Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal

Sins Against Holy Spirit, 7th Sunday After Pentecost

Volume 5 No. 294 July 10, 2015

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Stained Glass Art Work at Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, Cary, Ohio
Stained Glass Artwork from the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, Cary, Ohio

Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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This Sunday in Church

1. Bible Readings for This Sunday (July 12)

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Lectionary/Lec_7th_sunday-after-pentecost.htm

2. Sermons for This Sunday (July 12)

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_7th-sunday-after-Pentecost.htm

This Week's Features

3. Unpardonable Sin / Unforgivable Sin

The case of the "unpardonable sin/unforgivable sin" or "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" is mentioned in Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:22-32. The term "blasphemy" may be generally defined as "defiant irreverence." We would apply the term to such sins as cursing God or willfully degrading things relating to Him. It is also attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good that we should attribute to Him. This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one called "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" in Matthew 12:31. ...

4. The Unforgivable Sin

Of all the teachings of Jesus, perhaps none troubles us more than His warning about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. When reading today's passage it is only natural to ask, "What is the unforgivable sin?" and, "Have I committed it?" ...

5. Sins Against the Holy Spirit

There are six specific sins that can be committed against the Holy Spirit. Today, allow me to focus on one - grieving the Holy Spirit. ...

6. Sins Against The Holy Ghost

Let us take a look at all the sins against the Holy Ghost. ...

7. Poem: What Can Wash Away My Sin?

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. ...

8. Health: Moving Past Emotional Trauma

Neglect. Abuse. Divorce. Addiction. These are just a few of the life experiences that can leave children emotionally bruised or worse, causing some to develop dysfunctional outlooks and behaviors that condemn them to perpetual self-victimization as adults.

We not only perpetuate, but also protect the obstacles that stand in the way of our healing and happiness. But there is always a way through, no matter what your situation. ...

9. Recipe: Four Healthy Recipe Substitutions For Summer

We all love the taste of typical Summer dishes, but we're not so fond of the calories they contain. Here, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss expert Warren Honeycutt shares four healthy recipes to prepare instead - and no, you won't have to sacrifice flavor. ...

10. Family Special: Five Screen-Free Summer Activities to Get Kids Moving

If you want to raise a social child who likes being with people, a summer on screens doesn't sound like much fun. Here are five screen free activities to engage your family and make memories together. ....

11. Self Improvement: How to Be Dramatically More Productive, Successful, and Wealthy

"Getting to work early is such a common virtue of successful people that I'm tempted to call it the single most important thing you can do to change your life," my friend Michael Masterson wrote in his book Automatic Wealth. Michael's a self-made multimillionaire. ...

12. About Malankara World

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (July 12)
Sermons for This Sunday (July 12)
This Week's Features

Unpardonable Sin / Unforgivable Sin
Question: "What is the unpardonable sin / unforgivable sin?"

Answer: The case of the "unpardonable sin/unforgivable sin" or "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" is mentioned in Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:22-32. The term "blasphemy" may be generally defined as "defiant irreverence." We would apply the term to such sins as cursing God or willfully degrading things relating to Him. It is also attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good that we should attribute to Him. This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one called "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" in Matthew 12:31. In this passage, the Pharisees, having witnessed irrefutable proof that Jesus was working miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit, claimed instead that He was possessed by the demon Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24). In Mark 3:30, Jesus is very specific about what exactly they did to commit "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit."

This blasphemy then has to do with accusing Jesus Christ (in person, on earth) of being demon-possessed. There are other ways to blaspheme the Holy Spirit (such as lying to Him, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10), but the accusation against Jesus was the blasphemy that was unpardonable. This specific unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be duplicated today.

The only unpardonable sin today is that of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The only condition in which someone would have no forgiveness is if he/she is not among the "whoever" that believes in Him. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). To reject the only means of salvation is to condemn oneself to an eternity in hell because to reject the only pardon is, obviously, unpardonable.

Many people fear they have committed some sin that God cannot or will not forgive, and they feel there is no hope for them, no matter what they do. Satan would like nothing better than to keep us laboring under this misconception. The truth is that if a person has this fear, he/she needs only to come before God, confess that sin, repent of it, and accept God’s promise of forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). This verse assures us that God is ready to forgive any sin - no matter how heinous - if we come to Him in repentance. If you are suffering under a load of guilt today, God is waiting with His arms open in love and compassion for you to come to Him. He will never disappoint or fail to pardon those who do.

Source: gotquestions.org

The Unforgivable Sin
Matthew 12:24-32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come" ( v. 32).

Of all the teachings of Jesus, perhaps none troubles us more than His warning about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. When reading today's passage it is only natural to ask, "What is the unforgivable sin?" and, "Have I committed it?"

