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Tag Archives: Forgiveness

  • A Greater Forgiveness

    Posted on March 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? Luke 7:41-42
    There is a greater forgiveness that accompanies greater sins. The generous grace of God covers the multiple sins of an adult reprobate, as fully as He forgives a sinful child raised in church. However, the Lord’s greater forgiveness invites a greater gratitude. Forgiveness that is fresh on the mind thinks of ways to show love and appreciation. A grateful Christ follower rushes to give good, even expensive gifts to God. Public appreciation flows from a personal transformation.
    Those who become too familiar with their faith can forget the generous grace of God. One sin condemns us to hell, but one act of faith in Jesus delivers us to heaven, now and forevermore. Glory to God; whether it's our extravagant sins or our modest sins we are forgiven by the lavish love of the Lord! Therefore, there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, our gratitude toward God keeps the greater forgiveness of God at the forefront of our faith.
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
    Moreover, make a big deal out of your forgiveness from your Heavenly Father. Celebrate your conversion by publicly illustrating your life change with baptism. Come out of the closet for Christ and He will bless your boldness. He died publicly for your sins, so you could publicly confess your sins. Encourage those in your community who have recently left much of the world’s trappings behind to follow Jesus. Invite them to study the Bible and serve with you.
    Gratitude to God is unashamed to show love for God. Perhaps you share something expensive with someone who loves the Lord and in the process you honor the Lord. You give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. Gifts to God are an opportunity to get people to God. Yes, your love for the Lord leads those you influence to love the Lord. Be generous with those around you, so they’ll desire intimacy with your generous God!
    But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your greater forgiveness that motivates my greater love!
    Related Readings: Jonah 2:9; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philemon 1:18-19; 1 John 2:15-17
    Post/Tweet today: We give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. #generousgiving

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Forgiveness

  • The Day Forgiveness Set Me Free

    Posted on March 20, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ... Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:2, 32 (NIV)

    I thought I was over the hurt. I was sure I had moved on. But as my thumb slipped under the seal of the invitation to my 10-year college reunion, it hit me: I had not forgiven her.

    During our last semester at school, the harsh tone and accusing anger of a friend had been more than my heart could handle, especially in the middle of my year-long battle with depression. A deep sense of sadness and self-doubt, that I couldn't explain or escape, had left me feeling depleted.

    When she questioned something I had done and expressed deep frustration toward me, I didn't have the mental or emotional strength to process her criticism without being pulled into a pit of condemnation.

    If I attended our class reunion I would likely see her and other friends who had gotten tangled in our mess. With that possibility came a flood of memories and emotions that made me feel the same yuck I felt the day our friendship ended. The day that pretty much ruined the last few weeks of our senior year.

    Holding the envelope in my hand, that hurt took hold of me again. Instead of simply deciding how to RSVP, I stood at the edge of a pit filled with insecurity that threatened to pull me back in.

    After weeks of holding onto the invitation I finally decided I was tired of living as prisoner to my hurt. I wanted freedom. The kind of freedom I'd come to know in the ten years in between. The freedom of forgiveness Jesus died to give me.

    I spent hours praying and reading my Bible over the next month. Listening to worship music and messages on forgiveness, I asked God to drench me with His perspective and give me His assurance so I could walk into my reunion as a secure child of God.

    By the time I arrived, my mind was filled with God's grace and promises. I literally wanted to find my old friend and restore our relationship. The confidence that came as I followed God's command to seek and offer forgiveness came as a surprise.

    Forgiving those who hurt us is hard. Often we are afraid to forgive because it might open us to be hurt again. Or we're afraid if we bring something up it might unearth bitterness we don't want to deal with, so its left buried.

    But any time we bury a hurt alive, it will keep rising from the dead to disturb us.

    God used today's verses to show me how to let forgiveness set me free from the hurt I had buried. "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ... Forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you." (Eph. 4:2, 32)

    Forgiving in the way this scripture describes has helped me recognize I need God's grace as much as anyone else. Although pardoning an offense is not easy, it is possible when we follow God's plan of being humble and gentle, patient and bearing with those who've hurt us. It's so worth what it takes to be set free.

    Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves when we offer it to others. In doing so, we don't forgive so we can forget. We forgive, as we have been forgiven, so we can find freedom from our past and live with confident hope for our future.

    Lord, I need Your help. Help me process my hurt with You and let go of any bitterness that keeps me from wholeness and hope. Empower me to forgive just as You have forgiven me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Conflict is hard and unhealed hurts can make us doubt ourselves, as well as our ability to have healthy relationships. In her life-changing book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises, Renee Swope empowers us to overcome the hurts that hold us back as we move forward in the confident assurance of all God has for our lives!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there unresolved conflict or unforgiven hurt that could be holding you back you from living in the freedom Jesus wants for you? Journal thoughts that came to mind while reading today's devotion and commit to take one step towards the freedom of forgiveness God is calling you to today.

    Power Verse:
    Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Forgiveness, Ephesians

  • Forgiven By Love

    Posted on February 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love keeps no records of wrong. 1 Corinthians 13:5

    Record keeping of wrongs is taboo for those who love lavishly. Love funnels all its focus toward forgiveness and relational restoration. It refrains from retaining resentment which leads to wasted emotional energy. Yes, unforgiveness maintains a mental checklist of grievances that offers the enemy an entrance to encroach into a soul’s spiritual stability. Love is not an account ledger that credits rights and debits wrongs. Love is a white board that regularly erases infractions and hurts.

    Do you bear the burden of accounting for all injustices committed against you? Are you weary of wishing you had not been wronged? If so, look into the keyboard of your heart and by God’s grace press the delete button of forgiveness and erase external irritations. Start with a clean slate and your spirit will be set free to rest and enjoy God and people. Let go of harmful words that broke your heart and let the Lord mend it with love. A mind at peace is the fruit of forgiven love.

    Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them. Romans 4:8

    Since the Lord’s love doesn’t keep records of wrongs against us, we are wise to forgive ourselves of past guilt. The command to love ourselves includes not having a standard higher than God’s toward our transgressions. We are either forgiven of all or not forgiven at all. Jesus Christ’s redemption is not partial, but whole. He does not pick and choose cleansing based on the degree of our offense. Hallelujah we are categorically and fully forgiven of past, present and future sins!

    Therefore, since Christ doesn’t count your sins against you, you can’t count your offender’s sins against them. Your forgiving love chooses to wipe away hurtful infractions. Indeed, ask the Holy Spirit to repair relationships broken by another’s bad behavior: broken trust, broken promises, broken romance, broken cars, homes and bank accounts. Offer up your broken and contrite heart to God, receive His healing love and forgiveness and then extend His forgiven love to others.

    Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for Your forgiven love, give me grace to lovingly forgive.

    Related Readings: Psalm 32:2, 103:12; Romans 4:6-11; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 3:13

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus has either forgiven us of all our sin or not forgiven us at all. #forgive

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians, Forgiveness, Love

  • When an Apology Never Comes

    Posted on February 19, 2013 by Stephanie Clayton

    Stephanie Clayton

    "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

    Numb to the pain, I sat in my counselor's office to talk about the rape that occurred 10 years prior. I wanted to share what happened but the words would not come. Even if they did, would I feel better? I hoped so, but doubted the process. This part of my life had been hidden for 10 years; surely another 10 wouldn't hurt, right?

    Although I wanted desperately to run, I desired freedom more than escape.

    Freedom from nightmares, uncontrollable mood swings, panic attacks, and the feeling of gasping for air. Freedom from unforgiveness. Hiding any longer from my pain would never help me move forward. So I stayed in counseling.

    Uneasy, I described what happened. The sounds, sights, and smells returned as if it were yesterday. I was left wanting one thing.

    An apology.

    Couldn't someone say they were sorry for what happened? Not a shallow apology, but one that would restore meaning to my life. One that would somehow return my loss of innocence. Surely an apology from the man who raped me would make a difference, right?

    After 10 years, I knew I wanted freedom from the unforgiveness that seemed to enslave me. But how was I supposed to forgive when he never said, "I'm sorry"? I spent a lot of time praying and studying how to move forward when bitter and angry. How to forgive when an apology never comes. Along that journey, I learned a few things.

    First of all, for forgiveness to bring freedom, I had to offer it freely, with no strings attached. Not because the person who hurt me earned it, but because it's Christ's gift. If you are a Christian, no one's sin, not even your own, has the right to hold you captive. That means you are free to forgive.

    You may not feel like forgiving, but that is where you ask for God's strength. Ask Him daily for help until you are able to offer forgiveness freely to yourself and others.

    Second, I had to release my shame. Often when someone hurts us, we blame ourselves. If we had been a better person, done something differently, or spoken more assertively we could have avoided what happened. Right? Wrong! Pressing shame and blame upon ourselves is not conducive to freedom and healing. Galatians 5:1 says, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

    Shame is a yoke of slavery. Instead of accepting shame, choose to stand firm in Jesus' love. Stand firm in His freedom that releases you from shame. Because of His sacrifice on the cross you are free!

    Third, I had to keep walking forward. To move past your past you must walk through it to move beyond it. This might involve time and professional help ... but here's the freeing part: your past does not define you, Christ does!

    I never received an apology from the man who raped me. But I've come to realize that even if he were to apologize it would not make up for the hurt he caused. His apology could not and would not set me free.

    Freedom is not contingent upon receiving an apology from those who have hurt us. Instead, forgiveness leads to freedom and is possible because Christ's death on the cross set us free.

    Dear Lord, thank You that Your death on the cross gives us all the strength we need to forgive those who have hurt us. Where there is unforgiveness, uproot it with grace. Allow Your mercy to fall on the burdened places of our hearts and minds and show us the areas we need to be set free. Thank You that Your grace, always has been, and will always be, enough. In Jesus' Name I Pray, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    In what ways are you living with unforgiveness that anchors you in a victim stance?

    What is the first step you can take to forgive? If your heart is unwilling, ask Christ for the strength it will take to set you free.

    Power Verse:
    John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Stephanie Clayton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Forgiveness, Galatians

  • A Fresh Start

    Posted on January 22, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view." 2 Corinthians 5:16a (NLT)

    She worries when I don't wear a coat.

    She washes her dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher.

    I never know what she's going to say, and her honesty can make me blush, laugh until I cry, or just cry.

    She's my mom, and I love her.

    Growing up, things were very different. My mom was beautiful on the outside, but broken on the inside. That brokenness made our home life chaotic and unstable with out of control rages and suicidal threats. As a child I felt unsafe. As a teen I struggled between loving her and hating her.

    When I became a believer I understood love for the first time, but it was easier to accept than to give.

    By the time I was an adult my mom had made significant changes, but the effects of a childhood laced with instability and chaos still marked my heart. I asked God for a fresh start, not just for her sake, but for my own.

    As I pored over the Scriptures, the word forgive continually leapt off the pages. God was speaking to me through His Word and giving me direction. I wasn't sure I could do it, but somehow knew freedom was on the other side.

    The word forgive has different meanings in Scripture, and one of them is kaphar. That's a Greek word meaning to purge or pitch. It originates from the Hebrew word for atonement, which means to cleanse or cover.

    Why is this meaning so important?

    By beginning the process of forgiving, I was purging or pitching the entanglements of the past in order to begin anew. This could happen regardless of whether my mom completely changed or not.

    This also allowed me to begin to see myself as a woman, rather than the child I once was. That changed my perspective from a limited view to one that included the chapters that God had always seen.

    I saw the chapters in my mom's life. She was a girl who had a baby too young, married to a man who abused her. She had always desired to be a good mom, but no one had shown her how.

    My new perspective allowed me to see the changes she was trying to make, and those already in place. This allowed me to accept the things that might never change.

    It also created new chapters in our relationship as we began to connect without the filter of the past.

    Kaphar forgiveness is a gift. It allows you to pitch the past and its entanglements, and it covers the new relationship with God's grace.

    It also helps me to appreciate the small things, like the fact that my mom will always tell me to wear a coat. She will continue to wash the dishes before she places them in the dishwasher.

