Monday, October 31, 2016

By Faith Alone Romans 3-5

 Justification is the act of God whereby He declares that when a sinner believes in Jesus, that sinner is righteous in the eyes of God. Note four things about justification from Romans 3-5. It is . . .

          1.  Based on God's grace (Romans 3:24).
          2.  Grounded in the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).
          3.  Not according to our works (Romans 4:5).
          4.  Through faith (Romans 3:28).

Sometimes people talk about justification and forgiveness as if they were the same thing. They are not. It is true that they happen at the same time and are inseparable. No one is forgiven who is not also justified. No one is justified who is not also forgiven. But they are not identical.

Forgiveness is the subtraction of that which is sinful from your record.
Justification is the addition of that which is righteous to your record.

Let’s suppose I have obtained a copy of your transcript with your “official” grades. No, not your high school grades. I’m thinking of something more serious than that. Somehow I have gotten a copy of your “permanent record” from the “Principal’s Office” in heaven. Unfortunately, the news is not good. Your grade in every course is the same:

Seeking God — F
Doing Good — F
Obeying God — F
Keeping the Law — F
Being Perfect as Jesus was Perfect — F
Not a pretty picture. How would you like it if we changed your grades? I’ve got some good news to share with you. The valedictorian of the class is quite willing to switch grades. His name is Jesus Christ, and He made an A in each class. Here is your final grade from God:

God’s Honor Roll — A

The lesson is simple. If God gave you a report card on your life without Jesus Christ, it would be covered with black marks for all the sins you have committed. Indeed, God gives you and the whole human race an F. You flunk every test. But when you come to Jesus, your F is washed away and your sins are gone forever!

Thank you Ray. There are many that will take this as easy believeism, but in fact, it is the truth of what Jesus procured for us alone on a hill called Golgotha! There is no other name by which one can be saved! He did it all. It is not about us, it is about God's love for his creation even when we are unlovable. Because of Jesus you and I are redeemed from the wrath of sin that I justly deserve.




By Faith Alone
Romans 3-5
by Pastor Ray Pritchard

I still remember when I learned to justify my margins.

It happened many years ago, in the early days of the computer revolution, when we purchased some new computers for the church office. Back then, long before cell phones and even before the Internet, a big, boxy desktop computer seemed like a magic machine. I took every chance I could get to sit down and see what I could make those computers do.

I discovered you could do some amazing things. You could make boxes and squares, or you could draw a diagram and put it anywhere you wanted on the page. You could pick out your font and make it larger or smaller with the click of a button. For those of us raised on an IBM Selectric typewriter with interchangeable font balls, it seemed miraculous.

Along the way I learned how to justify my margins. Some of you will smile at hearing such a trivial piece of information, but to me it was a big discovery.

Your margins are justified when the computer arranges the letters in such a way that all the lines of text end up at the same place. That means the right margin is straight all the way down the page. There's an easy way to put it.  Simply run your eye down the right side of a page:

—If the right-hand edge is straight, the margin is justified.
—If the right-hand edge is crooked, it isn't.

It's simple, really. To justify margins means to make them straight. If they are crooked, they are unjustified.

Made Straight with God


Now take that same concept and transfer it over to the Bible, and you will discover something very helpful. To justify something means to make it straight. If it is left crooked, it is unjustified. When someone asks, "How can I be justified?" they are really asking, "How can I be made straight with God?"

This year Reformation Sunday falls on October 30. It is always celebrated in Protestant churches on the Sunday closest to October 31, the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, striking the spark that ignited the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic monk who struggled to find acceptance with God. Day after day in his cloistered room, he would pray and seek God and try to find peace in his soul. But the harder he tried, the more he despaired because he knew the greatness of his sin. He went to Mass, did penance, crawled on his knees up the holy stairs in Rome, kept every decree of his religion, and still he found no peace.

Until one day he read in the Bible, "The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Then he saw that a right standing with God is not based on merit or good works but wholly on what Jesus accomplished when he died on the cross. Luther put his trust in Christ alone for his salvation, and the Reformation was born.

As the message spread across Europe, men began to write it on placards and on walls where everyone could read it. The great truth of the Reformation finally came down to two Latin words—Sola Fide, by faith alone. It was written everywhere.

