New Commitments for the New Year 2014

Author: Voice Of God Ministry  //  Category: Fundamental Truth

This year promise word (2014)
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.” Luke 13. 6-9


Well it’s that time of year again when in a fit of optimism many of us make great promises to ourselves about what we are going to do in the New Year that we usually abandon about the second week in January.
In fact, what we want to do is to offer to you a way of starting the New Year which could significantly change your life.
Here they are

The first Christian leaders, Paul gave this advice “Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13-14 .That advice from God’s Word has stood the test of time. I don’t know of any more relevant and practical advice for us at the start of 2014 .For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.

God is here that you have not lived your life imprisoned by your past.
All of us have failed in some way in our lives over the last year.
Probably we won’t see our failures recorded but they are recorded in our hearts and minds.

For many of us our failures are painful memories. Maybe for you it is a memory of how you failed in a relationship. You made the wrong decisions, said and did the wrong things and the relationship ended.

Some of you who are parents probably know that you failed your children in some way, many of us are aware that we have failed our parents and it’s more than likely that many of us know that most of all we have failed ourselves in some ways.

What God’s Word is saying is that we must not allow ourselves to be bogged down by our past failures. That we have not dwell on our past so that it stops us moving forward into the future that God has for us. For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.

I think that the start of New Year is a good time for you to rise to that challenge. To say to you I am going to, with help of God, forget my past. I am going to stop torturing myself about what I did or didn’t do. This New Year is a good time to stop being chained to your past failures. God is saying here in His Word that he doesn’t want you to go through your life branding yourself as a failure.

On the Cross died so that he could forgive. When we become Christians on purpose that forgiveness becomes a reality in our lives. When we have received Christ’s forgiveness it allows us to forgive ourselves and forget our failures. Do you need to do that? Right here this morning do you need to accept Jesus forgiveness and then forgive yourself?

Failure is an ugly word. No one likes it. Everyone is subject to its attacks. There are no ideal situations in which failure cannot become a reality. The first man and woman God created were placed in an environment perfectly suited for them. And yet they failed miserably. Throughout the Scriptures, many of God’s servants suffered failures. The most successful men and women in history have experienced failure likeNaomi andRuth fromwhich through the family king David and Jesus born in later.

There are many brothers and sisters who feel that because they have sinned and failed God at some time in their past lives, therefore they cannot fulfill God’s perfect plan for their lives now. Let us look at what the Scriptures have to say on this matter, and not lean on our own understanding or our sense of logic. Notice first of all, how the Bible begins.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). And the heavens and the earth must have been perfect when God created them, for nothing imperfect or incomplete can ever come forth from His hand.But some of the angels whom He had created fell away, and this is described for us in Isaiah 14:11-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-18. It was then that the earth came into the condition described in Gen. 1:2, “formless, empty and dark”

The rest of Gen. 1 describes how God worked on that shapeless, empty, dark mass and made something so beautiful out of it that He Himself declared it to be “very good” (Gen. 1:31). We read in Genesis 1:2,3 that the Spirit of God moved over the earth, and God spoke His Word – and this was what made the difference.

What is the message in that for us today?
Just this that no matter how much we may have failed or how much we may have made a mess of things, God can still make something glorious out of our lives. God had a perfect plan for the heavens and the earth when he created them. But this plan had to be set aside because of Lucifer’s failure. But God remade the heavens and the earth and still produced something very good out of it.

Now consider what happened next. God made Adam and Eve and started all over again. God must have had a perfect plan for them too, which obviously did not include their eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But they did eat of the forbidden tree and frustrated God’s original plan for them – whatever the plan may have been. Logic would now tell us that they could not fulfill God’s perfect plan any longer.

Yet we see that when God came to meet them in the garden, He does not tell them that they would now have to live only on His second best for the rest of their lives. No. He promises them in Genesis 3:15 that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. That was a promise of Christ’s dying for the sins of the world and overcoming satan on Calvary.

Now consider this fact and see if you can reason it out.
We know that Christ’s death was part of God’s perfect plan from all eternity. “The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). Yet we also know that Christ died only because Adam and Eve sinned and failed God. So logically, we could say that God’s perfect plan to send Christ to die for the sins of the world was fulfilled, not despite Adam’s failure, but because of Adam’s failure! We would not have known God’s love shown on Calvary’s cross, were it not for Adam’s sin.That baffles logic and that is why the Scriptures say that we should “not lean on our own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

If God worked according to mathematical logic, then we would have to say that Christ coming to the earth was God’s second best plan. But it would be blasphemous to say so. It was part of God’s perfect plan for man. God makes no mistakes. But since God is almighty as well as sovereign, and since He also knows the end from the beginning, and since He is always silently planning for us in love, human reasoning fails when we try to explain His dealings with us.
God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts.

