Christian

We Must Be Real With God

About four months ago, I started writing some of my prayers in a prayer journal. This has really helped me to be more “real” with the Lord. These written prayers, while respectful, have been more open and honest and less formal, more like talking to a close friend.

At first its was a little scary to be less formal with the Lord. I thought that if I was going to talk to the Lord, it should only be about important things. But I have learned that this is not true. I can, and should, talk to Him about all my hopes and fears. I can ask Him about anything because he cares about me and He loves me.

“Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 1 Peter 5:7 AMP

Jesus calls us His friends. “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15).  

Is Jesus really my friend? James 2:23 says that “Abraham … was called God’s friend.”

In John 15:14 Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

Yes, Jesus wants to be your friend.

A relationship with God is about being real. Jesus explains that no matter how hard we try, we can’t hide who we really are from God anyway.

Jesus taught His disciples saying, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1)

In other words, be on your guard against hypocrisy! Don’t let yourself become a hypocrite! Be vigilant in guarding yourself against it. Why? Because it’s a trap easily fallen into.

So let’s talk about the Pharisees. Do you think the Pharisees knew they were hypocrites? I don’t think they did.

If they started out as “Godly men”, what happened? God sent the Messiah and they hated Him! How is that possible? What happened between the time the Pharisees decided to live a holy life and the time they killed the Messiah?

Maybe they hated Jesus because He (basically) threw a monkey wrench into their whole way of life (what they did and how they thought about things).

The word hypocrite came into English from the Greek word hypokrites, which means “an actor” or “a stage player.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Yes, I could walk around acting like a Christian. But actually letting God change me on the inside requires that I spend time in His presence. This is how we guard against hypocrisy.

It is impossible to be real with God and at the same time put on an act. You can do one, but not both at the same time.

If we pray to know Him better, He will answer that prayer. He will teach us. He will do it! Our part is always to ask for His help. I believe that the key to avoiding the trap of hypocrisy is to be real with God, to ask Him to help us in all things.

For example, “Lord, help my unbelief. ”

“Lord, help me to hunger for your Word. ”

“Help me to spend time in prayer. ”

Wherever you struggle, He will help you. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. He knows already where you struggle to be obedient and He loves you anyway. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for help.

“Behold, God is my helper and ally; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul [my upholder].” Psalm 54:4 AMP

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Scripture References:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— ”  John 14:16 AMP

“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” John 14:26 AMP

“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 AMP

“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! … On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28 NIV

But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3 AMP

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

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Christian, women

Sins Like Scarlet

Have you ever thought, “I love Jesus, but I’ve lived a sinful life. I’m divorced, I was a prostitute, a thief,  a liar, a drunk, Fill in the blank.

Does that mean church people won’t accept me? Do I have the right to be in church? Will I be punished for the rest of my life? Will I be shunned? Could Jesus ever use me?

Jesus said this about the woman who had lived a sinful life, “Because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47 (Berean Study Bible) 

Honestly, I would be more worried if I had lived a so-called “perfect” life! If I was really proud of myself for following all the rules, would I be as thankful for Jesus as I am now? Would I judge those who had not followed the rules? Would I look down on them? Let’s consider some other things Jesus had to say about this.

“Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” Luke 11:39 NIV

Basically that means they did things for show and they were very legalistic, but there was no love in their hearts and they only thought about themselves!

In verse 42 He adds, “You give God a tenth . . . but you neglect justice and the love of God.”

“You load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” (verse 46)

In other words, you give people a lot of rules to follow, but you don’t care anything about them and you couldn’t be bothered to help them.

If you have had “Pharisees” in your life, or if you are just afraid that church people will judge you, listen to  the words of Jesus.  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The Scripture says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43: 25

If you have given your heart to Jesus, but you have a past, remember this. He forgave you when you asked him to. He remembers your sins no more. It’s like you never did them in his eyes. Being a Christian means you are a Christ-follower. Pleasing Him is what matters.

 The Rest of the Story

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  

You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7: 36-48

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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