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Excess Baggage

I can*t move very fast when I am carrying a suitcase full of my own sins in one hand and a suitcase full of other people*s sins against me in the other. Even if I just carry one of those suitcases I*ll walk with a limp. If you see Christians moving slowly spiritually or if, God forbid, you are the one moving slowly these could be the problems. If you see Christians limping badly in their walk with the Lord, this could be the reason. These issues can slow a Christian to a crawl or stop them completely. Some Christians seem not to get anywhere for the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-2: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Psalms 55:22: Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5:7: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I believe all your care means both suitcases.

Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Luke 9:23: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Galatians 6:2: Bear ye one another*s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Jesus* yoke, my cross and bearing the burdens of others will not slow me down. Those burdens are not sins. If I carry those things, Jesus will be carrying at least half the load and often all of it. In fact, He carries me. I remember a wonderful message by Pastor Dan Lupton on The Buoyancy of the Cross. There is buoyancy in Jesus* yoke and bearing of the burdens of others too. Those things speed us up spiritually.

So how do we get rid of the suitcases full of sins?

Colossians 2:13-14: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 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;

When our sins are nailed to His cross (forgiven) we don*t need to carry them around in a suitcase any more. When we carry a suitcase full of other people*s sins against us we are sinning a brand new sin.

Matthew 6:12-15: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The only values in remembering sins that I have confessed and forsaken are to learn not to repeat the offenses and to remember how much I have been forgiven. The only values in remembering the sins of others against me are to pray for them and learn what God wants me to learn. We do not hurt those who have sinned against us by resenting them, we only hurt ourselves. It can be extremely helpful to remember that my offenses against God are far worse than the offenses of others against me.

We can lighten our loads a whole lot by confessing and forsaking our sins and by forgiving and praying for those who have sinned against us.

Care to discuss Excess Baggage with Ron?

He'd also like to hear your prayer requests