A Situation of Faith – Staying Saved


Hello everybody!

Today my meditation is a continuation of my last post regarding Job and how much we claim to “really love the Lord”. Now in this post I’m going to probably ruffle a few feathers as I speak some truth out here in this post. The truth isn’t intended to harm but to reveal that which remains hidden. We have to yield to the power that wisdom gives in keeping us from remaining vulnerable in ignorance when wisdom sheds light into a situation that produces the truth. We have to address difficult topics at times in order to remain humble and real with ourselves. So I am just stating that as a warning for the ones who may be offended with what I’m about to say when I’m speaking on the topic of Salvation.

Salvation – What is Salvation?

sal·va·tion  (sl-vshn)

n.

1. a. Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
    b. A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance.
2. Christianity

     a. Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption through JESUS CHRIST.
     b. The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.
 
Now let me just say that as followers of Christ as “Christians”, it is assumed that we follow in the footsteps of the One in Whom we Believe which is our Savior and LORD Jesus Christ. I also stated in my previous post How Much Do We Love God? – The Fear of the Lord that Satan has no reason to attack the already UNBELIEVING Christians since unbelief is enough to separate us from our God.
 
Yes, it is possible to be a Christian and yet be unbelieving. *shock* *gasp* –“Say it ain’t so Sherline!!!!!!” I’m sorry but it’s TRUE.
 
Some people start off believing after they get saved…but sometimes the adversities of life can shake a person’s faith and cause one to stumble. Some stumble for a short time in their wavering faith and some stumble greatly and permanently and at times don’t recover from the fall at all. Although we can stumble in our journey, I want you to know that we can stand back up again and return on the journey that is set before us, but some people when they get hit and smacked down, they stay down and some just completely divert from the path and turn away completely. This is an issue of backsliding and also an issue of wavering faith that leads to unbelief – The major killer of destiny. This also ties back to my other post regarding what type of SEED are you and what SOIL are you in?????
 
The path of a Christian isn’t a simple “walk in the park” friends, I’m sorry to say. In fact, I didn’t expect such trials in my life to enter after I found Jesus Christ at the age of 15 because I had already been through some heavy things prior to salvation that I did not expect an even heavier battle that lay ahead of me. I have found that in my own journey I have had a “Peter’s Denial of Jesus” experience and in many ways, I was shocked beyond belief that I was capable of doing so, but that’s because the things I was facing were soo mind-breaking and heart-breaking for me that I was almost losing my mind. At such points as Christians, we have to understand that the battles we face will cause us to answer this one but very important question that needs to always be  in our heart as we walk in the Spirit:
 
How far are you willing to go and stay with GOD and Stand with GOD? – seriously consider this question people. This isn’t the type of question that elicits a “spiritual answer“. Speak truthfully and really search deep before you answer…because your answer will be TESTED. Never forget that.
 
Adversities are there to shape our character even though they can be quite rough and soul-breaking. Our Spirit is strengthened when we go through the tests. Peter went through it when he denied his association with Jesus during the time of Jesus’ arrest before that day at Calvary.
 
Peter exemplifies that it is POSSIBLE to be a follower of Christ and yet Deny Him when Troubles come to Test our FAITHFULNESS. Peter believed in Jesus, but when he denied him three times in a crowd of witnesses, that was the Test of his Character that revealed an area of weakness in his level of Faith to remain COMMITTED even when faced with the threat of PERSECUTION.  I know that I’ve had my Peter moment and have discovered that wow…Faith in Jesus simply isn’t just following the Lord, it’s a question of standing and staying with HIM in the end. How far are we willing to GO?
 
There is HOPE folks.
 
Peter was redeemed and so can we. If you have ever encountered a “Peter moment” in your life, know that you can still be redeemed. The whole idea is to STAY SAVED. We may stumble along the way in our walk but GOD is saying, “I can redeem you no matter how many times you may stumble through my Son JESUS CHRIST”.
 
 
 
 
 
Peter was restored in John 21:15-19 Lets Read:

Jesus Restores Peter

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you

love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[d] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Here we see that Jesus is speaking to Peter addressing his personal commitment to remain with the Lord. Jesus didn’t just ask Peter once whether or not Peter loved Him. He asked him at least 3 times because it’s easy to claim that we “Love the Lord” so rashly, but do we really? Are we really committed to Him? I also think that the reason why Jesus asks Peter several times concerning whether or not he loves Jesus is so that Peter really hears what he is saying in his claim. He has to be sure of his love for the Lord since he was so rash earlier in his claim that he would never deny Jesus prior to His arrest  and yet he did deny Him 3 times  in the end in (Matthew 26:35) and (Mark 14:31).

Peter’s words were TESTED and so shall our words be if we make such claims in our “Love for the Lord”. Peter did fail in that test but even though he failed, Jesus still had the compassion to redeem him after he resurrected from the grave, hence these questions of Peter’s Love were to address his level of Faith and commitment to the Lord after the fact.

