For additional information on Salvation please follow link https://thejoyfulchristianministry.com/2017/01/26/prayer-of-salvation/
Proud People vs. Broken People
Proud people focus on the failures of others.
Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.
Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.
Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.
Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.
Proud people have to prove that they are right.
Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.
Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.
Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.
Broken people are self-denying.
Proud people desire to be served.
Broken people are motivated to serve others.
Proud people desire to be a success.
Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.
Proud people desire self-advancement.
Broken people desire to promote others.
Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated.
Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.
Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up.
Proud people have a subconscious feeling, “This ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts”; they think of what they can do for God.
Broken people’s heart attitude is, “I don’t deserve to have a part in any ministry”; they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.
Proud people feel confident in how much they know.
Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.
Proud people are self-conscious.
Broken people are not concerned with self at all.
Proud people keep others at arms’ length.
Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.
Proud people are quick to blame others.
Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.
Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.
Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.
Proud people are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work to protect their own image and reputation.
Broken people are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.
Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others.
Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.
Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up.
Broken people, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.
Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you please forgive me?”
Broken people are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.
Proud people tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.
Broken people are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.
Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin.
Broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.
Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught.
Broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.
Proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in a relationship.
Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is misunderstanding or conflict in relationships; they race to the cross; they see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been.
Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.
Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.
Proud people are blind to their true heart condition.
Broken people walk in the light.
Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of.
Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.
Proud people don’t think they need revival, but they are sure that everyone else does.
Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.
Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Abuse
Because the image of God is sacred, an assault upon one of his image-bearers through domestic abuse is an attack upon God himself.
Smartly-dressed Mike and his wife Debbie walked into my office for their first session. One look at Debbie revealed that she had been crying, but was trying to hold it together. Mike exuded smug self-confidence. Debbie’s head hung low, Mike’s was held high. As they told their story, details began to emerge.
Mike and Debbie were in their early thirties with two young boys, ages 2 and 4. Mike was an investment banker, Debbie a stay-at-home mom. When Debbie would share something in the session that made him look bad, one look from Mike would silence her, occasionally mid-sentence. During the session, Mike was calm and collected. As they told their story, it became clear that Mike would leave the family’s home early for work, often not returning until late into the evening. It was Debbie’s job to have dinner ready every evening at six, for at least herself and the children, but Mike felt himself under no obligation to attend dinner, and seldom did. Nor was he under any obligation to let Debbie know where he was or when he would be home. This was not her concern, he said.
In his words, Mike worked hard to provide a nice living and a nice home for them. If she was ungrateful for all he provided them, she could leave. If she did, he said, he would get the best lawyer money could buy and he would make sure that she and the kids didn’t get one penny more than he was obligated to give. He seemed completely, almost pathologically, at ease saying these words.
By all accounts Mike had never laid a hand on his wife or his children, at least so far. (He was seldom in close enough proximity to do so, frankly.) His abuse was entirely emotional and economic. The wife and children regularly attend a church in the area. The husband did not often attend. He didn’t see the need. Towards the end of the icy session, the husband declared, “Go ahead and tell the pastor how bad things are in our marriage. What can he do to help you?”
Over the years, I’ve heard many women say things like:
“I really wish that he would just go ahead and hit me. Then I would know what to do and I’d be able to get the church to help me get out.”
What I have described above is a case of verbal, emotional, psychological and economic abuse. And, though Mike hasn’t laid a hand on Debbie, she is being crushed by him. Brothers and sisters, this is a tragedy. And, sadly it is epidemic in the church.
Domestic abuse can be defined as the desecration of the image of God in one’s spouse or intimate partner through patterns of intentional misuse of power, overtly or covertly, in words or in actions, to gratify self. In the beginning, the Creator formed humankind in his own image (Gen 1:26-27). God breathed a soul having intrinsic worth and dignity into the man of dust (Gen 2:7), formed the woman from his side (Gen 2:21-23), blessed the man and the woman, and gave to them both dominion over the rest of the created order (Gen 1:28). As a desecration of the imago Dei, abuse is a violation of the inherent worth and dignity of the God-breathed human soul.
