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“But [even] the very hairs of your head are ALL numbered…” (Luke 12 v 7, Amplified)

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No, this is not my photo, but it’s reassuring to me to know that if it was, the LORD knows exactly how many hairs I do have.

Sometimes, I feel lost in the crowd. I needlessly worry that God has so many other things and people to watch over, he won’t hear my prayers. I wonder if I have been obscured by the masses. But, in reading the TRUTH (my Bible), and knowing God keeps His word, He has assured ALL of us, that no matter how alone we may feel, He is keeping us in His view, in the palm of His mighty hand. He is watching over us, over ALL of us. ALL the time. Even in times of anxiety and fear, He knows where we are, and what we are prone to feeling. He also knows that if we have not readied ourselves with scripture, we can become afraid when bad times come upon us.

He instructs us: “And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his age [length of his life]?” (Luke 12 v 25 amplified)

And then he reassures us in the following passage: “”Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” (Luke 12 v 32 amplified) And do you notice the exclamation point at the end of this verse? The LORD delights in taking care of us, and promised us His kingdom! What a blessing!

Now, isn’t it wonderful to know the LORD knows exactly the number of ALL the hairs on your head?

Love to you all,
Nicolette

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Day 9: Taming Your Tongue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

298265_201472019924412_166928611_nSlandering. When I think of this word, I do not ever associate it with something that happens on a daily basis. I tend to think this type of action or behavior comes about in the political arena, during election time. Generally, on the TV, we hear accusations from both parties, and  then somehow, it all blows over.

 

In reality, this is something that happens daily-in work settings, where remarks made on the sly are a ploy to downgrade a coworkers performance to make it seem he/she did not get the promotion “by works alone.” The damage to the individual may not be seen by the co-conspirators, but make no mistake-it is there. Many times the victim’s reputation has been irreparably ruined, and their hard worked for status in the company tarnished by the jealous words of another. Generally, the root cause of this “bad mouthing,” is personal insecurity and made by individuals easily threatened in the often competitive work environment. Some people find it much easier to tear down another person, than to rise to the occasion themselves.

 

This behavior has been happening since biblical times. In 3 John 1:8-10, John wrote a brief letter to a man named Gaius, who was most likely a pastor or leader in the early church. His letter contains instructions on how to treat traveling missionaries and ministers who speak the truth-counseling him to “forward them on their journey in a manner worthy of God’s service.”

 

John also warns Gaius about a church leader named Diotrephes (v9) “..who likes to take lead among them and put himself first, who does not acknowledge my (John’s) authority and refuses to accept my suggestions or to listen to me. (v10) So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing, his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them, and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.”

 

John also reminds us (v11) “Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imate good. He who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all.]

 

In Psalm 15, Davis asks the Lord who will dwell in your tabernacle [temporarily], who shall [permanently] in Your holy hill. (v3) “He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.”

 

Lest you think this type of behavior is solely in the past, or presently used by politicians, think about the last time you might have thought/said something detracting against another. Determine your motive, and examine your heart. Were you speaking out of envy or pain? Resorting to slander is evidence that your heart is not in line with God’s heart. God has made us promises, clearly spoken in Psalm 75:6-7.

 

“For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. (v7)  But God is the judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.”

 

God will recognize your worth even when working in a team. There is no reason to resort to diminishing anothers light, so that yours might shine more brightly.

 

For those who trust in the Lord, there is no need for slander. He has already promised to avenge all transgressions against us, and right all wrongs. Why would we want to get in the way of the Lord’s work, risking sinning along the way?

 

The study guide author (Deborah Smith Pegues), wrote: “I find it interesting that the Greek word for “slander” is derived from diabolos, which means “devil.” Slandering is an illegal, diabolical act that God abhors. When we attempt to defame others with our denigrating words, we are sowing evil seeds for which we will surely reap the consequences. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:2 NKJV).

 

Today’s Affirmation: I refuse to be a slander. I will use Philippians 4:8 as my conversation sifter. Therefore, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy about someone, I comment only on these things.”

 

Philippians 4:8 “For the rest brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take into account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (ANT)

 

 

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CERTAIN HOPE

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Hebrews 6:18-19

18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].