Many in church history have identified the unforgivable sin as divorce, adultery, or another grievous sin, or they have said God will not forgive those who do even one evil deed after baptism. That so many options have been suggested illustrates the complexity of Matthew 12:24-32. We must, therefore, humbly approach the topic of the unforgivable sin, aware that we cannot be too cautious when applying today's verses. Let us also note that even heinous sins are forgivable. Christ pardoned Peter for denying Him (John 18:15-27; 21:15-19). David repented and was forgiven for murder and adultery ( 2 Sam. 11:1-12:15a). Paul was made an apostle even though He once persecuted Jesus (Acts 9:1-19).

The meaning of Matthew 12:32 is clearer when we consider the passage in its totality (vv. 22-32 ). Even though they should know better, the Pharisees attribute Jesus' exorcisms to the power of the Devil (v. 24). This is absurd since it is irrational for Satan to cast out his own minions and tear down his own kingdom (vv. 25-26). Moreover, if Jesus exorcises demons by the Devil's power, then the followers of the Pharisees who do the same must also be acting under the Adversary's influence, a deduction these scholars cannot endorse ( v. 27). These teachers inconsistently accuse Jesus of being in Satan's thrall while seeing God at work among their own students. Stubbornly and persistently, the Pharisees are attributing the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ's ministry to the Devil.

Dr. R.C. Sproul says the unforgivable sin is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit by calling Jesus a devil after being enlightened by that same Spirit. According to John Calvin, we commit such sacrilege "only when we knowingly endeavor to extinguish the Spirit." There can be no salvation if the work of the Spirit is knowingly rejected. This act reveals a heart so hard that repentance is impossible (Heb. 3:7-19). Ultimately, as Augustine says, "It is unrepentance that is a blasphemy against the Spirit" (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, 6:325).

Source: INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

by Greg Laurie

I think it is really important for us to better understand the person of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes people think of the Holy Spirit as more of an "It" than a "Him." But according to Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not only God, but He has a will, a personality, and can even be offended!

There are six specific sins that can be committed against the Holy Spirit. Today, allow me to focus on one that can be committed by believers - grieving the Holy Spirit.

One of the places in Scripture where we read about grieving the Holy Spirit is in Ephesians 4:29-32. The apostle Paul writes:

"Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not grieve God's Holy Spirit by the way you live…. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

To grieve means to make sad or sorrowful. It means to cause sorrow, pain, or distress.

But what makes the Holy Spirit sad or sorrowful?

1. Foul and abusive language makes the Holy Spirit sad.

Verse 29 says, "Don't use foul or abusive language." The word used here speaks of something that has gone "rotten." This includes obscene language, profanity, dirty stories, vulgarity, double entendres, etc.

When did it become "cool" for preachers to speak this way from a pulpit? Some people would say this is being "real" or "authentic."

Guess what? You are not to speak this way - privately or publicly. How about being authentically godly instead?

2. Bitterness makes the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.

The definition of bitterness is "an embittered and resentful spirit that refuses to be reconciled."

Some people just like to be mad. They live for conflict, arguing, and fighting. This, as with all sin, only gets worse if left unchecked and unrepented of.

The sad thing is that bitter people rarely want to keep it to themselves. Instead, they spread it around. The Bible speaks of "a root of bitterness defiling many" (see Hebrews 12:15).

I have a better idea: forgive!

3. Fits of rage and uncontrolled anger make the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.

"Rage" speaks of the person who is easily angered and who raises his voice - shouting and screaming. "Slander" is speaking evil of others behind their backs. "Malicious behavior" speaks of ill will and plotting evil against someone.

Look, all of us have been hurt in life, but we have a choice as to how we react. We can be like the moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, demanding our "pound of flesh." We can say, "They did this to me; therefore I will have my vengeance!"

Or we can believe God when He says "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."

It is said that Augustine had a sign on his wall that read, "He who speaks evil of an absent man or woman is not welcome at this table."

Try the acronym T.H.I.N.K. the next time you are not sure whether or not you should say something.

T – Is it Truthful?
H – Is it Helpful?
I – Is it Inspiring?
N – Is it Necessary?
K – Is it Kind?

Instead of speaking evil of someone, we are to "be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another."

"But they don't deserve that!"

True, but neither do you or I - yet God still forgave us.

Paul concludes Ephesians 4:32 by saying, "…just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

Forgiven people should be forgiving people. Otherwise, we are grieving the Spirit.

Source: Today's Topical Bible Study

Sins Against The Holy Ghost

By Joe Henry Hankins, D. D.

Let us take a look at the sins against the Holy Ghost.

