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9 entries for this category:

Righteousness of Man

Righteousness is defined by the Dictionary as: “Adhering to moral principles”.  We are told to be righteous as Christians, but let me ask you this; can we be righteous in our own rights and abilities?  Do we have the internal discipline to get up one morning and simply say: “From today forward, I choose to be righteous”? 

 

Indeed we are supposed to live righteously, but how do we obtain righteousness?  We obtain it as a gift from God on that very special day that we make the decision to live for Him.  It is only through faith in God that we discover the true meaning of living a righteous life.  It is in the pursuit of God that we discover the goal of living right and we give it everything we’ve got.  Paul said, in Romans 2:21:

 

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

 

I have always thought it interesting to see believers who say that they believe in God, but then proceed to live a life of debauchery and weakness.  Friend, indeed it is true that God is all forgiving, but it is also true that he is not a fool.  He knows you better than you know yourself.  It is a blessing to know God, but it is a blessing to fear and respect Him also.  I am not saying that we should fear Him like a cowering child, but live with a profound and pure respect for the creator of all things.  Righteous living comes from a godly life and from the pursuit of moral and correct methods of living.  Righteous does not come from merely attending Church occasionally and living a faithless, godless life for the other six days of the week.  Jesus never told us that Christian life would be easy, but He did say that the blessings would far out-way the adversity. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

 

Believe me when I tell you that we do not have it within ourselves to be everything that God would like us to be.  His standards are so high!  But, what impresses God the most is that we draw near to Him and follow Jesus Christ and do our very best to mimic His teachings to be everything He has called us to be.  Paul goes on the say:

 

“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,i through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”  (Romans 3:23-26 NIV)

 

We live a life which is opposed to the world, and in the pursuit of righteous living we find righteousness in Jesus Christ.



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Grace

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrew 4:16 NIV What is grace?  How many times in our Christian lives have we been taught about grace?  To truly understand grace and to grasp what it means to us, we must first understand the difference between Old Testament gospel and New Testament gospel.

 

What is grace?  Some would define it as the prayers spoken before a meal.  We are taught in Church to pray for God’s grace.  So what is it?  In the Old Testament mankind was presented with the Ten Commandments.  God revealed the commandments to Moses, who presented them to man as the laws of God.  We have all seen these commandments before:

 

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honour your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.'

 

In the New Testament, God saw that mankind was incapable of fitting into these rules and guidelines.  God sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, to be a living sacrifice for the sins of man.  Understand and think about this concept for a moment.  Before Jesus, followers of God would sacrifice animals to God on an alter.  They would slay a calf or a lamb and offer it as an offering to God.  In the temples, the alter was often separated from the people by a sheet and only the holiest of clerics were allowed inside that partitioned area.    Jesus Christ came to earth to offer Himself as a living sacrifice for the sins and death of man.  Now, before I go on, please allow me to make it clear that I am not by any means stating that Jesus made it okay for man to sin.  Not at all!  In fact, it is in the forgiveness of God that man discovers the unattractiveness of sin.  Man does not have what it takes to be worthy to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  He are not righteous in our own abilities.  The rule of law and religion dictates that in order to enter into heaven, one must impress God with good works.  And yes, indeed good works are essential in a Christian life, but they are not what save us.  The gift of salvation is only by Jesus Christ.  Grace is Jesus Himself.  Grace is a gift.  It cannot be earned or achieved by will or effort.  If someone gave you a free holiday to Hawaii, but then informed you that you must pay them $5 a day for the rest of your life, this would no longer be an act of grace, but an act of law.  This is why many Christians today, do not completely believe that they are forgiven when they repent.  They believe that simply repenting is not enough, that they must mope around and have a “pity party” for the next few weeks just to show God that they are really sorry.  Romans 11:6 NIV says: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”  Grace must be selfless and given without repayment.

