Tag: Forgiveness

The Gospel Demands Forgiveness {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

In order to truly become transformed women, who are changed by our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to become women of humility. Humility, or its opposite – pride, shows up the moment someone has wronged us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Col. 3:13, TLB).

How Do WE Respond… when someone has wronged us?

This is the moment where we realize a lot about ourselves and the grace that we are given through the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is impossible for us to truly forgive those who have deeply hurt us, except by the power of our risen Lord.

King Jesus is the One who is doing this beautiful work inside of us.

And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom (Eph. 1:19-20, NTE).

Reminded of the Gospel

When these deeply conflicted situations arise, we are reminded of the Gospel. The Gospel reminds us that all people need God’s forgiveness – which is found only through Jesus Christ. They need our forgiveness, too.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. . . Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:19, 20b-21, NIV).

Because we have been changed by the reality of the Gospel, we will seek after God’s heart in our relationships. We need to be willing to pursue reconciliation with others, after being made right with God. If we want to see God bring healing, let’s choose to work toward forgiving others.

Letting Go of “The Right”

We may have “the right” to be angry with someone for the way they have hurt us, but we can willfully choose to “count it as rubbish (see Phil. 3:7-14)”.

Why would we do such a thing? Because, we have met Jesus Christ.

From the moment where we said “yes” to following Jesus, our lives have been changed – for the better. Our hearts and minds are being renewed. Now if we haven’t met Jesus Christ or been changed by Him in this dramatic way, we will try to forgive in our own efforts. We need Jesus Christ and His power to forgive. 

Forgiving others is hard, but made possible with Jesus Christ. Every hint of willingness reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s work in our midst. Through walking by the Holy Spirit’s leading, we are able to remember none compare with Him. His truth always wins.

In Christ,

Signature

 

Heart-Breaking Forgiveness {{Week 7

Welcome to today’s blog and  our Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus study!

And we have made it to week 4!! Welcome to week 7, my friend.. I am excited to have you joining me today, as I share a real experience of learning about forgiveness the hard way!

Today, we will be discussing the necessity of forgiveness. Not only have we been forgiven of much, we are also commanded to forgive others. If we want God’s forgiveness, then, we need to be willing to extend the same kind of forgiveness to others.

Take a moment to bring out your journal and Bible. If you don’t have either nearby, join us anyway!

The Scriptures – Matthew 6:14-15, 18:33-35

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 (Mt. 6:14-15, NIV).

From the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

‘Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.’ ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart (Mt. 18:33-35).’

Devotion

Forgiveness is an intensely deliberate act. Not one of us can claim that we have forgiven someone by happenstance, when we have been offended by another. Others have badly hurt us, yet because of the tender mercy of God – we can forgive them no matter what they have done. Others hurt us, and this is what leads us to this place of needing to forgive. Whether accidental or deliberate in their offending, we are commanded to forgive them. This is an absolute heartfelt action, which requires faith, time, effort.

Forgiveness takes time and effort. And, a whole lot of time with Jesus – our beloved Savior! Forgiveness will not “just happen,” because it takes a lot of God’s strength and our own will – to forgive others.

When I think of forgiveness, I am reminded of a specific encounter where I had to learn my “toughest” (although, this year has beat that encounter using several relationships…) lesson on forgiving others. May you be encouraged, as I share that experience.

When I think of a certain older gentleman (I served alongside him in ministry), I am filled with great joy. But, it was such a painful road of forgiveness. We were constantly bumping heads, or so it seemed. It was such an intense situation to be placed in, and I wasn’t sure how I would survive it, yet God showed both of us His grace and how God can mend a broken friendship (or thriving enemy-ship) – if we will join God and be willing to pursue reconciliation.

After forgiveness, the friendship grew to almost what I would call a mentorship. I mean, we reached a place of definite closeness in serving well together and in terms of godly leadership influence. I can vividly remember finding out that he was “let go” in his volunteering position, I was just heartbroken. Had that occurred during our frequent conflicts, I would have been glad. But, God worked so much during this difficult season. He taught me so much about trusting God, the Christian life, serving, and living with sickness. All of which was exactly what I needed at the time.