19 [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot [a]break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches [b]farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,

According to this scripture we have MIGHTY INDWELLING STRENGTH and STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT to hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us.  My strength feels far from mighty. Yet as I read this, my heart swells. God has appointed a hope for me and set it before me. I have a definite hope filled aim.  I know from scripture that Jesus, because of the hope of the joy set before Him, endure the cross. His soul was anchored in the hope of the joy that God would accept His sacrifice and would redeem all mankind. It was not a generic hope or a vague one. It was this focused with intensity hope that motivated His every second and enabled Him to obey unto death.

Jesus knew God to be the absolute truth. This anchored His human soul. It must be what anchors our souls too. God will never prove false in my life or yours! There are so many emotions, wounds and shifts in perception in our lives.  We may feel the currents yanking us in every direction, yet His Holy Spirit holds us securely anchored to Him in hope. It is our sure expectation that God is the absolute truth. We may not be able to enter into heaven at this moment, but we are anchored in Christ, not adrift or lost. No matter how our souls, our emotions, our minds or wills rage, our beings are securely held with full expectation of being face to face with our beloved Lord. He is our absolutely certain Hope!

Father,

I pray for us, that we would have our souls anchored only in Your hope. Help us to look away from all that diminishes or distracts us from your Hope. Help us to recognize all the places that our souls are anchored in the wrong things and to repent and re-anchor in You. Help us to have the sure expectation that You are who You say You are and that You will do what You say You will. You have given us mighty indwelling strength to hold onto You and the hope that You have appointed for us. Help us to seize Your Hope. Let’s us walk in the revelation of the Hope of Christ.

Psalm 39:7

And so, Lord, my only hope is in you.

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The Universal Translator

I am a Star Trek fan. I love it. My favorite is Enterprise but really I like them all. Recently, I was indulging myself with an hour of Star Trek when something caught my eye. It was the com badges they were wearing on their shirts that allowed them to hear whatever was being said in their language. What a wonderful gadget.

The more I thought about it the more the Lord brought to my heart something He was trying to teach me. What I find in myself and very often in others is that we listen according to our wounds.  My ears are tuned into my woundedness, which create a kind of grid that I hear through. Consequently, my listening is accented. This leads to misunderstanding and often more pain. When I try to hear what the other person is really saying all that comes through is my pain. So of course, I make judgement based upon what I hear. So even though I am trying to listen, what I hear is incorrect.

Revelation 2:7

7 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

He has given me the ability to hear but I must activate it. The longer I serve the Lord, the more I learn.  I am learning how to hear.  The first step for me, has been recognizing my hearing ability is impaired. I have been asking the Lord to heal my heart to hear His voice clearly and to hear others. I intentionally lean on the Holy Spirit to be my universal translator. So no matter what state my emotions are in, or what I perceive with my eyes, good or bad I can hear the Lord. This simple prayer has yielded much fruit in my life. I ask God to help me hear as I talk with my husband and with my children and coworkers. Time and time again, I am amazed at what He helps me hear and how it helps me and those in my life.

A random fact that I found as I was thinking and studying about this. Did you know that human ears grow your entire life? I had to laugh when I read this because truly, the Lord really wants me to grow in my listening ability. I also think it is interesting that as we grow older our hearing diminishes.  It is my quest to hear Him clearly now but also to grow in hearing Him all my life. So the older I grow, the more sensitive my hearing becomes to my Lord. Furthermore, as I grow in this to help others to hear.

So today I challenge you to ask the Lord to become your universal translator. To set aside your own understanding, past experiences, and hear Him. No more “wound listening,” hearing colored by the trauma in your life. Let the renewing of your mind also be the renewing of your listening skills. Let Him train you to hear through the discouragement, the rejection, the anger to the root of the issue. The universal translator, the Holy Spirit will always translate according to God’s word and plan. Think of it, to hear as God does? His Spirit in us has that ability and it is our job to grow into it.

John 8:47

47 Whoever is of God listens to God. [Those who belong to God hear the words of God.] This is the reason that you do not listen [to those words, to Me]: because you do not belong to God and are not of God or in harmony with Him.

Mark 4:24

24 And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [a][of thought and study] you give [to [b]the truth you hear] will be the measure [c][of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.

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Grace (study) pt 4

Grace_wordleI am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:5

God intends for his grace to be the only source of my ability to do anything.

The greatest blessing you can pray for someone is to pray for grace & peace from the Father be upon them.

 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:   John 1:12

The power is God’s GRACE to live!
We notice that there’s a colon at the end of that verse, so we must continue on….