How can I be justified? Sola Fide! By Faith Alone!
How can I be made right with God? Sola Fide! By Faith Alone!

The Cornerstone of Christianity


Keep these three words together in your mind: Just, Justify, Justification. They all come from the same root word in Greek. To justify means to “declare righteous." Justification is the act of being righteous in God’s eyes. Just is what you are when you've been declared righteous by God. To say it another way, to be justified means you are no longer crooked in the eyes of the Lord.

The doctrine of justification is central to our faith. Martin Luther called it "the cornerstone of Christianity." J.I. Packer said, "A church that lapses from justification by faith can scarcely be called Christian." This doctrine answers the question, "How can a man be made right with God?"

When you turn to the New Testament, you find the Greek words for Justification, Justify, Just, and Righteousness (which comes from the same Greek root) are used over 100 times. Nobody can read the New Testament and miss this concept. We can see this clearly in Romans 4:5,

“To the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”

The shock is always in the first part of the verse. It is not to the man who works, not to the religious man, not to the church member, but to the man who trusts God who justifies the wicked. This is the heart of evangelical Christianity, that our God justifies the wicked. Many people won’t come to Christ because they think they aren’t good enough. They are lost in sexual sin, lost in addiction to alcohol and drugs, lost in anger or bitterness, lost in a terrible, destructive way of life.

Someone may say, “You don’t know how I have been living.” No, I don’t, but God is not in the business of justifying the good. He is in the business of justifying the bad. He doesn’t justify the righteous. God justifies the wicked while they are still wicked. He justifies the sinner while he is still a sinner. God never said to anybody, “Clean up your act and then I’ll save you. Get yourself in better shape and then I’ll forgive your sins.” No, no, no! Maybe we in the church have said that. Maybe in our relationships we have unconsciously said that to lost people. Maybe we have told them they are too dirty to be saved. But God never said that. God says, “Run to the cross, embrace Jesus Christ, trust in him, and you will be justified even while you are still in a wicked state.”

The Verdict: "Not Guilty"


What does it mean to be justified? It helps to know Paul is borrowing a term from the courtroom that refers to the final verdict in a trial. It's what happens when the jury has returned, and the judge says, "Have you reached a verdict?" and the foreman says, "Yes, we have."  The judge says, "What is your verdict?" and the foreman replies, "We the jury find the defendant not guilty."

To justify someone means to find them "Not Guilty." But it means more than that. If someone is "Not Guilty," they are declared to be innocent of the charges brought against them. When you justify a person, you declare publicly they are not guilty and are in fact innocent in the eyes of the law.

If you are justified, it means in the record books by your name there are no black marks. If you are justified, it means your record is clear and clean. It means the charges are dropped. There is no guilt, no penalty, no condemnation. Every demand of the law has been met in full.

Go to the Head of the Class


Here's a definition that will help us. Justification is the act of God whereby he declares that when a sinner believes in Jesus, that sinner is righteous in the eyes of God. Note four things about justification from Romans 3-5. It is . . .

          1.  Based on God's grace (Romans 3:24).
          2.  Grounded in the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).
          3.  Not according to our works (Romans 4:5).
          4.  Through faith (Romans 3:28).

Sometimes people talk about justification and forgiveness as if they were the same thing. They are not. It is true that they happen at the same time and are inseparable. No one is forgiven who is not also justified. No one is justified who is not also forgiven. But they are not identical.

Forgiveness is the subtraction of that which is sinful from your record.
Justification is the addition of that which is righteous to your record.

Let’s suppose I have obtained a copy of your transcript with your “official” grades. No, not your high school grades. I’m thinking of something more serious than that. Somehow I have gotten a copy of your “permanent record” from the “Principal’s Office” in heaven. Unfortunately, the news is not good. Your grade in every course is the same:

Seeking God — F
Doing Good — F
Obeying God — F
Keeping the Law — F
Being Perfect — F
Not a pretty picture. How would you like it if we changed your grades? I’ve got some good news to share with you. The valedictorian of the class is quite willing to switch grades. His name is Jesus Christ, and He made an A in each class. Here is your final grade from God:

God’s Honor Roll — A

The lesson is simple. If God gave you a report card on your life without Jesus Christ, it would be covered with black marks for all the sins you have committed. Indeed, God gives you and the whole human race an F. You flunk every test. But when you come to Jesus, your F is washed away and your sins are gone forever.

What grade would God give you? You get the grade Christ earned because he finished his course at the top of the class. You don’t squeak by with God. You make the honor roll. You go to the head of the class. Why? Because you are so good? No. Left to yourself you would still flunk every course. If you have trusted Jesus Christ, you get an A because you are united with Him.

The same righteousness that once required you get an F now requires you get an A. You are not half-justified and half-condemned. You are not partially forgiven and partially punished. You are altogether forgiven. Your record is wiped clean. You are declared righteous in the eyes of God. That’s what justification is all about.

Do Versus Done


You can see why this changed Martin Luther's life. This doctrine of Justification by faith alone sparked the Protestant Reformation. It is the central doctrine of our faith and the one doctrine that sets Christianity apart from the religions of the world.

Religion is spelled with two letters: D-O. Religion is a list of things people think they must do to be accepted by God—go to church, give money, keep the Ten Commandments, be baptized, pray every day, and do good works. The list is endless. It’s always   Do . . . Do . . . Do. If you want to go to heaven, you must do something and keep on doing it until the day you die.

Christianity is spelled with four letters—D-O-N-E. Christianity is not based on what we do, but upon what Jesus Christ has already done. If you want to go to heaven, you don’t have to do anything; you simply trust in what Jesus Christ has already done for you.

That’s the whole difference—Do versus Done. Either you do it yourself, or you believe Jesus Christ has already done it for you.

What Justification Means


Here are three important personal implications of this truth for the believer. If you are justified, then . . .

 1. Your standing with God couldn't be improved because God sees you in Christ.  When God looks at you, he sees his Son. Therefore, your standing before God could not be better. Through faith, you are united with Jesus Christ and his righteousness covers you both. When God looks at you, he doesn't see your sin; he sees the righteousness of his own Son.

2. Your salvation is secure and certain because it rests on what Jesus did for you. This is the great truth of eternal security. Justification means you are righteous in the eyes of God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

He is right; therefore you are right.
He is holy; therefore you are holy.
He is accepted by God; therefore you are accepted by God.
He is seated in heaven; therefore you are seated in heaven with him.

Your salvation is secure because it does not rest on you in any way, shape or form. It doesn't rest on your works because you are justified by faith. But it doesn't even rest on your faith because your salvation is based not on your faith but on what Jesus Christ did on the cross.

In the words of Jack Wyrtzen, because you have believed in Jesus Christ, you are as sure of heaven as if you had already been there for 10,000 years.

3. Your self-image is healthy because you know God accepts you just the way you are. You don't have to justify yourself. God has already justified you. You don't have to clean up your act so God will accept you.  He has already accepted you on the basis of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Nothing you can do or could ever do can add to the value of the death of Jesus Christ. It is fully sufficient.

A familiar hymn says it this way:

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come."

You come to God just as you are. It's the only way you can ever come to God.  You come because of the blood of Christ. You come because he bids you to come. That's what saving faith is all about. It is coming to Jesus Christ just the way you are.

Who Will Condemn Me?


A few chapters later in the book of Romans, Paul comes to a triumphant conclusion about the security of those who are in Jesus Christ. This is how he puts it:

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:33-34).

Will my enemies condemn me? No, God justified me.
   Will my friends condemn me? No, God justified me.
      Will the demons condemn me? No, God justified me.
         Will Satan himself condemn me? No, God justified me.
            Will Jesus turn against me? No, he died for me.

Will my conscience condemn me and guilt overwhelm me? Maybe on earth, but not in heaven. Up there the record is clear forever. I'm justified. I am declared righteous in the eyes of God. I am acceptable to him because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wholly apart from my works.
Only through faith in Jesus Christ.

Best of all . . . God is not confused by my confusion. He does not doubt because I doubt. He is fully satisfied with Jesus.  Because I have put my faith in Jesus, God is satisfied with me. I'm justified.

Ruth Bell Graham


Ruth Bell Graham, the late wife of Billy Graham, wrote a wonderful book entitledIt's My Turn. In one of her chapters she quotes from her journal, on a day when she was burdened with many cares and she felt totally inadequate as a mother and wife. These are her words:

I am a weak, lazy, indifferent character; casual when I should be concerned, concerned when I should be carefree; self-indulgent, hypocritical, begging God to help me when I am hardly willing to lift a finger for myself; quarrelsome where I should be silent, silent where I should be outspoken; vacillating, easily distracted and sidetracked.