    And we will continue to grow as mother and daughter.

    The kaphar gift of forgiveness offers the opportunity for new chapters in a relationship . . . and a fresh slate upon which the words can be penned.

    Dear Lord, will you help me begin the journey of forgiveness, pitching out the past to accept all that You have for me. . . and perhaps, even us, as we start fresh? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    "In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another." Andy Stanley, Enemies of the Heart

    Do you need to forgive someone? Here are two tips to help you reframe your relationship:

    Practice the pause. Sometimes we offer a knee-jerk reaction based on the hurts of the past. Pausing allows you to think before you speak, to pray, and see the real issue instead of filtering the moment through old feelings.

    Give it time. Transformation is a process, one that unfolds layers of hurt to reveal new skin underneath. It won't always be easy, and working through that pain just might be an answer to prayer.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 103:12, "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 2 Corinthians, Forgiveness

  • A Story to Tell - a conversation with Matthew West

    Posted on October 9, 2012 by Family Christian

    Matthew West loves stories. And those stories sometimes turn into songs. Matthew recently spoke with Family Christian about how the stories he's been collecting ended up on his new album – and touching his life.

    The songs on Into the Light are inspired by true stories from people's lives. How have those stories impacted you personally?

    Matthew - Since first giving people the opportunity to share their story with me a couple of years ago, I've received over 20,000 stories from all over the world. I've made it my mission to read each story in the hopes of giving those stories a voice through song.

    What I didn't expect is how much opening myself up to the stories of other peoples' lives would affect me. One by one, they have opened my eyes to see how God is uniquely at work in each and every one of our lives. I;ve been so inspired by all of these people who are willing to allow God to use their stories, even the parts that may be less than perfect. These storytellers are heroes to me and have taught me what real, authentic Christianity looks like. Just imperfect people allowing a perfect God to shine through them!

    The story behind the first single, "Forgiveness," is really powerful. How have you seen God using that song and its message in people's lives?

    Matthew - I think at one point in time every one of us has been wronged by somebody, maybe hurt by a family member or betrayed by a friend. And for me personally, I've been known to be able to hold a grudge with the best of them.

    Renee's story of how God helped her to forgive the drunk driver who took the life of her precious daughter is a powerful reminder that there is freedom in forgiveness. It’s not that we have to forget, but we are not meant to carry the weight of bitterness. It's too heavy and it will hold us back from finding that freedom that comes when we set it free.

    I'm hearing so many stories from people about how Renee's story and this song are challenging them to deal with some situations in their lives where they know God wants to break the stronghold of bitterness. I think the neatest thing I'm hearing is how, really, this story can bring us all back to the reminder of just how much we are all in need of forgiveness. God offers us that gift over and over again, and He calls us to do the same.

    What do you hope listeners take away from the songs on Into the Light?

    Matthew - I hope that stepping Into the Light will become contagious. I believe these people who have stepped forward to tell their story to me and inspired these songs will cause a chain reaction encouraging others to do the same.

    Something special takes place when a person stands up, brings their story into the light and says, "This is who I am. Look what God has done!" The rest of the world takes notice, and it's like “Hey, I'm not alone. Maybe God can use my story too.” That's what I hope people take away from these stories and songs. We discover our life's purpose when we step out of the shadows and trust God with our whole lives, holding nothing back.

    You recently traveled to Haiti. Tell us a little about that trip.

    Matthew - My band and I traveled to Haiti with Compassion International to see firsthand what life is like in this poverty stricken country. Honestly, it was quite difficult to even begin to process the darkness and despair that we witnessed. My heart breaks as my mind replays the images of that trip.

    But, in the middle of what at times looked like a hopeless situation, I saw God at work restoring lives and communities through the work of Compassion. This trip really lit a fire in me to make sure that I am not simply talking about being God's hands and feet, but actually doing something about it.

    Christmas will be here before we know it, so we wanted to know: what's on your "must listen" Christmas playlist?

    Matthew - Well, my CD, The Heart of Christmas, of course! No, seriously, I love the classics. Put on some Bing Crosby, Eddie Arnold or Nat King Cole and I'm happy. Also love Amy Grant's classic Christmas CD.

