May 12, 2006 § Leave a Comment
At first sight, this psalm sings the praises of Mount Zion and the old, powerful Jerusalem, in particular of God’s protection and blessing upon the city. And I don’t think it’s a mistake to interpret it that way.
Yet there is another way in which one could look at this psalm. Like in Psalm 46, there are certain clues which point to it as a prophetic description of the new Jerusalem described in Revelation, God’s city, which will descend from heaven to crown the newly re-made earth. Let’s look at them:
- “… in the city of our God, the holy mountain, towering in beauty, the joy of the whole world… the settlement of the great king; God Himself among its palaces…” (verses 1-2)
- “What we had heard we saw for ourselves in the city of our God, in the city of Yahweh Sabaoth, which God has established for ever.” (verse 8)
- “Both your name and your praise, God, are over the whole wide world…” (verse 9)
- “Go round Zion, walk right through her, count her bastions, admire her walls, examine her palaces, to tell future generations that such is God; our God for ever and ever, He is our guide!” (verses 12-14)
Now let’s look at Revelation and compare, verse by verse:
- “I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband… In the spirit he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:2, 10)
- This is a promise yet to be fulfilled, but this prophecy mentioned in verse 8 of Psalm 48 is detailed clearly in chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation, where the new Jerusalem is described. I encourage you to read both. When we, those who hope to be saved, will see it, we’ll be able to say that “what we have heard we saw for ourselves in the city of our God…”
- “Look, here God lives among human beings. He will make His home among them; they will be His people, and He will be their God, God-with-them… The world of the past has gone… ‘Look, I am making the whole of creation new… I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 21:4-6)
- “It had all the glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. Its wall was of a great height and had twelve gates; at each of the welve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel… The curse of destruction will be abolished. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city; His servants will worship Him, the will see Him face to face, and His name will be written on their foreheads… They will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 21:11-13, 22:3-5) Again, I recommend you read these entire chapters to see the full descriptions.
As you can see, it’s not a stretch to think of Psalm 48 as a prophetic psalm, describing the New Jerusalem. The parallels are quite strong, and I’m sure if I looked, I’d find them in the book of Daniel as well.
May 3, 2006 § Leave a Comment
This psalm continues a theme discussed in yesterday’s entry, that of keeping faith in God and going forward with our obeyance of His commandments even when the circumstances are very much against us and He isn’t answering. That theme is even taken further here, since the author writes of not only keeping faith, but praising God: “Hope in God! I will praise Him still, my Saviour, my God.” This encouragement to self is repeated in verse 11, as the ending verse of the psalm.
This is faith indeed! This man has a good relationship with God, and it shows. Even while under adverse circumstances, where his heart is broken and yearning for his home land and the temple of God, he still chooses to praise Him, because it’s the right thing to do – because God deserves it.
There is something else that’s interesting in this psalm. Verse 2 says: “I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go to see the face of God?” In the same vein, verse 4 says: “This I remember, as I pour out my heart, how I used to pass under the roof of the Most High, used to go to the house of God…” That must have been amazing! That time when the Israelites had the presence of God – His shekinah – in their temple, is a time to be desired by all. How much of a blessing that was, to have God’s glory filling the temple like a cloud! What a Holy place, what a joy to go to that Temple, indeed, when one knew that’s where God was! It sends shivers down my spine when I think about it!
The good news for us, as Christians, is that while we may not have a physical manifestation of God’s presence in our churches and in our lives, we know we have the Holy Spirit, sent down from God after our Lord Jesus Christ’s ascension. It was His promise to us that the Holy Spirit would dwell in us, and our own bodies would become temples to God. We too, can experience a part of that blessing that resided with the Israelites during that wonderful time of old. Furthermore, since Jesus Christ is our High Priest, and He is now in heaven, back with His Father, we need no earthly temple to commune with God. We simply need to pray, knowing our prayers will reach Him. We needn’t worry that we aren’t near the temple! It is a real blessing, one that we’d be foolish not to use daily – more than that, even – whenever the need arises!
So let’s do like the Levite in this psalm! Let’s praise God for His goodness and for His wonderful gifts to us, including His Son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and brought us all salvation and the possibility of eternal life with God!
June 1, 2002 § 54 Comments
Let me say this before I begin: it is hard to write about such a subject. It is a very sensitive topic, and many people can be offended, not just those who practice homosexuality. But I think it relevant to have a look at Bible verses that talk about the topic, if you believe in the Bible. I invite you, the reader, to make up your mind about what you will believe for yourself.
When we talk about homosexuality, I think it’s important to drop the label and name-calling, and simply call those who are homosexuals, people. We are all people, first and foremost.
The practice (or lifestyle, if you like) of homosexuality is nowadays more mainstream than ever. Whereas it was hidden in the past, it is now pushed out into the open.
Another trend can be seen these days: the practice of legitimizing homosexuality within organized religion. There are churches that will admit openly homosexual members and what’s more, tell them that God still loves them even if they remain homosexual. Does the Bible support that stance?
In the hope of shedding some light on this subject, what I thought I’d do is to go through the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, and present every verse that talks about the subject of homosexuality. Please understand that I am simply going to cite these verses, lay them before you with little explanation, and let you draw your own conclusion. Before I begin, I must make it clear that my purpose is not to condemn or judge the practice of homosexuality, and neither should you. Let each of us live as he or she sees fit.
The introduction to homosexuality occurs in the first book of the Bible, in Genesis Chapter 18. The Lord is talking to Abraham just after He promised him a son. “And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20,21)
Let’s look in Chapter 19 and see just what these people were doing: “But before they lay down [to eat], the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter. And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know [have sex with] them.” (Genesis 19:4, 5) If you are confused about the meaning of the verb “know” in the Bible context, look at other translations or look it up in a Bible Concordance and it will be made clearer to you.
Lot, knowing full well that the men in his house were the angels of God, even went out and tried to offer his own daughters to the mob in order to appease them: “And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” (Genesis 19:6-8)
I question Lot’s judgment in wanting to allow his daughters to be gang-raped, but who knows how men regarded women during those times… It’s certainly very strange to me, but let’s move on. You can read for yourselves in order to find out the details of the story, but in the end, God’s judgment was clear: “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” (Genesis 19:24, 25)
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22) And lest you think it is simply condemned and not punished, read on: “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you. And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:24, 25)
The same is stated further in the chapter: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)
Paul writes here about the continued rejection of God’s will: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26-28)
The apostle Paul is very direct in this book. He writes: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9) And then he clarifies just what an unrighteous person is: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10)
Notice how homosexuality is grouped with other mainstream sins such as idolatry, fornication and drunkenness. Beware, fellow Christians, lest you are found guilty of one of these other sins while you think yourself righteous because you aren’t a homosexual…
Here we all are given hope. We are all sinners, and that is why we have been given the law of God. What we choose to do with it is what will save or damn us. Paul writes: “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [homosexuals], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
In his one chapter epistle, Jude writes to a church where certain sinful members had been admitted. The verses that mention homosexuality read as follows: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” (Jude 7, 8)
The Bible is fairly clear on the subject of homosexuality. The law is laid down in the Old Testament, and is renewed in the New Testament.
Yet the apostle Paul writes further about this in Corinthians, in verse 11: “And such were some of you [homosexuals, etc.]: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
In other words, the Corinthians were able to stop such practices, or Paul wouldn’t have said that they were “washed, sanctified and justified”. A homosexual who would continue to practice the sin cannot be justified in the eyes of the Lord. Still, I would strongly caution against programs advertised by some questionable churches to “rid men of homosexual tendencies”. Those sorts of brainwashing sessions never work and can be deeply offensive and demeaning to sincere Christians whose only desire is to find salvation and acceptance.
:arrow: Updated 7/6/2008: I would also encourage you to read through two of my comments (here and here) if you happen to disagree. I clarify my stance even further there, and I hope it’ll help you understand that I’m not condemning or discriminating, just pointing something out. We have no right to judge — only God can do that.
:arrow: Updated 10/26/2008: I’ve received a couple of fairly mean comments on this article over time — which I have removed — but they were so filled with anger and venom and curses, that I wonder what drove their authors to write and submit them. The thing to remember here is that I’m expressing my personal opinion. It is not meant to be made into civic law, nor am I suggesting any such thing. I am not condemning the practice, I am simply quoting verses from the Bible. If you happen to feel condemned by this article, may I suggest that it’s perhaps a pre-existing internal conflict? Perhaps at some level you know that what you’re doing is wrong, and you have been wrestling with feelings of anger and frustration, and this article has simply brought them to the surface once more. The thing to do is not to take it out on me, but to take it out on God. Go ahead, kneel down in prayer and argue with Him. Or at least go and seek counseling. But cursing me out is no way to solve your own internal conflict.
