Forgive and Forget!

forgive and forgetRead this little story, and it made me think…

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985
tyranny of tradition

Jesus commands us to forgive, but then what?

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness is a choice, but how do we move past the horror of what the other person has done?
Clara Barton figured it out, with a strong, disciplined mind.
She refused to allow the wickedness others did, to occupy her thought life.
unforgivess rent free
We are all pressing towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, or should be. This world is not our home, heaven is.
What happened yesterday, or yesteryear, cannot be allowed to dictate what we do today.
I like the way the apostle Paul said it:
forget

Philippians 3:

13 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,

Here it is Christmas again, and families are getting together again. There are those that are ‘stuck like chuck’ in their traditions and who would hold you emotionally hostage to your past failures, or the brutality of what they have been allowed to do to you.

Forget it!

 

Act differently, and refuse to lower yourself to their level, no matter what they do.

It’s going to take the power of God to do…

Let’s pray:

‘Father, as I gather with family and friends this holiday, I refuse to be defined by my past, or theirs. I choose to forgive and forget their wrongs, and I choose to receive Your grace and strength, to not allow them to drag me down into their mess and guilt trips. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

Lee forgive

In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.” It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.

Michael Williams

 

Forgive Future Sins?

Hi WordPress world. I read this article on Guy Dunnicks Facebook page, and messaged him asking his permission to repost it. Enjoy!
Guy

Are All Future Sins Pre-forgiven ?

There are some ministers who teach that all the sins of all believers — past, present, and future sins — are already forgiven. They teach that for Christians, every past sin they have committed, every present sin they are committing, and every future sin they might commit is already forgiven. When we study Scripture, however, it is clear that although all the past sins of believers are forgiven, future sins are not pre-forgiven.

It is absolutely true, of course, that the full measure of Jesus’ blood has already been shed, once and for all, and that He will not “re-suffer” or “re-die” or “re-shed His blood.” The full retainer of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross is available and the completeness of His saving work is capable to meet whatever “forgiveness demands” become present in any believer’s life. That does not mean, however, that all the future sins believers might commit are “pre-forgiven.” Although everything necessary for the forgiveness and cleansing of every sin of every person in every generation and at all places — from Adam and Eve up to the last baby that will ever be born; for both sinners and saints — has been provided through the incredible and super-abundant one time and once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ in His suffering, in His shedding of blood, and in His death, that does not mean that all the sins of all believers are “pre-forgiven.”

It is true, of course, that believers will be forgiven and cleansed of any sin they commit in the future because the necessary provision for the forgiveness of their sins is already in place. Jesus is the propitiation, not only for the sins of sinners, but also for the sins of believers. The blood of Jesus Christ is effectual to cleanse any sins that any believer may commit [I John 1:7]. But believers’ sins are not forgiven BEFORE they are committed; they are forgiven AFTER they are committed.

We could compare the abundant provision of Jesus’ shed blood which the Father planned and Jesus provided for the forgiveness of all sins of all people — past, present, and future — to a good earthly father who, because of his love for his children and his foresight, made a financial deposit into a bank that was so substantial, it could cover every possible future need that might arise in the lives of any and all of the children he might ever have. All the necessary health insurances and life insurances, and medical aid, and lawyers, and legal aid, and anything else that was necessary or might become necessary could be met by the substantial provision that had been put in place by the father before he even had any children. Any time that any of his children had a crisis or a need, or any time a bill “came due,” a draw could be made from the substantial account at the bank and everything that needed to be covered would be covered in full. Although the provision to cover every bill and pay every debt and meet every need was already put in place long before it was needed, the bills and debts and needs would only be paid when they “came due.”