    And what are some of the traditions your family celebrates every Christmas?

    Matthew - A Christmas Eve candle light service is a family tradition we've observed ever since I was growing up in my dad's church in Chicago. There's something about standing with my family, singing "Silent Night" and lighting a candle that always seems to rescue my heart from the chaos of the season and help me return to what it's really all about: Jesus.

    Matthew's Christmas album, Heart of Christmas, can be found by clicking here.


    This post was posted in Interviews and was tagged with Forgiveness, Matthew West, Christmas

  • A Place of Forgiveness

    Posted on October 1, 2012 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    " ... Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My name will be honored there,' and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive." 1 Kings 8:28-30 (MSG)

    Claire sat on the floor with a wad of tissues in her hand. Her husband had left her three days earlier for someone else.

    Sitting there crying, in her brokenness she sensed God whisper, "Pray for him."

    Fists clinched, she shook them at the ceiling. "It's too soon, God. If You love me, You won't ask this of me. You are focusing on the wrong person. He's the one who should be kneeling and asking for forgiveness."

    In 1 Kings 8, we find the story of God's temple being built, a temple where God's presence would dwell. It took seven years, a labor force of over 130,000 and King Solomon's leadership to complete the temple. It was built with cypress, olive wood and cedar, and inside the doors were overlaid in gold. When the temple was completed, Solomon stood in awe as God's presence filled it (verse 10), and he began to pray.

    He could have asked God for many things. That the temple be a place of power where his kingdom would shine. That his enemies, and those of his father, King David, would be slain. That the sinful man would walk through the doors and be condemned for his sins.

    Instead he asked that God's Name be honored in the temple, and the magnificent structure would be a place of forgiveness.

    Scripture declares that we are His temple. Three days after discovering her husband's secrets Claire hadn't eaten. She hadn't slept. Her temple was crumbling.

    By asking her to forgive so soon, God wasn't showing a lack of compassion over her pain or her husband's abandonment, but a sign that He knew her well. By asking her to forgive, God was asking for a place to move into the demolished areas of her life.

    Forgiving would allow Him to fill her with His presence, putting His Name there forever, no matter what her situation.

    Daily, Claire walked intentionally in her relationship with God, reading the Bible, talking honestly with Him, listening to worship music. This became her sanctuary as she went through the most challenging parts of an unwanted divorce. The more she nurtured her heart and His presence inside of her, the less room there was for sadness, grief, anger, and loss.

    And then the day came. She knelt on the carpet and she told God, "I forgive him," and she meant it.

    A deeper meaning to the word forgive is "to abide" or "to set free." Claire experienced both of these as she made room within her heart, mind and soul for God's presence and forgiveness to dwell.

    It's been nearly a year. She is still beginning each day with God and inviting Him to fill her up with Himself. Moments of joy now surprise her just as grief once did.

    Dear Lord, I knew instinctively that one day You would ask me to forgive, but today I understand why. You want to move in to the demolished areas of my life and let Your presence shine. Help me to begin to forgive with Your help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope dives deep into the affects unforgiveness, heart-break and rejection that keep us from living fully in Christ. If you want to know how to let God's redeeming love heal your heart and usher you into a place of security and hope, click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How are you currently filling the empty places left by unfaithfulness or hurt?

    What do you feel God nudging you to do differently? List one way you can begin to intentionally walk into a deeper relationship with Christ, regardless of your situation.

    Power Verses:
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20a, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price." (NLT)

    © 2012 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Forgiveness, Suzie Eller, 1 Kings

  • Patient Forgiveness

    Posted on September 28, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult” (Proverbs 12:16).

     

    Fools are forever flailing away at an offense, while a prudent man or woman is patient to forgive. A fool is easily provoked to anger, always looking for an argument to win. He or she is combative without compassionate concern. However, prudence is careful in its response, not willing to be reckless, but to be right. Wisdom employs forethought and prayer; it answers with an attitude of respect. Prudence invokes patience.

