God’s Plan for Our Guilt

Romans 8:1-8

Scripture teaches that one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work is to convict us of sin (John 16:8). His purpose is to turn us from our iniquity and direct us to God.

One example is Peter, who felt great remorse after denying he knew Jesus (Matt. 26:75). Another is Paul, who fell to the ground when Christ came to confront him about his behavior (Acts 9:4). Both men responded to these convicting experiences by repenting and following the Lord.

At one time we all were spiritually dead. Sin’s presence was corrupting our human nature from the inside out, blinding us to spiritual truth. With our will directed towards self and against God, “we were by nature deserving of wrath” (Eph. 2:3 NIV). In other words, we were under condemnation and facing eternal death—God’s required payment for our transgressions. (See Rom. 6:23.) So in our natural state, we were unconnected to the Lord and headed toward eternal separation from Him.

Although we were helpless to change our situation, God had a plan that would satisfy His justice and include us in His family. He sent His Son to be our substitute—to bear our sin and guilt and to die in our place. Not only did Jesus pay our sin debt in full, but His righteousness also becomes ours the moment we place trust in Him.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our guilt before God, and, thankfully, we don’t have to be separated from Him now or throughout eternity. Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior? If so, then recognize that your position before the Lord has been changed from guilty to righteous.

Overcome Evil With Good

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

Only in the Holy Bible are people commanded to love and bless their enemies (Matthew 5:44). It orders us to turn the left cheek when someone slaps our right one. We are to give our cloak if anyone wants to sue us and take our coat (Matthew 5:39-41). Don’t repay abuse for abuse but repay it with a blessing (1 Peter 3:9 & Romans 12:17). If your enemy is hungry, feed them and give them drinks when they’re thirsty (Romans 12:20). I have a colleague at work who is a strong guy. During our training, many of us were exhausted, but he was still clowning around which would’ve provoked tactical officers into punishing us trainees. I scolded him; we got into an argument and almost came to blows. We had never spoken to each other again since that time. One time, on his way home from duty, he had a flat tire. The automotive shop wouldn’t repair his tire because he had no money to pay the fee. Without soliciting his consent, I paid the repairman directly the exact amount. That gesture fixed any tension or animosity between us and to this day, we’re good friends. Indeed, to overcome evil with the same is disastrous, but overcoming evil with goodness brings lasting peace and joy.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, forgive us if we repay other’s evil with evil and not with goodness and blessing. Lord, we know this is wrong and help us to make it right. Please give us a forgiving spirit, as well as the strength, wisdom, and understanding to do the right thing always. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen

Choose God’s will

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9

There are times in life when we assume that our desires are in line with God’s will. We somehow disregard the process of asking Him if what we desire is His will for us. We are afraid to learn that our plans are in disagreement with His. Following the wrong path has led many believers into unnecessary and unwanted situations, because they did things their way without asking God to guide them. Always remember that as human beings we make mistakes, and are often in conflict with God’s will. God’s ways are on a higher level, and we may not understand why He chooses for things to be a certain way but we still need to trust Him. He sees all things in the future, while we can only assume what is about to happen. Let us therefore, lay down all our earthly longings and start inquiring what God wants for us. Let us choose His perfect will over ours

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my ignorance at times when I do things on my own. Help me to be completely dependent on You. Develop a character in me that will shape me to be a child who will always choose Your will. Amen.

Hindrances in Prayer

James 1:6-8

If we have an inaccurate perspective of God, it could cause us to think that He isn’t interested in our needs and concerns. On the contrary, the Lord invites us to pray, because He delights in providing for us—and He stands ready to do so. However, different types of hindrances can block the effectiveness of our prayers.

Ignorance of God’s will for our life and the specific circumstances we are facing is one such obstacle. His affirmative answers come when our petitions are in agreement with His purposes for us (1 John 5:14-15). Even if Scripture does not specifically address our situation, we can always ask the Lord to fill us with “the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9).

Selfish motives are another hindrance to answered prayer (James 4:3). Sometimes we’re more concerned about getting the Lord to do what we want than we are about submitting to His will in the situation.

Doubts about God and His faithfulness also keep us from experiencing answered prayer. Low expectations and uncertainty are like intruders in our conversations with Him because they short-circuit faith. Doubts may originate from listening to the wrong voices, embracing false beliefs, or focusing on the difficulty instead of the power, wisdom, and faithfulness of the Lord.

Effective prayer begins with trust in God and an awareness of His ways. Otherwise, skepticism may sneak into our thinking if He delays His answer or responds in an unexpected way. But when our prayers are aligned with His will and motivated by a desire to glorify Him, doubts will vanish.