Regarding How Closely We Walk with the Lord
Do We Really Love Our Enemies? (Sharing Facebook posts, original writings)
Good news! I just dropped from obese class II obese class I. I began losing weight right on the brink of a higher overweight class -- obese class III.
As of this morning, I have lost 29 pounds so far. I need to lose 64 more to reach my primary goal.
See the previous blog entry (Aug. 24) about how I was holding to a position of faith in Jesus Christ at the end of my time of prayer in the morning (well, it was late morning and a bit after noon here).
To God Be the Glory
Last night (a few minutes after 10:00 p.m., in Indiana, USA) of the same day, I returned to the park to walk and pray once again. This time I immediately felt the presence of God before I even exited my car. I was still trying to hold steady in my faith, believing that Jesus does indeed save me now, in answer to my prayers and in keeping with His promises.
"2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
Several of the promises to which my faith was clinging I quoted in the previous blog. Another verse of Scripture I had been quoting in prayer to God was "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24). But, this time I felt that God was telling me to leave off the part about unbelief and just say, "Lord, I believe!"
I found that most of the time I could only thank God, quote His promises back to Him, weep with joy, and praise Him for keeping His Word. The presence of God was so real to my heart. And thus His Spirit gives me the assurance that now Jesus Christ is indeed with me and that I am once again one of His very own.
I felt I was the prodigal son and that my Heavenly Father, having seen me a long way off, ran to meet me!
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
And he said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living...
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Luke 15:10-13, 17-20 (read the whole passage for the whole story)(Bold added for emphasis)
It has been at least ten long years since I have felt the presence of God so real to my own heart. I am so glad that God's Word is unchanging and a firm foundation. I chose to seek Him and to walk in the light that I had, but I also prayed that He would help me every step of the way and give me the grace and guidance needed to return to Him, and He did!
Once again God has proven to me the truth of the promise, "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you." As my college Theology professor once put it, "If you will draw near to God, He will draw near to you, and there will be a meeting."
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:5-8
Here I quote part of a grand old gospel hymn.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done.
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice.
Oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." 2 Corinthians 9:15
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
As some will know from a post here or there in the forums, I am making some major changes in my life. I have at least implied, maybe even clearly stated a time or two, that this involves a renewal of my relationship with God. While I am sure some will not understand this, I believe it is good for me to testify to what is going on in this regard.
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10 KJV)
I had failed God and lost the vital spiritual relationship with Him that I had once known. Though for the most part I was not living in open rebellion to His commandments, I had broken them multiple times -- primarily in my heart. I had been in this condition for a number of years. This whole time I had also ceased to attend public worship.
Now, in about a weeks time, I have listened to the entire New Testament, narrated by Alexander Scourby. Also, I have reestablished a regular reading of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament. The matter of prayer has been more difficult, but I have spent some time in prayer to God to be restored to true spiritual life.
I have confessed to God all I know to confess and have determined to do whatever He tells me in order to properly repent of my sins. This has included confessing some things to my wife and asking her forgiveness. I will also be disposing of everything in my life which goes against my faith, including the ungodly music, movies, and games I had acquired in the last several years.
I am greatly embarrassed at my time of failure -- which people of my faith would refer to as a time of backsliding -- especially since I had been a preacher of the gospel for a number of years before this.
Today, while walking two miles at the park, and then spending a few more minutes in the car, I was able to pray and focus on the promises of God.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:11-13)
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (I John 2:1, 2)
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2)
So, I reasoned with myself as I sought the Lord in prayer, Jesus Christ is able to save me. He is willing to save me; and, the time is now. So, I shall believe Him to do it now. I now believe once again that Jesus Christ is my Saviour from sin. I am trusting Him with my salvation and to guide me in His perfect way of righteousness and true holiness. I will hold steady, continuing in prayer, faith and obedience until I am sure I have the witness of the Holy Spirit.
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." (I John 5:10)
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Romans 8:6)
Anyone who understands and believes, if you could pray for me, I will appreciate it immensely.
God bless all who read and may God be glorified through it all.