Monday 4/16 ~ Are you strong enough to forgive?

The scripture for today, April 16 (4/16), is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular sin, do you punish yourself by putting words in God’s mouth? Do you say, “God could never forgive me for that”? Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” That means not holding grudges.

In addition to forgiving yourself and others, can you reach out to help people who cannot forgive themselves? Are you strong enough to imitate God? Are you strong enough to find enough mercy and grace in your heart to forgive?

Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Wednesday 3/28 ~ The Holy Spirit is what?

The scripture for today, March 28 (3/28), is Mark 3:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

This is confusing to many because we aren’t sure what it means to speak against the Holy Spirit. Jesus clarifies it in John 14:17 where he said he was going to send to us another Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 he said God’s Word is Truth ~ the Bible.

If we refuse to believe what is in the Bible, then we are going to refuse to believe in a Savior and refuse to repent of sins. These things are unforgivable because we have no belief in Jesus or sin, and no remorse.

Have you ever tried reading the Bible through in a year? If it’s too much for you, the Old Testament half was written to the Jews and the New Testament half was written to the Christians; choose one. It will fill you with an amazing amount of knowledge and understanding, all from the Holy Spirit ~ the Spirit that communes with your spirit.