Forgiveness isn’t an option

“The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.” Numbers 14:18

God is slow to anger and can forgive any sin.  That comment in itself is miraculous, actually.  God is perfectly holy and so cannot be in the presence of any sin.  He despises everything to do with it.  Why God is not continually angry is beyond my comprehension.  How can a holy, perfect God completely forgive every kind of sin?  That’s a huge question and the answer is a role model for us…. love and forgiveness.

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.” 1 John 2:12

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9

“Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.””  Acts 10:43

For us, forgiveness can be extremely difficult, especially when intense pain has been caused by the transgression.  It is so hard for us to forgive and forget.  Even though we may try on our own to forgive, those hurtful thoughts keep creeping up in our minds, reliving the pain of the transgression.  Our minds ask many questions, “How can I forgive them?  How can I forget this?  How can I treat them the same now?  Will they do it again?  How can I trust them now? How can I love someone when they’ve hurt me?”

“And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’forgive him.”  Luke 17:4

When we read this verse, we cringe.  How can we forgive someone for the same offense, even if the same offense is done seven times a day?  It seems impossible an unreasonable to think we could do such a thing.  But, we need to understand something…. We are all in the same boat.

Part of our issue is our ignorance, our ignorance at what sin is and what its consequences are… For both, the answer is the same, “pain.”   We have been blinded by the deception of it.  We all cause pain.  Jesus understood this and asked for our forgiveness in spite of our ignorance.  Hurting people, hurt people.

“But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”…”  Luke 23:34

Once we learn the forgiveness that is offered to us through the Son, Jesus Christ, God asks us to extend that same forgiveness to others, remembering our previous ignorance.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:12:14

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Forgiving is a serious, intentional action to God.  He wants us to realize the importance of what He has done for us, and so He ups the ante and not only asks us to forgive, but He tells us that if we do not forgive, as He has, that He will then not forgive us..

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”  Matthew 11:24-26

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”  Matthew 4:14-15

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’  In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”  Matthew 18:32-35 [Parable of the wicked servant who did not forgive]

Take forgiveness serious.  It is not something you can do fully on your own, but by bringing the transgressions of others, and of yourself, to the thrown of Jesus Christ in prayer, all good things will be granted to us.  God will help you to forgive others and forgive yourself, so that you can be released from the ignorance and pain of sin.

God made each and every one of us in His image. So, these are qualities that we should strive for in ourselves.

Who do you need to forgive this week?  If you are harboring unforgiveness and anger, you are giving the devil some control of your life.

““In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”  Ephesians 4:26-27

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”  Proverbs 19:11

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I am with you!

“Fear not … I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

In my quiet time I was led to this passage and felt some of you needed to hear this. Maybe this is where you are at this moment where your heavy heart-burdens cry so loudly that you are struggling to hear the voice of Peace and to remember the unsearchable, inescapable presence of God. Where your prayers seem to go unanswered and your broken situations seem unfixable … and painful. Oh, so painful! We all know know this ache in our heart. We can’t get through this life without knowing ache. The Bible says that not a tear falls from our eyes that isn’t known to God. (Psalm 56:8)          

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Let me encourage you like I do myself that He knows all about your heart-burdens. Hear His whisper from His Word … from His heart, “I will never leave you or forsake you.) Deuteronomy 31:6) I know your name and have engraved it on the palm of my hand. (Isaiah 49:16) My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9) and I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. I’m right here.” (John 16:33)

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Return to the LORD your God, for He is Merciful and Compassionate!

One of the most amazing things about our God is that He is so gracious and compassionate. This is true even when we’ve “blown it big time.” In fact, when we sin, He longs to forgive and cleanse, not condemn and punish. His grace rushes to greet our genuine heartbreak and heart-change with forgiveness, cleansing, and redemption.

“…return to the Lord your God for he is merciful and compassionate, so to get angry and filled unfailing love.” Joel 2:13

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We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all made wrong choices; but as believers in Jesus Christ, that doesn’t change our heritage. God doesn’t kick us out of the kingdom because we’re not perfect. Maybe you don’t feel like you deserve God’s goodness, or you think you’re supposed to suffer through life and just endure that problem. But friends, this is what mercy is all about. His mercy will renew and restore you if you receive it by faith today.

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No matter what you may have done wrong, you are still the apple of God’s eye. You are still His most prized possession. You can still activate God’s promises by faith today. Why don’t you shake off the guilt and condemnation? Put your shoulders back and say, “I refuse to live below my privileges. I may not be perfect, but I am forgiven. I may have made mistakes, but God knows my heart is to please Him, and I am changing my ways. Even though I may have brought this trouble on myself, I’m going to stay in faith and expect God to turn it around.”

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Dear Lord, when we sin, please help us see our sins as you do. Help our heart break over our sin when we’ve rebelled against you. We don’t want to ever become callused or cold to your grace. We want to always appreciate the great cost you paid to redeem, to forgive, and to cleanse us with you grace. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen and Amen.

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Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. Love you.

