Keep Us

Wednesday
“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.” Matthew 6:12 MSG
Keep us:
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that God has for you.
Don’t miss it by being so focused on the past.
Even if the past was five minutes ago.
What do you need to forgive today?
What do you need to ask for forgiveness from?

A Special Kind of Stubborn

Friday

It takes a special kind of stubbornness to start a new thing in your life, to change the course of it. A stubbornness to keep going against the odds and swim against the current.

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer.

He may be calling you to be the first in your family to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse. He may be calling you to start a new business to help people that need it or create a home unlike the one you grew up in.

He is asking you to be a pioneer.

But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.

Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods.

Jesus never did a miracle the same way.

Each one was different and unique.

Be creative, use what God has given you, and fight for the change you need in your life.

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Wednesday

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness breaks the power of the past.

Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice.

It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from someone else and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust someone to forgive them.

They don’t have to know you forgive them.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them

What you do have to do is make the choice to give them to God.

And then every day after, make the choice to give them to God.

Keep doing that until the feelings lines up with the decision.

Forgiveness is about freedom – yours.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Judgment

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All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children”.

Matthew 27:25 

After Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed Judas, the disciples abandoned Him, Peter denied Him and He was brought before by Herod to be judged. Herod sent Him to Pilot but Pilot couldn’t find a reason for a death penalty. It came down to the people and the people demanded that Jesus be crucified and the murderer, Barabas, be released to them.

Unfair, unjust, unreasonable are just three words that come to mind but that is not what captivated me. What captivated my attention was the truth of the statement written in the account: “His blood be on us and on our children”.

He must have stood there marveling as He heard the crowd cry out for His death, knowing that He was going to bear the judgment physically, spiritually….literally, not only for them but for all mankind.

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of forgiveness.

While Jesus was on the cross, He drank deep from the cup of God’s fury against sin so that you and I could drink deep of the cup of forgiveness. He took our judgment so we could be pardoned for all eternity. Thus is the gift of salvation!

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of His amazing love and forgiveness. It was the strength of His love for us that drove Him to become the sacrifice for us.

If you don’t know how much Jesus loves you, look at the cross – the proof lies lifeless there.

 

 

Love is Not Proud

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Love is not proud.

Pride is the thing that keeps you from asking for help because you don’t want others to think you have a problem, even if you do.

Pride is the thing that keeps you silent when you should speak because you don’t want to cause trouble or cause a scene even if what you need to say is true.

Pride is the thing that prevents you from reconciling because you are right. And being right is more important than a person.

Pride keeps you safe.

Except it doesn’t.

It keeps you isolated.

No matter how any people you have in your life, trying to love them through the lens of pride keeps you disconnected and self protected.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV

Love is not proud.

You are loved and you are made to love others freely, fully, with hope and joy.

Lay down your pride and let love heal what is broken.

Real Change Takes Time

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“and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive- asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

One of the reasons I need to go away by myself for a couple of days a year is to have the space to process the junk in my heart that has been collected just by living life.

I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

Be brave.

What do you need to lay down before the cross?

How is your heart? It is cluttered and clogged?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Make time for it – right now.

What gets scheduled gets done.

You are worth it.

Even If They Are Not Sorry

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“When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner”.

– Freedom Groups, Week 7

Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for itwhatever it is.

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God.

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with your heart.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice today and every day after, then continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

And it will.

One day you will be able to remember what happened without reliving the pain.

“Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us”    

 – Jesus

Matthew 6:12 CJB

How To Break the Power of the Past

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

The Adventure of a Lifetime

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”
Matthew 6:12 MSG
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

The Connection Point

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One day when my son was about 11 years old, he came into our bedroom with his shoulders slumped and said, “The charger is broken- it won’t charge the laptop and it just died”.

My husband brought the laptop into our bedroom and the first thing he checked all the connections on the cord. A few minutes later, I noticed that he had put the laptop down and didn’t seem too worried about it.

“Did you fix it?” I asked.

“Oh, yea I did”, he said. “The connection just needed to be cleaned. It was just dirty. After I cleaned it, it connected just fine and now it is charging.”

It was that simple, a clogged connection.

On our way to church this weekend, Justin’s phone wouldn’t charge…for the same reason. He cleaned it out and it started to work again.

Your connection point to God is your heart.

Your heart is your connection place to God. It is where the power of God fills you and the grace of God heals you.  Your heart gets clogged and dirty from the wear and tear of life, with bits of small lies believed or big judgments perceived getting in the crevices.

Your heart needs to be cleaned often.

Forgiveness asked for and given.

Mercy asked for and given.

Tough love asked for and given.

When life seems like it’s just not working right, check your connection point to God and ask Him to clean it.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is amazing what a difference it makes when your heart is clear and your connection with God is restored to full power.