Forgiveness

Forgiveness - Ephesians 4:32Have lies been told about you?  Have you been rejected? Were you abandoned? Have you been a victim of abuse?  Were you falsely accused?  Maybe someone betrayed a confidence?

Healing can be found only in Jesus Christ whose blood offers forgiveness.

The greatest miracle God ever performs is through the Redemption. The concept of redemption means, “to purchase out of.”  Redemption means that the redeemed person is purchased by the payment of a price.   The price is the blood of Jesus.  What Jesus did on the Cross is the basis for our forgiveness and freedom from the bondage of bitterness, anger, grief, sadness, depression and etc.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

In this verse, Paul emphasizes the position of forgiveness: even as God in Christ forgave you. The application is that since the believer has been forgiven, he should forgive fellow believers who have wronged him.

But first, we must be willing to face, be honest and take ownership of our own sins because if we don’t, we will always distort and overreact to the sins of others.

In Greek, “forgiveness” is aphiemi. In the New Testament, the concept of the unmerited “forgiveness” of God is stressed by the fact that God forgave our sins when His Son died for us. Each person is a debtor (Matt. 18:23–35) who has no hope of repaying God. Continue Reading

Consequences of Complacency

Isaiah 32:9-11, “Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. 10 In a year and some days you will be troubled, you complacent women; for the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come. 11 Tremble, you women who are at ease; be troubled, you complacent ones; strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists.” NKJV

The word complacent is used three times in verses 9, 10 and 11.  It means, self-satisfied and unconcerned, a sense of having arrived of not needing much else.

קֹמְנָה

qō me nā(h);  to raise up, to arise

Isaiah 32:9, “Rise up, you women who are at ease; hear my voice, you complacent daughters; give ear to my speech.”

Why does Isaiah say this? Isaiah ministered in a day when his people needed the courage of hope, just as we do today.  Isaiah addressed a group of women in Jerusalem who cared little about the political signs of the times, which was the threat of Assyrian invasion.  They weren’t worried about anything. They represent the kind of happiness that will kill us—earthly contentment, with no longings for God. They lived their lives of unrestrained gratification and perceived peace when God’s Spirit had identified turmoil. Continue Reading

The History of Christmas: Its Biblical Roots

From the Koinonia Institute

The Hebrew Roots:

Jesus birth was foretold centuries prior in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son to redeem mankind. He sent Jesus as a little baby to become God With Us.

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting . -Micah 5:2

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth . -Isaiah 49:6

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel . -Isaiah 7:14

…When at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this . -Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 Continue Reading

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

From the Koinonia Institute

In 1897, Francis P. Church wrote a now-famous editorial in which he told little Virginia O’Hanlon that indeed there was a Santa Claus. Church wrote in the Sun:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist… No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.”

St. Nicholas:
About AD 260 there was born a certain man named Nicholas who became well known for his generosity and his love of children. Raised in the city of Patara on the coast of what is now Turkey, Nicholas traveled to Palestine as a young man.  He later became bishop of the nearby town of Myra. When Emperor Diocletian focused on persecuting Christians, Nicholas was tortured and imprisoned for his faith in Christ. According to tradition, Nicholas was released by Emperor Constantine and later attended the First Council of Nicea in AD 325. Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Wallbuilders.com – This week we celebrate a uniquely American holiday – Thanksgiving.

First ThanksgivingWhile thanksgiving celebrations occurred in North America as early as 1541, our current celebration is generally modeled after the one at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The Pilgrims, having survived their first winter (during which about half of them died), invited their local Indian friends to join with them in several days of religious activities, feasting, and athletic competition.

Thanksgiving became a festival celebrated annually across New England but did not spread to all the colonies until the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress called for official days of thanksgiving and prayer. Continue Reading

Be a Woman of Strength

“My friend, I don’t know what you’re going through, but look to see if God is trying to direct you, inspect you, correct you, protect you, or perfect you.”  ~Anonymous

Acknowledge the wonderful resources you have in the Lord and then bear down physically and mentally like a soldier, and calmly and determinedly, endure life’s challenges as they roll in and out.  Your attitude in prayer should not be to “give in”, “give up” or “quit”, but of forgiveness, endurance, hopefulness.  Be a woman of strength.

A Woman of Strength: Continue Reading

Leah, the Unloved – An example for us today

Leah, the UnlovedWho wants to read a story filled with betrayal, deception, jealousy, polygamy and extortion?  These look like characteristics that would come from a soap opera or a harlequin novel.  But no, this comes from the Bible.  The focus of this story will be about Leah in Genesis 29.

Leah was the first wife of Jacob.  She was also the oldest daughter of Laban (Jacob’s uncle) and the older sister to Rachel, Jacob’s second wife.  The name Leah means “wild cow” or “gazelle” in Hebrew.  The only physical characteristic we were given of her is she was tender eyed.

In an act of deception, Leah was given to Jacob by her father, Laban, rather than Rachel – who Jacob was promised to marry.  Did Leah have any choice in the matter?  Perhaps Leah was being obedient to her father or maybe she also loved Jacob.  In verse 26, Laban defended his deception because of the local custom: It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the first-born.  This was not something Jacob was informed of in advance. Especially after living there for seven years, Jacob would have been familiar with this custom, if there really was such; thus it may have been just a lie on Laban’s part. Nevertheless, for Jacob it was irony, since the issue of the firstborn and birthright now entered in as it did with him and Esau.
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