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

If Jesus is full of grace and truth, what should we also be full of?

And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. John 1:16

The more we yield to the will of God, the more grace He provides. He only uses what we yield to Him. It isn’t God’s will to wrestle with us until we give in to His will. He is seeking those that will just let go.

What have we to fear in letting go? The devil?

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

The devil can’t do anything to me that the Father doesn’t allow (remember Job?). We aren’t vulnerable to the devil. Our God is not frail and weak. He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). So anything that the devil throws at you is intended to grow you toward God.

God loves us so much that He will allow things to happen just to get rid of the parts of our nature that separate us from Him. Those attacks should be reminding us to humble ourselves, to seek God and to live a repentant lifestyle.

You can’t fear God & the devil at the same time.

Job was doing fine as long as he continued to worship God, but then he began to claim he didn’t deserve what he was going through.  Saying, “why me, I don’t deserve this trouble” is a way of blaming God for it.

We blame God when we can’t see past what’s happening to see what God really is doing.

How do I love God during trouble? Grace through faith.
Grace helps us to have the right attitude during the worst storms.

Credit to Bishop Chester Wright. This study can be found on YouTube by searching his name and “grace”

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You cannot Hide from God

Walking through the street with a flip flop beat.Car broke down; can’t hide

Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride

Car broke down; can’t’ hide,

Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.

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Got my five senses reaching out

and making me want to shout.

They are reaching out in front of me,

feel, taste, touch, smell and see.

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There she was again.

All alone without a friend.

A grey wooly blanket covering her body so nothing was bare.

With the sun beaming hot on her matching wooly hair.

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I heard a voice telling me to say hello.

So I traveled to her and said very low,

“this is for you,” and I handed her a bill.

She looked up at me and time stood still.

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I heard a thank you with a harsh gloomy voice.

My heart trembled that she was there without a choice.

I looked right at her sad eyes,

and her sclera and teeth yellow while her soul dies.

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I asked  “you come from where?”

She answered “I come from nowhere”

I asked, “you are going where?”

And she answered, “I am going nowhere.

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With tears in my eyes

to her I surmise,

“God loves you,

and He is true blue.”

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She looked at me and nodded her head,

and then turned away without anything else said.

I stood up and walked away

knowing that I completed my day.

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I walked away hitting that street with my flip flop beat.

Car broke down; can’t hide

Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride

Car broke down; can’t’ hide,

Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.

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Grace (study) pt 1

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Get liberated from the inability to obey God’s Word.

Living “for” God, working “for” God is not scriptural.
It is tradition.
It is religion.

The bible tells us to STOP living altogether.

Galations 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

If I’m not living any more then I don’t have to do anything “for” Him….He is doing the living FOR ME!

He can’t live through me until I’m first dead to self. How do I die to self? By discerning my thoughts & intents and coming to the end of myself.

Everything God requires of me is impossible – on purpose.

Colossians 3:3 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Things God wants me to learn about Him:

  • He is gentle – He will never force Himself on me, never violate my will. He gave me a choice and will not take that away.
  • He is humble – This doesn’t mean that He thinks low thoughts of Himself.  This means that He doesn’t have to keep proving He is God just because someone ignorantly says He is not. He is humble enough to be patient with me even when I shake my fist in His face during a moment of weakness.
  • His first desire is to forgive, heal & restore – Judgment is never his first desire.  His longsuffering is NOT an excuse to keep the same old attitudes.

Credit to Bishop Chester Wright

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Day 6: Taming your Tongue (The Argumentative Tongue)

The difference between being a divisive person (Day 5), and an argumentative person, is that a divisive person seeks to break up the unity between 2 or more people having the same point of view, and a argumentative person argues for the sake of enjoyment. It is almost like a “skills game” to them-if they run out of facts supporting their view, they (might) ultimately decide to attack the character of the person they are having the argument with, thus continuing the argument. Argumentative people enjoy the “bait and hook” of having someone on the defense side.

For many years I had prided myself on being able to win almost any argument. I honestly do not recall if I resorted to any “Character Assassinations,” but most likely I did. Shameful behavior, I admit. Now, I sit and wonder WHY did I spend all that time in an argumentative state. Looking back, being a “quarreler” did not enhance ANY relationship I was in, in fact, it caused the demise of quite a few.

