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Unforgiveness

Unforgiveness

In Matthew chapter 18:21-35, Jesus speaks of the necessity of forgiveness. In essence, He says if we don’t forgive those who have wronged us, we will be handed over to the torturers (verse 34) in the New American Standard Version. In the King James Version, they used the word jailers instead of torturers.

In the Greek according to BlueLetterBible.org that word means:
“one who elicits the truth by the use of the rack, an inquisitor, torturer also used of a jailer doubtless because the business of torturing was also assigned to him.”

We need to forgive others in the same measure we have been forgiven. If we don’t, we’re not only putting ourselves in jail when we refuse to forgive, we are actually turning ourselves over to the rack! Since Jesus forgives us all our guilt when we come to Him, we are to follow His lead and do likewise.

Is there a person you need to forgive so you can avoid the rack?

 

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Judgment Day

Judgment Day

 

Romans 8:33
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

We who belong to Christ, need not fear the day we stand before God to give an accounting. God Himself has declared all those who have received Christ and trust Him for salvation, “Not guilty.”

God Himself is the one whom we have offended. He also is the judge, jury, and executioner. When we chose to choose Jesus as our Savior, God declared us justified, righteous in His eyes.

Our sin has been thrown into the deepest part of the sea (Micah 7:19). You have removed our sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). When we appear before Him we will receive rewards from His hand because we have believed in the One whom He sent to save us.

The enemy would like us to believe differently. He accuses us. He tells us our sins are too bad for God to forgive us. When he comes at us with his lies we need to remind him we are God’s elect. That in God’s eyes we appear justified; just as if we had never sinned.

Father God, thank You for the provision
of Your Son, Jesus,
who took the punishment we deserved
and gave us right standing before You.
Thank You for Your forgiveness.

To see my books visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007F5H0H4
To view my other blog visit https://familyfavoritesfromtheheartland.wordpress.com/

Where Our Sin Goes

Where Our Sin Goes

deep sea

Micah 7:19
He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea.

Our God is a God of compassion, of mercy. He loves us deeply with a love that never lets us go.

This scripture tells us that He is going to bring our bondages, our perversity, depravity, and guilt under His foot. In other words, He captures the things that put us in bondage and makes them subservient to Him.

He goes on to tell us that He hurls our sins, our iniquities and its consequences, into the deepest depths of the sea.

Corrie tenBoom always added a P.S. to this truth. She said, “and then God posts a sign that says, ‘NO FISHING.’” In other words, don’t go trying to dredge up confessed sins. They’re gone. God has stomped them and thrown them in a sea too deep to retrieve. Hallelujah!

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son
to overcome all my sins;
for taking the punishment I deserved.
May I walk in freedom before You
all the days of my life.

In case you’re looking for a great devotional book for the new year or a wonderful historical fiction, check them out here in paperback and e-reader.
Looking Deeper at Amazon.com.Kindle TheLateSooner'sDaughter-cover-mockup2
I also have another blog: familyfavoritesfromtheheartland.wordpress.com

Rend Your Heart

Rend Your Heart

fire.2

Joel 2:13
(The Lord says) “And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil.”

God is telling us here to do a 180 degree turn. To examine our will, heart, soul, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, conscience, and heart to obtain moral character. This is internal where only God sees; not external where people see.
He urges us to do this now, not later when He has become angry. “Anger” here means “with flared nostrils.” This passage goes on to remind us He is full of love for us.
He is also “relenting” which means “to be moved to pity, comfort, and compassion,” on us who have been evil in His sight. “Evil” here is “displeasing, hurtful, unkind, ethically wicked.” It is the “evil deeds, thoughts and actions of people.” So He has pity and compassion on people who fall short of His standard—which includes all of us.

Father God, I bow before You today to rend my heart.
Please bring to mind my thoughts, words, and actions
which have grieved Your heart. I confess them before You
so I can be released from the penalty of my wrongdoings.
Fill me again with Your joy and presence
so we may enjoy fellowship together once more.

Check out my new devotional book Looking Deeper at Amazon.com.Kindle

Sin and the Sea

Sin and the Sea

DSCN1016

Micah 7:19
He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea.

Our God is a God of compassion, of mercy. He loves us deeply with a love that never lets us go.
This scripture tells us that He is going to bring our bondages, our perversity, depravity, and guilt under His foot. In other words, He captures the things that put us in bondage and makes them subservient to Him.
He goes on to tell us that He hurls our sins, our iniquities and its consequences, into the deepest depths of the sea.
Corrie tenBoom always added a P.S. to this truth. She said, “and then God posts a sign that says, ‘NO FISHING.’” In other words, don’t go trying to dredge up confessed sins. They’re gone. God has stomped them and thrown them in a sea too deep to retrieve. Hallelujah!

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son
to overcome all my sins;
for taking the punishment I deserved.
May I walk in freedom before You
all the days of my life.

Check out my new devotional book Looking Deeper at Amazon.com.Kindle

God’s Prescription for Healing

God’s Prescription for Healing

Jesus the Healer
With Ebola banging on our door it might be a wise thing to search God’s word, the Bible, for His prescription for our healing. He has a prescription for all our needs whether it be physical, mental, or emotional healing. Here is a page from my new book Looking Deeper.

Exodus 15:26
And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

In order to enjoy God’s divine health, we must do four things:
Give heed to God’s voice (hear and obey)
Do what is right (pleasing in His sight)
Give ear (listen) to His commandments
Keep all His statutes (His prescribed limits, boundaries, laws and conditions).
God lists some of the diseases of Egypt in Deuteronomy 28:27 which are, “boils, tumors, scab, and itch, from which you cannot be healed.”
But there is hope. Jesus has come to heal us. Perhaps as a nation and individuals, we need to repent to see His healing. As long as we’re still breathing, God’s mercy extends to us. Let us call upon Him now.

