A Passion for Christ Ministries: April 2004 Newsletter  

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul" Acts 4:32(a)
A Scarred Mind: Leaving the Past Behind
APRIL 2004
 

Greetings!

In dealing with people, the biggest problem for most is leaving the past behind. Some event, experience, or memory which has twisted your thinking and marked your life in someway or another has hindered you in your spiritual growth. Your reasoning ability, therefore, keeps you from going on to grow into a mature, thriving person.

Scar: to mark or become marked.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13,14). Close the door to the past. As long as you dwell on past failures, past mistakes, and past disappointments, you will be hindered in the great work that needs to be done for the Lord. This is the final hour and you cannot let past failures and mistakes keep you from going on into the greatness of God. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Once you earnestly confess your sins to God, through Jesus Christ, He has promised to never remember them again. When you confess your sins with godly sorrow — so sorry that you shamed God — trampled the blood of Jesus under foot, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive each one. He will encourage each precious soul, through His great love, to begin again — never to bring them up. Jesus said, Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14).

Never Look Back

Never look back to the things of the past, once they’ve been covered with the blood. Keep your mind full of the blood — blood thoughts. After repentance, there is no need to dwell on thoughts of the past that have hurt, hindered, bothered, and weakened you.

Keep the Wrong Things Out

Keep the wrong thoughts out. Those thoughts can bring condemnation, guilt, and discouragement. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). Think deep. The enemy will try to bring fear to bind the mind. While he can’t bind the soul of a person who is covered with the blood, he can bind the mind. The past, if you let it, can hold you in bondage. To look in the past is only purposeful when you want to be reminded yourself of just how far and how fast God has brought you. You may want to look in the past to see how far we have grown in the Lord or even to check and be sure that we are not traveling the wrong paths — paths that are not directed by the Lord. Gain strength by keeping your mind on the things of God. 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 be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:8-9). The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Be not afraid, only believe (Mark 5:36). Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:1, 27).

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him (Matthew 4:19, 20). Simon Peter had to learn who Jesus was; he watched Him closely, listened to Him. Peter wanted to believe Jesus, but could not wholeheartedly decide if Jesus was the Son of God. Later, after Pentecost, Peter could have allowed this and other mistakes of the past to hinder him, to keep him from going on into the greatness of God. Remember, Jesus had told Peter plainly that he would fail him. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice (Matthew 26:33, 34). Peter thought so confidentially that he would never deny the Lord; He would never forsake the Christ. Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples (verse 35).

Yet Will I Not Deny Thee

Peter really thought that he knew the Christ. He really never held onto the reality of Christ’s mission here on earth — to be the sacrificial lamb for all humanity. Peter vaguely understood the mission of Christ before His crucifixion. The life of Christ did not become real in Peter’s life until the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost makes the difference. He is the only one that can take the sting of failure out of your life. You are so incomplete without a true baptism. Remember, Peter was always doing things in his own spirit, going in his own power until Pentecost. The Holy Ghost will teach you how to yield to God’s way; how to yield to God’s divine will for each individual’s life.

Peter was quick to express himself. He was too eager to share his opinion. Then Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying Be it far from thee Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men (Matthew 16:22, 23). Peter rebuked the Lord. Later, he would realize just how far off he had been following the Christ. It took the baptism in the Holy Ghost to bring such reality.

But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also are one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice (Matthew 26:70-75). Peter spoke a foreign language. He no longer spoke the love language — the language that he had once witnessed which delivered so many. Peter was there as Jesus delivered so many with the love language, but now he was different. He was following afar off. The Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, He is the only one who has the power to bridge such a gap. He and He alone is the only one who can close up the spaces and fill in the gaps as a result of hurt feelings and disappointments.

Peter had been lukewarm, following so far behind and warming his hands with the enemy — joining those who would crucify Christ. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end (Matthew 26:57-58).

The Love Of God

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61, 62). Peter once witnessed and handled the power of God but now he followed afar off. This night, he remembered the words of Jesus; the words that could have tormented him for the rest of his life . . . "Thou shalt deny me." How would Peter ever recover from such a failure? Would he ever be able to lift his head again from such shame?

Repentance: Remorse or contrition for past conduct or sin.

Peter repented, was forgiven, and went on to become a great, great vessel for the Lord in the beginning of the Church. He, however, had to make a choice: live in the past, or go on into the greatness of God. Go on yielding in the love of God to never make the same mistake again. Peter, no doubt, always regretted having failed the Lord, but after he was forgiven, he had no condemnation. Peter had to face facts about his failure and realize that he couldn’t go back and undo his betrayal. Instead, he chose to be thankful for having had another chance to show forth God’s greatness to others. He chose to press forward; to be all he could be for the kingdom of God. He chose to rise up — up above his terrible disappointment to God. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them. Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:14-15, 21, 41). Three thousand souls were swept into the kingdom that day. Peter had finally arrived. After failing God, after a life of ups and downs, Peter was now in his rightful place — the place that he was born for. Peter was yielding to the plan of God for his life. No longer following afar off, Peter was lifting himself up and helping others to find such reality which now flowed and burned from within. “This is that . . .” Can’t you see him? Transformed by the power that worketh within. Peter was just a man . . . with God on his side. You, too, can have this same experience.

Have You Failed God?

Rise up today, child of God. Have you done wrong? Have you failed God? Are you living in the past — past failures, past mistakes? Are you still failing God? Why not rise up like Peter did? He once walked the waters, only to fall. Now he was launching out into the deep. There is no need, if you have truly repented — repented with godly sorrow — to let the devil grind you with past failures, past mistakes. Look to God. Look to the hills from whence cometh your help. Think on the things of God. Seek His face more and more. Study His word. Let Jesus make Himself so real to you. Then you too will “Stand up and lift up your voice” to a lost and dying world, crying, “Come and dine. Come dine. Come every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Leave the past behind. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Let Him handle the rest of your tomorrows. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Do not be deceived in any way. Follow hard after the Lord in this last and final hour. If you have neglected the love of God through scars and if you have lost that love along the way, seek the Lord with your whole heart and He will restore the joy, the joy of your salvation.

Please repeat this simple prayer with me, asking Jesus to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. He is able to restore, create, deliver, and most importantly, save you. He is willing. He is ready. He wants you, dear one. No one has ever loved you like Jesus. He does love you. Say:

Oh, God! I have sinned against you. I am so sorry! I have come home, and I’m going to serve you, Lord, the rest of my life. I do believe. I do believe that you are able to deliver me and cleanse me from all scars of the past. I believe that the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, can make me clean and whole, healing me of all hurts of the past. Come on into my heart and help me. Help me, Lord. I trust and believe that through the blood, I can make it. I do believe that I can make it with your help. Oh, Lord, I want your help. Save my soul. Love me, Jesus. I must have your love. Love me, Jesus. Jesus give me a new mind. Give me a mind that can reason with your word. Come on into my heart, Jesus! Come in!

If you meant that prayer, He has come.

Praise Him, He is Yours!

Yours with a Passion for Souls,


Pastor, A Passion for Christ Ministries


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