Two Steps to Restoration Have you ever sat in condemnation of Peter, who betrayed Christ by denying he ever knew him? It's humbling to make a promise to God with great intentions and earnest candor, and then find yourself acquiescing to the flesh and breaking that promise. Peter denied he knew Christ three times. He never expected he would deny Him once. Even Christ's followers and Old Testament Patriarchs and Kings were at times involved in betrayal. Have you ever considered your own lack of faithfulness in your marriage or business to be an act of betrayal? Infidelity is rampant in the form of porn alone. Also, it's sometimes difficult to find an honest business partner even in Christian circles. We have personal friends who have experienced theft from a Christian employee within their office, another who was embezzled by his Christian business partner. Some offenders are guilt ridden and remorseful, and some go on to attempt the same in another location. Christian leaders, including preachers, are no exception as anyone with their ears attached knows. If you earnestly want to change, can you take just two steps on the road to repairing relationships? Repairing relationships starts with looking within. "I'm not going to direct your thoughts to your sin because I want to punish, condemn or reject you. I'm going to direct you there because it's there and there alone that you'll discover the truth that sets you free. I trust that the Spirit will gently convince you of your need to draw close to your Savior,and as He does that, you'll find the rest and help you long for." Elyse Fitzpatrick; Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety; 1982 Step 1. Fitzpatrick suggests two things in enduring the painful experience of facing the fact of own sin. Look deeply into what Christ suffered for you. He descended to the depths of hell because of His love for you. Then, recognize His ability to transform and restore you? Come out from behind the curtain and even if it's very painful, take a good look into your own heart and turn to the only One who can cleanse it. Step 2. After examining your own heart, look at the heart of God by looking into God's word. Study who Christ is and what He's like. You'll see a loving, merciful Savior who is not going to turn His ear away from your sincere repentance. He has salvaged many a seemingly hopeless relationship. Read the Psalms and consider David, who was referred to as a man after God's own heart. He prayed that God would hear his prayer, wash away all of his sin and cleanse his transgressions. He believed that a compassionate God whose love was unfailing could forgive adultery and murder. Consider how deep and high and wide and long his love is. (See Ephesians 3:18.) Look up every verse you can find regarding God's love and mercy. Yes, He desired truth in the inner parts, David said (Psalm 51:6). So there must be confession and repentance. Set your heart and mind on Him and He will give you perfect peace. There may be many fears looming about the consequences of your betrayal but right now, focus on His love.
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