The difference between them is as great as the distance between heaven and earth (Isa. 55:8,9). So it is good for us to set our clever reasoning and logic aside when trying to understand God’s ways. What then is the message that God is trying to get through to us right from the opening pages of the Bible? Just this, that He can take a man who has failed and make something glorious out of him and still make him fulfill God’s perfect plan for his life.That is God’s message to man, in the Bible and we must never forget it.

God can take a man who has failed repeatedly, and still make him fulfill His perfect plan – not God’s second best, but God’s best plan. This is because even the failure may have been part of God’s perfect plan to teach him a few unforgettable lessons. This is impossible for human logic to grasp, because we know God so very little.

It is only broken men and women whom God can use. And one way He breaks us is through repeated failures. Part of the Apostle Peter’s training for leadership was failure. The Lord used Peter’s failure to break him. One of the biggest problems that God has with us is to bless us in such a way that the blessing does not puff us up with pride. To get victory over anger and then to be proud of it, is to fall into a far deeper pit than the one we were in! God has to keep us humble in victory.

Genuine victory over sin is always accompanied by the deepest humility. This is where repeated failures have a part to play in destroying our self-confidence so that we are convinced that victory over sin is not possible apart from God’s enabling grace. Then, when we do get victory, we can never boast about it.Further, when we have failed repeatedly ourselves, we can never despise another who fails.

We can sympathize with those who fall, because we have come to know the weakness of our own flesh, through our own innumerable falls. We can “deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since we ourselves are beset with weakness” (Heb. 5:2). Whatever your blunders or failures, you can make a new beginning with God. And even if you have made a thousand new beginnings in the past and have come to failure, you can still make the 1001st new beginning today. God can still make something glorious out of your life. While there is life, there is hope.

Why Does God Allow Us to Fail?
The causes of some failures are not quite as clear as others. When we have given our best, why does God allow us to experience failure?God is not the cause of our failure though He does allow it. Even though we are His children and want what is best, why do we still experience failure? We do not always know what is best. Then, sometimes, we allow ourselves to become sidetracked.

Our priorities get out of order; our motivation becomes selfish; Christ is no longer the center of our lives. Failure is God’s way of getting our attention, humbling us, disciplining us, and bringing us back to Himself. Sometimes God uses a painful failure to express His fatherly love toward us.

Remember, there is a difference between failing and being a failure. It is never God’s intention to make us become failures. However, He sometimes allows us to fail today in order to bring us success tomorrow. God has planted in your every defeat the seeds of your future success. Successful people are those who apply God’s remedy for failure: humbling themselves before Him in repentance, surrounding to His will and His goals for their lives. For the believer, every failure can be a stepping stone to success.

Matthew 6:14,15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 18:21, 22 Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Followed by the parable of the ungrateful servant)…….35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Mark 11:25. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”. Luke 6:37. “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven .Luke 17:3, 4 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sin against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Why does God make such an issue of forgiveness? I think we can answer that question several different ways. First, forgiveness reflects God’s character. When we forgive we reflect the Father’s love. The standard is this: forgive AS He has forgiven you. Forgiveness gives us the opportunity to extend to others what God has extended to us.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Ephesians 4:31.Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness Forgiveness releases us. The alternative to forgiveness is bitterness and resentment.

Final word of KingDavid
“And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.” 1 Kings 2-8-9
David rested.

The very next word: So David rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David. 1 Kings 2.10 .Hence, what is the message from this, Small bitterness is enough to spoil your spiritual heart. The final words of God fearing David word, “but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.” Let the great king David final word preaches to through away the bitterness from our heart. But, David was the old covenant believer but, for us Jesus says love your enemy .if you love your enemy you will be automatically forgive them also..In Luke 5

When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you. Luke 5:20. He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” Luke 5:24-26.To ensures our prayer to be answer, and for our forgiveness and to remove our sickness it is the more basic requirement. But, it is to be by the unconditional love.

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, gave this advice “Bear with each other and forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Col 3:13

Did you catch that challenge?
God in those words is challenging you directly and personally to give up your grudges. That is what he means when he says forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another. What’s a grudge? A grudge is a deep ongoing resentment that we cultivate in our hearts against someone else.
A grudge is an unforgiving spirit that leads to unforgiving attitudes and unforgiving actions.

