How To End Your Guilt Trip

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Last Sunday I wrapped up my series of messages “Help, my emotions are out of control.”  The final message was on GUILT.  In fact, my hope was that you would finally know “How To End Your Guilt Trip.”  We spent all our time looking at God’s agenda concerning guilt and how to begin dealing with your guilt.  I want to now quickly review a few points and then show you what God says about replacing your guilt with an intimate relationship with Him.

The major biblical text we looked at was Psalm 32.  I think it would be helpful to re-read it right now, especially verses 1-5.

Psalm 32:1-11 NASB  “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

So, let me briefly review what God would like to do with your guilt.

1.  God wants to forgive you.   (Ps 32:1)

2.  God wants to blot out your sin.   (Ps 32:1)

3.  God wants to erase the record of your sin.  (Ps 32:2)

4.  God wants to purify your mind.  (Ps 32:2)

I don’t know about you, but I sure want God to do what He wants to do.  Not to worry.  He will do all of this unless we block Him with our resistance. So, what can you do to end your guilt trip?  Below is a list of things you need to take seriously and apply to your life.  The first 4 points deal with your salvation and redemption.  The next 6 points are about cultivating a relationship with God that results in a guilt free life and intimacy with God.

1.  Acknowledge your sin to God.  Be honest with God about your guilt.  (Ps 32:5)

2.  Quit covering your tracks.  No need to cover them if God will wash them.  (Ps 32:5; 1 John 1:9; Ps 103:12)

3.  Confess your transgressions to God.  Cry out to God in your guilt and ask for mercy.  (Ps 32:5

4.  Speak to God while you are able.  Now that your guilt has gotten your attention, turn to God.  (Ps 32:6)

5.  Allow His life to cover yours.  He is the perfect One.  The life you allow to reign on your throne must be God’s, not yours.  (Ps 32:7; John 3:30; Gal 2:20)

6.  Expose yourself to life changing testimonies of others who have been delivered.  Nothing will encourage you and motivate you more than hearing how God dealt with the guilt of others and gave them victory and freedom.  (Ps 32:7 “You surround me with songs of deliverance”)

7.  Expect God to personally guide you in the future.  His presence in your life is the secret to victory over your sin and guilt.  (Ps 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you”)

8.  Don’t be surprised when God corrects you.  Your flesh will rise up and demand a following.  When you give in to this, God will immediately convict you of your sin and correct you.  He is not going to sit by idly and allow intimacy with Him to evaporate with silence.  (Ps 32:8 “I will counsel you with my eye on you”)

9. Engage your mind, will, and emotions when dealing with God.  You are not a robot nor a puppet in the hands of God.  He created you in His image and expects you to live that way.  (Ps 32:9 “do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding.”)

10. Choose to live with an attitude of gratitude.  Accept His forgiveness, live like you’re forgiven, and broadcast it.  (Ps 32:10)

Ernest Hemingway in his short story, “The Capitol of the World,” tells the story about a father and his teenage son, who lived in Spain.  Their relationship became strained.  Eventually they separated and the son ran away from home.  After some time, the father began to search for his lost and rebellious son.  Finally in desperation, he put an ad in the Madrid newspaper as a last resort.  His son’s name was Paco, which was a common name like John would be in the USA.  The ad simply read like this:

“Dear Paco,   Meet me in front of the Madrid Newspaper office tomorrow at noon.  All is forgiven.  I love you.

The next day at noon, in front of that newspaper office, there were 800 Paco’s seeking forgiveness.

You are not alone with your guilt.  Your guilt is an alarm that notifies you that something is wrong between you and God.  God has amazingly dealt with your sin on the Cross of Jesus.  His wrath has been satisfied (“the wages of sin is death”  Rom 6:23) and forgiveness and cleansing are offered from the resurrected Jesus.

How do you get off your guilt trip?  Turn to God right now.  You won’t regret it.

Stress Busters For the Overwhelmed

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Everybody gets overwhelmed at times.  We’d like to think we are great multi-taskers but all it takes is for one of those tasks to take an unexpected turn and thereby affect all the other things you’re trying to juggle.  It’s then you become overwhelmed.