This is exactly what our heavenly Father did for all His children in the New Covenant. He put in place for all lost sinners who He loved and for all of His children who were already saved the full provision of the saving work of Jesus Christ. Everything that might ever need to be dealt with or payed for in the future, including the sins that believers would commit, could be dealt with and payed for. What God pre-planned and pre-provisioned in the New Covenant to deal with the forgiveness and cleansing of believers’ sins — the provision of the precious and powerful cleansing blood of Jesus — is an account so richly funded that there will never be a “debt” incurred by any sinner’s sin or by any saint’s sin that cannot be immediately “paid in full.” As the apostle John revealed in I John 1:7, in I John 2:1-2, and in several other places in his first epistle, true believers can continue to experience, in the present — in “real time” — the forgiveness and cleansing of any sins they commit. Although the provision for the forgiveness of those sins was put in place long before the Father God had any children, the sins that believers commit are forgiven after they are committed, not before.

Earlier in our study, we learned that when believers walk in the light as God is in the light, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth [them] from all sin” [I John 1:7]. In this verse, the Greek word katharizei that the English word “cleansing” is translated from is in the third person, present tense, active voice, and indicative mood. We know, then, that the cleansing John was referring to in this verse was neither a past cleansing or a future cleansing, but was an ongoing cleansing; a cleansing that was happening “in the present.” This ongoing cleansing was being accomplished by a “third person” — the blood of Jesus Christ. According to John, the cleansing of believers’ sins by the blood of Jesus is a present, continuous, and ongoing cleansing. It is obvious, then, that believers’ future sins have not been “pre-forgiven.”

In I John 2:1-2, John informed his spiritual children that if they sinned, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” John also revealed that believers have had provided for them a propitiation for their sin; the same Jesus Christ. According to John, Jesus is presently believers’ advocate with the Father, pleading their cases before Him if they sin. According to John, Jesus is presently the propitiation for believers’ sins, dealing with whatever sins they have committed to ensure that there is no impediment in their relationship with the Father. If it was true that every future sin of every believer had already been pre-forgiven, there would be no need for an advocate with the Father. If it was true that all future sins of believers were pre-forgiven, believers would not need a propitiation for their sins.

It is interesting that in our primary text, I John 1:9, John wrote that God, “is [present tense] faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice that John did not write that God was [past tense] faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is clear from John’s words in I John 1:9 that the forgiveness and cleansing of believers’ sins occurs AFTER they are committed. That means, of course, that all future sins have not yet been forgiven.

If every past, present, and future sin was forgiven at the moment a person first believed and was saved, then no believer would need to be cleansed of his sins by the blood of Jesus as he walked in the light [I John 1:7]. No believer would need an advocate with the Father or a propitiation for their sins [I John 2:1-2]. And no believer would need to be forgiven of their sins and cleansed [I John 1:9]. If every future sin was already forgiven, then the blood of Jesus would not be continually cleansing believers of their sins, having an advocate to plead before the Father would be unnecessary, and a “propitiation for our sins” would be unnecessary. John’s teaching clearly reveals that the sins believers commit are forgiven AFTER they are committed, not BEFORE.

This is an excerpt from Guy Dunnicks upcoming book:

“Must We Confess Our Sins?”

Its a 200 plus page study on 1 Jn 1:9

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, where you have appeared distant, and I have sinned against you, show me my terror, that I might humbly ask Your forgiveness and find grace in Your sight today, restored fully to fellowship to You through Jesus precious blood, Amen’

Guy Dunnick heads up ‘Masters Touch’ Ministries here in Tulsa: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Guy-Duininck-Masters-Touch-Ministries

Guy pic

Do You Want To Go To Heaven?

The Gospel

gospel

Dear Friend,

 

God loves you, and there are five things God wants you to know about Him, and I feel impressed by Him to tell you what they are.

gospel manger

  1. Jesus was born. Babies are born every day, but Jesus is different because although Mary is His earthly mother, God is His heavenly Father. That makes Him different than any other person that has ever walked the earth. Think of it this way, the egg inside of Mary was human, the sperm divine. Theologians call this Immaculate Conception, but to most of us, it is the Christmas story. God became a man in the form of Jesus Christ, Emanuel, God with us. God came to earth and joined humanity, like each of us, as a meek helpless baby. Jesus is not merely the son of God, but God the Son, the second person of the Trinity.

