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Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Year's Plan - If I...then He

December 29, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Ezekiel 11: 17-21

Therefore say: “This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from among the nations and assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.  When they return and cast away all of their loathsome things and detestable practices, I will give them one heart, placing a new spirit within them. I will remove their stubborn heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

When they live by My statutes, keep My ordinances by practicing, then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 

But to those whose hearts delight in loathsome things and detestable practices, I'll bring the consequences of their behavior crashing down on their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.”


The Lord gave these words to Ezekiel to tell the leaders of the Jewish people. God made them a promise...that He would return them to their promised land. But as we have seen with many of God’s promises, there are conditions:

  • IF turn away from loathsome things AND
  • IF they cast away detestable practices AND
  • WHEN they live by His statutes AND
  • WHEN they keep and practice HIS ordinances 
    • ....THEN they will be called “My People”  
    • ....THEN He will be their God

IF I, then HE...

...but God also promised that IF WE (continue our bad behavior) then HE will “bring consequences crashing down on our head.”

As we reflect on the monstrous things going on in our country and across the world right now – the WEForum.org terrorism; the failures of congress; the overreach of our governors and lame responses of our state legislators; the complete meltdown of the SCOTUS, we need to remember something: Each of those nameless characters are human beings. They did not uphold their oaths of office ...and are selling out of our constitution, our country, the American people, the people of the world. As I read the verses the Lord gave me today I had to wonder: What consequences will be crashing down on their heads, delivered by the Living God?

As we reflect back over the disturbing things that have happened to each of us individually and collectively throughout 2020, what did we each do for God? Where can you say...and over what behaviors... can you say, “IF I....then He”?

I really don’t support the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. They are mostly lofty and non-specific lists like, losing some weight or getting more sleep or exercising regularly. I read somewhere that about 8% are actually able to stick to them to make substantial changes in our lives. But what if we set 1 or 2 very specific GOALS for ourselves this year, especially in the area of spiritual growth.... what can you put down – in writing – that IF I this year... will be matched by one of God’s promises of “...then He”?


Dear Lord, we are grateful for the Season of Remembering Your Birth and incarnation into human form for the sake of each of us. We are grateful for your birth, for your sacrificial death and for rising again to sit at the right hand of the Father, for the sake of us all.

The end of the year is a time for reflection, for taking stock of what has happened, what we have done, and what we should have done ...and for taking steps to formulate a plan for doing better in the upcoming year. 

Forgive us for our shortcomings Lord. Forgive our impatience, for our lack of courage, for being obedient and subservient to the WRONG MASTERS. Forgive us for not understanding what giving up our freedoms meant.

Be with those who lost loved ones this year, Lord. Touch and heal their hearts and remind them that if they are part of Your family, they will soon be united again, for all of eternity. 

Lord, humble our hearts. Give us strength and endurance for the days ahead. Give us guidance as to how we may serve You better, more fully and bring more glory to Your name.  

Lord, You declared, and it is written in Your Word, “There is nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and there is nothing secret that won't become known and come to light.” You admonished us to “be careful how we listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has [knows] will be taken away.”  (Luke 8: 17-18)

Lord, we continue to pray for the rightful outcome of our election, the continuation of our country and the prayerful love of our constitution and our bill of rights. We thank you for all You have given us throughout 2020 – for opening our eyes, our minds and our hearts to so much that we have never seen before – and have never before been able to comprehend.

Thank You for being with us through challenging times and through the best of times. Lord, as we move further into uncharted waters, we lean in.  You promised to never leave nor abandon us; we trust You Lord that this is so. 

As we close out 2020, please continually remind us that IF WE draw closer unto Thee going forward, we know absolutely THEN YOU will be there with us, every step of the way, until we see Your Holy face forever with You in Eternity. We ask that They will be done. We as for these things, this or something better, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

 Photo credit:   

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

"Call on Me; I will Answer You"

October 13, 2020. - with special guest, Elizabeth Nader - LISTEN HERE

Psalm 86:7, 12-13 

I call on You in the day of my distress, for You will answer me.... Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name. I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever.

Psalm 86 is so beautiful. David was crying out to God for courage at a time when his enemies were trying to kill him. After he made his petitions for help known to God, he then praised and worshiped the Lord for His power, trustworthiness, and goodness.

We all have stress in our lives. More than 50% of patients that come to see me these days at my medical clinic list “anxiety” and/or “insomnia” as their chief complaint.

I wish I could toss my “medical stuff” out the window and simply pray with these folks. Pray that they would lay their worries at the feet of the Lord. Pray they would keep their eyes fixed on Him and not on the problem. Pray the Be Attitudes with them – reminding them that worry doesn’t add a day to their life. The prayer would assure them that God is in charge and He doesn’t want you to have a divided mine – one split between worry and rest. The Lord promised He would never abandon us in times of stress.

Read all of Psalm 86. Listen to the wonderful conversation I had with my guest, Elizabeth Nadar, who loves her friends and fans back to health.

Today’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, David says it best in this Psalm 86 to you: 
“Listen, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Protect my life, for I am faithful.You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You. Be gracious to me, Lord, for I call to You all day long. Bring joy to Your servant’s life, because I turn to You, Lord. For You are kind and ready to forgive, rich in faithful love to all who call on You. Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy. Lord, there is no one like You and there are no works like Yours. All the nations You have made will bow down before You, Lord, and will honor Your name. For You are great and perform wonders; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to worship and honor Your name. I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever." 

We pray our hearts can forgive those who have harmed us, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. We pray for the protection of our country. We pray for the preservation of our constitution and our Bill of Rights. We pray for the health of our president. We pray that the election of our state and local leaders will be filled by persons of honor, integrity, and with Your heart to do things that are good, right and just. We thank You for Your love. We beseech Your will for our lives. We ask all these things, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The 2000-year Comparison

October 1, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Lamentations 3:24-26 

The LORD is all I have," says my soul, "Therefore I will put my hope in him." The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the person who searches for him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

The Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament was written by the prophet Jeremiah. 
The Spiritual Warfare Bible has this commentary about the book:

The Spirit moved Jeremiah with grief, sorry and tears for the tragic sin and the exile of God’s people from the land of Judah. They had rejected God’s Spirit and had reaped the harvest of judgment and destruction.

I encourage each of you to read the complete Book of Lamentations. It’s short; only 5 Chapters. But as I read the words of how the people were crushed, then scattered and taken into captivity as prisoners for decades as punishment for turning their backs on God, I couldn’t help but gasp at the parallels we are now living in America.

Here are a few sample verses from this book:
  • All your enemies have opened their mouth against you; they hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up! Certainly, this is the day that we longed for, we have found it; we have seen it.” (v2:16)
  • The Lord has done what He has planned...He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; he has exalted the power of your adversaries. (v2:27)
    • Those we have elected have turned against God, against our Constitution and gladly want to enslave us to the Globalists.
  • The kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem (v4:12)
    • Is America being destroyed from within by the adversaries planted here?
  • Slaves rule over us; there is no one to deliver us from their hand (v5:8)
    • When we are all muzzled, distanced, tagged and tracked like cattle, who will save us from our own government?
But even the state of slavery and destitution, the Lord did not abandon His people. 

He said,  
“The Lord is good to those who seek Him, and wait quietly for his salvation.” Remember the Lord said, “Vengeance is mine.” He also said in Lamentations 3:31, “For the Lord will not cast off forever."

Though He causes (allows) grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of His great mercy.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, in so many ways, we have sinned. We have removed You from our daily lives, our schools, our country, our government. Those among us have murdered more than 61-million of Your infants, without a word of regret. Those among us have broken every one of Your commandments. And worst of all, millions in our country have turned their heart and mind away from You, saying, “God is Dead” and desecrating Your places of worship.

Lord, you instructed us to pray for those who have harmed us, for those who ARE harming us. Lord, as difficult as it is to do, we ask You to bless our enemies and to create events in their lives that will open their hearts so they will see miracles, miracles that could only have been orchestrated by You. Lay their hearts bare so they can accept “welcome” as a Prodigal son, one of the lost sheep may return Home to You. We pray for the forgiveness of our country, for a calling to our government officials, for the protection of Your chosen ones during this time of division. We ask that Thy will be done and our HOPE remains only with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Be Kind to One Another

September 23, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant of one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you must also forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in perfect unity.

I really encourage you to review the verses we’ve talked about this week on the topic of love. 

· 1 John 4:10-11– We love Him because He first loved us.