Now I know you know what I am talking about.Harboring a grudge is about nursing a dislike for someone. What you need to know is that grudges are dangerous because they are destructive. Grudges destroy marriages. Grudges break up families. Grudges ruin friendships. Grudges split churches.

Let’s be honest enough to admit that one of the scandals of the Church is the grudges that Christians hold against one another. Today if you know you are holding a grudge against someone then God has something to say to you. He says “give it up.” I want to remind you that grudges are not just destructive they are also self-destructive. When you hold a grudge against someone you will hurt yourself as much and perhaps more than you will hurt the person you are holding it against.

Make no mistake about it, if you keep harboring a grudge then it will eventually destroy you, if not physically, certainly emotionally and spiritually. It will make you a bitter and twisted person. The book of Job in chap 21 describes people who “Have no happiness at all, they live and die with bitter hearts.” Do you really want that to be your epitaph?
Do you remember that parable that Jesus told about the servant who was forgiven a huge debt by the king and then refused to forgive someone else a tiny amount? Jesus said his unforgiving spirit landed him in prison. Max Luxcado makes this interesting comment in one his books. He says, “Unforgiving servants always end up in prison. That is the Prisons of anger guilt and depression.

God says to you in His word “don’t sentence yourself to prison.” Set yourself free. Give up your grudges “forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another.” According to God’s Word the way to give up a grudge is to forgive a grievance. Notice what God is saying here. He isn’t asking you to ignore whatever the person has done to you.

He isn’t asking you to pretend it did happen. He doesn’t ask you to condone it, to pretend it didn’t matter. What God asks you to do is to forgive the grievance. That means to acknowledge how wrong and painful what was done to you was but to decide to forgive person who did the wrong to you.

I am absolutely certain that there are people here who need to give up their grudges and forgive the grievance they have against someone else. Some of you need to forgive the grievance you have against your parents for what they did or didn’t do. Some of you need to forgive your children for the same reason. Some of you need to forgive a partner for emotional or physical abuse.

Some of you need to give up the grudge you have against someone at work because of the way they have treated you. Some of you need to give up the grudge that stems from an argument you had with someone. Some of you probably need to give up grudges you have against other people in this congregation.

God says that that deep-seated resentment you have against that person has to go. What better time to make that difficult decision to forgive than the start of a new year?Now don’t tell God you can’t forgive, because what you really mean when you say that is that you won’t forgive. If Christ can forgive you your sin despite it involving the pain of the cross then surely you can give up your grievance whatever the cost?

What does it mean to forgive a person?
When have we truly forgiven? When we strive against all thoughts of revenge, when we will not do our enemy’s mischief, but wish well to them, grieve at their calamities, pray for, seek reconciliation with them, and show ourselves ready on all occasions to relieve them. This is gospel- forgiving.

Forgiveness has taken place when we can honestly seek well for the other person. It is when we make an effort to restore a relationship rather than avoid the relationship. Forgiveness has taken place when past actions no longer hold a present bearing. Forgiveness is real when hate is replaced by love.

True Forgiveness takes time
Forgiveness is seldom a one-time affair. We have to consciously seek to forgive again and again. One moment we may feel we have let the matter go and in the next something stimulates a painful memory that must be dealt with again. The roots of bitterness go deep. The deeper the hurt, the more time may be needed for the difficult work of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a decision of the mind and the heart which must be reaffirmed over and over.

I have often said, “I forgive you,” but even as I said these words my heart remained angry or resentful. I still wanted to hear the story that tells me that I was right after all; I still wanted to hear apologies and excuses; I still wanted the satisfaction of receiving some praise in return-if only the praise for being so forgiving!

But God’s forgiveness is unconditional; it comes from a heart that does not demand anything for itself, a heart that is completely empty of self-seeking. It is this divine forgiveness that I have to practice in my daily life. It calls me to keep stepping over all my arguments that say forgiveness is unwise, unhealthy, and impractical. It challenges me to step over all my needs for gratitude and compliments. Finally, it demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put a few conditions between me and the one whom I am asked to forgive. [Henri Nouwen quoted by Yancey p.82]

“In the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out. I leave in God’s hands the scales that must balance justice and mercy.” Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31.The Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus, is possibly the best-known quote from the Bible and is the standard Jesus set for dealing with other people. If we wish to be loved, we must give love.

