Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’
The Defense Never Rests
After the State has presented its charges against the defendant in a court of law, it signifies to the judge that it is finished by saying in open court, “The State rests.”
The Defense Attorney then begins to present a defense for his client, which hopefully will offer reasonable doubt to the mind of the jury. When the Defense has exhausted its resources and explanations, it too announces in similar manner, “The Defense rests.”
When the Defense rests, there is not much more to be said on behalf of the accused. The trial is about over. The defendant’s life is ready to be handed over to the jury.
My Father’s Funeral Sermon
The eloquent and ‘adopted’ other son of the late Carl J. Ballestero’s family, is Bro. A.W. Buie Jr. He was deeply loved by my Father. Bro. Bill Buie showered Dad with great honor and affection. At my Father’s funeral in September of 1994, Bro Buie brought me to tears as he preached one of the most beautiful messages I have ever heard. He entitled the funeral sermon, “The Defense Rests.”
Pastors and preachers are but mere mortals. Their life span is measured out on heaven’s Time-Line and no one can lengthen it. There are only so many sermons a man can preach as he reaches for the lost and hurting before he dies. His hope of seeing mercy for the guilty is limited only by his short life. Although they died, hope has not died with them.
There Is One Defense Attorney Who Is Not Dead, And He Never Rests.
- He NEVER quits,
- He never gives in,
- He never gives up.
Jesus Is The Advocate (Defense Attorney)
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
- An Advocate is a Defense Attorney. Jesus is our Defense Attorney.
He Makes Daily Intercession For Us.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
- Notice the progressive verb ending, ‘eth’ on maketh. That means Jesus Christ will never stop making intercession for us.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Simply put, The Lord Jesus is our Defense Attorney. That’s what the Cross was all about. From the moment He spoke the words, “Father forgive them,” He officially became our Advocate.
Believe the Word of God.
The Lord has not, and will not give up on us. No matter what the charges are against us, may our hearts have peace knowing that if we sin, we have a Defense Attorney that won’t give up on us.
What Is The Price Of His Retainer?
Repentance. If we are willing to repent, then this blessed opportunity is waiting for us. We must not stop until we have fully obeyed Acts 2:38, just like all of the New Testament church believers did.
Don’t give up on yourself. You’ve got the best Defense Attorney in the world!
He ever liveth to make intercession for you!
He Came To A Stable!
Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Of all the places in the world for the King of kings to make His inaugural appearance to mankind! He chose the lowliest place of all! He chose a Stable. It was a place where filth and stink were all too common.
Imagine a God so holy, that He had to humble Himself to look upon heaven. I can understand Him having to humble Himself to look upon earth, but heaven too? He came to a stable. Man’s mind cannot completely fathom a Divine introduction into such a lowly estate.
It wasn’t like the sanitized nativity setting in a Macy’s Department Store window. The stable where He was born wasn’t used to elegance. It was only familiar with life on the lowest level. Straw, dirt, old boards, rusty nails, spider webs, bird nests, a rough-hewn manger, and smelly animal droppings created the ambience for the birthplace of our Lord.
Animals made this stable their home. They had spent all day eating the finery of the plush fields heaven had provided. At night, these same creatures turned heaven’s best into earth’s worst.
One step inside the stable was convincing enough. The animals had created an atmosphere of nothing but filth and stink. There was an overwhelming odor. There was excrement that had to be removed. That’s the place He chose.
He Came To A Stable!
Garden of Eden
Sin takes heaven’s best and turns it into earth’s worst. That is what happened in the Garden of Eden. It’s still doing that today. God closed down man’s Paradise because of the filth of sin, and evicted Adam and Eve. Yet, in the New Testament, symbolically, he came to the same kind of place. A place of filth.
He was called a friend of sinners. He was a friend of those that lived in filth. Remember the story of Mary and her alabaster box? She had lived her life in filth. But in Jesus, she found cleansing and forgiveness.
Woman At the Well
“I must needs go by Samaria,” Jesus said. What was in Samaria? Samaria was an off-limits place for Jews to even visit. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. It was as dirty to them as a stable.
“I must needs go by the stable,” was what His statement may have sounded like to the disciples. A stable creature was what He found when He went there. A woman who had been married five times, and was now living with someone else, was the reason He came. She ran back to her village and brought everyone out to meet Jesus.
