My Chains Are Gone
My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of people; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth - J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Do You Harbour Any UNCHRISTIAN CHARACTERISTICS? (a somewhat revised article from letgodbetrue.com)

Dear Reader:

I recommend you read below. It’s the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Most of it isn’t achievable by humans IF our Faith is merely Academic Religion or Cultural Group Pressure or Gain By Association. There are many reasons why a soul is born into or chooses at some point to live in a culture, a religious culture, to believe in a religion (set of doctrines, rules, traditions), but, none of our earthly life and decisions helps us to be delivered of the sin of rebellion against our Creator that is slowly sickening us, killing us, to death. We can try to modify our behavior – independently or with a counselor’s guidance – but, behavior modification isn’t deliverance, isn’t transformation. It’s just that, if we modify our behavior for the better, we can be more successful and happier, Yet, really, modifying our behavior, learning new ‘tricks’ to be successful in life, is no different than how palliative care makes our bodies feel better while we’re dying. What we need to grow and bear spiritual fruit, is to want the Truth more than anything else! More than worldly ambitions, more than indulgences of the flesh, more than a particular lifestyle or, even, life itself. If we want something more than Jesus, we won’t find Jesus.

When you become a Lover of Truth, even if others view you as pathetic, naive, old fashioned, stupid, holier than thou, judgmental, unloving and so forth, believe me….Jesus pays attention! He’s always looking for His Disciples and, if you make Him and His Truths a priority, He’ll make you a priority. Even if you don’t yet know even His name.

Salvation isn’t about what we do or don’t do, but, what we do or don’t do is a clue to our status in God’s Kingdom. We can be the least in the Kingdom and still be saved from God’s wrath to come upon the truly rebellious, but, let’s face it, who wants to get away with ‘stuff’ in our brief lifetime of approx 100 years, to then enter the Kingdom and find we have to pay the consequences for the full 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ? Or, when we awake on Judgment Day, we’re told we’re ‘goats’, not sheep!

Please, as was once sung in a song, “Freedom means nothing left to lose”, if you lose all expectations of being loved (by humans), of being treated respectfully, of being helped, of being thought well of, or of being wealthy and successful…if you give up all earthly expectations, all earthly desires, all sinful desires, and lay them at the foot of the Cross, you’ll hear from Jesus Christ. Whether or not you get all those things is then up to Him – are you prepared for Him being your Master? If not, don’t say you follow Jesus because it’s not true. You might believe He is real, but, it’s obvious you don’t follow Him.

left">Lastly, from the same time, a singer once sang, “Ya gotta serve someone. It might be the devil or it might be the Lord, but, ya gotta serve someone”. Please choose wisely!

May you be blessed for reading further and trying to find Truth.

SECRET spirit of PRIDE or an exalted feeling of yourself in view of your success or position. Do you take pride in your training, appearance, or natural gifts and abilities? Do you entertaining a self-reliant or independent spirit? Do you think your achievements are your’s only, not God’s?

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. James 4:6-8 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.

DESIRE TO BE NOTICED/ +Do you love human praise; a secret fondness for supremacy over others; drawing attention to self in conversation, appearance, or conduct; having a swelling of ego-self when you have a special open door to public speaking or praying?

John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that comes from God only? John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

TOUCHY AND SENSITIVE? Do you notice stirrings of anger or impatience at others, which you piously call “righteous indignation”; a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of, corrected, or contradicted; perhaps a desire to throw sharp, heated remarks at another; maybe have a defensive, vindictive, spiteful responset?

Psalms 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry: for anger rests in the bosom of fools. Luke 21:19 In your patience possess you your souls. James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience

STUBBORN AND UNTEACHABLE? Self-willed; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; refusing to or grudgingly admit wrong thinking, speaking or doing; a driven commanding spirit; a disposition to demean or pick flaws at others when you are set aside or go unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?

Deuteronomy 1:43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill. Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, says the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

UNDUE COMPROMISE WITH THE WORLD? Carnal fear; a man-fearing spirit; fear of losing worldly, carnal things; a secret fear of speaking for or being associated with Christ and His word; a shrinking from reproach or duty; a shrinking from doing your whole duty to those of wealth and position or, conversely, to those poor and needy; a fearfulness that you or someone else might offend and drive some prominent person away?

1 Samuel 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

A JEALOUS DISPOSITION; a secret envy in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the prosperity and success of others; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings rather that the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself?

Genesis 26:12-16 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. 1 Samuel 18:8-9 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Matthew 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased Romans 12:9-10 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

FALSE HUMILITY? A dishonest and deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your faults; wanting to leave a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; exaggeration, straining the truth; blaming others when you alone are to blame.

Psalms 15:2-3 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? Acts 5:2-3 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But 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? 1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

UNBELIEF (not trusting God); a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to WORRY AND COMPLAIN in the midst of pain, poverty or at the dispensations of divine Providence; an overanxious feeling as to whether everything shall come out right?

Isaiah 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. Luke 12:28-30 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

LACK OF ZEAL? Formality and deadness; lack of compassion and concern for lost souls, especially those you don’t find favourable; dryness and indifference; little or no desire to learn about God or to really get to know Him.

Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

VALUE YOURSELF ABOVE OTHERS? Selfish; do you love ease, money, your own time; have a secret desire for worldly things and ways?

Luke 12:19-21 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 1 Timothy 6:10-11 For the love (not use) of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Amos 6:1-6 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

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