A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘guilt’ Category

You Are Worthy

One thing holding you captive right now is your belief that you are not worthy of God’s forgiveness and therefore your inability to forgive yourself.


I felt guilty and unlovable when I met Jesus. That guilt held me back. When Christian friends shared their stories of sin and redemption with me the Holy Spirit began to minister to my brokenness. He set my feet on the path to righteousness.

My struggle continued though—with a fear of man. What would my Sunday school class think if they knew about my past? Can I tell the truth and still be a part of the church?

The truth is that what man thinks is of no consequence to my life—or yours. The only fear we are to harbor is for God. To do what is right before Him. To love and have faith that He will carry us through the trials and tribulations of this life. His Son died that we may live and live life to the fullest.

What is holding you back? A piercing? A tattoo? A withered arm? Are you a single parent? Divorced?

Whatever it is, it isn’t too big for God. Nothing is. Your guilt and fear can be lifted.

Don’t fear God’s judgement for your sin. Confess and accept God’s forgiveness.

O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing
Charles Wesley

“He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free:
His blood can make the foulest clean:
His blood availed for me.”

“He speaks – and listening to his voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.”

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:7, 8 NIV).

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38 NIV).

In Christian Love,
Berta

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Planting Seeds

Looking back over my life, I see God’s hand in every day, even before I knew Him.

Though I had made a profession of faith in my twenty’s, I was far from Christ. I felt I was drowning in a sea of personal sin I didn’t dare share with my Christian friends.
Fear of their judgement scared me in to my own private hell.

Then I went to a retreat where I heard Christians talk about their sins and God’s forgiving heart. My shell shattered and I cried out to Him and found freedom in the love and forgiveness He held for me. I made a promise then, “I’m going to tell everyone I meet about Jesus.” And I did. Friends turned away and “perceived enemies” became brothers and sisters.

Eight months later an accident severed my spinal cord. I came home weak and weary six months and nine days after my injury. My power wheelchair had one true asset then—it reclined. I withdrew from life, laid back and hid behind veiled eyes. I refused to face my future.

The cost was high in body, mind and spirit, but God’s blessings are phenomenal. In His infinite wisdom, He prepared the way. Earl had served as a hospital chaplain on a reconstructive surgery floor where many of the patients had a spinal cord injury. In rehab, the staff taught us how to take care of me at home. According to them, I would live to within five years of my natural lifespan if I had something to look forward to and got out of the house routinely.

Earl took me on nearly every pastoral visit and preachers meeting he went to, but I just leaned back in my wheelchair with my eyes closed. He encouraged me to keep a journal and try teaching Sunday school. He loved me even when I failed.

As I filled those roles with study and preparation, I learned more than I taught. I read the story about how David sinned but was a man after God’s heart.* Job lost everything yet said, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”** I began sharing my story of God’s faithfulness again and grew stronger in my faith each time. I wrote my brief story and passed it out as a tract to everyone who spoke to me.

While in a small group studying Steve Harper’s Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition many years later, a friend pointed out my seemingly fearless sharing of my faith. I made light of it, “I just tell what God has done for me, but I’ve never led anyone to accept Christ.”

She said, “You may not have, but you have planted many seeds. You may never know until you get to heaven how many people are there because of your testimony.”

Those words have encouraged me to be bold as I tell my stories of His faithfulness to friends and strangers. Old and young. Churched and un-churched. In stores, in doctors offices or on the telephone with sales associates. Earl says, “Imagine that, Berta’s talking.”

Jesus tells us to make disciples. You too can plant and water to prepare hearts for God’s harvest. Trust Him and tell what He has done for you.

Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NRSV).

In Christian Love,

Berta

*Acts 13:22 KJV
**Job 13:15 KJV

Useful

Jesus called me to tell what He was doing in my spirit. He said, “Invest in Me. My word is truth. My yoke is light.” How can I express His greatness and power? The fire that burns in my belly?

God’s call often sounds foolish to us. Noah built an ark before it had ever rained a drop. Moses told Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Peter stepped out of one boat and walked on water, then cast his net in the deep water from another boat.

I came from sin. A sinner born from sinners to sin. Physically and emotionally alone, I felt separated by the cruelty of a world I couldn’t understand. Constant unbearable pain weighed heavy on my soul from childhood.

As I grew older, I knew God was out there. I’d tried to talk to Him but He’d never answered my selfish pleas. The day came that crushed by my sin, guilt, and self-loathing, I turned to Jesus and cried for mercy and forgiveness. I poured out my sin and soaked in His Holy Spirit. I walked away from who I’d been; I couldn’t keep doing the same things.

He began to use my life, which I once thought was useless—my voice, my joy and laughter, my pain and weakness—to speak to those who needed to hear about Him. He wants each of us to participate with Him in bringing others into the Kingdom, and he wants us to experience His presence in our lives.

“God doesn’t give us what we deserve, because if He did, we’d be burnt to a crisp in a nano-second. Because receiving justice would be hell; mercy is salvation; and grace is peace, and joy, and so much more.” Joni Eareckson Tada

“I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.” (Philemon 1:10-11 NIV.)

Lord Jesus, I thank you for bearing all my sins and setting me free from the law of sin and death. Give me boldness to share Your mercy and forgiveness at every
opportunity You provide. Amen

In Christian Love,
Berta
 

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Heaven’s Loss

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Here we are at Advent again. We’re waiting and preparing for the birth of God’s Son, the Christ Child. He gave up glory on His majestic throne to come to earth, fully man yet fully God. He was acknowledged as the Christ while still in a virgin’s womb.

Born in a stable. Laid in a manger. Serenaded by angels. Gifted by kings.

This wasn’t the beginning for In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1 KJV).

Earl and I have a print by Ron DiCianni called “Heaven’s Loss.” Focusing on the Christ Child lying in a manger, an archangel leans over Him as to have one last look.

His humanity was for our sake. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV).

I am overwhelmed by Gods’ goodness. Though I deserve nothing I have everything. In His mercy and grace and by His life, death, and resurrection I have eternal life without fear or guilt or shame.

My prayer is that you too know Him and His love.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

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