THE GUILT TRIP

We all know that from the time we are born again, and begin our spiritual walk with the Lord, there is someone else following us as well. It is the devil – the deceiver, the father of lies, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world.

It is the devil’s self appointed task to break down and eliminate every true born seed of Christ, and he has many tricks up his sleeve to accomplish this.

One among them is The Guilt Trip or the Rollercoaster Ride of Unworthiness.


The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life are the three weapons he uses at will. We as Christians, can still fall prey to these if we are not careful. It requires only a little gap in our lives, a little slumber, a little sleep, a little folding of the hands to sleep, to let Satan inside the hedge of the Lord’s protection.

Money, pleasures, the headiness of independence will all take you away from the Lord if you let them become a part of you. And they do, unknowingly, unconsciously prey upon the human soul, like a parasitic disease. You don’t actually acknowledge it until it has permeated your system all through and made you ill.

If we have a secret sin in our lives that we have been battling to overcome, or maybe a weakness which had been oh so pleasurable when we were in the world – a weakness that we had enjoyed thoroughly, but cast off once we came to the Lord, Satan tries to revive the dying fires of these sins and shortcomings in the born again believer’s life once more.

Sometimes, it may not be the sins of our past, but new pleasures, which we never thought we could enjoy or partake of - sins which we acknowledged by shaking our heads at, suddenly seem attractive for no thinkable reason.

Satan places pits before us to fall into, a bit of ice on the road to slip and fall on, and many times, even the born again ones succumb to temptation and slip.

The slipping, the falling, the rising, the dusting off, and the repentance and reconcilitation are all a part of a cycle in the believer’s life. However, the problem lies not in the falling, but in the thoughts that occupy the believer’s mind after the fall.


If you have been close to the Lord, and you have committed an act of offence towards Him, then you must know the feeling of first guilt, then remorse, then utter dejection and loss, then once again, as the Lord lays His comforting hands on you in solace and forgiveness – the feeling of returning and being forgiven.




Still though, there remains a scar, a burn, a mark, a scab – and it is this that Satan tries to peel away and scratch at when he brings in feelings of guilt and unworthiness. With each fall you take, Satan makes you think you are not good enough, not worthy to receive the Lord’s pardon, indeed not worth it.

When the guilt becomes too much, he lures your mind away from the issue by filling it  with the cares of the world. He distracts you with the aim to bring in spiritual lethargy.

The spiritual battle going on for the believer’s life in the heavenlies, is so fierce, that the effects of the angels struggling in conflict on behalf of every child of God, can be felt even in the believer’s body and soul. And it is when we lay down our sword just for a little bit (Oh, I’m so tired of fighting it!), it is then that the enemy brings in his second weapon – a sense of defeat.

He makes you so tired that you are ready to think about anything and everything but your spiritual life. And once this process begins, the enemy does not retreat silently into the background in celebration. No! He is continuously prowling the recesses of your mind filling you with guilt. “Oh you’re slipping, you’ve lost again.”, “You did not spend time with the Lord today! How can you after what you’ve done!”, “Oh you did not read your Bible today”, “You haven’t prayed.” And finally you hear yourself say, as you drift further away from the Lord’s presence: “I have gone far from the Lord, I have displeased the Lord. What has my life become!”


If we follow this downward spiral of depression, we end up, as many believers have, who first sin, fight against Satan, sin again, fall again, until finally they get to a point where they’re just too tired, and throw in their arms –“Oh I can’t do it anymore.” Then they allow Satan’s voice to lure them into a slumber of worldly distraction, before The Guilt Trip begins. They finally get to a point where their feelings of unworthiness and guilt convince them that the Lord would be better off without them anyway, that they weren’t cut out for holy living, or that they were a spiritual waste. And the end point of this process is coming to the conclusion that it is the Lord who has drawn away from us, because of our constant sinning.


But Oh, Child of God, Hear what the Bible has to say, What the Lord has to say:

    " Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    " Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...."

(James 4: 7, 8 )



     "...and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."


(John 6: 37)


If you allow these thoughts to depress you and make you feel sinful and guilty, then you allow Satan to take you away from the move of God.

It is not wrong for you to correct and rebuke your inner man, to demonstrate your remorse with tears, to want to renew your mind by spending time in prayer and fasting. These are all good disciplines. It is good to give place to godly sorrow which will turn you to repentance and bring you back to God from your present state of worldliness.

