Discernment – A Gift From His Spirit

Discernment

Discernment is a gift from God, delivered through his Spirit. Discernment is simply the ability to know what is right, or wrong, and that knowledge is delivered through His Spirit to His children, so that we may choose our own path through his gift of free will.

However, that can be problematic can it not? If one has not accepted Christ as their Savior, so that their sins can be forgiven, and receive the Gift of the Spirit, will they have the true power of discernment? If people do not receive the Spirit can they truly discern? Paul had something to say about that very subject:

1 Corinthians 14 (emphasis added)

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

I am often mocked and ridiculed, because I allow people to take advantage of me, or mock me, or steal from me, and in return I try to be kind to them. Many will ask why? Quite simply, can a person who commits sin, even a sin of conscious forethought truly know the repercussions of their actions?

Think about it a little more deeply. Here Paul is saying that if they do not have the Spirit within them they simply do not have the true power discernment that is within the Spirit, which is a gift from God! A child one time was playing with a glass on the kitchen table, knocked it off, and it broke. I said “Don’t worry about it” but the mother was frantic because her child broke my glass. In that situation, the child did not with consciousness of forethought make and execute a plan to break my property, she was simply playing with it on the table. This story shows the difference between an accident, intent (conscious forethought), and a lack of discernment if that person was an adult.

The key with discernment is you must feed your gift of the Spirit for it to grow. Many churches today preach the gospel of Salvation and nothing more. In order to grow in Christ, build your faith, and your Spirit, you must feed your spirit daily, even more than you feed your physical body. Or perhaps, you might consider asking yourself: “Which body do I care about more. The physical vessel that my spirit is currently living in, in this world, or my spiritual self that will live in Eternity with the father?”

It is so difficult for people to move beyond the physical trappings of this world; the sins of the flesh, the lust, the greed, envy, and spite. I wish I could communicate to them that this life was intentionally designed with a shelf-life. How long that will be is not up to us, but to God. You who are reading this, on your phone, tablet, or computer screen… can you feel your heart beating? If you place your hand over your sternum, can you feel the blood pumping in your body? What if it stopped… right now!

Are you ready? Are you ready for what comes next? Will God allow every single human being alive now to move on to the next life, or might there be a process to “ween the herd” so that only those that are willing to follow his desires may pass through into the next world.

Hebrews 4:12-13

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Hey… if you read this far you might consider clicking “share” and “like” if you found the words useful… Would a “click” on Facebook be written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Don’t Be Troubled….

Don’t be troubled….

The God who upholds the stars loves and supports his people. We all grow weary, tired, confused and even sometimes bereft of hope. It is important to remember that hope is never lost, because God knows those who are against you, and those who are for you. He flings stars into space, and walks through time as if it were a revolving door of convenience, because time can not constrain God, nor can gravity, evil, childish affectations, or Satan. The key to troubled times is to understand that all of our trials and tribulations serve a purpose, and we must accept His purpose as our purpose to be part of the plan. Never lose hope and faith, but build your faith and Trust in God, because once you are safely and firmly within His grasp, you will know that nothing on this earth could ever truly bring you harm, because His love is Hope Everlasting. Even Jacob became troubled, and remember Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Don’t let the troubles of this life bring you down, they are minuscule in the breadth of eternity. Pass the tests placed in your path, shrug off enemies as a minor inconvenience, because next to the power and love of our God, nothing can stand in your way. He is your rod, your staff, and your shield 

I Worry

I worry. Have you ever been in a crowded place like a movie theater, or stadium; and taken a moment to look around to realize that every single person you see is an individual human life? Each with their own thoughts, dreams, fears, joys, hopes, and more importantly, their own view on life. At the same time, each of those people will at some point face the end of their life. Then…. What will happen?

We all have our personal view of the purpose of this life. Why are we here? Are we here to trudge through each day going through the motions of living, or perhaps is there a chance that something else is involved?

The truth is that God is real. I was literally healed on the altar, and felt the touch of the Holy Spirit. I’ve always believed in God, but only once in my life felt the truly awesome, powerful, and wonderful touch of his presence. So why do I worry?

