As we seek an all in relationship with God we need to learn forgiveness is a gift that needs to be easily given. What makes it tough is when forgiveness for a similar offence is forgiven over and over, we tend to get cynical if that person will ever change. Think about how Jesus feels when his children come to him over and over asking to forgive them of the sins that they keep getting themselves into. Jesus reminded Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven, a number that if we actually tried to keep track we would most likely forget.
“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NIV
Ever have some in your church expose themselves as a sinner? I don’t mean a new Christian, but someone you would never expect to do something wrong? The shame they feel for their exposed sin is real, they trust they had with others is dwindled. Their confidence as a person, especially if they voluntarily exposed themselves is thin. We tend to keep condemning them for their actions, maybe not vocally but in the way we treat them. Their sin is not infectious, you can comfort t m, if they have confessed to God and asked for forgiveness then who are we to keep bringing them down. Yes, there may be consequences for their actions, and they will have to deal with those. But we as a family need to be forgiving as we will be in the same position someday.
Are you willing to forgive others who have done something against you? Against someone you love? What will you do to strengthen your all in relationship with God? We are called to love our neighbors, forgiveness is part of that love. We would hope that people would forgive us when we fail, so how much more can we do the same for them.
Jesus, I pray we will be able to forgive our brothers and sisters who make mistakes that can hurt us. Help us to comfort them as we are all sinners saved by grace. Let us not be a stumbling block for them receiving Gods forgiveness. As we strive for an all in relationship with you I ask that we have the wisdom to forgive others who have hurt us or those we love. Amen
Dams are amazing feats of construction. To stop water flow and constrict it so that energy can be made, and land below can be used is awe inspiring. When water levels are low we can see a trickle coming through the dam. But in times of massive rainfalls when they open the flood gates to avoid bursting we see such an overflow of water, nothing can stop the flow. This overflow is controlled, the dam operator knows exactly how much the land below can take and at what rate. Well, the Holy Spirit knows you, he knows how strong you are and at what rate he can flow through you. The stronger our foundation the more he can move. If we want a strong all in relationship with God we need a firm foundation that will allow an overflow of the Holy Spirit.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 NLT
In reading this prayer from Paul I see two powerful words that must be taken into consideration to understanding the order in how his pray is laid out. I read this and see a formula for hope. First, I read “because”. This tells me that trust in him must be first in all we do. Trusting in God through Jesus salvation and daily trust him to meet your needs is the foundation by which every believer must rest. Building your spiritual foundation on anything else is folly and bound for failure.
So, with a foundation of trust in place, we then can be prepared to be filled with the joy and peace that he offers. There will be a place for it to reside and live in us. Without the trust of God, these gifts given will only seep out and never be long lasting. We will trade them in for whatever we put our hope and trust in. There is no joy and peace in trusting money. There is no joy and peace trusting our politicians. There is no joy and peace trusting man. We need to put our hope and trust in God.
The second word I read is ” then”. This tells me the previous statement must be held true for the second to become reality. If we want an overflowing confident hope in what we believe so we can reach others we must trust God. We must live a life filled with joy and peace. The most important part of this verse is that we must believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, still works today and gives us this confident hope. The Holy Spirit, an equal part of the trinity is with us believers to shape us, empower us to go into the world and spread the love of Christ with confidence.
Joy and Peace = Confident Hope
TRUST HOLY SPIRIT
Are you trusting God? Have you asked him to fill you with joy and peace? Are you overflowing with confident hope? Are you plugged into the Holy Spirit? If you want to be effective in reaching this world you need to examine each question, if you can answer yes to one or all then you need to reread this scripture and ask God to fulfil it in your life. Are you ready to let the Holy Spirit open the floodgates and let confident hope overflow your life?
Father, we need to trust you with everything. Thank you for providing us a way to connect with you through Jesus sacrifice and daily through the Holy Spirit. Give us peace and joy because of this trust in you. Then fill us with an overflowing confident hope through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so we can become effective in sharing your love to others. They matter to you Jesus, so the matter to me. I want a firm all in foundation for the Holy Spirit to work in me. Amen