The Greatest Thought That Can Occupy the Human Mind
on the bench back of the stovepipe so that the minister could not see me. Somehow I felt that if he wasn't looking me in the face, his message would not get through to me. So I was careful to always keep the stovepipe between the preacher and myself.
This regenerate person has the potential for growing and changing throughout his lifetime.
Young as I was, God's Holy Spirit was seeking an entrance into my life, but I was refusing to yield to Him. And the stovepipe was my ally.
The Bible says there are three kinds of "stovepipes":
• the lust of the flesh
• the lust of the eye
• the pride of life
The Word of God teaches that all sin can be put into those three categories. These, of course, are the very things that keep people from trusting Christ as their Savior. So for a number of years whenever I attended church, I tried to sit back of the stovepipe.
Finally, one day while driving cattle into a corral, I thought it was time that I got out from behind the stovepipe. So after I closed the gate on the cattle in the corral, I threw the reins over the head of my horse and tied him to a post nearby. Then I knelt down by a ditch bank just a few steps away, and prayed something like this:
"God, I believe You made Heaven and earth and people, therefore I'm responsible to You. I know I am a sinner and I believe that Your Son Jesus Christ died for sinners like me. I want You to come into my heart just now and forgive me of my sins. And I will serve You as long as I live. Amen."
When I got up from my knees I knew I was marvelously saved. "For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (NKJV). I had called on Him, therefore I knew I was saved.
The next day, playing ball at school, everything was different. Going through college things were different. Now, working professionally around the world, everything is different: all because of the relationship that was established that day on the ranch.
What happens when this right relationship with God is established - when a person accepts Christ as his Savior?
The biggest problem in the world is not pollution, nor is it racial discrimination, war, nor lack of education. The greatest problem confronting mankind is sin—individual, personal sin.
God's Holy Spirit indwelling a person's life brings some immediate changes that can never be explained outside of the fact that God has performed a miracle. But this is not all. The Holy Spirit also ministers to that person through the years. Consequently, this regenerate person has the potential for growing and changing throughout his lifetime. They are the qualities that accompany true conversion and a commitment to personal and spiritual growth, which make us different than we were before. These are qualities which a person can never bring about by his own volition. They are gifts of God and a response to accepting His love and forgiveness. They can never be "psyched up."
One of the persistent problems
of clients is the feeling of guilt.
The New Beginning
The biggest problem in the world is not pollution, nor is it racial discrimination, war, nor lack of education. The greatest problem confronting mankind is sin—individual, personal sin. The Bible clearly and concisely says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, NKJV).
Millions of people living today can attest to the fact that they established a personal relationship with God through Christ.
The ravaging effects of sin are found daily in many forms. Not the least of these is the guilt complex. Psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counselors, and pastors know that one of the persistent problems of their clients is the feeling of guilt. Generally speaking, people feel guilty because they are guilty. Guilt feelings often lead to confusion, mental illness, and various psychosomatic symptoms.
It is little wonder then, that when a man establishes a personal relationship with God, his feelings of guilt are affected. We read, "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, NKJV).
Millions of people living today can attest to the fact that when they established a personal relationship with God through Christ, they were no longer plagued by sins of the past. What a relief and joy to know that one's sins are not just "pushed back," but are taken away by God Himself. This dynamic realization can never be "psyched up."
The New Understanding
At the moment a person is born again, God gives him a key to the Bible so that he can begin to unlock and understand God's message to him. The Bible assures us that the Holy Spirit who now indwells us will also teach us God's Word: "...when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth ... he will take of mine and declare it to you" (John 16:13a, 15b, NKJV).
For centuries men and women have trusted in Christ, and upon their conversion the Holy Spirit has begun to open the Scriptures to them.
I remember an experience some years ago when I talked with a man about his spiritual condition. He was interested, so I opened the Bible and showed him from the Scriptures that he was alienated from God, but that God could save him if he would accept Jesus
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