Yesterday I was able to go over some of the many ways we try to deal with the overwhelming:

  • Give up and let your circumstances controll you.
  • Become a control freak.
  • Run away from your problems.
  • Put your life on hold and don’t move.

However, those options don’t fix our problem.  They actually complicate them.  The best option, when overwhelmed, is to approach our anxiety as God prescribes.  In other words:

  • Refer to the Manufacturers Handbook (the Bible) and refer to the sections on “being overwhelmed.”

God has so much to say about this matter that we can learn from.

Now, since I spoke about this matter yesterday (you can always listen online or download the message from our church website if you missed it – http://www.sarasotabaptist.com) I’m simply going to list the points I covered and then add the final section that I was not able to cover because of time.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE LIFE OF DANIEL (Daniel 1:3-20)

1.  Choose to let your God define you, not your circumstances.  (Daniel 1:3-8 – the importance of a name)

2.  God is working in and around you while you’re under pressure.  (Daniel 1:9)

3.  The world will pressure you to compromise.  (Daniel 1:10 – the guilt trip)

4.  Personal conviction, not compromise frees God to act in your life.  (Daniel 1:11-20)

PRACTICAL BIBLICAL STRESS BUSTERS

1.  Stop immediately, pray with your eyes closed and then keep on praying with your eyes open.  (Phil 4:6-7)

2.  Slow down and think about what God is doing in your life.  (Col 3:1-4)

  • God has two agendas:  total dependence on Him, spiritual maturity

3.  Choose to do the right thing even when others don’t.  (James 4:17)

4.  Commit your life to Jesus Christ and trust Him with your life. (1Peter 5:6-7)

5.  Move forward by applying God’s Word in your stressful situations.  (James 1:22)

  • Concerning your RELATIONSHIPS – INITIATE LOVE  (Romans 12:18)
  • Concerning your ATTITUDE AND FEELINGS – CHOOSE JOY  (James 1:2; Phil 4:4-5)
  • Concerning your CIRCUMSTANCES – LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING (Phil 4:8)
  • Concerning your DECISIONS – FOLLOW JESUS  (Matt 11:28-30

TRY THESE 6 STRESS RELIEVING EXERCISES:

1.  Deliberately drive in the slow lane on the interstate.

2.  Declare a fast from honking at traffic lights.

3.  Eat your food slowly.

4.  At the grocery sstore, get in the longest check in line.  Then let on more person go in front of you.

5.  Re-read a book.

6.  Take an hour to simply be with God.

SUMMARY SCRIPTURE  (How God sums up this journey that involves being OVERWHELMED)

2 Corinthians 4:8-18 (MSG)   You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do,
9 but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.
10 What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives!
11 Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.
12 While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
13 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe.
14 And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive.
15 Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
16 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.
18 There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

“How To Lighten the Load of Loneliness”

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         Loneliness is an emotion experienced by all people.  It can become a debilitating emotion that leads to depression and also result in the alienation of friends and family. 

         There’s no need to be embarrassed by this emotion.  God certainly understands this emotion and experienced it Himself at the Garden of Gethsemene.  Fortunately for us He was so transparent with His disciples at that time. 

         So, what are we to do when loneliness grips us by the heart and won’t let go?  We talked about it this morning during our worship services and I wasn’t able to share all of the things I’ve been learning from God’s Word.  Below is a quick review and overview of what we didn’t have time to cover.

How To Lighten the Load of Loneliness

1.   Start by reviewing God’s promises concerning loneliness.

Before the emotion of loneliness can be disabled, there must be an understanding of the nature of God.  He has revealed Himself as a relational God and has made promises to never leave or forsake those who have entered into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NASB) Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
6 so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

Romans 8:38-39 (NASB) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.                                                        

Joshua 1:5 (NASB) “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

 

2.   Refuse to attend your pity party when you feel lonely.  Instead, thank God for walking with you even when you don’t see Him. 