             Thou knowest how soon my mind
             from Heavenly things to earthly
             is drawn aside.
             How oft I fail and fall.

I have found tremendous comfort in this old hymn:

             Come ye sinners, poor and needy,
             Weak and wounded,
             Sick and sore;
             Jesus, waiting, stands to help you,
             Full of mercy, love and power . . .


             Let not conscience bid you linger,
             Nor of fitness fondly dream;
             All the fitness he requireth
             Is to feel your need of Him.

                          Joseph Hart

"What would I do," wrote Chalmers, "if God did not justify the ungodly?"

And "What would I do," said Thomas Boston of Scotland, "but for the imputed righteousness?"

There it is.  All that I am not, He is; all that I am and should not be, He forgives and covers.  (pp. 104-105)

Here is the doctrine of justification in one simple question: "What would I do if God did not justify the ungodly?" Ask yourself that question. What would you do? Where would you go? Where would you be if God were not willing to justify the ungodly?

The answer is, you would be where Martin Luther was—crawling on your knees, praying desperately to God, sinking ever deeper under the crushing load of unforgiven sin. But I have some good news for you. God does indeed justify the ungodly. And he does it by faith alone.

Let me put it to you directly. Where do you stand with God today? Are you straight with him or is your life still one big crooked mess? Have you been justified by faith alone?

Let your mind pause to consider the phrase Ruth Bell Graham quoted from that old hymn: "All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of Him." Think of it. The only requirement is that you admit you need Jesus. Do you need him? If the answer is yes, then come to Jesus and you will discover he will take you just the way you are.

Our Father, we thank you that you can straighten what is crooked and make right what has gone wrong. Some of us have struggled under such a load of guilt for so many years that we hardly believe that anyone—even you!—could ever take it away. Grant us faith to believe your word, and in believing, to find rest for our souls. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Taken from Jeremiah 17...

5Thus says the LORD:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,a
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
8He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
9The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10“I the LORD search the heart
and test the mind,b
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
11Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch,
so is he who gets riches but not by justice;
in the midst of his days they will leave him,
and at his end he will be a fool.
12A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
13LORD, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from youc shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.
Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance

14Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise.


In His love,
Ted

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Regrets! I've Had A Few-How About You?

Frank Sinatra – My Way Lyrics

And now, the end is near; 
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear, 
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and every highway; 
And more, much more than this, 
I did it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few; 
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course; 
Each careful step along the byway, 
And more, much more than this, 
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt, 
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall; 
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside, 
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that; 
And may I say - not in a shy way, 
"Oh no, oh no not me, 
I did it my way".

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels; 
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way! 

Yes, it was my way.
Songwriters: DUPRI, JERMAINE/SEAL, MANUEL LONNIE/RAYMOND, USHER
My Way lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, S U I S A, COOPERATIVE SOC. OF MUSIC AUTHORS & PUBLISHERS

NOBLE WORDS BUT WRONG, AT LEAST FOR A REAL BELIEVER!

I was thinking about what Donald Trump must be feeling after those terrible words were released for public consumption. Hillary has said and done more EVIL than even Donald Trump, BUT SHE HAS THE MEDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT SHIELDING HER. THE FIX IS IN AND THERE WILL BE LITTLE WE CAN DO ABOUT IT EXCEPT TO VOTE OUR CONSCIENCE WHEN THE TIME COMES. THE MEDIA PUSHED DONALD TRUMP ON US TO ATTEMPT TO MAKE US LOOK LIKE FOOLS. THEY ALWAYS KNEW A DEATH BLOW WAS COMING. THESE THINGS THEY DIG UP ARE NOT LAST MINUTE AND THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHEN TO DELIVER THE BIG PUNCH TO THE GUT. THEY DRAMATIZE IT AND MAKE A HUGE PRODUCTION OUT OF IT.

So, my Christian brothers and sisters, what regrets(maybe even evil) have you stored up in your life that haunts you now and again? I HAVE PLENTY THAT I WISH I COULD DO OVER! I WOULD NEVER MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES ON THOSE PARTICULAR EVENTS KNOWING WHAT I KNOW NOW, BUT DOES THAT MEAN I WOULD NEVER DO SOMETHING AGAIN THAT I MIGHT REGRET LATER? WE ARE HUMAN AND WE ERR!

