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No More Condemnation

GuiltMany people struggle with constant guilt and self-condemnation for their past actions. Most of us wish we could correct the mistakes we’ve made, but we can’t. What’s done is done. All we can do is learn from the past and avoid repeating the same errors in the future.

I have to admit that I have plenty of reasons to feel guilty for my own past.

Before I accepted Christ, I did some pretty terrible things (I think we all have). But after I was saved and spiritually born-again, I repented before God almighty and all these past sins were forgiven. My slate was washed clean, and I began living a new life in Christ. Behold, the old life is now a thing of the past and all things have become new.

I received the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit that guides me each and every day to do what is right, instead of what is wrong, to make good choices in my new life, and avoid the wrong choices I was so inclined to make in my former life. I can sincerely say, that since I accepted Christ my life has radically changed for the better. If you are a Christian, I’m sure you can say the same thing about yourself. If not, then maybe you are not really saved at all.

Does that mean that Born-Again Christians can no longer sin?

Of course not. We can still sin and make poor choices if we choose to, but we no longer have to. Sin has no more power over us. And when we do sin, we know what to do: Confess and ask God to forgive us once again, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us of all unrighteousness.

Sometimes, however, we try to hang on to our guilt and self-condemnation. We feel like God is angry with us, when He is not. It is usually Satan, our enemy, who is playing with our thoughts and emotions in this manner. Your heart and mind is one of his favorite targets. He shoots the flaming arrows of guilt and shame at us, with the intent of keeping us down.

Condemnation:

* Is from Satan
* Looks to Self
* Makes Us Believe We Can’t Change
* Leads to Old Identity
* Ends in Despair

So, how do we fight back against these satanic attacks? The Book of Ephesians tells us to take up the Shield of Faith and extinguish these fiery missiles (thoughts of guilt and self-condemnation) and prevent them from having any influence over us. We must remind the devil that “there is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are now children of the Most High God, and Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the penalty of sin and death.

It is written.

In the wilderness, when Jesus was attacked by Satan with temptations and lies, Jesus fought back by reminding the devil, “It is written, it is written, it is written.” We also need to fight back with God’s Word. Next time you are attacked with guilt and self-condemnation, resist the devil and remind him that God loves you, you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.Luis Josephus.com
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Scripture References:

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

” But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – 1 John 1:9

” In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” – Ephesians 6:16

” So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

” Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God…” – 1 Peter 3:18

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Failure is not fatal.

heaven_emptyThe God of second chances can help you turn your life around – if you’re willing.

How many times will God forgive you when you sin? As many times as necessary. Is there a limit to God’s mercy? Not according to Jesus.

When the apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive our brother when he sins against us, Jesus responded, “Seventy times seventy” (Matthew 18:15-20).

In other words, indefinitely.

This must have stunned the Jewish disciples who were still thinking in terms of the Rabbinic Law (3 times), rather than in the unlimited terms of the New Covenant of grace.

God wants us to have forgiving hearts like Him.

Because God forgives over and over, we must never give up on ourselves, or on God. I’ve heard many people tell me, “God can’t forgive me. You don’t know the things I’ve done in the past. I’ve gotten to the point of no return.”

That’s not true. There is no such thing. There is no sin or number of sins that God cannot forgive. His mercy is unfathomable. If you go to the very depths of the sea, you’ll never get away from God’s mercy. He’s always waiting for you to repent and seek His forgiveness, always ready to give you another chance.

Ted Bundy, one of the worst serial killers in American history went to the electric chair a saved man. Dr. James Dobson went to witness to him in prison prior to his execution and Ted Bundy accepted the forgiveness of God through Jesus our LORD.

Jesus died for the sins of all men, no matter how evil – if they repent.

So if God can forgive a serial killer like Ted Bundy who was convicted of raping and killing over 30 women, he can certainly forgive you. Don’t believe the lies of the devil. It’s never too late to make a U-turn and get your life right with God. Today could be the start of a new beginning for you. With God’s help, you can be spiritually born again and become a new creature in Jesus the Messiah. Pray right now and ask Jesus to become your Savior and Lord.

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.LuisJosephus.com
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Scripture References:

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ Jesus God forgave you. “ – Ephesians 4:32

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!“ – 2 Corinthian 5:17

 


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Mary Magdalene: Prostitute or Saint?

Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples who had an unsavory reputation. Many Bible scholars believe she had been a prostitute before her conversion. In this article we examine her life in closer detail.

Mary Magdalene, also known as Mary of Magdala, was one of Jesus’ disciples that is frequently mentioned in the gospel accounts. Since she was free to follow Jesus of Nazareth during His many journeys, this suggests that she was an unmarried woman or a widow without any home obligations. She was also a woman of financial substance and was able to support the missionary ministry of Jesus and the apostles.

