From Punishment to Correction and Healing

Healing

I was scrolling through the cable stations the other day, and I heard something that caught my attention, to paraphrase, “The Lord does not punish, He corrects. The intention of one is to destroy, and the other is to heal.” This is profound because we tend to blame God for punishing us when things do not go the way we want them to go. We are audacious enough to accuse the Lord of punishing us, when the reality is, we are looking for someone or something to blame.

2 Peter 3:9 (CJB) states that God does not punish, “the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some people think of slow; on the contrary, he is patient with you; for it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins.”Yahuwshuwa-synagogue

The important concepts are:

  • God is patient, He does not want us to perish.
  • His purpose is not to destroy us or allow us to be destroyed.
  • God’s desire is for us to have eternal life and have it more abundantly, to receive salvation.

God wants to give us the chance to change our lives. He is allowing us to live through our mistakes and heal. How do we heal? Emotional healing requires that we acknowledge our faults and learn how to overcome them. We heal through correction. Spiritually, we repent, ask for forgiveness, and work hard to stop committing the sin. Our actions rarely change overnight. Correction requires time. I read somewhere that when changing habits it takes six months of continuous correction before it is embedded in your psyche.

Before and After the Cruxification of Christ

In the Old Testament God punished us for our sins. There was no opportunity to overcome and heal from them. Sin was a type of death sentence, you suffered spiritual and often physical death when you sinned, but God does not want us to perish. He no longer wanted to punish us for our sins, but to ensure that we have the opportunity to changeJesus-Christ-on-the-Cross. He reconciled our relationship with Him by sacrificing His son, Jesus Christ, who bore our sins at Calvary.

We are fortunate to live in the New Testament dispensation. God gives us the opportunity to learn from our misgivings, repent and move on. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12 NIV. He will cast all our sins into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:19 ESV. We can recover from our sins and heal.  This process is a test of our faith. We must learn that everything in life is a test of faith. Hebrews 11:6 NLT states,

“Without faith, we do not have the opportunity to learn through our trials, and we do not have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Lord.”

Without faith, we are lost, without faith, we are subject to life’s failings, trials, temptations, and tribulations. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7 NLT h correction, you can taste the Lords kindness.”                          1 Peter 2:1, 3 NLT

What should we look out for? Most refer to sin as failing to follow the Ten Commandments. I think sin is much broader. Sin is failing to act like Christ, failing to engrain His behavior in our actions. These behaviors are listed in the Bible as the Fruit of the Spirit. Fuit of the Spirit 1When we fail to follow them, we suffer the consequences. Here are some examples: We decide that cutting corners at work will increase the profit margin; we fail to be honest and trustworthy. We cheat on a test in school; we are not honest or trustworthy. We mistreat loved ones, constantly bringing up their faults and disrespecting them, we are not showing love or kindness. You see someone in need, and you rush past them trying not to look them in the eyes, you are not showing affection, love or kindness to others. You are fraught with anxiety and worry when everything is falling apart; you are not demonstrating peace. You want everything today and rush through life; you are not patient; another word for patience is forbearance. Your speech is colored with cussing, and gossip is part of your conversations, you do not walk in integrity. When you are hard and legalistic, you are not demonstrating meekness or being gentle. You are not disciplined, you succumb to bad habits, large and small, deadly and barely perceptible, you lack self-control.

Our failing to use Christ-like behaviors cause us to suffer in two ways, 1) through our failings to apply the characteristics of Christ in itself and, 2) living with the consequences. How often do you hear a quiet voice (of the Holy Spirit) holy-spirit- and man or feel that something is not right when you are getting ready to say or do something out of character?  When we sin, we suffer. When we suffer, we should examine our motives and actions and compare them to the Fruit of the Spirit and determine how we sinned, which is part of the process of correction. It is not God’s intent to punish us. God’s intent is to allow us to learn and correct our actions and through this process, it is His intent to allow us to heal.

We are no longer in the dispensation of punishment, we are in the dispensation of correction and healing.