The Apostle Peter had a difficult time at first. He couldn’t comprehend God’s willingness to deal with the unclean. A vision from God of a sheet being let down with all kinds of unclean animals, was shown to him. A voice said, “Rise Peter, slay and eat.”
Peter vehemently protested, because to him they were common, and unclean. The voice finally instructed Peter.
Acts 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Because of this, Peter went to the household of Cornelius and opened the door of Salvation unto the Gentiles. The very people Jesus had called dogs. Peter was sent to unlock the door of the stable and let every one out.
He Came To A Stable! He Is Not Afraid Of The Filth In Your Life! He Loves You!
It will be the biggest mistake of your life, if you buy into the thinking that Jesus will not forgive you because you’ve been too bad. That is not true. There is no sin common unto man who He won’t forgive.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1. Washed – God specializes in cleaning up lives. Let Him clean yours.
2. Sanctified – He makes you into a pure and holy vessel He can use.
3. Justified – NOW, it’s just as if you’ve never sinned.
- In the name of the Lord Jesus – (The Biblical mode of Baptism)
- By the Spirit of our God – (The in-filling of the Holy Ghost)
He Came To A Stable, He Knows About Filth! He Wants To Make You Clean!
We couldn’t go to where He was, so He came to where we were. He came to a stable. He came to save the drunkard, the drug user, the immoral, the profane, the unbeliever and other sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. God is not afraid of the dirt and filth in your life. He will cleanse you and wash you if you’ll just repent.
Get baptized in Jesus Name, and let Him fill you with His wonderful Spirit, just like the disciples did:
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Only Love, Could Have Made Him Come To A Stable!
Beaten To Pieces
The thugs used their brute strength to inflict injury. They meant to do major hurt to their victim. Most of them didn’t even know the man. They didn’t care. They were professional killers. They were just carrying out orders from their boss.
Someone hit him in the face. Another smashed him on top of his head. Blood ran freely down his face and was smeared all over his cheeks.
Then the real beatings began. They hit him. They hit him again. Then they hit him some more. They beat him till his flesh turned black and blue. His arms had horrible bruises. His bruised back and sides looked like a slab of freshly butchered meat. His body was a bloody mess from the beating he took. It was as if they had beaten him to pieces.
His hands were tied. His legs were so weakened he could barely stand. He wasn’t very old either. He looked young, maybe early thirties or so.
That they wanted him to die was apparent. No one could believe this was really happening! He was a good man. Yet they were beating him to a bloody pulp. It was almost like they wanted this to be a public spectacle. They didn’t care if anyone watched them beat him senseless or not.
He was totally surrounded by his enemies. There was no one willing to come to his aid. It was just a matter of time.
Why were they doing this?
Where were the authorities?
Someone wanted him dead, real dead.
The bystanders were frozen in their tracks.
They all knew if they intervened, they would be beaten next.
Grown men winced with each blow as the looked at him. Mothers shielded their children’s eyes from the view. They didn’t want their little innocent eyes seeing such a terrible sight.
Bruises covered what the crowd could see of his body. They were deep ones too. Every bruise seemed to be smeared with blood. He looked a mess.
If they were going to kill him, why not do it? Why just bloody and bruise his body up like this? What was the point?
Really, What Was Point? Isaiah 53:5 Was The Point!
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
“Bruise: A primitive root (compare <H1794> (dakah)); … (literal or figurative) :- beat to pieces, break (in pieces), bruise….”
Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
Over 700 years before Jesus Christ was born, Isaiah prophesied that the Savior would allow Himself to not only die for our sins, but to be bruised, and to be ‘beaten to pieces.’ Why? It was for our iniquities.
When the enemy of our soul says that we have sinned too bad to ever be forgiven, remember His bruises. He allowed Himself to be ‘beaten to pieces’ for our iniquities. He went through that so you would know He loved you enough to always forgive you.
Thank You Jesus!
The Little Town They Call “Peace”
The traveler was tired. He limped a bit, favoring his right side because of the hole in his shoe sole. His worn clothes gave proof that his journey had been long and filled with much hardship. Exposure to the elements had darkened and weathered his skin. His eyes squinted in the afternoon sun.