    " For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..."

(II Corithians 7: 10)


But you can do nothing by yourself. You need God for this.

    "... for without me ye can do nothing."


(John 15: 5)

Many believers make the mistake of stopping their ears, not from rebuke but from the cries of acceptance that the Lord offers them. If God wants to preach to your heart, for your present condition, and you turn away because you feel you are unworthy – “Oh my ears are unworthy to hear this message because they have heard the world for so long”, Then one day you will become deaf to the message and the cries of the Lord.

Many Christians allow The Guilt Trip to grip them so viciously, that they even stop going to church on Sundays, because they feel unworthy, unlovable, undeserving. Instead of lifting up their eyes and looking at the open arms of their Saviour, ready to soothe their yearning hearts, and heal their running sores, they give in to the voice of The Evil One: “All these days you have been so distant from the Lord, you have not been praying, you have not been meditating, what is the use of hearing the message if it does not affect you? First go and cleanse yourself and then go for fellowship…otherwise what’s the use?!!”

This is Satan’s third weapon, his third trick. When Satan wants you out of God’s presence he says, “Stop hearing the Word. It will do you no good. You have to first cleanse yourself.”

But the Lord says,

    “ Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15: 3)

When a child runs out into the playground, and unheeding of his mother’s call, speeds up till he falls into the mud, hurts himself, and soils his hands, his feet, his clothes, what does the mother do? Doesn’t she run toward the child in alarm and concern – her little one has fallen, he must have hurt himself, the poor thing! She lifts the crying child to her bosom, smooths his brow, plants a kiss on his cheek, speaks to him soothingly, searches for bruises on his body, and then tries her best to ease his pain. Will a mother discard her child for his disobedience? Even if he is a wild, naughty brat of a child. No! For he is her child.

This is the way it is with every believing child of God. If you sin, maybe more often than you want to, God is not keeping count of the times you fall. He is only waiting to help you up and get you back in place. He is not waiting to condemn you with looks of fierceness, if you just lift up your eyes to His face, you will see – His eyes are full of love and hope, for He sees in you the diamond that you will one day become.

Even when you are weak, He sees in you – a potential warrior.

This does not mean that we go on sinning. For the Bible says:

     Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
     " But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates."

(II Corinthians 13: 6,7)



    "...not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."

(I Peter 2: 16)



    " My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

   " And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."


(I John 2: 1, 2)

Once we are born again, we do not willfully sin. All true believers may fall prey to temptation in some areas of their life. Their sins may be serious ones with long lasting repurcussions, that may take longer to heal, or they may be slips here and there that cause nagging hindrances in their spiritual life. 

Your sins may stop a blessing, may hinder a reward, may even turn the course of your life. But, once you come to the Lord in true humility and repentance, (and the Lord only recognizes true repentance), it is then that you receive His forgiveness.

Let us take heed to this text from Hebrews Chapter 10:

    " By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    " And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
    " But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    " From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
    " For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
    " Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
    " This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
    " And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
    " Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
    " Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
    " By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
    " And having an high priest over the house of God;
    " Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

(Hebrews 10: -10 - 22)

Many believers who travel The Guilt Trip and are absorbed by it, atend to and orget that the Lord Jesus Christ bore their punishment once and for all on the cross. It is not our worthiness that the Lord sees – but the worth of the blood that has been applied to our hearts, and how much we do value it.

Be careful Child of God. This may seem like a small thing in your life right now – this causal ‘slip and fall’. And you may have not understood it as it was happening. And you may think, “ What’s all the fuss about?” But, "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (I Peter 5: 5)

Just as you would take a pill for the flu, or a visit a doctor if you are physically ill, if you are spiritually sick shouldn’t you still come into the presence of the Lord? So that you may not lose your pay of heavenly riches? So that you may not lose the favour of the Lord?

Dearly Beloved, take care that the devil does not deceive you with The Guilt Trip. It is the oldest trick in the book.

The Heavenly Prayer
(A Bible Study on the Lord's Prayer)


“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

“Give us this day our daily bread.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

(Matthew 6: 9-13)

We all know the Lord’s prayer uttered on the Mount of Beatitudes in the presence of His disciples.

Many of us learned it by rote as kids, in Sunday school. Some of us still use it today in our services. There have been many sermons written on this particular subject over the centuries. And it remains a favourite Bible study topic the world over.

