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Stop before you deal with regret later - Jeremiah 17:9-10



Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is the most deceitful thing there is and desperately wicked. No one can really know how bad it is! Only the Lord knows! 
He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so he can give to each person his right reward, according to his deeds—how he has lived. 

Andy Stanley's sermon on how we want to tell our life story got me to thinking about regrets. 

Definition of regret:
1.to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.):

2.to think of with a sense of loss:

Death bed regrets are terribly sad. Regret is an unnecessary and sad burden to carry, but I know so many people who would change things they did or didn't do. 

Regrets are irreversible - we can't undo the things we regret, so I write this note as a prevention message for young people. 

Stanley suggests asking yourself key questions, including "Am I being honest with myself, really?" before you do something that you might later regret. 

Most of us make decisions in the heat of stress, conflict or passion. And then we cover up our failures to the point of convincing ourselves that it's OK to marry him/her, to buy that expensive car/home/gadget, to drink that liquor, to eat that cake, to inhale that substance, to view questionable stuff and on and on. 

Our hearts are wicked, they are. No one is exempt. Those who know Jesus easily stray from making good decisions.

You've done it. I've done it. 

And, our minds spin wild stories to protect us from the truth. 

Many people live lies that they believe. Those lies take on life and can ruin families for generations. 

My journey to wholeness with God requires being real with myself and with God. It is a hard journey, but it has brought me healing. 

God uses our pain to power our ministries, but I'd prefer not having regrets. 

I encourage you to think hard before making decisions. You don't want to lie about your history, and you don't want to be a fake or a fraud. 

If you have a chance to leave a decent legacy, be honest with yourself. You are the author of the story of your life. 

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Scriptures for life

Compiled December 2011
These are a few of my favorite Scriptures. I cannot live my life without God and his word. I keep a 3x5 wire bound note diary of verses that pop off the pages of my Bibles. This helps me in case I need to comfort someone with a specific verse. Start your own collection!


Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for the LORD, and let your heart be courag…

Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
Ouch. It hurts. I reveal this because I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul, but the sinner in me wins. It's the same struggle the A…