Our souls, our spirits are trapped within our physical bodies. We are influenced and tempted by the flesh. Most people will casually disregard these temptations as nothing more than folly, or joy in living. The reason they do this, is they have not felt the touch of the spirit, taken the time and effort to learn the truth, or accepted Christ as their savior. Sadly, even those that have accepted Christ and attend church regularly will often times yield to temptation, usually through self-validation, and consciously commit sins even when they know better. The good thing is Jesus knows our failings, and forgave us through his Blood at Calvary.  So why do I care?

Every life is an absolutely precious gift. Try not to disregard a stranger that crosses your path, as they could be an angel on earth, or a person in need. Have you ever been in need, alone, or suffering, and been walking around somewhere that people simply passed you by, and wished someone would say “are you O.K.”? How nice would it be if you took a moment to do that for someone else?

Take a moment each day of course to praise God, and not just tell him your problems, because he already knows what they are. Then, more importantly, take a part of your day to help a fellow human being. In this day of modern technologies, how many people wake up alone, live alone, and go to sleep alone each and every day? That is a horrible way to live, and no one deserves to spend a life like that.

Many people will have stopped reading by now, but if you have not, here is something to help you out. In this life that you and I are living, we are literally in bondage. Our souls are chained to our physical bodies because of the original sin, and these physical bodies are a constant source of temptation. If you glance at someone that you find physically attractive, are you tempted? Is that temptation pure? How about lying to make yourself look good? Or lying about something you did wrong, so other people will not look down about you. How about stealing because you could get away with it, or hurting someone’s feelings to make you feel good for a moment.

By accepting Christ as your savior, you can break the chains of bondage, but that is only the beginning. You must fill your soul with His Spirit by reading his word, learning his word, and living your life for Him. If you have attended a church and left because you did not feel welcome, that is O.K., find another. I’ve been to churches all across the country, and witnessed people that have attended for years pretending to live for Christ, while falling to unimaginable temptations. None of us are perfect, nor can we achieve perfection in this life, but we can try. Finding a good church that serves His needs, and Your needs is difficult. Don’t give up. Has your Pastor walked up to you and said: “How is your soul?” This is important in many ways. If your Pastor doesn’t ask, ask yourself, and just as important, ask a friend.

No human knows the absolute truth about this life, but it is quite possible that this is a one-shot deal. If it is, are you sure that you are ready for what comes next? I worry about myself, but I also worry about anyone that might be reading this.

Please don’t make the mistake of not seeking the truth; of striving for eternal salvation. Your chains CAN be broken. Accept Christ, learn his word, but more importantly live for Christ every single day. You will love yourself more if you do.

 

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Billy Graham would often quote this saying of Jim Elliot, to emphasize that people who live this life for this life, will risk losing eternity… One of the greatest stumbling blocks for men of this generation is the sin of pride. Believing that they know better than God, or that God is an a la carte amalgam of morals and values that they choose, instead of what God has decreed. I pray that everyone studies the Word for themselves, instead of relying upon teachers that may not have the leading of Christ, or desire to serve that they should, to elevate themselves to the position they hold.

James 4:14 states well and true: “…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Do not depend upon others to do what God has enabled you to do for yourselves. Admit your sins, accept Christ as the one true path to eternal salvation… then learn, live and breathe His Word. The more you read the Word the more your hearts will be opened, the greater the strength and influence His Spirit can have in your life.

Don’t let pride be a barrier to you and your salvation. Humble yourself before God, because you can not fool him, nor pay lip service when you are falling into the crevasse and expect salvation to be granted.  

–Patrick L. Francis

Whoever Digs a Pit or Rolls a Stone – Synonymous Parallelism

Today I read Proverbs 26 for my daily reading, and within the chapter is an old literary device common to Hebrew Poetry of the time called “Synonymous Parallelism.” So I thought why not share a quick blurb on the idea! The words sound somewhat fancy, but really just mean to say the same thing in two successive lines in a different way. For example the word Synonymous means ‘to have the same meaning,’ and Parallelism means ‘juxtaposed’ or side-by-side.

Here is an example from our reading:

Proverbs 26:27:

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;

if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

These sayings may not mean much to us today, but were similes common to the time.

A simile is nothing more than a figure of speech where you compare one thing with another thing that is different in order to state your idea more clearly or with emphasis. Such as “Crazy like a Fox, or “Brave as a lion” – here [“Crazy” and “Fox”] or [“Brave” and “Lion”] have nothing to do with each other, but help express an idea more fully.. this is a simile.

It helps if we examine each line by itself, in the context of the author’s time.

  1. Why would someone “dig a pit?” Quite simply, to trap an animal, or person
  2. Why would someone “roll a stone?” Stones were rolled to great heights for primitive warfare, literally to drop on someone else.

So what Solomon is saying here, is that if a person works to do harm to another, or institute another form of mischief, the result will inevitably be punishment of themselves. Why? God is a God of justice, and he is always watching. At this time God already clearly decreed to love one another, and to not be foolish (ergo not heeding the His Word). Notice that much of Chapter 26 in proverbs discusses the idea of fools. Here is is simply expounding on the idea that if you are foolish, in trying or working to harm another, harm will inevitably befall you.

We could generally reword the ideas to something like this for ourselves:

Harm will only come to you, if you dig a pit to trap another.

Harm will only come to you if you roll a stone up a hill to drop it on someone else. (doesn’t make as much sense to us today, but you get the idea)

So if you plot or scheme to bring harm to someone else (this can take any form.. physical, mental, emotional, gossip etc..) since God sees everything, you will not escape his Judgment.

Some proverbs are more fun than others… but hopefully you found this tidbit interesting 🙂

Our Human Spirit Is The Lamp Of The Lord

Proverbs 20:27 spoke to me this evening 😎… There is so much in this scripture, that even after reading it, and the commentary, I feel it is worth further study. Here is the NIV version:
 
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
 
Now the NRSV version:
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord,
searching every inmost part.
 
Notice the difference in the translations. NRSV says our Spirit is searching, yet the NIV hints at our Spirit exposing our inner nature… After reading two separate commentaries, my current thoughts are that Solomon is saying when God breathed His life into us, he left a part of Himself, or His Spirit within us, as Genesis attests. However, what else might Solomon be saying? Since I have felt His Spirit, literally, when I was healed on the altar, I can say that feeling is… otherworldly, and indescribable… I feel, but do not know for certain, that the main reason God decided to open His Spirit and heal me, is that when I was praying on the alter, when I was suffering, I humbled myself so deeply and thoroughly, the God knew not only was my repentance real, but my humility finally let Me know, that I can not, and do not wish to live without Him. Thus, our battle as human beings, and His creations, is between the temptation of the Flesh, and our acceptance of His gift that is within all of us. Therefore, if we accept His gift, His Light shines within us. ❤️
 
These are just my current thoughts on the verse… It is a good one… Below are two commentaries that you may find useful if you have read this far 😇
 
Expositor’s Bible Commentary
Conscience that searches motives. God provides everyone with a spirit that can evaluate actions and motives. The Hebrew literally says that the “breath” is the lamp of the Lord (see NIV note–the NIV interprets it differently and supplies “searches”). The “breath” (or “spirit”) is that inner spiritual part of human life that was inbreathed at Creation (Ge 2:7) and that constitutes humans as spiritual beings with moral, intellectual, and spiritual capacities. This spiritual nature includes the capacity to know and please God–it serves as the functioning conscience (the metaphor of “lamp”). This point is further developed in the second part; the searching makes it possible for people to know themselves. If one’s spiritual life is functioning properly (i.e., yielded to God through salvation and controlled by his word [Heb 4:12]), then there should be increasingly less self-deception or indifference to righteousness.
 
Understanding the Bible Commentary
The Hebrew of verse 27a is ambiguous, as the margin of the NIV attests. The marginal reading is to be preferred. It seems to mean that the life-breath from God, by which a person lives (cf. Gen. 2:7; Job 32:8), penetrates to the very interior of a person. This could be taken as a warning, but better, as a consoling indication of how intimate God is to humans (“more intimate to me than I am to myself,” as St. Augustine said). This is not merely the voice of conscience.
 
✝️

Back to God

This video is a new song released by Reba McIntyre that contains an important message for everyone. We can all see things in our world that should not be happening, but have and continue to do so. The main cause is how each generation over the last century has fallen away from God, who should not only be our central focus, but is the center of ourselves, and our Goodness.

We are alive through Grace and the Breath of God, but if we forget about Him, or mock Him, or ignore Him, the result is moral decay. Simply turn on one of your favorite news channels, or browse to a site, and you will see the results of millions of people falling away from God. Each new generation that I have watched over the last few decades, grows up assuming that they know the answer, the complete truth, and need not be accountable to anyone but themselves.

I pray that they do not face death with that view, and reconcile themselves to the Truth that choices in this life do have consequences. All one must do is open their hearts and minds, and admit that there is more, admit that you have made mistakes and will continue to do so, and pray that the Son of Man will accept your repentance, and forgive you. He really does not ask too much of us, simply that we believe, and show that faith through the actions and choices we make in our lives.

Reba does a good job with this song. If you like music it is at least worth giving it a listen too, and perhaps thinking about the message she is trying to convey. When I watch music videos on YouTube, i like to hit the little “CC” button at the bottom for closed captioning, to make sure that I understand the lyrics they are singing

Hope Springs Eternal Through Our Suffering

We have all suffered in our lives, some more so than others, and then there are those who have suffered beyond what a human mind would consider necessary. Often we will ask ourselves why this occurs if God is real, yet we must remember the control that God has allowed Satan over our lives as we live life in this current form.

People will often reference a verse in Corinthians that God will ‘never give us more than we can handle,’ but we must remember that is temptation, not suffering. Resisting temptation is resisting Satan’s hold on you, his attempt to pull you away from God. Here is the verse most people are referring too:

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Resisting temptation is not easy for any of us, be it lust of the flesh, a vice, greed (which is ever more common), or any temptation to act in a way that is against God. Suffering though, is something else.

I have written about suffering before, but tonight while looking over the Word I came across a verse that touched my heart again, as is happening more frequently than ever:

Romans 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Notice here that it says “glory in our sufferings.” Most of us would say, how on earth could that be a “glorious” thing? That’s something that is a little difficult to grasp. Essentially, if you are a Christian, and not the ‘pretender’ that was commonplace even in the time of Jesus, but is more so now; you are at Peace both with yourself, and with God. However, just because we are at peace with God, and ourselves, does not mean that our lives will be peaceful?

Why?

Quite simply, we are Christians living in a sinful nation. Our society has begun a path of dissension away from God, believing that they should live life as ‘they’ see fit, not as God has decreed. This is nothing new, as society has repeated itself here before on multiple occasions. We as Christians of course do sin, all humans do, but hopefully we make the choice of sinning consciously considerably less often than others, and at least attempt to live a life that will be pleasing to God. This brings us to the key of tonight’s thoughts: Our knowledge that God has accepted us because of our Faith in Christ, and through that Faith, Grace has been bestowed upon us, and the knowledge of our future glory should result in us exulting in trials and tribulations brought forth in this life.

Many times in this life I have allowed people to “do me wrong,” where I had both the knowledge and the means to “redeem myself” in my eyes, but I would have been wrong in doing so.

Why?

In this life it is not mine to redeem, but God. He is our salvation, and he is a jealous God. Remember our physical bodies and this life were designed with an expiration date, however, our souls have the opportunity for eternity.

I mentioned the other day if you want to live for a lifetime, live for this life. If it is eternity you seek, find out the meaning of life.

Today was one lesson, and that lesson is hope. Faith in Christ should spring hope eternal into your heart, and our suffering in this life should cause that hope to well up in our souls knowing that greater things are to come.

 

 

🙂

Fall of the Roman Empire, and Paul’s Introduction to the Romans

Around 57 A.D. the Apostle Paul, while traveling to Jerusalem after visiting Greece and Turkey, wrote a letter to the Romans that is essentially Christianity’s first theology textbook, and the one most scholars use a basis to determine the authenticity of his other works. This was early in the Roman Empire, during Nero’s reign, an emperor generally believed to be corrupt, and also thought to have started a fire that destroyed much of Rome in 64 A.D. (so that he could build a massive palace complex). Another rumor about Nero that is relevant here, is his temperament and ethics were such, that it is rumored he captured Christians, dipped them in oil, and alighted them afire in the night so that he could see in his garden.
 
This background information is given to set some context on a few versus in Romans I am pondering this evening. During this time in the Roman Empire, and especially later, depraved behavior and wickedness of all kinds were rampant in their society. This behavior was reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah which we all know was destroyed by God himself. At this time, the people of the Empire were aware of God, yet chose to ignore his desires and live a life of depravity. By suppressing their knowledge of God, God allowed their hearts and minds to be lured away from him by Satan’s temptation, and through their hardened hearts their desire for sin was multiplied, which over time was one of the causes for the eventual fall of the Roman Empire.
 
I say all this to share with you a few versus from Romans, that if you have a trace of goodness in your heart, will read in a similar manner to news headlines we are confronted with nearly every day. The repercussions of history repeating itself in such a manner should be evident, but since people like it when I share, here is what I am reading this evening 🙂
 
Romans 1:28-32
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
 
This is just the introduction to Romans, the rest is a fantastic read. If you haven’t read a Bible lately, it is a good chapter to dig into. While reading Romans, think of the history of the Roman Empire, and imagine what it might be like to be alive in such a time. Then take that mental context, and wrap it around the words you are reading to gain a greater understanding of what is written. Paul was an excellent Apostle, Evangelist, and Teacher (he wrote about 1/3 of the New Testament). His goal was to save as many souls as he could, while providing guidance for as many believers as were willing to learn. Open your heart while you read, and the Spirit will guide you.
 
🙂

How to Save A Friend, and Guide them to Heaven

In modern times it is difficult to approach people about saving their souls. Most will scoff at you, and think that they understand everything there is to know about life. That they know more than God who created our universe, our planet, our bodies, and our souls. Most intuitively, have you ever thought about what was involved in the creation of our emotions? How could we for example, as humans, create an emotion out of thin air, that is so powerful, it would cause one human being to give up his very life, his existence, so that another could live? Never mind the creation of various lifeforms in and of themselves, which is awe-inspiring, the creation of our emotions is well beyond human understanding. So if you have a friend who is an Atheist, or is lost, or is someone you care about, or is even a complete stranger… what must you do in order to lead them to the path of redemption? There are three basic steps that you may consider:

1.  An  awakening  to one’s true condition:

This is a tough one. The act of sinning is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, basically a self-fulfilling prophecy is a concept or belief, that by the very nature of being incorrect, can cause itself to come true.

Let me help with the understanding a bit. Let’s say that “Bob” is an atheist, so Bob says “Since there is no God I can not sin” (and therefore be unconcerned for the repercussions of his actions). So Bob runs around sinning all day long because he thinks it is fun. Therefore Bob fulfilled his own ‘prophecy’ that he can not sin, by foolishly believing there is no God, so he can run around doing sinful things and “have fun” by not worrying about “getting in trouble” for his actions.

Every person I have encountered in my life who says they do not believe in God, has at one point or other admitted the possibility that God might exist, they just choose not to believe it. There are many reasons why someone may do so, perhaps a violent past, love for a person who is a sinner, and in whom they desire approval, any number of things; but since they have not placed God at the forefront of their lives, and allowed the Holy Spirit to enter their soul, and the blood of Jesus wash away their sins (and the pain those sins caused), they continue to live in an illusion that they perceive as true.

So how can you help them? Well, first you must somehow show them that the act of sinning, blinds humans to their true condition. What does this mean? Generally people will try to imagine themselves as happy, when in truth they are not. It is a desire for approval from others, and a validation of their existence that is pacified by the blindness of their own insecurities. So when they sin, Satan (who is much more powerful than people realize) hardens their heart from the truth. Imagine slowly wrapping layers of iron or steel around the container of one’s own heart, that will only stop the truth from coming in, but will allow the lies to flow like the wind. By blinding a human heart from the truth, Satan paves his path to victory.

To give you an idea of how powerful Satan truly is, think of the Garden of Eden. The very paradise created by God almighty, in which he placed his children Adam, and Eve, was breached by Satan in the form of a serpent. God only had ONE rule that Adam and Eve must follow, and that is not biting the forbidden fruit. So what did Satan do? He convinced Adam and Eve that God was wrong, in his own garden! How insane is that? In the very paradise created by God, Satan convinced Adam and Eve that God was wrong, with a lie!

So what was the lie? Genesis 3:4 “You will not surely die” … and of course, die they did, after they were kicked out of the garden.

So if we know that Satan is powerful enough to fool God’s original children in his own garden, we know he is powerful enough to fool us in modern times, and he is doing so on a massive scale. How many people in the world today think the things they see and hear in their daily lives through the various mediums we have available are acceptable? Not only accepted, but expected?

It will not be an easy job to convince someone you care about, not to mention a complete stranger that they need to think about the bigger picture of life, and our purpose in this life. Our purpose in life is not to drink, or cavort about with friends in meaningless pursuits, or watch t.v. or play video games, although having fun is certainly one of the things God wants us to do. In a way, our purpose in this life is to prove ourselves worthy for the next one. For example, if your friend is an atheist, does he believe that if someone murders 100 people, that upon their death a punishment will not be enforced? If so, what about “lesser” sins? In other words, if drastic actions have a logical conclusion of punishment, what about those that he may consider to be less extreme?

You must teach them that they are blind to their own condition. Once they accept that, the door has been opened, a breach has been introduced into the shell Satan has placed around their heart. The good news is, that every living being that has received the Breath of Life from God almighty has a hint of truth within them. We all have a mustard seed of truth planted in our souls, that has been surrounded by the weeds of humanity that must be plucked away, so that our seed of salvation can grow into a new garden, tended by Jesus Christ.

2. An honest confession of true sin.

Once your friend’s eyes have been opened, and they begin to see the truth, have them examine their own lives. It is much better if a person comes to their own revelations of the extent of their sinfulness. Ask them, what type of things do you do, or have done, that you think God may disapprove? A common mistake Christians make when trying to help their friends is what I call “Hen-Pecking.” They will pick away at every thing their friend does, and turn them away from God. Remember, God wants his children to choose to come to him. That is why we are here. He wants us to choose goodness over evil, so don’t Hen-Peck your friends, such as saying “Oh my Gosh, you can’t wear that,” “stop smoking,” … stop doing this, stop doing that…etc.. God knows our sins before we commit them, and he accepts our failures, just as he accepts us for who we are.

One of the most basic points that Pastors and Christians miss, is that God loves us not just because he is our Father, but because He knows what He created us to be. In other words, he knows our potential. he knows what we CAN become. Remember, everybody sins. That is a given. God allowed us to retain our free will, he did not have to do so. He chose Moses to lead Israel to freedom, and Moses committed murder in his younger years, BEFORE God chose him to part the Red Sea. So the point here, is don’t hen-peck your friends. Love them. Lead them to the path of salvation, but let them take their own steps, in their own time. The Holy Spirit will guide them when they are ready. Love that is forced will never last. Love that is a choice, taken through free will, can last forever.

3. An actual return to the father.

Romans 10:13 is a common reference point for Redemption: ““Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I disagree with some interpretations, where people will say that just by saying the words you are automatically saved. What I mean by that, is God can read our hearts. God is the ultimate multitasker. If we as human beings can create super computers that run thousands of cores, with terragigs of memory, how many cores would God have in comparison?

What is important here, is that you work with your friend and try to help him humble himself before God. True humility, the setting aside of pride and hubris, and allowing God to see the shame in your heart for your actions, and by praising him in earnest is the key. Open your heart to God, let Him see your love for him, your thankfulness for the gift of life he has bestowed upon you, your true repentence… Cry our with your heart, mind, body, and soul, and let God know not only that you love him, but that you are thankful to him, repentent to him, and ashamed before Him that you did not see the Truth sooner. Then realize, that now that you do see the Truth, you will not live just for this lifetime, but for eternity.

Have him pray in earnest, something like this:

This is  a prayer that I wrote to use in place of what is commonly referred to as the “Sinners Prayer”

“Lord Jesus, I am a sinner and am not worthy of you or your Father’s Kingdom. I know that you had to sacrifice yourself not just to save me, but all of my brothers and sisters. I can not comprehend the suffering you endured for us, but beg that you allow me the opportunity to repent of my sins, and allow the blood of your sacrifice to wash away my sins, and the stain they have placed upon my soul. Please allow the Holy Spirit to flow into me completely, and guide me along the path that you wish for my life to take, so that I can become the person You and the Father wish for me to be. I pray this in your name.   Amen”

 

Here is a common Sinner’s Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name.

Amen