If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we dislike. If we wish to be forgiven, we must also forgive. If we wish others to speak kindly of us, we must speak kindly of them and avoid gossip. If we want happy marriages, we must be faithful, forgiving and kind to our spouses. If we wish to be fulfilled in our lives, we must share generously with others.The question is will you do it?
3. Asking forgive from God and Man to ensure our Good Relationship.
Good Relationship with God.

Godly people relationship is two side of the coin. One with God another with Man, Both is important. Coin has not better relation with his younger brother and God advice to Him. “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right.

But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4.6-7. One who has the better relation with God will always love others and he will have the better relation with one another like Jesus. When we are doing wrong to any person in the world is also against with God. It is proved by the word in Jesus illustration inParable of the Lost Son…
He thus plans to return to his father and say three things:
(a) “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” (v. 18),
(Here, it is cleared when we are doing something wrong against anyone it is against the heaven first then only against the person.)
(b) “I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (v. 19a),
(c) “Treat me as one of your hired servants” (v. 19b).
Even being treated as one of his father’s hired servants would be better than the treatment he is receiving in the gentile world.
The returning son must have been astonished!
But he continues by beginning to recite his pre-scripted speech to his father, and he manages to get the first two parts of it out. He says:
(a) “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” (v. 21a),
(b) “I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (v. 21b).

But before he can say the third part–before he can ask to be treated merely as a servant–the father interrupts things and takes them in a very different direction. Rather than treating his younger son as a mere servant, he turns to the actual servants and orders a celebration

From this parable we can draw a number of spiritual lessons:
We can be a genuine son of the Father–who is spiritually “alive”–and be “lost” through sin. We can turn our backs on our heavenly Father and leave him of our own free will. Mortal sin is a real possibility.

Mortal sin inevitably lands us in a far worse state than we were in originally.
We can, however, return to the Father and be accepted by him with great joy. In fact, he is ready and eager to accept us back and forgive us, no matter what we’ve done. Christians who have never fallen should not resent those who come back. They should share in their Father’s joy.

Their own place is secure and their heavenly reward is not threatened. God loves them just as much as he loves those who come back through a dramatic conversion. We can, however, return to the Father and be accepted by him with great joy. In fact, he is ready and eager to accept us back and forgive us, no matter what we’ve done.

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life. We deserve to pay for our own sin. The problem is, the payment is death. So that we would not have to die separated from God, out of his love for us, Jesus Christ died in our place.

To forgive other is easy than asking forgiveness from other is very difficult but, it is easy to who to forgive other is very easy. Those who are humble before God will always ready to said sorry, asking apology and to say forgive me for their wrong action. But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them.

Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime. May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer? Psalm 19.12-14

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned.

Leviticus 5:5.Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 2 Samuel 12:13.Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. Nehemiah 9:2

A frequent question is “what happens if I sin, and then I die before I have an opportunity to confess that sin to God?” Another common question is “what happens if I commit a sin, but then forget about it and never remember to confess it to God?” Both of these questions rest on a faulty assumption. Salvation is not a matter of believers trying to confess and repent from every sin they commit before they die.

Salvation is not based on whether a Christian has confessed and repented of every sin. Yes, we should confess our sins to God as soon as we are aware that we have sinned. However, we do not always need to be asking God for forgiveness. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, all of our sins are forgiven. That includes past, present, and future, big or small.

Believers do not have to keep asking for forgiveness or repenting in order to have their sins forgiven. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and when they are forgiven, they are all forgiven (Colossians 1:14; Acts 10:43). What we are to do is confessing our sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

What this verse tells us to do is “confess” our sins to God. The word “confess” means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong, that we have sinned. God forgives us, through confession, on an ongoing basis because of the fact that He is “faithful and just.” How is God “faithful and just”? He is faithful by forgiving sins, which He has promised to do for all those who receive Christ as Savior. He is just by applying Christ’s payment for our sins, recognizing that the sins have indeed been atoned for.

At the same time, 1 John 1:9 does indicate that somehow forgiveness is dependent on our confessing our sins to God. How does this work if all of our sins are forgiven the moment we receive Christ as Savior? It seems that what the apostle John is describing here is “relational” forgiveness. All of our sins are forgiven “position ally” the moment we receive Christ as Savior.

This positional forgiveness guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will not deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins. That is positional forgiveness. The concept of relational forgiveness is based on the fact that when we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, they still result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God. A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family. A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally. At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored. This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes.

That is why we confess our sins to God—not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.

