Tag Archive | sin

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

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Hello. How are you? I hope all is well with your soul(s). I’m sorry that I have been MIA- (missing in action), but life happens and we all respond to it in our own way.

Anyway…the point is that as a believer, our focus should continually be on Jesus Christ especially since He is the author and finisher of our faith. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).  When we take our eyes off God, we keep them on ourselves.  What does that normally mean? It means we start making plans for ourselves regardless of God’s plan or will for us. How many times have we made plans and couldn’t get out of our own way?  Isn’t that ironic? Truly our vision is extremely limited when it is focused solely on self. 

Jesus must increase in our daily lives which means HE becomes the true focus of our existence and the only way that can happen is if we die to ourselves. So, what does that mean? That means that we need to seek the LORD for His Will for our lives and surrender what thoughts, ideas, or plans we had for ourselves. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) Believers should want to decrease in order for Jesus to increase-that should exist in our inner most being and hearts. It’s when we surrender to God, we can objectively begin to see our inadequaticies before God. We are unable to serve God and walk in the holiness we are called to do when we do not allow God to increase in our lives.

This is when our faith has to be put in action. Please know this can be a struggle, but our faith is about Jesus and not us. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2)  We are sinners, but Jesus Christ is sinless. We were separated from God by sin, but Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God and man. We could not atone for our sin, but Jesus Christ paid the price in full when he died on the cross.  

God’s word is true and that is what we must solely stand on. When we put our focus on Christ instead of on ourselves, our whole perspective changes. By ourselves, we are slaves of sin… but in Christ, we have victory over sin. By ourselves, we are children of wrath bound for destruction… but in Christ, we have the hope of eternal life. By ourselves, we are separated from God by sin… but in Christ, we can come boldly before the presence of God, being cleansed of all sin not by our own works but by his holiness.

I know I want Jesus to increase in my life and for me to decrease. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  If I ask God to help me decrease, I know He will give me the grace to do so. However, I must obey Him just as much as I ask Him to help me. The time is growing short and I know I want my life to reflect more of Jesus so I can please Him and be a witness to others.  “Jesus says “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Our faith must be centered on Jesus Christ alone. Apart from him, we can do nothing.”

As you Walk Every Day with Grace and you know Jesus, join with me and allow Jesus to increase in our lives as we daily decrease in ourselves and our own ambitions. It’s like what my friend Amy says, “There are good things and there are Godly things”. Let’s always strive to increase Jesus in our lives so, that our lives and choices reflect more of Him and less of us.

In His Love,

Melody

To Be Like Jesus

To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask – to be like Him
All through life’s journey
From earth to glory
All I ask – to be like Him.

 

 

 

 

 

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)


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Hello! How are you? How are things?  I, myself have gone through a recent trial these last two weeks and I am so grateful that I had and felt  the grace of God.  Frankly, I do not know how people go through the tough times without having the assurance of their relationship in Jesus. I would assume by now everyone has heard of the news of the death of Robin Williams.  He was a comedic genius with improv and timing. The news of his death was sad. If he didn’t know Jesus when he died, then his death is even more tragic because now he will be eternally separated from God.

This may be a morbid topic, but we will all die eventually. A family member  of mine almost died last week, but it was not his time and God spared him. The Bible says “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) When one knows Jesus, they will die a physical death (absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”) but, they will have eternal life because the spirit will live 0n-which means the person does not truly die. You see, we are made up of spirit, soul and body. The body is our “physical shell”; our mind, will and emotions are our soul; and then our spirit. In the beginning God breathed His Spirit into His creation-which was Adam; thus giving him life. We all come from Adam and Eve. They are our “original parents” who are brought sin into the world-which is why there is a physical death.  (In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19)  People walk around thinking that they should just take care of their bodies only and that will prolong their life. Obviously, we should do everything we can to maintain our health and live a healthy lifestyle; and I have heard so many people say “my body is a temple like the Bible says it is”. But, they are mis-quoting the scripture and say that as a way to idolize their body.  The Bible says that our body is the temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The real issue about life/death (or, eternal life/eternal death) is whether one believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and will therefore never die.  Do you believe this to be true? Can you accept that there is eternal life, but only through Jesus “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Many people think their philosophy will save them Or, their religion will save them; or, their morality will save them-you know the “golden rule”…”do unto others as you would want done to you…” But, the fact is this…none of this will save you and guarantee you a spot in heaven. One’s morality will not get you salvation. However, morality is a by-product of  one’s salvation.  You may not accept this information, but, do you believe it is true? Understand that God see everything and “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) God is a Holy God and He will not have anything sinful in His presence. That is why only Jesus offers us forgiveness of our sins and makes us “white as snow” as He mediates on our behalf. The only way to achieve this is to believe this. I’m not talking about visualization, or perception or anything that is self-serving. Belief is an act of faith because there really is nothing for us to do except believe what God says is true.

