Conceptually Forgiveness Should Be Easy, but Is It?

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We can learn from the stories and characters in the Bible.

~ Lisa Blair

Bible stories share the pathway to Christ. Each person in the Bible experiences challenges in life. The stories teach us how we can tether ourselves to God. This year I am studying the Book of Genesis. Throughout this Book we see the trajectory of Abrahams descendants that led to the life of Christ and our salvation. Abraham, Issac, and Jacob’s lives reflect our experiences today. Each experienced a personal relationship with God, yet each stumbled time and time again in their humanness. God’s promises thrived despite their sin. Each persons bond grew stronger as they experienced how much God loved them, and never forsake them; they learned to forgive others as well as themselves.

I am sharing scriptures that will emphasize how we can rely on the Lord despite our weakens. He commands us to forgive. Have you forgiven yourself, what about others? Genesis 45-47 shows how Jacob and Joseph grew to understand how God loves us, leads us, and directs us to forgive and reconcile with others.

Colossians 3:13 NKJV

“bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”


Colossians 3:14 NKJV

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
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Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
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Isaiah 41:10 NJKV

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”


‭‭Psalm 23 NJKV

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

‭‭Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
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Psalm 27-14 NKJV

“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!”
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Psalm 42:8 NJKV

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

1Peter 1:3-5 NLT

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
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ENJOY reading these scriptures. Recommendation – memorize them to help guide your path.

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images

Heart Condition-Heavy Heart

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The weight of the world, at home and abroad, has created a heart condition that is weighing us down.

~Lisa Blair

This past weekend the level of violence, and mass shootings have devastated me.  I had a heavy heart and felt that I was sinking in the muck and mire of destruction. I think, many of us are experiencing a heavy heart in the United States. Mass shootings are becoming a norm, the pandemic has shifted our Nation, changing it’s economic, social and regional axes. Injustice, inequity, and inequality are raging to stay alive, embedded in the hearts of so many Americans. This is the exploit by the carnal world.

On the spiritual plane, the battle is raging, Satan is doing everything possible to thwart God’s promise of salvation. He manipulates man’s covetousness for power over all things, especially when it comes to race and economic wealth. And here we are, experiencing a heavy heart and a feeling of hopelessness.

Hopelessness is where Satan wants Christians to reside – in a state of hopelessness. He does not want us to have faith. He wants us to be overwhelmed by what we see and are experiencing. But as Christians we also have an arsenal of scriptures and Bible stories. For example, Hebrews 11:1 gives us assurance. What assurance? The assurance of hope. The NJKV version reads – “Now hope is the substance of things hoped-for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The New American Standard Version translates it using our contemporary lexicon to highlight and strengthen it’s meaning. “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”

Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day. He sits at the right hand of God. The crucifixion gave us salvation. His promise of eternal life is alive, and we are alive because He died. Our faith is certainty. Our faith is strong. As we experience the hate, viciousness and injustice, our faith allows us to shift the lens to view the world through God’s eyes. The fact is, we are overcomers. It may not seem this way, but God makes a way out of no way. He uses worldly situations to challenge our faith. He also uses the situations to strengthen us to continue the race. Most importantly, He gripes our hands more tightly as we surrender to His Will and become more dependent upon Him to walk us through the fire.

The race is – standing our ground. Holding fast to our faith and finding ways to do God’s work in our daily lives. When we take the focus off of our feelings and emotions, we begin to focus our attention on God. I found a good article on-line (The 11 Ways to Implement Your Faith Into Your Daily Routine by Kathryn Elizabeth Wethen, Sept 1, 2016, Odysseyonline.com), that serves as a good reminder of how to strengthen our faith and hence not become a victim of Satan’s deception of heavy-heartedness.

  1. Pray throughout your day.
  2. Read your Bible.
  3. Read a devotional.
  4. Wear your faith on your sleeve.
  5. Listen to positive and encouraging music.
  6. Continue to be involved in your church.
  7. Make friends with people who share your values.
  8. Give yourself 15 minutes of alone time to separate yourself from everything around you.
  9. Not down your thoughts in a journal and refer back to when life is overridden by heavy-heartedness.
  10. Find a small group like BSF, Bible Study International.
  11. Choose Joy! A great way to implement your faith is to rejoice.

To paraphrase Kathryn Wathen, rejoice that you are alive. Rejoice that you have friends and family, and if you are alone rejoice in the fact that you are a child of God.

I awake each morning thanking God for another day’s journey, I recite Psalm 118:24, This is the day the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. I may recite this scripture throughout the day as I experience my weighted heart lighten. As I recite the scripture, Jesus takes the things that are weighting me down and places them squarely on himself.  In Matthew 11 verses 28-30 Jesus instructs us to – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Related Posts on this site:

Silence the Chaotic Internal Noise

Pray Through The Dark Times

Stay Faithful-Stay Focused. By Brenda Walsh Ministries

We Have Divine Power to Demolish Strongholds

Living Through the Muck and Mire of Life

Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice

Post from My Other Site – Youngchristianwarriors.com

Be Strong, Do Not Waver

Entering an Application Season Requires Commitment

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<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><br><strong>Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives.</strong> This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.
Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives. This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.