What we need to look at is not the structure, the prose, or the beauty of the ideas expressed in this prayer, but the deep significance beyond the words that holds the power to change our lives.

Now, the Lord’s prayer was Jesus’ attempt at teaching His disciples how to communicate with the Heavenly Father, the Great Eternal Spirit.

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11: 1)

Here one of the disciples asks Jesus to teach them to pray, just as John the Baptist taught his disciples. Does this mean that the disciples had never prayed before? They obviously knew the meaning of prayer, or they wouldn’t have asked Jesus to teach them how to. And since this particular disciple refers to John’s teaching about prayer, it naturally follows that he had heard John’s teaching, and seen John’s disciples praying after their baptism in preparation for the coming Messiah.


You have to understand at this point of time in Israel, idol worship was rampant, new religions and sects were springing up, brought in by the different peoples who were settling in the land of Israel under Roman rule. Many Israelis had turned to idol worship, and left following Jehovah. And for those who still remained faithful to the One God, who had brought them out of Egypt, all Jewish religious activity was carried out as directed by the local rabbis, and in the temples as instructed by the priests of either the Pharisaic or Sadducee sects.

Communication with God was clouded and difficult. It was less spontaneous, and more a religious pattern of prayers that had been written down by the scribes of that day. The Jewish believers of that time were required to recite the Shema -  the central statement of Jewish belief, the formulaic blessings (berakhot) before and after it, the Amidah or ‘The Prayer of 18 blessings’, and certain texts from the Torah. There was less emphasis placed on heartfelt prayer, and more on recitations and strict adherence to the law.


So The Lord’s Prayer was actually a revolutionary step in breaking religious tradition and approaching the Great God of Moses and Elijah, the God who made the heavens and the earth, without any religious show or trappings.


Jesus was teaching His disciples that God, the Eternal Spirit was easily approachable, and that prayer was like a little child finding its way over to its Father’s lap to be embraced and cuddled.

Now, before bringing in this teaching of prayer, the Lord taught his disciples how to prepare to communicate with their Father:

    “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

    (Matthew 6: 5-8)

Here we find 4 points to consider:

1.      Our prayers should not be hypocritical or for outward show.

2.      Our heart’s prayers should be private.

3.   We shouldn’t pray using vain repetitions as the unbelievers do. (like rote prayers and chants, as the Jewish leaders used to recite in those days)

4.      We should understand that God knows what we need even before we pray for those needs.

In teaching His disciples the above points, Jesus is saying: You have a Father who is yearning to hear your heart’s cry, not your many words. Speak directly to Him, not to those around you. He can hear even the secrets of your heart. He knows what you need even before you ask Him.

So before we pray we need to cast off:

a)      Hypocrisy
b)      Showmanship
c)      Wordiness
d)      Intellectuality

We need to address Him as a child would his Father: It’s as simple as that.

Let us take a look at verse 9:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

I    OUR FATHER

In this verse, The Lord teaches us to say, “Our Father in heaven", not My Father, but Our Father. In saying this we understand the relationship that we have with the Father along with others in the family of God.

Let us read a few more texts to better understand what Jesus was trying to convey:

    “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20: 17)

     “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
     “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” 

(Hebrews 2:9, 10)

This was a new idea indeed. The Jewish people who all knew that they had come from the first man Adam, and were of the seed of Abraham, glorified their state as the chosen people of God, and while holding fast to the man-made traditions that had so blinded them in their worship, exulted in the fact that Abraham was their father – they glorified their earthly relationship with Abraham, the Father of Many Nations.

But here, The Lord Jesus was taking them one step higher – offering them the boldness to call the God whom they had been taught to behold with awe and trembling, as some distant deity, to call this great and eternal ‘I Am’, the J_h whom they dared not even name, “Father”.

From the above texts in John 20 and Hebrews 2, we infer that the Lord Jesus, “who thought it not robbery to be equal with God”, claims us as His brethren, places Himself on an equal footing with us in addressing the Great Eternal Spirit as “My Father and Your Father” – “Our Father”. It is through Jesus Christ, the only begotten ‘Son of God’, that the rest of us receive the right to be called the “sons of God”

II    HALLOWED BE THY NAME

Verse 9 also says : “Hallowed be Thy Name”

To hallow is "to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate". The adjective form hallowed, as used in The Lord's Prayer, means holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. (Wikipedia)

Let us go to another verse in the Song of Solomon,

“Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.” (Song of Solomon 1: 3)

Here the Lord is giving glory to the work of God in Himself. The Name of the Lord, as King Solomon wrote, was as an ointment poured out. The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ was an ointment poured out to cover and heal the sins of the world.