Some Bible scholars have even suggested that Mary Magdalene was the unnamed sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with an alabaster jar of perfume:

“As she stood behind him at his feet, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (Luke 7:38).

The Jewish Talmud affirms that Mary Magdalene had an unsavory reputation. Therefore, we must assume that, in all likelihood, Mary had formerly been a prostitute before she met Jesus and repented of her previous life. She had also been possessed by seven devils before Jesus cast them out. Demon possession is often found in individuals who have practiced a life of sexual immorality since demonic transference generally occurs from one partner to another during sexual intercourse, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.

In my own family, I once had an aunt who had been a prostitute for many years. When we were kids growing up and full of mischief, we used to secretly follow my aunt to work and watch her enter the local whorehouse each day. The obvious “Madam,” who managed the brothel would come to the front door and let her in. My aunt would emerge later in the day after she finished with her male customers. Fortunately, my grandmother never found out what her daughter really did for a living, and we kids never divulged her secret life. Like Mary Magdalene, however, my aunt later met Jesus, repented of her sinful life and was saved. She became a powerful evangelist and led many people to Christ. After years of serving the Lord, she died a new creature in Christ, washed of her sins by the blood of our merciful Savior.

After her conversion, Mary Magdalene also emerged as one of the most faithful and beautiful characters of the Bible. A striking feature about Mary the reformed prostitute is that, whenever she is mentioned in the gospel accounts in connection with other women, she always heads up the list, implying that she occupied a place of prominence in service to Jesus by His female disciples. She stood closed by the cross when Jesus was crucified, and was the first woman to whom Jesus appeared to after His resurrection. It seems that no other woman superceded Mary Magdalene in her utter devotion to the Master (To whom much is forgiven, much is expected...).

Rahab, in the Old Testament, is another example of a prostitute that was gloriously saved and transformed by the mercies of God. Not only did she risk her life to hide the Israelite spies, but she also became the great grandmother of King David. (see my previous message, “Rahab the Prostitute“).

What about you?

Have you ever wondered if God could forgive you? It does not matter what you have done in the past or where you have been, there is no sin too great that God cannot forgive – if you call upon Him in repentance. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins, no matter how bad. Won’t you pray right now and ask Him to forgive you? If you do, you can be washed clean and begin a new life in Christ. You can receive a fresh new start and be transformed into the person God created you to be. Amen.

– Luis Josephus

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www.RealJesus.net
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Fess Up When You Mess Up

Grace For Today“Fess up” is a modern phrasal verb that means “to admit that you have done something wrong.” In biblical terminology, it means “to confess your sin.” Even though we have been forgiven and saved by trusting on Jesus Christ, God understands that we still sin. That’s why He reminds us in 1 John 1:9:

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The precious, cleansing blood of Messiah Jesus our Savior is available to us, at any time, to cleanse us from all sin. All that God asks of us is to “confess” or “fess up” when we know we have sinned, once again, and missed the mark of God’s holy commandments.

Confession on our part helps us to recognize that we still struggle against the old sinful nature and how often we fall short of God’s standard of perfection. On a daily basis, confession also keeps us humble and dependent on God’s grace and mercy. Without regular confession, we have a tendency to become prideful and self-righteous. We may even become blind to our faults and self-deceived – like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14). This pompous religionist looked down on other people and declared himself more righteous than the Publican because “he wasn’t an immoral person, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed.” Yet Jesus said he was still lost!

Only the Publican went home “justified” because he humbled and pleaded with God to forgive him – a sinner.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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Related Messages:
Get Over Past Failures
Prayers God Will Not Hear
God Be Merciful To Me A Sinner


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God Be Merciful To Me A Sinner

Grace For Today“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” – Luke 18:9-13

Without recognition of our sinfulness, we have a tendency to become prideful and self-righteous. We may even become self-deceived, like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14). This pompous religionist looked down on other people and declared himself more righteous than the Publican because he wasn’t an immoral person, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed. Yet Jesus said he was still lost!

Notice Jesus said in verse 14 that only the Publican went home “justified” – forgiven by God and acquitted of his sins. The self-righteous Pharisee never got saved! He was obviously a religious man, fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all he possessed. But his religion didn’t do him any good; he was trying to earn his salvation by his own efforts, not by faith in what Christ did for us on the cross. Despite his exceptional acts of piety and outward goodness, he thought he didn’t need the grace of God.

The Publican (i.e. Tax Collector) on the other hand, was deeply conscious of his sinfulness and guilt before God. In true FAITH, HUMILITY, and REPENTANCE, he pleaded with God to forgive him and be merciful.