To “desecrate” is “to treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect.” Because the image of God is sacred, an assault upon one of his image-bearers is an attack upon God himself. Physical violence is tied to the imago Dei in Gen 9:6, “Whoever shed the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
But, the Scriptures also describe forms of violence that aren’t merely physical. Verbal assault is also tied to the image of God in James 3:7-9. Speaking of the tongue and its power, James asserts:
“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
Note the use of Genesis 1-2 language in James 3: “beast and bird”, “reptile and sea creature.” James references our creation mandate as image bearers who fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the rest of God’s creatures. Indeed, we have tamed and subdued the creatures of the earth successfully. Yet we use the most powerful of weapons, the tongues our Creator has graciously given to us to bless others, to verbally assault and curse those whom God has specially created in his likeness, all while blessing God simultaneously! What hypocrisy! How can we praise God and denigrate those who bear his image?
God has expressly told us how we are to use our words:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29)
Mike’s words tore down his wife, they were inappropriate, and they certainly did not give grace her – or to anyone. Mike had even mastered the use of non-verbal communication to incite fear and to control his wife.
Economic mistreatment of a husband and father to his family is just as abusive. Remember what Paul said to Timothy? “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim 5:8) Mike’s threats to withhold financial provision from his family placed him in a class that Paul called, “worse than an unbeliever.”
Abuse, in any form, overt or covert, in words or in actions, is an act of oppression against one’s spouse. It’s oppressive because it is a desecration of the image of God in the other person.
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble…he does not forget the cry of the afflicted” (Ps 9:9, 12)
“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” (Ps 10:17-18)
God responds to the oppressed by hearing their cry and offering them safety. God responds to oppressors with justice. Shouldn’t God’s people respond in the same way?
1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical abuse at some point in their lifetime. Those who have experienced severe verbal, emotional, psychological and economic abuse at the hands of an oppressor are even more common. Statistically, there are several Mikes and several Debbies in your church. How will you care for them?
Greg Wilson holds two Masters of Arts degrees, in Marriage and Family Counseling and Christian Education, from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor in the state of Texas, and is a featured Pre-Conference Workshop teacher at ABC’s 2017 National Conference, addressing this very issue of recognizing and responding to domestic abuse.
30 Prayers for your children
2. Growth in Grace—”I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)
4. Honesty and Integrity—”May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)
5. Self-Control—”Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.”
(1 Thess. 5:6)>
6. Love for God’s Word—”May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)
8. Mercy—”May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—”Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.(1 Pet. 2:17)
10. Biblical Self-Esteem—”Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)
11. Faithfulness—”Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)
12. Courage—”May my children always be strong and courageous in their character. (Deut. 31:6)
13. Purity—”Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)
14. Kindness—”Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thess. 5:15)
15. Generosity—”Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)
16. Peace-Loving—”Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)
17. Joy—”May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thes. 1:6)
18. Perseverance—”Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)
19. Humility—”God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)
20. Compassion—”Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)
21. Responsibility—”Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)
22. Contentment—”Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)
24. A Servant’s Heart—”God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)
25. Hope—”May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)
26. Willingness and Ability to Work—”Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)
27. Passion for God—”Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)
28.Self-Discipline—”Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)
29. Prayerfulness—”Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)
30. Gratitude—”Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7
I witnessed the worst and the best of humanity last night. I was on a call as an advocate on a child abuse case. A 14 year old girl had called the police to report her step father for sexually abusing her. This had been going on for 7 years. Her mother had threatened her continually, if she ever told anyone she would be thrown out of the house. During the interview the young girl was asked why she decided to call the police now she said “because my little sister just turned 7 the same age when he started molesting me, I wanted to protect my sister.”
This young girl had endured horrible abuse at the hands of her step father for years, Threats from her mother, no emotional support. Yet, the love she had for her sister caused her to risk everything to save her. When the stepfather found out what she had done and why, he responded..”I would never touch my biological child, I have morals” really you have morals? He was arrested and the mother decided her abused daughter could no longer live under her roof. she would be going to her grandmothers house to live. At the end of the night about 3am, I was sitting in the sheriffs suv crying my eye’s out and looked over and the big strapping deputy was doing the same thing.
While thinking about what a loving sacrifice this young women made for her sister. I thought about the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Jesus paid the highest price for you and me because He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He was put to death by being crucified on a cross, and his body was laid in a tomb behind a stone. He lived and then died rejected and alone. Like a rose He was trampled on the ground. Jesus took the fall and thought of you ABOVE ALL!