Needless to say, I can testify that God grows deeper relationships, when we allow Him to plant forgiveness in our hearts for others – which is the outflow of the way God has forgiven us.

To this day, the struggle and need to forgive still exists. As I stated, this year has been one filled with roughed up relationships (friendships with people I care for). Yet, the lesson of forgiveness remains. These situations are devastatingly hard, and can come one after another. The process doesn’t get easier with experience, but our faith in God and the good work He will do – does get stronger with each new experience. In each of these situations, it has shown me humility and to absolutely trust God (hyperventilating and all). God is molding me in these situations, to make me the person He wants me to be. He is giving me opportunities to know Him more, too.

Lord God, I pray You will teach us to forgive. We are Your beloved children who have been forgiven of much. Grow us in Your tender grace and show us how to truly forgive and love others. This is how people will know You, by the way Your forgiveness is poured out in our most difficult relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Forgiving Jesus’ Way {{Week 4}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:23-24; Mark 11:25

Suppose you are offering your gift at the altar. And you remember that your brother or sister has something against you. Leave your gift in front of the altar. First go and make peace with them. Then come back and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24, NIRV).

And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins (Mark 11:25-26).

Devotion

We are taught the seriousness of forgiveness in our relationship with one another. In order to be forgiven by our heavenly Father for all we have done, we need to be willing to forgive one another.

Often times, we don’t take our relationships and conflicts as vital as we ought to. Many times, we allow other things to get in the way. Our pride and grudges just happen to be two possible reasons. Whatever the reasons, we need to remain willing to forgive and work toward reconciliation.

There will be occasions where the other person isn’t willing. Keep forgiving and demonstrating love toward them, because of what Jesus has done for you.

Remember how we got here in the first place – “We love, because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19).” He loved us, even when we wronged Him and were deserving of punishment – yet He chose to extend grace and bear the weight of our punishment from sin. Jesus Christ, He went to the cross on our behalf. Though He knew no sin, He bore our transgressions (see Is. 53:4). Because of Christ’s great love and sacrifice, we have gone from being enemies of God to children of God.

God chose to forgive us, even when we were undeserving and didn’t even realize the wrongs we committed. Shouldn’t this make us desire to forgive others, when they have wronged us? It all starts with the cross and empty tomb!

This is the God we serve. He is all powerful, and makes Himself readily available to us. God is well pleased, when we make the necessary steps to forgive others. God has never delighted in our determination to be unforgiving for that what person has said or done. Jesus died on the cross, for them too. Jesus is all powerful, and stands ready to be our Savior, Shepherd, and Helper.

“In that grace we stand (see Romans 5:2).”

His grace is what equips us to forgive. Keep seeking Jesus, especially to help you forgive those around you. You don’t have to do this alone. God has sent you a Helper – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead you. Let Him lead you!

Lord God, Thank You for Your unexplainable and amazing love that You have demonstrated toward me. Teach me about Your kind of forgiveness. I need You to mend my broken relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Preparing to Serve

It has been one of those weeks.

I need to clear out the spaces in my spirit.

… Tomorrow is Sunday.

The Privilege of Serving Sundays

Sunday is the day, where I am given the abundant privilege to serve God and my brothers and sisters in His family! Don’t get me wrong, we are given opportunities to serve God and His people on a daily basis. But, Sunday’s always feel a bit different than those other opportunities. Perhaps, it’s just me.

For me, Sunday’s are long – yet there is something beautiful about them. It is a time to hear the Word of God faithfully preached, meet with His people, laugh with His people, and to be vulnerable with His people. All of which is actually an opportunity to see God and His handiwork more.

Preparing for Tomorrow

I just want to be prepared for tomorrow. Like I said, interesting week. More like, an interesting “encounter” (since I don’t want to divulge more information, we will leave it there). And, I just can’t get it off my mind. I am wondering what is the next step. I am wondering about a lot of things – actually.

Thankfully, I am talking with my Risen Savior about it. While the thoughts creep in and I can’t imagine vulnerably telling others in a face-to-face conversation, I am sharing it with my great God who already knows what is going on.