· 1 Peter 4: 7-8 – Divine love covers a multitude of sins

These verses from Colossians are a beautiful reminder of how Christians should interact - not only with each other but with every person we encounter. If we never read any other verses in the Bible, and we simply followed this “recipe”, we would change the world. 

As you give, you receive. If you are kind, others are kind to you. If you are hostile, it comes back to you like a boomerang. 

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, we are so grateful that Your Word gives clear instruction to us every day. The more we read, the more time we commune with You, the more we grow not only in the Spirit, but grow to be more like You. Help us to know Your love, and help us to show that we belong to You through our thoughts, our words and our deeds. We praise and worship You, Lord. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

September 22, 2020 - LISTEN HERE - With special guest, Patrick Lathum

1 Peter 4:7-8 

Because everything will soon come to an end, be sensible and clear-headed, so you can pray. Above all, continue to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

I’ve been talking for months now about the pervasive and mostly overlooked disasters of this man-made COVID19 crisis. The entire fiasco has been set in place to usher in the destruction of the human race.
  • Masks are the first step. They are a visible tool used by those in control to plainly see how many are willing to be obedient and how many are willing to be compliant. The mask is an external measure of global behavior. A mask makes visible how many “bought” the fear-based story of a “deadly” virus that has been shown to have a 99.96% survival rate.
  • Social distancing is social engineering. Humans are now suspicious of each other. Stay away from me! Don’t touch me! Stand far apart – I might “catch” something from you!! Humans are meant to touch, hug, and hold each other. We are being conditioned to accept being non-human.
  • Mandatory vaccination is a physical assault on the body. The COVID19 vaccine is planned to be laced with a product called hydrogel that is not removable from the body. Maybe you’ll lose your phone or your vaccination record? No problem. We’ll conveniently put that chip in your hand...
Jesus said, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24: 32-33)

Are we seeing the beginning of the end? Even if this is just a “season” we are passing through,  we are reminded to be sensible, clear-headed, and prayerful.

We see the chaos, the murders, the vandalism, the political division, the COVID19 reminders every day. Rather than fighting back, we need to remind each other to pray...and to operate from the place of divine love

Why? Because “love covers a multitude of sins.”

When we tap into God’s divine love and share that with someone, especially those we would rather NOT love! – this is an act of forgiveness. And maybe this verse is a lesson, a reminder, that some offenses are not worth confronting.

Instead of “being offended” at every personal slight, ignorant remark or comment, we can actively choose to NOT be offended...and just let it go. Remember that forgiveness, charity, and love really can “cover a multitude of sins.”

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, we see the times and read the signs around us as you predicted. Even if we are not correct or accurate in our human assessment about things coming to an end, but nonetheless, times are troubling, we are grateful that Your Word admonishes us to pray and to love. You say we are to pray for those who harm us and love those who hate us. Lord, give us the strength and the courage to do this more every day. In Jesus's name. Amen 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Grace and Mercy Work Together

September 11, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

2 John 1:6   (correction verse: 2 John 1:3) 

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and
 from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

The Bible has several verses that mention God’s grace and God’s mercy together, but the meaning of these two words is very different. Grace is God’s blessing. We receive His unconditional as a free gift, and it is something we don’t deserve. Mercy is when God withholds a punishment we do deserve.

To fully understand grace, we need to consider who we were without God’s grace, which means living without Jesus in our hearts. We were spiritually dead. We have no morals, no sense of right or wrong, no concerns about retribution for our actions today or in the future. Without belief in eternal life, we live for today with no concern about  tomorrow. We don’t even acknowledge we have a soul that may be eternally separated from God’s love if we reject Jesus.

It is important for grace and mercy to work in tandem. Emphasizing grace alone focuses only on God’s love. It can seem sentimental and can be taken lightly. On the opposite side, focusing on only asking for God’s mercy to avoid punishment can make God seem harsh and cold. Jesus’ life demonstrates the balance between grace and mercy. They meld together in a perfect balance. 

Christianity is a unique blend that shows how God delivers grace through His justice and truth, and how He offers mercy when we sin.

Remember: We did nothing to earn God’s grace and, in fact, we deserve His justice even when He gives us mercy. We serve an awesome God!