The Holy Spirit is glowing within all those who receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and are saved through grace.glowing_people

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Scriptures-Biblegateway.com
Concept-Jimmy Swaggert

Greater Than Kryptonite

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Through the crucifixion of Christ, we received the most powerful gift we can ever be given, the Holy Spirit, and now he lives in everyone that has accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Knowing this, we have the most powerful element of life within us all the time, even when we don’t feel his presence. The Holy Spirit is kryptonite to satan and his minions. To put this in perspective, kryptonite is a fictional mineral that deprived Superman of his powers. Our kryptonite, The Holy Spirit (not fictional) denies the evil one from destroying us. Our kryptonite, The Holy Spirit, takes away the evil one’s power over our lives. When we rely on Jesus and him alone (in a state of dependence), there’s no stopping us because Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to reside in us in his absence. We will be challenged and tested but will remain victorious in the Lord. When we know we are in a struggle but hold fast to our faith; we are victors. Our challenges test our faith and produce perseverance, endurance, and patience, all things that equip us for the battles of life. If we have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, how can we fail? The power is ignited by our faith.

“We will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us, and we will be his witnesses.”  Acts 1:8 NIV

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.“ Luke 17:6 NIV

The Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak to our troubles and command them to move, to leave, to evaporate.

There is a God-given lesson in each of our life’s experiences. Faith shifts our perspective and you will see beauty in the struggles, and even losing a battle from time to time. The struggle is God preparing us to continue our journey more empowered through the testing of our faith and the lessons learned.

“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

We are Christian Warriors and part of a strong army whose leader dwells within us. Our kryptonite (power) lives within us. It is the Holy Spirit, who is always glowing brightly within us and through us for others to see. We are his powerful witnesses that have kryptonite within us. It is through the Trinity that we live. The Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • God is our Father.
  • Jesus, our Lord and Savior, sits with The Father and intercedes on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit lives in us to direct and maneuver us around the traps of the evil one.

Image from: Google Images
Scripture from: BibleGateway.com

Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

BF67BA5E-8FAC-4EAA-B5CA-1AA0F9AE27D8The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21.

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’  (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Images from Google Images

Visit: youngchristianwarriors.com for more from Lisa Blair

People Pleasers

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Seeking the Approval of Man or God

How many of us get trapped trying to please the people around us, to our detriment? While this is a human trait, the Lord speaks to us in Galatians 1:10, about our allegiance to man.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The two are mutually exclusive. You can attempt to please the people around you or you can please God. The old saying, you can please some of the people some of the time, but cannot please all of the people all of the time is moot. You cannot focus on pleasing people if it does not align with the Word of God. Being a people pleaser affects your relationship with God. It also affects your ability to make good decisions and it will wear you out.

People will not love you more if you bend over backward attempting to prove yourself to them. People pleasing is often our attempt at covering up past mistakes, failures, missteps, wrongdoings, and embarrassments. People pleasing is our attempt at trying to convince others to recognize us, to view us differently, to approve who we are and to love us.

The truth is that only God has the power to free us from our sins. Only God’s love can make us whole, not man. When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were transformed. Through the transformation, we were freed from trying to please people and instead become obedient to the Word and please God. Our goal moving forward is to stop attempting to please others, our spouses, friends, relatives, employers, and associates. People pleasing requires going overboard, often being personally afflicted by the decisions we make to please others. The transformation focuses our lives on God, not on people.

When we seek to please people, we must do so as Christ did. This type of people pleasing is very different than the carnality of becoming a whipping post. Our efforts to please others often causes friction between you and the people you are trying to please, eventually, the efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated and at the same time, there is the expectation that you will continue bending over backward. The relationship is abusive.

Only pleasing God will provide the results you are looking for, unconditional love. Your relationship frees you of guilt. It strengthens you and teaches you that you are his child and you can love yourself in a healthy way, not to become haughty, self-serving, pompous and prideful, but to grow and become a humble servant. Carnal people pleasing is a selfish and self-serving dependency. People pleasing is an act of desperation attempting to gain approval from people.