The Bible states that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God…by him all things were created….” Jesus was crucified for blasphemy – for clearly identifying himself as equal to God — which he was. On the cross, Jesus took all of our sin on him and completely, fully paid for it. “For Christ also died for sins…the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”6 Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, our sin doesn’t have to separate us from God any longer. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus not only died for our sin, he rose from the dead.8 When he did, he proved beyond doubt that he can rightfully promise eternal life — that he is the Son of God and the only means by which we can know God. That is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one can come to the Father except through me.” Instead of trying harder to reach God, he tells us how we can begin a relationship with him right now.

Jesus says, “Come to me.” “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” It was Jesus’ love for us that caused him to endure the cross. And he now invites us to come to him, that we might begin a personal relationship with God. Just knowing what Jesus has done for us and what he is offering us is not enough. To have a relationship with God, we need to welcome him into our life…
Good Relationship with Man.
It’s the simple mathematics of being human. Two people plus one relationship equals inevitable pain. One unkind word, careless act, or intentional attack, and a gulf is opened that could potentially damage a relationship forever. That’s where the need for real, biblical forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness can heal even the worst damage between husbands and wives, children and parents, Mother-in-law, Father in law longtime friends, and everyone in between.

God in his word issues an invitation. It is the invitation whether our personal relationships are working properly. Here is how the Lord issues that challenge in “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18.This means you need not to mingle with them if they are in case of not a Godly people or unbeliever but, you have to love them and need not to hate them. Through your God’s divine nature you can help them to close near to Jesus without harm in your heart.

God know your heart very well and humble yourself and forgive others and don’t hesitate to ask forgiveness in case of anything wrong in your side. Prude one wills never asking for forgiveness. Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 “God opposes the proud but favors the humble. James 4.6 In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders.

And all of you serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble 1 Peter 5.5The important phrase there is, as far as it depends on you. God by using that phrase is personally challenging each one of us to do all we can to restore our relationships. The Lord wants you to do everything you can to restore any relationships that have gone wrong in your life.

Some relationships might have gone wrong in your life because of what other people have done and they might well not want that relationship restored. God recognizes that. That is why he starts by saying “If it’s possible” But let’s be honest some of our relationships have gone wrong because of what we have done haven’t they? A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family. A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally.

At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored. This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes. That is why we confess our sins to God—not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.

To live at peace with everyone it is saying if you have caused a rift in a relationship then you have a responsibility to do everything you can to restore it. That everything includes the one thing we all probably find most difficult, asking for forgiveness.Am I the only person who finds it hardest to say “I am sorry” to the people I am closest too? I wonder how many marriages represented here are not all they should be or could be simply because someone won’t say “I was wrong, I am sorry, will you forgive me”

I am certain that some of us who are married need to ask forgiveness for “harsh words and cutting remarks” that have really wounded our partners over the years. Maybe God is saying to some of you that this change of year is the right time to restore that relationship you ruined by going and sincerely saying that you are sorry for those angry words or those selfish and unrespect actions.

Keith Drury is a brilliant writer from the Wesleyan Church and in one of his books he touches on this whole subject of restoring relationships when talking about restitution. This is what he says “restitution deals with more than property. It is also going back and making things right for hurtful things I’ve said or done.

It’s far easier for me to tell you some story than to tell you of the difficult and painful times I’ve had to ask my wife, my boys, my boss, friends and secretary to forgive me. Restitution is asking forgiveness for harsh words, quick tongue, or cutting remarks.

It is asking forgiveness from a brother you hurt, a mother you caused heartache to, or a former spouse which you maligned. Restitution is confessing and seeking forgiveness from an old business partner, neighbor, or roommate. It is admitting my past errors in relationships and humbly seeking forgiveness from the one I’ve hurt. And it’s harder to make personal restitution than property restitution.”

Make no mistake it will be hard to do but one of the most significant things that you can do to mark the New Year is not set off a firework but to admit your past errors in relationships and humbly seek forgiveness from the one you have hurt. Will you rise to that challenge and make a commitment to restore your broken relationships in this New Year!

4. Get away from all the Dead Works.
Works – Acts performed in obedience to the law of God. Acts include righteous deeds, growth, creation and building in Spiritual Life.
Dead Works – Acts performed in disobedience to the law of God that are without life and inanimate. Acts are not functioning, operating or productive
The six principles of the doctrine of Christ for foundation building are , Sins (Dead Works), Faith. Water Baptism, Holy Spirit Baptism, Resurrection. And Judgment

The New Testament speaks of the works of the flesh in (Gal. 5:19). Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, as well as of dead works in (Heb. 6:1). Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, Those who indulge in the works of the flesh such as immorality, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, etc, will certainly not inherit the kingdom of God. These works are so obviously sinful that it would be difficult for a believer to practice any of them without being convicted in his conscience.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40.It is very simply the work done against these two commandments all is the Dead works.

