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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Romans 6:12"] Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

It has been a general tendency among some believers to commit sin, ask for forgiveness and then come back only to recommit the same sin for which they earlier sought forgiveness.

God's law for all sin is punishment followed by transgression and suffering. When a man squanders his fortune by extravagance, he may bitterly repent, but he continues to suffer for his folly. When a man becomes a drunkard or addicted to smoking, he may be full of sorrow for what he has done, but his body and his family would still face the consequences of his luxury of sin. When a woman loses her character, she may weep tears of bitter repentance, and God may pardon her as He pardoned Mary Magdalen, but she can never recover her character and must suffer the consequences of her acts.

In this world or the next, all sin must be compensated for suffering. Christ by His death removed the guilt of sin, but not the suffering for sin. Apostle Peter bids us to remember that suffering remains as a consequence, for he exhorts us, "Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." That is, the sin would be wholly compensated, only when the suffering it brings after it has been committed. The sin may be forgiven and suffered for, but the scar remains on his soul. The blood heals, but the scar remains.

What is required for God to forgive sin? Repentance. However, even repentance does not ensure the removal of the consequences of sin. The consequences often remain as a reminder of the terrible, destructive nature of sin.

King David was forgiven for his grievous sin of lust, adultery, robbery and murder. God forgave him and removed his sin from him completely (Ps 103:12). God did not, however, remove the pain that David would endure as a result of his transgressions. The child born of David’s adultery died (2 Sam 12:14), David’s son Ammon spoiled David’s daughter Tamar (2 Sam 13:14), David’s son Absalom murdered Ammon (2 Sam 13:28-29); Absalom brought the kingdom into rebellion (2 Sam .15).

For the rest of David’s reign, violence filled his home and his kingdom. Although David knew he was forgiven, he bore the painful consequences of his sin for the rest of his life.

What's next?

It is incorrect to assume that God removes every consequence the moment you repent of your sin. Do not think that the very instant you show remorse God will restore everything as it was. He may not. Some sins, such as adultery, come from a flawed character. God forgives sin immediately upon repentance, but it takes longer to build character. It is a character, not forgiveness; that determines what God brings next to your life.

Because we know the devastating consequences of our disobedience, let us diligently avoid every sin and “run with endurance the race that set before us (Heb 12:1)

Source: Pastor Jonah Ravinder and Blackby

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Isaiah 41:13"]For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

There is no panic in heaven, only plans. That is how God operates- no panic. Did you know the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) never meet in an emergency session? God has never stepped down from His throne. Jesus has not left His right hand, and the Holy Spirit has not stopped His ministry in the lives of believers including reproving the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8)

Dear brothers and sisters you must refuse to listen to Satan's lies of fear, discouragement, and despair. Our Lord Jesus clearly explained His mission statement and so did Satan in John 10:10 “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly”.

This scripture clearly defines what God does and what the devil does. It divides what they do into two categories, and everything that happens in life can be placed in one of these categories. Let me explain.

The thief is not your friend. He is your enemy. The thief represents Satan and John 10:10 gives his mission statement -- to steal, kill, and destroy. But who is it that he wants to steal from? It's you! Who is it that he wants to kill? It's you! Whose life does he want to destroy? Yours, mine and every other born-again believer. Satan is the prince of darkness, the father of lies, and the source of chaos, confusion, and destruction. Jesus said in John 8:44 that he was a murderer and that there was no truth in him.

On the other hand, God sent His Son so that the world would not perish but have life, abundant and everlasting (John 3:16). After Jesus had stated Satan's mission statement, he proclaimed His own. The mission statements are completely contrasting. While Satan's purpose is death, destruction, sickness, and lack in our lives, Jesus came to bring life, restoration, and abundance.

mission statement can be described as a guideline to keep members and users aware of an organisation's or leader's purpose." Jesus clearly states His purpose. He came to give life.

So the next time you hear someone say, "Is it God or is it the devil," the answer will be clear. Which category does "it" come under? If it steals in any way, if it brings death or leads to death, if it destroys or brings destruction, it's the devil. If it brings abundant life full of shalom, it's Jesus. Jesus is not the thief. Jesus is not the one who brings death and destruction. Jesus is not the destroyer. Jesus brings life. When a person attributes the work of God to the devil or a work of the devil to God, he is in very dangerous territory.

Satan’s favourite tool and in fact most workable tool in his hands is “to keep the children of God in discouragement”. When we are in the discouraged state, we will not accomplish anything, and we would be easily defeated in every area by our enemy Satan. The discouraged army would lose battle quickly. Therefore, never allow discouragement in your heart. As a father to my children I always encourage my children and sow the seed of encouragement to defeat the Satan’s most workable tool.

What's next?

You are a victor and not a victim. Moreover, God is in control!  Repeat the following throughout the day today, “God is in control of my life. He will not leave me. His right hand will sustain me all the length of my days."

Source: Pastor Jonah Ravinder and Pastor Larry Ollison

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Matthew 5:24"] Leave your gift there in front of the altar, first go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

It is useless to give offerings to God even in the form of singing, praising & worshiping if you are still at enmity with your brother/sister. Jesus said that His followers should be reconciled with anyone who is against them. The world seeks reconciliation on limited terms. Christians are to be reconciled, whatever it takes.