god-the-son

  1. Jesus grew up, he became a man yet without sin. Although the Bible says little about his first thirty years, the baby we celebrate at Christmas did not remain a child, at thirty years of age, He withdrew from humanity and fasted forty days to come back in the power of the Holy Spirit to show the world what a person, walking with the Creator can be. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the multitudes, walked on water, stopped storms, and cast evil spirits out of people.
    gospel miracles
    He did all of this, without sin. Not one time did He ever break the laws of God or man, that qualified Him as the sinless, spotless, holy, Lamb of God, accepted by God, as the only fit sacrifice, for the sins of humanity. He is still the same and doing the same things today. Yet the day came on earth when He was betrayed, and sentenced by a kangaroo court to death. Religious people had Him murdered.

gospel cross

  1. He died on the cross. Not a pretty death. Deserted by his closest friends. Beaten beyond human recognition. His face pulverized. Weakened so much by blood boss that this formerly strong man could not carry His own cross. The sky turned black as night, the earth split open and dead people came out of the graves to testify. He spoke three words that still echo throughout eternity, “It is finished” The veil in the temple, was torn from top to bottom, signifying that the separation between God and humanity was now ended. God could again visit with the people He created even as He walked with Adam in the garden of Eden. Jesus bore the sin of the whole world upon Himself on the cross, an infinite sacrifice, for an infinite debt. Atonement!

gospel rose

  1. He rose from the dead. You know, the Easter story. HIS story. Not the tooth fairy, Lord of the Rings, or the Easter bunny. Though they laid the body of Jesus in a tomb for three days, His spirit was not there. He went through paradise, He went to hell, yet on the third day, His spirit rejoined His body, and He rose. The stone was rolled away, and He ascended into heaven. For the next fifty days He appeared to over five hundred eyewitnesses, and then while five hundred watched, two angels appeared, and He ascended bodily back into heaven. Many educated moral instructors have lived: Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, Plato, and others, yet each of these died, and their body remains in their tomb today. Jesus rose from the dead.

gospel ascended

  1. He reigns. He is Lord of heaven and earth. God is the spirit, seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. There is only one true God, maker of heaven and earth, yet He has revealed Himself throughout His Word in three separate and distinct persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Son of God, birthed of His Spirit. When He ascended back into heaven, God sat Him at His right hand where He reigns the universe.

gospel reigns

In short:

 

He came, He lived, He died, He rose and He reigns.

creator1

Now the problem of Creation must be addressed. You and I. Each and every one of us have been created in the image of God. We are also spirits, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, or good people better, He came to make dead people ALIVE! Except a man be born-again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God. God loves you personally and wants you to know Him on His terms. Religion has always been man’s set of rules and regulations attempting to reach God, Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man. He died for you, not because He had to, but because He loves you. Yet, He did not create robots, each of us has a free will. The question He would have me ask you is this: Do you want Him to be your king? Do you want to go to heaven when you die, to be with Him? If you do, the Bible makes this promise to each of us,

 

‘If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10:9,10’

salvation

Here’s what each of us need to do to come to God on His terms.

  • We must acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord. That is, in light of this great love He has demonstrated towards us, we must make a decision as to whether of not we will choose to allow Him to rule over us.
  • We must believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead.
  • We must confess, out loud to Him that we want Him.

 

Here’s a simple prayer.

 Lets pray

‘God, I want to know you. I want you to be in charge of my life. I accept you Lord Jesus as my Lord. Forgive me Lord for all the things I have done against you. I believe, Father that you raised Jesus from the dead, and I ask you to come into my life and make me the best person I can possibly be. Amen.

 

Now, that prayer will get you right with God, today. But what about tomorrow? Each day we need to grow spiritually, in our relationship with Him. That will involve talking to Him about your day, and involving Him in your day-to-day decisions. How do you do that? Well, begin to read your Bible, every day, first thing. Seek Him first thing, and He will add everything else you need to your life. When you see something in the Bible that is new to you, do what it says.

read-bible

That’s where we come in. Eventually, you are going to need a good church. A place of love, friendship, and fellowship, where we can worship God and work together to make this world a better place. Any Bible-believing church would love to meet you and to hear about your new decision to serve God. There are many fine churches all over the world. Shop for one that believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and where you have peace.