Dear Father in heaven, there are not enough words in any language to describe the feeling of gratitude we have for Your grace, and now much You love us. We are grateful that becoming one with You does not have to be earned because no amount of busy-ness could possibly be enough to enter the gates of heaven. We humble ourselves before You, Lord, with a child’s heart and simple gratitude. Thank You for being who You are. Thank You for your grace which we are so grateful to feel and experience. In Jesus name, Amen


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Lord Teach Me; I Will be Silent and Listen

 September 3, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Job 6:24 

Teach me, and I will be silent. Help me understand what I did wrong. 


We found today’s verse in the middle of Job’s dismay – He was trying to understand why he lost everything, including all his worldly possessions and all seven of his children. Job cried out to God, asking God to understand where he had strayed, what he had done wrong, what sin needed repentance. Job pleaded with God to get him out of the horrible predicament he was in.


Job tells God that he will be silent and listen as only God could help him to understand the errors of his ways.


How often do we cry out to God, to show us the way, to give us answers, to help us to understand a given situation, to resolve a difficulty...?


Do we then choose to be silent – and to really listen for God’s reply?


God’s voice is subtle. It can be a windchime in the wind, in the chirp of a bird. His message can come through a word or a phrase in a very familiar song played at “just” the right time. His lessons can come through a single line in a movie or from a conversation overheard while standing in line.


If we are silent, stop our mental chatter...and then really listen – God can find a space where He can teach us...and we are willing to learn.


No matter how tough things became, Job never gave up. He always trusted that God knew what He was doing and believed that eventually, he would understand why God put him through so much adversity. In the end, his faith prevailed and God restored everything to Job, even greater than what he had originally lost.


We need to LEARN to look at life through the same lens: When we ASK, we need to be silent so we can hear God’s response.  


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You that we can find guidance in every book of the Bible, even the oldest books of the Old Testament. Your Word, Your teachings, Your training rings true from thousands of years in the past – and will be true for thousands of years forward into Eternity. Your Greatness abounds, Lord, and we pray for any and all understanding and clarity we need in our lives that is keeping us at distance from You. Oh Lord, hear our prayers. Silence our minds. Teach us how to be ever closer to You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Photo 161390938 © David Burke | Dreamstime.com


Monday, July 27, 2020

Behaviors the Lord Hates - Change Your Ways


July 27, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Proverbs 6:16-19 

“The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers."

Wow – talk about laying it on the line! Proverbs is clear these behaviors are HATED by God. Let’s look at each one of these:


#1: A proud look – actually, God doesn’t hate you being proud of your accomplishments. We are to feel good when we’ve achieved success through hard work or disciplined practice. What God detests is arrogance. The words arrogance, arrogant, proud, and haughty are mentioned over 200 times in the NIV Bible. And in practically every occurrence, it is a behavior or attitude detested by God. The dictionary defines arrogance as “a feeling of personal superiority; the exalting of one's own worth or importance to an undue degree.” This means we take credit and take the Glory for our success instead of giving thanks and giving the Glory to God. 


#2 - A lying tongue (bear false witness) – and #3 - Hands that shed innocent blood (thou shalt not kill) – are both violations of God’s rules handed down to humanity in the 10 Commandments. Breaking His laws, he certainly hates.


#4 – A heart that plots wicked schemes - Remember that thoughts are things and words have power. What proceeds from the mouth comes from the heart. So, if our heart harbors thoughts of retribution, revenge – or worse – these behaviors will keep us from sharing the love of God with others.  Recall that Romans 12:19 says, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.” Don’t make wicked plans; God literally hates the heart of those who do these things.


#5 – Feet eager to run to evil.  This is made even more clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – “ABSTAIN FROM EVERY FORM OF EVIL.”  Every form. If it doesn’t glorify God, if it isn’t helpful to fellow humans or your pets or the planet, it could most likely be classified as evil...or at least not good! God hates these negative actions and deeds. Don’t do it.


#6 - A lying witness who gives false testimony – This is listed as a separate form of lying: telling a lie to harm someone is an additional abomination. Remember that Peter denied knowing Jesus three times on the night the Lord was arrested. If you lie to cover your butt, you harm yourself. But if you lie to harm someone else? That’s an additional level of scorn from the Lord. Remember we talked the other night about how we will make mistakes – it’s earth school! But we have to step up and take responsibility for our actions. Don’t lie about it. Don’t blame it on someone else and lie about then. God only wants truth to come out of your mouth!  


#7 - One who stirs up trouble among brothers. The Lord really hates a troublemaker. Someone who gossips, causes conflict, is confrontational. And of course, someone who lies. “Blessed are the peacemakers” comes to mind.


