THIS EASTER – THE STORY OF “LEAVING THE CITY OF REGRETS”

April 19, 2011

  “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

Philippians 3:12-16 KJV

This Easter, Regrets always produce one thing, depression. A depressing day is a day goes wasted. Just one depressive thought can sap you of strength and motivation for an entire day. Most of the time, regret is a product of creative thinking and excessive guilt, and not a godly remorse. As long as we live, we will have setbacks and missed opportunities; and we will make tons of mistakes along the way. If you look back in life and regret choosing a certain path, or mourn for missed opportunities, just stop thinking that way the moment you catch yourself doing that! When you see missed opportunities, it means that you have become more mature, that you have made significant progress in term of insights and competence, and that you are able to achieve much more if you encounter similar situations again. So the next time you see missed opportunities that you’d failed to see in the past, you should celebrate. Given abundance time, or the ability to travel back in time, anyone can make things perfect. But in reality, time is limited; it is always in the passing mode; you will lose it whether you use it or not. And don’t spend time mourning for the past, because while you are doing that, opportunities in the present will elude you too, fast! Remember, there are always opportunities lying around, you just have to train your eyes to see them. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 KJV  If you’re struggling with certain sins in your life, but are otherwise a solid Christian, then you don’t need to regret. The good news is that, no matter how serious the sin, God is always seeking us out and is willing to forgive and forget our sins and give us a fresh start. As long as we live, it is never too late to ask for forgiveness and make a new start! When we have sinned, we can ask God for forgiveness, as in the Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 KJV  If our sin has harmed another person, we should try to make amends for the wrong done.If we have tried to hide our sin, we should confess it. The Bible Says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV   Forgiving another person means pardoning the offender and ceasing to feel resentment or hold a grudge. There should be no limit to our willingness to forgive others. We should have a forgiving spirit when someone has committed an offense against us. The Bible Says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 KJV  Don’t beat yourself up and create worldly sorrow. A Christian is to walk with the Spirit, so he or she should feel guilty only if the Spirit of God rebukes him or her, and bring his or her sins to light. No need for regret or mid-life crisis. You can have success now if you start meditating on God’s word and obey, because God had promised that we will prosper if we obey His commands and think about His words day and night. I found this interesting article by Larry Harp called,  “LEAVING THE CITY OF REGRETS” and I thought I would share it with you:

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”
I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.
As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.
First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.
Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me and I Couldn’t Help It.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be canceled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.
So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. If you can find it — it’s in your own heart — please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street.

 

The best plan this Easter is for our lives is to take God at His Word and always do what’s right. Only then will we have a life with no regrets. Why do we add foolishness to foolishness by thinking we can get away with wrongdoing? It makes so much more sense to trust in the Lord and seek His mercy.  We cannot erase yesterday, but we can learn from it. When we take our sins and mistakes to the Lord and seek His help, we can be better today and tomorrow. God knows what is best for us, including this important area of our lives. Why ignore His way, when it is best for us in the long run?  There’s still time to redirect our goals. Thanks to our gracious God, now we can reverse our direction and start living for Christ. That’s the life that leaves no regrets. So before you regret, open up your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger


LAURA STORY – CELEBRATE EASTER WITH HER SONG – IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE GOD

April 18, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

Music video for the new single from Laura Story “Immortal, Invisible”


EASTER SAND BIBLE PART 4 – RESURRECTION, ASCENSION – LUKE 24:1-53

April 18, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

Available from http://www.sandbible.com or http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/18005/Easter-Part-3–Jesus-Resurrection?utm_source=affiliateutm_medium=bannerutm_campa


THIS EASTER WHEN THE BLESSED JESUS DIED, GOD WAS CLEARLY JUSTIFIED ! – ARE YOU JUSTIFIED ?

April 18, 2011

    “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 5:16-18 KJV

Justification, in the Biblical sense, means being declared “Right” in God‘s sight. When I am justified before God it is just as if I’d never sinned.  Justification is the process of being made just.  Someone who is justified has been made Just.  Someone who is just is without blame.  A comprehensive study of scripture relating to justification reveals what it is and how mankind is justified in the sight of God. All the doctrines of the Bible are important, but none is more vital to the peace and rest of the child of God than the Bible truth of Justification. The believer does not ascend to the peak of Christian joy until he appreciates and appropriates this aspect of the grace of God. Forgiveness is wonderful; pardon is wonderful; cleansing is wonderful; but Justification is more wonderful. In Paul’s day, and later in the days of the Protestant Reformation, and in our own day, it would be difficult to find a truth more cardinal to our historic Christian faith than the doctrine of Justification. The question of man’s justification before God was raised early in man’s history. In the Book of Job we read, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? How then can man be justified with God?” Job 9:2, 25:4 KJV  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul, developed it more fully. He said, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 KJV  Paul says that forgiveness and justification are made possible through Jesus Christ, but he makes it clear that the two are not identical. If a criminal is found guilty and convicted of crime, he may be forgiven by the offended party and even pardoned by the governor, but he remains guilty of his offense. His guilt was established and the court records carry it as such. He has been forgiven but not justified. The Apostle is saying that God does two things for the guilty but believing sinner that no man can possibly do for another; that is, He both forgives and justifies. Justification is more than forgiveness. We can forgive another for his wrong, but never can we justify him. Forgiveness assumes guilt; therefore, the guilty one cannot be justified. On the other hand, if we justify a man, then he needs no forgiveness, because justification assumes no guilt. But since all men are both guilty and condemned sinners before God, all need both forgiveness and justification before entering the Kingdom of God. Justification can be defined as that act of God whereby He declares absolutely righteous any and all who take shelter in the blood of Christ as their only hope for salvation. Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring him acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of his sins put away forever. Justification is the sentence of the Judge in favor of the condemned man, clearing him of all blame and freeing him of every charge. Justification does not make the sinner righteous, but when God sees him “in Christ,” He declares that he is righteous, thereby pronouncing the verdict of “not guilty.” In modern jurisprudence a sentence in any court must be in keeping with the facts presented. A judge has no right to condemn the innocent or to clear the guilty. Only God can clear the guilty. We must keep in mind the fact that there is a close connection between the act of justifying and the imputed righteousness of the one who has been justified. A just person is one who has been declared righteous by God. God is the Author of Justification. The Bible says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33 KJV  What is the function of justification?  First, we know that sinners are justified by God. God Himself is the Justifier. Only God can justify a man; no man can justify another man. The source of justification must be in the one holy and righteous God. The Bible states, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” Deuteronomy 25:1 KJV  If a man is not guilty of a charge made against him, he should be justified. All men are sinners, and since all sin is against God, He only must be satisfied. The Bible says, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26 KJV  Second, we are justified by grace. The Bible says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24 KJV  Look carefully at the text and notice that word “freely.” The Greek word (dorean) translated “freely” means “without a cause. There was no cause in the words and works of Jesus for which men should hate Him, yet He was hated “freely,” “without a cause.” Just as there was no cause that men should hate our Lord, so there was no cause that God should justify man; but He justifies him “freely,” without a cause. Jesus came with a heart full of love for mankind, but they hated Him. You cannot buy it with money, for it is “freely by His grace.”  Third, we are justified by blood. The provision for righteousness is solely through the blood of Christ. The Bible says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9 KJV  These next verses are of tremendous importance because they show the only ground of justification. It says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 KJV  God can make bad men good only through the death of His Son, for we are justified by His Blood. Fourth, we are justified by faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   The Bible says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 3:28, 4:5 KJV  This is the God-ward aspect of justification, but like all the blessings of salvation, the sinner cannot receive it until he accepts it, and this he does when he acknowledges his guilt and puts personal faith in what God has done for him in Christ. Fifth, we are justified  by the spirit. The Bible says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV  The believing sinner’s righteousness is the plan of God the Father, the provision of God the Son, and by the power of God the Holy Spirit. When a man says he has been justified by God, his fellowmen have a right to expect him to prove his faith by his good works. The Bible says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24 KJV  God’s standard of holiness is man’s that things which are approved of men may be counted as evil in the sight of God. Let us make certain that by faith we are justified before God. Self-effort, religious ritual, or agonizing prayer cannot take away sin. But when we trust in Christ for salvation, we are justified, declared righteous by God. Then, as we lose our burden of guilt and experience total justification, we will have real peace. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve to go to hell, but by His mercy we shall never go there. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but by grace we’ll spend eternity there. Grace justifies. Mercy pardons. Grace admits us to heaven. Mercy saves us from hell. The death of Christ was enough to pardon us in mercy, but it took the resurrection to effect our justification. So don’t wait any longer to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May we all be justified in the blood of the lamb of God. Open up your heart and let Jesus in, for He is the One that died on the cross, shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins, so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



EASTER FLASH MOB ! – 2,000 CHRISTIANS ! – DANCE YOUR SHOES OFF !

April 15, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

More than 2,000 people from Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, gathered at Discovery Green in the heart of Houston to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The purpose of Dance Your Shoes Off! was to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a powerful and celebratory way. Most importantly, each participant left a new pair of shoes on the field for those in need. These shoes will be given to local mission agencies, including Star of Hope, individuals all across the world through our mission partners and mission trips. CREDITS: The song was commissioned by Second Baptist Church for this event. It is called “Rise Up” sung by Lauren James Camey and produced by Joshua Moore. Visit http://www.second.org for worship times and locations.


GOD’S PROMISE OF LOVE, YOU ARE A NEW CREATION

April 15, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

This video is a powerful look at the lies that Satan tries to deceive us with and the amazing promise of God’s love, forgiveness, and His desire to make us into a new creation. It combines powerful music, images, and quotes from scripture that will encourage you.


“DOUBTING EASTER” – DO YOU BELIEVE ?

April 14, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

In the midst of the joy of Easter, it can be difficult to acknowledge doubt. But the redemptive story of Thomas declares that doubt has long been a part of Easter. Buy now: http://www.ignitermedia.com/mini-movies/1922/Doubting-Easter


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