Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Blessings of The Lord

Something to think about.

Blessing of The Lord

“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.”
Proverbs 10:22 NKJV

When was the last time you received a blessing from the Lord? Was it costly? Did it require something from you? I receive blessings of God on a continual basis. Every day the Lord does something in my life for which I’m grateful. Never have I had to sacrifice anything to receive the blessing of the Lord. It has always been a gift.

Some of the blessings of God are conditional. Even salvation John 3:16 has the requirement of belief in Jesus.

The blessings of God are conditional and unconditional at the same time . The blessings of God are conditional in practice and unconditional in intent. The blessings of God come from the generosity of His heart. For example, redemption is a gift of God. It is something God does for us without condition. You might say that is not true you have to do XYZ to receive redemption. Which is true, however, God did not have to redeem us. There is nothing that required God to redeem us. Forgiveness is another of those unconditional blessings.  He did not have to forgive us. Salvation, restoration, grace, adoption and many other blessing are unconditional. They are unconditional because God is not required to bless us. God is complete and perfect without us. He choose to bless us He did not do it out of need.  A condition is usually in place to benefit the one who grants the benefit. If someone loans you money and the condition is that you pay interest, the interest benefits the one who made the loan. The conditions we must fulfill to receive the blessings of God do not benefit God. By fulfilling the condition in no way, do we add or benefit God.

All of the blessings of God provide us with riches. They may not be momentary but they are rich never the less. When God decided to restore me from my heart attack, it was a rich blessing. Not just because I lived but also because he allowed to serve him. That blessing has turned my life around in ways I didn’t know existed. That single blessing has eternal benefits for me my family and friends and even you a stranger.

Every blessing of God is rich because it is not singular in nature. It does not just bless you but everyone around you. It even extends to people you don’t know. All the blessings of God are positive in there outcome.

In Deuteronomy 28:1 1“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

God’s blessings are intended to make your life rich spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. Even though there are actual mechanisms for bringing these blessings to life they are from the heart of God. He offers them too us unconditionally because he wants too. He can’t be required to. He chooses to bless us out of his generosity.

Advertisements

Cornerstone

Something to think about.

Cornerstone

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Jesus is the name above any other name. Of course, it is not just the name but the man who possessed that name that empowers our salvation.  This is the cornerstone of our belief system without it we are irrelevant. 

Christianity is weird if you think about it. We believe in being born again. Of eternal life through the blood of one man. We believe in the unmerited redemption of mankind. We believe in a God we have never seen. We believe this same God is still active in the events of man.  We believe in the resurrection of a man who had been dead for three days. We believe He left earth by other means than death. We believe and wait for His return.  We believe in the Trinity. We believe there is an unmovable moral standard by which to live our lives.  All that we believe is dependant on this one man.  

Christianity does not exist if you remove Jesus from it.  If you make Him a man, the actual son of Joseph he becomes a byline of a ridiculous cult.  If you prove, He was never resurrected, again Christianity crumbles.  If you can find His remains, Christianity is a farce. If you can disprove any of essential claims we make about Him Christianity is a waste. The cornerstone on which Christianity exists is Jesus. In every aspect, Christianity depends on Jesus.

As everything about Christianity depends on Jesus, so does our salvation depend on Him.  He is the only one that can provide us with salvation. In Him resides the power of salvation, rebirth, redemption, forgiveness, and life and life eternal. Christianity is all about Jesus it is not about anything else. It is not a means to an end. It is not a social program, a political party. It is not a religious entity.  It is not the good we do for one another. Or the beautiful things by which we express Christ. Christianity is not a what it is a who. Christianity is Jesus. From Him flows everything else. He is the bedrock cornerstone of what we believe. Without him, precisely in the center of our lives and belief system, we will miss the mark.   

There is no other name.

