Strengthening Relationships and Each Other! Part One

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Ever feel guilty? Who doesn’t right? People hate to feel guilty. We really do. We push guilt aside, we bury guilt and we will try to do any and everything we can to get rid of it.  People are triggered defensively when they think someone is judging them and trying to guilt them. People just plain hate guilt. The problem is, if a person doesn’t know the Lord, they can never completely rid themselves of guilt. Oh they may try. They may deny or suppress their feelings about guilt. They may bury them. They may try to drown them in alcohol or drugs or some other way. But the spirit of a man knows when it is not clean before the Lord. When the spirit of a man is not free from sin, guilt is present. Guilt feelings can create defensive attitudes in such profound ways.  They lead to dysfunctional thinking  such as envy or jealousy and produce behaviors that spiral and steer life off course! That’s why it is so imperative to be free from guilt.

So hear this today! God wants to free us all from guilt and pain! The following three verses reveal this truth in the most powerful way!

First we see that God is not out to get us, but to save us. John 3:17 NIV says, “For God did not send His Son into the world TO CONDEMN the world, but to save the world through Him.” He isn’t out to get us or bring condemnation (which means, to be found guilty.) To the contrary, He wants to wash our sins away!

Secondly God has proven His love for us by loving us while we were rejecting Him—while we were lost living in our sinful life. He was loving us while we were ignoring  or rejecting Him! Think about that! That’s how great His love is for us! Romans 5:8-9 NIV says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by the sacrifice of His death and blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Jesus Christ!”

Third, God had a plan in place called JESUS! A plan to rescue us from guilt and condemnation and to make us blameless.  He had this plan BEFORE He ever created the world! This is mind-blowing but true! Ephesians 1:4 NIV says, “God chose us to be in Jesus before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love…” Can you see that God wasn’t and isn’t looking to point the finger of guilt at us. He isn’t looking for condemnation and guilt. To the contrary, God says He has justified (made innocent) every single believer through our faith! We are saved from wrath and instead declared Not guilty! And that is His gift from Himself to us through Jesus Christ!  When a person repents  and turns from their sins and receives Jesus as their Savior, the Lord immediately removes sin and guilt and makes them blameless. It can be so hard to wrap our mind around this blessed truth—especially when we are trying to turn our lives around but stumbling again and again! This is a gift and miracle that no human being is worthy of, yet God out of His love had this plan in place from before the creation—from the beginning! 

So today, let’s understand that God didn’t send Jesus to get rid of guilt so that we could put each other back under it. He wants us to help free people from it by helping them understand why Jesus died for us and help them receive Jesus. This is a miraculous step with instantaneous  results—the promise and gift of eternal life. The confidence of knowing that Heaven will be your home as an undeserved gift is instantly life-changing! Learning to live the Christian walk is a process.

Everyone is in a different place in that process. No one is perfect! Some are young Christians just trying to understand all this while trying to change their life. They still remember the countless sins of their life even though Jesus has washed them away. They still have to learn to forgive themselves for what Jesus has already forgiven them for. And they have to learn how to move forward which can be difficult considering that they still feel guilt from their past sins and still have sinful areas of their life they are trying to lay down and change in. Jesus isn’t guilting or condemning them. He is holding their hand, washing them with His grace, and empowering them by His Spirit to make these changes. But, that process will always feel to slow for us. He has made us worthy of Heaven by washing our sins away with His blood.  That trumps guilt and is the gospel message of your calling for Christ.

When we will purpose to be more gracious to other believers and cheer them on and help them in their life in Christ, they will remember you as one who was for them. They will remember you as one who mentored them or prayed for them and spoke life-giving encouragement into their life. They will remember that you didn’t judge them but instead helped them find freedom to live with peace and joy for what Jesus has done. You didn’t guilt them, but were one who instead encouraged them in the pure, forgiving, love and grace of God. This will do more to contribute to real and godly relationships than any other thing you could do! You’ll become the friend that is closer than family and experience wonderful relationships that make your life rich in Christ!

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT2) “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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