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?

Saturday 4/14 ~ Shhh. Listen. Don’t you hear them?

The scripture for today, April 14 (4/14), is Esther 4:14b as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today’s scripture is about a reluctant young lady who won a beauty contest and was chosen to be the queen of Persia. Time has passed, and now a command has just gone out to kill all Jews. Queen Esther was a Jewess but had not told anyone at the royal court. She could continue to hide her nationality and let all her people die, or she could intervene with the king. She was the only Jew the king would have listened to. So she took the chance that she, too, would be killed, and spoke on behalf of her people. They were saved.

There are always situations in life in which you are the only one who can accomplish something very needed. Perhaps you are the only adult standing near a strange child who is about to run out into a busy road. Perhaps you are tall and a short person needs to reach something at the store. Perhaps you know a particular language and others around you need you to explain something to them. Perhaps someone called a wrong number on the telephone and reached you instead.

As we go through life, there are situations in which you are the only one who can handle them. Do you? Do you watch for those situations, or do you walk around in your own little world?

Listen! It’s the silent cries of people only you can help. Do you hear them?

 

Thursday 3/22 ~ You can never be consumed

The scripture for today, March 22, is Lamentations 3:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

Jeremiah had spent years warning people of the coming destruction of their country and beloved Jerusalem due to their selfish sinful life and taking advantage of each other. He endured taunts, reprimands, imprisonments, and threats to his life. Now it has happened. All hope is gone. Nothing left but ashes.

There were innocent people who suffered as a result.  Would they let Satan get his way and destroy their lives, their spirits, their souls too?  It is at this point that lamenting Jeremiah utters bravely amidst his own tears, “We are not consumed.”

Are there things going on your life that seem to be consuming you? Do you feel utterly hopeless?  Do you feel as though life may not be worth living anymore? Look up. God is still there. He still loves you.

When you have the love of God, you have the courage to take the next step and the next and the next. You have the courage to keep walking and walking and to hold your head high. Nothing and nobody can ever take away the love God has for you. With his love, you can never be consumed.

Sunday 2/18 ~ Today, be a warrior!

The scripture for today, February 18 (2/18), is Hebrews 2:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindle“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Do you find yourself caught up in some kind of sin over and over? Is the temptation always there? Do you commit the sin and then curse yourself for your weakness in giving in to the temptation? Do you see no way out?

A lot of people never think of Jesus ever being tempted. He was too good. But he had a human body and was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15).

Try to imagine Jesus with your particular haunting temptation and imagine how you think he would have resisted it. Jesus used to get angry at temptation, which of course is caused by Satan. In other words, he got angry at Satan. One time when tempted, he declared, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Temptation is not the same thing as sin. Temptation is when we want to commit a sin, but haven’t decided yet to do it. Jesus faced Satan (temptation) head on. Once when he went through over a month of harsh temptation alone in the wilderness, Satan gave him all the reasons he should do certain things and made them look so good and reasonable; then Jesus gave all the reasons he should not do those things.

Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are ~ yet was without sin.”

Jesus stood up to Satan.  Jesus was a spiritual warrior.  Today, be a warrior!