“So that’s great, Shauna, but how do I stop gossiping or sinning?” you ask.
- Ask for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 tell us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
- Believe you are forgiven. Romans 6:6-7 says: “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to.”
- Stop committing the sin. John 5:14, Jesus tells a man he has healed, “Go, and sin no more.” He says the same thing to the sinful woman at the well, and adulterer in John 8:11.
- Live knowing that your sin is forgiven. Acts 3:13 tells us: “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out…”
- Strive to obey God’s Word. In John 14:5, we’re told by Jesus, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
My mom likes to say, “Guilt is the devil’s tool.” What she means by that is, Christ does not want us to feel guilty. In him, we are to live in freedom from sin, guilt, and shame, living blessed by the Fruit of the Spirit, so that we enjoy faith, hope, love, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
If we aren’t going to willfully sin, Satan wants us to become lodged in the mire of guilt and shame so that we become useless to the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants to stop us from doing God’s good will on this earth.
Swallow this like medicine, and let it spread through your system. When you repent, meaning that you ask God for forgiveness AND turn away from sin, that sin is gone forever. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).”
You will not be held accountable for it, because the price required was paid by Christ on the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1).”
As a Christian, you will always be forgiven and new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).”
So, once you’re forgiven of a sin, act like it. Live in freedom from guilt and shame! Revel in the good glory of our God and King and share your light with the world (Matt. 5:16).
In Step with Jesus
My goal, and hopefully yours, is to abide in Christ, so that he will abide in me. I want to pick up my cross daily and follow him. I want to be his hands and feet on this earth so that through me, people will see the love light of Christ.
I urge you to reassess your routine and make room for activities that will align your stride with Jesus’. How can you actively work toward moving closer to him?
If you’ve read this blog all the way through, you’ve seen that scripture is a giant part of my writing. That’s because about four years ago, I started setting aside time to read the bible every day. (I’ve skipped days, of course.) The Word of God sets itself in your heart when you’re committed to studying it. I firmly believe that the spiritual discipline of daily bible reading, accompanied by prayer and worship, help me move closer to Jesus each day.
Do you pray for someone in your life to change? Have you asked God to help someone make better decisions, get out of a relationship, or to stop drinking or doing drugs? In my prayers and petitions for others, I tell God my will and ask that his will be done, because it is best.
I recently realized that if I pray for a person to draw closer to Christ, he will automatically move farther from sin. It’s not rocket science, but it was a revelation to me!
My intercessory prayers have changed. Now I ask God to move people closer to him. I know that as my loved one becomes closer to God, he will in turn move away from his sinful human nature and step toward the loving, forgiving, life-giving arms of my Savior.