Saturday, February 23, 2013

Forgiveness brings life part 3

 Too Hard to bear

Sometimes the shame is so hard to bear.
The pain of failure weighs down the soul.
There is no escape and freedom is rare.
Chains tighten without any console.

His love stands in the distance.
We drift farther apart.
My shame fights with resistance.
His grace never imparts.

How could I arise again?
How can I climb out from it all?
Where is the victory over sin?
Why should I live just to fall?

Be still my heart for the light shines.
The stench of my offenses is removed.
Be still my heart for grace enshrines.
The bath of His blood has approved

Giving forgiveness is hard but forgiving one's self is even harder. Humans typically have a hard time dealing with shame and guilt. Many deal with it in a different manner. Some simply choose to ignore the conviction from the Holy Spirit and have their consciences seared with a hot iron.  1Timothy 4:1  The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons. 1Timothy 4:2  These people will speak lies disguised as truth. Their consciences have been scarred as if branded by a red-hot iron. 



Others deal with guilt and shame as a hopeless state. In other words, they simply stay in their bondage because the feeling is that there is no way out. " I keep failing. No one could ever love me. I keep hurt God how could he forgive me this time?"  I am certain someone reading this has felt this way before. I know I have. We see love and forgiveness as finite. That is why we can understand how God could forgive us of our sins even the reoccurring ones. God's forgiveness is not temporary but infinite. It does not mean it can be taken advantage of, but it does mean that it never runs out when we are willing to ask for it.

God loves you deeply and desires to forgive all your trespasses. The questions is will you except it? Will you allow His forgiveness to fill your heart? Will you in turn forgive yourself? I am speaking to those of us who really hurt when we in turn hurt God. Those of us who desire to do right by Him and not take advantage of His grace. Those who desire to be set free from all sins even the hidden ones.

It is hard to break free when the shame and guilt seems to be so commanding. First off, guilt and shame are tactics from the enemy. He desires to keep you beat down to your sin, so you can not be of any use to the Kingdom of God. He is a deceiver, but He is also a loser. You can know what it is like to experience God's forgiveness again. You can walk away feeling like you have worth and God still loves you. You can be set free and never feel overwhelmed with guilt again. God's ways are higher than our ways. We simply need to align our thoughts with His. Below is a list of how you can start to forgive yourself.

Forgiving yourself.

1. God does not condemn but convicts. Condemnation comes from the enemy. Romans 8:1-2  So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned.  (2)  The standards of the Spirit, who gives life through Christ Jesus, have set you free from the standards of sin and death.
2. Jesus paid a price for you. He died for your sin past, present, and future. What you did yesterday was forgiven, What you did today against His nature has already been forgiven, and what you do tomorrow against His kindness has been nailed to the cross and forgiven.
3. Forgiveness is God's choice. You simply have to receive it. Isaiah 43:25  I alone am the one who is going to wipe away your rebellious actions for my own sake. I will not remember your sins anymore.
4. Not forgiving yourself when God has means that you don't think God is powerful enough to free you from all sins.

You can live in freedom. You can walk in His forgiveness. It does not mean that you take advantage of His grace and mercy. It does mean that when you fail; He will pick you back up. He will dust you off, cover you with his cloak of love and smear you all over with His wonderful grace.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forgiveness brings life Part 2

Unforgiveness is like shooting yourself with a poison arrow and expecting the other person to die from YOUR self inflicted wound.  Unforgiveness is like jumping out of an airplane and the last parachute was given to the guy you hate. He'll float to the ground unharmed or unscaved but you will make a forever impression into the dirt below. Unforgiveness is like drinking arsenic laced cool-aid but expecting the person you hate to kill over. Unforgivness is like swimming in a pool filled with 20 starving alligators and expecting the person you hate to fall in " Any minute now."


Ok, Ok, I believe you get the point. Unforgiveness has never upon never to ever beyond ever to ever to infinity done anyone any good. It is a living parasite which feeds off of it's prey and in most cases destroys. Your hate can never penetrate the object or person of that hate. Revenge and other acts of retribution never work and leave the bitter person worse off.

I know some people have endured horrible acts done to them. Many have been abused, sexually assaulted, turned into sex slaves, had a loved one killed right before their eyes, lied upon, treated unfairly, and much more horrendous acts by the hands of evil men and women. Has your hate for them helped in any way? Has your crusade for revenge stop the emptiness inside of you?

Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the pain you have endured. Forgiveness is not letting the swine out of the pen. It is not letting the catfish off the hook. What has happen to you is horrible. It is painful. It is hard to forget. No one denies this truth, but what you do with the pain is at question here.

Peter asked Jesus how often should we forgive another. We know Peter had a mother-in-law. Maybe he had unforgiveness towards her, and he wanted to know when he could stop forgiving and start revenging. ( Just making a joke.You can laugh here.)

Matthew 18:21-35  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked him, "Lord, how often do I have to forgive a believer who wrongs me? Seven times?"  (22)  Jesus answered him, "I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy times seven.  (23)  "That is why the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  (24)  When he began to do this, a servant who owed him millions of dollars was brought to him.  (25)  Because he could not pay off the debt, the master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all that he had to be sold to pay off the account.  (26)  Then the servant fell at his master's feet and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay everything!'  (27)  "The master felt sorry for his servant, freed him, and canceled his debt.  (28)  But when that servant went away, he found a servant who owed him hundreds of dollars. He grabbed the servant he found and began to choke him. 'Pay what you owe!' he said.  (29)  "Then that other servant fell at his feet and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you.'  (30)  But he refused. Instead, he turned away and had that servant put into prison until he would repay what he owed.  (31)  "The other servants who worked with him saw what had happened and felt very sad. They told their master the whole story.  (32)  "Then his master sent for him and said to him, 'You evil servant! I canceled your entire debt, because you begged me.  (33)  Shouldn't you have treated the other servant as mercifully as I treated you?'  (34)  "His master was so angry that he handed him over to the torturers until he would repay everything that he owed.  (35)  That is what my Father in heaven will do to you if each of you does not sincerely forgive other believers."

