Tag Archives: sin

Faith To Forgive

TODAY’S VERSE
‘“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.’ The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Show us how to increase our faith.”’
Luke 17:4-5 (NLT)
 
TODAY’S THOUGHT
Whoever said forgiveness was easy didn’t have much to forgive. It can be hard, very hard, especially when we try to do it by ourself. That’s why Jesus was challenging His disciples to be bold in their forgiveness. He said, “Even if a person asks forgiveness seven times a day you must forgive!”  And I think Jesus was implying more than one day’s worth. I love the response of the disciples. They asked for more faith. Why did they do that? Because forgiveness is more divine than human. Forgiveness is all about faith. When our world of rules, safety and protection is broken; when all sense of right and wrong is violated; when our belief in a sensible world is shattered, it is hard to forgive someone. And it is hard to believe what we thought was true about God and the world we live in, is still true. It takes faith to trust God when we have been wounded. It takes faith when we have to return an act of hate with an act of love. It takes faith when our soul cries for revenge, justice and punishment and God calls for grace. We need faith to believe that God knows, God cares and that God will heal, rebuild and restore us. So today, search your heart. Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God for faith. 
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father God, increase my faith in who You are and Your Supernatural love for me. Help me trust You so I can let go and forgive those that I have refused to forgive. Help me see Your ways and not mine. Help me to forgive others in the same way You have forgiven me.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN 
 
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
With faith in God I choose to forgive others
Ask God to bring to your mind anyone you need to forgive. As He does, write their name down. When you are ready, focus on what you need to forgive. What was the offense? How did it hurt you? How is it still bothering you today? By faith, picture God desiring you to be set free by your act of forgiveness. Ask Him for grace and strength. Picture God forgiving you and cleansing you from all your wrongdoing. With that in mind, picture you forgiving the person that came to your mind for their wrongdoing. When ready, forgive the person for what they have done.

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Being Real

TODAY’S VERSE
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 1:8-9

TODAY’S THOUGHT 
Why would John write, “If we claim we have no sin”? Who would ever claim that? Who in their right mind would think that they do not sin? The truth is that those of us in the church are close to doing that very thing. We come to a point where we feel we need to live a certain way in order to be a follower of Christ. Now while there is virtue in trying to live a righteous life, we will never be sinless. So there becomes a temptation to try and hide any “sins” that we may have. There seems to be fear of humiliation or a shame that comes with “falling from Grace.” This makes it hard for Christians to be honest and open with each other. Perhaps John’s message today would be something like, “There are no perfect people in the church, so don’t pretend you are without sin. Go ahead and confess to God and each other. Christ is faithful to forgive you.” In order to be real, we need to come to God and confess our sins, admit our needs and get the help we need. It is in sharing our struggles and helping each other that we experience true Christianity. Then we help others in the way we were helped. This is what people are looking for. They will think, “Finally, someone who is real! Someone who knows what I am going through and can help me.” The sooner the community knows that there are no perfect people allowed at church, the sooner they will feel comfortable enough to come. They, too, can experience the same grace, love and forgiveness that we feel.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my situation. You know my shortcomings. Help me keep it real with You. Help me confess my sins so that I might experience Your freedom and forgiveness. And then, Father, help me help others, in the same way You have helped me. Bring revival, Lord, to my church. Help us embrace our shortcomings, confess them one to another and accept Your forgiveness. Might we be a witness of Your grace throughout our community and to all who enter our doors. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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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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Forgive Me

TODAY’S VERSE
“Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.”
Psalms 65:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sin happens. Especially sin that is the result of your emotions. Your senses pick up something is wrong and a chemical reaction sparks a primary emotion in the limbic region of your brain. Before you can think about it, your secondary emotions begin to flood your mind. Worry turns to fear, fear to anger, anger to depression and on and on. Then to make it worse, your thinking comes on line and you try to alleviate all this pain by taking the easy way out. And the easy way out usually involves sin. Some use addictions, others avoidance, some lash out in anger, and some hide behind pride. Whenever our emotions start flooding our brains, we will do whatever it takes to make the pain go away. David knew what it was like. He had emotions. He became overwhelmed by his situations and like us, he reacted in ways that were not Godly. So much so, that his sins began to overwhelm him. He was on a downward spiral, spinning out of control. But David found out the answer. He turned to God. Not just for a temporary fix, but for the cure. He turned to God, confessed his wrongdoing and God forgave him for everything. God wants to do the same for you. Today, come to God. Turn over your emotions to Him. Confess your sin and be forgiven and you can shout like David, “Though I was overwhelmed by my sins, God forgave them all.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I get so overwhelmed with all my sin. The pressures, the pain, the negative critical thinking that constantly drags me down; I bring it all to You. Forgive me for all my sins. Heal me. Take away my guilt and set me free. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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I Am To Blame

TODAY’S VERSE
“Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital!”
Micah 1:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Here is a little background in order to understand the significance of today’s text. God’s chosen people, the Jews, had divided into two nations. Most of the twelve tribes went north and called themselves Israel. Their capital was the city of Samaria. Those left were in the south called themselves Judah. Their capital was Jerusalem. God was trying to call the people back to Himself through His prophets. Micah comes and says, “The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you.” Next, he explains all the bad things that God is going to do to them. He then asks, “Who is to blame for the rebellion that Israel is doing?” and “Where is the center of idolatry?” What makes this passage so significant is not the questions. Rather, it is the answers. We would think that the people responsible for the backslidden condition of the Jews would be some subversive group, or those practicing the black arts. Instead, the answer is that the people in the capital cities are the ones responsible for the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation. Those that should be the closest to the Lord are the ones rebelling against the Lord and practicing idolatry. This should serve us notice. If the capital of God’s chosen people had a hard time following God, how do we think we are going to do it on our own? It is only through reading His word, keeping close to Him in prayer, and surrendering to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can we have any chance of living the life that He wants us to. Today commit yourself to God. Repent of any rebellion toward Him. Put away your “idols” . . .  that is anything in your life that you put above your allegiance to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I have been the one that has stumbled. I am to blame for rebelling against You. I have ignored my relationship with You. I have made other things in my life more of a God to me than You. Forgive me. Today, I choose to follow You. Today I put away those things that cause me to stray and commit myself to following You.  In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love God

