As I contemplate my life, I recognize that I (We) are blessed. So many Christians do not possess the freedom to share God’s Word through this or any other medium.
Tag Archives: Inspiration
Forgive Others, But Can You?
Colossians 3:13 instructs us to bear with each other and forgive one another…forgive others as the Lord forgave you. I believe most of us know this scripture but practicing it is more difficult.
I know this feeling and have been plagued with unforgiveness for years, yet I repented and asked for forgiveness from God over and over again. I am certain He shakes His head and says, Lisa, Lisa, my child, you must forgive as I have forgiven you. Do not replay the situation or action that takes you back and negates your repentance.
How often have we vowed to others and ourselves that we have forgiven someone, yet the situation or act continues to arise and consume our thoughts? All too often we fall prey to the wiles of the evil one who ensures we cannot let the hate, anger, and fear go.
Satan knows that if he keeps us focused from truly forgiving, we are separated from the Lord. As long as we are separated from the Lord, we are under his realm of influence. We are operating in his sinful nature and not the Lord’s righteousness.
We cannot move forward if we cannot forgive. I do not mean life stands still, but our prospects are tainted by hate, anger, and uncertainty. We are not free to love as the Lord loves us, we are not able to receive the Lord’s forgiveness as we have not forgiven others. We are gripped in a vise.
Well, many years later, I think I am getting the message and when past experiences arise, I can honestly say, I have forgiven and will no longer focus on the past. I recite the last part of Colossians 3:13 and pray that I can release the thought for good, separating it as far as the east is from the west and placing it in the land of no return. Standing on the Word has lessened the attacks, weakened their venom, and provided a peace that once evaded me. I pray you will experience the same. Our Lord forgives us. He is our example of how to forgive. Christ cried on the cross, forgive them. We are equipped to do the same and forgive those who have harmed us. There is peace in forgiveness.
I am listing scriptures that focus on forgiveness that you can use as your sword against the evil one. Read these scriptures and use them to help you overcome unforgiveness.
|Ephesians 4:32||Mark 11:25||Proverbs 17:9|
|Matthew 6:14||Psalm 32:1||Proverbs 10:12|
|Luke 6:37||Matthew 6:15||Psalm 103:12|
|Matthew 18:21-22||1 John 1:9||Daniel 9:9|
|Psalm 86:5||Hebrews 8:12||Isaiah 43:25|
|Hebrews 10:17||Psalm 130:3-4||Ephesians 1:7-8|
|Colossians 1:13-14||Colossians 3:13|
Scriptures – 20 Hopeful Bible Verses About the Power of Forgiveness, by Ian Palmer, updated June 9, 2022. Countryliving.com
Images – Forgiveness, Gotquestions.com; Forgive and Move On, Scott Prichard.com
Note: Forgiveness does not mean you must stay in an unhealthy situation. You are forgiving so you can be forgiven and restored, you are forgiving because God has forgiven you.
Blocked by Fear. Brenda Walsh Ministries
How often are we blocked by fear? As Christians fear is not a barricade to success or peace. Brenda Walsh explains our next step in overcoming fear. This is a reminder that God is always our ‘go-to’.
What Does Agape Love Mean?
Forest fires begin with a single spark. Our world can change with a single spark, the spark is agape love. Agape love is the love that God has for each of us. And, the love that we, Christians, should emulate and extend to everyone.
Is agape love easy to extend? As humans, we tend to offer love to those who are aligned with our belief systems. Agape love means, extending ourselves beyond loving those who think and live like us. Agape love is unconditional love. “Agape love is a sacrificial love that unites and heals.” Alyssa Roat published an article in Christianity.com entitled, What Does Agape Live Really Mean on the Bible. Alyssa described agape love as being the love of God, that we see through the cross of Jesus Christ. This love saves and restores humanity, in the face of sin and death.
When we practice agape love, we do so out of choice, not out of obligation or attraction, which is conditional. Conditional love chooses to love this group and not that group, this culture, and not that culture, this race, and not that race, this gender, and not that gender, this religious culture, and not that religious culture, those politically leaning in the same way I do, but not that other group. As mentioned earlier, agape love is unconditional, which means that we do not have the freedom to pick and choose.
It is difficult because we are a fallen people who look for satisfaction and things that make us feel good. If we extend agape love to the world in the same way that God sacrificed His only son to save us. It will become a difficult task because the effort does not seek a way to pacify ourselves to feel good, or be satisfied.
The challenge is to step out of our comfort zone and become a ray of love and light for ourselves and for the world to see and experience.
Loving does not necessarily mean that you must like the persons actions or behaviors. It does not mean that you condone those who are doing wrong. It is not a position of compromising truth for non-truth. Agape love focuses on the inner person, the child of God.
Some define agape love as charity. Charity is defined as tolerance, and choosing not to judge other. It means extending yourself beyond your current belief systems.
