Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

forgiveness

 

For some reason, I didn’t post this guest post that I had written three years ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it, but here it is now. Click here to read my guest post on forgiveness.

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

east from west

 

 

Micah 7:19

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In my 44 years on this earth, I have acted in ways that I am now ashamed of. I have said hurtful things to the people I love and I have done things to tear down relationships when I should have been acting to restore peace. I have sinned. I am a sinner. I will continue to sin in one way or another until the day I die, because I am human and imperfect. I have to accept that at the core of my soul, I am not a very good person. I am selfish, needy, unloving, judgmental and can be downright hateful. Hey, I’m just being honest here!

I’m am overwhelmed with gratitude for a God that can look into the dark corners of my heart, gently remove all the meanness in my spirit and hurl it all to the depths of the sea. Not only does He hurl our sins to the depths of the sea, He completely removes our transgressions from us! WOW! We don’t have to wallow in guilt and shame, because our sins and bad attitudes have been removed from us. That is so AWESOME!!!

Not only does He empty us of the ugliness, He refills us with all joy and peace. He empties us of our sins, so that we may OVERFLOW with hope. I have hope, as I trust in God, that I can be that generous, loving, compassionate, peace-filled, and joyful person that I long to be. It is a day-to-day process. Sometimes minute-by-minute, but I have hope, that as I confess my deepest, darkest secrets to a loving God that He will take them and destroy them and I will be filled to overflowing with the goodness that is Jesus.

How can you take the sin and replace it with joy and peace? How can you begin to overflow with hope?

1. Confess– Confess your sin to God. Let it all out. He knows it all anyway. Search your heart and make sure it has been swept clean.

If you can, confess your sin to the person/persons you have caused injury to. If you can, make restoration for the sin. Everything needs to come out. Lay your heart bare before this person. They may forgive you or they may not. This is about you coming clean and the condition of your heart.

2. Surrender– Surrender your heart to God. Allow God to perform open heart surgery and replace the old ugly heart with a heart filled with joy and peace and hope.

3. Let Go- Let go of the guilt and shame that often comes with the sin. It is done. You’ve confessed it and God has removed it. Move on. Don’t let the guilt and shame overwhelm you. God wants to fill you with His love and joy.

4. Daily Maintenance- If you find some of the old junk trying to sneak back in, you will have to make sure that you do not leave a door open to your heart. If you are faced with the temptation to sin, give it to God immediately and ask Him for strength. He will give it. He will help you be victorious. On a daily basis, fill your heart with praise, prayer, God’s Word, kindness, compassion, peace and love.

Sin has destroyed relationships, companies, nations, and people. It doesn’t have to, if we give it to God. We all sin. Never think that you are the only one. If you are struggling with sin right now and you want to find joy, peace and hope, all you have to do is pray to a compassionate God who hears us and restores us:

Dearest Father,

I am a sinner. I hate what I have done and want so much more for my life. Please forgive me and throw my sins (confess the details of the sin) into the depths of the sea. I am asking you to refill my heart with joy and peace. I want to overflow with hope. I believe that you love me and will restore me to wholeness.

Amen

May the joy and peace and hope found in Jesus be yours for eternity.

 

Read Full Post »

teach me to pray

 

 

Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer word for word. I don’t remember ever attending a church where it wasn’t recited on a regular basis. Over the years, it became rote and meaningless. This was not the way Jesus intended it to be. Jesus never intended this passage to be a prayer in and of itself. He gave it as an outline to use as a guide in your prayer life. To recite the Lord’s Prayer in the mechanical way that we have become accustomed to does not do it justice and we learn nothing from it. There are 5 parts to this outline:

The first 2 parts are all about God and His will:

1. Praise and WorshipOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We acknowledge who God is to us by praying, Our Father in heaven. This establishes our relationship with God. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com the definition of hallowed is holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. This tells us that God’s name is holy, sacred, and to be revered. We don’t have to use these exact words in our prayers, but we do have to give praise and spend a moment in worship of our heavenly Father. Jesus put this part of the prayer first, because it is the most important part. To give praise and worship to our God is the most important thing.

2. God’s WillYour kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are to pray for God’s will in ALL things. I know how easy it is to slip into self-satisfying prayers, or prayers that push our own agendas instead of God’s. Jesus lived His life doing God’s will, seeking God’s will and obeying God’s commands. We need to do the same. It is okay for us to want things, but God knows what is best for us and we need to seek His will in ALL things.

In these days of unrest and evilness, it is important for us to be in prayer that God’s kingdom will come and we will live as God intended, in peace and harmony with each other. There is an urgency and we need to pray for an end to injustice, oppression, and hate. We need to be in prayer that all people will know God’s heart and that this world will be transformed by the love of God.

The last 3 parts are about us and what we need:

3.Our Daily Bread– Give us today our daily bread. Jesus is telling us to pray only for what we need today. This is consistent with God’s command not to worry about tomorrow, as found in Matthew 6:34.

