Tag Archive: forgiveness


shhh

I have a confession to make.

I can not keep a secret.  Seriously, it is pure torture!!

I just helped my parents order gifts for the kids for Christmas.  Gifts that the kids will absolutely go ga-ga over!  These are THE GIFTS; the ones they continue hinting at, the ones they’ve been talking about for months, the ones they never dreamed they’d get, never thought they’d see, never imagined they’d hold…

I am having such a hard keeping it secret!!  I am so darn excited, I’m just bursting!!

I want to talk about it, I want to share it, I want to tell someone, ANYONE…

Crazy excited

But there is a secret that I have been known to keep.  The best secret.  The one I should share but I zip my lips, I hold my tongue.

The Good News of Jesus Christ.

Why am I not bursting at the seams over what Christ did for me?

Why aren’t I just as excited to tell someone… ANYONE… about God’s saving grace that I can’t keep quiet?

Zip Lip

Why aren’t I?

God offers us an amazing gift.  A gift that we will go ga-ga over.  A gift that we always long for, hint at, the one that we can’t stop thinking about.  A gift that we all desperately want but think we will never get.

Love…

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

Forgiveness…

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

Freedom…

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”   John 8:36

Peace…

“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”   Revelation 21:4

Joy…

“The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”   Psalm 19:8

Beauty…

“…THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”   1 Corinthians 2:9

Life…

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”   1 John 5:13

 

We can have a burden for the lost; an excitement to share the change and promises God has made in and given to us, but we must ask for it.

It is very easy to grow cold in our longing to share what Christ did.  The evil one makes sure of that.  He certainly does not want us sharing our faith and changing hearts, so he plants seeds of doubt and fear in us to turn us from sharing the hope of Christ with others.

Ignore those whispers!

Don’t let the evil one steal God’s thunder!  Pray for courage, pray for a burden and let God work.

helping hand

Heavenly Father, your Word promises that You are always with me.  Give me a burden for those who don’t know you, the boldness to approach them and the words to say.  Please prepare hearts and guide my steps.  Oh God I praise You for the change You’ve made in me, please fill me with a desire for the lost and allow me to share You with them.

 

Related articles:
Heaven is a Beautiful Place   (http://www.mfctoday.org/)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”   2 Timothy 3:16

I so totally relate to many of the women in the Bible…  and not the pretty, inspiring, good traits but the ugly, selfish and prideful ones.

Eve

(Genesis 2)…allowed the devil to convince her that she’s not happy, she needs more, God is not enough… PLUS she likes the look of food so much that she can’t control herself!!  Boy, can I relate to that, just get me around some brownies…Eve

How often do I act on the evil one’s lies…focusing on that which I “can’t have” as being better than what God has already given!!  Doubting that God’s plan is best?!!

Father, give me a greater understanding of your original plan for our world.  Help me to envision its beauty so I might live with a constant awareness that you intend to restore paradise to all who belong to you.  May I surrender every sin and every sorrow to you, trusting that you will fulfill your purpose for my life.*

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”   John 1:16

 

Naomi

(Book of Ruth)… her anger & bitterness toward what has been taken away…  Oh boy, don’t get me started about my “poor me” attitude.Ruth and Naomi

How often do I focus on my troubles, my woes…how often do I ask to be called “Marah”??

Lord, thank you that Your Word promises You will restore us whether in this life or with You in eternity.  Please help me stop focusing on what has been taken and instead on Your goodness, Your promise, Your plan.

“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”   Psalm 71:20

 

Adulterous Woman

(John 8:3)…caught in the act of adultery but where’s the man?!! Seriously, it takes two…  Jesus calls out those condemning her, forgives her and calls for her to turn from her ways!!woman caught in adultery

How often do I re-visit old sins?  How often do I have to repent and turn back to Christ??

Lord, thank you that your forgiveness covers all sin.  Please help me make good choices; turning from my old self and living in a way that is pleasing to You.  When and if I do fall back to my old ways, please make it clear to me and remind me that only through Your sacrifice am I made new.

“knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin”   Romans 6:6

 

Sarah

(Genesis 17)…The Lord appears to Abraham telling him Sarah will bear a child.  Sarah, who is almost 90 years old, overhears and laughs.  Sadly I have also been known to laugh at God and think “Impossible!”old woman laughing

How often do I question God’s timing and doubt His plan for me? 

