Today, Remember Forgiveness

Colossians 3:13 (NIV) Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

It’s Monday. Another work week begins, another school week has started. You woke up looking forward to enjoying breakfast. You intended to speak loving words to your spouse. You were going to pay more attention to the kids. You can’t get into any bathroom in your house because they’re all occupied. And you really, really need to go. Suddenly, Sunday’s sermon that you found so enlightening and encouraging seems long gone.

Me, too.

Someone you encounter today will need forgiveness. Today, you will need forgiveness.

Me. Too.

I have found it’s hard, if not impossible, to get through one day without needing forgiveness or needing to forgive someone. Without God, it is impossible.

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Romans 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The truth is that we are all flawed. We all have our bad moments; our bad thoughts. Words fly out of our mouth before our mind can shut our lips and before we know it we’ve set a whole forest ablaze. The smart guy who loves to show everybody up at at work presents the same idea you presented last week and somehow finagles a promotion out of it, whereas your boss looked at you like your village lost its’ idiot. You consider all options. Quitting. Slashing his tires. Murder. You’re angry. You promised yourself and God you weren’t going to be angry anymore. Yet, there you stand: Pissed. To top it all off…your local coffee shop is all out of pumpkin spice lattes! You left home mad. You get home madder. You need forgiveness. You need to forgive.

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Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I for one am glad that there is a God and I’m not him. You probably are too. I find discernment quickly morphs into judgement. It’s all to easy for me to take other people’s inventory—presumably as some crazy rationale for not focusing more on my own. After all, I probably have a log or two in my own eye that I need to remove before trying to fix other people. And yes…I’m a fixer. Give me five minutes and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with you and what you need to do to fix it. Thankfully, by God’s grace, I’ve gotten better over the years at taking stock of my own shortcomings instead of everybody else’s. There’s certainly no shortage of things for me to work on. I remain a work in progress.

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For me, I’ve found the more time I spend in His Word and the more time I spend talking to God in prayer the better chance I have of not only surviving the day, but to experience living life abundantly.  I’m not perfect. None of us are. It’s a good thing God is prepared to forgive us. All we need to do is remember to ask…

1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Be quick to ask for forgiveness; be even quicker to forgive.

‘Gracefully Broken’-Matt Redman

Photos via Pixabay

 

10 Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago today, on October 7, 2007, Terri and I stepped out in faith and rededicated our lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We made our renewed profession of faith in a public baptism at a small, local church we had started attending several weeks before. A couple of months earlier we had taken a horseback ride up a mountainside near Taos, New Mexico. Neither of us are exactly sure what happened up on that mountain, but a spiritual transformation took root. Perhaps our spirits were overwhelmed by soaking in the majestic grandeur of God’s creation. Our souls were certainly hungry for God, even though we didn’t know it at the time we’d planned our trip. Yet, while we were yet sinners, God was faithful in His pursuit of us.

The decade since we set out on our faith journey has been a rollercoaster ride of high highs and low lows. There have been incredible, inexplicable highs–like Terri and I getting married, my being ordained as a minister, and the joy of performing several weddings. But to be sure, it hasn’t been all wine and roses. No, there have been dark moments like getting the left foot of fellowship, burying a good friend’s wife and 13-year-old daughter and our 24-year old niece in the course of a few months, and having to say goodbye too soon to another great friend and co-laborer in Christ earlier this year. Yes, there have been difficult valleys to traverse and hard mountains to climb. But through it all, God has remained faithful in seeing us through the difficult times. His comfort has been immeasurable; His love beyond amazing.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

Terri and I have both marveled at how God has used us to share the Gospel all throughout the DFW metroplex as well as in different parts of the World. Through our involvement with the ministries of Operation Christmas Child, Terri had the joy of sharing the love of Jesus in Tanzania and through our home church she also had the opportunity to minister to the people of Barranquilla, Colombia.  We even had the opportunity to take a Bible study tour in Israel in 2012. God has left us speechless and breathless numerous times throughout the past decade.

Through our stewardship in leading our church’s outreach to Union Gospel Mission, we’ve had the privilege of sharing God’s Word and praying with a multitude of men and women to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

And to top it all off, most Sunday mornings I have the honor of helping lead our congregation in worship.

While taking up our cross and following Jesus hasn’t been the easiest road, it has been indescribably thrilling. For that, Terri and I are truly thankful. We look forward to the next ten years unless of course our Lord returns beforehand. Then we’ll celebrate singing His praises in Heaven.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30 (ESV)