Applying Jesus’ attitude and character to how we approach life is a process. As we more frequently depend on His attitude and character, you will find that the process speeds up, you learn to immediately go into prayer and over time you will respond to life situations according to God’s will and way in a more involuntary manner, in short it becomes who you are, and rather than acting impetuously you act according to the Word of God, you act in a Christlike manner, exuding His demeanor, and if you fail, you immediately repent and attempt to do better the next time.

Scriptures About Commitment (ESV, openbible.info)

Psalm 37:5 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Galatians 6:9 –  “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

John 8:12 – “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

Ephesians 4:29 –  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Main Point

Commitment is never easy. It requires that you do not take short cuts as you change/renew/convert your attitude and character. It is intentional. It is important to build a strong scriptural foundation. If you do not begin with the fundamentals, how do you know what Christ’s attitude, values, and character are? Just as children look to their parents, we must look to the Word of God for direction, wisdom, knowledge, and insight. But do not wait until you finished building a spiritual foundation. Begin today, remember, each day is a new day. Ask God for direction, and you will become more confident in praying and responding to His instructions. You will learn to feel comfortable in knowing that God intimately knows you and knows that you are growing in the Word. He will speak to you through ways you can understand. There have been times that while I was in prayer, God simply shared a Bible reference, such as – Psalm 63, often a scripture that I had not read, and had no idea what He was telling me until I read it. Once you have read the scripture, it all came together. God is amazing! He is the author and finisher, the alpha and omega, the Way maker, our counselor, and finisher of our faith. If you recall the first Application Season entry, I mentioned Isaiah who wrote, “Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. “ 

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! 

Dear friend, guard wisdom and understanding with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because GOD will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.”

Proverbs 3:5-12, 21-26 MSG

Bibleversestogo.com

Listen to God. Commit to this Application Season establishing the new you. Guard your thinking, use common sense and learn to become Christlike in nature, demonstrating God’s love in everything you do.

As we go through this APPLICATION SEASON together, ask God to personally relate each scripture that speaks to you and ask Him to explain how it applies to your life today. Interestingly, you will find that a scripture can speak to you in different ways during different seasons of your life. The Bible is an ever-evolving book unfolding new treasures as we become more like Christ. The Word meets us at the point  of our need is at the time. When praying, ask God what your next steps are in changing your attitude and character to align to His Word and Will, and believe me, He will provide the next steps. In many cases you will be asked to mobilize what you have learned within a short time of discussing it. Sometimes you will succeed and others times you will fall short, but each strengthens your walk and your character, each step places you closer to becoming like Christ.

References — openbible.info; biblegateway.com

Image — bibleversestogo.com; thepreachersword.com

Transforming Into the NEW YOU

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Each day we choose to live by the flesh or live by the Spirit. Choose the Spirit and work on becoming more like Christ in all that you think, do, and say.

~ Lisa Blair

This is the Application Season. Repeat, ‘I am applying the Word of God to my daily life until it becomes the first thought each morning and subsequently, throughout the day.’

Paul, God’s predominant ambassador, and author of much of the Bible focuses our attention on being saved, receiving God’s salvation and directs us to becoming ‘new’. He instructs us to become more like Christ in every action we take. We have been redeemed and our sins have been forgiven, but this is not a pass, it is the key that opens the door to becoming whole, to live a life like Christ. It provides a spirit consciousness of hope.

When we were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ. Christ is all around us and in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us ‘on the regular’. It’s the Holy Spirit that speaks to us – beware, do not speak thoughtlessly, do not fall to the woes of this world as you walk the path of your destiny God has designed for you. Do treat you neighbors as you want to be treated, do love those who hate you, do what you can for the poor in spirit and economy. Allow the love of Christ to flow through you.

Become someone who is admired for following Christ. You know that person, the one everyone says, ‘there is something different about (name)’. People sense a peace when they are around (name). (Name) changes the atmosphere when they are present. Doesn’t that sound like Christ? Well, since He lives in us, and through us, we can emanate his love through us. People can recognize the difference, but may not recognize what the difference is. This of course is an opportunity to share who Christ is and how He lives in you when asked what makes you different.

So today, let’s look at what we are replacing to become more like Christ. The last post highlighted the replacement items. Today let’s look more closely.