There is an adage, but for the grace of God, there go I. As Christians, God freed us of our sins. We no longer have to attempt to please others and to seek their approval. We no longer have to seek love. God loves us and is the only one that can quell our insatiable desire to be loved. In God, we have redemption through his blood, the riches of his grace, and the wisdom and understanding that our purpose in life is not to be a people pleaser living in self-deprivation, but as a child of God seeking to please him.

There are two scriptures that will help you shift your thinking.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ”. Matthew 6:33, and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5.

You cannot be a people pleaser and please the Lord. One is the result of co-dependency, the other is dependency upon our Lord and Savior.

Images from, Google Images

Bible Quotes from, YouVersion. Bible.com

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All Things Are Possible With God

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It is thought that Matthew scribed the First Book in the New Testament and in so doing quotes Jesus who said,

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26 NIV

The THIS is anything you may feel is not possible in your life. The mighty power of the Lords grace can work on your heart. His grace can end afflictions, influence and dispose your mind, your heart, and cause you to want the Lords glory and salvation. He can meet all your needs, known and unknown, and give you strength and peace greater than you can imagine. Nothing is impossible with God if you have unquestionable faith and are committed to Him.

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“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV

God scours the earth seeking us, so He can bestow His love upon us. When we are weak, He is strong. All we need to do is call upon Him, as a child to a parent, and rest in knowing He will respond in Love, and that He is an awesome God. Recognizing His power in our lives is comforting. During times of sorry and need, it is particularly important to rest in His love. In times of uncertainty, and during times of comfort, it is also important to rest in His love. Our relationship with Him gives us the strength we need to live day-to-day.

Therefore, beginning the day ‘thanking Him’ for all He has done in your life is powerful. Acknowledging that this is the day the Lord has made is dutifully important. It is our responsibility to rejoice and be glad in this day; each day He meets our needs and gives us joy. For many joy is elusive. Carnal joy is reactive; spiritual joy is an internal disposition. The things of this world do not affect joy unless you allow it. Spiritual joy will carry you through life’s circumstances.

All things are possible with God; there are no exceptions or caveats. He reigns supreme and can do all things. If you are committed to Him, He will reign in your life, strengthen you, carry you, and Love you eternally.

Dress For War, Live in Peace

931584C6-EC3A-45BB-913F-B956D7F4F085“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Whole Armor of God
Sept. 2017, Children Armoring Up Every Morning

Today is a beautiful day, the sun is up and birds are chirping. This day is somewhat deceptive in that it is February and not April. It only looks and feels like Spring.

Like the day, we awake feeling lite and happy and we should, after all, this is the Day the Lord has made. But, do not be deceived, the evil one in his stealth-like manner is lurking, looking to cause you to stumble.

We, I, must always be on the look out. Satan’s demons operate through people, so  when someone is belligerent, nasty, unkind, or dismissing, know that the evil one is operating through them. This allows you to use your spiritual eyes to see what is really going on and respond accordingly.

Like a good soldier, always be prepared. Dress the part before leaving home. Dress for spiritual success as you do for work.

Recognize your power and change the atmosphere around you through the power of prayer.

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Strength in Brokenness

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Proverbs 18:14 states that if our inner spirit is injured, the whole person will struggle.

‘The Spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who will heal a broken spirit?’

We cannot cure our broken spirit by ourselves, no matter how we try. It is impossible. Only God can heal us, but we must shed our pride, stubbornness, self-will and sinful habits first. We must repent and acknowledge we are broken and dysfunctional and need His help. It is through God’s grace that our sinful nature, our sinful humanity can be reconciled. Jesus was crucified to take away our sin. Through God’s love and sacrifice, we are able to repent and be redeemed. Through His grace and mercy, we can be made whole.

The dichotomy between the spirit man and the carnal man is that we see brokenness as ‘failure’ but our Lord sees brokenness as the beginning of healing. To God, brokenness is the beginning of our relationship with Him. When we are broken, we become completely dependent upon Him and in turn, He will begin to rebuild us in His image. Only when we surrender and cry out for help, can we be restored and transformed.

‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 3:18