I. Lying to the Holy Ghost

The first sin we mention that a Christian can commit is the sin of lying to the Holy Ghost. You will find that in the fifth chapter of the book of Acts, in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. The second great wave of revival was on at Jerusalem. The church had grown to many thousands and some of them had come from afar, had been saved, and remained in Jerusalem. There was a need for food and the physical necessities of life, so many of the members of the church who had property sold it, came and laid the money at the apostles' feet, thereby providing for the need during that time. But there was a couple - no doubt they sat in that meeting, day after day, seeing people who had sold their property come and bring the money into the treasury of the church, and they were conscious that there were members there who knew they had property, and they hadn't sold any of it and hadn't brought anything. People no doubt would look at them, wondering why Ananias and Sapphira hadn't done anything.

They went home from that meeting, and I believe they were sitting alone one night, discussing it. Ananias may have said to Sapphira, "You know, this thing is getting embarrassing to me! Did you notice how the people looked at us today when Barnabas came down and put in his princely gift? He sold everything that he had, and gave himself to the Lord for the ministry, and we sat there and didn't do a thing. What are we going to do about it?"

The Devil said, "Now, listen. Go and sell that piece of land. And you'll get enough for it that you can make a nice gift, and keep enough to take care of yourself, and nobody will ever know the difference. They'll think you did the best you could. They'll think you are giving it all, and you will save your face."

You know, there are many Christians who do a lot to save face and maintain respectability in the church. A lot of people care more about maintaining respectability in the church, and saving face, than they do about pleasing the Lord.

So they sold that piece of property, and kept back part of it, and Sapphira was also privy to it. Then Ananias came down, and he marched in and laid the gift at Peter's feet.

Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? After it was sold, was it not thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3, 4).

And Ananias dropped dead on the spot.

Then, about three hours later, Sapphira came in. You know, I've always wondered how he got off without her in the first place! But I think, from what Peter said, it was part of the plot. No doubt
she thought that if she came in right in the middle of the service, after Ananias had given his princely gift and the people had rejoiced over it and congratulated him, everybody would look around and say, "Here comes Sapphira!"

And you know, I think if they had taffeta silk then, she wore a taffeta silk dress, so that when she came marching down the aisle everybody could hear it, "swish, swish, swish," and she would be the center of attraction.

When she got in there, however, everything was as still as death. She marched down there and Peter said, "Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?"

And she said, "Yea, for so much."

Then Peter said unto her, "How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out" (Acts 5:8, 9).

And down she went - dead.

Did you ever ask yourself why GOD killed those two people? GOD doesn't do anything without a purpose! GOD slew those two people on the spot there to make an example of them. The church had just started out on its mission in the world. In the beginning of its existence, GOD struck two people dead for lying to the Holy Spirit, to teach men from then on what a serious thing it is for people to trifle with GOD.

What was their sin? Trying to put something over on GOD. Pretending to be something that they were not. If GOD struck everyone dead today that did that, there wouldn't be enough left to bury the dead. But what is this sin? It is any kind of sham or mockery or make-believe or hypocrisy in matters of religion or in dealing with GOD.

Lying to the Holy Ghost is:

- living with one foot in the world and one foot in the church;
- running with GOD's crowd on Sunday and with the Devil's crowd six days in the week;
- putting on sheep's clothing on Sunday and going out with the wolves during the week.
- it is the sin of an unconsecrated heart and life.
- it is holding out on GOD, knowing that GOD expects your best, and yet withholding that best, while at the same time pretending to be giving your best.
- it is trifling with GOD, coveting the honor of a full consecration in the sight of others and yet unwilling to pay the price
- it is posing as something that deep down in your heart you know you are not.

GOD struck Ananias and Sapphira dead on the spot, to make an example out of them, to show people what a grievous sin it is for a Christian to live in duplicity, deception and hypocrisy.

II. Grieving the Holy Spirit

The next sin. we mention is the sin of grieving the Holy Spirit. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

You ask how you grieve the Spirit? Look back to the twenty-ninth verse and hear GOD say, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth."

One way that GOD's people grieve the Holy Spirit is by their conversation - unchristian, unbecoming, unholy conversation. Filthy talk! And I have seen multitudes of professing Christians make a regular sewer out of their mouths; they indulge in all sorts of filthy talk, all kinds of suggestive stories - just revel in them. I have even heard them take GOD's name in vain!

It is grieving the Holy Spirit when any kind of unchristian, unchaste, unholy, unbecoming words come out of your mouth.

Then in the thirty-first verse, still on the matter of talk, He mentions "evil speaking" - gossiping, if you please, tale-bearing, slanderous speaking against people. This kind of thing on the part of Christian people grieves the Holy Spirit.

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians, He speaks of foolish talking; "let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting"
(Ephesians 5:3, 4).