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/

For many years, we attended Victory Christian Center here in Tulsa at victory.com. Great church that will help you grow in your walk with God!

Presently, we attend Rivergate Church here on 71st st in Tulsa, just East of Riverside, under the wonderful leadership of pastors Joel and Linda Budd. The kingdom is alive and active, and we need to serve God someplace, and here, there are wonderful miracles every time we meet. God is passionatly at work among us, and it is exciting to see what He will do next.

Each day, I post a blog on here, on one of the many topics relevant to the kingdom of God. The purpose of this is to encourage you to read your Bible every day, and to pray and seek first our heavenly Father and His kingdom. I would encourage you to subscribe and read along.- https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

How to go to Hell… Do Nothing!

How to Go to Hell Rev 22: 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. […]

How to Go to Hell

Rev 22: 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

go-to-hell

The word sorcerers used here is pharmakos (far-mak-os’ )

the same as 5332; ; adj

AV-sorcerer 1; 1

1) pertaining to magical arts

sorcerors

Another version states: pharmakos is ‘one who administers mind altering potions’.

Phew! Opens the door to a whole lot of people in today’s society.

Obviously, it means witch doctors and medicine men, but now we have the drug dealer on the corner, the one who runs the crack house across town.

But what about the tavern or bar owner, the bartender that serves alcohol to drunks, making merchandise of their addiction. Of course it must include the crooked doctors and pharmacists, that prescribe ‘recreational pharmaceuticals’, drugs to attempt to medicate hurting folks who actually need God, not another prescription. These people, will not enter the kingdom of God.

Then there are ‘whoremongers’ pornos por’-nos This is the word from which we get the modern word pornography, or porno movies. It describes: 1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire 2) a male prostitute 3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator. Looks like the seductive lure of pornography, the immorality of the party scene, and actual prostitution, will keep a person out of heaven.

pornography1

I think the terms murderers, and liars are self explanatory, these have no part in the kingdom of God, makes me think of the end of crooked politicians, businessman, and now I am discovering, supposed ministers of the gospel.

“and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Those that lie, and love the result of a lie, will go to hell.

idolatry

Now, let’s look at the actual definition of ‘idolater’ here. 1) a worshipper of false gods, an idolater

1a) used of any one even Christian, participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp. one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims”

https://chrisaomministries.com/2015/08/05/gods-opinion-of-abortion/

This sounds horrible right? Yet, now we discover that aborted human fetuses are being processed and added to make-up, and are possibly used in the food and supplement industry: http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys2/deadbaby.htm

2) a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon

Money makes a tremendous tool and servant, but a lousy god. It must be mastered, and governed by the Lordship of Jesus and leadership of the Holy Spirit: Worshipped, it will drag a person to hell.

I have written much on the topic of riches and wealth, because I am convinced that God wants to prosper us financially, His way. https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/26/money-simply-makes-more-of-you/

These things I mentioned, are ways to go to hell, but Jesus loves you, and came to forgive – His mission forever will be to seek and save the lost: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

Lets pray

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, purify me of all my lying ways and deeds. Have mercy upon me, and forgive me where I have given myself to these things. Deliver me from the power of them, and cleanse me of all my uncleanness’s. In your name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen’

How to go to Hell…

How to Go to Hell

Rev 22: 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
go-to-hell
The word sorcerers used here is pharmakos (far-mak-os’ )
the same as 5332; ; adj
AV-sorcerer 1; 1
1) pertaining to magical arts
sorcerors
Another version states: pharmakos is ‘one who administers mind altering potions’.

Phew! Opens the door to a whole lot of people in today’s society.

Obviously, it means witch doctors and medicine men, but now we have the drug dealer on the corner, the one who runs the crack house across town.

But what about the tavern or bar owner, the bartender that serves alcohol to drunks, making merchandise of their addiction. Of course it must include the crooked doctors and pharmacists, that prescribe ‘recreational pharmaceuticals’, drugs to attempt to medicate hurting folks who actually need God, not another prescription. These people, will not enter the kingdom of God.