Father, forgive us.
We have listened to the world and obeyed its voice instead of You.
We have gone our own way and failed miserably.
We have written our own rules and fallen far short of Your desires.
We have run rough-shod over Your boundaries
and neglected Your conditions.
In Your mercy, please cleanse and heal us as individuals
and as a nation, so we might enjoy Your favor once again.

I’ve published a new 366 day devotional book entitled Looking Deeper. It’s available in paperback and e-reader. Looking_Deeper_Cover_for_Kindle

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Forgiveness
Mark 11:25
And whenever you stand praying, forgive in you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions.

This scripture is not a nice suggestion. It’s a command. A biding principle.

The next scripture after this one tells you why. It reads, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions (Mark 11:26).

So we have a choice. Forgive others and receive God’s forgiveness or hold on to the wrongs done to us and cut ourselves off from God’s forgiveness. Pretty straightforward.

People often think they have to feel forgiveness before they make the choice to forgive. In truth it’s exactly the opposite. Forgiveness is a decision. The feelings follow.

Lord Jesus, please bring to mind
any and all people I need to forgive.
I choose to loose them from my judgment
that You may forgive me.

The Lamb of God

The Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Leviticus 17:11
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.

In order for God to forgive sin, He required a life of an animal to be lost in substitution for the person asking forgiveness. This allowed the repentant person to be in unity and harmony with God.

In the new covenant, God didn’t change His mind. In Hebrews 9:22 it says, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Instead of an animal sacrifice, God provided us a once-for-all sacrifice for everyone truly sorry for their sin. When we admit our sin and ask for His forgiveness, God grants that reconciliation between us and Him by the blood that Jesus shed willingly on the cross for us.

It’s called in Bible talk, “atonement.” That word means “to cover, purge, make reconciliation.” That’s what Jesus did. He made a way for us to be right with God again.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your willingness
to make a way for us to no longer be at odds
with our loving Father God.
May we never forget all You did for us,
our risen Lord.

True Riches

True Riches

goldMy husband’s channel surfing finally landed on the History channel recently. The program listed the world’s resources; gold, oil, and water, among other things. At the end of each segment, they stated the dollar amount of each resource in today’s market.

At the end of the hour, they estimated the world’s total riches in so many quadrillion dollars. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get my head around that much money. All I can understand is that’s one heck of a lot of cash.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of the scripture that says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NLT)

People waste their whole lives grabbing for a piece of the world. Even if they were to gain the quadrillion dollars worth of riches and lost their soul, they would be the poorest of the poor.

I shake my head when I hear the ads to “buy gold to secure your future.” The Bible says in Ezekiel 7:19 that “their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.”

It’s best to invest in the Kingdom of God. Buy from Him “gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see” (Revelation 3:18).

How do you do this? Revelation 3:19 holds the answer. “Repent.” That word means to quit doing evil; turn around. Go in the opposite direction. No one can do this on their own without the help of God.

Simply ask Him to forgive your sins, place your feet on a right path, and teach you His word in the Bible. It’s as easy as that. No hocus-pocus. No chanting. No hidden mystery.

In doing so, you have placed yourself in God’s hands. He will finish the work in you to prepare you for His soon return. (Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”)

Which riches will you choose, God’s or the world’s?

Praying God’s Heart

Praying God’s Heart

praying hands“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:35 NASB).

I marvel at what God does when we wait on Him in prayer. When we listen to His heart and then pray His desires, we see mighty things happen beyond what we could ever dream or expect.

In late February and early March this year, the Lord began to urge me to pray for Him to “reveal hidden things.”

When I look back over the last three months, I am overwhelmed at what God has revealed which was hidden before. It seems every day a new scenario is now out in public view.

To list a few:
1. The news that our government is collecting data on our phones and the Justice Department seizing Associated Press phone records,
2. the attempt of the administration to cover up the Benghazi massacre,
3. the targeting of the IRS against Tea Party groups, and their subsequent 5th Amendment pleas,
4. mismanagement of funds by the IRS,
5. the Supreme Court legislating from the bench in overturning the majority votes of seven million California voters,
6. the government’s manipulation of the timing of certain aspects of the health care bill to put the hardest bite on employers until after the next election,
7. and the news media’s attempt to only parrot one side of the issue or sweep everything under the rug, unnoticed.

All these things show us what the true state of our out-of-whack Godless living has produced.

Some wring their hands and complain or cower in fear. I am grateful for the Lord’s revealing. You can’t ask God to fix something you don’t realize is broken.

He gives us many promises in the Bible. One that comes to mind is when Solomon dedicates the temple in Jerusalem just after its completion. God has recorded it for us in II Chronicles 6. Solomon, led by the Holy Spirit, kneels to pray at the temple in front of all the people. In that prayer he covers all the bases with a series of “Ifs” asking God to intervene when people pray.

The “Ifs” cover everything from sinning against a neighbor, to famine, pestilence from grasshoppers, a deluge from enemies, and sickness.

He asks God to hear and forgive so that we may fear (reverence) Him and walk in His ways as long as we live (2 Chronicles 6:30-31).

That evening after Solomon prayed, the Lord appeared to him. That night is recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (NASB). God said to Solomon, “If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

So if we do four things:
Humble ourselves
Pray
Seek His face
Turn from our wicked ways.

Then God will do three things:
Hear from heaven
Forgive our sin
Heal our land.

It’s up to us who call ourselves by the true and living God’s name. Will we pray so that He may answer?

(To read instances of how God answers when people pray, read the three-book series God’s Little Miracle Book available at Amazon.com in paperback and e-reader.)