Jesus saw sacrifice as something beautiful because it would bring us life.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16.
Jesus’ calls us to voluntarily lay down our lives as He did–to sacrificially love people even when it’s uncomfortable or painful. What if you saw sacrifice as a beautiful word?
Just as this young girl sacrificed all for her sister, sacrificed her home, her security. This is real love. I pray for this young women, I pray when we follow up that she comes to know Jesus as her savior. That his transforming power will heal her heart. I know this young women changed my life with her sacrificial heart and bravery.
I received an email yesterday that has me a bit discouraged. Without going into detail, I will say that this path God has me on is difficult. I love sharing Jesus with people. I enjoy communicating about His healing. I love being an advocate for women.
But, I have been convicted about a secret I held for someone I loved, for way too many years. When he shared the secret with me, I was not educated on the subject and didn’t take the necessary precautions I should have. I watched this secret put a wedge between us for years. We as of a couple years ago are no longer together, I think this secret was a big part of our downfall and divorce and lack of trust. Now I deal with the ramifications, that, maybe I could have done something to change his heart long ago. This secret has left me with powerful feelings of fear and shame.
The Bible say’s “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:26-28
We may harbor secrets because we think the truth about a single evil past act or a continuing bad habit is too shameful to tell, or we may keep our secrets hidden because we don’t want to risk losing our friends. Either way, we remain alone, isolated, and desperate to stay hidden.
My own choices to keep this secret has caused me a lot of pain and confusion for years. I have shed many tears on how I could done things differently. I am ashamed that I did not make a bigger deal of it when he shared. I truly thought he had changed had genuine sorrow and that it was a thing of the past…well..it wasn’t.
I have found that Sin grows with secrets..“As Iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:7. Did I fail at this. Because at the end of our marriage this secret came crashing back. He had not change one bit. He was still stuck in this sinful past.
Our sinful nature always desires more. When you get away with something in secret, the deceitful nature of sin will convince you that it’s a reason to keep going. Eventually, you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, and there are only painful ways out.
What I realize now is, that darkness causes sin and pain to grow, the light brings redemption. In keeping this secret, I allowed darkness to grow. I also did a disservice to him for keeping it hidden. Some secrets bring much greater destruction into our lives than if they were revealed.
The truth is: this secret costs me a lot. My marriage…and that’s okay because perhaps it is my cross I bear. I just wish I could have had the joy of seeing him find healing and freedom which would have trumped all this angst. But now, I am ready to close the door on this: I need to close the door on my expectations. My expectation that he would really change his heart and be a new man.
Revealing this kind of secret can be a painful and a fearful experience. However, I realize now that it opens up new opportunities to experience God’s healing. But ignoring sin is never the solution. Never. We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we can sin “safely.”
Even among Christians it can be a real struggle to find the balance in when to keep a secret and when to reveal a secret sin-whether it is your sin, or your friend’s sin or your husbands sin.
It gets even more complicated for some Christians. Even if you have confessed your sins to Jesus, which sins should you reveal to others?
One young man who had been married for about a year revealed to his wife that he had been struggling with pornography. He thought this honesty would help their marriage. But his wife was so devastated by this admission, that her distrust of him grew to the point that she divorced him.
So should he have kept this secret from his wife? Would they still be married if he had said nothing to her? There are no simple answers to these complex questions.
God clearly reveals what lies in our future. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17) We can’t hide our sins forever.
The power of shame can cause us to give far too much power to our failures of the past. You can begin to believe the lie that “if others know about my failures, they won’t like me. They won’t trust me.” So we put up walls to hide our secrets, and live in fear of what will happen if others really know the truth about me.
Jesus states clearly that His arms are wide open for you. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 )
You can’t keep any secrets from God. No matter what you have done, He still loves you. Learning to live in the light of His truth will put you on the path to healthy living and peace in your heart.
The problem comes when we seem to be left in the dark. God often does not give us His 5 year plan for our future. He wants us to learn what it means to walk by faith-taking one step at a time, and putting our trust in Him that He knows what is best.
This faith walk goes against our natural desire to be in control. Surrendering control makes us feel vulnerable.
When we allow God to be in control, we open the door to a new level of freedom in our lives. You can have the confidence that He has your best as His top priority.
