“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” Luke 23:33 KJV
Jesus Christ of Nazareth carried the cross to Calvary for you & me. Our sins are already forgiven. Today I want to remind you that Jesus already knew what & how we would do things right & wrong. ALL God & ALL man, He knows all about us & as a man, He felt how we feel. He was tempted, He felt sorrow, grief, pain. He became afraid in the Garden of Gethsemane but He completely gave Himself in obedience to God for our sins. He was the only One worthy to do this. Most of the time it is our feelings which cause us to fall down. They cause us to sin. They cause us to be easily swayed & go against Gods Word.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him” Proverbs chp 24 16-18 KJV
The longest journey a person takes is coming to the land of ‘self-realisation’. There will come a day when we all fall short if we have not already, I know I have. There will even be a time when we fall so badly that we ourselves wonder “how” we ended up in that position, let alone the enemy! I can just hear him now “and she calls herself a Christian!” Let me tell you how our victory comes. It is when we do not stay down! God will forgive us each & every time we fall, if we show Him we are sorry. He does not hold grudges. Nothing can separate us from His love but we often pull away from Gods love because of shame, embarrassment or guilt. These are the chains designed by Satan the enemy, to keep us enslaved, bound & silence. The children of Israel remained in the wilderness for 40 years going around in circles, they were a disobedient generation who entered with the obedient generation, in the same route, through The Red Sea which God parted. They all had the same choices & were told to serve one God- but some refused & chose disobedience so they died out in the wilderness. They did not come to realise that it was only the truth & obedience of their hearts which was needed to unshackle them & bring them out of wilderness & into the Land of Milk & Honey. The journey of self-realisation. We are on that same journey, maybe taking different routes but we all have to examine ourselves & when we fall, we need to look at how & why & realise we don’t have to remain there. Jesus broken the bars of prison for us on Calvary & when He rose from the grave!
This Proverbs quoted above speaks in a twofold manner. Firstly, we have to recognise that we “all sin & fall short of the glory of God”. We are going to fall. Why? Well it is because we are not Omniscient & we are certainly not perfect, only God is. The ‘seven times’ is an example of how many times we will fall & it represent heaven, a heavenly number. It represents multiplicity- how many times we will be forgiven. In the New Testament when the Peter asked how many times he should forgive his enemies, Jesus answered in Matthew 18:21“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Jesus was saying we must forgive, just as we are forgiven, innumerable times. We know it could be less than the amount Jesus gave as an example of what forgiveness looks like but by & large, we fall & do wrong to others so many more times than this & God forgives us, sometimes even when we do not ask. What a loving, gracious & mercifully good Father He is to us.
The second part is that we are not to rejoice when our enemies fall. Many rejoiced & jeered when Jesus fell as He carried the cross, was rejected and denied, when He was spat on & beaten, made to wear cloth design to be a Kings robe along with a crown of thorns pushed on his head deep until it bled down His face. He was slashed & whipped til His flesh peeled back & He bled in so many places, it’s unbearable to think of. They rejoiced & cheered when Jesus was mocked & punched & put to death on the cross, each nail ferociously hammered into his hands & feet as they strung Him up- yes they jeered. They pierced His side in order to prove He was dead but none of His bones were broken. All this Jesus suffered just for us. He was innocent of any sin or charge bought against Him but they still rejoiced. So the Word of God tells us not to be like those who did this. We are not to rejoice when someone who has treated us wrongly, is dealt with. This is not of God. He forgave as they knew not what they were doing. They were fulfilling prophesy & they did not even realise. He expects us to be humble, even when our enemies denigrate us & seem to be trampling all over us. Turn the other cheek & pray for them, Jesus said. Yes we have to. God shows up to deliver us in that moment & in doing so, He deals with those who oppress us. He does not want us to mock our enemies but rather, to pray for them. “Vengeance is mine I will repay, said The Lord”, therefore, when He is dealing with our enemies, we must still have a merciful heart. One day we could be that person wearing an “enemy label”, wouldn’t we then want mercy for the wrongs we have done? “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” The Beatitudes Matthew 5 KJV.
