The Three Fors: Forgive, Forget, Forward!

Forgive.

Matthew:18:22 Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”

Ponder this:

Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, ‘O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?’

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

Forget.

*Note: It has been brought to my attention that “Forget” my not be the best word to describe the point I’m trying to get across. (Thank you, Denny! 😊) We can’t learn from something we have forgotten; but the ill feelings associated with unforgiveness can remain and rule our hearts if we allow it. The ill feelings is what you want to forget about having after forgiving! The way Denny put it, to keep up with words that begin with F: Filter the good from the bad so we can Flourish in the Future.

Philippians 3:13&14: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

This may be a bit of a stretch, but remember in Genesis when God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah how he spared Lot and his family? Do you remember what happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back to what all she was leaving behind? She looked back at all the evil and sin that God was about to destroy, and she turned into a pillar of salt!

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t learn the lesson; that is, forget it and then do it again. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we can sin whenever we please because He will forgive us.

Forward!

Philippians 3:13&14: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

When God sent the ten plagues on Egypt to release the Israelites in the book of Exodus, the people considered turning back because it would be better to be slaves than to be dead. I know it’s easier for me since I know the story and how it ends, but really. Who sent the plagues? Did they think He would not see them through? The third option: go forward!

And likewise is it better to be a slave to sin? I’m not a huge fan of being dead either. God, please give me the strength to leave the past in the past and look ahead to the prize!

I’ve heard that when we look back at sins that God has already forgiven and continue to beat ourselves up for it, it’s like saying that Jesus’ dying in our place wasn’t good enough. That really hit me hard. It’s hard to let go, but Jesus was enough. More than enough. He was the final sacrifice.

So remember the three for’s: forgive, forget, and move forward!

Don’t Be Lukewarm!

To almost forgive
Is to hold onto hate.
Malice flows like a sieve,
While odium waits.

To almost believe,
Is to blatantly deny.
Skepticism must leave,
Or one will surely die.

To be almost sincere,
Is to genuinely lie, I’m sure.
Not being as one appears
Is oneself’s way to perjure.

To be almost saved,
Is to be totally lost.
The eternal grave,
Is the fiery cost.

There is no “almost” to be found,
Of this, I must warn!
There is no middle ground,
Don’t be lukewarm!

boiling-water-in-pot

Matthew 22:36-38:
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”

Revelation 3:15&16:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

He knows all that we do, and He knows all that we feel too. He tells us that the first commandment is to love Him with all our heart. I don’t want my love for Him to be “almost hot”; no, I don’t want to be lukewarm. I don’t want Him to spit me out. I want my love for Him to burn like a fiery flame!

 

Thank you to Miriam for the idea to do this post! 🙂 ♥

Also, thank you to a church sign for the quote that started the poem: “To be almost saved is to be totally lost.”

Mistaken Humility

im004398

“Ironically, those with this mindset are often fixated on self, thinking about self all the time and how awful self is… but still very much giving all their energy to self.”

That was a response that one of my best friends had the Depression and Denying Self post I made last month. Quote from that:

Denying self. What does this mean? For years, I thought it meant denying self-worth. Statements like, “You don’t deserve (finish this sentence with any good thing, want, or idea)”, “You’re a worthless sinner”, “You’re not good enough” went through my head, and I let them have free reign. (And then those thoughts took the reigns, cut them, and let the worst run free inside me, and it nearly destroyed me. But that’s another post for another day.)

I guess today is that “another day” I mentioned.

I didn’t understand what humility was. I thought that it was “feeling humiliated”. So when my thoughts aimed to beat me up inside, I let them, saying, “This is humility. Jesus wants this.”

Wrong.

Oh, how mistaken I was; the truth was blurred into obscurity for quite a while.

Humility implies the state or quality of being humble; the absence of pride or self-assertion, while being humiliated implies feelings of embarrassment, making a fool of, dishonored, and shamed.
Even though it was self-loathing, it was still a focus on self that I shouldn’t have had. What a sneaky way for pride to attack; under the guise of mistaken humility!

 

Humility:

Mt:11:25: At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

Lk:23:34: Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.”

Lk:23:46: And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit:” and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.

Jesus always gave glory to the Father. He was the prime example of humility.

 

Humiliation:

If being ridiculed, spit on, beaten up, forced to wear a crown of thorns, and hung naked upon a cross doesn’t give the impression of humiliation, I don’t know what will.

 

He went through the ultimate humiliation, but nowhere have I seen where He humiliated Himself. He knew Who He was and what He was placed here to do.

Likewise, I should know what I am here for and what I am here to do. Bring God glory. Spread the Gospel. Love Him.

(Special thanks to Pete for his Pride series; that was really helpful when writing this. 😊)

All In Context.

im004026

“If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

That sounds like a grand promise from God to His children, don’t you think? But what is the context of this verse? This is Luke 4:7. Here are the surrounding verses:

Luke 4: 1 – 13: And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”

And Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ ”
(Satan is misquoting Psalm 91: 11&12 here.)