    Do you buckle under pressure saying things you later regret? It is better to keep quiet and cool down than to vent venomous words in the flesh. Make this a goal when disciplining your children. Avoid anger as the instructor of your punishment. We tend to speak harshly and to act unreasonably when driven by anger. Wait prayerfully for twenty-four hours; then revisit the infraction with your child. Use cool correction.

    “This is what you are to say to Joseph: ‘I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly. Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.’ When their message came to him, Joseph wept” (Genesis 50:17).

    Bridle your tongue by God’s grace. The Bible says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Your words can grieve another or give hope. They can hurt or heal. Therefore, submit to the Holy Spirit’s control of your conversations.

    Lastly, you are blessed if you are insulted for Christ’s sake. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). Reward awaits those rejected for righteousness’ sake. Have you died to the right to be right? Do you hold a grudge or have to get even? In Christ we are dead to sin, and the dead are not insulted.

    “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).

    Prayer: Whom do I need to patiently forgive for Christ’s sake?

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 20:30–34; Esther 3:5; Matthew 27:39–40; James 1:19

    Post/Tweet: Our words can grieve or give hope. They can hurt or heal. #patient #forgive

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Forgiveness, Matthew, Romans, Genesis, James

  • Matthew West - New single. New album.

    Posted on July 18, 2012 by Family Christian

    >Matthew West returns with his new album, Into the Light on September 25th. Continuing his journey of drawing inspiration from true stories of people’s lives, he’s written an album of all-new songs including the first single “Forgiveness,” which tells the story of a mother forgiving the drunk driver that took her daughter’s life.

    Into the Light encourages people to embrace the hope and restoration in Christ, in the middle of life’s toughest challenges.

     

    Here is the first single from Matthew, Forgiveness, done acoustically.

    Also, here is Forgiveness again, but the lyric video.

    For more on Matthew West, click here.
    To purchase his new single, click here.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Music, Forgiveness, Matthew West

  • The Little Tiny Bug

    Posted on July 3, 2012 by Family Christian

    By John van der Veen. Social Media at Family Christian.

    The other day, after I was working in my garden, I was sitting by our dinning room table enjoying time with our family.  After sitting there for a while, I felt something crawling up my leg.  Now living here in the South, the possibility of getting a "carry-on" from outside is pretty common.  Regardless of what it was, I am glad that it was on my leg as opposed to being on my head or some place worse.

    As I looked at the little fella, I became a little curious by him.  He, I am sure it was a he, was quite small.  Round-ish, with some sort of black "armor" type of exoskeleton thing.  He was not biting me, just sitting there in the hair of my leg.

    I picked him up.
    He fell on the floor.

    I picked him up again.
    Again, he fell on the floor.

    Almost like he was playing dead.  Or playing with me.  Not like a dog plays with his owner, but like a cat plays with a mouse, and I was the mouse.

    I think to some extent this was his defense mechanism.  Almost a "if-I-fall-to-the-ground-no-one-will-notice-me" attitude.
    "Just forget about me."
    "Don't think about me anymore."
    "I am nothing."
    "See, just a speck on the ground."
    "Don't worry.  It's almost like I am not even here anymore."
    Hmmmm.  Doesn't that remind you of someone?

    Here is the truth.  The devil doesn't want us to believe in him anymore.  He wants us to just forget about him.  To not worry about the little stuff.  Because if we forget about him, then we won't be surprised by the fact that he has taken over so many areas of our lives.

    Remember, satan is a beautiful creature, and he can disguise himself incredibly well.
    What are you being tempted by right now?
    Is it beautiful?
    Is it valuable?
    Does it sound good?
    Can it make you feel good?

    Let me remind you of something.  Satan has no power over you.  If you are in Christ, you are free.  Keep in mind that "our adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).  We have to keep our eyes open to really see him.  So the call on our lives is to "put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Eph 6:11).  The choice here is will you give into the temptation or not.

    So what happened to the bug?  He is gone.  Forever.  After the fourth time falling from my finger, I brought him to the porcelain bowl.  Flushed down the drain.

    This post was posted in John van der Veen and was tagged with Satan, Forgiveness, 1 Peter, Ephesians

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