According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, pages 381-382, agape love expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to God‘s commands. Agape love is not an impulse from one’s feelings, it does not always run with one’s natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those whom some affinity is discovered. Agape love seeks the welfare of all. Agape love seeks opportunity to do good to all men. Agape love is a declaration that you are a child of God and reciprocate His love by loving others.
When we declare agape love, we step out of our comfort zone and obey God‘s commands. Our character steps back when we become more like Christ. At this point, we can begin to extend agape love, at which time agape love becomes the spark that changes the world.
One of the focal points for 2023 is entering the application season of agape love. When you put agape love first in your life, all things come together for your good and the good of the world.
The Art of Application is Renewed in 2023
Welcome to 2023. May you continue to become more like Christ this year. My goal is to do just that. To continue to be transformed and more like Christ in my every thought and action. Over the last couple of days, l’ve listened to several sermons from a variety of pastors. The central theme conveys what I have termed application season. See previous Application Season posts on this site and youngchristianwarrior.com
Learning to become more like Christ and then applying what we learned results in becoming more Christlike. The goal is not to choose what traits fit your needs and desires as our own, but to morph into His character as much as humanly possible. When we invite Christ into our life, the Holy Spirit takes residence in our being and the characteristics of Christ replace our own selfish traits. “ the Spirit’s moment-by-moment infusion of power allows a believer to live a transformed life – to obey God, out of love and gratitude for his abounding grace…The Holy Spirit’s presence and power reveal God’s personal love, in incredibly tangible ways.” (Kingdom Divided. BSF. Page 210) This is the basis by which we are all given life.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT), declares that we should produce the same fruit as the Holy Spirit. Before we can produce them, we must learn how to apply them in our walk. These fruit can be referred to as character traits. Christ represents love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. He is all of these things yesterday, today, and forever.
Application is difficult, our human nature often obstructs our growth. My pastor explained his experience this way. He was leaving the grocery store and there was a woman holding a sign which read I am hungry, any help is appreciated. He like so many, turned his head to look away. We often do the same telling ourselves, this person is a scammer, they are not hungry, why don’t they get a job. But that is not what God expects of us. In fact as in the case of my pastor the Lord admonished him saying, how dare you turn and and in a few hours preach on just this subject. Well, the Lord may not admonish us in the same way but the guilt speaks for itself.
We should not judge others anymore than we want to be judged by others. God placed that person in your line of sight, observing their condition tugged on your heart strings and you felt guilty. Why? As Christians we are taught to become more like Christ everyday. Christ did not turn from the poor or needy. He addressed their needs.
Deuteronomy 15:11, clearly directs us to help the poor, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor,” (whoever they may be). This is another example of being like Christ. What happens when a coworker or intern does not meet your expectation? Are you patient with them? This is another characteristic that often gets way from us. Christ is patient with all of us everyday, 24 hours a day, He knows we all fall short of the glory of God, but He is patient with us regardless of our behavior, see Romans 3:23, NIV proclaims, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This scripture refers to sin, and yes, sin is any act that does not align with the Word of God.
The Bible instructs us how we act and who we belong to. These two articles of faith should inform how we act. They stress that Christ’s nature is the only acceptable nature in the eye of God. So, let’s look at two situations that occur in most of our lives. How do we initiate interaction, and how do we respond to situations?
When you awake in the morning, do you get up and greet those in your home or wait until you are ready to leave for work, school or meeting friends? When you are on the way to work do you smile at passerby’s or say good morning? What do people see and near as you head into your office building? Are you genuinely pleasant? Do they see Christ in you, or a self centered curmudgeon? Being pleasant, treating people with the love of Christ quickens your continence as well as those around you, and it address three of the characteristics of Christ: love for others, kindness towards others, and gentleness to the world around you.
What small things can you think of that will change your life and those around you this year? Will others see Christ in you? Often your actions are the only thing they will see of our faith which may be foreign to them. Do they see Christ in you?
Important note, when we take on the characteristics of Christ it is not a salvation exercise. We cannot earn our salvation. Salvation cannot be achieved through works. Taking on the characteristics of Christ is our responsibility that we accepted when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. Responsibility is defined as, the state of being answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management. (Dictionary.com) When we accept Christ, we become more like Him. When we become more like Him, we become accountable because acquiring His character traits, and acknowledging that He resides in us in the form of the Holy Spirit empowers us to control our actions, to harness our human frailties, to eliminate sinning before it occurs, and most importantly to love everyone as Christ loves us.
Supporting Scriptures, Bible.com
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 14
“Love is patient and kind; Love does not envy or boast; It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures in all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4: 8
In essence, all that we do should be ensconced in love. Love is at the heart of everything Christ did, does, and will do. He exudes love and so should we. This is my project for 2023. Will you join me this year is becoming more like Christ?
Bible Verses – Bible.com