What really needs to happen for all of us is a good dose of Phillipians 3:12-14 

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I doforgetting what liesbehind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I stumbled across Anthony Wades words in a forum I frequented some time ago. I don't know him nor have I ever spoken with him on the forum but this article caught my attention and has changed the way I deal with regret. Believe me there is plenty to regret! I was dealing with some things I said to my father before he died that I have deeply regretted. He and I never saw eye to eye and I could never measure up in his eyes, at least that is what he said once. His words to me were "you will never be the man I wanted you to be." I said, "what, you mean the alcoholic that you are?" I don't know if he ever regretted it but I do regret my words to him. My last words to him were "I hope you die screaming!" 

I would give any body part, any thing of value I own for a do over on so many things...you see the truth is that all of us have said or done things that we deeply regret. How does a born-again, Jesus-loving, believer live with our stupidity? We know the truth about ourselves, and God certainly does! But I write to give you some hope. God really does know us. Read Psalm 139 if you don't think so. God knew us before we were conceived and knew all of our future failings but that did not stop Him from loving us and bringing us to the knowledge of what His Son did for us on that cross. He knew that even after believing and trusting in Him that we would still sin and do stupid things we would regret. You see, Christians aren't perfect just because we come to trust God's Word, but we are perfect in God's eyes because of what His Son purchased for us by His blood on that terrible cross. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins because He was truly God and truly man. He understood our afflictions and yet in His Godhood He redeemed us to the Father. 

Christian! You will fail many times in this life when you regret it the most, but there is hope! Ask Peter the disciple and later apostle how he felt when he betrayed his Master...God has not forgotten you! He chose you to be His own...press on toward the goal!


Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wadeOct 2, 2012.
Philippians 3:12-14New American Standard Bible (NASB)
http://www.christianforumsite.com/forums

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I doforgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Søren Kierkegaard, a 19th century existential philosopher is quoted as saying, “I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations - one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both.” I expect as much coming from the man who suggested that the human race had outgrown Christianity. In fact – that is exactly what I would expect from someone who thinks that humans have outgrown the need for a Savior. The problem is that there are far too many Bible believing Christians who struggle with the pain of regret in their lives. Sadder still is the feeling that it is some kind of cross they must bear until Jesus comes and takes them home. Nonsense!



Let us all realize today that everyone could live with regrets. That is the nature of humanity in a fallen world. Our lives are made up of choices. Some of those choices are inconsequential and some are of dire importance. Some are big and some are small. Some we will choose right and some we will choose wrong. Some will determine the very course our life takes. We will look back on some of these choices and wish we had done something different. Wish we had taken the other path. This is normal. It is the pre-occupation with the choices and the continuing pain we experience that is not the plan God has for our lives. How do we know? Because the Bible tells us so!



I look first to Peter, who had made the most regretful decision anyone could have made when he denied even knowing Christ three times, despite Jesus predicting he would. Here was what had happened after the third denial, where he literally called curses down upon himself:



At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. – Luke 22: 61-62 (NLT)



Can you imagine the moment? You just spent three years walking with and learning under the man you know and believe to be the Son of God; the Christ. He specifically warned you that you would deny Him despite your bravado. Then He stares right at you, as His prediction comes true. Over the next few days you watch as He is killed in one of the most gruesome manners ever concocted by the devious working of the human mind and then buried. You never got a chance to say you were sorry. You never got a chance to beg His forgiveness. The last time He saw you was when you were denying you even knew Him, just to protect your own skin. If that is not a recipe for regret, I do not know what is. Yet how long did Jesus allow Peter to wallow? Now very long at all according to Scripture:

Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” – Mark 16: 7 (NLT)



Whose words are these? The angel that greeted the women who went to the tomb on Resurrection Sunday! The first order of business? Tell the disciples that He has risen and is going ahead of you into Galilee! And don’t forget to include Peter! God hasn’t forgotten him! Make sure you tell Peter! The Lord doesn’t want any regret setting in because He has many more works for Him to do! Hallelujah!