The servant owed millions of dollars to the King but the king forgave all debt. The evil servant was owed hundreds of dollars by another, and he wanted it paid immediately. You and I have been forgiven of a debt that costs much more than all the money in the world. Our sin comes with a hefty price.( Death). Jesus forgave it all on the cross. Even while on the cross; he asked the living God to forgive everyone which had a hand in his demise.

Luke_23:34  Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." Meanwhile, the soldiers divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice.

Forgiveness is not for the person who has hurt you. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness frees the soul and allows God to work in your behalf.  Below is some key points about our topic.

Forgiveness:

1. If you can't forgive then God can't forgive you.
 Matthew_6:14  "If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew_6:15  But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures. 



2. Forgiveness ensures your prayers are being answered and heard by God.
Mark_11:25  Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures."

3. Forgiveness keeps the unity within the Body of Christ.
Colossians_3:13  Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

4. Forgives restores the person who once was deep into sin. ( I Corinthians 7, then II Corinthians 2)

5. Forgiveness does not mean that you become friends with the perpetrator who has hurt you. In some cases God allows it but it is not the norm. King David forgave King Saul but they were never friends again. David did, however, bring Jonathan's crippled son to his dinner table and took care of him for the rest of his life.

6. Forgiveness brings healing physically and emotionally to the individual who is bound to bitterness.

7. Forgiveness restores your standing with God.

8. Forgiveness does not mean the acts your have performed with unrighteousness or the acts some one has done to you is condoned by God. God's grace is given to us despite our sin. We deserve hell but his grace and love has covered our sins. This is what forgiveness does for us.

Now I know this is allot to take in. It goes against our human nature to forgive horrendous acts done to us, and I am not saying that evil men and women should not be brought to justice for the evil acts they perform. This is another topic.  Our sinful nature desires to enact revenge on those who have harmed us. If Christ is in us then we must forgive. He will help us with the forgetting or the repression of the images if we ask him. Don't let hate and bitterness stop you from living your life to the fullness in God. Don't let the cowardly acts of evil men and women stop you from fulfilling your destiny in God. Those individuals , which have harmed you, might not know the Lord. They need Jesus just like we need Jesus. Their sins need forgiveness just like our sins need forgiveness. Also understand this. Our God will avenge his children if anyone has ever hurt them.

Luke 18:7-8  Won't God give his chosen people justice when they cry out to him for help day and night? Is he slow to help them?  (8)  I can guarantee that he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
 


Galatians 6:7-8  Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you'll harvest.  (8)  If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life.







As a believer in Christ, it is important we forgive others no matter what. Our very existence consists of forgiveness, and it should be something that illuminates from our person.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Forgiveness brings life part 1

Oscar Wilde
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
Oscar Wilde
Mother Teresa
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Mother Teresa
  
Forgiveness is not easy for us. Especially if someone has harmed us or hurt us in some way. There are women out there who still hold a grudge towards the man who has physically or emotionally raped them. There are men out there who still hold a deep sense of hate towards the woman they were once married too.  Everybody on the face of the planet has had someone hurt them physically, emotionally, or spiritually at some point in their lives. UN-forgiveness towards anyone can bring death in many different forms to the bearer. Each time bitterness and hate is captured within the confines of your soul; death begins to creep in like an eerie fog. It is slow and excruciating death which could take decades to kill. The death is physical, emotional, and spiritual. Nothing escapes its grasp.

Many can't forgive because they don't understand the Forgiveness of the Lord. Regardless of one's sin. No matter how detestable or horrific. There is a living God who forgives. I wanted to look at His forgiveness. I hope to have a few blog post on this subject. It is my desire that all can know His undying forgiveness.


Psalms 130:1-8  A song for going up to worship. O LORD, out of the depths I call to you.  (2)  O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be open to my pleas for mercy.  (3)  O LORD, who would be able to stand if you kept a record of sins?  (4)  But with you there is forgiveness so that you can be feared.  (5)  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and with hope I wait for his word.  (6)  My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.  (7)  O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, because with the LORD there is mercy and with him there is unlimited forgiveness.  (8)  He will rescue Israel from all its sins.


God's Forgiveness.

1. His forgiveness is unlimited but should not be taken advantage of.
2. His forgiveness is empowered by His mercy.
3. His forgiveness rescues the sinner from sins.
4. His forgiveness does not count the number of times you have sinned.
5. His forgiveness keeps no record of our wrongs.
6. His forgiveness brings life to the soul of death.

Only the believer. Only the true can receive such forgiveness. Those who have laid down their lives to the Living God. Those who have excepted Jesus as the way, the truth, and the Life. His forgiveness knows no boundaries and can cross over into the darkest of places. How can you receive this forgiveness? It is simple receive Him. Receive the author and finisher of the faith. Receive the healer and redeemer of life. Yes, it is that simple. Truly His forgiveness brings life.