Then there are ‘whoremongers’ pornos por’-nos This is the word from which we get the modern word pornography, or porno movies. It describes: 1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire 2) a male prostitute 3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator. Looks like the seductive lure of pornography, the immorality of the party scene, and actual prostitution, will keep a person out of heaven.
pornography1
I think the terms murderers, and liars are self explanatory, these have no part in the kingdom of God, makes me think of the end of crooked politicians, businessman, and now I am discovering, supposed ministers of the gospel.

“and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Those that lie, and love the result of a lie, will go to hell.
idolatry
Now, let’s look at the actual definition of ‘idolater’ here. 1) a worshipper of false gods, an idolater
1a) used of any one even Christian, participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp.
one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims”

https://chrisaomministries.com/2015/08/05/gods-opinion-of-abortion/

This sounds horrible right? Yet, now we discover that aborted human fetuses are being processed and added to make-up, and are possibly used in the food and supplement industry: http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys2/deadbaby.htm

2) a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon
Money makes a tremendous tool and servant, but a lousy god. It must be mastered, and governed by the Lordship of Jesus and leadership of the Holy Spirit: Worshipped, it will drag a person to hell.

I have written much on the topic of riches and wealth, because I am convinced that God wants to prosper us financially, His way. https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/26/money-simply-makes-more-of-you/

These things I mentioned, are ways to go to hell, but Jesus loves you, and came to forgive – His mission forever will be to seek and save the lost: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

Lets pray

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, purify me of all my lying ways and deeds. Have mercy upon me, and forgive me where I have given myself to these things. Deliver me from the power of them, and cleanse me of all my uncleanness’s. In your name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen’

Hatred Brings Deception

Hatred brings deception, destruction, and death
hatred
Pr 26:24 ¶ He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

At our leadership breakfast meeting some years ago morning,  a business leader named Greg Ford brought a great insight on this verse. When someone hates a person in their heart, they constantly speak evil about them, and then think of ways to justify their position, laying up deception and deceit within themselves.

There is a way out of this trap: Forgive the person you hate, and I would add, wherever possible deliberately do that person good, on purpose, to overcome evil with good. (I’m still working on this with some brutal people)

Only then can you walk free of deception, hatred, and evil speaking.

Ever hated someone who did you wrong? Maybe you still do hate them, and maybe what they did was very wrong. Problem is, your hatred is only hurting you right now, and getting you further and further from the love of God.

Forgive, and choose to forget. It’s the only way to walk free of their mess.
unforgiveness
Let’s Pray:
You know the way I feel about ______. I hate their guts, and what they did to me. Only you can make it right. I need you to heal me, and change my heart. I choose to forgive them, even though I still hate what they did. It was wrong, and caused me much pain. Heal my heart Father, and right now, I choose to release them into your hands, trusting you to do right with them. In your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Living Words – Life from Above

This morning as I sought the Lord and prayed some of the promises from His Word, personalizing them and putting my name and the name of my family in them, I felt Holy Spirit accent certain words from this familiar passage, that encouraged me.

 

So, I thought I would have some fun, and pray these verses over you and your family today, in faith that Holy Spirit might meet with you personally today, and do these very accented things in your life today.

 

Here’s the verse:

 

Col 1:9 ¶  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 ¶  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

 

Here’s the way I saw it this morning:

Col 1:9 ¶  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray
col-pray
for you, and to desire
col-desire
that ye might be filled
col-filled
with the knowledge
col-knowledge
of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
col-understand

10  That ye might walk worthy
col-walk-worthy
of the Lord
col-lord
unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing
col-increase
in the knowledge of God;

11  Strengthened
col-strength
with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and

longsuffering with joyfulness;
col-joy

12 ¶  Giving thanks
Thank You Jesus
unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14  In whom we have redemption
col-redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

col-forgiveness
Join withe me and pray and proclaim:
heart1
So I Pray,

with fervent Desire, Holy Spirit FILL you with Divine Knowledge that would show you who you are as a royal child before His throne. That this Understanding would so encourage and Empower you, that you would square your shoulders back, and decide to Walk worthy of Jesus, King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords,  and as a creation of the Creator of all things, would be constantly Increasing in revelation of who He is ALL-Mighty God of the universe, heaven and earth, and that you would be Strengthened by His ALL-Mightiness, His Power (that created the universe and raised Jesus from the dead). That this touch of heaven would so fill you with Joyfulness, that you laugh at adversity, the devil and all his tricks.  That in light of Jesus incredible Redemption and completion of our lives, we walk Gratefully, humbly, and confidently knowing that despite His great Holiness and searing glory, we have found Forgiveness of our sins. Amen.