For Ourselves- What needs do you have TODAY? Don’t waste your time on worrying about tomorrow, focus your prayer on your immediate needs for today.

For Others- What needs do family and friends have TODAY? If you know someone or a situation that needs immediate prayer than pray for that person or situation. I’m sure that Jesus prayed for the disciples and God wants us to pray for each other and events in our lives.

4. Forgiveness– And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. If there is anything on your heart that you need to confess and ask forgiveness for, then you better do it. Nothing keeps us separated from God more than unconfessed sin. Confession is good for the soul! So is forgiving others when they have wronged you. I admit that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. It is hard for me to forgive people who have hurt me. Sometimes the words, “I forgive you” is said between clenched teeth and God has to give me an attitude adjustment. We have to forgive others. Hanging on to the hurts of the past will only hurt us in the future. Let it go, give it to God and live the life you were meant to live. 

5. Temptation and Evil- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This is so important and Jesus knew how much we would need protection from Satan. Temptations hit us from every side and we need to be prepared. We can not face them alone. Only with God, can we face down temptations, before they take us down. This part of the passage shows just how much God loves us. He knows that there is no way in the natural realm, that we will ever be able to face the evil one on our own. He will deliver us, if we ask Him to. 

Remember that Jesus intended this passage to be an outline to guide us in our own prayer time. Expand on each part as God leads and see where God will take you in your prayer life. Prayer is how we communicate with God and He has shown us how to do that in His Word. Our journey in prayer is an ongoing process and always evolving, so don’t give up. Keep pressing in and God will bless you abundantly!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

redeemed and forgiven

Colossians 1:13,14

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

According to http://www.dictionary.reference.com redemption is the purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom.

I love this! Without Jesus we are ALL lost, but God purchased us back by giving His one and only Son as a ransom for our lives. Did He have to? Absolutely not. He did it because He loves us. He allowed His Son Jesus to die a horrific death on the cross, because it was the only way for us to have eternal life with Him. He wanted us that much!

In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We have all sinned against others and against God. Others may not be so quick to forgive us our failings, but God always will, when you approach Him with a sincere heart. It doesn’t matter what you or I have done, God will always forgive. Not only does He forgive, He wipes the slate clean! The sin is gone forever, giving us a chance to learn from our mistakes and start over.

If you are in a place where you believe that God will never forgive your sins, if you believe that your sins are to bad for God to forgive, you are buying into the lies of Satan. God has more love for you than you will ever be able to imagine. When you approach Him in repentance, He will listen. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His comforting arms and welcome you home.

Read Full Post »

 

anger management

 

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 “In your anger do not sin”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Anger has been an ongoing emotion for me in the last few weeks. It has been very difficult for me to bite my tongue and not say something damaging and hurtful in defense of my daughter.

Without going into specifics (that is not the point of this post), I can tell you that my daughter has been under attack from people, who have for some reason decided to hurt her. My daughter is 20 years old and so I have tried to step back and let her handle the situation. It hasn’t been easy for me. Any one who knows me, knows that I have had some anger issues when it comes to my kids and those I love. This isn’t anything that I am proud of, I am simply telling you this to say that I think God is changing me. I have not flipped out like the old me would have done. I have found comfort under the wings of my Lord and protector.

It has been stressful. I feel her pain and it breaks my heart, because I feel so helpless. I have raged against the hateful, insensitive way that people can treat other people. I have raged inwardly against these people who find it funny to bully my 20 year old daughter who is sweet and loving and would never hurt anyone.

God has been speaking to me through this situation. George Verwer (founder of Operation Mobilization) visited my church this past weekend and what he said Sunday morning really touched me. He said that he has made a practice of not letting the sun go down on his anger. He, also said that, he never let the sun go down without forgiving those who had harmed him that day. I knew that he was speaking to me.

The other part of the passage in Ephesians 4 says, “in your anger do not sin”. I admit that I have come close. What stops me is this overwhelming feeling of not wanting to disappoint God. I want to glorify God. I do not want to open the door for Satan to step in. I do not want to give Satan a foothold in my life.

This situation has led to the establishment of a new bedtime ritual:

1. Surrendering the anger- Every evening I say a prayer, letting go of any anger that I have built up against anyone during the day. I voice it and surrender it.

2. Forgiving- In that evening prayer, I forgive anyone who has hurt me in any way during the day. Even when that means forgiving the same person, day after day after day.

During the day, when that feeling of anger comes poking its’ head around, I try to surrender the anger immediately. I say try, because I am not always successful. Sometimes I fail miserably! But, I try. I surrender the anger and make a decision to act in a way that will bring honor to my heavenly Father.

If you are dealing with anger, you are not alone! Anger is an emotion we all feel at one time or another. It is a part of life in this fallen world. Acknowledge the feeling and let it go. Make that commitment to act with integrity, no matter what the situation. If you need some encouragement, contact me. God loves you, single mom, and so do I!

Read Full Post »