Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.

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Jeremiah 4:18 The Results Of Your Conduct

“Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18

God begins to describe the destruction that was going to come upon the land. He would completely ruin the land and bring a great disaster upon the people. Not all of the people would be destroyed, but there would be a great number of them destroyed. The anguish of pain and suffering would be very great.

As this was happening, many people would be crying out as to why it was occurring. The nation of Israel always saw themselves as God’s special nation. They were supposed to be His people with great abundance and blessing, yet, all they were seeing was disaster and suffering.

In this verse God points out that all of the disaster that was occurring was because of their conduct and actions. It would be bitter and pierce the heart. It pierced God’s heart because He loved the people and did not want to have to punish them, but His holiness and their conduct required it.

Those living in America have often believed that this country was blessed by God. Although there was always sin in the nation, it has not always been so open and accepted. In recent years, the problems of crime, violence, hatred, and uprisings has increased dramatically. Greater disasters arise on a regular basis.

All of these things may be forms of punishment that God is bringing upon the nation because of the actions of the people.

Not every person is guilty of wrong actions, but most are. How many people are truly living their lives for God? Are sold out to God? Are willing to give their lives to be a witness of the gospel message of Jesus to this world?

You may be one of those truly sold out to God. Take a look at your own life and see what your conduct and actions show.

How often are you telling someone about Jesus?

How often do you allow yourself to do something you know is sinful?

How often do you show God’s love over hatred for others?

These are just a few ways to see what your conduct is like. If you are not actively building God’s kingdom, your conduct will be bringing on disaster to this nation, or whatever nation you live in.

How is your conduct today?

I pray today that you will be actively building God’s kingdom; that your conduct will match that of Jesus; that your life will mirror the life of Jesus; and that you will not be guilty of wrong conduct.

Proverbs 21:2 Weighing The True Motive

A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2

Making choices is something at every person does all the time. They must choose what they will do or not do, how to do it, when to do it, and why they will do it. Most will think about what they must choose and make a decision that they feel is the best one, based off of the information that they know about situation.

While doing this is often a good start to making the best decision, it does not always mean that their way is the right one. This is true even if all the right moves are made. There is one factor that many people do not always take into consideration when they are in the process of making a choice for an action. That factor is the motive for the action.

Why do people do what they do?

Why do people make the decisions that they make?

Decisions for an action are often based of selfishness. This even includes doing the right thing. Helping someone who is in need is a good thing to do. But if the purpose for helping that person is selfish, to look good to others, then it becomes the wrong action.

God is able to look at the person’s heart and determine the true reason why he is doing what he is doing. As a believer you are to do everything as unto the Lord. You are to do everything out of love for God and love for others.

In doing everything in this manner, there is no room for selfish reasons. It is not about you and how it makes you look. It is about God and meeting the needs of someone else.

Jesus did not die on the cross just to look good, He was already good and everyone knew it. He died for your sins, so that He could remove your sins. It was all about you, not Himself.

You must live your life in the same way. Ask God to search your heart and reveal what your true motives are. Good actions are not good if not done with the right motive.

What is your motive for your actions today?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for others; that you will have the same motive for your actions as Jesus did; that God will find your heart being the same as His; and that you will do everything as Jesus would do it.

Psalm 69:6 To Not Be A Disgrace To Others

Lord, the LORD Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. Psalm 69:6

Families are often torn apart and shamed by the actions of one person. In some cultures, honor is held at such a high level in the family, that if a child does something wrong, the family will disown the child for life. That child will be considered dead in the eyes of the parents.

There are some cultures that if certain things are done by a family member, it is acceptable to kill that family member because of the extreme disgrace brought onto the family.

Disobedient children in a store often bring shame on the parent, who is attempting to control or calm them down. Parents who are called by the school teacher, are often ashamed of the actions of their child.

David had done some type of great sin right before he had written this psalm. He was asking God that all those who believed in Him, would not be disgraced or shamed because of what he had done wrong. He realized that his sin would reflect on others and have an effect on them.