A man of faith at 110 years is younger than a critical teenager

A man of faith at 110 years is younger than a critical teenagerJoseph

I read these words from evangelist REINHARD BONNKE, written some time ago, and thought about pastor Paul Daugherty here in Tulsa, and his sermon series on the life of Joseph.

“God is not a democrat. He dropped a whole generation which died in the wilderness of doubt and stood with only two men: Joshua and Caleb! This is how serious God takes unbelief. Before Joseph died in Egypt he took an oath from his children that they take his “bones in a coffin” on the day of departure for the Promised Land. (Gen 50:22-26).

Joseph didn’t want to be a mummy in Egypt with a private pyramid. He wanted to be present when God opened the Red Sea. They took his bones when they left Egypt. The bones didn’t rattle in the coffin, they must have laughed and rejoiced… There was more life in those bones then in those who carried them. The bones arrived, but not the bearers. Joseph blew the first trumpet of faith for the return of Israel! He blew it with those not yet born, but who would blow the trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho. Joseph had died at age 110. A man of faith at 110 is younger than a critical teenager! Want to join Joseph’s battalion?” REINHARD BONNKE

I don’t know about you, but I’m living a life of victorious faith, and this speaks loudly to me. I am reminded of counsel given to my friend and pastor Billy Joe Daughety, by the famous minister Tommy Hicks, when asked how to suceed in the ministry. He succinctly said: “You’ll make it, if you don’t get bitter!’

Every so often, it is good to take time away from the hustle and bustle of life and life more abundantly, to get really quiet before the Lord, and perhaps listen to the audio Bible, and quietly, before God, take time to forgive, on purpose those myriad little offences that would clog the pipes of our hearts from flowing fully in the rive of God.

Sometimes, you gotta slow down to speed up!

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, help me carve time out to get quiet before You. Forgive me my sin, and show me the things that are frustrating me, that I need to forgive, and cast over upon You. Please Sir, protect me from offence and bitterness, that my faith will work freely in Your great love. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

Forgiving the Unforgiveable

This is a long story, but worth the read…

Forgiving the unforgivable

Steven Cole

Shortly after the turn of the century, Japan invaded, conquered, and occupied Korea. Of all of their oppressors, Japan was the most ruthless. They overwhelmed the Koreans with a brutality that would sicken the strongest of stomachs. Their crimes against women and children were inhuman. Many Koreans live today with the physical and emotional scars from the Japanese occupation.

One group singled out for concentrated oppression was the Christians. When the Japanese army overpowered Korea one of the first things they did was board up the evangelical churches and eject most foreign missionaries. It has always fascinated me how people fail to learn from history. Conquering nations have consistently felt that shutting up churches would shut down Christianity. It didn’t work in Rome when the church was established, and it hasn’t worked since. Yet somehow the Japanese thought they would have a different success record. The conquerors started by refusing to allow churches to meet and jailing many of the key Christian spokesmen. The oppression intensified as the Japanese military increased its profile in the South Pacific. The “Land of the Rising Sum” spread its influence through a reign of savage brutality. Anguish filled the hearts of the oppressed — and kindled hatred deep in their souls. One pastor persistently entreated his local Japanese police chief for permission to meet for services. His nagging was finally accommodated, and the police chief offered to unlock his church … for one meeting.

It didn’t take long for word to travel. Committed Christians starving for an opportunity for unhindered worship quickly made their plans. Long before dawn on that promised Sunday, Korean families throughout a wide area made their way to the church. They passed the staring eyes of their Japanese captors, but nothing was going to steal their joy. As they closed the doors behind them they shut out the cares of oppression and shut in a burning spirit anxious to glorify their Lord.