Thankful

 
Something to think about.
Thankful
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 ESV
It is not Thanksgiving it is not Christmas it is not Easter.  It’s October 24th. It is not a holiday, a miracle has not occurred. As a matter of fact, it is 6: 49 in the morning and the only other thing that has happened today is the dog is whining.
The word for today is thankful. I am thankful because God is. Just like He said in the old testament “I Am.” I am grateful for His plan and the fulfillment of His plan of salvation. I am thankful to Him for allowing me to serve Him. I am thankful I can come into His presence singing. I am thankful that He made me. I am thankful the He is my shepherd. I am thankful that I am allowed to praise Him. I am grateful that He allows me into His presence. I am grateful that He is good, that His love endures forever. I am thankful for His forgiveness, redemption, restoration, justification, and sanctification. I am thankful for all He has done. I am thankful that He is all-powerful and unassailable.  I am thankful that he is forgiving. I am thankful that He will never change. I am grateful that He loves me forever. I am thankful the He is faithful through all generations. I am thankful that He has given me the capacity to love Him. I am grateful he has prepared a place for me in heaven. Sometimes you just have to say thank you, God, just because he is worthy of our gratitude.

Completely Whole

Something to think about.
 Completely Whole
 
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19 ESV
 
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 ESV
 
Repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, adoption words with such magnificent meaning and power. In an era of rights have we determined that we have a right to these words? That they are a birthright because we are human? Are we taking for granted the mercy, wonder, and grace of God? 
 
Every one of these words has a cost related to them. 
 
Repentance means; sincere regret or remorse. Regret or remorse in themselves suggest a substantial personal cost. God does not have to accept or recognize your repentance it adds nothing to Him.  
 
Forgiveness, Is the act of pardoning someone for something they have done. God does need to forgive you He would be fine condemning you.   
 
Reconciliation, One of the meanings I found is; the restoration of friendly relations. God does not have to take you back. 
 
Restoration, to bring back to full usefulness. God does not need to restore you. You are not that important.  
 
Adoption, to willingly appropriate all rights of the father to an illegitimate child.  God does not have to share His glory with you. 
 
Are you getting the point? God does not have to do any of these things for you. He does not have to take on the cost of reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, repentance, and adoption.  The cost of all of these words is borne by God not us. He is perfect as He is. He does not need us to accomplish anything for Him.   
 
We need to get back to reality and understand that God does this because He loves us. He loves us with a love we have yet to fully understand. God is perfect, it means He is complete, lacking nothing. Which means He has no need of us. But still, he does all of these things because He loves us. It boggles my mind, a love that will bear the cost of our rebellion.  God who is entirely whole without us, is still willing and fully committed to paying for our sin.  
 
Why do we fight a love like that?

Absolutes

Something to think about.
 
Absolutes 
 
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:11-12
 
There are statements in the Bible that are unmistakable. These statements can not be reinterpreted or redefined. They can’t be manipulated to mean some thing other than what they mean. This is one of those verses. It clearly and unambiguously states Jesus is the only way to salvation. This is a Christian absolute. We claim to believe and are affirmed in the validity and absolute certainty of  Jesus Christ as the only savior of the world. This is non-negotiable. Jesus is the only one with the authority and power to save those unto eternal life. 

Cleansed

Something to think about.
 
Cleansed
 
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
 
Have we turned the death of Christ into a symbolic gesture? Does the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross become no more than being baptized in water? Where baptism is a symbolic representation of our dying to our old lives and being resurrected into new life. If it has, we have lost its value. Jesus did not represent the spotless, innocent lamb of old Jewish law and tradition. The spotless, innocent lamb represented Jesus. Jesus was literally and actually an offering for our sin. There was nothing symbolic about it. It was not symbolism that cleanses us from sin. It was the actual shedding of real human blood belonging to the only righteous man who ever lived. This event that happened over 2000 years ago is still cleansing the sin of man. The omnipresence of God means that he is present everywhere at all times at once. God is as much in the future eons of time as he is at the beginning of time and is present right now with us.  For this reason, the blood of Christ His crucifixion is present now before God. His blood is still cleansing us claiming us as if it happened today. This is how it is possible for the sacrifice of Christ to be available for everyone. This is why Christ only died once. Because His sacrifice, the shedding of His son’s blood is forever before the presence of God.  The same as is His resurrection and His victorious return to His Father in heaven.  
 
