The Truth about Forgiveness

Sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is our self. We struggle with forgiving the intrusion inflicted on us by others; but we often find it easier to forgive their insults and violation than to forgive our self.

 

If we refuse to forgive others, the resulting bitterness is a malignancy, which invades our body, soul and spirit; yet, if we choose to forgive, we do not excuse their behavior, but we set our self free from the bondage unforgiveness causes (Ephesians 4:31-32).

 

Our refusal to forgive our self, will inflict these same results in our body, soul and spirit (Proverbs 10:12). We grow bitter at our self for disappointing our self or someone else, or for failing to meet up to our own idealistic standards.

 

Bitterness attracts other negative emotions, such as shame, depression and hopelessness. We accuse our self of ineptitude, carelessness, greediness and thoughtlessness.

 

When we make choices that turn out badly, we are disappointed and hold a grudge against our self. These grudges fester and affect our future choices, our reactions to others and our feelings about our self (Hebrews 12:15).

 

We end up in a downward spiral, which keeps us locked into negative thoughts, emotions and future behavior (Colossians 3:8). Therefore, it is imperative that we forgive even our self (Luke 6:37; Proverbs 20:22).

 

There is no sin too wicked to receive God’s forgiveness. God’s Word tells us that to lust is equal to fornication or rape, and to hate is the same as murder (Matthew 5:21, 28). God considers all sins equal in their depravity.

 

When we forgive our self and others, we humble our pride, admit that we are human and open our soul up to God’s immeasurable grace (Hebrews 4:16). When bitterness no longer takes up space in our heart, we feel God’s peace and joy filling the void.

 

We bask in God’s love for us, and His love empowers us to love our self and others. God calls us to forgive our human tendency to wound our self and one another (Psalm 103:12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us humility through our foibles and failures. It is only in our weakness that we reach out to You. Help us to understand that to forgive our self and others is to free our self from the bondage of bitterness and unforgiveness (John 18:15-27).

 

Help us to relax our impossible standards and to allow our self and others to be human (Philippians 3:13). Remind us that our prayers are hindered by negative emotions; yet, when we forgive and focus on the life of Christ within us, You can forgive us and open the windows of heaven to pour out Your blessings on our life (Mark 11:25; Malachi 3:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we choose to forgive our self and others for being human, we allow our self the opportunity to experience the forgiveness and unconditional love of God in all of its fullness. – 1 John 1:9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Freedom from Sin

God gave us His law to prove to us that we cannot save our self. To reach holiness through the law, we must keep every word of it (Matthew 5:18; James 2:10).

When we trust in Christ, who did keep every letter of the law, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, His Holy Spirit takes up residence in our body (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19).

Christ in us satisfied the law for us (Galatians 5:18). As we surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit, we are free to live in His righteousness (Roman 1:17, 8:14).

God’s Spirit never leads us into permissive living (Galatians 5:18). We grieve God’s Spirit when we use His temple for sinful purposes (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:30-31).

Our relationship with God is more important than any other aspect of our life. He fills us with His presence and we follow God’s Spirit moment by moment.

Increasing our intimacy with God is the best use of our time and efforts. His living water flows through us and out to the world around us (John 7:38).

As we love Him with our whole heart, soul and strength, He quenches our thirsty soul (Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 42:1-2, 143:6). Then we love our neighbors as our self and fulfill the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39-40).

We love each other as God loves us, and we serve one another and lay down our preferences, feelings and opinions for one another (John 15:12-13).

God’s precepts are for our protection and are only restrictive if we want to continue to sin. When we choose to live in God’s freedom in righteousness, we are no longer under the oppression of Satan’s abuse.

Prayer:
Father God, prior to our salvation through Christ, we served the devil and His will for our life. We may not have committed evil, but even our responsible, ethical life was inspired by his desire to keep us from coming to Christ.

If we return to the bondage to Satan’s lies (Galatians 5:1), we forfeit our freedom from sin. You can no longer bless us, although Your desire is always to give us all good things (Psalm 84:11; James 1:17). Draw us to completely surrender our life to You.

Thought for the Day:
When the righteous return to a sinful lifestyle, we muddy the springs of living water within us. – Proverbs 25:26; John 4:14, 7:38

The Faith of the Son of God

How can we live by the faith of the Son of God? First and foremost, we live by faith through the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His provision for us of regeneration and resurrection (Galatians 2:20, Titus 3:5).

Prior to Christ’s appearing, Believers lived imprisoned under the law, our tutor to bring us to faith in Him. Now that Christ paid the penalty for our sins, we are freed from bondage to the law (Galatians 3:23). We obey through love instead.

We stand firm on our faith in the Rock of Christ throughout the issues of life (2 Corinthians 1:24). We are justified by this solid trust in Calvary’s saving grace (Romans 3:30).

Faith has nothing to do with hope, trust or claiming God’s Word. It has everything to do with Christ who abides within us. If we did not have the faith of Christ within us, we could not have faith in Christ and His redemptive work for us on Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 1:7).

Through faith, we realize that God chose us as His children in Christ (Galatians 3:26). As God’s righteous, we live by faith, and hold on to it with a clear conscience (Romans 1:17; 1 Timothy 1:19).

We live in God’s righteousness, not by keeping rules and regulations, but by the faith of Christ to us all (Romans 3:21-22.) We demonstrate our faith through our thoughts, words and deeds (James 2:18).