The Korean church has always had a reputation as a singing church. Their voices of praise could not be concealed inside the little wooden frame sanctuary. Song after song rang through the open windows into the bright Sunday morning. For a handful of peasants listening nearby, the last two songs this congregation sang seemed suspended in time. It was during a stanza of “Nearer My God to Thee” that the Japanese police chief waiting outside gave the orders. The people toward the back of the church could hear them when they barricaded the doors, but no one realized that they had doused the church with kerosene until they smelled the smoke. The dried wooden skin of the small church quickly ignited. Fumes filled the structure as tongues of flame began to lick the baseboard on the interior walls.

There was an immediate rush for the windows. But momentary hope recoiled in horror as the men climbing out the windows came crashing back in — their bodies ripped by a hail of bullets. The good pastor knew it was the end. With a calm that comes from confidence, he led his congregation in a hymn whose words served as a fitting farewell to earth and a loving salutation to heaven. The first few words were all the prompting the terrified worshipers needed. With smoke burning their eyes, they instantly joined as one to sing their hope and leave their legacy. Their song became a serenade to the horrified and helpless witnesses outside. Their words also tugged at the hearts of the cruel men who oversaw this flaming execution of the innocent.

Alas! and did my Savior bleed?

and did my Sovereign die?

Would he devote that sacred head

for such a worm as I?

Just before the roof collapsed they sang the last verse, their words an eternal testimony to their faith.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay

the debt of love I owe:

Here, Lord, I give myself away

‘Tis all that I can do!

At the cross, at the cross

Where I first saw the light,

And the burden of my heart rolled away —

It was there by faith I received my sight,

And now I am happy all the day.

The strains of music and wails of children were lost in a roar of flames. The elements that once formed bone and flesh mixed with the smoke and dissipated into the air. The bodies that once housed life fused with the charred rubble of a building that once housed a church. But the souls who left singing finished their chorus in the throne room of God. Clearing the incinerated remains was the easy part. Erasing the hate would take decades. For some of the relatives of the victims, this carnage was too much. Evil had stooped to a new low, and there seemed to be no way to curb their bitter loathing of the Japanese.

In the decades that followed, that bitterness was passed on to a new generation. The Japanese, although conquered, remained a hated enemy. The monument the Koreans built at the location of the fire not only memorialized the people who died, but stood as a mute reminder of their pain.

Inner rest? How could rest coexist with a bitterness deep as marrow in the bones? Suffering, of course, is a part of life. People hurt people. Almost all of us have experienced it at some time. Maybe you felt it when you came home to find that your spouse had abandoned you, or when your integrity was destroyed by a series of well-timed lies, or when your company was bled dry by a partner. It kills you inside. Bitterness clamps down on your soul like iron shackles.

The Korean people who found it too hard to forgive could not enjoy the “peace that passes all understanding.” Hatred choked their joy.

It wasn’t until 1972 that any hope came. A group of Japanese pastors traveling through Korea came upon the memorial. When they read the details of the tragedy and the names of the spiritual brothers and sisters who had perished, they were overcome with shame. Their country had sinned, and even though none of them were personally involved (some were not even born at the time of the tragedy), they still felt a national guilt that could not be excused.

They returned to Japan committed to right a wrong. There was an immediate outpouring of love from their fellow believers. They raised ten million yen ($25,000). The money was transferred through proper channels and a beautiful white church building was erected on the sight of the tragedy. When the dedication service for the new building was held, a delegation from Japan joined the relatives and special guests. Although their generosity was acknowledged and their attempts at making peace appreciated, the memories were still there. Hatred preserves pain. It keeps the wounds open and the hurts fresh. The Koreans’ bitterness had festered for decades. Christian brothers or not, these Japanese were descendants of a ruthless enemy.

The speeches were made, the details of the tragedy recalled, and the names of the dead honored. It was time to bring the service to a close. Someone in charge of the agenda thought it would be appropriate to conclude with the same two songs that were sung the day the church was burned. The song leader began the words to “Nearer My God to Thee.” But something remarkable happened as the voices mingled on the familiar melody. As the memories of the past mixed with the truth of the song, resistance started to melt. The inspiration that gave hope to a doomed collection of churchgoers in a past generation gave hope once more. The song leader closed the service with the hymn “At the Cross.”

The normally stoic Japanese could not contain themselves. The tears that began to fill their eyes during the song suddenly gushed from deep inside. They turned to their Korean spiritual relatives and begged them to forgive. The guarded, calloused hearts of the Koreans were not quick to surrender. But the love of the Japanese believers — unintimidated by decades of hatred — tore at the Koreans’ emotions.

At the cross, at the cross

Where I first saw the light,

And the burden of my heart rolled away …

One Korean turned toward a Japanese brother. Then another. And then the floodgates holding back a wave of emotion let go. The Koreans met their new Japanese friends in the middle. They clung to each other and wept. Japanese tears of repentance and Korean tears of forgiveness intermingled to bathe the site of an old nightmare.

Heaven had sent the gift of reconciliation to a little white church in Korea.

Tim Kimmel, Little House on the Freeway, pp. 56-61

He that is spiritual, restore…

He that is spiritual, restore:

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Restore Gal

Some time ago, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about the topic of a person being restored to fellowship in the local church, after they had been removed from that church through the church disciplinary process.
2 Cor 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

In this long discussion, pastor Richard Lyons taught me a beautiful truth about forgiveness and  restoration. In this case, the apostle Paul was asked to render judgement upon a difficult case, a man that had committed an abominable sin, and who had been removed from the church, and turned over to satan, that his flesh be destroyed, though his spirit be eternally saved.

1 Cor 5: 1 ¶ It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Incest! Ugh! Paul, judging by the Holy Spirit, had the man thrown out of the church, that the church not be defiled.

Yet, now, after a passage of time (not sure how much time, you theologians can surely tell me!), Paul is asking this same church, to restore this same man.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

In the natural, it’s not possible, but in Christ, all things are possible.

Ever wondered how to forgive? What the process might look like?

Let’s look at a few key points:
2 Cor 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

ONLY IN THE PERSON OF THE ANOINTED ONE AND HIS ANOINTING, CAN WE FORGIVE THE UNFORGIVEABLE!

This was brought home to me, as I ministered amongst the people of Rwanda. Both victims of the genocide, were in church, worshipping God, with the very perpetrators that had slaughtered their families!

The Holy Spirit had done such a deep work of forgiveness, that there was an honest love between them, both sides, from the repentant and forgiven, to the the restored and forgivers, there could be seen no distinction, they were both sides lost in the presence of God in deep worship, brokeness, humility, and servanthood, loving and serving one another in the love of Jesus! Only the presence of God could make this miracle happen, only Jesus could perform such a deep work of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Before someone who had been removed from fellowship could be restored then, apostolic authority has to hear God, judge, and in the presence of Jesus, decide to restore them.

How was this to be done?

2 Cor 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
We see three steps here:
1. They must be forgiven. (Here is where life becomes tricky, individual, and very specific, because only the Holy Spirit knows the heart of the person who has been removed from fellowship, and only He can tell us the state of the person’s heart, whether or not they have truly repented, or are only exhibiting ‘worldly sorrow’.
2. They must be comforted. (I believe both from the Body of Christ, and through prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit)
3. They must be confirmed in our love towards them. (For a time, they must be constantly encouraged, confirmed, blessed, strengthened)

There is much more to be said, about how to practically do these things, and I, like you, need to grow and learn some things here. What are your thoughts on church discipline? What is the process in your particular assembly by which discipline is decided upon and executed? How do you discern if a person has truly repented, and therefore needs to be restored to fellowship?

Let’s pray:

‘Father, show us how to restore broken people. I pray for those of us in leadership, that you grant us strength and discernment, to know when to bar someone from fellowship, and when to restore them. Help us to truly forgive them, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, to comfort them, and to confirm them in their restoration into their gift and calling, in your name I pray Lord Jesus’

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.