This trials I went through made me think (again) that time is short and life as we know it is precious. My concern with my family member is that they refuse to submit themselves to Jesus.  Salvation is a gift; so therefore, it is something we cannot bargain with or obtain on our own. Jesus said “I am the Way, the truth and light. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Do you believe this? The decision is an easy one and yours to make. We are not promised tomorrow which is why “Today is the day of salvation.”  For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Salvations starts with a choice to believe and then the action to accept-which awakes your spiritual nature (remember we are spirit, soul and body).  

As you walk Every Day With Grace,  I ask that you choose life-eternal life and believe. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have ever-lasting life.” (John 3:16)  

In His Love 

Melody

 

I Surrender All | Judson W. Van DeVenter

 All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

 

 

 

“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying,“Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24

IMG_0867 Hello!  How have you been? It is almost August! Where is the time going? It seemed like yesterday when I was complaining about the snow and now summer is half over! The hours may seem to drag; but, the days are flying for sure! Does it seem like the world is going crazy or what? The turmoil in the world is just getting out of hand! If one is a believer in God, how can they not think about the end times; and if one is NOT a believer, what could they possibly be thinking about the world that we live in? “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

I notice there seems to be more and more commercials for apocalyptic movies. Some of them are really frightening. I don’t want to name them because I don’t want to promote them.  Are people thinking about the inevitable? Or, is it just all about fear and money?  That’s why one needs to know where they stand with God-not in 1, 5, 10, 50 years from now, but right now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. When we wake in the morning, I assure you, that is God’s gift to you because His mercies are new every morning. I understand what it’s like to wake  up and think “I just cannot take another day like this!”  But, I also understand what the alternative is also…death. “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) God is very gracious to His own children and creation-and He doesn’t have to be because He is God, Almighty and He does not OWE us anything.  The attitude of entitlement is nothing more than laziness and ungratefulness and is completely against the Word of God. Actually we, humans truly deserve hell and death-and that is because of our sinful, un-repented nature because sin separates us from God. And since God dwells in heaven I know He doesn’t need to visit Hell.  Hell was not meant for mankind. Hell was created for the devil and His fallen angels. However, since so much of the human race has renounced God and Jesus, that is where they will spend all eternity.  We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but, eventually we will all meet our Maker. “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)  “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 19-26)

You  need to understand that God is a Holy God and sin cannot be in His presence. That’s why Jesus died for all of mankind-so that He could bridge the gap between God and man. When we become Born Again, the spirit of God enters our body, soul and spirit. Prior to that ,we are just body and soul. Flesh and emotions without a built in moral compass. I am not saying there are not “good” people out there. As a matter of fact many are good or appear “good” in a human point of view. However, that does make them godly because they do good things.  (sheep and goats/ rich young ruler) As my very good friend Amy always says, ” There are goods things we  ca do and there are godly things we can do.” At one in society, I can understand why this would be similar.  However the “good” standard has changed in today’s world, but the godly standard has not, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, [l]are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

The moral compass has changed greatly in the United States; and it is a reflection of the sign of the times. (Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who [a]substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who [b]substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!)  (Isaiah 5:20) (2 Timothy  This could be the reason why people are concerned listening to the news and thinking about where they might be in eternity.  “The truth is this: hey replied, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” (Acts 16;310)

As you Walk Every Day with Grace, I want you to know that God’s promises are waiting for you to embrace and it will not cost you one cent. Salvation is a free gift Why worry about tomorrow and all of it’s turmoil when you can have the peace and assurance of eternity through Jesus Christ today? God loves you and is waiting for you to become a member of His family. The end of the age is coming.  Why wait for the closing act  to arrive when you already know how it will end? Mankind cannot change the mind of God. He has written it down for us as a stern warning for those who will not believe and as a loving exhortation to those who do. ”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

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Hello! How are you? How is life treating you? I missed writing last week- I experienced some technical difficulties which is why I did not write.  Anyhoo…I can’t believe it’s June already. It feels like somebody is just pulling the days off the calendar and not telling me.  Summer is practically here and the temperature is rising!