Since only God knows all the future, it’s a great choice to give Him full control.
If someone came to me today, with this same secret I would point them to a male counselor/pastor and probably would have distanced myself from him. I am not sure, although I know I was wrong in the way I handled it. I pray the Lord forgives me.
When the people closest to us sins, it hurts. Sin is destructive. When we are standing close by, we often get hit with shrapnel. My shrapnel was the secret.
The truth is, we all have a sin problem. That’s why we need Jesus so much. But if someone you love is trapped in a pattern of sin, or refuses to repent from sin the stakes can seem sky high. When I don’t know what to pray, I pray God’s Word.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
I pray for them to see their sin as God sees it.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 26:36
I pray that their heart will be soften.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Pray the word changes their heart.
God is in the business of dealing with sin. There is no sin too big for Him to forgive and no sinner too far for God to take them back. As you wait for Him to do the miraculous redemptive work only He can do, keep praying with great expectation.
Do you know someone stuck in a pattern of sin? Which of these prayers will you start praying on their behalf?
I once had a dear friend who asked me this question many times..Have I committed the unpardonable sin? How can I know if my repentance is genuine?
This is a question that has haunted many sensitive people in every Christian century, and maybe it has haunted you, like my friend. I want to be clear in saying that if you’re bothered in your spirit that you may have committed a sin God will not forgive, the very fact that you have anxiety over that is evidence you’ve not committed the sin. If He is still working in your heart, it’s not possible to have committed the unpardonable sin.
My reassurance is based on repentance. It is equally basic to, and almost synonymous with, the command, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Repentance is a biblical word. The Old Testament thunders, “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin” (Ezekiel 18:30, NKJV). The New Testament also vigorously exhorts men and women to repent. “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish,” said Jesus (Luke 13:3, NKJV). “Repent … and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” said the Apostle Peter (Acts 3:19, NKJV). The Apostle Paul said, “Now [God] commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30, NKJV).
The Bible commands it, our wickedness demands it, justice requires it, Christ preached it and God expects it. The divine, unalterable edict is still valid: “God commands all men everywhere to repent.”
The Bible says, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7, NKJV).
True repentance is contrition. The Bible says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NKJV). Contrition, or “godly sorrow,” as it is called in 2 Corinthians 7:10, is not a shallow sentiment nor empty emotion. It is a sincere regret over past sins and an earnest desire to walk in a new path of righteousness.
Repentance carries with it the idea of changing–changing your mind, changing your attitude, changing your ways. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV). If we are truly repentant, our will is brought into action and we will make a reversal of direction.
Repentance when you have hurt someone?
There are times in everyone’s life that it’s helpful to know if an offender is truly repentant. To know the true state of another’s heart. Is there godly sorrow and true repentance or worldly sorrow and temporary change?
When there is true, lasting repentance, restoration can occur as in Galatians 6:1. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Here are a few signs of genuine repentance:
We name our sin as sin and do not spin it or excuse it or call it an “issue”, and further, we demonstrate “godly sorrow,” which is to say, a grief chiefly about the sin itself, not just a grief about being caught or having to deal with the consequences of sin.
We have a willingness and eagerness to make amends. We will do whatever it takes to make things right and to demonstrate we have changed.
We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized, spending as much time as is required listening to them without jumping to defend ourselves.
We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized as they process their hurt, and we don’t pressure them or “guilt” them into forgiving us.
We are willing to confess our sin even in the face of serious consequences (including undergoing church discipline, having to go to jail, or having a spouse leave us).
We may grieve the consequences of our sin but we do not bristle under them or resent them. We understand that sometimes our sin causes great damage to others that is not healed in the short term (or perhaps ever).
We don’t resent accountability, pastoral rebuke, or church discipline.
We are humble and teachable.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” ~1 Corinthians 7:10
Is there someone you have hurt by your attitude, actions, or words that you have never apologized to? Have you been trying to justify your pride and stubbornness, even though, deep down, you know that God wants you to humble yourself and get things right?
Search your heart (Ps. 139:23-24). Is there a person with whom you need to make amends? Don’t delay. A close, satisfying walk with God depends upon you and me getting things right with people we have wronged. Trust God. Push through the fear and pride. Open your mouth in apology… and watch God do a great work in and through you.