Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category

I am writing to you, little children,because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.- 1 John 2:12 (ESV)

We are called Christians.

That is how we are identified.  It is a label that has meaning for us.  It means that we are part of of the Family.  It means that we are part of the Fellowship.  It means that we part of the Faithful.

Most of all, it means that we are FORGIVEN.

How do we know that we are forgiven?

John said so in this epistleIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(1 John 1:9, NKJV).

Paul said so in Colossians.  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses (Colossians 2:13, NKJV).

Jesus said so in the Gospels.  Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men (Matthew 12:31, NKJV).  Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.(Luke 6:37, NKJV).  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (John 20:30, NKJV).

Ultimately, we have to learn to live differently as being forgiven for his name’s sake (1 John 2:12).  We have to learn that we are forgiven, and then we can learn how to live in the knowledge of our forgiveness.  Finally, we must learn to live and forgive, so that we can live in freedom among the forgiven.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. – Mark 11:25 (ESV)

Problems come up when we have to deal with each other.  Jesus addressed it.  He stated it plainly.  He didn’t sugar-coat the truth.  He offered a solution that many of us just won’t get into at all.

He said for us to forgive.  If you have something against somebody, forgive that person.  If you still hold a grudge, paraphrasing Jesus, don’t just pray to God.  Forgive that person.  Free yourself of the emotional baggage and bondage, then pray to the Father who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Harbor ill feelings about somebody and you won’t get far.  That’s not good.  You will end up at odds with others and out of order with God.  God has forgiven you for your trespasses.  That should help you forgive others, too.

There’s a solution in the Scriptures for the problems in the pews.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12 (NIV)

Read Full Post »

The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. – Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Luke 1:26-38)

Jesus Christ is the personification of perfection.

Jesus was Promised: He was the child of promise. (2 Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

Jesus was Presented: He was presented in the Jewish custom. (Luke 2:21-23, 39)

Jesus was Persecuted: He was the Lamb of God as John the Baptist called Him (John 1:29).  He was slain for our sins, our transgressions and our iniquities according to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 53).

Yet, without His perfection, He could have never stood in our stead and taken on our sin upon the cross.  He was, as Peter stated, a lamb without spot or blemish.  He epitomizes perfection.  He embodies perfection.  He exemplifies perfection.  He is perfect, and we are challenged to become perfect like Him.

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. – Colossians 1:28 (NIV)
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: – Ephesians 4:13 (KJV)

 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death – Philippians 3:10 (NIV)
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:14 (NIV)

Read Full Post »

“The perfect church is not on earth.” – A.W. Tozer

What keeps some people from coming back to church?

I would dare say that it cannot simply be the church’s mission statement.  The church has a God-given mission that includes restoring people as well as reaching and receiving people.  The church makes a whole lot of fuss about the reaching and receiving stuff.  The church may not be so great at the restoration business.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
– Galatians 6:1 (NLT)

No matter what someone goes through on the outside of the church, we who are spiritual should restore that person both gently and humbly.  That is the ministry of reconciliation that Paul spoke of when he wrote the believers in Corinth.  We, as the church, represent Christ.  Therefore, just as He restored us into a right relationship with God, we have the obedient obligation to the Lord Himself to accept those returning to the church based on God’s acceptance of them.  We just have to accept them, not appraise their sincerity.   

What keeps people from coming back to the church?

It’s us.  It’s us on us when we fail to live up to the ministry of reconciliation.  We are at fault when we act as if we are the gatekeepers of God’s house.  We fail to follow the Lord’s example and leave a brother or sister wondering if the Lord really forgave them or even saved them.  When we fail to act like Christ, we truly fail Christ.

 

Read Full Post »

And Joseph situated his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. Then Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread, according to the number in their families. – Genesis 47:11-12 (NKJV)

The Prince of EgyptJoseph assisted his family.  He advised his family on what to say when they entered into the presence of Pharaoh.  He approached Pharaoh with news of his family’s arrival in Egypt.  He advocated for his family.  He made allowances for his family to survive by giving them bread.

