Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Forgiveness

In recent days with all the violence and unjust acts that have happened around us, it is easy (and normal) to react with anger and a sense of outrage. But it’s not healthy—physically nor spiritually—to fill our hearts with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. God tells us clearly time and again that we must forgive those who hurt us. We must love and forgive our enemies! Wow, that’s very hard to do. But it is possible when we have the love of God in our hearts… In fact, I think that’s the only way we’re able to make that huge step to forgive those who purposely inflict pain in our lives.

Here are several scriptures that instruct us to forgive others and how to do it. Let me start with Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT):

Teaching about Love for Enemies

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

This is a direct and clear message to love our enemies—not with human love but with Godly love. In addition, we are instructed to pray for those who persecute us! For as hard as this is to understand and do, let’s reflect on this action. When we pray for those who persecute and hate us, we allow God to work in their hearts, sometimes to the point that they change and they no longer persecute us. When pray, God listens—even if we don’t see the results right away. God always hears our sincere prayers.

Remember what Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” We may never understand this truth fully as long as we are living our earthly lives. This is a spiritual revelation we must accept in our hearts.

Next, let’s examine what the Bible tells us about anger and bitterness in Ephesians 4:29-32:

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Once again, the act of forgiveness is a huge part of our daily lives as believers. Simply put, if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God won’t forgive our own sins!

God commands us to not only listen to the things of God but to also act on what we learn. In James 1:19-22 we are told:

Listening and Doing

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”

In 1 Peter 3:8-12, we have a final reminder:

All Christians

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.

Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”

You may say, this is all great but it’s all easier said than done. You are correct. But as I shared at the beginning of the blog, we can only do this with the love of God in our hearts which we obtain by accepting Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. That’s how simple it is in the end…

Until next time.

Read Full Post »

Psalm 55:22 tells us to “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Do you feel your heart burdened these days with everything going on? I do. Last night, I was praying to God in anguish to help us, to heal our nation, to forgive us, to protect us, to end the virus, to end this violence, to end the hatred… The list was endless, and my heart was heavy.

It is difficult to sit back and “watch the movie of life unfold” while not judging everyone’s acts. But the Bible also tells us clearly in Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 4:5 we read, “So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.”

So these days as we observe others commit violent crimes, I encourage you to look inside your own heart and ask yourself: What am I doing in my life that is not pleasing to God? What can I do as an act of love to help others? Striving to live a holy life on a daily basis is easier said than done. But once again, the Word of God reminds us in Hebrews 12:14-15 to, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

Based on the current events happening all around us, our human tendency is to immediately judge. But the Bible tells us to not do that. Instead, give ALL your burdens to the Lord so He can take care of everything. Every single act by every single person will be judged in due time but by God not by us. We will get our turn to be judged and that’s when everything we have done—good and bad—will be tried by fire to see what stands in the end.

I will leave you today with the message from John 3:18-21, “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

Today I encourage you to examine your own heart and not judge others. Let God do the judging and give all your burdens to God.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,

These past three weeks have been very busy working on my new business. I’ve met with many people but mostly with leaders of non-profit organizations and especially Christian brothers and sisters who devote their lives to serve God by serving people. One day this week, as I was going from one meeting to the next, I said to God, “You know Lord, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Christian leaders and non-profits. Although these meetings are awesome and I feel re-energized spiritually, they are not ‘income producing’ meetings, per say.” The Lord immediately put in my heart this thought: “You are building the spiritual foundation of your business and that comes first.” Wow! I was speechless when I heard those words in my heart.

How do you build a spiritual foundation for a business? It is by associating yourself with like-minded believers who will hold you and your business up in prayer all the time with no self-interest or hidden agenda. It is by sharing your dreams with people who will be your spiritual “pillars” so you can feel supported and loved no matter how your business is doing. You build a spiritual foundation for your business when you base your business beliefs on Scripture. The two Scriptures that come to mind are:

Matthew 7:24-29 (NLT)

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

I will build my company on the Solid Foundation, which is Jesus Christ, the Rock. He will give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do the right thing, to do what is right, and to do things right the first time. These are not only Biblical concepts, these are business concepts that create efficiencies throughout the organization and a strong work ethic, which in turn increases shareholder value.

The other Scripture that came to my heart is:

Romans 12: 6-11 (NLT)

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

This Scripture reminds us that God gave each one of us certain gifts and talents. When we operate within those gifts everything seems easier because we’re not going against our nature. Even though we will encounter challenges, God will be there for us to get through them but the work itself is easier when we do what we’re good at. God gives us the “ability to do certain things well.” One key to our individual success in business is to know ourselves well so we can recognize what our gifts are and utilize them in business.

I know God gave me the gift of leadership and I feel the incredible sense of responsibility when leading others. I also know God gave me the gift of teaching, which is why I train others and pass along all the knowledge I acquire through the years. Lastly, I know God gave me the gift of encouragement and I use that gift every day. Sometimes I’m not sure if what I just told someone will have an effect in their lives but I do it anyway. A word, one word of encouragement can change someone’s life when said at the right time.

I also believe strongly in working hard and effectively and I sincerely care about people. I stay away from those who are not genuine. Those who say they love you but their actions don’t reflect their words. Working hard and loving others are strong beliefs that will be foundational for my new business.

So friends, today I wanted to share with you the Scriptures and beliefs upon I will build the foundation of my new business venture. I have a ton of ideas on how to give to the community and support my brothers and sisters who are doing the “eternal” work out there, bringing the Good News of the Gospel to the world and helping people. I will do my part in the mission field that God called me to be—Corporate America.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,
This week I would like to encourage you to pray—and continue to pray—consistently for your unsaved friends and family members. I truly believe God does hear our prayers—especially about those we want to add to His Kingdom. Jesus already did all the work that needs to be done. Now the person has to make the decision and choose Christ in order to be saved. Our prayers simply help that person make that decision. Our prayers allow their hearts to be softened. Our prayers also soften our own hearts toward those people we love so we don’t get inpatient with them while we wait for them to make their eternal decision. We know the answer. We have the answer… but each person has to see it for themselves and then choose it. The devotional I chose for today from my book Devotions for Working Women explains it well.

Jesus Did It All
#125
Isaiah 53:3 (NLT)

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.

Do you know the man the prophet Isaiah is talking about? His name is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Since we humans messed up and gave Satan control over this earth, God came up with a plan to bring us back to Him. It is the plan of salvation God gave to Jesus to fulfill when He was on this earth. It is a simple plan that humans complicated. God sent His only begotten Son to save us and for all who believe to have everlasting life. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we accept salvation. We restore our fellowship with God the Father.

The following verses complete the story. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we may have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they lead him away to his death…But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief… He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (vv. 4-11). If you haven’t given your life to Jesus yet, it is never too late. Today is your day!

Read Full Post »