Father, thank you for loving me despite the fact that my soul still contains shadows that sometimes block the light of your Spirit.  As I grow older, may I trust you more completely for the dreams you’ve implanted in my soul, the promises you’ve made to me.  Like Sarah, may I be surrounded by laughter at the wonderful way you accomplish your purpose despite my weakness.*

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.”   Psalm 130:5

 

Lot’s Wife

(Genesis 19)… her family is spared from the judgment and destruction that falls upon the sinful city of Sodom.  As they flee, they are told “Do not look back, do not stop…” but Lot’s wife can’t help herself.
(Has anyone else wondered about the location of the Dead Sea?  Mmmm-hmmm, interesting.)Lot's wife looked back

How often do I look back with longing of what used to be instead of running toward the forgiveness and promises laid before me?

Lord, you call me to live in the world without embracing the ways of the world.  Help me to live in a way that preserves my freedom to follow you wherever and however you lead.  If I should leave behind a monument, may it be a reminder to others of faith and not foolishness.*

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”   John 14:27

 

So often people think the old testament and the Bible as a whole, for that matter, is full of stories that don’t relate to our world and our lives today.  But as I read through it and see myself so clearly in so many of these stories, I am reminded and comforted that God will use such selfish messes like me for His good and to fulfill His work here on earth.

Praise Him for creating us, loving us and using us!

 

*prayers taken from Women of the Bible Devotional

One Sunday afternoon, my kids told me they asked their Sunday school teacher a question that she didn’t know the answer to.

“What did you ask them?!!”  I blurted out, slightly fearful of what topic they dared to breach…

“Does God love the devil?”

Wow.

Now there’s a question.

I can only assume that the Sunday school “teacher” they asked was one of the teen helpers and not the actual teacher, because I am sure the teacher has an answer to their question…but it made me think and wonder if what I thought was correct.

“Well, what do you think?” I asked back

“NO!” they almost simultaneously screamed… “he’s bad and so naughty!”

Great point.

Great question.

Does God love the devil?

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…”   Genesis 1:31

God made the devil.  And if he made the devil, then the devil is part of the “everything” Genesis 1:31 is talking about.

“… You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them …”   Nehemiah 9:6

Continue reading

“Now the angel of the Lord came… while Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.’”   Judges 6:11-12

Gideon, a “mighty man of valor,” hid in a winepress to avoid the Midianites.  He knew that the Lord was with the people of Israel, but questioned God’s plan for them to defeat the Midianites after years of oppression.

God told Gideon to “Go.”

Gideon responded, “But…”

God reassured Gideon, “This is my plan.”

Gideon said “Prove it…”

Not that the whole talking to an angel thing isn’t proof enough, I suppose… but God gave Gideon proof:

“‘Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.’ And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes…”   Judges 6:20-21

That sounds so familiar.  God calls me to write and in response I question Him; Is this really Your plan or my own pipe dream? God assures me, but I want a sign.  Echoing Gideon I pray; “Show me that it’s You, Lord.”

… And Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be to you. Do not fear…’”   Judges 6:22-23

And like Gideon, God reassured me and gave me peace, so I responded in faith trusting that this was His plan and signed up for the She Speaks writer’s conference.

However once I registered, I realized there was a very short window of time available to raise nearly $1000 to attend this conference; an exorbitant amount of money.

And like Gideon, I began to doubt.

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.’ And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.”   Judges 6:36-38

God provided 70% of the funds needed in a very short amount of time, but echoing Gideon again, although I could clearly see God providing and reassuring, I wanted another sign.

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.’ And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.”   Judges 6:39-40

Like Gideon, I was much more certain of the calling God had given me, but a balance of $278 lingered for weeks and the due date quickly approached.

“…the Lord said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.’”   Judges 7:9-11a

Like Gideon, God sent friends and even strangers to validate His plan for me; verifying the gift He gave me to write, offering thankful praise of God touching their lives through my writing, and reassuring me that He would provide.

One friend continually told me, “God loves the 11th hour.”  Although I knew she was trying to reassure me, I didn’t want to hear that.  I wanted God to provide NOW so I didn’t have to worry, and in those last few days leading up to the due date, I continually focused on that $278 and questioned how God would provide.

