ARE WE REALLY GUILTY?

By: Lee Pierce
 

Do your actions in life ever bring on feelings of guilt before God? I know mine do, quite regularly I’m afraid. I know for a fact that I sin several times a day, every single day! The good news—if you can call it that—is I usually feel very guilty when I recognize that I’ve sinned.  And I typically rush to ask God to forgive me, and, this is most important I believe, I ask for that forgiveness after I’ve apologized to Him for my actions.

 

But do I really need to ask God for forgiveness? I’ve written about this before. I long ago came to believe that to ask God for forgiveness once we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ is not necessary. We can surely be sorrowful when we sin and can rightfully apologize for those actions, of course. But ask for forgiveness again? Maybe not; in fact maybe that’s a sin of disbelief in itself!

 

I was reading about forgiveness recently and about the quandary of objective truth versus subjective feelings. When I sin, objectively I’m truly guilty. I may or may not subjectively feel guilty (hopefully, my conscience has been well informed by the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit and I always feel guilty when I have sinned!). But the fact remains; when I sin I’m factually guilty before God. I’ve broken His law. In a passage I read in Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Tabletalk, it stated, “…our transgressions of God’s law provoke in us a subjective sense of guilt that can be quite burdensome.” Amen to that, and I would want it no other way!

 

The way this should work is this: when we sin, we confess our sin to God and then turn from that sin. But, at least for me, sometimes, those feelings of guilt just hang on. I recognize clearly that God has been so good to me and does so much for me that I often feel guilt so deeply when I fail Him. But here is the bottom line: I think I should rather be feeling sorrow for my short-comings rather than guilt. I hate it when I hurt God with my failings but I shouldn’t feel guilt. No, God long ago has forgiven me when I accepted His Son as my Lord and Savior. As Tabletalk put it: “To question our forgiveness when we have confessed our sin to God and turned from it…is to incur more sin. It is a sin to disbelieve God, and that is what we do when we hold onto our guilt….” And the article concludes with this great thought: “For when God forgives us, He forgives us forever.”

 

So, when you sin—which you will, of course—express your sorrow for that to God (apologize to Him), and then move away from that sin, confident that God has already forgiven you. And then work hard to please Him by your efforts to avoid that sin. God, more then any other, knows we’re fallen creatures, quite capable of repeated sin, yet He stills loves us and shows us that love every day without fail.



JUST LIKE JESUS

By Anita Mondragon
 
As Believers, we are called to be like Jesus.  
 
I don’t know if I’m the only one who at times struggles with this, but sadly enough…I do!  I just told my husband the other day, “I’m so tired of being the forgiver and never the forgiven!  Everyone else seems to think they can have a human moment, and temporarily  ‘fall from grace,’ and I’m supposed to forgive them…but when I am guilty and do the wrong things, forgiveness from them is nowhere to be found!”
 
Did I really think that…and then voice it out loud???  Yes!  I did.
 
You see, my dad was a preacher for over forty years and my brother and I were always supposed to be the example.  There was always someone running to my dad to report on our failings and trespasses!  All the other kids in the church were forgiven when they made a mistake, but not my brother and I.  So…here I am, some sixty years later still having to be the example because I’m in ministry.  
 
I get it.  I KNOW I’m supposed to be like Jesus.  Not only because I’m in ministry…but most of all because I am a Believer, a follower of Jesus.  He’s my Savior and Lord!  
 
So I said all of that to say this…we are ALL human.  We all make mistakes and displease the Lord at times.  But let’s stop passing judgment and take the beam out of our own eye before we try to remove the splinter out of our brother’s eye!  
 
GOD FORGAVE US…AND WE SHOULD BE QUICK TO FORGIVE OTHERS!  Romans 5:8 says: But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  If we are truly going to be like Jesus, then we need to love those around us and forgive them as Jesus forgave and still forgives us!


Just As You Are

By Anita Mondragon:
 
“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
Luke 12:20, KJV
…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
2 Corinthians 6:2, KJV
 
 
 

Softly, and tenderly, He’s calling to you…

Are you almost persuaded to come?

As He stands at the portals of Heaven, just waiting…

He’s calling to YOU… “Please…come home!”

Ask Him to search your poor heart today,

Then, come…just as you are!

He’ll wash you whiter than the snow…

This Lily of the Valley…this Bright and Morning Star!

Let Him search your heart…

Let Him change you today.

He’s the Truth…the Life…

He’s the ONLY Way!

So…come to Him now-

Just as you are;

Let Him free you from sin…

Just open your hearts door!

When you hear Him knock…

Open it wide, and ask Him in…

For softly and tenderly, He’s calling to you…

Just listen…and come as you are!



What Kind Of Tool Are You?

By Anita Mondragon
 
 
In a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use, some for ignoble. If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 RSV)

Pastor has been doing a series of sermons titled, Equipped 2 Serve. In this series, we as Believers are learning how to make a difference in the world in which we live.  We are learning our purpose, or put another way, we are finding out what kind of tool God made us to be.  We are all made with specific skills-unique to the purpose God has designed for us!  What a wonderful thought!  There’s no one quite like me…or like you; we are Special in God’s eyes, created for a certain task and time.

