Challenged to forgive I long to fully let the matter go – Yes, forgiveness is necessary – My wounds are fresh What would Jesus do? Forgive They are disregarding what’s best – Still, despite their actions I must forgive What would Jesus do? Forgive My hardness had to soften and yield to forgiveness – It’s best and the way of the Lord What would Jesus do? Forgive Peter betrayed Jesus, denied even knowing him – He cursed and denied his Lord – Thrice Peter did that What did Jesus do? He forgave him Christ Jesus, pure and innocent was put on a cross and crucified for doing his Father’s business – loving, teaching healing, and raising the dead – What did Jesus say? “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Based on a poem A man appeared before the judgement seat of God and the books were opened. “Let’s see what we will find on the pages of your life,” God spoke to the man in a reassuring voice. The man smiled with a confidence he didn’t feel. Jesus sat next to the Father and looked down at the man with tender eyes. “Don’t worry,” God said as he glanced at the man. “Don’t be nervous. After all, I am a righteous God and my judgements are always fair and right. If you’ve done the right stuff, there’s no need for worry.” But that was precisely the problem, as the man knew all too well God would surely stumble upon a few pages of his life that he would have gladly ripped out of the book. He hadn’t been wicked in the sense that people in the world regard as wickedness, but he knew all too well he had broken the law on countless occasions. “It’s a fairly simple process,”Continue reading »

Is it true that forgiveness can have levels and stages of processing? Is it fair to say that some things are easier to forgive than others? I believe so. Indeed, forgiveness, in some instances, can be more than slightly challenging. We have seasons when we engage in “wrestling matches” within ourselves concerning the matter of forgiveness. We’re prone to take up resistance stances, despite what we know the Lord instructs. The Bible clearly tells us about forgiveness and that we are to do it. In truth, there are occasions when it’s easier said than done. The forgiveness journey comes in various shapes and sizes. We know of marital infidelities, family betrayals, financial cons, workplace back stabbings, etc. And then there are some folks who live in false states of reality who tend to believe that they don’t need to seek forgiveness. We find it “best” relative to our “comfort” levels to forgive folks who seek it. But we’re not so comfortable when we know that we need to forgive, yet,Continue reading »

It is clear from the opening lines of Psalm 2 that some people would be overjoyed to live in a world without faith. We read, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” “Faith,” such people claim, “is oppressive and one of the many root causes for all the suffering in this world.” Of course, technically speaking, no one is without faith. Everybody believes in something, but what is meant here is faith in ‘God’; more specifically, the God of the Bible, who the Bible itself calls love. * But what does a world look like that has cast away the cords of God? In such a world ‘self’ will be central. It can’t be any other way. If we can’t rely on God, we will have to rely on ourselves. Therefore, a world without faith is a world that is all about self-preservation.Continue reading »

Recently, we learned of yet another mass shooting, the likes of which have increased considerably. We certainly don’t understand the full scope of why people resort to such horrendous measures of cruelty and hatred. At present, the family members of the most recent victims of a mass shooting, in Oregon, likely feel that their grief is insurmountable. But we know that God heals sorrow. I can’t wholly imagine the heart pain that loved ones experience when their family members and friends are no longer present here for them to enjoy. And the pain is particularly enhanced when acts of violence remove those whom they love. Healing is a process and it often happens in stages. No two people grieve alike. My heart goes out to people who have losses to the family dynamic and the interruption of valued friendships. My thoughts extend to the children who will grow up without their parents. Their realities are significantly altered. Their fragile beings are shaken to the core. What a treasured relief thatContinue reading »

‘God now commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him’ ~Acts 17:30 NLT We have all done wrong. Why do some Christians today say, “You sinned and you must repent?” It’s because in the Holy Bible, God says he hates sin. Ever since the man and woman sinned, it caused all of us to be separated from Him. The only way we can reconnect with God is by repenting: saying I’m sorry and turning away from sin: the wrong in our life. He loves us and he tells us to live the godly way by dying to self: not wanting to do the sins any more. Every day we live, people are losing hope, people are self-hurting themselves by cutting or have long term depression, some waste their lives doing things that wreck their bodies, many people even believe they will never amount to anything because of the wrong they did. The sins that we have done, it should never allow us to think we canContinue reading »

The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche is attributed with the saying “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” I don’t think that’s true. If you have been through the place where death was poised to claim you, physically, mentally, or emotionally, you will be weak on the other side. But that is best because when I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). In weakness, He holds me and if He did not I could not make it on my own. He’s never failed me and now I find the more I need Him the more I love Him. The more I love Him the closer I feel Him to me. This is the way we are made and if we are too prideful to admit we are needy, we risk walking alone and lonely. If you hold tightly to the Master’s hand you will never walk alone and you’ll never be as strong as you are in weakness. No human strength can compare to His power andContinue reading »

Sometimes we have a pretty high opinion of ourselves. We easily and skillfully detect the many splinters in the eyes of those around us and we feel pretty smug about how good we ourselves are doing. Maybe it’s human and everybody seems to be doing it at times, but that still doesn’t make it right. Jesus didn’t exaggerate when He mentioned that at such times we often overlook the beam in our own eye. With such an attitude, it is virtually impossible to build bridges, and what’s more, you cannot forgive. Forgiveness feels like opening cell doors, so horrible people go free without being properly punished. But the truth is different. It’s true that forgiveness is all about setting a prisoner free, except it wasn’t that horrible person that got liberated. Forgiveness liberates the person who does the forgiving. When we don’t forgive we are chained by fetters of darkness that leave us dry and unhappy. There’s an anecdote about the famous painting of the Last Supper made by LeonardoContinue reading »

Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 (NIV) A debtor is someone who owes something to someone. Therefore “our debtors” are people who owe us something. The New Living Translation replaces the words “debt” and “debtor” with “sins” and “sin against us.” This clears up the question of “what do they owe us?” If someone sins against us what they owe is variable. They probably owe at least an apology, but perhaps they owe a great deal more – more than they can repay you, if they even care about repaying you at all. Our sins against God are much greater than we can ever repay; therefore, Jesus became a man and bore our sins against God on the cross to repay all of our “debts” that we could not pay. Still, even in the light of all that we have been pardoned for, we often times refuse to forgive wrongs done to us by other people. The Bible tells us that God forgivesContinue reading »

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” said my neighbor. He had spoken to me about his recent troubles and I had gently suggested that God could help him, if he would look to Him for help. „There’s nothing you get for free in this life. You’ve got to work for it. And God’s not going to do it for you.” Of course God does expect us to be faithful and do what we can do, but there are limits. There are things you cannot possibly work for. Things that can only be received and God specializes in those things. *** I once walked past a little shop on the edge of town and saw a man who was trying to wash the shop window. That was certainly a good idea, for the whole window seemed caked with dirt, but whatever he did, the window stayed dirty. He scratched behind his ears. He didn’t understand. Maybe some new cleaning products and hot water would help. He furiously scrubbed andContinue reading »

We don’t always seem to listen to the right voices and because of that, it does happen that we get ourselves stuck in the brambles, just like the stubborn, lost sheep that Jesus talked about in the Bible. There you are. Stuck, lonely and surrounded by thorns. Is there a way out? With Jesus, there is always hope. *** A father and a son were once running a very successful company. The father was just and wise and had organized his business with great skill and had gotten rich. He trained his son in all the ways of the business and had great hopes that his son would take over the company when he retired. And although the father and the son were very close, still the son sometimes resisted his father’s oversight. Now it so happened that the father had a very mean competitor. This man was shrewd and selfish and he would grab any opportunity to further his own cause, no matter how much pain and hardship itContinue reading »