And God always has more for us to do and higher levels of blessing for us if we are properly focused on Him in the here and now. This brings us to the key verses for today. The Apostle Paul writing his letter to the Church at Philippi. What is amazing about this statement is that he is now in prison in Rome and knows that the end of his life is near. Yet there is no regret – only expectancy. Within these two verses are God’s instructions for us when it comes to regret. Paul could have had a lot of regret. We know that he always remembered how he had once persecuted the church and many including myself believe it may have been the thorn that haunted his life. But there is a difference between not forgetting the poor decisions of our lives and allowing ourselves to live in regret. 



According to the verses, the first and most important step in dealing with regret is in to check where our mind is focused. Too often beloved we live in our past. We allow ourselves to be chained to our past. Bad decisions, bad marriages, lost loved ones. Things we wished we had done differently. Things we wished we had said. In Peter’s case, things we wished we had not said. The only one who wants us living in our past is the devil. Why? Because he knows there is absolutely nothing we can do about what has already passed. All living in your past can do is rob you of your future. I do not care how old we get or our own negative view or ourselves and our abilities – God does not see us that way. There is someone who can always benefit from our wisdom and our trials. The Bible says that God does not waste a single tear that we shed. Peter may have thought his future was over but God had so much more for him to do. He did not know it yet but he would give the first sermon of the church and see 3000 people saved in one day. He would go on to preach the Gospel and die on a cross standing up for His Savior. 



That brings us to the second part of the focus. It is not just enough avoid focusing on the past. We must choose to focus on what lies ahead. The verses actually say we must look forward to what lies ahead. We need to anticipate the great and mighty works God wants to do through us. The human mind is apt to wander. If we sit alone long enough it will wander into areas we do not want it to, such as areas of regret. We must choose to focus on the future; trusting the God we serve will be faithful to complete what He has started! 



The last part of not living in regret is action. The first two parts deal with our focus and our thought life but now we see that we must actually do something. We must “press on” into the future God has for us. Too often we can sit idly by and claim we are waiting on the Lord and sometimes God does want us to be still. But more often than not He is waiting for us to move in faith. Paul was in chains, surrounded by Roman soldiers. If anyone had cause to say it was over – it was Paul. Instead though, he recognized that he needed to press on, so he wrote his letters extensively and witnessed to the very people who were imprisoning him! He had no idea when he penned the letters that they would become the New Testament! Think about that for a minute. When we are busy about the Lord’s business we may not know what fruit might be borne later on for our pressing on. 



Beloved there is nothing you can do about your past except learn from it. Regret will consume your present and blind you from your future. God has something better for you! Jesus said He came to give you the abundant life now! That abundant life is not filled with regret it is filled with blessings. The very thing that you regret is the very thing that Jesus died on an old wooden cross for. He wants to take it from you today. Focus in anticipation towards what God has for you in the future and press on into it!

See you next blog,
Ted

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Intellectual Yet Idiot Class Gets the Debate Wrong (Again!)

I am not a fan of Donald Trump for a lot of reasons which I won't expound on right now, but I am hopeful that for once in his life he sincerely sees the Clintons and those backing them as dangerous to this nation's well-being. The note I am providing is from Newt Gingrich. The Clinton's turned the White House into a frat house during the first administration and did the nation great harm when considering security. They were glib and foolish and brought shame to the nation. Just because they were popular does not make them right, in fact, it shows the stupidity of the American voting public. Bill was so concerned about some things he did just before his impeachment that he had Sandy Berger, his chief of staff, steal some documents from the library of Congress that would implicate him in a security breach. All of this is fact and should be known by those who were not alive at the time but able to vote. He and Hillary were both notorious liars and it lead to his impeachment-he didn't even have the decency to leave office!


