We’ve all fallen, haven’t we? We’ve all had bad days. Problems in life. Stress. Confusion. We all just have struggles in general. It’s in those times that we feel like we can’t get to God. Our problems and our struggles hold us back from communing with Him. However, Psalm 51:17 tells us something different:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
As David is writing this and praying this, he knows that all he can offer God is a broken heart. Because, honestly, that’s all we have. Our heart, our soul is the only thing we really own. Everything else will stay behind when you enter eternity. So, the only thing we can truly offer God is our heart. That’s not much, is it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’m anything special. I know that I’ve failed time and time again. The thing is, God accepts what we offer him when we do it with everything we have. When we really mean it, He eagerly accepts our offerings. And they thrill Him because that’s all He wanted in the first place. He wants fellowship with the very people He gave the breath of life.
I hope this short post has encouraged you tonight! God bless!
“Well my love is over
It’s in between
The times that you’re healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace
The times you’re hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal
In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
I’m there through your heart-ache
I’m there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone
I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where you have been
I’ll never forsake you
My love never ends”- Tenth Avenue North
Following is a comment I received from a Satanist on one of my posts and my answer to him.
Is it the case that Christianity casts all human individuals as “evil” to place the individual into a lifetime of servitude proving themselves as “good”? In Satan there is no such thing as good/evil.
Christianity itself casts no one as evil. Christianity is merely a term for those who follow Christ and has no authority to assign status or blame.
As far as “evil” goes consider this: Luke 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God
Instead of “evil” look at “good”…NO one is good except God alone. That means that regardless of who and what we are as a person, we are not good. We have all sinned, broken God’s laws. We are of course speaking of “good” in God’s eyes here, not whether or not a particular person is a good person or not. We all know people we think are good people; that is not in view here. God’s standard of “good” is His own, perfection.
Have you ever lied? Or stolen something even a pencil? Ever hated someone? Then you have broken God’s commandments and have sinned. “I don’t know God’s commandments” some will say. Well what about your conscience? Who do you suppose gave you a conscience? No matter the persons race, where they live, or their religious affiliation or lack thereof…all people have a conscience. It is that inner feeling that when you have done something wrong, you know it and feel it. That is your conscience, God’s law written on your heart.
Serving Jesus is a choice that the individual person makes. God makes no one serve Him. Regardless of how well an individual serves God that does not make that person “good”. As was mentioned before no one is good except God. I can be the best servant there ever was to God; I still will not be “good”.
Although we are not “good”, we are made acceptable in the sight of God; we have nothing whatsoever to do with this new perception that God the Father has of us however. There is not one thing I can do, not one that will cause my Father in heaven to look upon me as “good” or acceptable to Him. God’s standard for us is perfection because He is perfect. Obviously none of us can meet that expectation.
So since we can’t meet God’s standard for perfection all is lost correct? We have no hope of heaven. This would be the logical conclusion and the one fostered by Satan but nonetheless it is incorrect. Let us keep in view here that what Satan does best is lie and deceive and that includes “Christians”.
So how can I be made “acceptable” in God’s eyes? ONLY through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You see; when a person accepts Jesus as Savior receiving forgiveness for sin, a miraculous thing happens. Although I as a person have sinned, and will continue to sin as I cannot possibly reach the state of perfection that is required by God, God the Father sees in me the perfection of His Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ had a perfect slate, no sins…the only perfect man to ever live. Yes Jesus was and is God, but chose to live as one of us to experience what we do but never sinned. So when a person chooses to accept Christ as their personal Savior in effect Jesus says here, I will take your slate filled with checkmarks (sins) and give you mine, which is clean. This then is what the Father sees…Jesus perfect and clean slate instead of your own slate of sin. How can this be?
Jesus chose to die on the cross and pay the penalty we all owe God for sinning so that we do not have to…death. This is referring to spiritual death not physical death meaning being separated from God forever. This is pretty serious; all are under the dominion of the Living God no exceptions and this includes Satan who was created by God. Satan in the beginning was a high-ranking angel of God remember before deciding that he wanted God’s glory for himself.
So we have established that all have sinned and there is no hope of heaven without accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. What is the alternative? Plainly spoken the alternative is eternity in hell, which is where Satan and the demons will be. It will NOT be fun and a big party. Hell will be a place of pain, torment, and unhappiness forever without end. Sounds awful right, and how could God do such a thing if He is loving? Answer; God did not do this, you as a person will do it to yourself. Refusal to accept Jesus is accepting eternity in hell. God is a gentleman, He will in no way force a person to accept Him. Anyone is free to NOT choose God, but then remember you have chosen to reside in hell for all eternity. When a person meets God at the end of days whom has not accepted Christ, God will say to that person…your will be done not mine. The person that lived life refusing to accept God; that choice will simply be honored by God for all eternity.