Notice that:

1. Peter denied Jesus 3 times (Matthew 26:34, Matthew 26:75; Mark 14:30; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:34;Luke 22:61)

2. Jesus asked Peter whether or not he loved Him 3 times;

3. Peter affirmed his love for the Lord Jesus 3 times;

4. Jesus restores Peter by giving him 3 Instructions to tend to the flock and redeems him by grace in order for Peter to answer to the call in his life to build the church in  (Matthew 16:18).

What can you learn from this?

For every time we fail, God takes each failure into account and leaves no room for Satan to accuse us on the same failure as he addresses each failure one by one in order to restore us in right standing.

The Last instruction Jesus gives – “FOLLOW ME” completes Peter’s redemption to walk again as a BELIEVER of Christ and as a son of God, as he later operates in the freedom that Salvation in Christ brings with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Can you imagine what would have happened if Peter was not restored by the forgiving grace of Jesus?????? I praise God that Peter was restored because he is one disciple-turned -to- Apostle that knew how to equip the Church for Spiritual Warfare when persecution became the threat to the rise of Gods Kingdom being established on earth by the rise of  the Church of God; the rise of the Christ-believers;  the rise of the Christians.

Friends, I believe that God is always going to Test us in our level of Faith and Commitment to Him in our walk. We will encounter what I call the “PETER TEST of Faith” in our walk at some point in our journey because the Devil is always seeking to sift us as wheat (Luke 22:31). The great thing about the Peter Test is that we also discover our weaknesses early enough in our walk in order to work on strengthening our Faith so that we can be restored in right standing with our Lord. The key term is RIGHT STANDING. We have to stand up again no matter how many times we fail. The devil would rather you stay down or not return on the path of Salvation but Jesus wants us to live a life of abundance so don’t beat yourself up and cause yourself to remain grounded when GOD is commanding you to GET UP AGAIN!

Peter was called the ROCK that would build the Church (Matthew 16:18). When Jesus came to restore Peter, He gave him instructions:

1. “Feed my Lambs” (John 21:15)- basically work with the young believers in Christ (the born again Christians) that need the WORD of GOD and teach them the basics  in order to lead them in their journey to spiritual maturity as they GROW in FAITH in the WORD of GOD.

2.”Tend my Sheep” (John 21:16)- Work with the mature Christians believers and guide them in their journeys to follow the WORD of GOD as they also will encounter similar experiences as you once did and tribulations that will test their level and measure of faith in the WORD of GOD.

3. Feed my Sheep” (John 21:17) – the Mature Christians still need to work with BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES so preach the WORD of GOD to them so that they can continue in their Spiritual Growth and gain more knowledge, understanding and wisdom as they go from strength to strength and glory to glory knowing who they are in Christ.

4. “Follow me” (John 21:19) – Never forget in Whom you believe and remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is always with you in your Journey as you continue to walk with Him through tests and trials and tribulations.

I believe that these instructions that Jesus gave to Peter strengthened his spirit as he acknowledged that Jesus didn’t condemn him in his weakness, He merely pointed out the areas of  Peter’s weakness that he needed to deal with so that he could work on it as he continues to grow in his journey as a FOLLOWER of CHRIST.

My message today is that God is saying,  “I want to REDEEM you ALL who have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

You can be redeemed if you fix your eyes on Jesus and learn to stand up again from your trials and times of testing. Recognize your weaknesses, accept the forgiveness of our Lord Jesus and learn to understand that Jesus knows your weaknesses before you make them, but He doesn’t want you to be destroyed by self-condemnation as is the devil’s plan is in our lives. He wants to restore you back on the road and FOLLOW HIM just like he commanded Peter. Peter equipped the CHURCH as he rose to answer the Call in His life after Jesus restored Him through forgiveness, so God wants us to equip ourselves and be restored in RIGHT STANDING with HIM by accepting His Forgiveness to you TODAY.

Don’t let the devil take you away from the LOVE of the LORD. Remember that the devil is an ACCUSER of the Brethren (Revelation 12:10)…but God is our kinsman REDEEMER!  BE REDEEMED TODAY and let all of the REDEEMED SAY SO!

To end this meditation, I have this amazing song from Canton Jones and it’s a song called Stay Saved. It’s a great song with a theatrical characterization of how we walk each day when people try to offend us and get us stirred to do the wrong thing in our daily lives. I found the video rather entertaining. Enjoy everybody and Stay blessed because GOD LOVES YOU!

https://nightshade130.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/imagesca6t2mhw2.jpg?w=572&h=160&h=160

Scriptures to Meditate

 Romans 5:2-4 (NKJV)

through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Matthew 16:18
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Ephesians 3:13
Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Proverbs 24:16
For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

Psalm 107:2
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

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Eliminate Self-Condemnation – End the Cycle


We all know that we all make mistakes but we have a bad habit of beating ourselves up over it. This is what we call self-condemnation.