There are a few reasons as to why I chose the above scripture; but first, let me give you the passage in its entirety: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”  The point of this scripture is adultery. What does it mean when someone commits adultery?  It reveals the character of the one committing the adultery-which means the alleged party is cheating, as well as being disloyal, deceitful, dishonest, etc…

Now, it’s ironic that the religious leaders found this woman in the “act” of adultery. First off, why would they know about this woman’s business; and…(more importantly) where is the man (who was probably married)?!  She obviously was not alone if she was “caught” in the act of adultery-but she was the only one accused of breaking the Law of Moses. According to the Law of Moses, this meant death by stoning.  You know, Satan also accuses us of committing adultery. For believers in the LORD, it is “spiritual” adultery.  When we become Born-Again believers, we become Christ’s bride and Jesus is our Husband.  So when we sin, Satan is right there “accusing” us before God about our sin,. And believe me-we DO sin.  Sometimes it’s unintentional…but, sometimes it is because we don’t want anyone (including God) to tell what to do.  However, it is interesting to note how Jesus responded. He never reacted! Instead, He knelt down and starting writing in the sand.  The demand for Him to judge her was pressing with their determination, but what did He do? He stood up and posed a question to them…”He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  His question made them look at their own hearts, minds and behavior. They understood by His question that they also deserved death for their sins according to the Law of Moses. The knew that  “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  They also had to acknowledge they were subject to the same law they were using to condemn this woman. So what did Jesus do? He bent down and started writing in the sand again. I have heard some Pastors/Spiritual leaders say that they imagined Jesus writing the sins of those accusers in the sand. He was probably showing them the adultery they were committing against the same God they wanted justice from… and recognizing the consequences of their “secret sin.”That’s why they started to walk away one, by one. It ‘s funny that the older ones left first-they probably had a lot more sin (because of longevity) to repent from.

Now we see this woman is the only one left with Jesus. Can you imagine her fear? Her panic? Her open shame? Her reputation? What would now become of her? Everybody now knows what she did. Mind you-there  probably were whispers and gossip, but now it was all out in the open. Her sin was truly before her and her God. So, what does Jesus say to her as He lifts her up? “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”   Can you imagine her confusion and relief? No one could condemn her because everyone is guilty of being a sinner. She knew what her sin was-there was no denying it.  But, the surprise was that Jesus (God, in the flesh) did not condemn her either. Remember, she wasn’t “scott free” now to go back and do whatever she wanted and go back to her old ways. No, instead Jesus forgave her “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” and said go and sin no more. She had to “go” and stop choosing to sin (sin no more).  Jesus knew she was human, but, that does not give her a “get out of jail free” card. She is now accountable for the truth and forgiveness that was freely given to her. She did not have to enter a program or perform a series of tasks to be given this gift. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us if we choose to receive it.

I have been just as guilty as those religious leaders and brought accusations on others without checking out my own behavior. (Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:3-5) Self-righteousness is so hypercritical. It’s basically tooting our “spiritual horn” saying “look at me! I’m just so wonderful.” In the meantime, our self-righteousness is just a stench in God’s nostrils. True righteousness is true godliness-thats why one cannot really be “religious”. Religion is man’s way of being right with God and bring Him down to our level. Relationship with God is what we obtain when we repent and receive God’s forgiveness so His Spirit can them dwell within us.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, check your heart and ask God to remove anything that comes between you and His love.  Your bridegroom will “never leave you or never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Why look for another to give you what only God can? His love is pure and unconditional. It doesn’t matter what we look like, or where we have been. When Jesus sees you, He sees His bride calls you lovely.

 

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone…” (John 8:7)

 image009Hello! How are you? How is your week going?  Life seems to be a little heightened with people acting a little more crazy lately. The atmosphere feels heavy with judgmental attitudes.  It seems like gravity is pulling condemnation down on everyone…which got me thinking about the women caught in the act of adultery in John, chapter 8:1-11: “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” In this event, a woman was caught in adultery (my question is-where was the man? But, I digress…) The point is here is that a woman was brought and publicly shamed and humiliated-and according to Jewish law was supposed to be put to death by stoning for her sin! Again…where was the man who was also sinning with this woman since the man was most likely married? Was he without sin?  I think not. Yet, only the woman had the accusers.

This made me think of what we do probably every day or most days. We judge others and in reality, we also are judged. Believe it or not, we all have sinned; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...(Romans 3:23) That’s the reason we behave like that. I have had more than  my share of days where my own self righteousness had gotten the better of me- and this is what God says about it: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother,Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5) We need to remember that we are ALL sinners.  Those who believe in Jesus Christ as sinners saved by grace, but still fallible human beings who still consciously or unconsciously sin. But as sinners, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19) “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;” (Daniel 9::9)

When the woman was brought to Jesus he did not punish her or correct her-instead He asked her accusers who among them was without sin? He meant before God as well as before man. More importantly, they knew what He meant. That’s why they walked away one by one. I bet they tried to sneak away without being seen. Amazing how guilt is carried out in silence instead of a loud voice.  So what did Jesus finally say to the woman? “Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” The same advice works today-sin NO MORE.  Those who are outside of Christ are our accusers who hurl allegations and accusations at us. But, for those who accept and run and hide in Jesus, their sins are forgiven and therefore, are no longer condemned.

As we walk Every Day With Grace, let us remember the words of Jesus when we want to cast a stone…”Go and sin no more!”  The choice is ours.

In His Love,

Melody