Repentance and Forgiveness!

Repentance and Forgiveness!

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:9-14 NIV

In order for us to receive forgiveness, we must willing to admit when we’re wrong. If a person can never admit being wrong or in need of forgiveness, how can they be forgiven?

Many are those who always cry, “forgive, forgive” but that’s only when it pertains to someone else, not them. And the other side of the coin is–the person who keeps doing wrong, never repents of the wrongdoing–never turns away from doing wrong–because they never admit they are wrong. Apologies–it would seem to some–are for losers and therefore–a winner never apologizes for anything–in their mind. So, if there is no admittance or apology, there can be no forgiveness for if there is–it is just a matter of words, not sincerity since true forgiveness, comes with a change of heart.

We are told–in The Word–that from the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. From that we can conclude by what we hear–what is in a person’s heart. If all we hear is hatred and bigotry, lies and finger-pointing, then what we hear is what’s overflowing in their heart.

If we attach a color to every trait or virtue–what color would our hearts be? We’ve heard of people having a black heart (pure evil), but is that what resides within us? For all those virtues that are positive–love, joy, hope, forgiveness, humility, and sincerity,–let’s color them yellow. For all the negative traits–lying, hatred, bigotry, fear-mongering–let’s color them black. Now, let’s take a look at what appears to be a halo over people–is it light or is it darkness? Darkness does not drive out light, but light certainly drives out darkness so it would benefit all for us to have light in our hearts rather than darkness.

Not one of us–living past the age of seven–can say we’ve never done anything wrong. And as kids, when we did something wrong we were punished–if we had loving parents. As adults, we have to recognize when our behavior is not conducive to maintaining peace or when infringing upon the rights of others. When we do wrong–we admit it–apologize and seek forgiveness and let it go, not holding grudges.

When we repent–turn away from those things that offend God and turn to Him to stay on the right path, He forgives and never reminds us of all the wrong we’ve ever done. But the enemy–the prince of darkness–will always seek a way to get into our minds to remind us of what we’ve done in hopes of keeping us distracted. We don’t have to let the enemy influence our thoughts or our deeds. We simply have to remember who it is we serve and serve Him with gladness and joy in our hearts.

However–if we never acknowledge doing wrong–there is no true repentance and therefore forgiveness is not received. For what we do not admit when we’re wrong, God cannot forgive us. And if we say we’re sorry for doing something when we are not–the lack of sincerity will be revealed in our continued wrongdoing.

Beloved, let’s love one another with a sincere heart–allowing the light of hope and joy to override the darkness impelled by fear and hatred. God is love and if we love Him, we can love others for love resides in our hearts in abundance. And if we love, we can forgive when others admit their wrongdoing and we should not hold it against them.

The Heart of The Humble!

The Heart of The Humble!

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. “Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Do not slander a servant to their master, or they will curse you, and you will pay for it. Proverbs 30: 5-10 NIV

The heart of humble speaks!

Think for a moment about the speaker in this passage of scripture and then read the entire chapter. Agur–acknowledges his human failings and speaks to them to others.

He understands The Word of God and warns people about attempting to change it.

He understands that lies and falsehoods–however they are cloaked with deceptive language are not acceptable.

He understands that neither riches or poverty will make a difference in how God treats people.

He understands what most people–especially our politicians, don’t–the deceptive practices–on behalf of both parties–are not acceptable to God.

Though my thoughts this morning were not to make a political statement with the scriptural reading, this fits so well, especially in light of the so-called, “regret” uttered by a person who smirks as he speaks. No humility shown whatsoever and no real apology made about all the things he’s said. And in the next breath, focuses his attention on his opponent to talk about her.

What was even more amazing to me was to see his new campaign manager, lie with a straight face, but her eyes gave her away along with the false smile that didn’t come from within.

The humble heart–speaks from the heart–and the sincerity is seen and heard. The humble heart–when it knows a wrong has been committed, will apologize–specifically–to the wrongs done. The humble heart–seeks private as well public exoneration of any act in which they are sincerely sorry about and want to make amends. The humble heart–does not seek public attention for acts of charity or compassion. The humble heart–knows God and wants to please Him, not people or a political party.

That’s what the humble heart does!

When we see what people do–in the public eye–we know whether or not they  have read The Word, understand The Word, and live The Word. We know, by what we see and hear–who truly has a humble heart and who doesn’t.

Americans are smarter than some give us credit for. We know humility when we see it and when we don’t.

 

Turning Back to God!

“Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD; Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven.” (Lamentations 3:40,41 NKJV)

When are we going to see the error of our ways? Why must we have to be threatened by anyone regarding anything to own up to the things we do? Are we so blinded with our self-importance that we cannot see how what we say or do–creates chaos and confusion, sometimes leading to hatred and certainly makes our bigotry–crystal clear?

Before we do or say anything–we must examine our motives and seek His wisdom–and then we would have no need to “retract” what we’ve said or apologize for our inability to consider the consequences of our actions.

This nation–as a whole–including all the people in it–must reach a decision and examine themselves–dare to put themselves under a microscope to see who they really are. When a person dares to “see self” as they really are, then and only then will there be any lasting change in people that helps to move everyone forward, without attempting to crush them.

After we have examined ourselves, we need to “turn back to allowing God to influence” what we do, rather than allowing emotions and personal bigotry to guide us–especially when we know–the enemy is the influence–determining to kill, steal, and destroy others through vicious attacks–by whatever venue we use.

Lord Jesus, help us to see ourselves and then create in us a desire to please You and not be seduced by public opinion to berate others. We are mindful of the state of this nation and the world, and we submit to Your guidance in all things so we will not make a mockery of who You are by the things we do. Thank You for hearing and responding to this prayer, Amen!