For a Christian to hang onto his guilt and regret is not a humble act, but a selling short the work of Christ in our lives. Let's never be afraid of telling the world what Jesus is capable of doing for the sinner.
It may be argued that the absence of regret indicates a low and inadequate view of sin, but the exact opposite is true. Sin is so frightful, so destructive to the soul that no human thought or act can in any degree diminish its deadly effects. Only God can deal with it successfully; only the blood of Christ can cleanse it from the pores of the spirit. The heart that has been delivered from this dread enemy feels not regret but wondrous relief and unceasing gratitude. The returned prodigal honors his father more by rejoicing than by repining. Had the young man in the story had less faith in his father he might have mourned in a corner instead of joining in the festivities. His confidence in the loving-kindness of his father gave him the courage to forget his checkered past.
Can you rejoice with the prodigal son today, forget the past, and join the festivities?
"I love the Christ who died on Calv'ry, For He washed my sins away,
He put within my heart a melody, And I know it's there to stay.
"In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody, with heaven's harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody of love."
"Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Colossians 3:16
My you be that blessed witness for the Lord Jesus today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
We draw great strength from our church family, and from the times of worshiping our Lord. It was such a time yesterday at Dogwood. As one of our heroes from the past said: "Best of all, God is with us." If you could just dwell in the house of the Lord forever, would life be easier for you? Less temptations to draw one away from God? But for now we are to face this world in a new day, and a new week. But not alone, for He is always with us, and we have this great promise. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." James 1:27
In the forests of northern Europe lives the ermine, a small animal that we know best for its snow-white fur. Instinctively the ermine protects its white coat lest it become soiled. European hunters often capitalize on this trait. Instead of setting a mechanical trap to catch the ermine, they find its home in the cleft of a rock and daub the entrance with tar. A chase ensues and the frightened ermine flees toward its home. When it arrives at the cleft of the rock and finds it covered with dirt, the animal spurns its place of safety. Rather than soil itself and its white fur, it courageously faces the hunters. That's character. To the ermine, purity is dearer than life itself.
Never forget that we have an enemy pursuing us, Satan Himself, "seeking whom he may devour." But unlike the ermine, when we turn to stand our ground, the Lord is with us, and promises: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
If today we are tempted to cast off our righteous lifestyle, let's remember the ermine. To keep ourselves ".....unspotted from the world" James 1:27c , is as important to the Christian as life itself.
"Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."
We pray for God's blessings on you today, and always remember that you are loved!!!
We recently read a story about Raynald III, who was a fourteenth-century duke in what is now Belgium. He was grossly overweight. Raynald was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means “fat.”
After a heated confrontation, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald, but decided to not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room.
This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald’s size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter.
Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn’t released until after Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined he died within a year—a prisoner of his own appetite.
What is it about sin that so easily draws one in? Just like Edward, Satan will always to it that see that you are offered those things that are a great temptation to you. While one reads the story of Raynald and shakes the head in disbelief, there is no difference when one choose sin and self-indulgence over the abundant life Christ offers. So instead of sin, let's choose Christ, who died for us so we could experience freedom from the chains of disobedience!
"ONCE I WAS BOUND BY SIN'S GALLING FETTERS;
CHAINED LIKE A SLAVE, I STRUGGLED IN VAIN.
BUT I RECEIVED A GLORIOUS FREEDOM,
WHEN JESUS BROKE MY FETTERS IN TWAIN.
GLORIOUS FREEDOM! WONDERFUL FREEDOM!
NO MORE IN CHAINS OF SIN I REPINE!
JESUS, THE GLORIOUS EMANCIPATOR!
NOW AND FOREVER HE SHALL BE MINE."
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36
We pray for Christ's blessings on you today, as you remember throughout this day that you are loved!!!
We enjoyed a wonderful day at Dogwood yesterday, with music and preaching that was outstanding. Love it! Now we have a new day and a new week to serve our Lord. Pray for opportunities to brag on your savior.
"CONSECRATE ME NOW TO THY SERVICE, LORD, BY THE POWER OF GRACE DIVINE.
LET MY SOUL LOOK UP WITH A STEADFAST HOPE, AND MY WILL BE LOST IN THINE.
DRAW ME NEARER, NEARER, BLESSED LORD, TO THE CROSS WHERE THOU HAS DIED
DRAW ME NEARER, NEAR, NEAR, BLESSED LORD, TO THY PRECIOUS, BLEEDING SIDE."
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." Hebrews 10:20
May His blessings be on you throughout the day, and never doubt that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!