It turns out, many people who are habitual arguers are born into families where that is a central form of communication. These children soon recognize that by winning an argument, they get some validation or boost to their (low) self esteem, by out arguing  their siblings or relatives.  This form of communication is as natural to them as regular conversation and positive feedback is in other families. The major problem with this pattern  is these children grow up, and they’re exposed to the diversities of other cultures and societal norm’s which they do know how to handle.  Given no guidance on how to conduct themselves in the “real world,” they generally follow one of two path’s.

The first, (most beneficial to them), is to realize that people can “agree to disagree,” and the world does not cease to exist. They learn that people have different perceptions of situations/objects/relationships..just about anything, and they learn to accept that it is OK not to agree, or argue about everything.

The second, (and least fortunate group), still carry on the destructive patterns they learned growing up. These quarrelers seem to stay primed and ready to fight day in and day out. If someone remarked “The sky is a beautiful blue today,” the quarreler would come up with a reason (sound or not) to dispute this. What saddens me is that winning an argument just for the sake of arguing, is the only way this adult has learned to receive validation, and the only way they feel good about themselves is by belittling or attacking another’s beliefs and point of view, pushing them into a corner where the “Victim” of this attack is forced to defend their opinion. The ultimate outcome for the quarreler is not to help others gain insight into a different perspective, or enrich their lives in any way. It is quarreling for self gratification, and has no societal benefits at all. These individuals generally get shunned early on, because let’s face it, who want’s to argue ALL the time. So, they are left with nothing but a small sense of self worth, about being “right” all the time. Small comfort in this world we live in.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 20 v 3, “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”  Also, Proverbs 17 v 14, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” (KJV)  In the NLT, it is summed up as “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”

Most children are taught to avoid fighting by “just walking away,” but this is generally advised where physical violence might happen. “Walking away” verbally can consist of saying “I see your point, however I disagree with it.” Now, to someone who is a quarreler, this might  nip their strategy in the bud, however, you might have to repeat it to get your message across.

Another way to avoid an confrontation is to partially agree with the quarreler. Now, this will completely throw them off their game. As I mentioned before, the quarreler is not trying to help you discover a new and interesting perspective on a subject, their goal is to just make you change your mind. So, if you were to agree with them, this would effectively end the argument.

King Solomon advised “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” (KJV) NLT explains, “Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Wonderful advice from a mighty, knowledgeable King.

Jesus cautioned “Agree with thine adversary quickly….”  (KJV) Remembering that it takes 2 to argue, makes it easier not to let yourself get bound in the web of contention that a quarreler spins to trap you in. Some times, it would be prudent to say “OK, that is your opinion…” and then make a quick exit.

The most challenging thing for God’s children is to “learn to disagree without being disagreeable.” Not compromising our testimony is key when we disagree with someone. We must be careful to honor and glorify God by our words and actions. With our heart and tongue grounded by the Holy Spirit, we can lovingly disagree, and gracefully guard our opinion without setting a bad example. Surely we could stop a dispute by being mean-spirited, but this would only accomplish putting a stain on our testimony, and a lost opportunity to glorify our LORD and Savior.

Today’s Affirmation: I will resist becoming contentious by respecting everyone’s right to have his/her own values and views.

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 11 -the end

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Our guilt is not a problem with God, but our shame is.

Guilt is only a problem when we don’t recognize it and repent.

Micah 7:19 – He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 38:17 – but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

If you are condemning yourself, you won’t believe that God has forgiven you either.

You cannot move forward if you are still living in your past. If God has so readily forgiven you, why do you feel the need to continually repent for the same thing that He’s already forgiven you for? Shame tells you that you weren’t forgiven when you repented.

This is how it works:
I sin. I go to God and repent. I feel better. The accuser comes & reminds me of what I did. I didn’t repeat the offense, but suddenly I feel unforgiven. This is NOT of God! It is shame. But if I don’t recognize that it’s shame, I will think it’s guilt. I repent again. I don’t feel any better this time. The enemy tells me it’s hopeless. Do you know why God didn’t forgive me the second time?

BECAUSE HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! He put it away from Himself the first time I repented!

1 Timothy 3:7 – Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Reproach here means “insulting treatment”

Believing the lies of shame will bring your thoughts into captivity to the enemy.

2 Timothy 2:25 –  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Oppose themselves….they are against themselves…..A person with shame is their own greatest enemy.