And Jesus answering said unto him, “It is said, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ ”

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.

Satan sure is crafty. My point is, you don’t want to use a verse that seems to say one thing before reading the context before and after it. Another example:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Beautiful verse. But consider what the Bible says about the heart’s desires:

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7: 21-24)

These are all things that God hates. So why would He give us our heart’s desire if it’s sinful and wrong? Here are the surrounding verses:

3: Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5: Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

6: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

This is not the flesh heart; this is the heart that loves God with all its might. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (Second Corinthians 5:17) It’s this heart that gets what it wants. It wants Jesus. It is focused on Jesus. And when it has Jesus, it wants no worldly things, no sinful things.

heart header

For if one asks for Him, and knowledge of Him, etc, He will give it. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  (Matthew 7:7&8)
Ask for Him; seek Him; knock on His door and He will open it! How wonderful is this? ♥

Depression and Denying Self

moth-with-cross-design

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Denying self. What does this mean? For years, I thought it meant denying self-worth. Statements like, “You don’t deserve (finish this sentence with any good thing, want, or idea)”, “You’re a worthless sinner”, “You’re not good enough” went through my head, and I let them have free reign. (And then those thoughts took the reigns, cut them, and let the worst run free inside me, and it nearly destroyed me. But that’s another post for another day.) While it is true that we are all sinners, Christ died for us all, and I believe that.

He made our sins as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)

Depression took a truth as Satan did when Jesus was in the wilderness, and twisted it into something that it was not ever meant to say.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” (Note: Satan is misquoting Psalm 91:11&12)

Jesus said unto him, “It is written again, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ ”

Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’ ”

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

(Matthew 4: 1-11)

In reality, a twisted truth is a crafty way to say, “lie.”

Verses are intended to be read in context. Sometimes it is possible to take a verse and then apply it to a situation that it was not addressing.

That is dangerous. Very dangerous.

It misleads the soul.

Denying self and denying self-worth are entirely different things. What I believe “denying self” means is what Paul spoke of in Romans 8: deny the wants of the flesh self and walk after the Spirit. 🙂

Love One Another

one-heart-and-mind-jpg

When I turn on the TV or radio, I see so much violence in the world. It is overwhelming and devastating, how much hate there is. People gossiping about people, backstabbing people, using their tongues as weapons. (Paul specifically spoke about this in Ephesians 4:29) In addition, there are so many people hurting one another – physically and mentally – and killing one another. It makes me so sad and sick to see it.

How many times have we been told to love one another? I know it was a lot. Here are a few:

John 15:12: This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

First John  3:23: And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

First John 4:7: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

First John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

The hate needs to stop!!!

Let us keep in mind these verses and the poem; love one another! ♥

Sacrificing The Darkness

Sacrifice. This word has many meanings, but here are the two I’m thinking of today: “The act of offering the life of a person or animal to God” and “the act of giving up something to possibly gain something greater.”

The first one comes up a lot in the Bible.

Ephesians 5:1&2: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Hebrews 10:12&13: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.

These are obviously “the act of offering the life of a person God.” Jesus replaced the animal sacrifices – He covered all sin with one sacrifice, and defeated death at the same time! This got me to thinking about myself. He gave His life for me; what have I done for Him? What things of the world have I given up for Him?

sin-fascinates

image made by me, quote taken from a church sign

For me personally, I was attracted to darkness and death, and some may have thought that I was weird for that, but I was somewhat okay with it at the time. A good friend of mine had a valid point: “Jesus defeated death; why are people (me included) glorifying death?” I touched on this in the post Halloween – A Christian Holiday…? that I posted back in October. (This is the part two I had in mind and am just now posting. 😉)

First Thessalonians 5:5: Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

It took years of stumbling in the darkness to see that I shouldn’t have been following my heart, but I should have been following Jesus instead.

First John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If God has no darkness in Him, then why was I allowing it to be in me? Why let something that Jesus defeated rule inside me?

John 12:35: Then Jesus said unto them, “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes.”

Once I realized how the darkness had come and surrounded me, I couldn’t find my way out of the abyss – until the Light found me and showed me the way out. I had no idea how lost in the dark I was until I made the resolution to stand in the Light. I thank Him every day for that, but sometimes, it’s not easy to stay out even though I know I should.

Matthew 5:14 – 16: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

But if we are the light of the world, then why was I smothering the Light in darkness? Clearly, I should have been letting the Light shine through me, like light shines through stained glass.

Romans 13:12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The hardest thing was giving the darkness up for Jesus, because my heart didn’t want to give it up and put on the armor of Light. Jesus is the opposite of darkness and death; so after some Bible study, I realized that it wasn’t just a choice – I had to give this up and turn toward the Light, for Him. If He could give His life, then surely with Him by my side, I could give this up for Him.

Sacrifices are never easy, but in the end, He is worth it!