There are times when falling is the best thing we can do because it makes us aware of our humanity & mortality. It humbles us & it brings clarity. I have been in situations where the lightbulb comes on & I consider what I had done. I can’t avoid it. When we are down, sometimes face in the dirt down, we consider the entire ‘crime scene’ of the incident. We may go to others for a way out & sure, temporary relief may come to our rescue but we are not delivered & we plunge further into the mire. It is then that we remember, “our only help comes from The Lord who made Heaven & earth” it comes from The Source – God, up above as we cry out. Yes, there are are times we don’t know who to turn to but just to cry out. My friend, it is in that moment of brokenness that God hears us & steps in. David cried out when he was face down, in serious trouble because of yet ‘another’ thing he did which bought trouble on himself & the people around him– ‘the ripple effect’ our actions affect those around us. Our falling, has great consequences on others too but here, he cried out saying “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.” 1 Chronicles 21:11 KJV David recognised that he was in big trouble here but as well as being a Consuming Fire who requires reverence, God, is our merciful Father & He forgives us. God is not like us because we hold things against the one who wronged us & we want to see them suffer as much as we may have but God does not. In fact, He clearly tells us to forgive & give our enemies the “very coat we are wearing”. He is aware of our humanity & short comings, hidden from our friends & families, colleagues & associates around us but completely transparent to Him, & yet He still loves & forgives us. He went to Calvary for each one of us.
Falling is the start of a new chapter in our lives, we decide on how it this chapter will begin & progress. If we choose to humble ourselves, God enters in to deliver us out of our problems. If we choose to stay face down, the enemy tries to take over & bind us up in chains, entrenching us further. He is very good & subtle at making us all believe the ‘voices’ in our heads, circling & saying “there’s no way out of what you have done wrong” The solution is easy, come to Jesus, & if we already know Him then we must return our hearts to Him. Don’t let pride keep us from rising. We must acknowledge our actions first to ourselves. I know that can be the hardest thing to do but we must, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me,”Psalms 51:3 KJV then we confess them to Jesus (He already knows), in order to get the help which awaits us; “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
You see, Jesus is a gentleman, He will not force His way in on us, He waits to be invited in then He puts us on The Potter’s Wheel & remoulds us & there is nothing He cannot heal & restore, nothing. He waits for us to let Him get to work on us. To comfort us. To help us. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” Revelations 3:20 KJV Jesus is waiting, no pressure. Patiently. Until we come to our senses, even in the most fleeting of moments, He is waiting & then He will act. He shows up & His army of the host of angels defends us. Help come from His Sanctuary alone.
Today, I would like to tell anybody thinking that because they have fallen they have to remain there & they are not worthy- no, please get back up again. Jesus took that precious journey for us. For you. I know there will be times when it will feel like we need a forklift to prise us up from the state & condition we find ourselves in but please know that if we surrender & open our hearts to Him, God will pick us up. He will fix us. It has got to be our choice, then deliverance will come. David said “a broken & contrite heart oh God, you will not despise” Psalms 51 KJV. He called on God when we He was in a dire situation. A deep & dark desolate valley. He called on God from a place of despair because he had a man killed to cover up his adulterous acts, but God showed up. He dealt with the sin & granted David His grace & mercy. He will do the same for you & I but we need to show Him our brokenness & how sorry we are & ask Him to intervene. David asks God to; “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities (wrong doings)” He was so ashamed & wracked with guilt but his release came when he let go, lifted his head up & he let God in. The only thing God requires from us is honesty, a contrite heart & an invitation for Him by us, to come into our lives. No sacrifices are needed. No money is exchanged, just truth in our hearts & our free will to choose light over darkness & freedom over chains of despair. Choose to live in hope & not die in our wrongs. There is no limits to how many times we need to get back up, but the more we are obedient & walk in His Light, the less we fall, the less our thoughts are taken captive with negativity & the less are hearts are entangled in bitterness & hate. The more we forgive & share Christ’s love, the more we are peaceful because He directs our paths. The more we rise! Amen!
Gods mercies are great, they are free & they are new to us daily, it’s time for you to rise & walk in His freedom. Today is our year of jubilee, the day of freedom. He came to set the captive free, why should we stay down? We must walk in His love & forgiveness. “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed” We are not forgotten, He knows our names & once we confess our wrongs then our sins are forgotten. This is regardless of creed or colour age & gender, rich or not. We have all sinned & fallen short of what is correct & truth. We have robbed God of His glory but because of His pure love for us, once we are sincerely sorry, our transgressions are “thrown into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered any more” Fact! He will never throw it back in our faces. He will never humiliate us when we confess even the most darkest of wrongs. All we have to do is ask & God will show up “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 KJV
Please pray for us here at LCPF as we pray for you & share this message wherever you go today because this is the message of freedom. There are no barriers in coming to God. Thank you & be blessed in Jesus name; “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.“ He will beautify us with His presence no matter how dire the issue looks & He ”give us garments of praise for that heavy spirit.”
#Lift up your head, arise for it is the getting back up which counts! It starts with “Jesus I need you” He will answer because He went all that way to Calvary, carrying our every sin & burden for us. Do you know the value of the Cross placed on Calvary? Now you do, come -there is room at the foot of the Cross for you, so rejoice??