Tag Archives: forgiveness

A Sunday Morning Prayer


Prepare for God’s Arrival

“Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven! She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭1-2‬ MSG)

This expression of comfort means a lot to me. Jesus is coming soon…not to judge us, but for fellowship!

Prayer: Lord, help me to put the appropriate value on forgiveness and your companionship.

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Grace and Forgiveness…


I am saddened by the recent events surrounding the L A Clippers basketball team and its owner.  Everyone knows that his basic heart attitude is wrong, except perhaps those who share his views. 

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If his heart attitude is wrong and unloving, does that make it all right to demonstrate dislike and reflect it back to him?  Like a twisted corollary to the Golden Rule?  Or are we to love one another without exception (per I John 4:7-8).  I know it is hard to love such an unlovely, hateful person, but God gave us the gift of The Holy Spirit to help with these hard tasks.
Love leads us to forgiveness.  How can we expect to be forgiven, if we withhold forgiveness from those who wrong us?
Let us be temperate in our criticisms, so that God can move on the hearts of those following the Evil One.  If we speak evil to others, we do not represent Christ.
Is the grace of God sufficient to forgive sin of this magnitude?  Can God change hearts and attitudes?  (Can God change you…and I…)
Why not determine today to take the higher road of forgiveness, rather than piling on indignation?  Who are we to judge?

Virtue and the Practice Of It


Christian virtue starts with love
And touches on forgiveness,
It doesn’t seek to judge others
Cause then we’d have a real mess!

There’s trouble plenty of our own
Without our casting of a stone,
We set our virtuous path, alone…
Putting our evil behind us…

If I would practice every day
The kindness virtue gives me
I would accept you as Christ did,
Cause grace is free, you see!

The Holy Spirit’s the help I need,
Along with the Word on which I feed;
If faithful to these I be…
Virtue will flow out of me!

-the walrus

Major Themes LXXII – Forgiveness


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Psalm 32:1-11 NKJV

Blessed is  he  whose  transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord  does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there  is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord ,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall  be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord , mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

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Compassion: A fourteen-day Journey #5


The Stewardship Implications of Bodily Resurrection

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Though He Slay Me, Yet I Will Trust Him!

The story of Job is ancient–most likely one of Scripture’s oldest. Old Testament believers had no clear-cut concept of a bodily resurrection. However, Job appears convinced that a day is coming when he will be defended and restored, not just spiritually but also physically. Most scholars agree that the Redeemer he spoke of refers to God himself and that Job believed that God would offer vindication for Job in the face of his trials.

This appreciation for the physical dimension of salvation is crucial for understanding the Biblical message of generosity. As affirmed in a statement by The Gospel Coalition,

God created both soul and body, and the resurrection of Jesus shows that he is going to redeem both the spiritual and the material. Therefore God is concerned not only for the salvation of souls but also for the relief of poverty, hunger, and injustice. The gospel opens our eyes to the fact that all our wealth (even wealth for which we worked hard) is ultimately an unmerited gift from God. Therefore the person who does not generously give away his or her wealth to others is not merely lacking in compassion, but is unjust. Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service and comes to wealth through giving all away. Those who receive his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost. We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that away. The gospel replaces superiority toward the poor with mercy and compassion.  I ndifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation by sheer grace.

As expressed in the following quotation by Pope John Paul II (1920-2005),

In the resurrection the body will return to prefect unity and harmony with the spirit. Man will no longer experience the opposition between what is spiritual and what is physical in him. Spiritualization means not only that the spirit will dominate the body, but, I would say, that it will fully permeate the body, and that the forces of the spirit will permeate the energies of the body.

What does the believer’s ultimate participation in the divine nature say to us about the worth of each person? In Matthew 25:40 Jesus identifies bodily with “the least of these brothers.” True, when he spoke these words he was living in a human body, but we as Christians believe that this passage still carries direct implications for us.