Satan; I could write a book about him. Of course there is no distinction between good and evil as that would be counter-productive to Satan’s designs. Let us look at a few verses here:
Luke 4:3-8 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ “
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
Luke 4:33-34 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”
Obviously the demons and Satan himself know who Jesus is; that Jesus is God.
Just as obvious Satan desires people to live in any way that they choose; to do anything a person wishes to do whenever they desire to do it. If a person chooses to live their life any way they see fit, then that person will not be in heaven for eternity and that is Satan’s main goal. If Satan can deceive a person into thinking that they can be their own “god”, then he has won the battle with that person. Trying to be “god” is all about serving self, exalting self and seeing to self’s needs regardless of the cost to others.
On the surface Satanism is self-serving; it is all about “me”, but that is the least dangerous part of it. The deeper levels of it are much more serious and involve actual worship of Satan (which he desires) and many evil practices as well like animal sacrifice and blood rites.
Satanism has one main objective no matter a person’s interpretation of it, forsaking God who is Satan’s enemy. Hell was created for Satan and his demons; those that choose to forsake God will join Satan and the demons there.
Lastly, being ones own “god”, and there being no distinction between good and evil in Satanism accomplishes one thing. A person choosing this is not answerable to anyone but self and Satan knows this. Do not be deceived…Satan himself understands the difference between good and evil. Each person understands this as well; don’t believe this? Then why does your conscience bother you when you do certain things if there is no distinction between good and evil? Satan does not want anyone to understand that difference because then a person may realize that they have been lied to by Satan and that in Christ there is hope. A person may then realize that they ARE answerable to someone (God) and turn to God and be forgiven and healed and given new life in Christ.
Choose life…choose Jesus
Related post: What does it mean to have a seared conscience?
By Neil Anderson
“Through affliction, He teaches us precious lessons that otherwise we would never learn. By affliction, He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world and makes us long for heaven.” ~J.C. Ryle
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 (NIV)
When difficult times knock you down, roll over and look up at the stars. It’s okay if you don’t have the strength to stand up right away. Facing unexpected trials can knock over even the most mature Christians. Reasons for a fall will differ from believer to believer. However, I do guarantee that Satan knows the vulnerable spots in every believer’s armor and will not hesitate to aim fiery darts in his or her direction.
Trials are a part of life, and affliction usually accompanies them. Nobody can escape this. Joy and love, sorrow and hardships—these are what face us as we journey to our forever home after we die. We should try to accept that trials are part of our journeys in life and attempt to build up our spiritual muscles. We can do this by reading the Word of God.
In the first chapter of James, we are told to count trials as pure joy. How is this possible, and why is it a joyful thing to face difficulties? It is because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. When perseverance has finished its work, you will be mature in your faith, lacking nothing.
If you find yourself facedown in a puddle of mud and tears, you could drown! Roll over and gaze up at the heavens. Meditate on the constellations and imagine the one who designed it all. He is powerful. Better yet, He is powerful and loving. His compassions are new every morning. Tomorrow will be a fresh start. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Faith requires that you accept the truth of this Scripture, even though you may not see the good in your circumstances right now. God has a plan for your life, and He has allowed or sent your difficulty for a good reason.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” Corrie ten Boom spent the first fifty years of her life learning lessons of love and forgiveness so that she could teach the world how to be more like Christ. God sent hardships her way and permitted trials in her life that transformed her character and refined her spirit.
Endurance and perseverance belong to the same family. They are cousins and true allies. Throughout your trial, you must hold on to the biblical fact that God will never leave you or forsake you. Your desert journey, or the hurricane you are experiencing, is only for a season. You will not live a life of sorrows. Your weeping will eventually turn into dancing. A joyful song will once again rise issue from your lips. God loves to whisper words of hope and encouragement into the heart of a suffering and weary child. He walks with you through every one of your struggles.
So, while on your back, you will see the beauty of the night. Not all darkness is ugly and fearsome. Behold the lights God has provided in the darkest of times. A zillion pinpoints provide us with not only illumination, but also with the ability to navigate. It is true that in stormy weather it is harder to find your way, but storms do not last forever. If you are feeling lost, rest and wait for the weather to clear. Eventually, you will be able to navigate and continue on your journey. God will help you get back on your feet, but you have to will yourself to live and roll over.
Meditate on the three Bible verses below:
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3–5 (NIV)
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so.” Genesis 1:14–15 (NIV)
“O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. O restore me to health and make me live.” Isaiah 38:16 (ESV)
*This Devotion Is the first one in my book, FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION
By Neil Anderson
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By Neil Anderson
By Neil Anderson
If you missed my radio interview with Kathy Thomas from Woman to Woman, no worries! Why not kick back and listen to the podcast now? Let me know what you think and be sure to go to the link below to order my newest book DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS: A BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JOB.