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?

Wednesday 4/4 ~ You’ve gotta be kidding! That’s impossible!

The scripture for today, April 4 (4/4), is Psalm 4:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“In your anger do not sin.”

You’ve gotta be kidding!  That’s impossible! When people get angry, don’t we lash out at other people? And yell and call them names? And show our temper? Maybe even throw a few things? After all, that’s the only way to get across to the other person that we are really angry.

Hold on. If, for instance, you told your child not to do something for their own safety but your child did it anyway, of course you would become angry. Why? Your child put himself in danger because of his action.

You can choose to lash out at your child wildly so that your emotions mask your words. Or you can choose to talk calmly and explain the dangers your child was put in because of that action. Maybe punishment is in order.  You can calmly but firmly tell them what their punishment is. You can calmly punish your child without losing your temper.

It is the same way with adults. If you lose your temper and shoot daggers with your eyes and rant and rave, all your actions distract people from your words. Aren’t your words of explanation more important than the emotionalism and yelling? If you were hurt, just say so. If they hurt themselves, just say so.

While we’re at it, not all words help. Name calling does not help. Name calling is done when you choose not to explain how you feel. Name calling such as, “You’re irresponsible,”  locks the other person in and sets them up for future failures between you and them. Losing your temper during anger gets you off the issue and into sin.

Next time, try to remain calm and then explain the problem in tones that the person who has angered you ~ whether child or adult ~ can truly listen to and learn from. If you have trouble doing this, practice when you’re alone. It will come to you in the right way. It will teach you to remain calm when you’re angry.

Anger is not the same thing as sin. What you do with it can be. Choose a calm anger.  Thereby, you will have a peace that passes understanding.

Wednesday 3/21 ~ The Cheerful Conscience

The scripture for today, March 21 (3/21), is 1st Peter 3:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also ~ not the removal of dirt from the body but the answer of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus’ part in saving us was to pay the wages of our sins to Satan through his terrible death. Our part is to believe he did. Then to confess it to others. Then to repent of the sins that he died for. Some people call this process (and it is a process) giving their heart to the Lord.

But many people go through life wondering if they were sincere enough when they gave their heart to the Lord. What is in one’s mind long ago sometimes becomes a fuzzy memory. So they re-give their heart to the Lord all over again periodically throughout their life.

Thank God, he has given us something we can do, an action to prove we were sincere enough, more than a long-ago state of mind. He gave us an action to reassure our conscience toward God ~ “baptism that now saves you”, the same baptism wherein you are reborn to live a new life (Romans 6: 4)