Posts tagged ‘Forgiveness’

The How To’s

How,  Colorful words hang on rope

By Pastor Jeff,

Have you ever been challenged to do something but was never given the “How to”?

I can remember a time when if you had something to repair or build, you would have to take it to someone, hire someone, buy a manual, or get a book from the library. Now all you have to do is go to “YouTube” and find a video that shows you the  “How To”, technology is wonderful, isn’t it?

However if you are like me, you have heard countless sermons, that have told us that we need to do this or that, all we are told is pray, read your bible, and then you will know what to do. Well I agree the word of God is the greatest book ever written, but when it comes to certain things we don’t have a clear cut answer. Two areas I hear often is “How do I know God’s will for my life?” and “How do you hear God’s voice?”

When we talk about the “Will of God” we do see in the Bible does give us some answers, Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” This is just some of the scriptures that tell us, what we should do as believers, but what most people are looking for is what does Jesus want me personally to do, or go?

Let me answer the second question and I believe it will help you here, how do I hear God’s voice? Let me say first, if you are a Spirit filled Saint of God, you do hear the Lord’s voice! John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” The problem most of us have is that we have a difficult time distinguishing God’s voice from all the other voices that we get bombarded with every day. We have our own voice, the voice of our families, coworkers, media, the world, Satan, and God’s, wow, no wonder we think we don’t hear from God!

I contend the first thing you need to do is to believe, believe, and believe that God speaks to you! Many people will tell you that you need to find a quiet place, really?, I don’t know about you, sometimes quiet is the hardest place for me to differentiate God’s voice from mine, they will also tell you to quiet your mind (sure, nice try), or you need to fast and read your bible more (this is probably the best suggestion as God many times speaks to us through His word). I read someone wrote this,  “Don’t expect God to speak to you in a sensational, spectacular, supernatural way!” Well, I don’t believe that, for when I was struggling with moving my family and me from Milwaukee, to Janesville in 1995, I was not getting any clear cut answer to go or not, in fact my gut and some of the circumstances pointed against it. I eventually decided on going and as one walking the aisles of GM, I indeed heard God’s voice, He told me, “If you go, you will see a great harvest!” I know some will say that wasn’t God, but I just say “I Know what I know” and hear I am in Janesville WI some 22 years later in a great church started by a great God.

As I have grown in my love and knowledge of God I believe I hear the voice of God quite often, not in that quiet place, not trying to quiet my mind, but mostly when I’m going about my daily routine. I do give this warning found in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  Don’t ever be afraid to ask who is speaking to you, if you get no answer or another answer beside that it is “Jesus the Christ” be carful to follow it and also be careful of other people, including pastors and prophets telling you do or not do something. You must yourself hear that voice and then you will know Gods will for your life!

picture care of; govloop.com

 

Forgiveness

power-of-forgiveness_t

By Pastor Jeff,

Forgiveness! It’s one of the most significant expressions of love that I can think of, Jesus over and over tells us the importance of it. In the Lords prayer He tells us in Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Then to further emphasis it he follows up in verses 14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” As we see here, it can be positive if you are willing to forgive, and negative if you chose not to forgive.

Joseph (Genesis 37-45) is a great example of someone who chose to forgive his brothers who should distain to him and even came to the point of almost killing him but sold him to slavery. Eventually Joseph had the opportunity to exact revenge on his brothers but instead showed grace. The story if Ahitophel  is the opposite, a one time friend and council to David, he became an enemy as result of David’s sin with Bathsheba whom was his granddaughter. We find him at the end of the story hung from tree after his betrayal was not heeded by Absalom (2Samuel 17:23).

Recently I had the opportunity to see the story of one Eva Moses Kor who had a twin sister named Miriam. These two sisters as well as the rest of their family were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 where the entire family except for the twins were killed immediately. A doctor Josef Mengele “the angel of death” began experiments on Eva, Miriam and many other twins which had lasting affects on they bodies and may of contributed to Miriam’s’ death in 1993. Eva later was put into contact with another “Nazi” doctor who was at the camp, a Dr. Munch. She was soon confronted with the idea to write a letter of forgiveness to this doctor but was challenged to also to forgive Dr. Mengele. Eva decided that she would and then realized that she and she alone had any power to forgive, not the others who were at the camp, not any church, or any other organization. It was hers alone as we also have the same power to or not to forgive, it’s our power!

Ephesians 4:30-32, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is necessary, even if the person who is the recipient does not or cannot accept it we still need to forgive not once, not twice, but as Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:22, “seventy times seven”, really what Jesus was saying is there is no limit on our ability to forgive others except the limit we put on it.

Our greatest example is found in Jesus Christ, even after the beatings, mocking, and bing nailed to a wooden cross he declared in Luke 23:35, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” If we want to be Christ-like we need to be able to do the same!

picture care of: hellemanworld.blogspot.com

 

Why God Became a Man!

Godman

By Pastor Jeff,

John 1:1, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” Have you ever thought about what kind of child, teenager, young man that the man Jesus Christ would of been? We don’t find much in scripture that describes His life prior to the age of thirty other that what is says in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

But the scripture tells us in Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” . So imagine with me as I ponder the early life of Jesus. I wonder did He ever spill His milk at the dinner table, did He ever make a mistake in measuring or cutting a piece of wood in His father’s shop? Did He ever hit His thumb with a hammer or get a sliver? How was it being a brother or sister of Jesus, did He ever fight with them, or what was it like to follow Him in school? How was He in playing sports or games, did He always win? Was the life of Jesus easy or hard after all He always was aware of His destiny wasn’t He? These are just a few of the questions that run through my mind of how the life of our Savior Jesus Christ could have been.

So let’s answer the question of why God became a man? One reason was because  of the fall of Adam, Romans 5:19-21, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Another reason was to reveal the Father, John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

But the best answer is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” because of his love we have eternal life, we have hope, we have a family, we have been given great power, and most importantly we have forgiveness! Not only the forgiveness from God which is extraordinary, but the power to forgive others and sometimes the hardest person, ourselves. He is worthy of all praise, glory, and honor for taking on this flesh in ordinary to sacrifice Himself for us on an old rugged cross!

picture care of; pinterest

 

Forgive and Forget

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By Pastor Jeff

Forgiveness is one of the most important and the most difficult things for us Christians to accept and do. The word of God is filled with examples of the problems that occur when we do not forgive, remember Cain and Abel? how about Ahitophel and David? We also have the good examples of what happens when we do forgive one another such as Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers.

The most supreme example is Jesus when after being betrayed, beaten, sentenced to death, and nailed to the cross said this in Luke 23:34, “Then said, Jesus, Father, forgive them for they know what they do…”

When Jesus’ disciples came to Him one day asking Jesus to show them how to pray, Matthew 6:9-13,Our Father which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Jesus then says in verse 14 and 15, For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

I need to forgiveness so I need to follow this example Jesus gave us; we christians all agree that forgiveness is very important. But I would like it to take it a step further and state that we should not only forgive but learn to forget!

How can that be you ask? God gave us plenty examples such as in Jeremiah when telling the Israelites of the “New Covenant” to come He says in verse 34, “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” In Psalms 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” That’s pretty far isn’t it? But you say how does God do that? Well He chooses to and I believe just as forgiveness is a choice for us, to forget is also a choice we choose to make.

A line in Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness” says about forgiveness, “It clears the bitterness away, it can even set a prisoner free, There is no end to what it’s power can do, So, let is go and be amazed, By what you see through eyes of grace, The prisoner that it really frees is you” Unforgiveness can hold us back from being all we can be in Christ Jesus and if left unchecked can destroy our relationship with others and as well as with our Savior. Lets not only forgive but also forget as Jesus has done for us!

Picture care of;  wendydalessandro.com

My Thoughts about Revival

Revival, Biblical Lessons, Apostolic