Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Two brothers were convicted of stealing sheep many years ago in England. In accordance with the punishment of those days, they were branded in the forehead with the letters “ST” for “sheep thief”. One brother, unable to bear the stigma, fled to a foreign country where he died full of bitterness and was buried in a forgotten grave. The other brother chose not to run away. He said, “I can’t get away from the fact that I once stole sheep, but I will remain here and make the best of it. I’ll change my way of living, do what’s right and try to get back the respect of my neighbors, as well as my own self-respect.”
The years passed, and he gradually established a reputation for his integrity and respectability, his honesty and sense of self-worth. Then one day, a stranger was in town, and he happened to notice this old man with the letters “ST” branded on his forehead. He asked one of the local people what that meant. After pondering for a while, the villager said, “It all happened so long ago that I can’t remember the particulars. But I really think the letters are an abbreviation for the word ‘Saint’.”
Our mistakes and failure of the past do not have to define us. We can choose to be who God says we are. Every one of us has something in our past that is less than admirable. We have all been branded, either through reputation or conscience, with some haunting memory of our old sins. Either we can let shame and guilt set in and do the devastating work of making us feel their weight for years to come, or we can choose to see ourselves as God sees us and walk in the forgiveness and freedom that only comes through the cross of Jesus Christ.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54: 17)
Published on Jan 30 @ 3:39 AM EDT
Thank You Pastor Farr - One of our biggest problems is forgiving our selves for past life situations and hurts. It took me awhile to overcome. I repented and ask God to forgive me but I couldn't for give myself. Through continual meditation on his word and a sermon of Pastor Harris. I realized that my past situations and hurt was now my testimony to encourage others and to set me free from this stronghold. To God Be the Glory!!!
Posted on Sun, Jan 10, 2021 @ 8:52 AM CST
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT