As I looked at the picture above of the Seven Deadly Sins, I was shocked that I have five out of the seven deadly sins and on some days, all seven!
I still have sin in my life and it can sometimes hold me back from enjoying and being productive in my new life that Jesus gave to me 18years ago. My sin ebbs and flows. Sometimes, it is furious and at times it can become all-consuming, and then it goes out like a flickering flame, with the promise of an even stronger return. My mistake is that I often fail to ask Jesus for help with temptation or other life problems.
There is a battle raging inside every one of us between good and evil, between God and the Devil and the stakes are eternal. The devil knows all of my weaknesses like cards he plays in his destructive game of high stakes poker. He has the deadly sins of Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride to use as tools to bring us to eternal destruction.
Once I think I have one type of sin under control, the devil then reaches into his evil tool bag and comes at me even harder with some other temptation and then he repeats this until I lose all confidence in myself and sometimes I give up trying to live as Jesus wants me to live. Our error is that we allow our pride to prevent us from simply asking Jesus for help.
PLEASE ASK JESUS FOR HELP EVERY DAY!
Eighteen years ago, I was destroyed mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was living on the edge of giving up. I was sleeping in an alley in Denver, Colorado and I had hate and rage in my heart as I began to feel death knocking on my door. I was carrying the burden of addiction, mental illness and painful loneliness that I could feel deep down in my bones. I was committing suicide slowly by killing myself with chemicals. Once a person gives up hope, death follows. I looked over the edge of that cliff and it scared me so much that I surrendered my life to Jesus and He gave me a new life.
By the grace of God, I have been sober for 18 years because Jesus forgave all of my sins and he lifted me back up to a new life where I can now help others who struggle with addiction, homelessness and mental illness. I am a recovering addict and I also have manic depression. The combination of these two conditions usually results in hopelessness and often death. I was at the point where I did not think I was going to live and I almost gave up all faith and hope. Surrender was the key to bringing me to Jesus. Jesus saved me from a wasted life and a painful death. All I did was turn to Jesus in desperation and fear and I said the most powerful prayer that I have ever said which was, “Jesus Please Help Me!”
In two days, I was sitting in a group of addicts who were in treatment at Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota. That was in 1998, and it marked the start of my new life. I completed nine months of treatment. I desperately needed that time to heal and to come back to life. It was a slow and painful road back to health. I remain very grateful that Jesus held my hand over the rough spots and continued to pull me forward through all of the nightmares of my past. Jesus is still with me and He is opening my eyes to his vision for me. I believe that that vision is to touch the hearts of addicts, the mentally ill and homeless people. The only thing that really motivates me and gets me excited is helping others. I fight against the distractions in life which constantly try to pull me away from this mission. Again, we all are involved in a battle between good and evil, God and the devil. We can only win this battle by going directly to Jesus and asking for His help! Many of us ignore the battle or don’t recognize it or we try to win the battle on our own. In Jesus is victory!
If I can get sober and overcome mental illness then so can you! Jesus made all of this possible. I know that he loves me and He forgives my sin each day as long as I confess the sin and then ask for His forgiveness. Each of us are sons and daughters of Jesus and He wants us to be His and not the devil’s.
Jesus is Love. He is kind and forgiving and He asks us to follow him. Jesus died on the cross to have victory over sin and death. Our debts, our sins were nailed to that cross. When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts, our sins are gone forever!
THE BATTLE HAS ALREADY BEEN WON! Jesus bridged the gap between our sin and God. When Jesus died, He said, “It is finished”. What He mean’t was that He had taken on the sins of the world and death itself, and He defeated both of them, so that we could have forgiveness and eternal life with Him in Heaven. Jesus gave His life to pay the price for our sin, and because He loves us, He has given us forgiveness and eternal life. Very important: We have to take action and ask Jesus to come into our heart so we can begin our new life. Do it now!
At the moment that Jesus died on the cross, there was a dark, powerful and violent storm. There was a 30 foot curtain in the Temple that was there to separate the people from the Holy of Holies (God). When Jesus died, that curtain was torn from the top of the curtain all the way to the ground. The meaning is that Jesus Christ is our bridge to God. We can now talk or pray directly to Jesus and we do not have to go through a priest or any other person. We now have direct access to Jesus, the Son of God and the Creator of the universe!
Jesus continues to pursue us every day even while we are still sinners. I am starting to listen for messages from God like animals and birds in nature to the kindness in the eyes of people I meet each day. I see God in the smiles and faces of children. I receive messages at my church and from my Christian radio station. I am learning about the joy of giving as I do public speaking and writing about addiction and recovery. I am beginning to listen for opportunities to help other people and to make an eternal difference in their lives. Sometimes, it is just simple encouragement and hope and some love that can set people on their way to Jesus. I can say that my 28 years of addiction do in fact have real and valuable purpose, as God is using me to help others. It all started with Jesus on the cross and His great love for all of us!
No matter what you are going through, whether it be a small problem or a life threatening situation, Jesus is waiting for your call and He will respond with His love for you.
Here are some powerful Bible verses and thoughts to consider:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23English Standard Version (ESV)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Galatians 5:19-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
John 1:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 14:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Luke 11:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Jeremiah 29:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Luke 1:37 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
JESUS IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY, HE LOVES US AND HE WANTS A RELATIONSHIP WITH US.
CALL ON JESUS NOW!
Peace, Love and Blessings to you!