 Faith requires an acknowledging of God’s presence even when it doesn’t feel like or look like He’s anywhere around.

 Psalm 23:1-4 (NASB) The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
                                                      

3.   Ask the following questions:

These questions will help you identify the source of your loneliness.

  • Is there any sin in your life that is affecting your sense of intimacy with God?

Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB) Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

  • Is there someone you need to forgive?

Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB) “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Matthew 5:23-24 (NASB)  “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

  • Have you isolated yourself from people?

2 Timothy 2:22 (NASB) Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

  • Have you tried transforming this draining time of loneliness into a renewing time of solitude?

Mark 6:30-32 (NASB) The apostles *gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.

  • When did you last express your gratitude for the friendships you do have?

Philippians 1:3-4 (NASB)  “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all.”

  • What are you doing to initiate new friendships and nurture old friendships?

1 John 4:11 (NASB) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 

4.   Eat right, get some rest, exercise, and keep on learning.                  

Sometimes your physical condition can prompt feelings of loneliness.  Rest, proper nourishment, exercise, and a commitment to constantly learn is a must.

1 Cor 6:19-20 (NASB) “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

2 Tim 4:13 (NASB) When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.

 

5.   Be a friend even when you don’t feel like it.

Oftentimes your feeling of loneliness will evaporate when you choose to live like a friend.  Thinking of others has a way of getting your mind off your loneliness.

Phil 2:3-4 (NASB)  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

                                                                       

6.   Allow God’s grace to heal the pain of loneliness.

Ultimately, it is God’s grace that enables you to overcome the pain of loneliness.  Remember that grace is both the power and desire to do the will of God.

2 Tim 4:22 (NASB) The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

  • Let the need for GRACE prompt you to pray.

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB) For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • Use GRACE to extinguish all bitterness.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NASB) Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

  • Allow GRACE to refocus your attention on God’s plan for your life.

2 Cor 12:9-10 (NASB) And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

  • Pay attention to “GRACE” encounters.            

Acts 8:26-31 (NASB) But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)
27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.”
30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Coaching Tips for Raising A Wise Child Who Believes and Trusts God

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Fathers Day is a great day to evaluate the influence we’ve had on our children. Since I was only able to cover the first three principles below in my Sunday Morning message, I’ve listed the remaining seven for you to review. The principles below will help you stay focused on the most important areas of influence and will also apply to any relationship where you have influence.

1. Teach your child to honor and respect God with your conversations and decisions.

Psalm 111:10 (NASB) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Deut 6:5-7 (NASB) “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

2. Show your child how approachable God is by including him in your prayer times.

James 1:5 (NASB) But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him

Psalm 145:18 (NASB) The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

James 4:8 (NASB) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

3. Teach your child about God’s grace and forgiveness by refusing to base your acceptance of him on performance.

Ephesians 2:4-10 (NASB) 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Romans 5:8 (NASB) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

4. Help your child know the difference between a religion and a relationship by introducing your child to Jesus and talking about what He is like.

Jer 9:23-24 (NASB) Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.

5. Protect your child by clearly identifying and consistently enforcing age-appropriate boundaries in his life.

Prov 29:15 (NASB) The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

Prov 14:16 (NASB) “A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.”

Ps 119:11 (NASB) Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

Heb 12:11 (NASB) All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

6. Build a reservoir of truth that your child can always tap into by helping him to establish daily habits of Scripture reading, studying, and memorization.

Col 3:16 (NASB) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Josh 1:8 (NASB) “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

7. Teach your child how to lead someone to Jesus by your example.

Proverbs 11:30 (NASB) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.

8. Encourage your child to walk by faith by sharing your personal stories of your faith walk.

2 Cor 5:7 (NASB) for we walk by faith, not by sight

Matt 19:26 (NASB) And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Heb 11:6 (NASB) “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

9. Teach your child the laws of sowing and reaping.

Gal 6:7-9 (NASB) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Heb 9:27 (NASB) And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

10. Teach your child how to select friends.

Prov 13:20 (NASB) He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

2 Tim 2:22 (NASB) Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Eccl 4:9-10 (NASB) Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

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