I know people think I am cranky and narrow and fanatic. But you listen to me now: I don't think a Christian ought to use any kind of slang - what we call down South "bywords." What are they, anyhow? If you analyze them, nearly every one of them starts with a "G" and sounds like GOD. And when they use two words, the second invariably begins with a "D." What is it? A substitute for outright profanity. I tell you, if you want to have power with GOD, if you want to have the assurance of your salvation (for that is part of the work of the Spirit, and I am going to talk about it a little further in a minute) - if you want to be happy as a Christian and have the fellowship of the Lord and the unction of the Spirit on your life, you cannot be too careful about your speech.

Paul said in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" that everybody who listens to your conversation will be blessed by hearing it. Otherwise you will be grieving the Holy Spirit.

Another way you grieve the Spirit is in the attitudes of your heart. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."

Do you carry anything around in your heart against anybody? Is there anybody in the world to whom, right down in your heart, you would like to see something happen?

I heard a woman not long ago say of another woman, "Oh well, you just wait - she'll get hers, and oh, won't I be glad when she does!" GOD did say, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord," but GOD said to His children, 'You pray for them that persecute you and
despitefully use you, and those that speak evil against you falsely for my sake! Pray for them, and don't you hold anything against them in your heart - any kind of bitterness against anybody.' If you do, you are grieving the Holy Spirit.

Then, not only the attitudes of our hearts, but our attitudes toward Christian people, toward one another, may grieve the Holy Spirit. He said, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another" (Ephesians 4:32).

You know, church members are the worst people on earth about forgiving an erring brother!

If the worst sinner who walks the streets of the town, in all his filth, in all his sin, should walk down the aisle and confess his sins and accept JESUS CHRIST as his Saviour, every member of that congregation would forgive him instantly. But, you take a brother or sister in the church and let the Devil trip one of them up. It may break his heart; he may repent and weep bitterly over it; but the people of that church - a large proportion of them - never will forgive him as long as they live, and take him back to their hearts again. You know I am telling the truth. Oh, the tragedy of it!

"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." For you are grieving the Holy Spirit when you have a wrong attitude toward a Christian brother or sister. Even though he is wrong; even though he sins; even though he has fallen, the Scripture says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness" (Ephesians 6:1). But we don't do it! It grieves the Holy Spirit.

We can grieve the Holy Spirit in the places to which we go, if they are not the right places for a Christian.

Why do I say so? You are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and wherever you go, if you are really saved, the Holy Spirit must go.

Then another way that a child of GOD can grieve the Holy Spirit is in his attitude toward the church.

JESUS CHRIST has so closely identified Himself with His church that anything you do to the church is considered by Him as done personally to Him.

When JESUS met Saul of Tarsus, who was persecuting the church, He did not say, "Saul, why persecutest thou the church?" He said, "Saul! Saul! why persecutest thou me?" Since the church is so dear to JESUS, the Holy Spirit is very jealous of it. And when you mistreat, neglect or bring reproach upon your church, you are grieving the Holy Spirit. JESUS' question to Saul means that exactly as you treat the church, that is the way you are treating JESUS.

Another way one can grieve the Holy Spirit is to defile the temple of the Holy Ghost, your body.

Oh, I tell you, when it dawned on me that now, as a Christian, my body was the temple of the Holy Ghost, my body became a sacred thing to me. Here is what GOD says will happen if you defile the temple of the Holy Ghost: "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (I Corinthians 3:17).

Now, that word "destroy" does not mean that GOD will send a person to Hell for defiling the temple of GOD. It has no relation whatever to going to Hell. But it means that GOD will visit dire consequences upon that person who defilest the temple of the Holy Ghost. What do you think would be defiling the temple of the Holy Ghost? Unclean and unchaste thoughts harbored, of course, would defile. It defiles every stream of your life. Taking liquor into the temple of the Holy Ghost would defile it; taking beer into the temple of the Holy Ghost would defile it. Uncleanness! Unchastity! Impurity of any kind!

What are the results when you grieve the Holy Spirit?

Paul says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance [or self-control]."

When you grieve the Holy Spirit, He cannot bear that fruit in your life. The love, that first love you had for CHRIST, is soon gone. That warm, glowing love that made CHRIST real is gone. The joy of your salvation is gone. The peace - the love, joy and peace - the peace in your heart is gone. The assurance of your salvation is gone. Your faith is gone, and your prayer life is gone when you grieve the Holy Spirit. That is what happens. Your power is gone. It is all gone; everything that is dear to the heart of a Christian is soon gone when you grieve the Holy Spirit.

I have had people say to me, "I would give anything in the world if I could pray with faith." If
you cannot pray with faith, do you know what the trouble is? You are grieving the Holy Spirit, and thereby, you have destroyed your faith.