JOB 19:25-26 NKJV

For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I  know, That in my flesh I shall see God,

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Major Themes LXXI – Forgiveness


A Plea for Deliverance and Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is a Great Gift

PSALM 25:1-22 NKJV

To You, O Lord , I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O Lord ; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord , Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord . Good and upright is the Lord ; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the Lord  are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name’s sake, O Lord , Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. Who is the man that fears the Lord ? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord  is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord , For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all their troubles!

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Verse of the Day – January 30th


http://bible.com/97/rom5.20-21.msg
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All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

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Debt: A Biblical Perspective #4


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Not only does the Bible warn us of debt but it provides us of examples. These examples are meant to teach us about issues surrounding debt. Each example is unique and helps us see different aspects of indebtedness. Use this opportunity to reflect on these passage and explore how you would handle each situation these examples present.

Matthew 18:32-33 NKJV – Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’

Luke 7:42 NKJV – And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

Colossians 2:13-14 NKJV – 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, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

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Major Themes LXXIII – Forgiveness


LUKE 6:1-49 CEVDCUS06
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One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields, the disciples picked some wheat. They rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain.  Some Pharisees said, “Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You’re not supposed to do that!”    Jesus answered, “You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry.  He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but even gave some to his followers.”  Jesus finished by saying, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.”  On another Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, and a man with a paralyzed right hand was there. Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong.  Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. Then Jesus asked, “On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone’s life or destroy it?”  After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his bad hand became completely well.  The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to one another, “What can we do about Jesus?”  About that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there. The next morning he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his apostles. One was Simon, and Jesus named him Peter. Another was Andrew, Peter’s brother. There were also James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus. The rest of the apostles were Simon, known as the Eager One,  Jude, who was the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.  Jesus and his apostles went down from the mountain and came to some flat, level ground. Many other disciples were there to meet him. Large crowds of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal towns of Tyre and Sidon were there too. These people had come to listen to Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. All who were troubled by evil spirits were also healed. Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all.  Jesus looked at his disciples and said: God will bless you people who are poor. His kingdom belongs to you!  God will bless you hungry people. You will have plenty to eat! God will bless you people who are now crying. You will laugh!    God will bless you when others hate you and won’t have anything to do with you. God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of Man.  Long ago your own people did these same things to the prophets. So when this happens to you, be happy and jump for joy! You will have a great reward in heaven.  But you rich people are in for trouble. You have already had an easy life!  You well-fed people are in for trouble. You will go hungry! You people who are laughing now are in for trouble. You are going to cry and weep!  You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. That is what your own people said about those prophets who told lies.  This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you.  Treat others just as you want to be treated.  If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.    But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.  Jesus said: Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.    Jesus also used some sayings as he spoke to the people. He said: Can one blind person lead another blind person? Won’t they both fall into a ditch?  Are students better than their teacher? But when they are fully trained, they will be like their teacher.  You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, “My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You show-offs! First, get the log out of your own eye; then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.  You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes.  Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts, but bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.  Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say? Anyone who comes and listens to me and obeys me is like someone who dug down deep and built a house on solid rock. When a flood came and the river rushed against the house, it was built so well that it didn’t even shake. But anyone who hears what I say and doesn’t obey me is like someone whose house wasn’t built on solid rock. As soon as the river rushed against that house, it was smashed to pieces!

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The Hope of Resurrection by Billy Graham


2 CORINTHIANS 4:14 NKJV – knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

The Hope of Resurrection

The resurrection of Christ brings hope. The late Emil Brunner once said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” As the human organism is dependent on a supply of oxygen, so humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. Yet today hopelessness and despair are everywhere. Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again into a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy, peace, assurance, and security in the midst of the despair of this age. There is hope that Christ is coming soon—this is what is called in Scripture “the blessed hope.” There is hope that there will come some day a new heaven and a new earth, and that the Kingdom of God will reign and triumph. Our hope is not in our own ability, or in our goodness, or in our physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ.

Daily Prayer

My hope is in You, my resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! May I never despair, as I remember Your triumph and love.

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