When you are living with the lies of shame, you’re in a state of delusion (lacking reality). The lies may feel true (I always fail, I never accomplish anything, I’m a quitter), but they are LIES.
Recovery from this must be taught. Consider this:

Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, had passed away. Four days later, Jesus came and called him forth out of his grave.

John 11: 44 – And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Lazarus walked (or probably hopped) out of his grave still bound by his graveclothes. Jesus SPOKE to the people that were there and told them to loose him.

The thing that identified Lazarus as dead still had him bound, even though he was alive. Jesus raised him, but charged the church to loose him.

It is our job to loose the bound once they have been resurrected from the dead.

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Sober = to be discreet, clear thinking

Lies & accusation of shame impare the thinking just like drugs or alcohol…shame causes you to think wrong things: (I always fail, I never accomplish anything, I’m a quitter).

Jesus was God manifest in flesh. He was human, but why wasn’t he subject to satan’s lies & accusations?

John 14:30 – Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

Nothing in Jesus belonged to satan.  It is God’s will for you that there be nothing in you that satan can claim as his own.

We MUST identify & deal with the things in us so that satan cannot stake claim to us. Unhealed (or not dealt with) wounds are open doors for the adversary to come in and make you afraid, cause you to stumble or make you ashamed.

Forgiveness of yourself and others closes that door.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galations 3:27 –  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Here’s another one to consider:Luke 17: 12-19 – And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Ten men were healed but only one came back to worship the Lord. Jesus made him whole. Wait a minute….if Jesus had already healed him of leprosy, what did Jesus heal him of the second time?

Being a leper meant that the men were outcasts. They had to stay away from everyone else. If they were walking along and saw someone approaching them along the way, they had to yell out “unclean!” And the person approaching would most likely steer way clear of them.

The first time Jesus healed him of the disease.

The second time, Jesus healed him of the shame of being a leper.

Many of us come and get healed of spiritual leprosy (sin) but never come back to be healed of our shame.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18)

It is God’s will for you to be made whole.

(credit to Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube)

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 10

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Emotions relative to shame:
Inferiority
Depression
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Anger
Fear (of failure/rejection/embarrassment)
Embarrassment
Loneliness
Incompleteness

We all feel a few of these once in a while, but if someone feels a majority of these most of the time, they are bound by shame.

Guilt vs Shame

Guilt is sin that deserves blame or punishment; it rejects the act as wrong; Guilt tells me that what I did was wrong.

Shame rejects the one who committed the act. Shame tells me that I am wrong. It is the result of being accused of not being good enough to keep the Word of God.

Guilt says, “I have done wrong, I have failed.”
Shame says, “I am wrong, I am a failure.”

Guilt (conviction from God) focuses on the act.
Shame focuses on the person.

The blood of Jesus removes guilt at the moment of repentance.

If you genuinely repent but don’t begin to feel better then you aren’t dealing with sin, you are dealing with shame.

Guilt separates us from God in eternity. Shame separates us from God now.

If it was sin that causes God to leave us now, and scripture says that no man can come unto Jesus unless God draws him (John 6:44), then no one would ever get saved, because God left us.

When I sin, it is ME separating myself from God…but He is still pursuing me…because He loves me.

The enemy says that any space you feel between you and God is because God left you. That is a LIE.

Any space you feel between you & God was not put there by God.

Remember…Adam and Eve didn’t hide because they were guilty, they hid because they were ashamed….. God didn’t stop coming to the garden to see them, either.

1 John 4:16-19 – And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

to know = experience
believed = trust and rely upon
judgment = crisis

We constantly want God to prove His love for us. We are so doubtful of His love that we interpret our circumstances as indicators of God’s love for us.

Things going well, bills getting paid, kids behaving, pounds falling off = “Oh! God must be happy with me! He loves me!”

Things aren’t going well, money is short, kids going nuts, gained pounds back = “Well, God’s not happy with me. I blew it. He doesn’t love me.”

Here’s a question for you……Did God stop loving Job?

If the enemy can get us into fear, he can get us to doubt God’s love for us. Once we have fear, we lose faith.

Faith is confidence in what God can do in my life.
Fear is confidence in what the devil can do in my life.

The devil cannot have authority over you unless God allows it and if God allows it, then He is already in control of it and has a purpose for it AND has a way to bring you through it.

BECAUSE GOD IS FOR YOU & HE LOVES YOU!!

(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)