The Intellectual Yet Idiot Class Gets the Debate Wrong (Again!)
Newt Gingrich
September 27, 2016

After all my years in public life I am sickened by the intellectual dishonesty, arrogance, and smugness of what Nassim Taleb calls the Intellectual Yet Idiots.
The IYI’s showed up immediately after the debate.
They stacked the deck against Trump with Lester Holt’s one-sided questions and interventions.
The Holt-Clinton team was glib, articulate, and self-congratulatory. However, they lost.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot class that dominates our news media fell all over themselves critiquing Trump and praising Holt and Clinton.
In doing so, they repeated the mistake they have made about every debate since August 2015.
Trump wins strategically because in a blunt, clear style, he is saying things most Americans believe.
Trump’s opponents, including Holt and Clinton, felt good after the debate because their side was glib, articulate, and said things they and their friends believe to be true.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot class is so out of touch with America that they don’t even realize how badly they are doing and how well Trump is doing.
Salena Zito is one of the country’s most perceptive journalists, in part because she is grounded outside of Washington and New York. Her column about the debate, “How Trump Won Over a Bar of Undecideds and Democrats,” should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand why Trump strategically won the debate.
This process of media elites and Washington insiders reassuring themselves that Trump lost while a variety of online polls showed him winning decisively has been going on since the very first Fox News debate in August 2015.
Trump has a hard time with media elites because they earn a living by talking. The media values glibness. In their world you can speak nonsense if you do it smoothly and convincingly.
Secretary Clinton is a professional politician. She has been campaigning as a volunteer, spouse, and candidate for 46 years (far longer than Trump suggested). She volunteered for Joe Lieberman’s state senate race in 1970. She and Bill worked for George McGovern in Texas in 1972. Secretary Clinton is also a Yale-educated lawyer. She combines Ivy League polish and arrogance with verbal smoothness and four decades of political speak.
Trump is a blunt, let’s-make-a-deal, let’s-get-the-building-built, let’s-sell-our-product businessman.
The first debate showcased a blunt, plain spoken businessman and a polished professional politician.
Of course the Intellectual Yet Idiot insiders would pick Hillary. They share her passion for words without meaning, analysis without facts, and promises without performance. They are more than for her. They are her.
In fact, it is worth looking at a list of online polls to understand the gap between the elites and the vast majority of Americans. This list is long because I want to show you how willfully out of touch and dishonest the Intellectual Yet Idiot class is:
Time: Trump 55 Clinton 45
Fortune: Trump 53, Clinton 47
N.J.com (New Jersey): Trump 57.5, Clinton 37.78
CNBC: Trump 68, Clinton 32
WCPO Cincinnati: Trump 57, Clinton 37
Variety: Trump 58.12, Clinton 41.88
Slate: Trump 55.18, Clinton 44.82
WKRN Nashville: Trump 64.58, Clinton 35.42
Las Vegas Sun: Trump 82, Clinton 18
Fox5 San Diego: Trump 61.45, Clinton 33.69
San Diego Tribune: Trump 65, Clinton 35
If you go to the Daily Mail, you can see that the list goes on and on.
Clinton won a handful of liberal sites with liberal audiences but she lost virtually everywhere else.
The elites can argue Trump does better in online surveys because his supporters are more energized, but that is a self-defeating analysis.
The lack of energy and enthusiasm for Clinton is a big problem for her.
In Iowa, the Democrats currently have one half the number of absentee ballots they’d received for Obama at this point in 2012. Polls in Iowa reflect a decisive Republican lead in a state Obama carried twice.
In Wisconsin, the Marquette University poll shows Clinton ahead by only 3 points.
In Minnesota, a poll which came out this week shows the race tied at 43-43.
If Clinton has to fight for Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, her campaign is in real trouble.
Trump is beginning to pull away and she has to stop the momentum.
On Monday night, she failed.
Trump won because he didn’t make a major mistake and he stuck to the facts.
I was proudest of him at the very end.
Hillary was vicious, nasty, mean-spirited, and arrogant. Look again at those final minutes.
Hillary knew there was almost no time left and so she rattled off a memorized rant about Trump insulting women. The look on her face is smug.
You could see Trump thinking.
He was really mad at the end of the debate with her cheap shot.
His natural pattern in Republican debates would have been to humiliate her with all of Bill’s accusers and her role as his defender and enabler.
It would have been powerful and ugly.
But he stopped. He thought, “This is not what a potential president would do, and I will not do it in front of Chelsea.” He responded as a president and not a candidate.
The media elite were thrilled that Hillary could be so mean and nasty.
The country will prefer a president with self-discipline and a sense of decency.
Trump is going to become president unless he makes a big mistake.
Clinton is going to lose again unless she turns the momentum around.
Last night, Trump conveyed his core messages. He may have lost on glibness but he won on sincerity, empathy, and authenticity.

See you next blog,
Ted

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