Self-condemnation – an admission that you have failed to do or be something you know you should do or be.

It’s one thing to learn to forgive others but you will find that some people have an even more difficult time at learning to forgive themselves for their past mistakes and failures. Sometimes people land in this negative mindset not because of things that they have done but because of the negative feedback they recieve from others which reinforces this state of self-condemnation. If you are told often enough that “you’re not good enough” or are in a verbally or physically abusive relationship, you can start to believe that you deserve the ill-treatment that you receive from others and end up allowing yourself to start to practice self-abuse because of self-condemnation.

Let me tell you right now that self-condemnation is NOT your PORTION in life. You have the ability to free yourself from this self-destructive way of thinking. Some people may find that if they are trapped in an abusive situation from their peers or loved ones, they face larger obstacles from freeing their mind from self-condemnation. I find that it’s one thing to teach on the value of forgiveness but it’s harder to put it into practice when the times call for it in these types of situations. This is not to say that there is no freedom from this vicious cycle, but there are obvious factors that are present in these circumstances that become obstacles from releasing ones mind from this type of negative mentality.   

Self-condemnation is a type of noose that is tied around a persons mind. There are steps one can take to avoid getting trapped into a cycle of self-condemnation. Normally, when you know you’ve made a mistake, you should allow yourself to:

1) RECOGNIZE your mistake(s);

2) REFLECT on what you could have done differently;

3) ACCEPT your current circumstances;

4) MOVE ON after learning what to do differently for the next time you encounter the same or similar situation.

Those that practice self-condemnation never seem to get past stage 1. It’s not enough to recognize your mistakes if you aren’t planning on reflecting on how to move on beyond it. This is how people get into emotional bondages that cause them to be unable to progress in life because they haven’t learned to forgive and let go of past mistakes. I remember a time when I made some crazy mistakes and beat myself out of it that I landed into a state of DEPRESSION. If you have read my earlier post on Comfort zones, this state of behavior is closely tied to that topic as well. When you get depressed you start to feel hopeless and you digress into negative thought patterns that entertain thoughts of suicide and eventually death if you leave yourself unchecked. You will feel vulnerable and this is why it is important to have accountability partners in your life. They snap you out of this crazy state of mind. At the time I didn’t have friends that could do this for  me and I had to learn how to fight this way of thinking on my own.

Even if you are alone, you can battle it out and get out of that cycle. However, I didn’t do this by my personal might nor by power because I knew if I did, it would be a losing battle. I relied on praying to God to get my mind back on track  and meditating on His Word (Zechariah 4:6). Believe me when I say that prayer really works and meditating on what the Word of God says helps you understand that you aren’t the first person to feel this way.Remember you can do all things through Christ you strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Break the cycle of self-abusive behaviours that trap you into that emotional roller-coaster of self-condemnation.

Self-condemnation prevents you from reaching out for help when you need it the most.

You don’t deserve to live in regret. Everyone has regrets, but you have to get past the regret and move forward to continue pressing on towards the goal (Philippians 3:13-15). You can’t change the past so look at your present circumstances and see the things that you need to change in order to do those things and have something too look forward to in your future. Learn to have a Positive mind by confessing positive  things to yourself. Do this everyday until you break your negative thought patterns. It can be as simple as writing 3 good things about yourself each day and believing in it. Notice the operative word here is BELIEVING. If you don’t believe in the positive things you hear about yourself then you will set yourself up to remain in that emotional bondage. Break yourself out of this mental entrapment. Do this and you will overcome and break the cycle.

Self-Condemners have a defeatist mentality. They already believe that there is no way they can change. That is lie that you should stop believing RIGHT NOW! You can overcome feeling defeated by changing how you see your failure.

Allow yourself to be free from self-condemnation. You have to surround yourself with positive-minded people. Meditate on things that give you that strength to look beyond your mistakes and failures. I keep repeating this in a lot of my posts but seriously “you become what you think” (Proverbs 23:7).

Exercise your FREEDOM! You don’t have to condemn yourself anymore. You can learn from your mistakes and free yourself from self-abusive meditation. Regrets shouldn’t shackle you down from pursuing your dreams and meaningful relationships. Understand that only you can change the way you think at the end of the day. People may be there in your life to guide you out of that negative pattern but essentially, it all boils down to you deciding to change your thought patterns. You can do this, it is achievable, it is possible, and is in your hands to break the shackles of your mind from believing that there is no way out. Change your belief patterns and think of positive things that will boost your self-esteem. You can change the way you think and start renewing your mind to think of things that edify your image as a person (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). Reject negative reports of others and don’t allow others to keep you feeling condemned for your actions forever.

Recognize your failures and decide to be free from this negative cycle and learn to FORGIVE YOURSELF.

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