If you have been praying for somebody to be saved and they have not been, do not blame or accuse GOD. Begin searching your own heart and life. If you have been praying for revival in your church and it has not come, do not put the blame on GOD. Begin searching your own heart. Something is grieving the Holy Spirit. If you are floundering around in doubts, and have lost the joy of your salvation, lost your peace and power, you have grieved the Spirit.

III. Quenching the Spirit

Another sin that a Christian can commit is quenching the Holy Spirit. "Quench not the Spirit" (I Thessalonians 5:19).

The Holy Spirit leads a Christian, will lead you, if you let Him. The Holy Spirit warns you against sin and against the pitfalls of the Devil, if you will let Him. Everyone knows what I am talking about. The Holy Spirit will move upon your heart to reveal to you the will of GOD; move upon your heart to speak to an unsaved person; impress you to do a certain service for the Lord.

You have had that moving of the Spirit, that still small voice whispering into your heart that there is a service you ought to do, some definite testimony you ought to give, a dedication of your life you ought to make, some sin or inconsistency you should give up. That is the Holy Spirit trying to lead you to higher ground for GOD. If you turn a deaf ear, you quench the Spirit, and you will soon get to the place where you are no longer sensitive to His leadership. Then you flounder around, reach out, grope for the will of GOD and you cannot find it. You wonder' what GOD wants you to do. What is the matter? You have quenched the Spirit.

IV. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

There are two sins that are unpardonable. One is blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and I will not dwell on that. That, as JESUS said in Matthew 12:31, 32, is speaking against the Holy Ghost. The person that belittles, or ridicules, or attributes the power of the Holy Spirit to the Devil - that is what these people had done that JESUS said had blasphemed the Holy Ghost - there is never forgiveness for it in this world or the world to come.

V. Resisting and Driving Away the Spirit

"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost"
(Acts 7:51).

Remember that JESUS said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Remember, too, that it is the Holy Spirit that does the drawing.

The Bible does teach that you can resist the Spirit; you can turn away from His drawing, His striving; you can put off your salvation; you can say no until GOD will withdraw His Spirit from you. And then you are just as certain for Hell as if you were already there.

Your time to be saved is when that knocking is at the door; when that tugging, that pulling, that striving of the Spirit is there.

Now listen to John 12:37 and 39: "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him." Hear verses 39 and 40: "Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."

What? When they had a chance to believe; when the Holy Spirit revealed CHRIST to them; when the Holy Spirit called them; when the Holy Spirit knocked at their door; when the Holy Spirit was striving with them, they would not believe on Him, and the time came when they could not believe.

GOD blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts and got them ready for Hell - just as He hardened Pharaoh's heart. What did GOD do about it? Just exactly what He says in II Thessalonians 2:10-12: "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned." Getting them ready for Hell!

"My spirit shall not always strive with man."

When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, if you yield instead of resisting, the victory will be yours.

Source: Sermon preached in Chicago, Illinois on February, 1946

Poem: What Can Wash Away My Sin?
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ‘tis all of grace -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

This is all my hope and peace -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

source: lyricsondemand.com

Health Tip: Moving Past Emotional Trauma

4 Tips to Begin Healing Your Life

'There is Always a Way Through' Emotional Trauma, Says One Who's on the Journey

Neglect. Abuse. Divorce. Addiction. These are just a few of the life experiences that can leave children emotionally bruised or worse, causing some to develop dysfunctional outlooks and behaviors that condemn them to perpetual self-victimization as adults.

"We not only perpetuate, but also protect the obstacles that stand in the way of our healing and happiness," says Marta Maranda. "But there is always a way through, no matter what your situation."

The author of "What It Looks Like," (http://martamaranda.com/), a new memoir detailing her own journey of healing, Maranda says she continued to use the defense mechanisms she developed in response to childhood trauma far into adulthood, which only served to block healthy emotional growth.

"As an adult decades after the initial abuse, I was still surrounding myself with similar trauma, and still reacting in the same ways to the trauma, even though those childhood survival tools no longer served me. Basically, the only one keeping me stuck in a dysfunctional and unfulfilling life was me."

Maranda says she didn't realize she played a part in her own dysfunction until the treatment of a family member for substance abuse caused her to think differently.

"I don't drink, use drugs, or have a sexual dysfunction. I've never even had a cup of coffee in my life," she says. "So it was easy to look at everyone else as the cause of my problems.

"But during family therapy sessions, I finally realized that there are two dysfunctional people in an unhealthy relationship, and there is an entire dysfunctional family in an unhealthy family system."

Maranda became a rarity: sober and voluntarily, she admitted herself into a five-week residential treatment center. That's where her healing began.