It is now with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that we can truly understand and appreciate the beauty of Christ’s teaching that day. Even the disciples who found it hard to grasp the Great Teacher’s message on several occasions, would probably have recalled His words on the mount once they received the Holy Spirit, and marveled at their depth.

The next verse, verse 10 says:

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

III    “THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE"

Let us consider the first part of these words: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”.

This clearly denotes a future or coming kingdom. Surely, we know that the kingdom of this world does not belong to the Lord. This present world, as we know it, is the Devil’s kingdom. The lust of the world, the lust of eyes, the pride of life, does absolutely not belong to the Lord. Wasn’t this what the Lord told Pilate?

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)

I wonder what Pontius Pilate thought when he heard  this. He must have concluded that Jesus was either a harmless lunatic, or an idealist who had displeased the Jewish religious leaders somehow, or a mystic who lived in his own little world.

The disciples too, could not possibly have understood what Jesus was saying about the kingdom. They probably thought the Lord was talking about liberating them from Roman rule, as they had been taught the Messiah would do.

But the kingdom that the Lord was teaching His disciples to pray for was a “future kingdom”. A kingdom which He could see in the spirit of prophecy - an untarnished and uncorrupted Paradise governed in truth and justice - a kingdom of peace and restoration that man could not even imagine.

IV     ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

Now Let’s go to Isaiah 60: 9-15

    “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
    And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
    Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
    For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
    The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
    The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
    Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.”    (Isaiah 60: 9-15)

This scripture is prophetically speaking about the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ being established on the earth. It is what Jesus says in the second part of the 10th verse : “on earth as it is in heaven”: the kingdom rule in the heavenlies, with the angels and the saints, coming down to the earth and being established here.

V. GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREAD.

Verse 11 read thus:Give us this day our daily bread.”

Now daily bread, as referred to in this text has both a physical as well as a spiritual meaning.

A) ‘Daily Bread’ in literal terms means ‘Daily Provision’ – our everyday needs.

Lets us go to Luke 12: 24

“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?”

Now if we consider the ravens, as the above scripture tells us to, we notice three things:

1. The raven is an uninvited guest.
2. The raven has a harsh voice, grating to the ear.
3. The raven is among one of the uglier species of birds.

Inspite of all this, the Lord tells us in Psalms 147 verse 9

"He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry."

So here, we hear the Lord say, He provides for the ravens, who are neither pleasant to look at, nor pleasant to hear, nor invited at meal times, and usually make a nuisance of themselves cawing for a morsel. And in His loving voice He tells us, 

"How far more precious are you my children, than these birds, you - made in my own image! You - who are the most beautiful among all of my creation, with voices raised in songs of praise - so pleasant to my ear -You who have been invited to my table to sup with me - And shall I not care for your daily needs?"

B) ‘Daily Bread’ in the spiritual sense refers to ‘spiritual teaching’.

The Lord also taught us that:

"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4)

That is to say, that it is not by earthly things alone that man exists, but by the will and the Spirit of Life that God has placed within him.

In John 6: 35, Jesus says,

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

It is the Lord Jesus Himself, who is our spiritual nourishment. It is by His Spirit that we receive strength to fight the enemy and power to defeat him.

The Lord teaches His disciples to ask the Heavenly Father for their daily needs, as well as spiritual infilling for their everyday spiritual warfare. He teaches them that their Father is the Jehovah Jireh the Lord who provides all.

VI. “AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.”

In verse 12 we learn about forgiveness.

As per God’s law, we are forgiven for our sins, based on our forgiveness towards others.

That is to say, if we do not forgive others for the wrongs committed against us, we can most surely never expect forgiveness for our sins from the Lord of heaven.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

(Matthew 6: 14, 15)

We cannot hold double standards before God.

If we profess godliness, and are to be true to the image of God in which we are created, then we have to imbibe the nature and character of our Father – the nature of forgiving wrongs and slights done against us. It is only when we learn to forgive others with a whole heart, that we are able to mirror our Father in heaven, who does the same for us.

VII. “AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL:”

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
“Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

(James 1: 12 – 16)

According to the above scripture, God does not actually lead us into temptation, we are pulled by our own desires and enticed. And it is the devil who is behind this. However, when Jesus teaches His disciples to pray: “Lead us not” He actually means to say, “Do not abandon us in temptation.”

