Friday, November 6, 2009

Word of the Day: for⋅give⋅ness

for⋅give⋅ness [fer-giv-nis]
- the act of forgiving, disposition or willingness to forgive

- to grant pardon for or remission of an offense
- to give up all claim on account of
- to cease to feel resentment against
- to cancel an indeptedness or liability of

God forgives us:
Ephesians 1:7,8 - In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

So we must forgive others:

Proverbs 17:9 - He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.

Matthew 6;14-15 - For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 18:21-35 - Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.

"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Colossians 3:12-14 - Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Hebrews 10:11-18 - Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

“This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”

Then he says,

“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”

And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

I'm soooo thankful that God does not keep a record of my wrongs, but is willing to forgive my pride and stubborness, my shortcomings and failings. I'm thankful that He is willing to take the things in me that are ugly and unloveable and make something beautiful of it! He is soooo good! :)

Have a great day friends!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Well, we've been talking about prayer at church in my girls' class. They are sooo cute and I just love to hear them and discuss these things with them. I just thought I'd share what we have learned so far.

What is prayer? Talking to God and listening to Him talk to us. It is easy for prayer to be a one-sided conversation if we're not careful. It's soooo easy to get into the habit of rattling off our needs to Him and then abruptly ending the conversation with an AMEN. I dare say most of the time we don't expect a response and certainly don't wait for one (I'm GUILTY of this!).

So how does God talk to us? Well, He can do it however He wants. I've never heard Him audibly, but He can do it that way. Most of the time for me He speaks to me through the Bible or in my heart (you could call it His "still small voice", sometimes it's a strong feeling about what I should or should not do, or a thought about something good to do for others). Sometimes He speaks through other christian friends or through a song. I think He probably speaks a lot more often than we notice because these days we are all so busy and distracted.

Tonight's lesson was about the 4 kinds of prayer.

Adoration - praising God for who He is in general.
Who doesn't like to hear the good things about himself? God likes to hear it and I think when we talk about how He is faithful, trustworthy, loving, caring, kind, awesome, all powerful, etc. it reminds us too and builds our faith.

Confession - telling Him what you have done wrong or didn't do that you should have done, telling Him you're sorry and asking Him to forgive you and help you change.
Think about when you know you've done something wrong. It feels like such a heavy weight until you "get it off your chest". This part of prayer leaves you feeling lighter and totally clean! It's so good to know that once He's forgiven you He forgets that you ever did wrong! WOW!

Thanksgiving - praising and thanking God for the things He's done for you
Coming to God with a grateful heart is something we all can do! He does so much for us everyday! He provides, protects, heals, encourages us, ETC! This is a good time to recall your blessings and the ways God has answered you already! What has He done for you that you can thank Him for? Even on your worst day, I PROMISE you, you can still find something to be thankful for!

Supplication - telling God what you need and want
If you have already done the first 3 parts of prayer, by the time you get to this part you have already been reminded of who God is, you've gotten rid the sin that was weighing you down, you've also been reminded of how has God answered your prayers the time you get here, your heart is full of faith and feeling light and free, what a great time to ask God for what you need and know that you have His full attention!

Hebrews 4:14-16 - Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Well, just had this to share, I hope you will enjoy it! Have a great week!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Trading Worry For Peace

In the class I teach for girls at church we are about to study about prayer. Our memory verse will be Philippians 4:6,7 (NIV):

Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

With that in mind I decided to study this verse in depth. This happens to be my very favorite scripture, and one I try to live by daily, so I'm sure I've probably quoted it in this blog before and may have even studied it before, but I just wanted to study it again, so here goes:

Amplified version:
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God's peace (shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Life application notes:
God's peace is different from the world's peace, true peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. Our citizenship in Christ's kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, we can have victory over sin. Let God's peace guard your heart against anxiety.

My interpretation:
1. Don't worry about anything
2. Pray, tell God what you need and want
3. be thankful, have a good attitude
4. leave your requests and burdens in God's hands
5. expect God's peace to guard your heart and mind
6. if you start to worry again, pray and give your need to God again

So what am I trading?

- to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts, fret
- to torment with cares, anxieties, etc, trouble, plague
- a worried condition or feeling; uneasiness or anxiety
- to disturb or interfere with someone's comfort or peace of mind
- to cause anxiety, apprehension or care

- to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent or the like
- to torment, irritate annoy or vex
- an irritated state of mind, annoyance, or vexation

- distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
- fear, foreboding, worry, disquiet
- a state of uneasiness and apprehension as about future uncertainties

anxiety suggests feelings of fear and apprehension, worry implies persistent doubt or fear, care denotes a state of mind burdened by heavy responsibilities, a concern is serious thought combined with emotion.

- a devout petition to God
- a spiritual communion with God as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, and confession
- a petition, entreaty
- a reverent petition made to God
- a fervent request
- a conversation with God in direct address to Him

- a request made for somthing
- a respectful or humble request as to a superior or to one of those in authority
- a supplication or prayer

- the act of giving thanks
- grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God
- expression of gratitude

- state of mutual harmony between people or groups
- cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension
- freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.
- tranquility, serenity, untroubled, content
- state of tranquility or quiet

Proverbs 12:25 - Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.

1 Peter 5:7 - Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares for your watchfully.

If your burdened down with cares, worries, or anxieties today, I hope that you will take a minute and bring them before God. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them in His capable hands! Trust Him to meet every need you have! He cares for you!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Prayer for Today...

Lord, next time I'm tempted to criticize, judge, or talk unkindly about my family member, friend, neighbor, or even my enemy who is in a pit, remind me again about the pit you took me out of. Help me remember how you did not hold my offenses against me, how you were willing to forgive me and love me just the way I was! Help me follow your example and extend that grace to others! AMEN!

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3