Archive for the ‘ Forgiveness ’ Category

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/12/2017 – Psalm 139

I realized late that I forgot to click “Schedule” on this, so it is appearing a day late!

As we are in the midst of my pro-life themed-videos, I thought it fitting to share THE pro-life psalm in its entirety, with only minimal commentary.

Psalm 139  English Standard Version (ESV)

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

My only commentary today is for verses 23-24:

For any who is involved with a sin in which they struggle – and, for the main purpose of this week’s topic, especially those who have been involved with [an] abortion[s] – the best place to start is by asking God to search you.

“Please, God, look into my heart and my mind. You understand everything I am thinking and feeling! Help me! I know I messed up – that I am messed up! I know have done something horrible and wrong, and it is tearing me up! I can’t handle it!”

And He is faithful and true. He will judge your heart, yes, but if you trust that He is truly Lord and the source of salvation, He will “lead [you] in the way everlasting!”

God will forgive you and help you to move forward, if you trust in Him and His sacrifice and the mercy and grace that it afforded.

Trust in the risen Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. The lover and forgiver of your soul.

Shooting at God?

Another shooting happened this week.

This time, it was in Sutherland Springs, TX, at the First Baptist Church.

Let us remember all of those affected and pray for peace, forgiveness, and strength to move forward.

It looks like it may have been a “domestic dispute” between the shooter and his in-laws.

It also appears he was a preacher of Atheism and the downfall of Christianity.

Regardless, and before I knew these tidbits, I could not help but think:

Is this the post-Christian America we have been promised for years?

Here are some of the reasons I ask:

  • The usual call for stricter controls on guns and people began immediately.
  • Groups like Antifa (Anti-Fascists) are calling for stricter laws across the board.
  • There have been calls for how this is Christians’ fault, anyway, and to see how obviously their prayers were not being answered so how could there be any god.

First, Atheist and other non-religious groups have been calling for all forms of religion to be abolished and for “true human freedom” to reign, but without solid examples of how one must live. Now people wonder why our society seems to be going down the toilet. We removed moral absolutes, and they wonder why we act more like animals. It seems that without the Christian God to help teach us how to be self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23), we rely on outward control. (i.e. More and stricter laws.)

This leads to the second point. We see groups claiming to be anti-fascist that promote known fascist governments. We see the call for the breakdown of walls between cultures with new walls to be up (such as wanting to celebrate what is great about other cultures but not letting those outside of those cultures dress up as them for Halloween). Because we cannot trust people to self-regulate (control their emotions), society must help by saying what others are allowed to think and do.

Finally, Christians and our God get mocked and blamed when this kind of violence erupts. Am I complaining about this as other prominent Christian leaders have been doing, perhaps calling for more protection for our religious beliefs\?

Actually, no.

This is what I expect to happen. Especially if we truly are a “post-Christian nation” … and if I believe the Bible.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’”
John 15:18-25

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

As we see society move farther away from God, I expect to see more people shooting at God — through shooting and otherwise attacking His people, the Church.

These things are crazy, stupid, and sad, but in a fallen world that lashes out at the very idea of God I expect it.

This should push us to pray all the more for peace, repentance, and the swift return of our Lord.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/27/2014

Stop questioning wisdom and find some at Proverbial Thought!

I recently heard a quote that “You know you are preaching grace right if people think they have license to sin.” (See Romans 6)

The thing is, I think most people either take this idea to heart or completely forget about God’s grace.

In either sense, they forget what God has said, and then they question what God has really said. In one direction it is sinful, and in the other direction it is misleading.

We must remember that He has said, “Go and sin no more.” (such as in John 8:11)

We must also remember that He has said, “You are forgiven.” (such as in Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:5; Luke 5:20, 7:48; and 1 John 2:12)

Also, it seems that it does not matter who you are, but a message similar to the poem today can hit you in the face, knock you down, and help you appreciate God and His grace in a new way.

That is the power of His grace!

 
___   ________   ___
Who are you to question Me?
You came before Me stricken,
I tell you you are healed,
Yet you go right back to your sin.
Still, I have said you are free.
You come back to be forgiven.
JUST STOP! Listen, please.
When you go that way again,
Turn to me, and you will see
You were forgiven for ever when
I sent my Son to that tree!
Stop sinning, my loved children.
You were made whole … complete,
When you said “I repent. Amen.”
Who are you to question Me?
Remember, I have called you friend!

 

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/24/2013

Heed the call of Wisdom through Proverbial Thought!

Every single person on Earth has been issued the same calling in this life by God. Most people will not heed this call.

This calling is simultaneously simple and the most difficult to accept on many levels.

This calling is only found through faith in the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth.

This calling is to believe and follow Jesus Christ, the living Son of God.

This week is Thanksgiving. May those of us who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb be thankful for this calling and freedom!

Your death on the cross is an invitation
Your resurrection is a call
You invite us into love and forgiveness
You call us into life and repentance
i accept that this is all true
i accept that You have done and do these
my response is to come to You
my response is to turn from my old life

Unwelcoming Jesus

Do not be a fool, and go get some wisdom over at Proverbial Thought!

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 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?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:36-50, NIV

Christianity is the most popular religion in the United States of America. In fact, approximately 74% of Americans claim to follow some form of Christianity (found at census.gov).

That is amazing! 74%! That is about three-quarters (3/4) of those living in the USA!

