For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
This verse is a reminder of the importance of forgiving others, but if we only focus on what God will withhold from us if we do not forgive, we neglect the role our spirit plays in forgiveness. Humility, compassion, and wisdom are necessary in the giving and receiving of forgiveness. The truth that each and every person has sinned and fallen short reminds us that everyone has a substantial debt they cannot pay.
When our spirit is consumed with grudge holding, toxic emotions cripple us. Indignant judgment, poisonous anger, frustration, and bitterness aim to take up permanent residence within. The crushing result is a diminished ability to receive forgiveness. We descend into a tailspin of negative thoughts and emotions. With all our energy focused on the perpetrator, we forget our own debts.
God’s generosity is an invitation to be forgiven and set free. When we forgive others, we experience that freedom once again. Instead of carrying the weight of unrelenting forgiveness, you can know the light, love, and freedom that comes from passing on the forgiveness you have obtained.
Nothing of spiritual significance comes without sacrifice. Your spirituality will always be measured by the size of your sacrifice.
1 Samuel 28 – 31
[The Lord] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9)
What are you depending on that your faith will last until Jesus comes?
The question is not, Do you believe in eternal security? The question is, How are we kept secure?
Does the perseverance of our faith rest on the reliability of our own resolve? Or does it rest on the work of God to “keep us trusting”?
It is a great and wonderful truth of Scripture that God is faithful and will keep forever those whom he has called. Our confidence that we are eternally secure is a confidence that God will “keep us trusting”!
The certainty of eternity is no greater than the certainty God will keep us trusting now. But that certainty is very great for all whom God has called.
At least three passages put the call of God and the keeping of God together.
But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
If it’s broken, throw it away. This is how the world handles brokenness, whether it is things, strategies, or even people. The Japanese art form of kintsugi, “golden joinery” or kintsukuroi, “golden repair,” flies in the face of this conventional wisdom. Shattered pieces of pottery are carefully reunited into a whole using a costly lacquer containing powdered gold, silver, and platinum. Transformation is the result. Common pieces of pottery are transformed into unique pieces whose value skyrockets past what they were formerly worth.
What a beautiful picture of God’s redemptive work. Whether our brokenness is the result of circumstances beyond our control or our own regrettable choices, Jesus beckons us to Himself. As the Creator and Artist of the world, He gently reunites us to God, our true selves, and one another. He promises to use us for His glory and to make us whole. What shattered area of your life will you bring to Him today?
“How do you know when the gold is purified?” we asked him, and he answered, “When I can see my face in it [the liquid gold in the crucible] then it is pure.”
1 Samuel 25 – 27
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
How many times have you heard someone say (or perhaps said it yourself): “I love you if . . .”; “I love you because . . .”; “I love you when . . . ?” Compare those phrases with these: “I love you even though . . .”; “I love you in spite of . . .”; “I love you, period.” The truth is we don’t hear people say those words verbally as much as we see them act out the words non-verbally. The first set of words are examples of conditional love; the second set are examples of unconditional love. God loves the second way: “I love you, period.”
God has always loved that way. In fact, He told His Chosen People, Israel, that He did not choose them because they were a large and impressive people (Deuteronomy 7:7). In truth, He didn’t choose themat all. He chose Abraham, their forefather. And because of His love for Abraham, Israel enjoyed His love as well. Even when Israel was at her worst, God said through Jeremiah, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Don’t ever mistake the world’s love (if, because, when) for God’s love (no conditions). God’s love for you never changes (2 Timothy 2:13).
God doesn’t owe us anything—yet in His grace, He still gives us good things.
1 Samuel 22 – 24
Cain't wait to speak and fellowship with old friends at the Wednesday Soup Supper (6:30pm) at Christ St. Pauls tomorrow night!