 

Jesus offered grace for our sins so that we would not be damned by them.  He so loves us that He defeated sin and death for us.  In Church we are told that we are “covered by the blood” of the lamb of God.  What is meant by this?  This means that when God looks at us, he does not see you, but His son, His daughter, His precious gift.  We receive this grace when we surrender our lives to God and allow Him to work in us and fill us with the Holy Spirit.  Some may think that this is the easy way out, but I beg to differ.  Surrendering one’s sins to God is more than just words, it is faith at its most potent and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you can let go of all your transgressions.  It is only then that God’s grace becomes known and is felt inside.

 

What should be taken away from this blog?  Grace is not what is earned through religious, structured and enforced means.  Grace is not achieved through works and intentions.  Grace is a gift from God, the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, which sets us free and allows us to fulfil a life of good works.

 

I’m sure I will speak on this more in the coming weeks.



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Confession Of Sins

I was raised in the Catholic Church, and as such we were taught how to confess our sins to the Priest.  We were taught to reconcile and to be cleansed of our sins.  I think it is important to focus upon the gift which we have been given by Jesus Christ.  It is not simply a matter of confessing to Priest, but in fact what you are doing is confessing to God with the Priest as a witness to your confession. 

 

Today I attend a Pentecostal Church, and we confess our sins personally to Jesus Christ.  We are taught throughout the Bible; the purpose of confession and the power of confession.  Psalm 32:5 NIV says: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"--and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”  So why do we do this?  It is because human beings are unable to live their lives without transgression.  It is impossible for us to live without sin.  However, we are also not designed to carry the burden of sin.  See, it is humanity’s history of inequity that keeps us from God’s greatness.  This is why Jesus Christ gave Himself as a living sacrifice to carry the weight of our sins.  He knew that we would never be able to do it on our own.  Confessing our sins with true conviction and honesty, and faith in what Jesus Christ has promised, releases us from the burden of them and allows us to reach greater levels and grow closer to God!

 

The power of confession is seen all throughout the Bible:

 

“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 NIV (This is the promise of Jesus Christ.

 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV.  (This scripture demonstrates that a child of God can confess to another as repentance in the sight of God!)

 

“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NIV.  (This is one of the most powerful scriptures in all the Bible as told by Paul to the Romans.  The fact that one can proclaim that they completely believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and their lives will be transformed to the purposes of God forever!  Believe me when I tell you that I can personally vouch for that truth!)

 

So let us not be burdened by the things that we have done and the mistakes which we have made.  Do not allow that argument to end bitterly.  Let it go and make peace!  Do not allow those who wronged you to drag you down forever.  Forgiive them and decide in your heart to let go and move on!  I realize that this is sometimes easier to say than do, but I urge you to call on the Lord and hand over your burdens to Him, and He will pay you backing full.

 

As always, please contact me if you wish to discuss.

 

God bless!



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Throwing Stones.

We've all heard of the expression: "Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house".  What does this mean?  It is an expression which basically states that we are none of us perfect, and therefore we must not judge others when we are able to be judged ourselves.  A variation of this expression is seen in the saying: "Always keep your words sweet, because one day you may have to eat them."  Both of these expressions are derived from the Bible story which we study today from John 8:1-11.

This story describes a situation where Jesus is arriving in the mount of olives.  Jesus is in the town teaching when some of the locals bring a woman before Him.  She has apparently been caught in the act of adultery and has been brought before Jesus Christ to be judged and rebuked.  The people quote the "law of Moses" and claim that according to this law, she must be stoned to death.  You see, Jesus was not an old-testament thinker.  He is the new covernant.  The scripture states that the primary reason why the people brought this woman before Jesus was not necessarily because they needed His help to acrry out a sentence, but rather to test His resolve and to see if he held true to what they believed to be law.  At this time, Jesus knelt down and began to write in the sand with his finger tip.  I sometimes find myself wondering what it was that he was writting.  The scripture does not ellaborate, but I think that it must have been relevant.  Perhaps he was writting the names of the the accuser's mistresses in the sand *smiles*.  In any case, Jesus replies: If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."  He then continued to write in the sand.