So, in addition to the 10 commandments, we have an additional ethical road map here for how to live a God-filled life AND behave in a way that is acceptable to the Lord. You may want to revisit the 10 Commandments...and couple them with this direction found in Proverbs....and perhaps adjust your thoughts, your words, and your behaviors accordingly.


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, it’s actually comforting to have such a direct roadmap, and a checklist of how to behave and best represent You here on Earth School. As we look around at the current chaos in our cities, in our states, and across our globe, it’s so obvious the lies we are being told. Lord, in your Word, you have said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Lord help us to remain strong, upright, and forthright.

ID 97329653 © Amanda Lewis | Dreamstime.com

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Don't Lose Your Cool and Be a Fool

July 23, 2020 - LISTEN HERE


Proverbs 29:11 

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds his emotions in check.”


We live in stressful times and when people are afraid or uncertain, we see volatility. Today, people are encouraged to participate in “social shaming” on social media, within your family...and even with complete strangers. For those who already have a quick or fiery temper, these “in your face” exchanges are often all it takes to erupt into a tirade of angry emotions. While society is encouraging people to “let it all out,” God’s Word teaches that giving in to one’s temper is morally wrong and damaging to your spirit.


The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of controlling one’s temper.

·      Here in Proverbs 29:11 - a person who easily loses his temper a “fool.”

·      Proverbs 25:28 says “A man who does not control his temper is like a broken-down city without walls.”

·      Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict....”


But instead of being an uncontrolled hot head, we must learn to bite our tongue.


The Bible says that when you control your emotion, you are wise. When you’re slow to anger, you can calm disputes. From the Beatitudes we know: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)  


While Ephesians 4:31 admonishes us to “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and slander be put away from you....vs 32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” As children of God, we are called to love one another, to be at peace and even pray for those who harm us.


How many times in the last four months have you let your emotions run away with your sensibilities? Whether that emotion was frustration, fear...or anger, think back on how you could have responded differently.... and Now, with these verses at hand, how you might respond differently the next time you’re challenged or something rubs you the wrong way.


Today’s Prayer

Dear Lord, when anger rises within me, please calm my mind. Soothe my heart with Your gentle words. Replace the frustrations and the anger with your perfect peace. Remind me to reflect Your character, rich in steadfast love, with each intense interchange that crosses my path...whether it be with a friend, a family member or a complete stranger.


Lord, How would I “behave” and respond if I could PHYSICALLY see You standing right next to me? Lord, please remind me...You really are RIGHT HERE. The next time I am faced with a circumstance that causes anger to rise up from inside me, give me Your thoughts and Your words to resolve it. Lord, prevent us from being a fool. Remind me I am Your Representative. Help us to change the world through Your peace, one conversation at a time. Thy will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.

ID 172109400 © Volodymyr Tverdokhlib | Dreamstime.com


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Let Go of the Past - with George Espenlaub

July 7, 2020 - LISTEN HERE


Isaiah 43:18-19

"Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

Our past can hold us back…we all have events in our past that have been painful, disappointing, frightening, or just plain ugly. The past is not indicative of what the present - and future - can be. 


Read that verse again: God says clearly, “Let go of the past.” We are to put our eyes on Him ….and actually SEE what is coming... even now. He created miracles in the wilderness and in the desert. How much more does He want for your life right now. 


Whatever it was? Forgive it. We need to get out of our own way and be willing to accept His gifts. 


We all have “secrets” in our life we’ll go to our grave with…..but those things are part of our past… and God says CLEARLY: Let go of the past events, pay no attention….LOOK what I AM planning for you – today and for the rest of your life!


What are you afraid of? That something good and perhaps even amazing may be in your future? Our days are numbered. Truly, most of us have more years behind us than we have ahead of us. What will we allow God to do for our future?


Do you want your future to be filled with joy? With something more than work and worry? Sometimes saying yes, taking the leap and growing your wings on the way down is EXACTLY the type of trust God wants from us.


Today’s Prayer

Dear Lord, help us to listen to YOUR plans, and not our own. Help us to not let things in our past be the measure of our future. You have great things in store for Your children, if we ask, believe and see things through Your eyes and not our own. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Photo credit: ID 165510228 © Edgars Sermulis | Dreamstime.com