What God Does With Our Sins

Imagine a well-dressed, wealthy man walking into an orphanage. All the children have been cleaned up, except one little filthy boy. He hides in the corner, believing the man will not choose him. But the man points and says, “Him. I want him.” The man takes the boy to his large beautiful home, cleans him and dresses him. Then he says, “Now — all I have is yours.” This is what the Lord does for our souls through Jesus Christ. All the joy of heaven is ours. Jesus says, “I choose you. Will you now choose Me?”

Are you nursing an inward sense of spiritual failure, despite looking “right” on the outside? Remember that we are all spiritual works in progress. However, the Bible says to work out your salvation. That means something like sitting down with your Bible and studying His Word daily.

God does not perform for us. You can’t put Him in a box. You can’t make Him a formula, thinking, “If I do ______, then God will _____.” But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6) How many times did Jesus walk by this man? Probably more than once. Why didn’t He heal him? Because Jesus said that He was doing only what the Father showed Him to do.

Each of us goes out during the week, and the Lord speaks to us. Then we gather together once a week and have opportunity to encourage each other with what God has taught us. “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) We can do this each day, giving all that we are to the Lord as an act of worship, in everything that we do each day.

Do you have a sin you really like? God will work on you, if you let Him. “He made the One [Jesus] who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

In those days and at that time—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
one will search for Israel’s guilt,
but there will be none,
and for Judah’s sins,
but they will not be found,
for I will forgive those I leave as a remnant. (Jeremiah 50:20)

We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7)

But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

“Come, let us discuss this,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they will be as white as snow;
though they are as red as crimson,
they will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

Let the wicked one abandon his way
and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord,
so He may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will freely forgive. (Isaiah 55:7)

He will again have compassion on us;
He will vanquish our iniquities [inclination to sin].
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)

He adds: “I will never again remember
their sins and their lawless acts.” (Hebrews 10:17)

Indeed, it was for my own welfare
that I had such great bitterness;
but Your love has delivered me
from the Pit of destruction,
for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back. (Isaiah 38:17)

How joyful is the man the Lord will never charge with sin! (Romans 4:8)

He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14)

Upcoming Events & News

Upcoming Events

 

  • January 22 @ 6:00p – Board meeting
  • January 23 @ 6:30p – Men’s Bible study @ Pastor’s house
  • January 26 @ 10:30a – Women’s Bible study
  • January 27 @ 1:00p – Membership meeting (lunch provided)

News

God Grants Repentance

God has given us emotions and senses for good reasons. But those emotions are not your master — Jesus is your Master.

Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.
– Charles Spurgeon

Jesus is the only One Who gives relationship with the one true God. He came to us as God’s Word in the flesh. As you read God’s Word, there is something supernatural inside it. God wants to reveal deeper truths to you. Ask God to reveal to you deeper spiritual truths, so that you can have a greater realization of Who Jesus is.

Repentance… it is not something you can make or conjure up. It really isn’t just “feeling bad.” Judas felt really terrible about betraying Jesus. He went back to the priests and threw the money they paid him at their feet. They said it didn’t matter to them. No one condemned Judas but himself. He felt so bad about what he had done that he killed himself.

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said.

“What’s that to us?” they said. “See to it yourself!

So he threw the silver into the sanctuary and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. (Matthew 27)

Judas hated himself — he felt as bad as a person can for doing something they regret. But feeling bad is not repentance. Punishing yourself is actually self-righteousness, an attempt to atone for your own wrongdoing. But when you truly believe Jesus, you understand that HE paid that price for you.

In Acts 10, we have the account of God preparing Peter to meet Cornelius, who was a Roman soldier. At that time, Jews and Gentiles (non-Jewish people) did not associate with each other. God prepared Peter to visit Cornelius by showing him a vision to illustrate that God is not looking on the outside, but on the heart. It is not for us to call someone unworthy because of how we judge them from the outside.

Cornelius had gathered his family and friends to hear what Peter would say. They wanted more of God, and He answered their request. John the Baptist called people to repentance, to change their ways. But now, after the resurrection of Jesus, here is what Peter preaches to them:

“Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him. 36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all. 37 You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10)

All Peter did was teach them about Jesus. Their belief in Jesus — not anything they did themselves — brought about their repentance and forgiveness. And because of this:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.

Now, Acts 11: The Jewish believers heard what had happened and were upset that Peter had visited Gentiles. After Peter explains why, they became silent. And then:

…they glorified God, saying, “So God has granted repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles!”

