Forgive

The story is told of a man that had been feeling very sick. He finally went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with him. The doctor put him through a lot of tests and found the source of his illness. The doctor said, “I am afraid I have bad news for you. You have rabies. It is in the advanced stage and you do not have long to live.”

The man bowed his head and asked for a pen and paper. The doctor asked if he was writing out his last will and testament. The man replied, “No. I am making a list of people I want to bite before I die.” 

Image result for unforgiveness

One of the major themes of the Bible is forgiveness; whether God forgives us or we forgive others. We are living in an age where it seems that everyone is overly sensitive and feel they have been wronged, offended, or cheated. As a result, they internalize the pain and refuse to forgive that person. 

Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to obey God and forgive. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not ever change, but that doesn’t negate God’s desire that we possess a forgiving spirit (Matthew 5:44).  If you do not forgive others, God cannot forgive you! Matthew 6:14-15

Someone once said that refusing to someone is like you drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. 

Advertisements

Prayer Is Surrender

Now, this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside of the will of God. God will only answer the request He inspires. You see, prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God. It’s cooperation with His will.

Without Holiness


The Bible teaches us that without sanctification, or holiness, no one will see the Lord. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” What does this mean for us?
Does it mean, “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t cuss, I don’t chew, and I don’t associate with those who do”? This is spoken tongue-in-cheek, of course, but in reality, in many circles, one can pass for being a Christian, or at least a very devout person, simply by the absence of obvious vices or faults. Is that what holiness is all about?
It is true that our path to holiness starts by ridding ourselves of evil deeds and influences, but that is just a start. From an eternal perspective, the reason we flee immorality and the deeds of the flesh is those things keep us from pursuing God. In the end, holiness is more about who we pursue than what we leave behind.

Don’t Just Listen

I think we all have, from time to time, left a worship a service where a sermon was preached and said something along the line, “I did not get anything from that message.” That got me to thinking, why didn’t we? I am sure there are many reasons but allow me to share just two.

Image result for hearing from god

1. I once heard a preacher say he believed that God has something for everyone attending that service. That”something” may be different for each person. It may be just one verse that was read. It could be just one sentence or word that was spoken. If we believe God is Sovereign, and He is, everything is under His control including what transpires in that service. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Ps 37:23 NLV 

2. I think that we are so preoccupied with other things that when we come to church we have little [if any] expectations that God will speak to us. Matthew 11:15 says, “Let anyone who has ears listen” It is like when we are having a serious “talk” with your son and you can tell he is hearing the words but he isn’t really listening and you say, “Do you understand what I am saying? The goal of the “talk” isn’t just hearing words spoken but the goal is a change in behavior.

So, the next time you come to church, come with the expectation that God has something to communicate with you personally. Don’t just listen; hear!

Sweet Revenge

taken-3-leadThe revenge flick, Taken 3, raked in an estimated $40.4 million its first week. Apparently, a lot of people simply wanted to see Liam Neeson avenge his wife’s death by killing a bunch of people. The entertainment industry basically affirms that people are obsessed with the idea of revenge. Think of all the blockbuster movies that have centered on revenge: Death Wish, First Blood, Payback, Braveheart, The Outlaw Joses Wales, and the list goes on.

Revenge is the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands; the desire to inflict retribution. We justify our desire for revenge by thinking we are trying to right a wrong. But there is a difference between revenge and justice.
1. Revenge begets more revenge; justice provides closure. Revenge re-opens and aggravates your emotional wounds. Even though you might be tempted to punish a wrong, you end up punishing yourself because you can’t heal. 

2. Carrying out revenge is a weapon; carrying out justice is a shield/form of protection. Carrying out an act of revenge is intentionally meant to cause harm to another person. Justice, on the other hand, seeks to deliver consequences for improper actions and to deter other people from committing the same acts.

3, Revenge is driven by emotion; justice is driven by logic and rationality. Justice is dispensed through a logical and rational system by a neutral third-party, i.e. a judge. Judges are asked to recuse themselves if there is even a slight connection with the trial they are overseeing because emotion is not supposed to be a driving factor in the dispensing of justice.

People have heard in the news about Sanctuary cities but they probably do not know that the concept was God’s idea.  In today’s corrupted judicial system Sanctuary cities is a far cry from the cities of refuge found in the Old Testament. Nowhere in the Bible did God allow people guilty of murder to flee to a certain city to avoid punishment. Numbers 35:11-15

God knew people would seek revenge before a person could make his case before an impartial judge. The purpose of the practice of sanctuary at the temple or the cities of refuge scattered throughout Israel was to provide safe zones to which the person who had accidentally killed someone could flee, be protected from excessive retribution and have the case heard by an impartial judge. Joshua 20:4 

God never approves of revenge even if the person is truly guilty. Rather, “Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19  Human anger, you see, doesn’t produce God’s justice!” James 1:20 NTE.

Remember we live in a fallen world, inhabited by fallen people and therefore life is not fair. [You already knew that didn’t you?] We may not experience justice in this life  but God will right every wrong. Ecclesiastes 12:14 

One Solitary Man

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days.  2 Chronicles 36:9

James Baker’s influence in Washington was legendary. He could walk in and out of the Oval Office at will. One day while serving as Presidential Chief of Staff, Baker was traveling home in his limousine. Image result for one man walking on streetHe noticed a man walking alone. No reporters were around him. No security. Just a man on an empty street. Baker recognized him as the Chief of Staff of a prior administration.

There he was, alone,” Baker said. “No reporters, no security, no adoring public, no trappings of power—just one solitary man alone with his thoughts.” That image became a constant reminder to Baker of the fleeting nature of power. “That man had it all,” said Baker, “but only for a time.

History is littered with the names of people who rose and fell, who lived and died. But we serve a God whose power will never diminish and whose rule and reign will never end. Our God doesn’t rule for three months and ten days. His kingdom is forever.

Having a position of power does not bring inner security and fulfillment. That comes only by developing a personal relationship with God, which for me is personified in Jesus Christ. —James A. Baker

Taken from David Jeremy – Turning Point Daily Devotional 

Restored

One of my wife’s favorite TV programs is HGTV. She loves watching how a team of workers can take a run-down house and restore it to a beautiful home. I admire people that possess that skill because I can’t even drive a nail straight.

Restoration. That word suggests a positive change has taken place. Something has been taken from a place of disrepair and dishonor to a place of beauty and pride.

At creation, Man was created in the image of God. He was perfect in every way but by an act of disobedience (sin) that image was so “damaged” so “marred” that God had to remove him from the Garden of Eden. If you watch the news you will see just how far Man has “disfigured” that original image.  Theologians call it man’s “depraved” nature or “fallen” man. 

When a man ‘restores’ a house or an old car; he often has to remove and discard certain parts that cannot be salvaged. But when God restores a person, no matter how “fallen” they are; He does not discard any part of us. He does not refurbish. He does not remodel. He does not paint over imperfections. He makes us NEW! I cannot explain it but it is true.

  • This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person…. 2 Cor.5:17
  • Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again [made new] John 3:3

Jesus Himself said He came  to find lost people and save them.” [Luke 19:10] Jesus was saying He came to restore all that Mankind lost when he was drive out of the Garden. He restored fellowship with God. Eternal life was restored! [He restores my soul…] Ps.23:3 

Though God has made the restoration process available to all, it can only take place when people confess their sins to Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Savior. 

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.   1John 5:11