April 27, 2002 § Leave a Comment
Your presence is a present to the world
You’re unique and one of a kind
Your life can be what you want it to be
Take the days just one at a time
Count your blessings, not your troubles
You’ll make it through whatever comes along
Within you are so many answers
Understand, have courage, be strong
Don’t put limits on yourself
So many dreams are waiting to be realized
Decisions are too important to leave to chance
Reach for your peak, your goal, your prize
Nothing wastes more energy than worrying
The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets
Don’t take things too seriously
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets
Remember that a little love goes a long way
Remember that a lot… goes forever
Remember that friendship is a wise investment
Life’s treasures are people… together
Realize that it’s never too late
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way
Have health and hope and happiness
Take time to wish upon a star
And don’t ever forget…
Even for a day…
How very special you are.
September 19, 2001 § 1 Comment
As Christians, we should always filter everything through our conscious mind, which contains our morals. We should never surrender control, never let anything enter our minds through any other way, because it may come from the devil and it may influence us in ways that we cannot now imagine and will most surely regret later.
This article is better understood in light of a previous article that I wrote, entitled “Awakening Your Conscience“, so if you find yourself puzzled by some of the concepts introduced here, you should also read that article.
Our conscience is our primary shield of defense against temptation and perverse ideas. It is the filter of our mind. It contains a set of morals that are the measuring sticks. If we do things the right way, we automatically compare every idea or temptation that we come across with these measuring sticks, and if they come up short, we toss them away (or at least we should). The set of morals is God’s gift to us when we believe on Him and ask Him to change our lives as He deems fit.
The problem is that if we simply let ideas drift into our minds without actively considering their moral and religious implications, we do not use our conscience, and we thus deprive ourselves of our most valuable weapon against temptation and sin. Here is where the importance of staying continually alert and actively keeping ourselves away from potentially dangerous situations comes to the forefront. The warnings to keep watch are throughout the Bible:
“Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Luke 12:37.
Jesus warns about letting down our guard and letting others lead us in the book of Matthew: “But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matthew 15:13, 14.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13.
Even the apostle Paul, so famous for his faith, said this: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:27.
If it sounds like too much to handle, it is. For us alone, it is too much. That is why we must not only ask God to change our life, but to help us live it the way He wants us, to keep us away from temptation and strengthen us daily so that we may resist temptation.
Today perhaps more than ever temptation seems to be everywhere. And when I talk about temptation, I talk about the same temptations that mankind has been struggling with since God created us. They are outlined in the Ten Commandments, Exodus Chapter 20. We must continually keep the Law in our minds, and seek to obey it of our own accord. These ten laws are the backbone upon which our morality is built. If we do not memorize them and keep them close to our heart and in the forefront of our mind every moment of our conscious existence, we are without defense against temptation and sin. Before we know it, it has already entered our mind and we now have to fight with it from the inside, which is a much harder thing to do; most people fail at it.
More than anything, we must try to keep ourselves out of situations where we will encounter temptation, because that is the easiest and most effective way to avoid being tempted. I have outlined a few practical examples below.
If you must listen to the radio, listen analytically to every piece of music that you hear. Most, if not all of today’s lyrics are filled with garbage, and actually invite us to commit sin. What’s worse is that these lyrics are wrapped in catchy tunes that make the message a lot harder to decode and reject. Most of us fall prey to good music, and we find ourselves moving our bodies to words that we would reject outright if we were to hear without the tune. If you doubt what I’m saying, I invite you to procure the lyrics to the most popular songs that you hear on radio stations. They are freely available on the Internet at fan sites. Read the lyrics, and I am absolutely convinced that you will find them despicable if you compare them to the Law of God and to Bible morality in general. They talk about adultery, violence, drug and alcohol use, and a bevy of other perverse and questionable topics. So if you must listen to the radio, steer away from top 40 stations. Listen to classical music. I doubt you’ll find anything sinful or tempting in Mozart or Beethoven’s music.