In 2 Timothy 2:

24 The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.

We need to remember where repentance comes from — it comes from God, not from us. You cannot make someone or yourself repentant — only God can do this. He provided redemption in Jesus, who calls us to tell others about Him, just as Peter did, but He is the one who does the cleaning and the changing.

Resting in Christ’s Power

Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. He said that He must go so that the Holy Spirit could come. He is the living bread and living water, prepared for us to partake in.

In all things occurring in your life, God is at work. Give Him thanks even when things are difficult. He makes all things beautiful in His time. Have you given your heart to Jesus? “Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

“Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of Israel’s sons: 10 six of their names on the first stone and the remaining six names on the second stone, in the order of their birth. 11 Engrave the two stones with the names of Israel’s sons as a gem cutter engraves a seal. Mount them, surrounded with gold filigree settings. 12 Fasten both stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the Israelites. Aaron will carry their names on his two shoulders before the Lord as a reminder. (Exodus 28)

Aaron was the first high priest of Israel. Jesus is the last high priest. This scripture is a reminder that He carries us on His shoulder. Do we try to do things in our own strength? Or are we resting on Him, on His power?

For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Jesus is also the Good Shepherd. Shepherds will carry sheep on their shoulders. He wants to carry us and give us rest.

“What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field[a] and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.” (Luke 15)

If you are really resting in Him, you are not going to go astray. Are you in this place today? Do you find yourself trying to make things happen in your life, instead of waiting on Him?

Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Is the darkest valley a difficult time that has come into our life? Is it something we have brought on ourselves by our own choices? Regardless, Jesus will continually take us back into His rest, carrying us on His shoulders, if we will allow Him.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Being confident in your salvation is a place of peace and rest! Where is confusion? It is with the enemy of our souls – he is the master of confusion. When He says He will not remember our sins, it’s because He means it! He wants us to know it and have confidence in it. There is no peace when you are out of God’s will.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” (John 14:27)

He gives us His peace regardless of our circumstances. The presence of His peace does not mean the absence of difficulties.

…He who started a good work in you[a] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5)

He said about Benjamin:

The Lord’s beloved rests securely on Him.
He shields him all day long,
and he rests on His shoulders. (Deuteronomy 33:12)

He completes the work in our lives – not us – but Him! Why does He do all this? For His enjoyment – because He wants to. He has chosen to bind us to His heart.

Time

There is a time for everything. A time to … sleep… wake up… work… buy food… eat food… play… make a mess… clean up a mess… go out… come home… We just know when it’s time to do these things (although we don’t always do them when we’re supposed to). God has created time, but He is outside of time.

38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

41 The Lordanswered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Out of all the things we do everyday, out of all the ways we spend our time, is there time for spending time with the Lord? Is there time to sit at Jesus’ feet? (Luke 10)

Once time has past, it is gone. It is the most precious thing we have to spend, invest, or waste. Jesus was busy every day, but He was never in a hurry, and He always took time to spend with His Father.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Yesterday was history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.

Psalm 90: A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Lord, You have been our refuge
in every generation.
Before the mountains were born,
before You gave birth to the earth and the world,
from eternity to eternity, You are God.

You return mankind to the dust,
saying, “Return, descendants of Adam.”
For in Your sight a thousand years
are like yesterday that passes by,
like a few hours of the night.

God is our eternal home. Can you come home and feel at peace? Is it your refuge?

Our lives last seventy years
or, if we are strong, eighty years.
Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow;
indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger?
Your wrath matches the fear that is due You.
12 Teach us to number our days carefully
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

Why should we remember how short our lives are? So we realize how valuable time is. There are no rollover minutes in life.

34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them. (John 12)

Put your trust in the Lord while you still can. Sometimes we say, “oh, I’m just killing time.” Let’s think instead of how we might be better stewards of time. How can we invest our time wisely? The first thing to do is to spend time communing with the Lord.

The Mystery of Time (Ecclesiastes)

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;[a]
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

There is a time… a reason… a purpose… for everything that happens in our lives. Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes as he was struggling to understand the difficult things which happen to us on this earth.

Birth and death, sowing and reaping… These things happen physically, but they also happen in relationships and ideas, and in the things we say and do.

As time passes, we gain perspective. As parents, we might remember times they told young children not to do certain things that would ruin things in their house, especially the expensive things! But as the children grow older, time causes us to realize that material things pale in importance to how we treat our children.

The Lord created us body, soul, and spirit. There is no time in our lives that He does not want to be in. This year, invite the Lord into all the times of your life. Try spending time with Him first thing in the morning, before time is taken away from you by the demands of the day. Reflect on your past – see the ways that people and events have been planted or invested in your lift to bring you where you are today.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3)

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5)