We work and understand events in linear motion. In other words, one after the other. Because of the laws of our existence, we must function this way. But those are our limitations, not Gods. As the creator of time, He is not subject to its laws or limitations. That is why He has no beginning and no end. He created the beginning and the end and still exists outside of those two limits. That is why the shedding of Christ blood is so important. It transcends all time and space it is an event the same as His resurrection that will have no end. 

7 Times 7

Something to think about.

 7 Times 7

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22

I am not writing about forgiveness.  I am writing to ask. Does forgiveness include acceptance? Until recently I have never had a problem with this. I have always been or at least tried to be quick to forgive. Simply because it serves me to forgive. It is better to forgive than to hold on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. But a recent event has caused me to question not the importance or value of forgiveness but the extent of it. Does forgiveness include acceptance of the offender? When acceptance of the offender would be detrimental to me.   As in; forgiving a junkie for stealing, lying, and causing you harm. You should forgive them all their trespasses. However, you should never allow them back into your home for your own well-being. Does a battered woman after forgiving the perpetrator accept him back into her life?  Knowing that it is in her best interest to forgive him. Does forgiveness extend to acceptance? Now those are extreme examples, but it helps to crystallize my predicament.

Do I allow someone who I have forgiven back into my life?  What about your teenager when they do something against you. Are you going to forgive them and accept them? How does that mesh with the way we would treat a junkie of a abusive partner? The easy answer is no you do not accept those that have grievously hurt you.

That answer is diametrically opposed to what Christ has done for us. He has forgiven us not just our past sins but our future sins and has accepted us as part of His family.  He has forgiven us knowing that we would injure Him again. He has accepted us knowing that we would cause Him harm. Is that an example of Christ I cannot follow? Or are forgiveness and acceptance two separate issues?

Love Your Enemies

Something to think about.

Love Your Enemies

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44 

This is one of those really difficult scriptures.  We usually read this type of scripture gloss over it and move on. This is without a doubt contrary to our nature. What we would have preferred Jesus to say was something like hate your enemies. Because that would have been consistent with our nature. Have you ever considered what would happen if God were to bless our enemies? God will not facilitate or be the provider of evil. In other words, the blessing of God must be consistent with His character. Which means one of two things must happen for your enemy to be blessed. Your enemies must repent and turn to God. Or it is you that are in the wrong, and you must repent to receive the blessing of God. God is not going to condone of facilitate the evil of your enemy. His grace would cause your enemy to turn from His wickedness. Loving your enemy exemplifies the love of Christ. Praying for them invokes the righteousness of God on their lives. Praying for your enemy opens the door for repentance and restoration in their lives. Which if they walk through, will inevitably lead to forgiveness and acceptance into Gods family

All Who Call

Something to think about.

All Who Call

5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.
 
We have perpetuated this idea that God is forgiving and merciful to all people.  As I read this verse, I see a condition of Gods forgiveness ” to all that call upon you”. As I read about “gnashing of teeth” 
Matthew 8:12
Matthew 13:41–42
Matthew 22:11–13
Matthew 25:14–30)
and the judgment seat,
Revelation 20:11-15
I see a different dynamic.
We, you and I, Christian, are doing more than a disservice to the world when we continue to ignore this condition or encourage this erroneous ideology.   Gnashing of teeth and the Judgement of God when it leads to eternal punishment can not be ignored and hidden behind the mercy of God. God is merciful and kind. He is forgiving and loving. But His judgment will be just and eternal, painful and final. Let us not whitewash the severity of the final judgment. People that reject God will not find mercy, that concept is inconsistent with the word of God.

Goodness and Mercy

Something to think about.

Goodness and Mercy 

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
Psalms 118:1 NKJV

I don’t want to take this for granted. For God is the creator of the universe and if He were to require repayment from me for my sins, I would be sorely inadequate to pay.  If I tried to earn salvation, an eternity of good works would not suffice. It is only through His goodness and His redemptive plan that I can attain forgiveness and restoration.  It is through His mercy that we even have a chance of redemption. Remember He did not have to have mercy on us. However, In His goodness He has.