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 32:3 Why Do You Speak That Way?

Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, “Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.'” Jeremiah 32:3

Jeremiah had been prophesying that God would destroy Judah and Jerusalem placing the people into captivity in Babylon. This went against the beliefs of the Israelites, because they were the chosen nation and God would not do something like that. The king of Judah had Jeremiah put in prison because of his words. He also asked him why he would say things like that. Jeremiah was just speaking what God had told him to say.

People love to talk about a lot of things. There are some people who can speak for a long time and not really say anything. Others speak just a few words and seem to speak whole volumes of information very quickly.

Words can build up or they can tear down. It all depends on what words are being said and how they are being said.

Most people when they speak, they are just speaking what they think or feel in the moment. It is common for  a person to blurt out something in the heat of the moment that he regrets only seconds later. A few people will actually take time to think about what they are about to say to ensure it is spoken well and is correct and helpful.

As a believer you are responsible for what you say or don’t say. You are also responsible for how you say things. One of your first responsibilities is to speak the gospel message to everyone you can.

The reason you have this responsibility to speak like that is that Jesus gave His life for you and told you to do it. You are to speak all the words of God. Sometimes those words are words of love and comfort, showing how Jesus cares for a person. Other times those words will be harsh words warning of destruction and death coming.

You must keep your focus on what God is saying to the people you meet with. What does He want you to say? That is the only thing you should be saying. It gives you the reason why you speak what you do, whether peaceful or harsh.

I pray today that you will know the words of God; that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that your purpose for speaking is to point people to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your words. 

Jeremiah 19:15 Words You Don’t Want To Hear

“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.’ ” Jeremiah 19:15

God had begun to pronounce a harsh judgment upon the city of Jerusalem. His words declared that they would be destroyed in a very horrible manner. Their bodies would be laying on the ground for the wild animals to devour. Food would be made so scarce that parents would eat the flesh of their children and each other because of a siege laid against the city. Those who would see them, would be appalled at the horror of it all.

All of these pronouncements against the city were to occur because of the sin of the people. They chose to follow false gods and worship them. They refused to listen to the words of God. God had spoken words of love and care to help build them up, not tear them down, but the words were rejected.

To this day God is still speaking to people. He wants the word spread that He loves them and wants the best for them. It is the entire reason He sent His son Jesus to this world and to the cross. Jesus had to go to a cross to die an extremely painful, humiliating death for the sins of every person who ever lived.

Now the question is what will you do with the words God has given you?

Many you have accepted Jesus in your life and are following Him, but the question is are you following all of His Word?

Jesus has called everyone who believes in Him to be His witness in this world. Being that witness means you will love every person, and, yes, that includes your enemies. You will do good to those who harm you and not curse them. You will also turn away from all sin.

Doing all of these things is a work in progress that is never fully completed. You need to fight to follow all of God’s commands. In doing so, you will not have to hear God bring on the judgment of destruction. If you are bringing people to God on a daily basis, your city will be following God and not false gods.

What words do you want to hear today?

I pray today that you will obey all of God’s commands; that you will know His love for every person; that you will turn away from all sin; and that you will guide others to turn away from all sin.

Psalm 141:3 Guarding The Mouth

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Most people love to talk, some more than others. With a lot of talking, things can be said that should not be said. Often it is words said in the heat of the moment that people regret or hurt others with. Other times it is planned words that are spoken that can do a lot of damage.

Words of condemnation, hatred, jealousy, and ridicule come out of many mouths. They lash out in order to hurt or damage someone’s reputation. At times they are true statements, while other times they are exaggerated or false. It is often seen in the news of a person who has been falsely accused of some crime, only to learn later that he was innocent. Once the accusation has been started, there is no turning back. His reputation and credibility is destroyed.

Children often grow up with extreme pain in their hearts and minds from words said by parents in anger. It is difficult for people to get past the spoken word.

The mouth is one of the most powerful parts of a person. With the mouth a person can be raised up, and with the mouth a person can be destroyed.

David knew the power of his mouth and words. He also knew that, alone, he could not control his mouth. He needed God’s strength and guard to keep his words right.

Think about the words that have been spoken to or about you that have hurt. Now think about the times you have made statements to someone or about someone that you regretted afterwards.

Allow God to place a guard over your mouth to keep you from saying the wrong things. Fill your heart and life with the things of God. Keep praise and worship in your heart and on your lips at all times. Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak. This will keep the wrong things from coming out of your mouth.

What words are building up in your heart?

What will you allow your mouth to say?

I pray today that you will allow God to guard your mouth; that your heart will be filled with God; that your words will be the words of God; and that you will use your words to build others up and bring them to God, rather than destroy them.

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.

Hebrews 13:15 Continue To Offer Praise

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15

As the author of Hebrews closes out this letter, he gives some final advice. One of these is to continue to offer praise to God. The entire book looks at who Jesus is and what He has done for everyone. Through Jesus believers are able to praise God for what He has done.

Part of this offering of praise is that it is to be a sacrifice. This means that it is done even when one does not feel like doing it.

Giving God praise can only be done when one feels that He is deserving it. This is very easy when everything is going right and smooth. No one has a problem giving God praise when everything is going just like it is supposed to be.

When things start going bad and everything breaks down and goes the wrong way, that is when it becomes a sacrifice to still praise God. It is laying down your desires at the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to be in control of your life.

Everyone believes they know what is best for their own lives, but only God really knows what is best. Giving God praise when everything is going against your desires is telling Him that you know He is in control. It tells God that you believe He knows what is best for your life.

Allow the words that you speak throughout your days profess the name of Jesus and how great He is. Speak words that point out how close He is to you while going through a hard time. Tell others how you know that God is in control of your bad situation. Talk about how you know that somehow God will bring about good in everything bad happening. These are ways to give God praise.

What do your words say about God today?

I pray today that you will give God praise in all situations; that you will trust God with your entire life; that you will know that God is in control of everything; and that your whole life will be one of praise to God.

1 Corinthians 2:1 No Special Speaking Or Words

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1

As people read the books of Paul, they often think of how great of a speaker and writer he was. He does speak some very profound words and look at the fact that God used it as part of His Word, and it has survived nearly 2,000 years. Also looking at his schooling, being a very devout Pharisee who knew the scriptures and the Law of God, makes him look like a great eloquent speaker. Yet, he was not. His words were still simple. He did not use a high level of Greek in his writings.

Believers often feel that they cannot be God’s witness unless they use some big fancy words or have studied the Bible with a bible college degree. They look at their pastor, who often has a college degree, and feel they cannot speak clear enough to be a witness. They look for cliché or catchy phrases to use to be the witness.

Many of the words that Christians use in church are words that people in the world are not familiar with. It needs to be simplified for them to understand.

The simplest testimony about God is what did God do for you. This is what you know and understand and can put in your own words. Do not try to tell someone else’s testimony, it won’t work. Tell your story your own way.

Using cliché phrases is a method of the world. It is using human wisdom to try and get someone to believe in Jesus. God’s word is much more powerful. You do not need a college degree to read the Bible or understand it. Eloquence and human wisdom only cloud the testimony. Simplicity makes it real to others.

Tell about the parts you know and understand. Tell about what Jesus has done for you. Tell how He died on the cross for your sins and rose again to forgive and save you.

Do not be afraid to tell someone about Jesus today. You have God’s Holy Spirit in you to guide you and give you the words. Don’t wait for the schooling.

I pray today that you will be bold in telling your testimony; that you will speak in your own words what God has done for you; that you will not use human wisdom to reach the lost; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.