TODAY’S VERSE
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
Luke 15:17-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to “love” what we can get from God more than God. It is easier to “love” God when things are going according to our preconceived idea of a “happy life” than it is when things go crazy. In his book The Papa Prayer, Larry Crabb points out that in the story of the Prodigal Son, the son decides to return home, not because of his love for his father but because he wanted what his father could provide. The truth is that the son knew that the hired servants lived better than he was living at the time so he went home to be provided for. It is interesting to note that in the speech the Prodigal Son gave to his father, that he never once told his father that he loved him. What about us? Do we love God or do we really love what He provides? As long as things are great or at least status quo, God is deserving of our love. But what happens when things turn sour, or there is conflict in our life? We are the first to doubt Him. Today, love God. Just love Him. Tell Him so. Love Him because He is! Love Him not to get but just because you want to.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today, I just want to love You. I want to love You for who You are. Help me to examine my heart and repent of a consumer mentality that comes to You for what I can get. Forgive me for attaching strings to my love. Holy Spirit, guide me into a deeper love for the Triune God today. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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New Start

TODAY’S VERSE
“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
Romans 6:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A new life. What would that be like? A do over. A get out of jail free card. What if you really could begin again? What would change? What would you do different? It seems so impossible, but Christ came to give us a new life. Jesus Himself used the word “born again” when describing those who decide to follow Him. God knew us from the beginning of time and created us for His purposes and though our life may seem like one mistake after another, one wrong turn followed by another, God can change everything. This same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead, is the power He wants to use in helping you begin to live a new life. Today, come to Him. Surrender your life and ask Him to help you start afresh. He will. He will hear your prayer and give you the new chance you have been looking for. His love for you is boundless. His promise is sure. All God desires is a contrite and humble heart. He promises that He will not reject your plea if you come to Him with a broken and repentant heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need a new start. I ask, dear Lord, that You use that same power that You used to raise Jesus from the dead to help me live a new life. I surrender to You and ask for Your help today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Help Others

TODAY’S VERSE
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So much of the sin in our life is due to our emotions. We get upset, worried, stressed and the emotional pain starts to build up. Instead of regulating our emotion and return to a more joyful or peaceful state of  mind, we let our anger, rage, depression, or sadness take over our behavior. This leads us to sin. The solution is found in our relationship with God and other close friends. It is the love, support and comfort that is able to tame our sinful behavior. It is in these deep relationships that we learn how to return to joy. Paul says that we should gently and humbly help a person return to sanity and stop their negative behavior. How? By sharing their burdens and pain. In using a kind word, a listening ear and a prayerful heart, your sincere help will keep a person from acting out on their negative emotions. Your empathy and love will help keep them from committing deep relational sins. Today ask God to help you share in someone else’s burden and restore them to a place of peace and joy.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me be there for other people. Help me share their burdens and gently bring them back to You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy extended to me. Help me do the same to others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God’s Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Psalms 103:8-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
King David had an acute understanding of the love of God. It is as if he could see the very heart of Jehovah Himself. David, who knew sin so well, knew the forgiver of sin better. He who struggled with sinful passions in such profound ways, was also set free by the miraculous compassion and mercy of God. Listen to what he writes. “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. – He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. – His unfailing love for us is as high as the heavens. – He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Finally he writes, “The Lord is like a tender and compassionate father.” Who could write such beautiful words? Who could so eloquently write about God’s forgiveness other than someone who knew first hand, the love of the Father. David knew God. God offers the same experience to us. Today, meditate on God’s mercy, compassion and love. Let the words of the Psalm radiate brightly in your heart and make them your own. And may the realization of your own forgiveness be imprinted deeply on your mind just as it was on David’s.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, how I thank You for Your compassion. How I praise You for my forgiveness. How I glorify You for Your unfailing love to me. Thank You for not giving me what I deserve but being merciful and removing all my sins from me. In Your precious name I pray.
AMEN

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Confess To God

TODAY’S VERSE
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 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

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David paints an accurate picture of someone who is under the hand of conviction. He wrote about the physical affect that guilt played on his body. But David did not allow it to stay that way. Instead he confessed all his sins to God and experienced what John was talking about in I John 1:8-9, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” The result of David’s confession was the joy of knowing that all his guilt was gone. How about you? Are you burdened with some nagging issue that you need to talk to God about? Have you been consumed with bitterness, anger, fear or worry and God is saying that you need to repent of it? Is the guilt from being separated from God affecting your thinking, behavior and health? If so, repent. Confess to God and ask Him to cleanse you and set you free. He will forgive you. He will restore your body, mind and soul.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know how I can let things build up. Instead of dealing with issues in the way I should, I let them build up until they are sins festering in my soul and body. Show me today where I need to confess. Point out areas in my life that need forgiveness. Help me to live the life of freedom that you desire for me. Help me break free from this bondage of guilt. In Jesus name I pray.
AMEN

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