Monday, February 25, 2013

No Condemnation!

Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8: 1a (Amplified Bible)

When we spend most of our time looking at our shortcomings, faults, and failures, we short-circuit the grace of God in our lives. Yes, we should be sorry and repent when we sin, but we should not camp in our guilt. The precious blood of Jesus Christ was shed, not merely to cover sin, but to blot it out and remove it from the mind of God forever.

When we repent and ask forgiveness, we must go ahead and receive the forgiveness that is freely offered, and then walk on with no more consciousness of sin. The blood of Christ is that powerful! Let’s honor the shed blood by applying it to our lives and becoming more grace conscious than sin conscious.

What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will he not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Romans 8: 31 – 35a (Amplified Bible)

The enemy of our souls would like us to wallow in our faults and failures, because then we have no confidence in ourselves or trust toward God. We feel He is displeased with us. When we listen to the enemy’s whispers of condemnation in our ears, we are less able to hear the voice of God. We become useless in the Kingdom of God, and the plans God has for our lives are hindered.

Allow God to show us the good things of Himself that He has placed within us and wishes to use for His glory. Let God maximize those things instead of concentrating on our shortcomings. Showing mercy and grace to ourselves when we’ve messed up will help us show mercy and grace to others. Self-condemnation leads to a judgmental spirit and condemnation of others in a vicious cycle that does not glorify God.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. Matthew 6: 12 (Amplified Bible)

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out to you. Matthew 7: 1 – 2 (Amplified Bible)

Here are some Scripture-based thoughts to repeat aloud to ourselves daily, and especially when we need to appropriate the freely offered cleansing of our sins.

* I always look for the good in others.

* I refuse to judge or be judgmental; I leave that responsibility totally to God.

*I am righteous through the blood of Jesus and am able to stand in the presence of God without any sense of sin, guilt or inferiority, as if sin never existed.

* Grace and peace are being multiplied in my life through the knowledge of the God.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Change!


You may have noticed a cessation of posts for a couple of months. I have moved my writing-related blog posts and giveaways to the Suspense Sisters blog. 

At this blog you can learn about suspense and mystery from some of today's top inspirational suspense and mystery authors. The Suspense Sisters are Margaret Daley, Sharon Dunn, Lynette Eason, Elizabeth Goddard, Nancy Mehl, DiAnn Mills, Gayle Roper, Roxanne Rustand, and me. (I'm honored to be numbered among this group.)

Members contribute entertaining and informative posts twice weekly, and on Fridays we feature an interview by another suspense author. Today you can drop by and learn about Jillian Kent and be entered to win an entire set of her Ravensmoore mystery series! 

When you pop over to the blog, be sure check out prior interviews and posts that are sure to be of interest to you.

Now for what shall become of this blog. A while back I renamed it the Art and Life Blog. In keeping with that theme, my blog posts will focus primarily on the art of living, specifically the art of living a wholesome Christian life. It's long been in my heart to share God's word with others. 

My posts will be more occasional than regular (particularly right now when I'm nearing deadline for a book), and I hope you will continue to follow the blog for occasional encouraging, uplifting, and sometimes challenging devotional thoughts. You may even hear book recommendations for the enrichment of our Christian walk.

On Monday, you will find here my first post along those lines. 

God's best blessings to you!