In the land of Rameses, Joseph’s family was better off for the time being than they had been in the land of Canaan.  Based upon how God had favored Joseph, his family was able to benefit.  They were blessed based upon Joseph’s favor and blessing.

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThink on that for a moment.  Joseph’s blessing allowed Joseph to provide for his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household.  Joseph’s favor helped his father and his family. Picture that happening today.  What if you used your blessing to bless others? What if you used your favor to grant others favor? Imagine how much of a blessing that would be for others.

We need to see Joseph’s character coming alive right here.  Joseph, the same dreamer that his family had despised and questioned, was now living the dream.  However, Joseph’s dream did not just benefit and bless Joseph.  The Bible makes it obvious that Joseph did not simply sit in a position of power and prestigeHis heart allowed him to forgive and give to those who had even sold him into slavery

Forgive to Live Devotional:: 8 Weeks of Daily Readings on Forgiveness That Could Change Your LifeJoseph depicts the epitome of forgiveness and favor in a man.  He obviously could have let his family live without any contact or consideration, still being okay with it as many Christians do so daily.  He could forgive and never allow himself to forget how they wronged him and set him up for failure.  No, that is not the path that Joseph took.  He did not allow it to harden him.  He did not allow it to turn him sour.  He forgave.  He gave to his father and his family.

How to Forgive...When You Don't Feel Like ItDo you need to forgive someone? Have you made the first move beyond saying so? How have you shown that person that you have truly forgiven them?

Praying the PsalmsLook at Joseph.  The Bible doesn’t say he had to fast for 40 days to get ready to forgive.  It doesn’t say that he needed to meditate on verses in Psalms to prepare to forgive.  He showed his forgiveness.  He said it.  He demonstrated it.  He did it.

Read Full Post »

18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (HCSB)

The Law of Moses calls for the best or the first to be sacrificed to God.  The covenant wasn’t asking for leftovers from those who identified themselves as the people of God.  No, the Law demanded that God receive the firstfruits.  Even in our redemption, He demonstrated that best was to be offered as a sacrifice, pure and undefiled.

Peter says that the Lamb of God was a “lamb without defect or blemish.” This sacrifice was perfect.  Peter also equated the blood to be “the precious blood of Christ.” He shares that the blood is the means for us being redeemed, reconciled unto the Father Himself by His own sacrifice of His Son.

I like the simple way Peter puts it here in 1 Peter, but the best description of the “perfect sacrifice” is between Isaiah 53 and Hebrews 10:1-18.  While Isaiah provides the prophecy that reveals the “man of sorrows” who suffered for the sinful and became sin for us, Hebrews chapter 10 gives us a clear picture of ritual sacrifice turned into redemption and reconciliation by the power of God.

But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
Isaiah 53:5 (HCSB)

Read Full Post »

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
– Luke 17:3 (NIV)
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner!”
Max Lucado
I don’t forget what I have done.  All of the bad that I have stirred up still has its lingering effects.  I try to cover the scars and the tattoos with navy blue and banker’s grey power suits.  I hide the tears that I want to shed for my wrongs behind the dark lenses of wrap-around shades or under the low-riding brim of a fedora. 
Then, always right before I get totally worn out and weighed down, He speaks softly to my spirit through His Holy Spirit.
I took care of that for you already.
I stand in awe, wondering how could that be.
I fight with myself to come to some understanding why.  Why would the Savior do so for me?
Me? I have all of this baggage, though.
I wonder what I am to do without all of this junk to carry around.
But I sin, Lord.
I forgive.
 No, I mean I really sin. 
I forgive.

I am a real big sinner.  I know I do not  please You.
I forgive.
What about from here on and I mess up?
I forgive.

And if it is more? Or, even worse?

I forgive.

Yes.

And again?

Yes.

And again and. . .

Yes.

How long will you keep that up?

Forever.

Eternity.

Day after day.

Until you make it to your new home with Me.

Amen.*

Amen.*

* Amen is translated as “so be it” or “it is so.” It offers a response of agreement or declared affirmation.

Read Full Post »