Choose Forgiveness

Throughout the whole Bible we see examples of not only God’s wrath but also of God’s love. He is constantly having to punish His children for one thing or another. Just as any of us parents must do (just maybe not to His extreme). In the end, though, just as we as parents still love our children unconditionally, He still loves us unconditionally.

In Amos 7:1:6 God was ready to destroy Israel with locusts and fire but each time Amos begged Him for forgiveness and the Lord stopped. My question while reading this was; How many times will He keep forgiving us, though?? The answer came to me right away as I was even writing the question in my journal. He will forgive us 7 X infinity.

That is what this whole weekend is about; God’s love and forgiveness of our sins through the death of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God knows all about what we have done. He knows all about the partying and the premarital sex that we had. He knows each of the paths that are behind us and He knows each of the paths that we could possibly take in the future before even we know about them. He, like any parent, hopes and prays we take the good and less harmful path but even if we don’t He still sent His son to the cross for those wrong choices we make. He still forgives us our sins.

Not only does He forgive out sins He promises restoration. We fall down from our own mistakes and our own accord and we reach out to Him and accept His son as our Lord and Savior He will forgive us and restore us. If He, Himself, has to tear us apart, He will restore us. He is all about the restoration game. In fact our final restoration will be when we get to finally meet up with Him in our forever home. He will restore us from these yucky earthly bodies to our glorious ones.

Some of you may not believe this. Some of you may mock me for my belief. Some of you may just turn your heads and think I am crazy to believe in something I can’t see. Yet every time my life has fallen apart and I cried out in prayer it has been restored. Every time I have messed up and thought there was no hope for me I have been forgiven. Whether I can see Him or not I know my God is there and I will hold on to that faith until the day I die. Faith is better than having no hope at all.

So this weekend as you see all the people celebrating the death and resurrection of a “simple man” think about what you want. Think about if you want to continue to live just this simple life where the only hope you seem to have is nothingness after death. Give yourself to God and know that you have a rich filled life after this one in His arms.

Be alert

In my reading today of Amos 6 the author talks of the people who lounge around and feel secure and the sorrow or the woes that await them. It gives examples of Calneh, Hmath and Garth and how at one point and time they were the same way but in an instant they were destroyed. In verse 3 the author says, “You push away every thought of coming disaster, buy your actions only bring the day of judgement closer.”

This is US in modern times! We are the ones who are lounging around and feeling secure. We as Christians feel like oh well I do this this and that so I’m good. Or we don’t even think about His coming. We have put ourselves in a lull. We have gotten comfortable, pious and so sure that everything is as it should be. We forget or as verse 3 says “we push away” the thought that the Lord is coming and with Him Judgement Day. We forget that He will destroy everything that is displeasing to Him to start anew. We need to wake up and stop acting all high and mighty or like we have all this time because we DON’T. Luke 17:22 – 25 Jesus says “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. 23People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. 24For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. 25But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.

We must live every second as if it’s our second to do as the last second. We must live like we are going to be face to face with him at any moment and He will say “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

 

 

Father, Please forgive me of my sins. Forgive me of the big and the small. Help me to live each second of my life for you and you alone. I want my whole life to be engulfed by you. I want to know without a doubt when you tell me to go and I will go. You tell me what to do and I will do it with every inch of my being and my last breath. You are my everything, my all, and my one true love.

 

Give up

Humans think that we are the smartest creatures out there.  We create all these things that we can’t live without.  We are superior to everything living such as the animals and plants, so we think we are better.  Are we really, though?  Do we really have it better?

I’m not so certain.  Take your typical house pet for example.  They usually are the ones that have it better.  A majority of them are treated like kings and queens.  They don’t have to work for their food (maybe a few tricks for treats).  They have someone who takes care of them, cleans up after them and loves them unconditionally.  Sounds to me like they have it better.

They also do something that we have a hard time doing.  They obey their master.  They know who it is that really takes care of them.  They also know that they can’t hide anything from their master.

Humans on the other hand don’t listen to God as they should.  No we are a rebellious bunch that think that we can hide things that we can’t.  We get drawn into one thing or another and suddenly it’s a sin that we can’t live without or an idol that we are worshipping and our master, our God, is suddenly the last thing we think about or acknowledge the existence of.  Our sins and this world that we have “created” has completely and totally taken us from the one that created us.

Some of us do think about Him and we love Him when it is convenient for us at the moment.  We still have our sins, though.  We still are hiding things that we think He can’t see or that we think He doesn’t know about.  He is the God Almighty!!!  He knows and He sees everything!  He may not punish us today or tomorrow.  He may just save that little sin we think we are getting away with until the Day of Judgement, but He still sees it.  How do we think we can hide anything from a massive being that created the heavens and the earth, the moon and the stars?  So tell me are we the smartest creatures he created now??  I think not.

So what are you trying to hide from God today?  What are you trying to keep to just you?  Are you ready to give up and just realize He already knows?  Are you ready to repent or give up that thing you know will be destroyed one day, and if you aren’t careful, take you down with it?  Just reach out to Him and ask for forgiveness.  Lay it at the foot of the cross and walk away, before you end up burning with it.

 

Lord, open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to what you want us to get rid of in our lives.  Help us to see what makes you unhappy and what we need to change so that we can be better children for you.  Help us to learn and be willing to be completely obedient to you, Lord.  We love you and we praise your Holy Name.  AMEN

He’s always there

Hebrews 13:5  Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”

As parents our hearts hurt for our children when they are hurting. Even when they become adults we want to protect them from pain or take it all away when life starts getting hard for them. Unfortunately we can’t do that all the time. We can be there to listen and to empathize but we can’t take it away and we can’t coddle them. If we do how will they ever learn to stand on their own two feet?

Bills stack up, we make wrong choices that put us in the hole, our hearts get broken, people come and go it’s all part of being an adult. We can’t just up and say “I don’t want to do this so I am going to go and have someone else take care of me.” We can’t. As adults we have to deal and we have to push through. We have had to for years and we need to allow our children do so as well. That doesn’t mean we aren’t there for them though. That doesn’t mean they have to be without us. We are still there for them. Just in a different way.

 

God feels the same way about us. He hurts when we hurt and He wants to protect us and take away all of our pain. But He can’t. We have to learn to make our own choices. We have to learn to make the right choices without being told what to do.

God gave us a handbook for life when He gave us the Bible. This is how God tells us how to live and what to do and it is the most that any parent can do for their child. No matter how old we get or how bad we mess up we are ultimately the only ones that can help us. This doesn’t mean that God isn’t there for us though. This doesn’t mean that God’s plans for us won’t work out in the end.

We already know the end of the story. It’s up to us to choose how we are going to get there. The easy way or the hard way? With or without God? Sometimes it doesn’t feel like God is there for us but He is. He is always there. Sometimes He just has to be silent and let us learn and let us make our own choices. Sometimes He has to just stand in the background. He will always be there, though, just as we as parents will always be there, in the background cheering our kids on and praying they make the right choices.  Whether our problem is money or something else He will always be with us.

 

Romans 8:28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.