The barefooted farmer stopped weeding his front yard and leaned on the handle of his hoe for a moment. He watched the man walking down the dirt road while he caught his breath. The traveler stopped and turned to face him.
With a warm smile he said, “Howdy.”
The farmer returned his greeting.
“Pardon me sir,” he said, “which way do I go through those mountains yonder, to get to the little town they call Peace?”
The farmer smiled back and turned thoughtfully toward the distant mountains. The big valley before them stretched for several miles.
“Well sir,” the farmer began, “since ya asked me about Peace, I reckon you already know it ain’t the easiest place for some folk to git to. But those that have a hankerin’ to find it, always seem to find it.”
“Yes sir. I’ve lived for years back yonder in a place called Turmoil. I was born there on Division Street, right beside Rumor Alley.
“Nothing but stormy weather there almost year ‘round. I just couldn’t stay another day.
“When I heard someone talk about this place they call Peace, I sold out and headed in this direction.”
“I see,” the farmer said as he walked closer to the traveler. Stooping down, he picked up a small stick, knelt on one knee and began to draw a map of sorts in the dirt. As he drew, he began to talk.
“You can’t get there without going through The Blood,” he explained while drawing with his stick. When you get through there,” he said making an “X”, “here is where you’ll come to Obedience Road. That is the main road and it is well-marked. There are some signs that have been posted along the way to help folk.
“Then you’ll come to Submission Mountain before long. Watch for the sign. It’ll take you on up through Patience Pass. You can’t miss it.
“Keep following that trail. It will lead you through the summit of Forgiveness. It’s a gentle town with good people in it.
“You ain’t got far to go now. Just past there a ways, a beautiful valley opens up. That’s where the town of Peace is. Right in the middle.”
The farmer drew another “X” in the dirt and then threw the stick away as he stood to his feet.
“Well, iffin it was me,” he said, “once I got there, I’d build me a house and never leave.”
“Thank you kindly sir,” the traveler said as they shook hands, “I don’t aim too.”
When Men Forgive
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
My dear uncle was once asked to dismiss a Sunday morning service in prayer. He was momentarily caught off guard. During his prayer, a few of his words got tangled up and didn’t come out right. Someone behind him snickered. It was funny!
He was mortified however, that anyone would find humor in his attempt at prayer. My uncle didn’t come back to church that night. He didn’t come back that week, or that month. He didn’t come back that year. Actually, he didn’t come back for the next 54 years because he was offended.
With great joy I can tell you that as an old man, he walked back down the aisle and prayed back through. He died at 90 years of age, fully in love with Jesus, His church, and it’s people. But he wasted 54 years because he had gotten offended.
How long are you willing to let a war go on? When men forgive, it releases the forgiveness of God upon their lives. It’s not an accident; it’s how God planned it from the beginning.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
An old pastor I know kept his prized gaited horses in a large stable. Outside his horse barn was an expensive horse trailer with living quarters and a one-ton pickup truck.
A drugged-up teenager set fire one night to the stables and burnt it down. The horse trailer and truck were destroyed too. Thankfully most of the horses were saved. It was a huge financial loss for the pastor.
The fire took place during a time when there was a 3-day lapse of insurance coverage. The culprit was arrested, tried and found guilty. The prosecutor asked the court for a minimum sentence of 40 years for the teen.
At the sentencing, the pastor stood up in court and asked permission to speak on behalf of the defendant. The judge raised his eyebrows and said; “You understand that the state is prosecuting him on your behalf?”
“Yes, your honor, I understand, and I thank you. But the state has not suffered any loss. I am the only one that has, so if anyone has a right to speak, I think I should.”
The judge nodded his permission.
“Your Honor, I beg you not to sent this young man to prison for 40 years. If you do, he may never get to hear about Acts 2:38, the only message of salvation. No one in prison may ever tell him that he needs to repent of his sins, be baptized in Jesus name and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to be saved.
“Your Honor, this young man may never get to hear that God is able to deliver him from all of his addictions in one night. Don’t send him to prison, put him on probation for at least 3 years, order him to come to my church and sit on the front row every service. Allow me to try to reach him with the love of God.”
With tears welling up in his eyes, the judge brought the gavel down and said, “It is so ordered.”