If you must watch TV, try not to watch the music video channels. Music videos are even worse than the songs on the radio. They bombard you with insinuating and outright provocative visual and auditory temptations, and this is all too much for anyone to handle. While our eyes and brain are busy staving off the visual attacks, the lyrics go right through our ears and into our brains, and we find ourselves wanting to engage in the sinful behaviors of those people before we even know what’s going on. TV in general should not be watched for extended periods of time. I even recommend avoiding the TV if it is at all possible for you. You’ll be much better off, because the TV is a source of temptation. Our minds are not active when we watch TV. We become figurative zombies, our eyes glued to the set. Studies show that our bodies react to the TV scenes as if we are in them. In other words, if we see a fight scene, our body secretes chemicals that get us ready for a fight, etc. This speaks volumes about our lack of control over the images and sounds that our mind receives from the TV. We cannot distance ourselves from it, and we become trapped in the oftentimes sick and perverted imagination of the scriptwriter, director or network executives. What’s on TV isn’t real. It’s all thought up by people who are getting paid to produce materials that will captivate the public. Please avoid watching TV if you can, and certainly do not let your kids watch it without your supervision. It is an easy trap to fall into, but one that clamps down hard and holds on tight. I should mention here that I’m a cartoon junkie, but in all my 25 years of cartoon watching, I haven’t found much that was questionable or wrong with Looney Tunes or Tom & Jerry.
When you read a book or an article, or you are having a conversation with someone, distance yourself from the conversation. Don’t get too entranced in it. Analyze the words and the gestures and facial expressions of the other person. Everyone has an agenda that they want to get across, and unless it’s God’s agenda, you shouldn’t embrace it wholeheartedly without putting it through rigorous moral testing. Job, Isaiah, David, Solomon, Paul and Jesus Himself all said that we are perverse throughout. They must have been onto something! Everyone has hidden motivations behind every one of their actions, no matter how sincere or helpful they may appear. These motivations may be conscious, or subconscious (even they may not be aware of them.) It is very unfortunate, but that is the way we are. We have a sinful nature, and even when we try to do good, we end up doing evil. Everything that we do is stained with our sins. Nothing that we touch is clean. I am amazed that I can pray to God and I have His assurance that He listens to my prayers. I am amazed beyond amazement that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for me and my sins. I honestly cannot yet comprehend His sacrifice. I certainly know that I am not worthy of even His listening ear, much less His holy life. But we are His creatures. He made us, He fashioned us, and He died for us that we may rise from death at His second coming, and join Him in heaven.
In the meanwhile, we should all keep constant watch. We should never let go of our conscience, but always filter everything through it. It is the least we can do for all that He has done for us. “Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16.
September 8, 2001 § Leave a Comment
The apostle Peter describes the gradual steps a true Christian will follow on his or her path to perfection. These steps are a natural progression. They aren’t forced upon the person. He or she will undergo these phases in a very smooth transition, while the Holy Spirit works within them:
“And beside this, giving all dilligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9.
These steps or traits are very important for a Christian to know, and they will be discussed in more detail in another article. What I want to talk about here is the awakening of your conscience. What does it mean? When does it occur? Why does it occur? How does it happen?
First of all, let’s talk about what it means. Awakening your conscience is a phrase that refers to the result of following the path to Christian perfection. It means that you are now able to sift through your thoughts, your actions, the actions of others and your world in general, and realize what is wrong and what is right. It can also be referred to as an effect, and it occurs quite early in your progress. It comes with the first trait described in 2 Peter, namely virtue. Webster’s Dictionary defines virtue like this: “conformity to a standard of right: morality; a particular moral excellence… ; manly strength or courage: valor; a commendable quality or trait: merit; a capacity to act: potency.” The Bible defines virtue even more precisely. In Mark 5:30, the apostle writes: “And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” The apostle Luke refers to it in the same context: “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” Luke 6:19 and “And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” Luke 8:46. The apostle Paul further clarifies the definition of virtue: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Let’s summarize. Virtue is therefore a power, a trait that belongs directly to Jesus, which he used to heal the sick. It means moral excellence, and refers to truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness and good report. As Christians, we receive this gift from the Lord as soon as we have faith in him. It is His first gift to us! Isn’t this an overwhelming gift? It’s quite unbelievable to think upon the meaning of virtue, and realize that as Christians, we can expect to receive it as soon as we have faith on the Lord.