The point of Jesus’ parable is that the Publican typifies the true child of God; one who continually recognizes his wretchedness and cries out for God’s amazing grace to sustain him. The assurance of his salvation is not based on his own good works, nor perfect obedience to God’s commandments, but on the certainty of God’s goodness and mercy towards all His children who abide in Jesus Christ and persevere in faith to the end.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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Related Messages:
Fess Up When You Mess Up
Get Over Past Failures
Prayers God Will Not Hear
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Comment from http://TheGospelOfGrace.Wordpress.com: “Amen. and Amen and Amen. I believed the publican justified after leaving the synagogue. I also believed next time the publican went to the synagogue He didn’t do the same thing again just like what he did the other time. Grace and peace.”



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Free Gospel Tract

FREE GOSPEL TRACT – COPY, PASTE & PRINT

How to receive God’s forgiveness.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-29

“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.” – John 3:36

Call upon the name of Jesus

“And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21

“…Now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

Confess Jesus as your Savior

“That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10

Lay aside all wickedness

“So get rid of all immoral behavior and all the wicked things you do. Humbly accept the word that God has placed in you. This word can save you.” – James 1:21

Prayer Guide

If you want to invite Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, receive God’s forgiveness and sincerely wish to turn from your wicked ways, pray the prayer below:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Thank You for dying on the cross to take away my sins. I am sorry for the wrong things I have done. Please forgive me. I receive You into my life right now to be my Savior and Lord. I trust You to give me the strength each day to become the person You created me to be. Amen.

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What’s Your Moral Compass?

By guest contributor, Kari Neal

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  In other words, those with no moral compass will vacillate in a time of decision. Trust me, I know from personal experience that this is so true. But how many of us have actually taken time to sit down and seriously analyze our core values?

I have found in life that if you really make up your mind and plan beforehand what you will do in a given situation should you ever be faced with that choice, it will be a no-brainer; the decision has already been made. All that’s left is the follow-through. A made-up mind is a powerful thing.

I heard a story many years ago about a church in Russia during a time in history when Christians were severely persecuted and hunted down. One night in the middle of a church service, the doors burst open and four armed soldiers walked menacingly into the room. They demanded that everyone raise their hands. They told the people there that those who weren’t ready to die for their faith could leave quickly, but this would be their only opportunity. Many did. The ones who chose to stay were terrified, knowing they were about to give their lives for the One they proclaimed to love. The soldiers issued the same command once more, but nobody else left. The four men then locked the church doors. Once they were alone, the soldiers amazed this small congregation with this statement: “We are Christians too, but we are only willing to fellowship with true worshippers – those willing to give their lives for their faith.” 

I’ve often thought about this story over the years, wondering if I would have the same courage to back-up what I say I believe in a threatening moment like this. I imagine it has a lot to do with the core values you keep for yourself. My own personal core values basically boil down to the Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus. If you read them in Leviticus they might just put you to sleep, so I’ll share my own “Kari-fied” version:

The 1st Commandment: God is everything. Literally. Black and white.  No gray areas.

The 2nd Commandment: You bow and bend your knees to Him only.  I refuse to be ruled by a piece of cheesecake.

The 3rd Commandment: Ladies don’t curse. At least, in my humble opinion (It’s sooo not cool)

The 4th Commandment: Don’t forget to give Him one day of intense devotion and rest. Make Him the total focus.

The 5th Commandment: Obey your parents in every way you can. Not always easy, but do-able.

The 6th Commandment: Don’t kill. You’ll be sorry later. And it’s not worth it.

The 7th Commandment: Don’t sleep around (sexual promiscuity).  You’ll be sorry later, and it won’t bring satisfaction.

The 8th Commandment: Don’t steal. You’ll be sorry later too. The guilt will also keep you up nights.

The 9th Commandment: Don’t lie. It will come back to bite you in the rear.

The 10th Commandment: The green money monster is really, really ugly.

I don’t know where you stand right now, or what moral views you hold dear, but we all need a compass. I don’t believe there is any such thing as “situational ethics”; something is either right, or it’s wrong – God’s truth doesn’t change.  By the way, there is no such thing as “too late” in life either. As long as you’re breathing there’s hope. No matter what you’ve done or how much you’ve messed up, God’s mercy is always available if you confess your sins to Him. Until the day you stop believing or breathing, Jesus can help you change your life.

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KARI NEAL is a contributing writer to Real Jesus Ministries. She enjoys writing from a Christian woman’s perspective. She says, “I yearn to encourage and empower girls in all areas, from body fitness, to mind, to most of all – spirit. Deep, meaningful questions we all seek answers to.” She lives in North Carolina with her cat Shekinah.

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Email us your comments, questions, and prayer requests: RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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