Tag Archives: redemption

Do We Live Like We Are Forgiven?

TODAY’S VERSE
“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’”.
Matthew 18:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is interesting that Peter was the one that came to Jesus and asked, “How many times should we forgive another person?” Peter thought he was generous and asked, “Seven times?” But the answer that Jesus gave Peter was based on grace and mercy, not on merit or our puny benevolence. Jesus said, “Seventy times seven.” Peter learned to identify himself with Christ’s answer. When the crowd came to crucify Jesus, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. When he realized the wrong he committed, he went and “wept bitterly” over his sin. How awful Peter must have felt. When Jesus rose again, he went and found Peter. Jesus forgave Peter and told him three times to go and serve Him. And that’s what Peter did. He did not go and become self righteous. He did not go and think of himself as some sinless leader of the church. He did not set up a Country Club Church for members in good standing. No, Peter never lost sight of the fact he was just a forgiven fisherman, saved by the grace of God. And other people recognized it too. The book of Acts says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter and his followers carried a sign saying, “No perfect people allowed! We are just ordinary people forgiven of our sins.” Shouldn’t we do the same?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for all that You have forgiven in my life. Might I live filled with your Holy Spirit and in the fresh awareness that I am loved by You. Help me in turn to love and forgive others, so when they see me, they too will take note that I have been with You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN
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Alive

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When asked, a group of people who suffered with addictions, gave the answer to what they “felt” just before they gave into the craving of their addiction. What was the trigger, what was the deep painful impulse that was driving them? Some of the answers were, “worthlessness, lost, disconnection, lack of existence, invisible, bad, evil, void, abandoned, alone, powerless, wrong, not breathing, non being, humiliated, ashamed and unloved.” Then the same group was asked to visualize taking the drug and verbalize what the drug did for them. What was the promise, what was the relief? They wrote:
“self discovery, focus for my life, meaning, surrender, will, acceptance by group, feeling of being alive, freedom, acceptance of desire, living in the moment.” Now here is the catch. Although the desire for positive meaning is real, the lie is that drugs do not give them the solution. It only mocks it. It is like the song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” It is God that gives the “breath of life.” Jesus provides real meaning. The healing power of God and Christian fellowship is the answer to our deepest pain! God has created us for life. We are not supposed to go around feeling like a non-being. Instead Paul prays that we would have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Christ’s love for us is. It is in experiencing God’s love for us that we are made complete with all the “fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Today, let the love of Christ breathe life deep into your soul and make you alive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to live, really live. Help me find true meaning and purpose in Your love for me. Fill me with Your life-giving breath. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more alive today than I have ever been.
AMEN

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Give Praise

TODAY’S VERSE
“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is about the redemption of God’s people. The people were scattered. They had disobeyed God and he allowed calamity to come upon them. But in God’s timing, He called Nehemiah to rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem so the people could come back together as a nation. When they were done rebuilding the walls they had a great celebration. Nehemiah writes, “Standing on the stairs were the Levites—who called with loud voices to the LORD their God and said: “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. – Our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love.” They celebrated God who is forgiving, gracious and compassionate. What do you celebrate about God? What is it about God that brings a smile to your face and a joy in your heart? If you can’t think of anything then think on this. God has never given up on you, He will never desert you, He is always slow to anger and will always keep His covenant of love with you. Today, take pause and give praise. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your gracious love toward me. Thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion. Thank You that You will never desert me but will keep your promise to always love me.
AMEN

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His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to know about the love of Christ, it is another thing to experience it. Paul says that God’s love is wide, long, high and deep and that would take God’s own power to understand its vastness. We cannot even begin to understand God’s love by ourself. But experience it? That is Paul’s prayer, that we would experience the love of Christ. In the book, “True Faced” the authors write that we are ready to experience God’s love, “when we have the desire to be loved by Him”. And one of the best ways to find that desire is to admit to God that we have needs. When we admit we have needs, it gives us the opportunity to trust God with them, letting God love us, on His terms not ours. It is coming to God with this openness, trust and faith that allows His power to help us understand and experience the greatness of His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You admitting that I have great needs. I need Your love, I need Your power, I need Your Holy Spirit, I need Your direction. Father, I am so needy, but today I ask You to meet my needs on Your terms not mine. I desire to be loved by You dear Father and choose to trust that You will help me understand Your love in deep and meaningful ways.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. – Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Psalms 32:3, 5 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
What hope is found when we decide to stop doing something that is wrong. What peace is ours when we set out to make right those wrongs that we have committed. What joy we experience when we unburden our self of things that have held us prisoner in the dungeon of guilt. David paints the picture of inner turmoil and anguish we bring upon ourselves when we store the toxic emotions of a guilty conscience. He writes, “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.” But later David writes, “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” Where there was pain, there can be joy. Where there was guilt, there can be forgiveness. Today, come to God with anything that is bothering your conscience. Don’t go another day without experiencing the joy from a heart forgiven.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the substitute death of Christ for my sins. I know I can bring any of my wrongdoings to You for Your complete forgiveness. Lord, hear my prayers of repentance and restore joy deep into my soul.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.”
Psalms 130:3-4 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It is easy to keep a record of sins. How many times have we found ourselves caught up in bitterness over someone’s repeated offences against us? How many times should we continue to forgive? Jesus addressed that very question when Peter asked Him how many times we should forgive someone. Peter in a magnanimous gesture suggests seven times, but Jesus said seven times seventy was more like it. The truth is God’s love is greater than we can imagine. David was trying to make that point in this passage. He was amazed at the fact that God was totally justified in keeping record of all our wrongs but chooses not to. Instead, what does God do? He offers forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. Making a fierce inventory of those we have offended is central to any substance abuse recovery program. But it is not complete until forgiveness is sought where ever it is possible. With God it is always possible. Is there something weighing heavy on your heart? Is there a secret sin or something from the past you need to repent of? Today, bring it to God. The God who does not keep a ledger of your wrongdoings but instead offers complete forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for not keeping a record of my wrongs. Instead, I bring my sins to You and ask You to forgive me and set me free. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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 Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
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