Thus, from the only other place in the Scriptures that the phrase “dead works” is used, the context indicates that this means that man cannot be justified by the works of the law, but only by the blood of Jesus Christ. In other words “repentance from dead works” is the doctrine that we must repent from trusting in our own dead works to save us. Instead, we must trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

So, to get some more ideas about this, let’s look up the following words in our concordances: “works”, “dead”, “repentance”:

Galatians 2:16 – “man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ… for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. “Ephesians 2:8-9 – “not of works”2 Timothy 1:9 – “not according to our works “Titus 3:5 – “not by works of righteousness which we have done “Romans 3:21-22 – “by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight “Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Isaiah 64:6 – “all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags”We see that there are many verses that support the doctrine that man cannot be justified (or saved) by works.

Dead works, however, are more deceitful. They are externally good works, but they spring from a corrupt source (for nothing good dwells in our flesh) and are therefore like a filthy garment in God’s eyes (Rom. 7:18; Isa. 64:6).We are therefore commanded to repent not only from sin but from dead works too. It is only after we have laid such a foundation, that we can press on to perfection (Heb. 6:1).It is well known among believers that the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all sin. What is not so well known is the fact that the blood of Christ must cleanse our conscience from dead works too before we can serve the living God aright (Heb. 9:14).It is essential therefore that we have a clear understanding of what dead works really are.

Works Done Without Joy, Without Love, Without Zeal, Without Faith, Works Done For Personal Gain And Honor, Merely To Ease One’s Conscience, Out Of Fear Of Divine Judgment, For The Sake Of Obtaining A Reward, Without Bearing The Dying Of Jesus, Works That Originate From Our Own Human Reason` are the few dead work among many.

In Rev.”I know your works … you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot … be zealous therefore” (Rev. 3:15-19). Half-hearted works are dead works. Most Christian assemblies are today in a lifeless condition lacking the burning fire of the Holy Spirit. They are ready for being rejected by the Lord (Rev. 3:16) for their lack of zeal. We need to repent of such dead works in our own life

Works done outside of faith in Jesus – these are dead works! These works are done independent of God and other than independent on God because that not done in obedience to His hear word. Faith without repentance is dead! Faith without obedience is dead! But you can’t repent or be obedient without hearing the Word of the Lord first. Faith begins with hearing God. Spirit-less works are dead because they are done out of your own strength and not dependent on the perfect grace of God.

1 John 3:12 – Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.Cain’s works were evil, dead works because they were done in disobedience to God. Abel’s were considered righteous and true because they were done according to his faith in God and in obedience to God.

In conclusion, repentance from dead works is turning away from self-initiated, self-empowered, and self-righteous works and turning toward a complete dependency on the Spirit of God by faith for initiating Spirit-led works and thus fulfilling righteousness in us. And the works which we do hereafter, in submission and obedience to His Spirit, follow us and testify of God in us.

We will elaborate on this much more in “Baptisms”. For those of us in the kingdom we have found a rest from dead works (works done in our own strength) by dying in the Lord. In the ultimate judgment of all judgments, the Great White Throne Judgment, to end all judgments, all men will be judged according to their works. Jesus will know whether you engaged in works that were completely dependent upon God by the hearing of faith (Rom. 10:17; Gal. 3:2,5) or if they were works done outside of faith (outside of hearing God), resulting in disobedience to God.
What is the difference between a man who has faith (trusts) and a man who believes?
It’s quite simple, in this comparison of faith and believes, that James teaches: the devils do not submit to the authority of the one God. They remain acting independently of God just like many who say they believe in God. But for those who have biblical faith, they submit and act accordingly to the authority and supremacy of God. James then uses Abraham’s example of faith and says that Abraham was justified by works. Abraham’s faith co-worked with his works.

In the context of this passage, we realize that works is not meant to be works of self-righteousness and independence, but rather works of obedience to God. Abraham obeyed God and offered Isaac, his son, on the altar out of obedience to God. Therefore, it was said of Abraham that righteousness was imputed to him because He obeyed the Lord, not because he did what he thought was right in his own eyes. He heard the Lord and obeyed. That is biblical faith.

Using this example, James then says we see that by works man is justified, not by faith alone, separate and apart from works. It is faith and works that justifies, not faith alone because works make his faith perfect or complete. He also used the example of Rahab the harlot in that she could have just said that she had faith in the God of Israel and left it at that. But she had such faith in the God of Israel that she helped the spies escape. Rahab the harlot was also justified by works – works that coincided with her faith. God and all others can see the true biblical faith of people in God by their works of obedience to God.

