Thursday, March 31, 2011



What powerful words those are, but do we actually comprehend the story behind them? The major missing link is truly receiving the unconditional love and acceptance of the Father. When we go to the Cross and still struggle with guilt and shame, it is a sign that we haven’t received God’s unconditional acceptance. If we had, the Cross would be as Jesus said, “It is finished.”

Until we understand this and receive the fact that God loves us enough to send His only begotten Son, accept His sacrificial death, and leave guilt and shame at the Cross, Christ will never be Lord to us. We have made our guilt, shame, and attitudes the lord of our lives. We want somehow to bear the guilt and shame ourselves. We punish ourselves to the point that we set ourselves up as our own atonement. We make ourselves out to be as God and in so doing we leave the Holy Spirit out of our lives as well.

God is not angry at us or keeping track of our sins. Every sin we have ever committed was already paid for by the finished work of the Cross. When we are sin-conscious, we are stepping back into the Law as if we had to cleanse ourselves. The Law made us aware of sin so much so that we feared every move we made and we developed a sin-consciousness.

First, God gave us the Law to maintain the Abrahamic blessings. This was the purpose of the Law. Israel then tried to secure God’s acceptance by earning it through keeping the Law. In the process they wanted to establish their own righteousness by works, which Galatians 2:16 tells us is impossible. This is the “Great Disconnect Theory.”

We are to look toward the New Covenant and not at the Law because Christ delivered us from the curse of the Law [1]. In other words, when Christ hung on the Cross, all the sin of the world was placed on Him. Christ drew all the judgment to Himself on the Cross and became our sin. Do you remember when Christ was on the Cross and He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do [2].” Even on the Cross dying, He was praying for us. Matthew 27:45 tells us that “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”

During this time, the sin of the world was placed on Christ. The Father is a holy and righteous God [3] and there is no sin in Him so He could not even look at His own Son and turned His face from Him. In verse 46, listen to what Jesus says now, “. . .Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Lord is not addressing His Father as Father, but as His God.

Romans 8:32 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Christ was and is “The Son of God” but addressed his Father as “His God” while separated from him in our place. Paul said, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [4].”

We can therefore, because of the Cross, thank Jesus, not because of sin, but because of our righteousness through the Cross. Don’t get me wrong, we are immediately to ask forgiveness for our sin but we are to thank Jesus for covering our sin and leave the guilt and shame at the Cross. The Holy Spirit convicts us to righteousness not because of our sin [5]. Otherwise we’d feel condemned all the time. Christ came NOT to condemn the world but to save it [6]. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [7].

The Father also separated Christ from Himself because the wages of sin is death [8] and the Father did not even spare His own Son because of His Word [9]. Although Christ did not sin, He became sin for us. Therefore, when we sin, God separates us from His presence as well. We are in good company. However, the Word says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [10].”

Is it any wonder that there is an identity crisis occurring in the body today? We have taken upon ourselves guilt and shame that doesn’t belong to us. We are under grace.

Can anyone out there relate to what it feels like when we can't feel the presence of God in our lives? It happened to me once. It was the blackest, darkest, ugliest, emptiest, most awful sick feeling I have ever had in my life. I felt like dying.

I had a spirit of unforgiveness on me once that God didn't like AT ALL. Forgiveness is the basis of our faith. I had that feeling for about a week until I finally came around. I NEVER want that feeling again.

Can you imagine then, what Christ went through on the Cross. He was physically a mess. He was beaten and marred beyond recognition and the full weight of His body hanging from spikes and ripping at His appendages. PLUS, the Father had separated from Him. I cannot EVEN come close to grasping what He felt.

Thank you Jesus and I thank you for dying for me in my place. Forgive me for all the guilt and shame that I have hung onto in the past. I thank you and worship you for your unconditional love for me.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [11]? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord [12].

[1] Galatians 3:13
[2] Luke 23:34
[3] Psalms 99:5
[4] Romans 6:14, 15
[5] John 16:8-10
[6] John3:17
[7] Romans 8:1
[8] Romans 6:23
[9] Romans 8:32
[10] 1 John 1:9
[11] Romans 8:35
[12] Romans 8:38, 39


Monday, March 7, 2011



Something happened yesterday that I am absolutely sick about.

To begin with, I am in the process of selling my house. My Realtor tells me that in order to show the house, it is best if there were no pets on the premise.

The second half of this equation is that my new residence does not accept pets, which means that “Bird” would have to go. Bird is what I named her. She gave me a lot of enjoyment and now I had to get rid of her.

I only had one requirement; it needed to be a good and responsible home and one where they would take care of her. I finally found a good home and they would be here momentarily to take possession. Along with Bird, came a large birdcage and five to six months worth of food. They came in a truck without a canopy, so we needed to put Bird in the cab.

We tilted the cage to squeeze it into the cab but unbeknownst to us, the cage door unsnapped and Bird flew out of the cage and into the cab of the truck. Before we could shut the truck door, Bird continued her flight out of the driver’s side window. All we could do was stand there and watch as the parakeet flew the length of the driveway, across the street, and out of sight.

There were many places to perch but it appeared that she couldn’t wait to leave and get to places unknown. She didn’t even look for a place to land. She just flew toward the horizon as fast as she could. What was up with that?

I never mistreated that bird. I fed her, watered her, and cleaned up after her. I covered her at night and uncovered her in the morning. I fellow-shipped with her during the day and particularly loved it when she, without warning, took flight for her two trips around the family room. She did that two or three times a day. And here she was, flapping her wings as fast as she could to get as far away from here as she could.

As sure as my name is Jim, I know that without my provision, Bird doesn’t stand a chance at survival. Escape meant death. Lost and afraid, she could freeze to death, starve to death, get scared to death, or some cat could make short order of her. This deeply saddens me. It is the closest I’ve been to tears since dad went to be with Jesus. I loved that bird--and now, she was gone.

Christ’s death on the Cross opened the door to the Father’s presence and I am sure that the Lord is also deeply saddened when we run away from Him and head for the horizon. Without God’s provision, we don’t stand a chance of survival. Our escape from His presence is death, and We are lost and afraid from out of His provision and love. If we remain in this condition for very long, the enemy will make short order of us as well.

Instead of flapping our wings and floundering before the serpent, we need to find our misplaced faith in the Cross and give guilt, shame, and fear the boot. Second Corinthians 10:5 says it best:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. . .