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Be Strong

Be alert, stay sober minded, be strong in the Lord, stand firm and stand out. You are a child of the Most High God! The devil knows his fate is already sealed so no matter what what God has ordained, the devil can’t stop God’s plan! But the devil is relentless. He doesn’t stop attacking. So know that it’s the devil way to use tools like discouragement, fear, doubt, guilt, shame, pride, etc. Now you that recognize his tools know that his attempts can’t stop you!  Anything negative we must be very aware of and where comes from… satan. Ask God to give you the ability to see clearly (discernment ) that it’s the enemy. He will! Just keep this in mind when stress, frustration, and irritations come our way…. the enemy distracts us and gets our minds busy,  but if we recognize that, then that’s half the battle. The devil brings chaos and confusion,  God brings peace.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”

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Obedience through Suffering!

Good day everyone!  I was led to this message for everyone to reflect we celebrate Jesus suffering for us as He went to the cross for our sins. As we read in these passages Jesus continued to move forward into even greater suffering (the tangible experience on the cross).  He continued to move forward as God led him.  In Hebrews it goes on to tell us that though he was a son, he learned obedience through that suffering. The outcome was eternal salvation being made available to the world. I hope and pray this ministers to your heart when you are going through some type of suffering.

Jesus did cry out to God.  He asked God to remove the cup he would soon drink from (Matthew 26:38-42; Mark 14:36).  Jesus was troubled and hurt, knowing what was coming (John 12:27-28). 

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I don’t think we get it…and we don’t really want to accept the reality of it, but I will. Suffering is inevitable, no matter how trivial or serious it may be. The crazy thing is that even through Christ’s example we can see that while our tears and prayers are heard by God, He doesn’t always take the suffering away. Maybe He does, BUT maybe we cry out and pray and cry out and we are lead into greater depths of suffering, it can happen…it happened to Christ. The part that we don’t always see (especially when our focus in these moments is almost always on ourselves and the greatness of our hurt/suffering) is that there is purpose in that suffering. Again we don’t get it, but often times we can’t see the reason for anything until time has passed (hindsight is 20/20) and we are able to look back on a bigger picture of our lives.

Sometimes we just don’t understand it.  But I know that regardless of what I or you or anyone around us is going through…God is a few words away…Sometimes He’s even closer than that (Romans 8:26).  We will all walk through life experiencing a suffering of some kind. The question to ask is not when or why, but rather ask yourself how will you respond?  Hopefully we will all continue to move forward, knowing and trusting that God is with us, no matter how hard it gets.  Hopefully our response is not anger and bitterness because of what we face.  Rather that our response would be to look upon the example of Christ, continuing to move obediently and prayerfully through the hard times…praising God the day/moment/year we realize just how incredible and purposeful He was in allowing us to hurt and suffer in the way we are today.   

Maybe one thing to remember is trusting that God is who He says He is and that while it may hurt…God will only work to bring us closer to Him and closer to being the people He created us to be…a people bearing and reflecting His image.

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LIVING MEANS LETTING GO

Are you living your life to the fullest? Today, so many people have lost that enthusiasm they were once excited about., their future, their dream, all because somewhere along the way, they hit some road blocks. Things didn’t work out and so they quit.They lost their purpose. Don’t let that be you! You are unique, gifted, talented and capable of doing great things in your life. This blog, I pray, will challenge your thoughts and motivate you, inspire you and help you rise up and move on in Life. Sometimes we MUST Let go and let God handle it all!

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Let go, Let God ( A Poem)

As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I bought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him at peace to work alone,
I hung around, and tried to help
with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How can you be so slow?”
“My child, “He said, ” what could I do? You never did let go.”

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After thought: Faith is handing something to God and taking my hands off it.

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“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life!”

Good day everyone! I was led to this message for everyone to reflect on and wanted to share in hopes it encourages someone.

Sometimes it just feels like our lives our falling apart. The world seems to come crashing down on us, and we just can’t see anything good. In times like this we need to ask the Lord to help us. To help me to see how He bring good things from bad situations and to see the goodness that is following us. And know that He is always with us and we can trust that He can use all things for good and to help us to be able to see the good He is doing. Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. Love you.

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“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6

Maybe you been going through some really rough times. If so I pray that you open God’s Word during times like these. The above verse should really speak to me today. David wrote that goodness and love would FOLLOW us, not lead us. While we go through things that are unpleasant, or seem to be devastating, we can trust that God’s goodness and love are following us. He is with us, and He can use ALL things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

While you might be going through a tough time, know that it won’t last forever. You can take heart knowing that while in this world we have troubles, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). Know that God loves you no matter what. While life isn’t always a bed of roses, we trust that something good comes out of every situation. Thus, goodness follows us.

It’s sometimes easier to focus on the situation at hand, the devastating news, or the unpleasant circumstances, but when we look forward to see what God can do through the situation, everything becomes more tolerable. When I look back on my walk with the Lord I realize that some of the worst times during my life brought about the best things in my life now. Goodness has always followed me, even when in the worst of times. My guess is that the same is true for you. You just might not realize it yet.

Are you focusing on the unpleasant situation you are in, or are you looking forward to see how God might be using this for good?

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