He compared that type of belief with the belief of devils who do fear and tremble at that truth that there is only one God. The difference is that if James can compare and show the similarity between your belief and the devils’ beliefs, of what profit is it to have that belief? The sarcasm is that James knows it is impossible to show faith without works because he knows faith is dead without works

Contrary to public opinion, faith alone does not save. The public opinion holds to the notion that faith simply believes, which is a mental ascension and acceptance of a truth. But biblically defined faith says that faith is not just a belief, but a belief ensued or followed by action in response to that belief.

Lastly James compares faith without works to a body without a spirit and we all know a body (faith) without a spirit (works) is dead. Dead! Dead! Dead!
Therefore If you are a sinner without grace, no amount of good works will be rewarded. If you are a sinner without grace, you do not get credit by the LORD GOD for any works that you have done in your life. If you are a sinner without grace, you cannot be saved by your works. A sinner can repent from dead works and be saved by grace of the LORD GOD by, accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. If your foundation is laid on Jesus Christ, but you have not produced good works that sustain the testing of fire, you will be saved, but will suffer loss.

If your foundation is laid on Jesus Christ, and your good works sustain the testing of fire, you will be saved and rewarded. If sin is present in the midst of your good works, the fire of the Holy Spirit will burn away all impurities. The type of work is revealed by this fire and classified as gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. If impurity is present throughout your works, you will have stubble, hay or wood which will quickly be burnt away.

You will suffer loss. If no impurity is present throughout your works, you will have gold, silver or precious stones. You will be rewarded. If your works are pure and complete and under the direction of the LORD GOD, the Lord Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit, the fire will reveal gold. It is very, very good if your works are classified as “gold”. You will receive great reward

God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). He also loves a cheerful doer of His will. He meets those who rejoice in doing righteousness (Isa. 64:5). When the Israelites did not serve the Lord with joy, they were punished by being made to serve their enemies (Deut. 28:47,48). The kingdom of God consists of righteousness accompanied by the joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Only those who delight to do His willing can bring joy to the heart of God. Consider the matter of tithing, for example. This was a law under the old covenant. But it is never commanded by Jesus or the apostles to those under the new covenant. Yet multitudes of covetous pastors compel their congregations to tithe compulsorily either through promise of divine reward or through threats of divine judgment. The people pay up, but without joy.

It is not spontaneous giving, but grudging, reluctant giving. The pastors are happy when the offering boxes are full, but God is not. Pastors love large givers, but God loves only cheerful givers! What we do without joy is a dead work.

In Rev .3;”I know your works that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3:1).Here was a man who was spiritually dead, but who was still satisfied because he had a name that he was alive. He sought the praise of man more than the praise of God (Jn. 5:44; 12:43); and as a result all his works were dead works. Anything we do to impress man is a dead work. Anything that we do, which we want others to know about, is also a dead work (Matt. 6:1-18). Living works are done in secret before God’s face alone, with every possible attempt made to conceal it from the eyes of men.

The heathen are prompted to certain works such as fasting, praying and giving alms because of the accusations of their conscience (Rom. 2:15).It is possible for Christians also to do such works merely to ease their conscience. Many read the Bible and pray daily, simply to relieve the accusations of their conscience. For the same reason, they go to meetings, pay their tithe, give alms to beggars, etc. All such works are dead works.

To avoid sin because we fear the judgment of God is good, but that is certainly not the motive with which Jesus avoided sin. Jesus avoided sin because He wanted to please the Father. This is to be our motive too. Supposing there was to be no punishment for lusting after women, or for telling lies, or retaining bitterness against another, would we indulge in those sins? Or would we still avoid them because our basic desire was to please God?

Living works are only those which flow from the life of Jesus within us. It is impossible to have this life of Jesus without first bearing the dying of Jesus – the daily cross (2 Cor. 4:10). If we merely control our tongues from speaking angrily or our faces from scowling, but are still boiling with anger and irritation inside, that is not victory – it is suppression. ). Then the living works of the Spirit will flow as rivers of living water from our innermost being (Jn. 7:38). Our inner attitudes will then correspond with our external appearance and works.