'“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
“And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

(II Corinthians 10: 3-6)

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

( II Corinthians 7: 9-11)

In the above text, Paul speaks about how the believer is in a continuous conflict with his old nature; and how the focal point of Christian life is this striving towards sanctification until our goal and our existence becomes one and the same, and we overcome sin through our faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We strive against temptation, against sin, against our own self; we find ourselves wrestling against the powers of a world puling us into destruction. It is in the midst of this conflict, that we realize that we need not strive of ourselves; but rather surrender the battle to the one who already paid the price for our sins. It is in this - our complete acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus offered up for us; in our applying this sacrifice in our daily lives, in our times of anger, remorse, frustration, weakness, adamance - the fact that no more is to be done, because all was accomplished on the cross, and it is only if we hold on to that belief, if we exercise our faith in that act of salvation on the cross, that we receive our deliverance from the chains that bind us within and without. 

So temptation is an act of Satan, and deliverance - an act of God, and the power to withstand the one and to receive the other rests solely in our hands.



VIII. "FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER, AMEN."


Here we observe three things:

The Kingdom: 

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

(Revelation 11: 15)

The Kingdom speaks about the Millenial Reign of Christ and the renewal of the earth.

The Power: 

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

(Matthew 28: 18)

The Power speaks about the authority that we recognize in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ today. It is this authority of the Father that we shall see face to face in the person of Jesus Christ when we are transformed.

The Glory:

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

"And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount."

(II Peter 1: 16 - 18)

The Glory speaks about the transformation power of God manifest in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ - the glory of the Father revealed in the Son - revealed to us His children - as He transforms us into the image of God.

As we conclude, we accept the absolute sovereignty of God in our own lives, and in the world to come.

For truly, our souls rest in the expectation of that great day when the kingdom reign of Christ is ushered in, and the new earth will be ruled with justice and love, and all the nations of the earth shall acknowledge the power of Christ.





Restoration of the Heart

The Human heart is, in biblical terms, the very soul or being of man. 

It is where his emotions, ambitions, desires, and thoughts ebb and flow, and circulate.

It is the home of man’s reasoning and decision making.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about the heart:-

Jeremiah 17: 1,9,10 reads: “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the tablet of their heart,…”

In this text, the Lord is talking about the kingdom of Judah in the natural sense.

After the death of King Solomon of Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel were divided into two kingdoms.


Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became king of the southern kingdom of Judah, which was comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and much of the tribe of Levi, the tribe that served at the temple.

Jeroboam, a former servant of King Solomon, became king of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was comprised of the remaining 10 tribes (1 Kings 11 and 12)

When God punished Israel and scattered the kingdom due to its disobedience and idolatry, Judah was watching. Judah had an example of what would befall it, if it too, departed from the Lord’s ways; yet, the kingdom of Judah as well, fell into disobedience and came under the wrath of God. This is why in Jeremiah 17, verse 1, the Bible says, 

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond.” i.e. ‘almost impossible to erase’.

Now seeing that we all have fallen from the grace of God, and are continually prey to sinful thoughts and desires on account of our fallen nature, the Lord is emphasizing our helplessness by saying, ‘here in the seat of man’s very soul’, where He, as a Creator and Savior hopes to dwell…on the tablet of the heart is engraved - ‘SIN’.

Now look closely at the terms used in this sentence:

-        -  A pen of iron

-        - The point of a diamond

-        - The tablet of the heart

If you have seen ancient engravings on stone or metal tablets at a museum, you’ll know how the letters or symbols are scratched into the base, hard, almost tearing into the substance of the base be it rock or wood, or any other material…. It perforates the material, penetrating the surface….digging into it to leave a mark which can never be naturally erased….deep and biting….

We all know the metal - iron, which is used in the manufacture of steel, tin, and aluminium, and constitutes a common material in all of our global infrastructure today.


And we also know that there is nothing purer or sharper than a diamond. Diamonds today, besides being used as jewelry, are also used in most high precision industries for precision cutting, shaping, and polishing.


Now try to imagine a pen made out of iron, with the point of a diamond engraving something on a human heart! What a mess that would make, with the sharp blade like point goring into the flesh.

