Forgiveness is an issue between you and God! The person you need to forgive doesn’t even need to know that you have forgiven them. However, if you fail to forgive them you are only hurting yourself and your relationship with God. Forgiving someone sets you free. Forgiveness is a process, but it is also a choice, a decision needs to be made. How do you know if you have truly forgiven someone? You know that forgiveness is real when you truly want the best for that person in every situation. Forgiving someone is not admitting that what they did was right or didn’t hurt. Forgiveness is not about pretending that everything is OK. Forgiveness is about releasing yourself from the situation. Forgiveness is about not letting what happened hurt you more than it has already. Forgiveness is about moving on and not becoming bitter, hard-hearted or cynical. Forgiveness is about obeying God and trusting Him and His justice. Forgiveness is about restoring your relationship with God.
How much of what we do is a distraction from what God would have us do or want us to be? Is our job, our hobby, our family, our charity work, our house, our holidays, our friends, our duties, our church work, good things as they are, getting in the way of what God has planned for us? Are our lives too full? It is always good to stop and reassess what we are doing and what, if anything, has become a barrier between us and God and what He may be wanting us to focus on. If your life was a blank piece of paper how would God want you to fill it? Or maybe more importantly not fill it?
If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, where is His body? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead why did His disciples go to their death for proclaiming that He did? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead what explains the change in the disciples from cowering wrecks to empowered preachers of the Gospel? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead how do you account for the incredible development of Christianity? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead how do you account for the hundreds of people that saw him alive after His death? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead how did His body get out of the tomb passed a 2 ton stone and over 12 highly trained soldiers? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead why did tens of thousands of people believe first hand accounts of Him doing so to the extent of being martyred for that belief? If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead where is your evidence that he didn’t?
What is Love? Love is having everything but willingly giving it up for those who hate you. Love is humbling yourself and becoming nothing. Love is taking on the pain of all knowing that only a few will recognize it and even fewer will ever thank you. Love is preparing an eternity for those who don’t deserve it. God is LOVE and everything He does stems from that love. Love is putting your son on a cross to die for all. Love is letting us have choices even knowing the harm we will do to others and ourselves. Love is having a plan for salvation. Love is allowing us to make bad decisions; even decisions, the consequence of which, will last into eternity.
Build in your mind the picture of your perfect father. Forget your father and focus on the ideal. Would he be strong, loving, caring, merciful. powerful, protecting, understanding, compassionate, truthful, providing, attentive, inspiring, gentle, interesting, involved, close, time rich, faithful, grace-filled, generous, compassionate, forgiving, fun, happy, knowledgeable, wise, principled and thoughtful? I’m sure you would have other attributes you would give to him. Each of us would put together a different picture of what our perfect father would look like. However, each of us will have put together a picture that gives us a small glimpse of what God is like and what He wants to be for us. Now, don’t that make you feel good?!?!?!
Lord, give me the eyes to really see today. Give me eyes to see past the painted on smile to the breaking heart. Give me the eyes to see through the bravado to the fear. Give me eyes to see those around me in their true state – help me to see beyond the masks. Give me eyes Lord to see those I meet as you see them. Then Lord, give me all I need to react to what I see in the best possible way.
Stuck in a dead-end job? Working for a difficult boss? Struggling at home with the kids? Unemployed? Full-time carer for a difficult relative? Remember, whatever you are doing you are serving God in that place. You are working for God and not an earthly company or person. There is no such thing as unemployed with God – He always has plans for you to get involved with. Wherever you are you have the opportunity to grow in your Christian life and put the fruits and gifts of the spirit into action. What is God wanting you to learn in the situation in which you find yourself? You can serve God by loving and caring for those around you and by being a witness to them of all the things that God is doing in your life. However dull, dismal and difficult your life seems we serve a higher power and can bring Him glory each day in all that we do. Let not our focus be on our earthly troubles but on the one whom we serve and is worthy of all our praise and glory.
Prepare yourself each day. Be expectant of what God has in store for you. God has plans to bless and use you each day – are you ready and available?
The Bible is not just a collection of words on a page. It is not just a book of historical accounts, poetry, wisdom and future events foretold. The Bible is the LIVING word of God. The truths of the Bible do not change, but our reading of it, when guided by the Holy Spirit, does. That is why the Bible is as applicable to our lives today as it was when it was written hundreds of years ago. It is a wonderful, mystical book worthy of spending quality time with each day. It is a book to read, to study, to meditate over and to hunger after. It’s pages contain life!
The modern world is yet to see a human life totally devoted to God. Imagine our lives if we were truly devoted. Imagine our churches if we were fully committed. What would they look like? What impact would they have? What can we change in order to help us be more devoted to God in the future?