Needless to say, the woman was not stoned to death.  In fact, she wasn't even harmed.  Jesus forgave her and commanded her to leave behind her life of sin.  He forgave the woman that the people had condemned!  This woman turned out to be Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' most well known followers. What is Jesus had agreed with the people and had her put to death for her human frailties?  What a loss of potential.  You know it says in Luke 15:7 that there is more rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents, than ninety-nine people who do not need to repent.  

We are none of us perfect, and therefore none of us can judge another for the dins of our humanity.  Jesus forgives us even though we are not worthy of earthly mercy.  Although this is true, we must not grow slack and give up on being all that God has called us to be.  Jesus died and rose again to defeat our sins, not that we would take such a gift for granted, but that we can learn from our past sins and grow to be better and everything which Jesus has given us potential to be!

So let go of that grudge which has been holding you back for so long!  If someone has wronged you, let it go and you will see the difference in your life.  Let go of the burdens of guilt and anger and give it all to the Lord God.  Repent and move on in better strides and rely on the Lord to be your guide!

God bless!



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Standing Strong in the Lord

In life we find many battles and many opportunities to become discouraged.  Our battles are often physical, but in Christian life we are faced with spiritual battles also.

Spiritual battles come in many forms.  Spiritual battles can simply be temptations in life.  Should I be a rebel and do things my own way?  Should I take drugs just becasue everyone else is?  Should I sleep with someone I just met because they seem right?  We are faced with worldly temptation in life.  Sppiritual battles are also seen in attacks from the dark enemy in our minds.  Paul describes it this way:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

 

The place where the enemy likes to hit us hardest is in our minds.  But bare in mind, that the enemy will only have power over us if we let him.  It is up to us to guard our minds and think only on the things of God.  Jesus told us to "turn our eyes upon Him".  Why is this?  Because we can't focus on twwo things at once.  If we fill our lives with the things of God, there will be no room foor anything else.

What are the things of God?

-Truth

-Beauty

-Love

-Understanding

-Mercy

-Compassion.

-Righteousness.

Arm yourselves with the things of God and know that he is with you no matter what you battle may be.  "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  (Psalm 23:4)

Also, remember that Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross and through His ressurection a little over 2000 years ago!  You are not able to fight the enemy alone, but with Jesus Christ in your heart you have already one in advance.  All God needs you to do is stand strong in your faith and Godly wisdom.  

So when the enemy attacks, stand firm and say: "I AM a child of the most high God and by his authority I command you to get behind me in Jesus name!"  Never ever under estimate the power of the mighty name of "JESUS"!

God said that when the enemy comes riushing in like a flood, his Holy Spirit will raise up a barrier.  He said that since he is with us, who would dare to be against us?

 

God bless!



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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All you can do is...

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have realised that you have sinned and repented, yet you still feel condemned?

My friends, believe me when I say I have felt your pain many times.  There is a key to happiness and it ccomes in the gift of eternal life and mercy which Jesus gave us on the cross some 2000 years ago!  The key is to ask for God's mercy.  Ask with your whole heart.  Make sure that when you repent, you feel the reality of your confession in your heart and in your soul.  Pray to your God and receive his mercies and then move on.  You cannot unscramble eggs, or turn a cake back into flour and water!  Attempting to remove guilt by over-thinking or attempting to deconstruct it through dwelling on it; will ultimately make you feel worse.  Only God has what is needed to remove your sins.  Acts 3:19-20 NIV says:

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus."

This means that no matter what you have done, if you repent and express your sorrow to the Lord, he WILL heal you and make you new.



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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The Enemy Part #1

In my Christian life I have discovered that the enemy is absolutely everywhere in the world.  And, it was when I when I lost my way (before I got born again), that I realised this fact.