Preface

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will reap. For he who sows of the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows of the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life…Do not grow weary of doing good for in due season you shall reap what you have sown. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all. (Galatians 6:7,9,10)

Main Point

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles (nonbelievers) do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:17-32, NIV)

When we grow in Christ we are growing in holiness, righteousness, and justice. We no longer are bound by our carnal nature, the flesh where our appetite is satisfied and fulfilled by: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21, NIV)

Instead, always look to Christ for guidance. Walk by the Spirit. Allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit. As you make this exchange from living through the flesh to living through the Spirit, you will see your life change, you will no longer be a slave to your fleshly desires, yes you will be tempted, but you will possess the strength to overcome. And, should you sin, you have the freedom to repent and start anew. Isn’t God awesome. He know we are on the path and are conflicted by our humanness, but has provided the way and means to overcome and become more like His son, Christ to empower us to be overcomers.

What is the exchange? We are instructed to employ the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25, NIV)

Resources: Biblegateway.com; Bible.org, 8. Virtues Leading to Christlikeness. 3/1/2021

Images: Good Morning Gifs, TENOR; LAB Photos

Everything is New

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Wake up. Each morning is new, each moment is new, each breath is new. The Lord said, “Behold, I will do a new thing.” Isaiah 43:19 NKJV. When we follow His Word, we can do the same.

~ Lisa Blair

Everything is New. Applying God’s Word to our daily activities introduces Christ into our lives.

The Bible is our manual that should guide our lives. Our purpose is to become more like Christ. How do we emulate Christ? We practice instilling His values into our actions. We must apply what we learn through scripture and the archetypes, people, in the Bible to our reactions to the activities in our daily lives, those things we think and act on.

APPLICATION—APPLICATION—APPLICATION

The way we communicate with God differs for us all. The one way that is constant is that He speaks through scripture. While in prayer the other day, the Lord reminded me of His command, do not turn to the left or right, listen to my quiet voice (Your ears shall hear a Word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’ (Isaiah 30:21 MEV). To add context, I way praying about this blog and how to reach more people. His quiet voice said, I needed to focus on how to apply His Word to our daily lives, hence the shift to THE APPLICATION SEASON. There is a time for every season, and this season is an application season.

Each day is new, we awaken from our sleep revitalized. During our sleep our cells regenerate, thus each day we are renewed. Each day is new as well. Nothing is as it was the day before, if it was, life would have no purpose. Scripture declares, each morning we are given new mercies. God gifts us each day with His mercy, we are refreshed to undertake the day to express Him in everything we do throughout the day.

God says announce what we want in prayer. Smile in the face of adversity, remain humble and at peace, even when anger tries to surface remain steadfast and ask yourself, how would Christ respond, would He respond in anger or love? Abolish limiting thoughts from your mind. Leave behind the thoughts and actions of yesterday, they spoke to the needs of that day. Each new day introduces different needs that are not the same and require new thinking. Cast those thoughts as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and strive to animate your new and best self to align with the Word of God.

This means, we must regenerate our thinking to align with God’s thinking. We must see each day as new. Each day is an opportunity to change some aspect of our life. Circumstances may prevail that we did not create, but within that context, we can change the little things, or maybe the big things, beginning with the way we think, the way we act, and the way we respond to the circumstances in our life.

You say, ‘this is easier said than done’. I say, ‘we (all) must begin somewhere, at sometime in our lives, and the best time to begin is each new day’. Why? The fact is that each day is 24 hours in duration and the new day begins at the close of the last day, hence, each day is new.

As we study the Bible, we create an inventory of what the scriptures in the Bible are saying to us, as well as forming our lexicons with God, which is done through prayer. He directs us through scriptures, conversations with others [God often uses people to convey His expectations of us], something through what we have seen or heard. To begin to realign our thinking we have to address how we begin our day, after morning prayers, recite the mantra – ‘each God given day is new’, and in recognizing this fact you will begin to respond to things in alignment with the Word of God. We cannot allow pain (physical, spiritual, or emotional) or sorrow to cloud our thinking. We cannot allow pain or sorrow to morph into anger, jealousy, bitterness, or resentment. We cannot allow our struggles to blind us to the truth that God, and only God, is the giver of life. This is our season of application. This is our season of change.

So, this (new day) is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice in it, our conditions in life will not last forever, but a new day will always present a new day and a new opportunity to address the day differently.

Definitions

New Mercies – The dawning of every new day could be seen as a symbol of God’s light breaking through the darkness of His mercy overcoming our troubles. Every morning demonstrates God’s grace, a new beginning in which gloom must flee. We need to look no further than the breath in our lungs, the sun that shines upon us, or the rain that falls to nourish the soil. The mercies of God continue to come to us via a multitude of manifestations…there is no exportation date on God’s mercy toward us. His mercies are new every morning in that they are perpetual and always available to those in need. (What does it mean that God’s mercies are new every morning? (got questions.org. 2/28/2021)

Regeneration — to regenerate (according to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary) means new birth, and stresses new birth as the inception of a new state of things in contrast to the old. Pp. 517.

Images

(#1) My everyday God.com; (#2) LAB Photos; (#3,#4) Saddleback Church.com