 

I woke up thinking about tools, and their specific use.  I know…weird huh?!  But the above verse came to mind.  I used the word tools, the Bible uses the word, vessels.  Either way, they are things used for specific purposes. We always hear, and I believe the Bible teaches that we all were created for a purpose.  The main purpose I believe is to glorify God, and bring others to Salvation.  However, we are all endowed with different gifts to bring glory to God and show Salvation to the world.  Some folks are musicians, others, teachers, preachers, evangelists, prayer warriors, counselors, etc.  Some of us don’t have great titles like the ones I just mentioned, but we are nonetheless just as important.  We may fall into the category of janitors, maintenance folks, hospitality and the like, but our job is necessary and important! The “tool” part of my thinking came about as I searched the ‘junk-drawer’ (come on!  I know everyone has one of these…I’m not alone!) for a screwdriver to tighten a screw that had come loose on a cabinet door.  During my search, I found a pair of pliers, a wrench, some needle-nose pliers….  And finally, I found a screwdriver!  But alas, it had the wrong tip on it!  Even tools that look the same, upon closer examination are different and are used for SPECIFIC jobs. So, what is my point here?  Well…God wants us all to know that even though we may look the same…we are all human, we eat, sleep, cry, laugh, walk, talk…pretty much the same way, but each of us is unique.  God gave special gifts to us that only we can wield in His perfection to do His will! You can’t use a Phillips screwdriver on a slotted screw!  You have to use the right tool in order to get the correct result! This is just a reminder, and an encouragement to all of us Believers, myself included, to remember what kind of tool we are; and if we don’t yet know…this is an urgent message for us to go to God and find out!  God can’t use you or the gifts He placed in you until YOU KNOW what kind of tool you are! Then, when He goes looking through the drawer for a specific tool to use…if you’re it, be sure to shout out…”Here I am Lord!  Use me!” 



DO YOU WANT HIS POWER?  OR… YOUR PEACE?

by Anita Mondragon
 
The other day, I was speaking with a friend of mine.  We were discussing anger and hate, and how we should strive to surrender it to God.  My friend, to my surprise, said, “I like my anger!  It makes me feel powerful.  I don’t want to give it up…I like it!”  I can relate to that, for I was once the same.  But, the problem with this attitude is that we forfeit God’s peace for our power!

Thomas Paine, the great English writer wrote the following words during the darkest days of the Revolutionary war: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The soldier and the patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country. But they that stand it now, deserve the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. But the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…” Read more…



NO ROOM, NO TIME…

By Anita Mondragon
 
There always seems to be room in life,
For pleasures, and parties, and fun;
But still in life, Jesus has no part…
There is no room for the Son!
 
There’s always room for gossip and lies,
And dreams of lust and ambition;
But there’s never enough time to search the heart,
And notice it’s sad condition!
 
There is always room for overtime, Read more…


LOST NO MORE

By Anita Mondragon
 
I wrote the following poem in April of 2009.  It was inspired by the old hymn, “The Ninety and Nine.”  I was that lost sheep until Jesus found me!  -Anita
****
 
LOST NO MORE
 
There’s an old song sung,
Where a story is told,
Of ninety-nine sheep,
Who were safe in the fold.
 
But one lamb was lost,
It had gone astray;
Up on the mountain…
In the hills far away.
 
So, the Shepherd went looking Read more…


DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

By Anita Mondragon
 
Back in the ’60s, I protested the Vietnam war.  I stood with my friends, held signs, and chanted along with the voices of outrage.  MY protest was the death of many of my classmates that occurred during that violent time in our history.    I looked up the life expectancy of a private soldier, and here’s what I found… The following is an account from :
 
Al Nolf, former Senior Chief (E-8) at United States Navy (1968-1989)
I served three Combat tours in Vietnam. ’70-71, ’73-’75 including Operations Eagle Pull, Frequent Wind, and Baby Lift, the evacuation of Saigon. Extraction.

Army Helo pilots came to duty as Warrant Officers with a 45 minute life expectancy. They were told so when they signed up. Read more…



BORN FOR THIS…

By Anita Mondragon
 
How many times have you heard someone say, “I was born for this!”?  I know I’ve said it a time or two myself when I found out I was good at something.  Folks have even written songs pertaining to this very subject…  Remember, “Born To Be Wild”-Steppenwolf, released in June of 1968?  If you remember the 60’s, I believe almost everyone thought they were born to be wild.  But there was another man born for a greater purpose about 2,000 years ago!
 
I was watching a movie the other night. Read more…


INNOCENT BLOOD

By Anita Mondragon
 
Last night, as my youngest and I said our bedtime prayers, we went through the usual things in our prayers.  I got him into bed, and put myself to bed…started to drift off into slumber, and was awakened by a small hand on my shoulder gently shaking me.  A quiet voice whispered, “Mom…can we just thank God for all the good things He does for us?”  Well, that woke me up real fast I can tell you!  I said, “Of course son!  Good idea!”  
 
As he knelt next to my bed, we began to pray.  He started first, saying one thing he was thankful for, Read more…