Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”

Titus 2:14 pretty much sums it up.

Let’s do good deeds today.

It’s what the committed do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I love this message found in Proverbs 24:16 —

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.”

Our being godly is not reflected by being flawless, but instead by being faithful.

And our being faithful is reflected by pressing forward in serving God even when our failures and the forces of darkness press against us.

We all trip by committing overt sins or sometimes we subtly sin by not trusting God to help us keep doing the right things when wrong things come against us.

The godly among us recognize that we’ve fallen short of God’s glory at such times and that we’re to seek God’s forgiveness so that He’ll put us back on our feet spiritually and emotionally.

It’s a wonderful thing to experience God’s forgiveness and restoration to being used by Him at home or work or school.

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” (Isaiah 40:2)

God is in the lifting business, dear friend. Let’s call out to Him in faith whenever we’ve fallen.

It’s what the godly do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

We all know what it’s like to see another believer do or say something that erodes his or her Christian testimony and, therefore, his or her influence for Christ.

Sadly, we also know that we’ve done the same on more than one occasion.

We can’t undo the past.

But we can do better in the future.

Better lives are depending on us.

That’s why it’s important that we heed the Apostle Paul’s example as described in 2 Corinthians 6:3-4.

“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.”

God wants people’s souls to be saved into a life of serving Him and serving others.

The Devil wants people’s souls to be lost in a deteriorating life of serving self and influencing others to do the same.

“How will my choice influence another closer to God?” seemed to be at the top of Paul’s mind based on the passage above.

Let’s embrace the same guiding principle for how we live and make decisions.

In everything we do, let’s show that we are true ministers of God.

Help the needy.

Hug the hurting.

Listen to the lonely.

Flee temptations, especially that stumbling block sin that seems to follow you like a shadow.

Forgive. Even the repeat offenders.

And with every action, try to humbly explain the motive of doing for others what Christ has done for us.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

If there is an enduring obstacle to your pursuit of a settled life, perhaps there is an unjust decision in your past, whether made by you or someone close to you.

If you believe in God, then you have to believe that people will always — eventually — face consequences for unjust decisions that harmed others.

You and I won’t encounter restitution decisions on the scale faced by King David in this passage, but the principle remains the same.

If we do wrong against others, particularly if it violates an oath made to God, somebody someday will suffer the consequences until there is a restitution/reconciliation effort.

The offense mentioned in this passage regarding King Saul violated Israel’s oath during the Promised Land conquest to not kill Gibeonites. It’s a long story recorded in Joshua 9 but the point is this: If we break a promise, even generations later, God will see to it that we face consequences.

Promises are very important to God.

It’s all about integrity.

Good thing, too.

We’re sure counting on God to keep His promise of eternal blessing to us.

Let’s do our best to live in ways that pours blessing into others’ lives, not broken promises.

And if we encounter a life obstacle that just won’t go away — whether individually or as a family or congregation — let’s pray for wisdom to see if a broken promise or residual, unrepentant sin is perhaps the cause.

A settled life moving unhindered toward eternity is a much better outcome.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

I Samuel 26 describes the opportunity David had to kill King Saul, the unjust ruler whose jealousy left him obsessed with killing David.

Despite the persistent push of Saul to end David’s life, the young king-in-waiting resisted the temptation to seek revenge against Saul.

The opportunity was right there for the taking, according to the passage. But David said it was best to let God take care of the payback stuff.

“Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one He has anointed!” (I Samuel 26:10-11)

We know the Bible teaches us to resist revenge. Let’s follow David’s example the next time that we’re tempted to pursue payback against those who harm us.

God sees what hassles we’ve faced and He will not leave people without consequences of attacking us for no good reason. He is not unjust. He’s just waiting for the right time.

Let’s focus on doing good and let God focus on bringing consequences to those who’ve done bad things to us.

That’s so much better than trying to play God and never getting it right.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

It’s such a brief line but it is incredibly potent in meaning.

For anyone who has just been restored to an important relationship because of another’s forgiveness, this verse fragment will hold special meaning.

“…what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!” (Genesis 33:10)

The context was Jacob’s return to his homeland after 20 years in what is now Iraq. He had fled there earlier out of fear that his brother Esau would kill him because of various deceptive and cheating behaviors.

Returning as an older and somewhat wiser man, Jacob still had fear that Esau might take revenge for the dirty deeds done to him a generation earlier.

You’ll want to read of this account by clicking here.

Despite the fear, Jacob headed home anyway. Previous chapters in Genesis recorded why Jacob believed he couldn’t stay in the land of his wives’ family.

Jacob knew when he fled his homeland two decades earlier that he had done wrong.

And now as he awaited the inevitable meeting with Esau, he was hoping that retribution and carnage would not be the outcome.

As you read the passage in the link above, you’ll see just how deep-rooted Jacob’s fears were.

But when the meeting actually occurred, there was no hatred, no shaking fists, no waving swords.

Instead, there was unmistakable forgiveness.

Jacob sensed that what he had received was not the fruit of human nature but instead the fruit of God’s Spirit overflowing through Esau’s face.

When Jacob saw a forgiving face with a friendly smile, he perceived it as the work of God in his brother’s heart.

Wow.

Perhaps you have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the work of God in your heart as you choose to genuinely forgive someone who has done harm to you.

If you’ll offer a smiling face to him or her as you seek to restore a relationship, embracing rather than attacking, you’ll bring relief to that person’s soul.

And they’ll know that what you’ve done is a reflection of God’s influence, not human nature.

Here’s the conclusion of the matter — there is perhaps no better way to portray faith than to forgive those who have harmed you.

Please, let people see the face of God in your life.

Forgive.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

If our love for another is contingent upon what they first do for us, then we have a vocabulary problem.

You see, we’re not showing “love” to the person.

Instead, we’re making a deal with the person.

You do for me and then I will do for you.”

This attitude shows love alright, but it is egocentric.

It is a contract.

God calls us to have covenant love.

He wants us to be committed to loving others because it is the right thing to do, regardless of how we are treated.

If the person reciprocates, that’s a wonderful blessing.

But if the person doesn’t reciprocate to the desired extent, we are still blessed by knowing that we are obeying God’s command to love as He loves.

Check out this little bit of love language from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible:

“We love each other because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19)

God loved us before we loved Him.

Amazingly, He loves us even if we don’t love Him.

What He did — and does — for us is what we’re to do for the people in our lives.

Particularly those closest to us.

Yes, some people are sometimes hard to love.

But we are called to show kindness, patience, forgiveness, generosity, acceptance and then keep repeating these things over and over and over again with our spouses, our children, our siblings, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors and our church members.

Sometimes it’s not easy.

But do you think it’s always easy for God to love us?

Let’s love first.

It’s what God does.

It’s what the godly do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »