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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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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 9

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Revelations 3:18 – I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Adam & Eve were in the garden and Genesis 2:25 says “ And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

After they ate of the forbidden tree, they hid from God. If you’ll notice, God went looking for them.

GOD DOES NOT HIDE FROM PEOPLE WITH SIN & SHAME.

PEOPLE WITH SIN & SHAME HIDE FROM GOD.

God asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” —He wanted to know who they’d been talking to. (they’d been talking to the accuser)

Lifestyle of shame (attitude)
Shame promotes a lifestyle of extremes.

When people with shame are up, they fear making mistakes.
When people with shame are down, they are full of mistakes; they have surrendered to shame because they failed to hide it. (fall back into same old self destructive patterns).

When people with shame are up, they avoid talking about their problems; they are hiding flaws to avoid rejection.  (Have you ever been to a church where no one ever seems to have any major problems in life…and there isn’t much weeping and crying out to God?)

When people with shame are down, they talk about their problems with everybody.

When people with shame are up, they lack trust & are suspicious of the motives of others.

When people with shame are down, they distrust themselves more than anyone or anything.

People with an attitude of shame presume rejection and act in a way that produces it. The thinking (subconscious) is this:

“If I reject me, I assume you will reject me also, so I will subconsciously act In a way that forces you to do what I already believe you will do.”

“Psychology” means “the study of the soul.” (Google the etymology of the word)

Psychologists can’t fix this. They can only teach you to cope.

GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO COPE, HE WANTS YOU TO CHANGE & BE HEALED.

“but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~Romans 12:2

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

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 8

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The root of bitterness defiles more than just you.

If someone holds an offense and shares it with you….and you listen to the poison, their bitterness will infect you….Some never come back from that infection of bitterness…even if the offended person is dealt with by God, repents and gets over it.

How does God convict someone of a grudge they’re holding when it isn’t even their offense in the first place?

Be careful whose side you take.

A grudge is a grudge even if I’m holding it against myself or God. Those “innocent” feelings of let down because God didn’t answer a prayer are an offense that needs to be forgiven.

If you don’t desire to talk to God, you are not at peace with Him.

Have you ever considered that you may be misreading a person’s attitude?

Perceived rejection = you THINK someone is rejecting you but you have no proof.

Example: pastor walks right past you after church and doesn’t stop to speak or shake hands with you…..You get offended….”high and mighty”…”who does he think he is?”…”He thinks he’s too good for me”….you are feeling rejected….but perhaps that’s not even his intent. Maybe you misread him. What if he has many things going on at once?

Some have shame that isn’t even from real situations, but from situations we perceived incorrectly.

Sources of Shame:
• My own actions – things I wish I hadn’t done.

What is it that you can’t think about without having an emotional reaction? That’s a wound that is unhealed.

•Rejection – by someone important to me.

Subconsciously, a rejected person blames themselves for not being good enough to be accepted.

•Alienation – abandonment

The victim of adultery usually feels shame for not being good enough. They blame him/her with their mouth but blame themselves with their emotions.

Survivors of suicide…..the person may have died once, but the family/friends die every day with “if only”

•Abuse – violation of self (rape, beatings, self inflicted injury)

•Class rejection – rejection as a group

•Shame – shame begets more shame

Cycle of Shame:
•Shame based identity (expecting to be rejected, expecting failure, convinced that I’m flawed)

•Distorted thinking – need something to be happy (alcohol, drugs, sexual sins)

•Acting out feelings – drugs, alcohol, gluttony

•Life Damaging Consequences – must be faced

•Intensification of Shame – leads back to beginning

REPEAT AFTER ME: My problem is not permanent. God can change me. He can heal me and deliver me from bitterness and shame in Jesus name!

Speaking it in faith whether you believe it or not, is enough to keep you steady until you can let God help you.
(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)

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GO AND SIN NO MORE!

“Go and sin no more.”

These are the words of Jesus, found in John 8:11 to the woman caught in the act of adultery.  These are the words God is speaking to my heart today.

The longer I serve the Lord, the more I desire to “sin no more.”   Logically, to my mind this is impossible, because I am just a ‘”sinner saved by Grace.”  However, the Holy Spirit is radically tweaking my beliefs and changing my focus. For so many years of my saved life, I have been sin conscious.  Always aware of how I missed it, or how I failed God, yet again.  I would fall and get up and promise myself I would try harder, be better, do more, and really serve God. Then I would fail yet again. My thoughts were filled with how awful I was and my guilt and shame kept growing and growing. Then the Lord began to give me revelation of His grace and who I am in Him.

He has grown me to place of rest in His grace. Where I walk in forgiveness as realty of who I am Christ on an everyday basis. Guilt and shame have been replaced with His mercy, which I practice receiving every day.  However, as I read this scripture I saw myself, in the dirt before the Lord. My accusers, the circumstances of my life, having dragged me there. I have not committed physical adultery but every time, I choose to serve my own purposes and follow my own opinions without seeking first His kingdom, I find myself in the same place as this woman: accused and guilty of being committed to Christ but loving myself more.

Normally, that would devastate me. I would be flooded with guilt and shame.  But as I mentioned He is growing me. I know Romans 12 :1.  There is NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I am in Christ Jesus. Everyday He is faithfully growing me more and more up in Him. So, today I feel convicted not condemned. Condemnation is pointing out what I  have done wrong and offering me no hope of change or future. Conviction is the Holy Spirit, lovingly pointing out a place I need to change and giving me all that I need to change and encouraging me to do so.

I am learning that the covenant God has with me, is not based on me. It is based on Jesus. Jesus never fails! He obeyed unto death. He did His father’s will completely. Jesus represents me before God. When God looks at me, He sees that blood of His Son. He sees all that Jesus give up for me.

So, if your today was hard and you feel accused by life…………look up and see Jesus and listen. “GO AND SIN NO MORE!”