How well do we live up to this?

Welcome or Unwelcome?

Many people look to this passage and Luke and see the love and faith displayed by this woman in Jesus as Messiah.

Most times this passage is used to show how God’s love and grace goes to all people, but those who are painfully aware of their sin are those who are most grateful for the forgiveness they are given.

However, look at what is said about the two people most interested in Jesus here.

“Sinful Woman”:

“she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair”
“this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet”
“she has poured perfume on my feet”

Simon:

“one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him”
“You did not give me any water for my feet”
“You did not give me a kiss”
“You did not put oil on my head”

Simon, a religious leader, comparable to a pastor today, invited Jesus into his home for dinner.

Typically, when you have a guest, you greet them, then you offer something such as a place to put shoes or jackets.

In this case, Simon should have greeted his Guest with a kiss (on the cheek or the lips or, for you Baptists and Nazarenes, with the hands in the form of a good handshake). He then should have offered at least some water to clean His feet and/or some lotion or perfume after having walked around in the sun all day.

Instead, Simon expected his Guest to take care of himself (except for the food, of course). His real intention was to either find out more of this so-called Messiah or to look important for having this great teacher in his home.

Simon disregarded all forms of respect and love to look important. He did not treat Jesus as a welcome guest.

A Land of “Simon the Pharisees”?

How many Americans (or christians from around the world) treat Jesus the same way?

I am sure there are honest people out there who are doing the best they can, and perhaps they are simply living by what they have been taught.

If you look around at this nation, there are a lot of people who invite Jesus into their houses, but they ignore Him most of the time.

We have athletes who thank their Lord Jesus Christ after every game; but they sleep around with various partners, get into drugs and alcohol, or lose all of their money to frivolous and/or dangerous things.

We have politicians who pray in the name of Jesus, but they lie, cheat, and steal from their constituents and government on a regular basis.

We have preachers who use Jesus as a reason for a 501(c)3 status (tax-exempt) and promote a different gospel of good feelings and good intentions.

We have churches as fancy as country clubs where people carry their Bibles to look good and holy, but the only time they spend with Jesus is an hour on Sunday mornings and maybe on Wednesday nights.

We have committees and groups who promote social justice and stopping the liberals/conservatives from destroying the fabric of American society, but they lack love for some of the very people who need love the most.

Remember …

Those who look good or know all the answers tend to be the ones who invite Jesus in to their homes, but it is the people who serve Jesus who are forgiven and accepted by God.

How do you love Jesus? By expecting some of the glory or by humbling yourself and serving others?

… For They Know Not What They Do

Give yourself something: get wisdom over at Proverbial Thought.

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’

For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Luke 23:26-34

You may know where I am going with this, but I am going to continue, anyway.

Jesus had to endure some pretty bad stuff. He went through some of the most torturous agony a person can.

And he forgave His murderers and haters.

Keep in mind, it is our own sin that put Jesus on the cross. Jesus was forgiving you and me with that sentence, as well!

Jesus said other words to us about this subject, as well:

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:25

And I’ve Never Been to Boston in the Fall

For over a week now, as of this posting, people have been dealing with the bombing at the Boston Marathon. On Thursday, those responsible were found, and they caused more damage and took the life of a police officer. It left one of them, the older brother, dead, and the younger is now in custody.

I have heard many people, understandably angry, calling for the death of this young man. Some have said torture is justified. Still others have prayed for these brothers to be joined back together in Hell.

What have you said about these men? What thoughts and words have you allowed through your mind and out your mouth concerning these men?

Regardless of the various parts of belief systems within major (and minor) world religions, specifically Islam, their family and friends say these two brothers were twisted in the beliefs by a radical form of Islam.

The point?

These young men were convinced that God’s love for them would grow if they killed infidels. They were led to believe they were doing God’s will.

Do you know what this means?

They did not fully understand what they were doing!

Regardless of what arguments you want to make about their understanding of what they were doing:

Have you ever been so angry with someone (say, these to men, your parents, siblings, friends, that jerk on the road) that you wished ill-will upon them?

Have you ever lusted after another person?

Have you ever desired something so much that you would do anything to get it?

Have you ever loved someone or something more than God?

The short answer is “Yes!”

As I stated above, it was our sin which put Jesus on that cross.

A “yes” to any of those questions above shows your sin (and, yes, we have all sinned: Romans 3).

This means we are all guilty of murdering God.

If He can forgive us for killing Him, our Creator and greatest Lover …

Pray for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, that he may come to know the love of Jesus Christ.

Pray for the family of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, that they may be drawn to Christ and learn to cope with their loss and this atrocity committed by their family members.

Pray for each of the families and friends who were killed or injured during the bombing and chase a few days later.

Forgive and repent of hatred.

Love.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/10/2013

Do not forget to get your daily dose of wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

Last week, we looked at the freedom that comes from Christ. I can not remember, having written both poems five and a half years ago, whether I was thinking through these same thoughts, but this poem explains more of how that freedom comes through in our lives.

It takes forgiveness. It is God’s forgiveness of our sin. It is forgiving ourselves for our sin. It is showing that same forgiveness to others. It is treating others better than any of us deserve.

thatisallworship

first comes forgiveness
that from God
second comes forgiveness
that in my heart
third comes forgiveness
that to others
fourth comes service
that from us
that is all worship
which should be
life