From Tony Evans’ sermon on Forgiveness – March 9, 2014, based on Colossians 3:13 – Forgiving each other.
Just as the Lord forgives, we should also forgive. What allows us to forgive is that we recognize that we are forgiven for our wrongs in Christ Jesus. If we lose sight that we have been forgiven, then it makes us almost impossible to forgive. Forgiveness – It is the choice to release a person of an offense committed against you. In the spirit of unforgiveness, we are being held hostage in our circumstances, in our relationships – by our emotions. The devil knows that he can control us because we cannot move forward because of our struggle with forgiveness. To refuse to forgive is to burn a bridge that you will need to cross, if not today, then one day.
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Hoping this day finds you and yours quite well and filled with great joy this day. Time seems to be passing truly fast. Mother’s day 2014 seemed like it was just yesterday and here it is again.
Joyce Meyer remarked today in her radio broadcast that she could not preach what she preaches had she not learned from the furnaces of affliction. As it relates to family, especially children, I must say that for me the burning of the fires of affliction regarding a prodigal child, or children, is the most difficult testing of patience and unconditional love. For me it is harder than financial loss because the momentary (and I must say momentary because this I truly know … I serve God who is able to restore: Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” and reconcile and works all things out together (Romans 8:28 ) for the good of those who love him and serve him) loss allows for an opening of the condemnation of one’s heart, and the condemnation comes in the voice of … you must not have been a good mother, or, you must not have shown enough love, or, it must be me for why would they act the way they do, or, have I done what scripture says in Colossians 3:21 “exasperated my children so that they have [lost] heart.” But I recall 1 John 3:20-21 and my hope is renewed “For if [my] heart condemns, God is greater than [my] heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if [my] heart condemn [me] not, then [I] have confidence toward God.” (Hallelujah!) Continue reading →
Recalling families that have been labeled ‘dysfunctional’, I thought of how that label was derived; what was its conception. Was it so because individuals perform comparisons and see their family as lacking something, as less than perfect, as flawed – as dysfunctional (not performing normally; acting outside social norms or malfunctioning)?
Then I thought – we are all a part of God’s design. Just as He called into being the majesties of the earth and the heaven, we are placed in our families, by none less, than divine design. Where or what is the dysfunction in that divine placement? Could David’s family be construed as dysfunctional? What about Abraham’s family? But – look how God used their family members. Joel Osteen preached a good sermon the other day: “don’t allow yourself [your family] to be labeled as damaged goods: don’t allow yourself to see your family as none other than good. Being a member of your family, whose actions are sometimes less than perfect, is not a mistake. It is purposed. Nothing that happens in our lives is by chance.” Continue reading →
Recently, music icon, Michael Jackson, died unexpectedly. Some say he died before his time. I disagree. Just this week, an airbus crashed in the Indian Ocean. The only survivor was a five year old little boy. Upon hearing of this event, my daughter said to me, “I wonder what his purpose in life is?” The mere fact that he survived, under incredible circumstances, is a miracle. How does this little survivor fit into the realm of things? What history is he to create?
The Bible says we are predestined. It also says that God knew and formed us before the foundations of the earth. Scripture also says that He will perfect that which concerns us. God’s Word also says that we have a specific purpose, but our primary purpose is to give God praise and glory. Ephesians 1: 11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.
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My son and I had a conversation the other day about for what he prayed. He is leaving for his second tour of Iraq on the 12th and he doesn’t want to go. He has a three month old baby girl and wife at home. I asked him for what did he pray, and he said God’s will. I asked him to remember that we must not only pray God’s will, but we must also ask of God what it is we want from Him in accordance with His will for our lives.
What is asking of God but prayer, and what is prayer but conversation with God? Prayer is an intimate, loving, honest and revealing talk with our Father. My father is gone, but I recall many a day sitting and talking with him about my wants, my desires, my frustration, hurts and joys. Do you ever laugh with God? He can be funny at times. Remember, He is real. He is alive. He sees us. He hears us. He loves us. Scripture says that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Ask someone whose Saviour is Jesus Christ to stand with you in prayer for when two or three are gathered together in His name [Jesus], He is in the midst and when you pray, what you bind, or loose on earth is also bound or loosed in heaven. Continue reading →