But, no, that is not what the Lord means. It is a metaphor trying to convey how deep we have wounded Him by our sin. It is an illustration of how futile our self-effort at cleaning up our lives is. How can you patch together a gored heart? How can you naturally restore a surface to what it was before it had been engraved?

In addressing Judah, the Lord is addressing us all and saying, “Your sin is like a deep engraving which can never be erased.”

Let us move to verse 9:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

So our hearts can even deceive ourselves. Our thoughts, our intents, our desires, our logic, can even turn against us and leads us one way when we know deep down we should be going another. Our very hearts can take ‘the wrong’ and convince ourselves, that it is ‘the right’.

And our hearts are ‘desperately wicked’, very hard words these….Our hearts? Our good hearts in which we carry good thoughts, care and concern for others, love and peace….desperately wicked…?

DESPERATEadjective
having a great need or desire for something.
(Synonyms: in great need of, urgently requiring, craving, in want of, lacking, wanting; )

Our hearts are prone to sin, prone to wander, prone to deceive our very selves, prone to wickedness because of the great desperation that lies within; without the righteousness and redemption of God.

The heart of man is almost like a fish – slippery, hard to catch, hard to rein in, and hard to hold on to with a firm grip without it slipping out of hands. This is probably why the Lord compared men to fish when He told Peter, 

“….Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19).

Indeed the Lord proved this to His disciples twice, while they were in their fishing boats. Both those times, they had caught nothing. And, each time, on obeying the Lord’s word, when He told them to cast the nets, they hadn’t been able to haul in the catch due to the multitude of fish!


What the Lord was trying to say was: ‘Although you may be experienced fishermen, it is I who move the fish into the nets’, or, ‘Although I send you out to win the hearts of men for my kingdom, it is I who give you the yield.’ This is because the Creator of man alone has the power to draw in, hold, and cleanse man's heart.

But we find comfort in this…our hopelessness…in Jeremiah 17:10:-

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins,…”

“Try the reins” in modern English literally translates into “Test the mind.”

The Holy Spirit brings into our hearts the conviction of sin. And this is how the Lord ‘searches the hearts’ and ‘tests the mind’ of man….through the insight of the Holy Spirit.


This conviction of sin bears fruit in the heart of man. It is the means for inviting the Creator of the Universe to dwell within it, and fill the huge void that sin has made with its harsh engravings upon it.

So the brutal piercing and tearing up of the heart of man by sin is covered and healed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.


It is then that we can say like David,

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.  

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

(Psalms 119: 9-11, 105)

So, here, we see the sequence of the renewal of the heart of man:-

a.       Taking heed to the Word of God (Obeying the Lord’s commandments)

b.      Seeking the Lord with our WHOLE HEARTS (Bringing our thoughts into complete subjection to Him)

c.       Hiding His Word in our hearts (Allowing His Word to become part of our nature)

d.      Considering the Word of God our guide (Honoring the Word of God in our way of life)

In conclusion, the heart of man which had once been ravished and torn by sin, once it acknowledges the sacrifice of the sinless Lamb that took its place on Calvary, and bore the shame of sin’s scars and the pain of sin’s wounds, so that it may be restored to its former pure and undefiled condition; is softened, healed, and renewed. The engravings of sin upon this tablet, even though carved deep, have now been erased and it’s marks filled in by the blood of the Savior.

It now appears as just as it had been in the day it was created through the resurrection power of Christ.




Repentance & Confession


We who are Christians are familiar with the term Repentance.

REPENTANCE :

the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.”

We know that in order to be saved we need to feel repentance, to repent of our past sins and mistakes.


We feel sorry for our sins, our failings, our weaknesses. We recognize that we have been wrong, done wrong, are wrong; and we accept the rightness of God.


In Christian terms we recognize that we are sinners, have sinned, have fallen short of the glory of God, have distanced ourselves from our Maker either knowingly or unknowingly, have lived in a state of arrogance, negligence, and rebelliousness.

The Bible says in Romans 3: 23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

This inward admission of our sin or guilt is Repentance.

It is this repentance that fuels our need or desire to be saved, to be made right with God, to put on the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Repentance then, goes hand in hand with Confession.

CONFESSION:

“a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime.”

“a statement setting out essential religious doctrine.”

I like the first definition better.

We indeed are guilty of the crime of crucifying the Son of God on that cross on Calvary so many years ago. It was our sins that nailed Him to the tree.