Two years later, the pastor’s youngest son stood in the same courtroom with the same judge and prosecutor. The son was on trial for possession of drugs again. The prosecutor was asking for a minimum sentence of 25 years.
When the State finally rested it’s case, the defense attorney and the pastor’s son both stood up. The defense attorney never attempted to present a defense. He simply said, “Your Honor, we throw ourselves upon the mercies of this Court.”
The judge looked at the defendant and then at his attorney. He said, “Would you like to settle this today once and for all?”
“Yes your Honor, we would,” was the reply.
At that, the prosecutor got up and walked out of the courtroom. The judge with impassioned tones looked at the pastor’s son and then began.
“I hate everything about you. You are despicable. You are without any social redeeming value. You are a blight on this community. You are an embarrassment to the church your father pastor’s and you are a shame to him as well.
“If I had my way, I’d put you in prison for the rest of your life, throw the key away and sleep good every night. DO YOU HEAR ME?” He shouted!
“Yes you Honor,” said the son with tears streaming down his face.
“Two years ago, another young man stood in this courtroom and was found guilty. Your father begged for mercy for him, even though he didn’t deserve mercy. Because of that I am going to give you mercy.” He paused for effect.
“That will be $50.00, and don’t you ever come back to my court again!” The sound of the gavel concluded the trial.
The old pastor and his son stopped by the church on their way home from court. The backslidden son prayed back through to a renewing of the Holy Ghost. Today, he is an Assistant Pastor!
It pays to forgive!
Matthew 18:23-35 tells a story of a King who checked his records and found that a certain servant owed him a large sum of money. (Approximately $3 billion dollars at today’s values.)
When the servant could not pay the King back, he was sentenced to prison and all his possessions to be sold. He begged for mercy, and forgiveness was granted. The debt completely wiped out.
The forgiven servant walked away from his own session of mercy and soon found a man who owed him the modern equivalent of $15.00 dollars. He grabbed the man around the neck and ordered him to pay. When he couldn’t, he had him thrown into the debtor’s prison.
The King heard about this and called the servant before him again. In anger, the king took back the forgiveness of the debt. He does to the servant, exactly what the servant had done to his fellow-man. He threw him into prison until he could repay the debt.
This story explains to us that King Jesus has forgiven us a debt of sin that we could never repay. Yet we get enraged over the $15 dollars someone ‘owes’ us, and we won’t forgive them of that small debt.
You may think your problem with a brother or a sister is a major injustice to your world. Your bitterness will overwhelm you to the point that you are eaten up with your hurt and have no peace in your spirit.
What was done to you may be a mountain so big you can’t get over it. But according to this parable, in heaven’s estimations it’s just a $15 dollar problem. Don’t die bitter and unforgiving. Forgive your brother fully and completely, just like Jesus forgave you of your sins. You do not want Him to take back his forgiveness of your sins, just because you wouldn’t forgive your brother.
Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Hell would like nothing better than to see God’s people destroyed because of unforgiveness. Some folks say they’ve buried the hatchet. They may have, but they must have forgotten to bury the handle too.
Deer hunters know that a sure way to get a trophy deer is to use camouflage. Give the deer what it wants, by putting out bait. It won’t be long then before the deer is hung on the wall. The hunter then brags on his trophy for the rest of his life.
Even non-hunters understand the principle. Why can’t we see that is also how Satan kills us with bitterness? He camouflages a situation, puts out the bait. He then shoots us down, and hangs our hide on his wall. He will brag on what he did to us forever.
Being offended is a choice. We choose to be offended. We can also choose not to be offended. Now, go forgive your brother. Don’t let Satan brag on you.
There Are Two Ways To Remove Your Past, Man’s Way And God’s Way.
The laws of man have provided a way for the guilty to get their past sealed or expunged. I was in the Federal Building in Tacoma today and saw a very nice pamphlet that described to the general public how to expunge their criminal record.
Reading that made me look further. Online I found a great website that describes the process in detail for the residents of Washington. I am glad that this is available for those that wish to turn their lives around.
Expungement of Criminal Records in Washington State -7 Steps to Clearing Your Record
You don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record. Your Washington State criminal conviction can be expunged if you meet the criteria. And after your conviction is expunged, Washington State law permits you to state you have not been convicted for employment purposes.
