Friday, January 13, 2012

The Removal of Guilt

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Micah 7:19 You will again have compassion on us;
   you will tread our sins underfoot
   and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 



Hebrews 9:14 NIV
How much more, then, 
will the blood of Christ, 
who through the eternal Spirit 
offered himself unblemished 
to God, cleanse our consciences 
from acts that lead to death, 
so that we may 
serve the living God!

What are some of the results of the removal of guilt?
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a clean conscience, to have peace with God, some joy and hope, access to God's presence, a desire to worship and serve God.  Our verse today talks about how as believers in Christ we can be free of the guilt of past sins, wrongs, and behaviors and a life that has been lived to satisfy ones own carnal desires rather than to have lived up to Gods high calling?

Right now I pray that the blinders would come off of your eyes, that your ears would be open and that your heart would be able to receive what God has to say to you. I pray that the enemy would be bound and that you would be able to concentrate and focus on what God has for you in this moment.
He offers you the key to remove those chains of guilt that you have dragged around for far too long.
Really it is time to be free of the guilt. You have tried for far too long to be a good person, to pull your self up by your own bootstraps. You can not be good enough and to wait until you are good enough is a death sentence because you will not ever get there on your own. By your own merit you will forever fall short of God's holy and high standards. There is only one way to once and for all be free of the guilt that holds you back that keeps you captive and holds you powerless to change. (Readers if this is not for you I pray that you would pray because God has put it very clearly on my heart that there are those who are suffering from this malady who need to be set free today.)

In the old testament and as is explained in Hebrew 9:11-13 the once a year the high priest would enter the presence of God by bringing an offering of blood to atone for their own sins and the sins of the people. It was not a lasting sacrifice and every year had to be repeated. When Jesus came he shed his blood on the cross and he went through to the greater and more perfect tabernacle, one not made by human hands. He did not enter by means of the blood of animals but by his own blood. His sacrifice was made once and for all.  You may have chosen Jesus and may call yourself a Christian but if you are still trying to pay for your own sins and failures you have not really received the fullness of what Jesus has done for you. God is not waiting for you to become a better person. He is calling you today to accept what Jesus has already done. He has prepared good things for you to do and wonderful ways for you to serve him with your life. It is not those good things that some how make you good enough or acceptable enough to stand before a holy and just God. It is Jesus

Some of you may feel that you are too dirty, that you have gone too far, and done to many bad things. Or you feel your sins too horrible and shameful. How could God possibly forgive you? You can't even forgive yourself. So you live your life in the darkness and dispair of one separated or estranged from God thinking you will clean up your act and then be more acceptable. It does not work like that we all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Jesus did not come to condem you - you are already.

Here is another of those lessor known stories that maybe will help you see this from another perspective.

Numbers 21 The Bronze Snake
 4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”  6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
 8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

We live in a fallen world, riddled with sin. All of us in a sense have been bitten and the poison is killing us already. You have a choice and it may seem to you as ridiculous as looking at a bronze snake on a pole did to the Israelites. God took Jesus and put him up on a cross. He paid the price for our sins those who look upon him and believe in Him to save them from the poison of sin will be saved. Those who don't are lost already. It is not God being unfair or mean, He made a way and you have to decide if you will accept that way. Will you turn to him in your broken, messed up, poisoned condition. You are powerless to heal yourself of the effects of the poison. You may have turned parts of your life over to the Lord but there is this area that you keep hanging on thinking you will take care of that one on your own. You can't - Give it to Jesus and let Him impart to you the fullness of his mercy and grace and his redeeming and healing power. He has done it all.

If he has forgiven you - than there is no longer a need for guilt or shame. In the mind of God the matter is forgiven, forgotten over and done with. So why do you keep brining it up and beating yourself up or letting it some how define who you are. Bind the enemy from speaking lies to you. Stand on the truth of the word that says you have been forgiven and set free. Accept what Jesus has done for you and begin to walk as a child of the Kingdom. 

Romans 8:33

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 

Romans 2:4 (NIV1984) 

4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?



2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV

“that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

So now if you were reading this today and thinking that this message was not for you. I give you the verse above. You are an ambassador through whom God is making his appeal. There are people all around that need to know that God is not out there shaking his fist at them. He finds no joy in the the lives that are lost who refuse to receive the antidote that He has provided. We are given from God himself, as believers, a message of reconciliation. There are Christians who you know who are limping through life because the refuse to accept that Jesus paid for all of their sins. We show Him contempt when we refuse to receive the full undeserved pardon that he has willingly provided for us. The ball is in our court. He will not chase you, and beg you, or force you to choose Him.


Prayer:

Dear Lord, I pray that if there is sin in our lives that we have held on to thinking that we would some how make it right on our own. That you would help us to see that thing right now. That you would help us to confess it to you and to receive your forgiveness. I pray that you would come now and remove the guilt and the shame and allow us to feel the sunshine of your love, warm upon us. That you would fill us with your Holy Spirit and lead us by your peace.  Lord I also pray for us as ambassadors of your kingdom who have received from you a message of reconciliation. I pray that you would help us to see the people who are ready to hear. I pray that you would make us sensitive to the leading of your Holy Spirit, that you would give us courage and boldness and hearts that would truly care for the lost, broken and hopeless all around us. That we would become a shining light in the darkness for your glory.

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