"But I'm not done," she says. "Healing involves tearing down all those dysfunctional coping mechanisms - fear, anger, denial, justification - and rebuilding your life piece by piece. I still have to do the work every day."

She offers these tips for others whose past trauma has resulted in self-destructive thought and behavior patterns, such as a willingness to remain in unhealthy relationships or an over-reliance on comforts like food, drugs, or alcohol to soothe painful emotions.

• Look inward for reasons, not outward for blame.

It's easy to find other people or situations to blame for your problems. Even if the initial trauma was inflicted when you were at your most vulnerable, and by someone you should have been able to trust, at some point you have to take responsibility for your own life. "How are you contributing to the dysfunction in your life?" Maranda asks. "The decision to remain stuck in a dysfunctional life is yours. The responsibility to move forward toward healing and happiness is also yours."

• If you've done it, admit it.

Look fearlessly at the wrong you've done, at the pain you've inflicted on yourself and others through your own dysfunctional behavior, and admit it. "Only by owning it can you change it," Maranda says. "And only through change can you heal." Likewise, look kindly and with humility at the good you've done. Own all that is valuable about you, and build upon it.

• Information, not shame.

The lessons of healing always come with a choice: information or shame? If you are doing your healing work properly - meaning completely breaking down every defense mechanism you've built to keep yourself blind to your own dysfunctional behavior - the realizations that you've caused others harm, pain, or even extreme damage will come. But eventually you have to choose between continuing to feel shamed, which leads to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, or accepting the realizations as the information necessary to repair your life. "Much like a doctor needs to objectively understand what's broken to diagnose a problem, so do you need to look objectively at your dysfunction and its consequences to heal it," Maranda says. "Then use your healthy guilt feelings, not shame, as a reminder of what you can't do again."

• Build a support system.

No one's said it better than Einstein: You can't fix a problem with the same broken mind that created it. Left to their own devices, many people who are convinced they need to change will still seek out environments that support their dysfunctions rather than strengthen their healing. "Change is hard, and healing isn't always comfortable," Maranda says. "That's why people often find their way back to what they know, even if what they know is destructive or deadly." Building a support system of people - whether family or friends, or from a therapeutic or spiritual community - whose perspectives get you out of your comfort zone and away from the dysfunction you know is essential for healing.

About The Author:

Marta Maranda is a writer, businesswoman, and author of "What It Looks Like," (http://martamaranda.com/). She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and undertook a year of post-graduate study in psychology. She is currently working on her second book.

Recipe: Four Healthy Recipe Substitutions For Summer

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Turn Temptation into Victory with These Four Healthy Recipe Substitutions.

We all love the taste of typical Summer dishes, but we're not so fond of the calories they contain. Here, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss expert Warren Honeycutt shares four healthy recipes to prepare instead - and no, you won't have to sacrifice flavor.

If you're hosting a summer party, you're probably planning a gut-busting (and waistline-expanding) menu featuring classics like hamburgers and hotdogs, barbeque, baked beans, chips, and soda. (And don't forget the dessert table!) Sure, you and your guests will love pigging out on these tried-and-true favorites, but you're painfully aware that no one will enjoy the extra pounds that might result from this calorie-laden spread - especially at the beginning of swimsuit season.

"If you want to host a great party without all of the calories, think substitutions," says Honeycutt, author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss (Get Honeycutt, Inc., 2014, ISBN: 978-1-5008011-7-5, $19.95, www.getlean.guru). "And don't worry; today's healthy substitutions are the opposite of tasteless and forgettable. Your guests will thank you for serving such nutritious fare even as they're asking you for the recipes."

A respected expert in weight loss, fitness, and nutrition, Honeycutt knows what he's talking about. He is a championship bodybuilder who has been a Southern Classic Physique Champion, two-time Mr. Tennessee, and six-time Mr. America finalist. Now, at age 62, he enjoys perfect health without any prescription medications. Honeycutt offers personalized fitness training through his comprehensive Get Lean program, which features detailed fitness videos for exercising at the gym, at home, at the office, and while traveling; personalized meal plans; motivational material; and more.

Here, Honeycutt shares four recipes for this Summer Season. "A single-serving plate featuring each of these dishes (which includes two desserts) comes to around 395 calories," he points out. "Compare that to 1,200 calories for a traditional Summer menu - and that's a conservative estimate!"

Lemon Chicken Kebab

(156 calories; 16 grams of complete protein per serving)

Ingredients:

16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, uncooked, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt, table
1/4 tsp ground pepper, black
1 medium green bell pepper, raw, chopped in 1-inch pieces
3 medium onions, raw, chopped in 1-inch pieces

Directions:

Combine oil, lemon, cinnamon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss chicken cubes in marinade. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Thread skewers with chicken, onions, and green peppers. Grill or broil until golden; do not overcook. Serve with pita bread.

Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

(56 calories per serving)

Ingredients:

2 cups (8 fl oz) nonfat plain yogurt
2 cucumbers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp whole pepper, black
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Small amount of olive oil for drizzling (1 Tbs has 119 calories.)

Directions:

Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1/4 inch slices. Add garlic to salt to make a paste. Stir yogurt into the paste. Add pepper, mint, and cilantro. Toss to mix. Drizzle with olive oil.

Calorie-Cheating Cheesecake, Your Way

(Total calories: 700 [600 without yogurt topping]; 100 grams of protein)

Cheesecake Ingredients:

16 oz nonfat cottage cheese
(measure out 2 cups with measuring cup if not purchased in 16 oz container)
3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
3 cups Splenda pourable (or Stevia, per your taste preference)
4 oz fat-free cream cheese
3 tsp vanilla extract

Cheesecake Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 deg C). Spray 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan with vegetable spray.

Cut cream cheese into small cubes. Combine with cottage cheese, egg substitute, Splenda, and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake about 60 minutes (or until edges are slightly brown and contents set).

Prepare yogurt topping. Spread on top, then place on a plate (topping will drip) and refrigerate. When chilled, unclip side of pan and remove. Keep refrigerated.

Yogurt Topping:

2/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2/3 cup Splenda (or Stevia, per your taste preference)

Stir together and spread on top of cheesecake.

Variations:

For chocolate cheesecake, add 1/3 cup cocoa and only 1 tsp of vanilla.

For coconut cheesecake, add 6 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut.

Top with about 5 Tbsp of your favorite Smucker's Simply Fruit or Polaner All Fruit flavor, or fresh strawberries.

(Note: Cocoa adds 80 calories so add or deduct as needed. Vanilla is 12 calories per teaspoon.)

Cranberry Sorbet

(45 calories per serving [about 4 oz])

Serves 8

Ingredients:

3 cups low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail, divided
1 cup nonfat canned evaporated milk, cold
1 3-oz sugar-free low-calorie strawberry gelatin dessert packet

Directions:

Bring 1 1/2 cups of the cranberry juice to boil in saucepan. In large bowl, combine with gelatin. Stir 2 minutes or until dissolved. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups juice and milk. Pour into 13 x 9-inch pan. Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until frozen 1 inch from edges. Spoon into food processor container; cover. Process until smooth. Pour into bowl; cover. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Scoop into dessert dishes.

"When you consider that a pork barbeque sandwich is around 600 calories, and apple pie ŕ la mode is 450, you can see what a huge difference substitutions can make when you're trying to stay healthy," Honeycutt concludes. "And remember you always have the freedom to choose. Selecting substitutions can turn temptations into victories."

About Warren Honeycutt:

Warren Honeycutt is the author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss. An expert in weight loss, fitness, and nutrition, he is a championship bodybuilder who has been a Southern Classic Physique Champion, two-time Mr. Tennessee, and six-time Mr. America finalist. Now, at age 62, he enjoys perfect health without any prescription medications and a physique that is the envy of most 25-year-olds.

A popular speaker on fitness and nutrition topics, Honeycutt's expertise has been featured by NBC, CBS, ABC, LifeExtension, A Second Look at Sports, LiveStrong, Live Relentless, and more.

Family Special: Five Screen-Free Summer Activities to Get Kids Moving

by Arlene Pellicane

Have you ever had a conversation with a child that goes something like this:

"What did you do this summer?"
"Play video games and watch TV."

That answer isn't that unusual anymore. As digital devices become the activity of choice for many children, summertime may not equal swimming or riding bikes. The outdoors is being swapped for the indoors. Screen time is enjoyed instead of make-believe play time.

If you want to raise a social child who likes being with people, a summer on screens doesn't sound like much fun. Here are five screen free activities to engage your family and make memories together:

Outdoor Magic Toy Box.

Take a plastic bin or cardboard box and fill it with toys your child hasn't played with for a while. Present the bin with great fanfare. Bring it outside and challenge the kids to do something creative with the contents (anything!). Go back outside in an hour and see what your kids have done. You can do this weekly or daily, putting different objects in the box each time. You can also challenge your kids to create a play using the objects in the box. Then you can video tape the show!

Water Fun.

Send your kids outside with squirt guns for tag, or let them have the hose to douse each other for five minutes. You can also take an ice cube tray and put small objects in each cube (toys, beans, bouncy balls). Add water and freeze. Then give your children a cube to melt in their hands until the treasure emerges. You can do it with coins for a real treasure hunt (melt).

Create a Play Library.

