Plagued by Guilt

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“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.'” Isaiah 57:15, NASB

Clouding my thoughts and distressing my heart, guilt often tags along with me. I usually don’t recognize its presence, yet it’s there–lurking, oppressing, and hindering.

GUILT: “remorse or self-reproach caused by feeling that one is responsible for a wrong or offense”

Recently God exposed this awful companion to me. While I’m accustomed to feeling its presence, the Lord doesn’t want me to entertain it any longer. Because guilt holds me back: from joy, freedom, and abundant life in Christ.

God says,

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1

“These things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” John 17:13

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Gal. 5:1

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The evil one interferes. He whispers condemnation and judgment while stirring unrest in my spirit. Often his accusation is nebulous, for I can’t put my finger on it. Or, he repeatedly throws a past sin in my face, replaying it in my mind. Either way, the heaviness distracts me and leads me into anxiety.

ENOUGH!

Christ already has set me free–for eternity and for daily life.

“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

I know and believe this truth, yet now I’m learning to experience it in this area. Praise God! As I talk with Him when these thoughts and feelings arise, He’s helping me discern truth. And the truth is, God doesn’t operate by guilting us.

God dwells with those who are contrite and lowly of spirit … to REVIVE us! His thoughts and ways toward us are always good. Though we experience sadness and regret after we sin, God encourages us. He picks us up when we fall down. He forgives us when we confess.

Friend, does guilt plague you? Please join me in this journey of experiencing freedom in Christ.

God doesn’t guilt His people into living the Christian life–He loves and encourages us, daily making us more like Christ as we yield to Him.

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Tidbits of Truth: Belonging

TidbitsofTruth

“This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’S'; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the LORD,’ And will name Israel’s name with honor.” Isaiah 44:5, NASB

I wonder how today will go with this truth written on my hand ~ a personal reminder to me and a public display to others that I. Am. His.

Will you join me?

Ministry Update: Book Proposal & More

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“The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.” Ps. 126:3

Dear Friends,

As you know, I recently changed the subscription method for my blog. Whew! It’s been a challenge, but I’m thrilled you’ve chosen to continue on with me. Thank you so much.

God is leading me on the most fascinating journey with my book proposal. I sent it for editing earlier this month, and wow, it returned with lots of mark-ups–not exactly what I hoped for. But it’s all good. I feel the prayers because I’m not discouraged. Rather, I possess a peaceful determination to accomplish this correctly. The book now bears a completely new title, revised premise, and new devotion titles. I’m excited about God’s plan for this project! Please keep me in your prayers as the Holy Spirit leads. Thanks.

I’m also trying to raise money to attend a writer’s conference this coming May, and I’d love to do so by speaking at your church or women’s group. God has been pouring some fresh retreat material into my mind … please contact me if this interests you. I’m available for one session or up to four per event.

I sincerely appreciate you. We serve the most amazing God–what a blessing to enjoy Him together. If you have any prayer requests or simply need a listening ear, I’d be honored to hear from you.

In Christ’s Love,

Emily

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A New You

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“And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” Col. 3:10, NASB

New shoes. New clothes. A new hairstyle. What is it about something brand-new that makes us smile? I don’t know anyone who dislikes receiving an unused item–especially among my female friends :).

Material novelties aside, how do you feel about becoming a new you? I mean on the inside … who you are … your character? If you’ve placed your faith in Christ, God is diligently renewing you. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, blonde or brunette, soft-spoken or outspoken. God meticulously is working on you day-by-day and minute-by-minute. 

This truth encourages me immensely because let’s be real: sometimes life’s responsibilities become hum-drum. Doing dishes, washing laundry, cooking, and cleaning occasionally drive me crazy–I grow weary now and then of their constancy. Even more, repeatedly dealing with the same old sins can be discouraging. Why do I fail so often?

Friends, God isn’t taking who we were and fixing it up. At the moment of salvation, He ends our state of corruption and initiates a new beginning. This is HIS work, which I find extremely comforting.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6

Though I struggle with sins like selfishness and speaking thoughtlessly, God is making me new. Despite my frequent missteps, God is making me new. And He won’t stop until Jesus comes back.

What about you? What responsibilities or failures weigh you down? Pause. Look up. Be encouraged. Almighty God holds you in His hands and carefully shapes you through the very situations that just crossed your mind. In every aspect of life, God renews us with a true knowledge–an experiential knowledge–of Christ, while forming Christ in us at the same time.

Rejoice! God is making you new.

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Tidbits of Truth: Majesty & Strength

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“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength.” Ps. 93:1

Our awesome God is clothed with majesty and strength … and by His grace we’re clothed in the righteousness of His Son. Isn’t that absolutely incredible?! Joy to you today, my friends!