You might say, “But you don’t know how deeply he/she hurt me! It is unreasonable to ask me to restore our relationship.” Or, “I tried, but they do not seem to be pacified” Jesus did not include any exception as a clause for our reconciliation. If the person is an enemy, Jesus asked us to love him, if he persecutes you, you are to pray for him. If he/she publicly humiliates you, you are not to retaliate (Matt 5:39), if someone takes advantage of you, you are to give even more than he asks (Matt 5:41-44)

The world preaches us to “proclaim yourself” but Jesus taught us to, “Deny yourself”. The world warns that you will constantly be exploited. Jesus’ concern for His disciples was not that they should be treated fairly but was that they show unconditional love to others regardless of how they would be treated. Men spat on Jesus and nailed Him to a cross. His response was our model: “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34).

If there is ever a command that is constantly disobeyed, it is this mandate to be reconciled. We comfort ourselves with the thought, “God knows that I tried to make things right, but my enemy refused.” God’s word does not say “try to be reconciled” but “Be reconciled.”

Sin breaks our relationship with God; it also severs our relationships with others. Broken relationships are the epidemic of our day. Sin alienates family members, separates friends, divides churches, and destroy marriages. Sin creates mistrust, jealousy, hatred, and greed, all of which devastate relationships.  Christ is the oOnly remedy for this disastrous effect of sin on human relationships. As Christ's ambassadors, we are to take the message of reconciliation. How tragic is it when God’s messengers of peace harbour enmity toward each other. It is a travesty to carry a message of love and yet be filled with hatred. If there is someone whom you refuse to forgive, your message of reconciliation is hypocrisy. The evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you love your fellow Christian (John 13:35).

Often we are less patient with our fellow Christians than we are with nonbelievers. We expect more from Christians, and we feel betrayed when they fail us. When this happens, we need to look closely at the cross and remember the forgiveness we received there. We must set aside the self-centered nature that leads to impatience and criticism of others.

What's next?

I am aware of how difficult it would be to put reconciliation into practice, but as a Christian, we don’t have any other way/option. Surely it would be good for our health and spiritual growth if we do so. The matter is up to us to follow the Word of God or deny it.

Is there someone with whom you need to make peace? Then do what God is asking you to do.

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" 1 Peter 5:7"] Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

One day after a service, a woman came up to me and said, "Brother, I want you to pray for me." I said, "What for?" She looked surprised and said, "Do I have to tell you?" I said, "Well, I can not pray unless you do because I would not know what we are praying about otherwise. I cannot believe for something I do not know about, and I cannot agree on something unless I know what I am agreeing on. What is your request?" She began to cry. She said, "Brother, the burdens of life—the cares, the worries of life—are just so heavy I cannot bear them. I wanted you to pray that the Lord would do one of two things: He'd either take about half of them away because I can carry half of them—I just can't carry all of them—or else He would give me the grace to carry them."

My heart went out for her. I did my best to help her. I said, "Sister, I cannot pray either way. That would be unscriptural. You see, the prayer of faith will not work in that case. In fact, there is only one kind of prayer that will work in this case: the prayer of commitment. Isn't it wonderful, Sister, that you and I already have the answer?" She looked startled. I said, "We already have information on the subject." (i.e. inside-the-Bible) I said, "You see, the Word of God tells us exactly what to do with our worries, our concerns, our anxieties." I quoted to her from the King James Version first. I said, “In First Peter 5:7, the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Peter, 'Casting all your care upon him; for He cares for you.' And The Amplified Bible says, 'Casting the whole of your care—all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all— on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.'” I told her, "You do not have to do it every day. You do it once and for all. From then on, you are free from all burdens."

She looked up at me and said, "You are hard-hearted. You are just hard-hearted!" I put all the kindness in my voice I could, and I said, "Dear Sister, I am not hard-hearted. I did not write the Bible! I was not the One who said that. That's God's Word, and God loves you." "Yeah," she replied, "but you do not know what I have got to worry about!" I said, "Dear Sister, I'm sure do not know what you are worrying about, but God knows—He knows everything—and it's God's Word that says, 'Cast the whole of your care—all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all— onto Him.'" She said, "I just can't do it." I said, "Yes you can. God is just and kind and good, and He did not ask you to do something you cannot do." It seemed to me that anybody would be glad to find that verse in the Bible and would be thrilled to act upon it. But she turned, walked away, and said, "I could not give up worrying.

What's next?

When you turn it over to Him, you do not have it anymore. He is got it. Then you can say, "I am care-free," even when it is still there from the natural standpoint. Because you are not carrying that load; He is. We used to sing a song that went, "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there." The trouble with most people is that they come to the altar, or wherever they pray, take their burdens to the Lord all right, tell Him about them—and then when they get up from that place of prayer; they pick their burdens up again! It helps to imagine your burdens as a 100-pound sack. People put it on their backs and carry it home with them from their place of prayer. No! Leave it there! Leave it there! "Casting the whole of your care ... ONCE AND FOR ALL on Him," that verse says. So I refuse to worry.

Sources: Pastor Jonah Ravinder -devotion- Stress Management; Pastor Kenneth Hagin

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