It is often thought that a person’s own personal sin only affects himself and no one else. The reality is that it can bring disgrace upon other believers. When the world sees one believer sin, then they often  apply that sin to the whole community of believers. They try to say that God is not real and all believers are fake.

Along with not trying to disgrace God by sinning, try not to bring disgrace upon the community of believers by your actions. Live your life in a way that will bring honor to other believers, rather than disgrace.

As you live your life for God, it will bring strength and honor to other believers. It will lift them up as they see you living for God.

Will God or other believers be disgraced or ashamed by what you are saying or doing?

Or will God and other believers be honored with how you are living your life?

I pray today that you will live your life for Jesus; that you will bring honor to God; that you will not bring shame to God’s community of believers; and that you will be a shining light for Jesus in this world.

Psalm 58:4-5 Leading With A Bite

Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be. Psalm 58:4-5

In this psalm, David is talking about the leaders and rulers of the nations. He had pointed out that they devise wicked plans and work violence everywhere they go. Now he states that they are filled with venom and are uncontrollable.

Cobras are extremely poisonous snakes with a small bite. When they bite a person, the bite mark is small, but they are able to inject venom into its victim. That venom will then travel throughout the body and kill the person. It spreads extremely quickly and is very difficult to stop, once started.

Not every person has a high title of the leader of a nation or even a leading ruler, but every person leads at least one other person or more. If a person has a family, he is leading all the family members. If a person has a management position, he is leading other workers. Even lower workers can lead other workers in learning the job.

When a person is driving down the road and there is someone behind them, that person is leading the other to a point. While standing in line at a store, a person is leading others.

Every believer in Jesus is also a leader. They are the ones to lead others to Jesus and teach them about Jesus.

Your actions can be filled with the venom and deception of this world. A little word or action can bite deeply into another person doing a lot of damage. If you allow yourself to be filled with the venom of this world, you will damage your witness of Jesus.

Your are to be a witness of who Jesus is to this world. Your words and actions are not to be filled with venom, but with love, mercy and grace. You are to build others up, not tear them down.

What are you spreading?

Venom of this world?

Or the love of Jesus?

Do not be like this world, but like Jesus.

I pray today that you will be filled with the love of Jesus; that your actions and words will be those of God; that God will cleanse you of all venom in your life; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to this world.

James 2:17 Don’t Have Dead Faith

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17

James makes another strong statement to the people. Many of the people were evidently stating that they had great faith in God, but were refusing to do any good deeds. They were being “holy” unto God and not into “legalistic” actions, so they would not do good deeds, their “faith” was enough. James bluntly states that if there is no action, that kind of faith is dead.

Times have not changed the way some people think. There are many in the church who are believers in Jesus, yet, they do not do anything. They refuse to teach Sunday School, clean the church, help a neighbor, feed the poor, visit the sick, help the orphans, or just be a good friend to a non-believer.

Some of these people had done all those things in the past and now state that they are done, they have done their work. Others, just refuse to do it saying that their faith in God is enough. They are focused on caring for themselves.

It has been said that doing good deeds is being legalistic. This is true if you are doing them to earn your salvation. You cannot earn your salvation, but you can do something with it. It is saying thanks to God for what He has done by passing it on to someone else. God helped you, now you can help someone else.

God wants all believers to love everyone. Loving people means helping them, putting them first, meeting their needs. You cannot do everything, but you can do something.

Just speaking the words that you believe in Jesus is enough to be saved, but what are you doing with your salvation?

Are you hoarding everything to yourself?

Or are you passing it on to others?

Don’t allow your faith to be dead. Seek God and ask Him what you can do to show your faith to others. What actions can you do to make a difference in someone else’s life today?

I pray today that God will reveal to you what type of faith you have; that God will show you ways to put your faith into action; that God will bless your work you do for Him; and that you will trust God to meet all of your needs as you meet the needs of others.