Now do you see why our conscience is awakened upon receiving virtue? We are imbued with everything that is right, just, true, honest, pure, lovely and of good report. Our conscience is brimming with virtue, and it now possesses the tools that it needs to sift the wrong from the right. It wasn’t the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden which gave us that power. Only God can give us this gift.
Having the power to see the good and the bad in things does not mean that we were not able to do it before. It rather means that we are able to do it in a much amplified manner. It can be compared to a person with rather bad eyesight, a myopic person. He is only able to see a blurry outline of things, and unless he is face to face with them, he cannot make them out. Let’s say his eyesight is corrected almost to perfection (I say almost because our conscience continues to awaken, or increase in power as we advance in our Christian life). Now he is able to see everything. What before was just a blur is now a tree. He can even see the leafs, and even make out the fruits on the branches. He can see insects crawling on the trunk, and a little birdnest cradled inbetween two little branches. He can see everything. Nothing is hidden from his sight. It is the same with us. Sure, we knew we had done something wrong if we stole something or we killed somebody. That’s obvious. Most everybody realizes the wrongdoing in something like that. But when our conscience is awakened by the power of the Holy Spirit, we begin to look at ourselves with a magnifying lens. For example, we realize that looking at someone’s body and its curves is quite wrong, and that it’s even more wrong if that person is already married or in a relationship. We realize that some of our comments either hurt other people or are loaded with perverse meanings. We realize that this great song on the radio or the TV is actually very crude and lewd, and that its lyrics should be kept far and away from our ears. Everything that we encounter now passess through a filter of much finer texture, and all of our sins are exposed in plain sight to our mind’s view. This is when we know that our conscience has been truly awakened.
Isn’t this a wonderful gift? Without it, we could not get closer to God. Without being made aware of our sinful and corrupt nature, we cannot ask forgiveness for our sins because we don’t really know the extent of our sinfulness. While we are here on Earth, God will actually never reveal the entire gamut of sins that we commit to us. It would be too much to bear. The burden would crush our spirits and we would quickly wish for death. But in His mercy, he reveals a little more to us every day, as we grow and are able to appreciate His gift. And as we get a better idea of ourselves, we become humbler, and we kneel down in prayer more often to ask for forgiveness.
So far, awakening your conscience sounds like a painful deal, doesn’t it? It is! As you grow in your faith, every time you sin will be more painful for you. As you commit bigger sins, the moment that you decide to go against His will and commandments, you will literally feel yourself falling from the grace of God. You will feel His presence leaving you. You will feel utterly alone and disgraced. You will want to cower and hide away. I cannot describe the feeling accurately enough even though I have experienced it repeatedly. But there’s a good chance that you either know what I’m talking about, or you will experience it in the future. It is an incredibly painful experience, but you know what? It is nothing compared to what God feels every time you sin. He gave his life for you, and you are crucifying Him over and over again every time you sin. You are spitting on his sacrifice when you sin, treating it like garbage. How do you think that makes Him feel? What you are feeling is nothing compared to His pain!
There are good news though! God will never leave your side. Even though Satan’s attacks are strongest just after you have fallen, and his evil spirits whisper in your ear that you are lost, that there is no hope for you, all you need do is kneel down and ask God to forgive you. God will forgive you! He always does! It is His guarantee to us. If we ask for forgiveness, He will give it to us, and restore us in His sight as if we had never sinned. This however does not mean that we can go on sinning. There comes a point of no return, when God says “Enough!”. There is no forgiveness after that.
This is why our conscience is awakened. As we walk along the path of Christian life, we are made aware more and more of each of our sins, and given the chance to correct them, to ask God for forgiveness and for deliverance from their influence on us. God imbues us with his virtue, and we see the true nature of our sins. We despise them, and if we leave ourselves in His hands, we will end up hating the sins that we used to commit. Our strongest desire will be to avoid committing them ever again. We will receive power over them, and over all the other sins in our lives.
Isn’t all this amazing? Does it not make you thankful that God works in such wondrous ways? Let us ask Him to receive virtue, that our consciences may be awakened and we may perceive our sinful natures, and let us also ask Him for forgiveness and deliverance from ourselves. Amen.