Martha’s unselfish and sacrificial work for the Lord and His people, is a good example of good works that are dead works (Lk. 10:38-42). She did that work merely because she felt that it was a good work to do. But “the most important thing about a servant is that he does what his master tells him to do” – not what he feels like doing himself (1 Cor 4:2 LB). Thus, Mary was wiser, in that she first sat at Jesus’ feet to hear what He wanted her to do. Heb. 4:10,12 says that God’s word divides between the soulish and the spiritual; and just as we are to cease from sin, we are to cease from doing our own works too. Soulish works are dead works. Jesus never did anything on His own initiative (Jn. 5:30).May the God help us to get away from all our Dead work from this New Year 2014.

Jesus gave us two pictures of the final judgment day – one where people listed before the Lord all the good things that they had done in their earthly lives, “Lord, we prophesied in Your name, we healed the sick in Your name, etc” (Matt. 7:22,23). These people were rejected by the Lord. In the other picture we find the righteous surprised when they are reminded by the Lord of the good that they had done in their earthly lives. “Lord, when did we do that?”, is their surprised cry (Matt. 25:34-40). They had forgotten about the good that they had done – for they had not done those works for reward. There we see a clear contrast between dead works and living works. Which category do we fit into?

The new covenant principle is “Give as much as you can give”, but, “Give as much as you can give cheerfully”. God does not want any more than that. Of course you will receive in the same proportion as you give (2 Cor. 9:7; Lk. 6:38) – but that is another matter. God does not, however, desire any labour or gifts that are unwillingly given. What we do without joy is a dead work.

To love God and man are the two pegs on which every other commandment hangs (Matt. 22:40). Remove these pegs and everything falls to the ground. This was why the leader of the Ephesian church was rebuked. His works were no longer motivated by love for God and man (Rev. 2:2,4). If we obey the commandments of God without keeping their spirit, our works become dead works. If we are to be appointed by the Lord as shepherds of His flock, He will first test us (as He did Peter) to see whether we love Him supremely (Jn. 21:15-17).

Otherwise our service would be worthless. Likewise, it is not enough just to bless those who curse us. We are to love them from our hearts too. Otherwise we keep the letter of the Word but not its spirit. Similarly, if we serve the brothers and sisters in the church, because we are taught to do so, but still criticize them (perhaps for not being thankful to us), then our service becomes a pile of dead works and all our sacrifice for the Lord’s works are worthless dead works if they do not spring out of love for Him.

5. Don’t be Judge others.
We are all known sinner .According the word of God, now we have been united with Christ Jesus. Once we were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13) In the Sermon on the Mount of Olives, Jesus preached that people should not judge others. In addition, in His handling of the woman caught in adultery, He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

” So, why are Christians always passing judgment on other people?” Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This command was given by Jesus Christ as He was preaching to the crowds on the Mount of Olives. This and similar verses are often cited as proof that Christians should not go around condemning others about their behavior.

Apostle Petersons God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace? 1 Peter 1:2.I is finding that more and more people are using phrases like ‘Don’t Judge Me’, or ‘Stop Judging and Love’, or other similar ones these days. There is this mistaken idea today that judging is bad. This crowd would even dare say that it’s a teaching of Jesus that we shouldn’t judge each other. Paul commanded us to do when he wrote, “We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, and be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all” (1 Thess. 5:14-15).
As you judge, so will you be judged!

For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? {You can’t judge others if you are also guilty of what you are judging them}.

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite {this is the audience here; a hypocrite is one not living what he is preaching}, remove the wooden beam from your eye first {the first person you want to judge is yourself and clean your own house first}; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. {Now that your house is clean you can judge someone else’s house} James 4:11-12 – Second most misquoted text {Comments} Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?
Do not judge

“Do not judge and you will not be judged? Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37. Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 1 Corinthians 4:4
Judged ourselves

But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32.Romans 14:1-4 .Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Stop passing judgment on one another
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4: You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 5Romans 14:10-13

Christians are often accused of “judging” whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, “Do not judge.” There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5. What Jesus was condemning here was a hypocritical, self-righteous judgment of others.

Love and Respect others.
In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

We are to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” We are to “judge” sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6)
And now—all glory to him who alone is God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord; yes, splendor and majesty, all power and authority are his from the beginning; his they are and his they evermore shall be. And he is able to keep you from slipping and falling away, and to bring you, sinless and perfect, into his glorious presence with mighty shouts of everlasting joy. Amen. Jude 1.24-25
Kind Request:-These articles are copyrighted. Permission however is granted to copy and distribute it (if not for sale), provided the author’s name – Bro. David Samuel and the website: http://www. VGSONGSCHRISTIANMEDIA.ORG are clearly mentioned.
Servant of God
BRO. David Samuel
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