Expungement is an often misunderstood term and process. In Washington State expungement of a criminal record or criminal conviction is accomplished by Vacating the Criminal Conviction. The terms Expungement and Vacating are largely interchangeable, the difference being that Vacating is the legal term.
Expungement of a criminal record by vacating the conviction does not destroy or seal the file. However, it is possible to destroy, or expunge, an arrest record if the eligibility requirements are met. When an arrest record is expunged, the booking photos and fingerprints are destroyed and removed from the police record.
In Washington State, the expungement process differs between felony and misdemeanor convictions. The following 7 steps are an overview of what is involved.
1. The Required Time Period has Passed Since the Case Completed.
The first eligibility requirement to expunge your conviction in Washington State is passage of the required time period. For a misdemeanor, the time period begins to run on the date the case is Closed. For a felony conviction, the time period begins to run on the date a document called a Certificate of Discharge is filed with the court. In both instances, a case is Closed or a Certificate of Discharge is filed after all the sentence conditions are completed as required.
2. The Conviction is Eligible for Expungement.
Certain convictions, and classifications of convictions, are not eligible for Expungement in Washington State. Generally, class A felonies (the most serious), sex crimes, and violent crimes cannot be expunged in Washington State. Among misdemeanors, Washington State does not permit a DUI conviction to be expunged.
3. You Meet the Clean Behavior Requirement.
Two situations will make your conviction ineligible for expungement. For a misdemeanor, if you were convicted of another crime on a later date then you would not be eligible to have the misdemeanor expunged. For example, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in 1995, and another crime in 1997, then the 1995 crime would not be eligible to be expunged. For a felony, if you were convicted of another crime after the date the Certificate of Discharge was filed then you cannot expunge the felony.
4. Special Rule for Misdemeanors.
Washington State has an interesting rule that applies only to misdemeanor convictions. To expunge a misdemeanor, you cannot have had any other conviction expunged (vacated). What this means is if a person has a felony conviction and a misdemeanor conviction, and the person expunged the felony conviction first, then the misdemeanor could no longer be expunged. However, if the misdemeanor was expunged first, and if the misdemeanor conviction occurred before the felony conviction, then the felony could still be expunged.
An expungement, or vacation of a criminal conviction, requires a judge to sign a court Order. The court process is begun by filing a Motion to Vacate Conviction with the court. Prior to filing the Motion, you should get copies of the Docket and the Judgment & Sentence from the court clerk. You should also obtain a criminal history report, called a WATCH Report, from the Washington State Patrol website.
6. Your Day In Court.
Most Washington State courts require a hearing to Expunge, or Vacate, a criminal conviction. Most courts do not require you to attend if you have a lawyer appearing at the hearing on your behalf. If the preparation has been done properly, then the hearing should go very smoothly and the judge will sign the Court Order Vacating your criminal conviction.
7. Your Criminal Record is Cleared.
The court clerk processes the Order and sends a certified copy to the Washington State Patrol, which removes the conviction from the public database. The FBI record is updated based on the Washington State record. And, if the Order was prepared correctly, a copy will also be sent to the police department that handled the case and your record will also be cleared in their file. Your conviction has now been expunged (vacated), and your criminal record is cleared.
As you can see, you don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record. It is not difficult to expunge a conviction in Washington State if you meet the straightforward criteria. In most cases, these 7 steps take only a few weeks to complete.
Copyright ©2008 Douglas Stratemeyer. All Rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/criminal-articles/expungement-of-criminal-records-in-washington-state-7-steps-to-clearing-your-record-588959.html#ixzz1EM5KIxdu
He can do it in one day. Once you have repented of your sins and been baptized in Jesus name according to Acts 2:38.
Your Sins Are Then:
1. Covered By His Blood.
Rom. 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
2. Forgiven Immediately
Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
3. Blotted Out
Col. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Psa. 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
5. He Forgives All Sins.
Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Matt. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:
6. Your Sins Will Be Washed Away In Baptism In Jesus Name.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
7. If You Sin, He Will Even Be Your Defense Attorney.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
We All Are Invited To Take Advantage Of This Immediately.
Heb. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Do It Today!
Sinner! Backslider! I don’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve gone or how low you have fallen, God’s Mercy is available for you today. He’s waiting for you to make that move. Get your sins forgiven and washed away now.