 

You see, there is a physical world and there is a spiritual world.  As children of God, I truely believe that we are spiritual beings incased within physical bodies.  God has created us in this way for the same reasons that he placed his only darling son in the world.  We are here to be God's presence and love on the earth.  We are here to spread the good news and share Jesus' love with the people of the world.  But, in doing this we are a direct threat to the enemy.  Satan sees us toiling day and night by God's side and he hates it.  Because we are under the constant protection of the Father, there is not a whole lot that Satan can do to us.  Our spirits are strong!  Our spirits are clothed in the blood of Christ.  He can, however, attempt to attack our physical weaknesses.  One of Satan's favourite places to work is in the environment of our minds.  He likes to pray on our doubts, on our fears and on any areas where we may lack strength. The struggle for us is to overcome our physical fears and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our vindicator. We may not be perfect, but we are forgiven in Jesus' name! The Bible says that even the sound of Jesus' name makes the demons tremble, so step out in authority and state that "no weapon formed against you shall ever prosper in Jesus name!"  



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Pressing Towards The Mark
In this world there are two forces.  One is that of the Lord our God, which is force which directs us and pushes us towards God's purpose and the destiny he has in store for us.  The other is that of the enemy.

Jesus will tell you that you are forgiven, no-matter what sins you have committed.  Satan will tell you that you are discusting and you have gone too far to ever be accepted by God again.

Jesus will tell you that you are his people and he will love you and carry you through all of life's problems.  Satan will tell you that you alone, and that you will never have the strength to recover.

Jesus will tell you that greater is he who is within you, than the one who's in the world!

Who will you listen to?  

Consider the circumstances surrounding your emotions when you ask God for forgiveness.   Often even though the Lord has set you free and forgiven you, you will continue to feel condemned and filthy.  Why is this?  You see, God forgives,but Satan condemns. Revelations 4:12 calls Satan the "accuser of the bretheran".  He would love nothing more than to make you feel unworthy, but when Satan says you are unworthy, Jesus says:

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

This is a situation which is merely an example of the struggles which Christians must sometimes face.  My friends, we are in a battle which the enemy has no intention off losing.  They will attempt to stumble you at any opportunity, so be aware of the their tricks.  

It's not always going to be easy to receive God's mercies and it's not always going to be easy to fight the enemy, but rest assured that Jesus Christ has already gone before us and made a victory for us.  Fight side by side with the Lord.

Even in Paul's letter to the Philipians, he describes the struggle to move forward from sin and to proceed into righteousness:

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philipian 3:13-14)

So take heart, for we are not perfect, and although God is well aware of this fact, we can make it our everyday goal; to try to live as a Chrisitan should.  We must live with dignity, strength, logic, wisdom, love and a peace of spirit.  I leave you with Jesus' final words to us in the flesh.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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Receiving Gods Mercy

A large topic on my mind lately has been the fact of God's forgiveness.  I believe that this is one of the strongest defining factors which sets a Christian apart from the world.

Do you know that it doesn't matter where you've been or what you've done.  If you ask the Lord your God for forgiveness, he will wash you in his blood (shed for you) and you will no-longer need to carry that burden.

 

Some people (myself included) feel that simply apologising is not enough, that they need to drag around miserable and condemned in order to truely "say sorry".  My friends, this is simply not the case.  Realise that it is only becasue we live in a human world that our minds are often this way inclined.  This is the world order of forgiveness.  In the world, sometimes simply saying "I'm sorry" is not enough.  But as Christians we are not part of the world, but of the kingdom of heaven.  God's logic is made clear in the scripture Matthew 18:21:

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”

By this statement, Jesus was not referring to an exact number, but sating that it does not matter how many times someone wrongs you, we are to forgive them nonetheless.  This is the way of God and this is the exact principle which is exercised when he forgives us.  This does not mean that we are taking God's forgiveness for granted.  Not at all.  B ut rather we understand the that we are all imperfect and we all make mistakes (sometimes more than less), and the love of Jesus Christ extends far beyond grudge and far beyond worldly limitations.  When we apologise to the Lord, we ARE forgiven and we must move forward in victory!

Your thoughts?



By: Paul Hersee
Category: My Blog
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