Tomorrow, I am given the opportunity to serve. As I look back through my serving posts from this year, I can see how it has been quite a year (something I have meant to write about at some point). I have wondered and wandered about where God wants me to serve. I finally have places, where I am serving. God has been providing this year, because I asked and He answered!

How does one prepare to serve?

  1. Get alone with the Lord. Carve out very specific time, to shut out distractions and seek the Lord (see Exodus 19:3a and Luke 5:16).
  2. Recognize God’s greatness. Pore over Isaiah 40, and remember God’s vastness (see Psalm 77:13-15). Our faith is dependent on what we know about God. Keep remembering the God you serve!
  3. Remember what Jesus has done for you! We can offer up ourselves as a living offering, because of what Jesus has done for us. The mercy of God needs to be our motivation. Keep looking to the cross and His empty tomb. Keep looking to the new life He has given you (see Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
  4. Repent of sin. In Scripture, we are reminded that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because of the God we serve, we can come asking for forgiveness and rest assured that He is faithful and just and will do it (see 1 John 1:9).
  5. Enjoy God’s Presence. Take time to simply rest in Him. Celebrate who God is. Celebrate the kind of relationship God has given you with Himself, through Jesus Christ. Celebrate that God will equip you, to serve Him (see Exodus 33:14; Psalm 16:11, 27:4).
  6. Pour out your heart. Share your heart with God. Tell Him what is going on, right now. Honestly. God sees you. God sees your brokenness. God sees the masks you tend to put on, before you leave the house. God knows what you face. Nothing you can think or say, will shock God. Use this time, to simply be with Him. In the book of Psalms, we are given examples of how people have prayed through their brokenness (see Psalm 13).

I will stop today’s post right here. I have tons to say on brokenness, serving, and other semi-related topics. we will have to pick up where I left off – another time.

Until next time,

Stacey

Good Pleasure {{Week 1}}

Hey friends!

I invite you all to join me, as I reflect on today’s study. Turn your journals to day 4.

**For those who don’t have a journal yet, I want you to turn to Ephesians 1:6-10 and Galatians 1:15-16**

Take a few moments to read today’s set of verses, then meet me right back here.

It Pleased God

God has literally poured out His rich kindness, because we belong to His dearly loved Son. God has gone to incredible depths to call us His own and set us free.

I wonder if we allow ourselves to be set free. How are we treasuring how it pleases God to love us and be there for us? How are we realizing that it pleases God to set us free from the things that keep us in chains?

God literally wants to do these things.

God went to the limits for us through taking on the punishment of our sins and going to the cross, because He first pursued and loved us – you and me. God doesn’t just half way love us, but goes the distance – across the ocean kind-of-distance.

Chosen

He really, honestly, truly loves us like nobody ever has before!

Because God has chosen us to be His very own people.

Because God has chosen us to walk in a relationship with Him.

Because God wants to talk to us like we would talk to a friend over coffee (or tea).

.. Not only that, God wants to give us His kindness, understanding, and wisdom. With God, we never have to go without. God holds the most sacred gifts, and He chooses to save them for us. It doesn’t matter how we have lived before Christ, in terms of His grace, because each one of us is undeserving.

… Yet, it pleases God to show us His kindness!

He displays rich kindness, because of His precious Son Jesus!

Good Pleasure

Over and over again, I keep seeing these words appear together – “It pleased God.” In Galatians 1:15, we are met with these words. God chose us before we were born, friends. He knew what we would do. We knew we would rebel against Him. He knew He would send His holy and precious Son Jesus Christ to experience the most unbearable pain imaginable, because of His great love for us!

God pours out His kindness, not because He has to. He does it, because it pleases Him to do so. It gives God great pleasure. It makes God happy to love on you and me, even when we are least deserving. That just shows the heart of our awesome God.

God chooses to love you, because that’s what gives Him good pleasure. He wouldn’t do it, otherwise!

This should radically alter how we live our lives. God’s kindness should cause us to offer others mercy, when they are least deserving. In Matthew, we are reminded of these words Jesus spoke –

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (5:7).”

This is what God is stirring in my heart today. To offer mercy, even when it hurts.

How am I willing to display kindness to others, in light of what has been done for me?