If we say we trust God, yet never step out in obedience to His will for our life, then what good is our faith? (James 2:14) Faith inspires our actions. Faith and obedience working together are complete (James 2:22).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for vanquishing our doubts and increasing our faith in Your faithfulness (Romans 14:23). We find our health and strength in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:16). We obey Your direction in our life because of the faith of Christ within us (Hebrews 11:7).

Help us to be examples of sincere faith in You to future generations, so that they too will please You (Hebrews 11:6), grow in their faith (2 Timothy 1:5), and live blessed lives (Galatians 3:9).

Thought for the Day:
Our genuine faith in God’s faithfulness is of much greater eternal value than anything this temporal world has to offer. – 1 Peter 1:7

God’s Truth Sets Us Free

Vain imaginations and idle thoughts will drive us to distraction. They cause stress and come straight from the pit of hell (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 1:21; Genesis 6:5; 1Chronicles 28:9).

If we listen to negative self-talk long enough, we start to believe it is true. We listen to Satan’s lies and this ruins our relationships with God and other people (John 8:44).

Satan’s lies demean, belittle, undermine and accuse us (Revelation 12:10). They keep us in bondage and debilitate us in our endeavors to serve God with our life.

Satan attempts to keep us in bondage to his lies. The only way to overcome Satan’s debilitating talk is to counter his lies with God’s Truth and Word. (www.theophostic.com)

Then, we can walk in God’s Spirit and believe only what God says about us. By His mercy and because of His love, God takes away the shame and misery caused by our sins (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:4).

He calls us to the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). We do not count anyone’s sin against them, but we bring to them a word of loving understanding and mercy, without compromising God’s Word (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to take our thoughts captive and to make them obedient to Christ rather than the devil (2 Corinthians 10:5). Give us the victory over sin and death by our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Remind us to follow Your will for our life rather than following the mold, into which Satan or someone else in our life attempts to squeeze us. Help us to walk in Your will for us each and every moment of every day (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
God’s Truth always sets us free. – John 8:32

A Personal Relationship with God

God’s Spirit gives us liberty from bondage to the flesh, the world and Satan (Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17). There is no condemnation for sin, because we are now in Christ (Romans 8:1).

Christ became sin on our behalf and gave us His righteous standing with our Father God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since God is in our corner, nothing which comes against us can succeed (Romans 8:31).

God gives us His peace and His Spirit who dwells within us (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). We overcome every trial through Christ who abides within us (Romans 8:37).

We are never alone again, because the presence of Christ in us is evident in our thoughts, words and deeds. He never forsakes us or leaves us alone (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

We learn to be content with whatever God provides for us on a daily basis, knowing that if we need something, He will provide it in His own way and time (Philippians 4:11).

Jesus already overcame the world and the trials through which we live, and He encourages us from the inside out (John 16:33). Therefore, we can always abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 2:10).

Effective evangelism is motivated by the love of God. When we share the love of God, we and those we minister to are filled with God, because God is love (Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:8).

This empowers our testimony with the life of Christ, which makes people hungry for what we have (John 13:35). When our personal relationship with God is evident, people will want this same intimacy with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the obstacles life uses to hinder us, You give us the character and ability to be mighty conquerors over them all. Thank You for leading us by Your Spirit and making us Your children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14, 17).

You help us to understand what Your will is for our life and You empower us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:17). As we walk in Your Spirit, we look to You for the fulfillment of all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
As we rest in Jesus, our Living Water, we drift smoothly around every hindrance we face.

Freedom from Strongholds

When Satan tempts us with a fleeting thought, we have two choices: we can ignore and dismiss it or entertain and dwell on it. If we dismiss it, we are free from its bondage. If we entertain it, we are in danger of falling under its oppression; and those who are not Born Again risk the possibility of possession by demonic beings (2 Peter 2:18-19).

It only takes 3-6 weeks to develop both good and bad habits. These habits develop a stronghold in our soul, and often in our body as well. Breaking negative habits is often a difficult and expensive endeavor. Even if we push these negative habits into our subconscious mind and stop them for a season, current events may trigger these old feelings and habits again.

We will revert back to them as a form of comfort, rebellion or a desire to be in control of some aspect of our life. Each time these habits resurface, they deepen the scars in our soul, and it is increasingly more difficult to extricate our self from them (2 Peter 2:20). Life triggers issues from our past and we respond to current conflict with unhealthy behavior patterns. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

We can completely escape from the strongholds of these habits only as we surrender them to God for healing and allow Him to guide us to resolve the inner conflicts, which connect us to them. If we repent of our sins and relinquish control of our life to Jesus Christ, He will slowly replace the negative aspects of our personality and soul with His divine nature and spiritual fruit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:22-23; Ephesians 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace, is our only hope and solution for freedom from this sin-cursed world. Help us to put on our new self in Christ and to walk in Your true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We look forward to being like Christ when He returns (1 John 3:2). People today close their ears to Your Truth, deceive others as they are deceived, and seek solutions for their problems apart from You (Jeremiah 6:10-14). However, You always give strength to Your people and bless us with peace regardless of the circumstances we encounter in life (Psalm 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Only those who surrender their life to the Prince of Peace will ever experience true peace in this life and in the next.