Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

getting-serious-about-god_0

I think sometimes it is very tempting to go about our lives forgetting there is a God of this universe mainly because of the fact that we physically cant see Him. Now, we can see His handiwork should we choose to look, but for an average person striving to get to the next level in their life, many of us just don’t pay attention.

Frankly guys right now, I am speaking to those of you who were raised in a local church and understand the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These are the folks, that in my mind, “know better”.

You see as we all know very well, life just simply rolls on and it does not stop for anyone. We cant take a break or call time out, or…like I’ve seen in the movies, control time by making it stand still. My point, is that before you know it, years have gone by and your children have gotten older and you still feel the same way about God…in other words, kind of apathetic?

Well, I have an opinion on that…and it is simply that it’s time to get serious about God. It is time to take control over yourself and get back on track with why you are here. Do you know the answer to that question? Why am I here? Its actually easy; you are here to prepare yourself and your family for eternity…and how does one do that?

GET SERIOUS ABOUT GOD

But I will warn you about this; getting serious with God is no laughing matter. You need to remember that dealing with the almighty God is HOLY BUSINESS and no casual dealings will suffice. A.W. Tozer said, “Let him come to God in full determination to be heard. Let him insist that God accept his all, that he take the things out of his heart that shouldn’t be there in order that God, Himself reign there in power.”

What is Tozer saying here? Simply put, be a man with God. You were born a man for a reason on this earth and God expects you to act like one, even in His presence. Please don’t mistake what I am saying here as arrogance because if you do, it will not go well. When you approach God, approach him with humility, but as a man, NOT a pup. You are (Or have been?) a warrior in your lifetime and God desperately wants you to act like one again both on your behalf as well as your families.

Guys, in truth, what I am saying here is not a difficult thing. But it does take a real man to admit where he is failing and a real man to ask God for forgiveness. When you do that, you have gotten serious about God…and that is exactly where He wants you to be.

Until next time Guys-

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See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and to defile many. Hebrews 12:15

Have you ever known someone that seemed to be terminally in a “bad” mood all the time? Maybe you have someone like that in your family so that when holidays come, everyone tries to avoid that person because no matter what is said, he or she will lash out? Hollywood glamorized the grumpiness of two old guys when they made the movie “Grumpy Old Men” and we all laughed. But the reality is, grumpiness or bitterness, is an infection that can completely ruin a persons life. Moreover, as some of you may know, bitterness can destroy a community of believers faster than you can imagine. Bitterness is like a virus and left unchecked, can grow and permeate your entire body until you reek of it.

I am sharing this with you because it is very important not only for us, but the person infected to feel the touch and the presence of God before they are lost forever. Yes, I did say forever…Bitterness can and will destroy lives and the Bible is very clear about this.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.  Hebrews 12:14

I assure you guys, when you are bitter…you are NOT holy and we can see from the above scripture how important holiness is to God…and to us.

So why do I tell you this now? Sometimes I really don’t have a specific plan in mind, I just find myself reading somewhere in the Bible and then a verse or a concept strikes me. In this instance, when I read the bitterness verse I realized that I have friends just like that and they have no idea how serious their future is jeopardized by NOT taking action to try to make things better. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:27 to

…Do not give the devil a foothold.

Guys, when you swallow the bitterness and resentment pill you give the devil a foothold in your life…and trust me, once he has a foothold, he will NOT stop there until he has destroyed everything he can. 1 Peter 5:8 says:

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The devil wants to destroy you and there is no other way I can say that or sugar coat it so it sounds better. That, my friends, is a fact.

But remember guys, bitterness doesn’t just affect you…It affects your wife, kids, parents, your coworkers and imgresthe list goes on. As I mentioned before, bitterness is a virus and must be dealt with by getting on your knees and seeking Gods grace and forgiveness. There is NO OTHER WAY… Paul tells us again in Ephesians to:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

I know that getting rid of this issue is easier said, than done but really…you have to get rid of it…Shake it off as you would a bad day. I encourage you to seek God and to then seek help.

If you can read this post and recognize that the person I am referring to is you…then you need to start first on your knees before Him. The Bible says:

Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.

If you are suffering from bitterness at present, doesn’t being lifted up sound really good right now? And that is just the beginning. If you allow the Holy Spirit to envelope you, God will melt that bitterness root right out from underneath you.

I challenge you guys today to be men and take the tough first step and recognize you have the bitterness root within you and humbly ask God to take it away.

He will NOT let you down. Of that I am concretely sure…

Until next time guys…

What is this concept of grace anyway? I have heard that word all my life but what does it really mean? Or maybe I should say, what should it mean to me? I can remember saying “grace” before each meal or hearing my mother telling me to be gracious when someone did something nice for me. I always gave, and still do give gratuity when someones service pleases me like a waiter at a restaurant. Credit card companies will extend “grace periods” to their customers and the list goes on. The acclaimed author Philip Yancey calls the word grace, “the last best word”, because he believes that grace is “still one grand theological word that has not been spoiled”…by a society that tends to weaken the meaning of words. I agree with Yancey because when you hear the word “grace” even now, the core of its meaning hasn’t been spoiled or diluted. In other words, the true meaning is still intact. Grace shouts “I know you’re in trouble and I’m going to help you” something this world needs to hear desperately. Yancey goes on to ask the question, “where can the world go to find grace?” and that is the cornerstone of this post because I believe that this starvation for grace exists inside every one of us but yet satisfying that hunger without Christ, is impossible.

Grace is a very simple word and simple in meaning. I looked it up in the dictionary and it said, “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”…which means, something God gives to us that is completely undeserved. But you can also experience grace at the hands of a friend or even a stranger simply showing love or acceptance. Have you ever experienced an undeserved gift or maybe accepted by strangers you did not know? Maybe the grace gift that was provided gave you much-needed relief yet was completely unexpected…coming from nowhere….that is grace at the core…

I have been struck by this word grace recently and what it means because of so much ungrace or the opposite of grace that I see around me. As I mentioned before, the world is starving for grace and is there anyone left to provide it? Christ provided the greatest example of grace for all of us but yet at the same time, showing grace does not come naturally. Face it, we tend to be selfish because selfishness is the example we see everyday.

So what are we to do with this information I am sharing with you? How does one go from ungrace to grace? I can tell you from my own personal experience that it starts with forgiveness…something also very difficult. When you can truly forgive a friend or family member that has wronged you in some way, you are extending grace to that person. Obviously, that means some work on your part (and mine) with God because we tend to keep score on wrongs committed against us…If we think we have been wronged, the other person needs to make the first move…right?. WRONG…Grace means you take the first step by forgiving and then where the relationship goes from that point? Grace is acceptance, Grace is, I am there for you no matter what…

Let me put it to you another way. Do you realize that the road to heaven is absolutely…IMPOSSIBLE…without the grace extended to us by Jesus Christ? You, me nor any other famous person ever to live, can get to heaven without it.

One more time…we cannot get to heaven on our own despite what the world says…

God invented salvation and the grace we need to get to heaven so that he could have a relationship with you and me. He wants you to rely on Him…not on you…you need His grace to make it through the day and ultimately, on to heaven itself. But it does start with a daily dose of grace you receive but more importantly…given away to someone else.

Remember the words of Christ in Matthew 6:14:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Grace freely given and grace freely received…

Where can the world go to find grace?


Look in the mirror because it starts with you and me…

Until next time guys…