Isaiah 53: 5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; ”


Once we enter a state of repentance, once we understand that we cannot clean up our past and neither redeem ourselves by ourselves, once we realize that we need a Saviour who can clean up the dross and filth from our lives, justify us, sanctify us, make us whole, and finally make us right with God, we need to confess our sin, confess our need for a Savior, confess that we are nothing by ourselves, and that we need the governing care of Christ in our lives.


Repentance is incomplete by itself. It needs a Confession of one’s sins, and one’s faith in the Savior to be complete.

So, Repentance and Confession are partners.



Repentance takes place in the heart.

Confession is the outward expression of a repentant heart.


Let us take a look at this scripture from Lamentations 3: 40,41

“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.”

“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.”

Here the Bible tells us to:-

A.      Search our ways

B.      Try our ways

C.      Turn to God

D.      Lift up our hearts with our hands to God

The book of Lamentations is a book of woe – it was the burden of the Lord for the children of Israel laid upon the heart of one of His prophets – Jeremiah.

In this chapter Jeremiah is heavy hearted with the burden of the affliction and captivity of Israel. In the spirit of intercession he acknowledges all the hardships that have come upon them, at the same time recognizing the sin that brought it about. He then lists these phases of repentance.

A.      To search our ways means to examine our lives, the paths we have taken, the decisions we have made, and see if we have offended God through them in any way.

B.      To try our ways means to check whether or not our deeds and plans are/have been in line with God’s Word, and according to His will.

C.      To turn again to God obviously means that at one point of time we have turned away from him. So, we would need to turn back to Him.


(What does the Bible mean by ‘ways’?

Ways in biblical parlance means deeds, actions, or manner of living.

These ways can be either physical or spiritual.

Our physical ways when not under the authority of the Holy Spirit, fall prey to the sins of the world.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (I John 2:16)

Our spiritual ways when dimmed by the world take on a form of religiousness, i.e. we use traditions and rituals to satisfy our spiritual hunger and give ourselves and air of self –righteousness in what we do.

“For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3)

John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”) )


In the course of our lives as Christians, even those who have been born again, we start out with such gusto and enthusiasm. After a while this enthusiasm dims as we are caught up in life’s hullaballoo. It is when we shift our focus from our Lord to the things of the world, and give worldly attractions or our own self weaknesses and indulgences priority over our God, that we lose sight of Him.


It is then that we feel ourselves drawing away from Him, and are so negligent of our walk with Him, cocooned in the comfort of our own worlds that we do not even make an effort to lessen the distance, to bridge the gap, to stop ourselves from becoming totally shut off from His presence.



At this point we have begun to trust and depend less on His ever wise counsel, and choose instead to follow our own, albeit we may sometime go down the wrong road. Still, to admit that we are weak and in need of strength, or are fearful and in need of courage, or are lost and in need of direction, is out of the question.

So we make our own plans, frame our own ambitions, take our own decisions, and choose our own paths, God’s will or not. We are now the masters of our own destinies, the captains of our own ships.
We have forgotten to search and try our ways before the Lord, forgotten to go to Him for guidance and help. We have adopted an ‘I can do fine by myself’ attitude. And it’s working out great for us so far…



We have turned away from God. We do not recognize His worth as a counsellor, a confidant, a guide. The first love that we had for Him has died down. Oh yes, we still carry it deep down in the bottom recesses of our hearts, but that love is no more violently passionate. It has ebbed to an irregular memory.




So to turn again warrants a 180 degree head tilt. We have to look back, once again, to the source of our original courage, strength, and confidence. We have to re-love, re-depend, re-ask for all that has gone missing. It is only when the hard times come that some of us turn back.

Once we turn back to God in repentance and with a true confession, the next step is easy:

D.      Lifting up our hearts with our hands to God means, we have come back, we have acknowledged our wrongs, we have reconciled with our Maker, He has forgiven us, and we can now give Him back the love that He expects of us without the shadows of guilt.



Notice the wording in the above verse of scripture: “Lift up our hearts with our hands to God”. Not just lift up our hearts, but lift up our hearts with our hands, OR Lift up our hearts along with our hands to God. This means we have to give our lives to God voluntarily, whole heartedly, with all our being, by ourselves. Once offer our hearts to God, our hearts stay hidden in Him, but our hands will still be outstretched overhead towards Him as a loving statement of our unending dependence on Him as our Heavenly Father.

Pastor Shadrach K. Joseph