boggy brain can do today.

One of my devotionals today gave a vivid example of weathering life's storms. They talked about the lift on an airplane's wing and about how it has to work harder to get lift from the wing when the weather is calm and they are flying with the wind. But during the storms and when they fly against the wind the lift is so much greater and easier. Isn't that how life really is. The more grace we need, the more grace we receive if we will look toward the Savior during times of struggle and when our life's storms buffet us around. If we can just learn to trust our Lord He will give us all the "lift" we need to make it through the rough times.

I really need to get in and do some deep cleaning around here. But I think I will wait until I'm off the antibiotics. The kids are going to drive over from San Francisco sometime during the next few weeks and I will definitely have to have it done by then with John's allergies. But this time when they come I'm going to suggest we spend a lot more time outside away from the cats so maybe he won't get so sick from them. Now watch it be scorching hot while they're here and it be too hot to sit outside. Today is already warmer than it was all day yesterday. So it looks like we may be going into another heat wave. I sure hope not. I get tired in the hot weather (it just saps the strength right out of me) and add that to how the antibiotics are making me feel and I'll probably be down for the count.

Tomorrow night will be our last Thursday community bar-be-cue at church and we are definitely going to that. I wish I had something to take to go along with the burgers and hot dogs. But I don't. I'd have to go to the store and buy something. I guess I could put less gas in the car and buy something to take. Hummm. I'll have to think about that. Well my server is back up so I'm not going to press my luck today and keep typing. I'm just going to sign off and send this before something else happens. Until next time ...


God Chaser said...

Thanks for sharing- God grace is always there when we need it. I like the anaolgy with the plane and the wing. How gratedul I am He sent Christ that I wouldn't eternally separated from Him.

God bless

God Chaser said...

Thanks for harinng 6 things. what a great work career you have experienced. And a great blessing to be married for so many years a rarity these days. I agree with you there is so much christian reading to get done-it is hard to work in fiction- but I try every now and than during the summer. A great hobbiy making scarfs I am sure your friends are blessed. thanks for sharing and I have no problem with you not tagging others.