Choose a room in the house to make your library or clear off the dining room table. Have your kids gather several books from home and/or library books. They can sort the books alphabetically by author or by category (adventure, biographies, board books, etc.). Have them create library cards for everyone in the family. When the play library is ready, parents can check books out and read them to the kids. The kids can make posters about the books or write reviews that can be posted on the walls of your home library. You can advertise a special book night such as "Book reading of Charlotte's Web at 7 pm on Tuesday" and you can be the reader (or one of your children).

Plant a Summer Vegetable Garden.

If you've got a patch of dirt your kids can take over, let them! My kids love going to grandma's house and poking around in the dirt, wearing their garden gloves and digging little holes. Vegetables like tomatoes, bush beans, okra, and peppers can be planted in the summertime. These veggies need longer periods of sunlight to thrive (just like your kids).

Serve Another Family.

Maybe you know a foster family who could use some help. You can offer to take their kids to the park with yours for two hours. Or have them over for dinner and here's the twist: have your older kids make the dinner. Make homemade cards and deliver cookies to families who are going through a hard time. Maybe there's a child you know who doesn't have a parent who can teach him/her how to ride a bike. Your family could teach that child how to ride and then have an ice cream party to celebrate success.

Don't let your summertime get eaten up by screen time and video games. The goal isn't just to keep your kids occupied during hours of free time. You want them to learn how to entertain themselves without screens, to serve other people, to grow emotionally and yes, even intellectually (get those summer reading lists going). Here's to fewer screens (and more sunscreen) as you ditch the video game console and head outside for a great summer.

About The Author:

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 'Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World' and '31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife'. She has been a guest on the Today Show, Family Life Today, The 700 Club and Turning Point with David Jeremiah. Visit Arlene's website at www.ArlenePellicane.com. ...

Source: Christianity.com Daily Update

Self Improvement: How to Be Dramatically More Productive, Successful, and Wealthy

By Steve Sjuggerud | Timeless Wealth Ideas

Not long ago, I was out to dinner with a couple of the most successful guys I know – and they were giving me a hard time.

They were ribbing me about what Stansberry & Associates founder Porter Stansberry calls the "Sjuggerud Advantage."

Hey, I can take it... The Sjuggerud Advantage, as I'll explain, is a major secret to my life's success.

The nice part is anyone can do it... The Sjuggerud Advantage requires no special skills. Let me tell the story...

We were at the Prime 112 restaurant in South Beach, Miami. It's a hip restaurant, no doubt. As we were leaving, rap star Rick Ross was headed in, stepping out of his Rolls Royce.

Dinner was great... But my definition of a great dinner is "good times with good friends." I don't need a fancy bottle of wine or an unpronounceable delicacy to enjoy a meal.

Around 9:45 p.m., I started checking my watch... And Porter and the other guys at dinner teased me a bit...

You see, I don't drink. I don't normally go out for fancy, three-hour meals. And most importantly, I go to bed early and get up early.

Porter was giving me a hard time about missing out on some of life's finer things. But I know these are parts of what Porter calls "the Sjuggerud Advantage."

I've heard Porter tell others: "You don't see the benefits of the Sjuggerud Advantage across a day or two. But over time, it adds up. The guy gets a lot done."

It might sound silly. But I think the most important part of the Sjuggerud Advantage is simply getting out of bed... but doing it an hour earlier than anyone else...

"Getting to work early is such a common virtue of successful people that I'm tempted to call it the single most important thing you can do to change your life," my friend Michael Masterson wrote in his book Automatic Wealth. Michael's a self-made multimillionaire.

And I agree with him...

I get more done in the first two hours of my morning than I do in any other four-hour stretch during the day. More importantly, I get my BEST work done then – with no interruptions and no distractions, just focus.

I probably take it too far... I've come to like driving the streets when they're empty, before the sun has come up. I think it's partly because I know I'm going to get A LOT done.

And I've found that once it gets past 10:00 or 10:30 at night, I'm not very productive at all. I'm tired, I'm sidetracked thinking about the day's problems, and I'm better off calling it a day and starting up fresh in the morning.

While Porter would likely tell you there's more to it, I think simply getting up early is the big secret of the Sjuggerud Advantage. It's the big secret to getting a lot done.

It requires no special skills to get up a half-hour or an hour earlier than you usually do. And most of the extremely successful people I know get their days started very early. It's a simple thing, but it could have a dramatic effect over time.

As Porter said, you might not see the benefits after a day or two... but they add up. You get a lot more done early in the morning... And ultimately, you become more successful than the next guy.

It costs you nothing, and it could make you dramatically more productive, successful, and wealthy.

It's certainly worked for me. I think it's the biggest part of the Sjuggerud Advantage.

It's so simple. But most people don't do it. Based on what I've described, though, isn't it at least worth giving it a shot?

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