In true God form, as He provided in Gideon’s “11th hour,” He answered that ridiculous question in mine.

The very morning the final $278 was due; I woke and prayed for God to miraculously provide, thinking perhaps God wanted me to give the remaining balance myself.  I was absolutely happy to but wasn’t sure how that would happen because we didn’t have it and wouldn’t at least until my final paycheck on Friday, still 3 days away.

A couple hours later a friend came over to visit, and although she had come to look at some items I was trying to sell, I knew if she bought them it would only be a small portion to put toward my $278.  We had a wonderful visit, she and her husband stayed much of the afternoon and we shared wonderful conversation and laughs.

As my friend got ready to leave and her husband was writing out a check for $70 for the items she purchased, she asked for a drink of water, which apparently was a decoy, and when I left the room she and her husband answered God’s call to give toward my scholarship fund.  When I returned and handed her the bottle of water, she said:

“I’m going to pay you $100 for this bottle of water,” and handed me a check in the amount of $170.

I was in shock, awe, and tears at the incredible selfless generosity this couple showed me, and at God’s provision.

But God was far from finished.  Shortly after they left, I spoke to another friend on the phone who told me she had planned to give money toward my fund but had forgotten, and would give me $100 the following day.  And, at that exact moment I received an email from another friend who said she also wanted to contribute.

”As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.”   Judges 7:15

Now tell me, how many times does God have to prove His faithfulness to me?  How many times do I have to read stories from His Word to remind me of His love and provision?  How many times do I have to see Him work in the little things?

What about you?

“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”   Matthew 8:26a

Apparently, just one more…

Oh Lord, please forgive me for my doubt.  I praise you for your forgiveness, understanding, patience, and provision, and am in awe and thank you so much for how you work.

I serve an absolutely amazing God.

Are you a sheep or goat?

As I was spending time in the Word this morning, I read in Matthew where Jesus was speaking to the disciples about the end of days; (Matthew 25:31-46)

“Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”   Matthew 25:32-34
Oh, I praise God that I am one of His sheep. How sweet it will be to stand on my Lord’s right hand. What a joyful thing that will be.
Then it hit me…
I know without a doubt that I will be standing on the right side of my God, but I will also be standing face to face with those who are not.  I will be eye to eye to many of my friends and family, separated not only from me, but from our God – with the other goats.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”   Matthew 25:41
Just imagine the pain of that.  The sound of it.  It will be unbearable, and it will be my fault.
“If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”   Ezekiel 3:18
What in this world is keeping me from witnessing, or continuing to witness to the people that I love?
[IMAGE CREDIT]
What in this fallen world is more important than spending eternity in paradise with our Lord and Savior?
I think we all know the answer to that.
I can not bear to hear Him say to my dear friends and family; “depart from me, I never knew you.”
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”   Matthew 25:46
Oh Lord, I pray for forgiveness.  I pray that You give me a burden and drive to reach out to the lost… to those You have put into my life to share Your truth and Your love with…
WYSO Peru Tour 2018

Follow WYSO'S Youth Orchestra As They Tour Peru

Barefoot Lily Lady

Before I Forget: Sharing my love for God, family, gardens and my sweet Momma

Teach Them

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Marilyn Horton

"The Most Optimistic Woman in the World"

His Holy Temple

2 Corinthians 5:17b "The old has gone, the new is here!"

Damn girl, that's a lot of fattitude

Healthy lifestyler and certified nutjob

Never2late4's Blog

Adventures in procrastination

likeafighterpilot

Working on the Mind, Body, and Spirit

DREADmill Diaries

Because I don't love running but am determined to get these 20 pounds off!

Running With'em

Another boring running blog

Women Writers of the Triad

community | craft | excellence

See Jain Run

striving for non-violence while trit-trotting through the mainstream

voxifit

The Voice of Fitness Blog

If there is any magic in this world...

The world can be amazing when you are slightly … strange!

Ugly Grace

Because sometimes, God's grace in our lives, starts first with an ugly story.

Godly Quotes

for the christian life

Rome Wasn't Built by a Day

Providing unsolicited two-sense and witty commentary since 2012

Michael Wilson's Blog

All things are possible with God

%d bloggers like this: