Feb 232018
 

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“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

You would think that, after observing the behaviour of some people, they have a verse in their Bible that says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, go and tell as many people as possible. And then ultimately go and try to drive that person away.”

But this is not what Scripture tells us to do.

In Matthew 18, Jesus gave us the steps we should take when it appears someone has fallen into sin.
And I emphasize the word appears.

First, we must know all the facts.

When you hear something about someone,
– instead of talking about it,
– determine to go to that person and say,
-“I heard this about you. Is it true?”

Hopefully-
– you can get the issue resolved immediately.

But to fail to go to someone when you know a sin is being committed is-
– to actually cause that individual, and the church as a whole, the greatest harm.

Scripture says, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal 5:9).

In most cases, you will find that believers rarely approach a sinning believer or allegedly sinning believer.

Instead of seeking to help a person who possibly may have never sinned at all, they end up slandering that individual.

This is wrong!
This is sin!

If you have ever had this happen to you-
– then you know how painful it can be.

Remember, the devil wants to turn believers against each other.

He will attack us from the outside, but many times, when that does not work, he seeks to infiltrate our ranks and divide us.

Be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

(PA)

Feb 192018
 

pray1

On the night of Jesus’ arrest-

Peter denied Jesus – three times! 

In spite of his lack of loyalty-

Jesus extended an invitation of mercy to Peter and said:

“Come and dine!” 

There on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection-

Jesus came to Peter and prepared a table of restoration. 

Can you imagine what was going through Peter’s mind?

Guilt and gladness, fear and fascination, wonder and worship-

– a kaleidoscope of emotions! 

He could not believe that-

– he was being invited to the table of the One he had deserted just days before. 

And not only was he being invited but restored!

The depth of Jesus’ covenant love is not exhausted when we sin.

There is forgiveness and restoration. 

Peter is off the scene!

You are on the scene!! 

Allow Him to transform your life.

And to use you for His glory from today on… 

Read this account of restoration in John 21:4-19.

Rejoice over God’s plan of restoration in your life. 

(PA)

The power to forgive

 Forgiveness  Comments Off on The power to forgive
Feb 132018
 

When we forgive someone for what he/she did to us-
– we aren’t pretending it never happened,
– or that it wasn’t evil or hurtful.

If we did that-
– we’d be untruthful.

But when we forgive someone-
– we let go of our desire for revenge,
– and we also let go of our anger and bitterness.

Admittedly-
– this is hard to do!

But often the first step is-
– to realize just how much these things are hurting us.

The longer we hold on to them-
– the more they hurt us.
Here,the time is not a healer but a hardener!

Bitterness and anger are like poisons that eat away at our souls-
– and ultimately we are the ones hurt by them,
– not the person who hurt us.

The Bible commands:
“See to it…that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15.

The key is-
– to realize how much God has forgiven us.

No matter how deeply someone may have hurt us-
– we’ve hurt God far, far more-
– both by our deliberate disobedience and our neglect.

Yet God still offers to forgive us, freely and fully, although we don’t deserve it.
And we are called to forgive others in the same way, even if they don’t deserve it.

Ask God to forgive you for all your sins-
– as you open your heart and life to Christ.

Then ask Him to give you the power to forgive this person-
– and to begin looking to the future instead of the past.

(PA)

Shock your enemies!

 Love  Comments Off on Shock your enemies!
Feb 092018
 

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21).  

Between the years 1861-1865 the United States found itself in the midst of a bitter civil war over the issue of slavery, and several other serious disagreements.

By the time the North won the war nearly 620,000 soldiers had perished.  

There were many in the North who were so embittered that the South had dragged them into such a deadly conflict that they wanted the South to pay dearly. 

At the end of the war, a group of Southerners gained an audience with President Abraham Lincoln.  

His gentle, kind and friendly personality quickly softened the hearts of his once-hardened foes and the Southerners left the interview with a deep respect for the man who had been their bitter enemy.  

Not long afterward, a northern congressman criticized Lincoln for “befriending the enemy!”

He suggested that he should have had them shot for being traitors instead of welcoming them! 

Lincoln simply said:

“Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?” 

If you’re serving the Lord-

– you can expect your share of enemies! 

Don’t let a root of bitterness grow up because of them-

– but rather, seek to win them over with gentleness, kindness, and evenlove.  

Show your enemies the Lord’s grace and His peace through your Spirit-controlled response.

And in so doing, you’ll “heap coals” upon their heads!  

Satan wants to provoke you through their hatred and opposition.

Don’t let him!  

Instead-

– shock your enemies,

– not with angry retaliation…

– but with Spirit empowered love!  

(PA)

 

Bound to the past!

 Forgiveness  Comments Off on Bound to the past!
Feb 052018
 

“He who has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47). 

A woman came to Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia, requesting that the man who killed her husband be put to death.  

The man had fallen from the top of a palm tree when he had been gathering dates and landed on this lady’s husband and killed him. 

The king said:

“It is your right to exact compensation, and it is also your right to ask for this man’s life.

But it is my right to decree how he shall die.

You shall take this man with you and he shall be tied to the foot of a palm tree and then you shall climb to the top of the tree and cast yourself down upon him from that height.

In that way you will take his life as he took your husband’s.

Or perhaps,” Ibn Saud added, “you would prefer after all to take the blood money?” 

The widow took the money. 

To fail to forgive keeps us bound to the past! 

It is a killer-

– not of the one who caused the resentment,

– but the one who carries the resentment.  

Failing to forgive is like drinking poison-

– and waiting for the other person to die! 

Also, as Jesus said:

“He who has forgiven little loves little.”  

One way to love much, therefore, is to confess all our wrongs and sins, not only to God, but to the one(s) we have hurt and do all we can to make restitution and be forgiven ourselves.  

For he who has been forgiven much loves much! 

(PA)