Christian

Daily Scripture, 2/24/19

12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

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Christian

Are Some People Really Toxic?

According to Psychology Today, the way to deal with a difficult, aka “toxic” person, is to “limit your time with this person or end the relationship—and don’t look back.”

Is there someone in your life that you would like to be done with, and then never look back? You can find justification for this attitude in pop psychology, but not in the Bible.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 NIV

I have a student like that right now.  You might say he really knows how to push my buttons! It’s like he wants me to dislike him. After repeated insults, disrespect, and defiance, I said to him, “I’m done with you!”

The Lord has not let me forget it! He says, “That’s not an option.” He reminds me that it’s a good thing He didn’t feel that way about me when I was (let’s just say) sowing my oats. No, God never left me when I left Him. He still loved me when I was rebellious and sinful. And He was faithful to bring me back to Him, even though I did nothing to deserve His great love, mercy, and forgiveness.

This is why I love Jesus. He loves me unconditionally! Isn’t that what we all need? – what the whole world needs – TO BE LOVED?

I believe God puts certain people in our path for a reason. There may be someone in our life that is difficult to love. It might not be forever, but while they’re around, we must show them God’s love.

Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them ….. Love your enemies ….. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36

If God puts an “unlovable” person in our path, we’ll know it. He’ll make sure of that. We may think we aren’t strong enough to love that person, but we can count on the Lord to give us the grace we need. He said,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

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Christian

A True Story You Won’t Forget

Once there was a very popular preacher. So many people crowded into his church services, the church had to be enlarged. He frequently preached at other churches, as is often the case with popular ministers.

The preacher wrote beautiful Christian songs, that were also popular with churchgoers.  Soon be began a series of weekly prayer meetings in addition to regular services.

What made this preacher so special? I believe it was his life journey.

All the experiences in our past have shaped us into the person we are today. This preacher, at one time, was a vile sinner, cruel and having a hardened heart; a man without compassion or mercy.

Is it possible for such a person to have a complete turnaround? Can a hardened sinner become a saint? Can a depraved evildoer become a man (or woman) of God?

Ask the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair,  anointing them with costly perfume. When an indignant Pharisee questioned Jesus about allowing this sinful woman (probably a prostitute) to touch him, Jesus said this:

 “I tell you that her many sins are forgiven, so she showed great love. But the person who is forgiven only a little will love only a little.” Luke 7:47

Read the full story HERE.

Have you guessed the identity of the preacher, yet? You won’t find him on YouTube or TV. He was born in 1725.

Before he gave his life to Christ, he was the captain of slave ships. I can only imagine the horror of such ships, but it is well documented that slave ships provided such wretched accommodations that many men, women, and children died before arriving at their intended destination. In the words of a former slave, Olaudah Equiano, “The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying rendered the whole scene of horror almost inconceivable.”

Who was this forgiven reprobate turned preacher-songwriter?

His name is John Newton and he wrote these famous words:  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

This celebrated hymn touches my soul because I know that what God’s grace and mercy did for John Newton, He did for me.

As you listen to Amazing Grace, thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. The more we have been forgiven, the more we love Him. That’s what Jesus said.

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 KJV

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5 NIV

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

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From Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton by Al Rogers

Christian

I Teach Kids, God Teaches Me

Some people just don’t deserve what you did for them! They’re so ungrateful!

Today, I gave a science test at the Junior High School. I thought the kids would do really well because I had worked hard to prepare them. I created a Jeopardy Game for them to play for review (which wasn’t free, by the way). And I spent considerable time thinking of a better way to explain the concepts. You could say I gave it my all, above and beyond! I knew they would do well.

Only they didn’t!

Some of them were bubbling in random answers without reading the question! (Are you kidding me?!) 

Others were looking out the window and thinking about something else. (What’s wrong with these kids?!)

I knew that most of them had not studied and didn’t care if they passed or not. By the time I gave the test to 4 different classes, each set of grades worse than the class before, I was angry and frustrated. (Why should I work harder than they do? I’m tired of this! I don’t care anymore! They can all fail for all I care!! I’m done!)

On the drive home, I mumbled, “Lord help me to have a better attitude.” (and not with a lot of passion).

Right away He reminded me of how patient He was with me when I didn’t care what He had done for me.

What can I say to that? He died for me, and I went about living like I didn’t know it, only I did know it. Yes, there was a time when I did this. When I was at my worst, I’m sure He had angels watching over me to keep me alive until I came to my senses. He was patient with me. He never stopped loving me. And He certainly never said, “I’m done with her!”

After today, I better understand His love, forgiveness, and mercy. He never said, “I don’t care anymore.” He just kept loving me, interceding for me, and calling my name. For this I am eternally grateful.

Let us follow His example, showing His love to those He puts in our path each day.

Scriptures

“David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 2 Samuel 24:14

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him…” Psalm 103:17 KJV

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

“Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap” Psalm 113:5,7 NIV

“He remembered us in our low estate. His love endures forever.”Psalm 136:23 NIV

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalm 145:9

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Jesus

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

My First Love

I was stopped in my tracks as I read the letter to the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-6).

1″I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary … 6You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

It sounds like a strong church! But one thing is going to bring them down. What is it?

4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

How had they changed? What things did they stop doing?

The Amplified Bible says, “… you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me].”

When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” he replied,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37

I began to ponder this. How do we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind? Would we even know if we, like the Church at Ephesus, left our first love? I’m sure the Ephesians thought they loved the Lord with all their hearts. After all, look at all the great things they were  doing. But something must have changed.

I have searched the Scriptures, prayed, and asked other Christians, seeking the answer to this question: What does it mean to love the Lord with your whole heart?

Is it an emotion? An act of our will? Obedience? Praise?

Is it possible that the Ephesians went about the activities of church life, minus the passion of one who has been forgiven? Did they forget how thankful they once were for His forgiveness and love?

I can only infer that as we go about the business of “church”, it is possible to do many good things, yet forget how we first loved Him.

Perhaps now we are busy doing (like Martha) instead of sitting at His feet (like Mary).

The importance  of “loving God with all my heart” has been on my mind for several weeks. I ask myself, Do I love Jesus with all my heart? And more importantly, what does Jesus think?

I started thinking about how I show love to my children. For one thing, I tell them – a lot!. So last night I started my prayer like this:

Lord, I love you. I love you with all my heart and soul and mind. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. I remember how on fire I was for you when I first experienced the forgiveness that “washed me white as snow” and “removed my sins “as far as the east is from the west”.

 My heart was flooded with peace because the heaviness of my soul, the anguish of guilt vanished.. I remember how I devoured the Scriptures as I discovered your promises. Give me a heart like David, whose Psalms reflect his deep love for you …..

So let us think back to how we first loved Him. Let us ask ourselves, Do I tell Him that I love Him everyday? And let us ask Him to help us to never forsake the love we had at first.

Scriptures

 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

    so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; Psalm 103:11-13

Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

So You’re Angry

One morning, God stopped me in the middle of something (I thought) was very important and gave me a lesson in discipline. This is what happened:

I was studying my Bible to prepare a lesson for the Women’s Bible Study when the phone rang. The church secretary informed me that the room I had reserved for the Bible Study would not be available because someone else needed it.

What?! Are you kidding me? So what? 

(Little did I know, the Lord was getting ready to take me down a completely different path than the one I was on.)

It was hard to continue preparing my Bible lesson when I so angry. I thought, They can’t just take my room! This is ridiculous! Who do they think they are? That’s not fair!

I knew my attitude was wrong, but I couldn’t help it. I felt justified.

Then a Scripture came to my mind.

“Above all else, guard your heart,” came the still small voice. (Proverbs 4:23)

Honestly, I didn’t really want to, but I listened. Then another Scripture came to my mind. “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought.” (Romans 12:3) and “Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

Then, God said to me, “Forgive”.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

As an act of my will, I forgave. But I still felt really annoyed. Then the Lord brought another Scripture to my mind. “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up.” Hebrews 12:15

To forgive is a decision, but I knew that if I kept rehearsing this over and over in my mind, bitterness would take root. I needed God’s grace.

Thank God we can “Come boldly to the throne of grace … and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

What is our time of need? It is when we are too weak to do something in our own strength. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient, …. for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9

Hebrews 13:9 says, “It is good to be strengthened by God’s grace.”

Oh how we need to rely on God’s grace to serve Him!

“Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28 KJV

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

God was teaching me that I can easily justify a  selfish attitude. But if I want others to see the love of God through me, I must walk in His ways.

It wasn’t the circumstances in question that were important. The real issue was – would I guard my heart? He taught me to rely on Him because His grace is sufficient.

If you need God’s grace today, go boldly to the Throne of Grace.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

All Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.

 

Christian

Lord, Help Me Forgive

Are you struggling to forgive someone? Does it seem impossible?  You can do it. But before we begin, remember this: Unforgiveness will destroy you, not them.

There is only one way to forgive the unforgivable. These Scriptures will strengthen and empower you to do it, as they did for me. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart so that you can receive what He has for you.

They crucified him and Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”    And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”    The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar. Luke 23: 34-36

We can forgive others when we understand the depth of His forgiveness of our own sins. Crucifixion is the most brutal kind of execution. Yet Jesus pleaded with the Father to forgive them. He suffered heart-breaking rejection at the cross, yet He loved and forgave those responsible.

Nothing we have to forgive can compare to His example of forgiveness. He suffered and died so that we would be forgiven for all the sins we have ever committed and even the ones we will commit in the future; He asks us to forgive others in return.

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Paul knew that the sin of unforgiveness would give the devil a foothold. Satan is a genuine enemy of every Christian. The Bible is clear about this.

In Ephesians 6:10, Paul exhorts God’s people: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Our obedience to Christ protects us from the devil’s schemes.  You may not find the power to forgive within yourself, but through Christ, you can. Forgive as an act of your will. Your feelings will eventually change. The first step is to tell God that you forgive this person.

Meditate on God’s promises, instead of meditating on the injustice. The more time you spend in His presence, in His Word, in prayer and meditation, the less that injustice will have power to hurt you.

Whenever something I have already forgiven crosses my mind, I refuse to think about it. I consciously begin to think about something else. Sometimes that can be difficult. Just do it! Take control over your thoughts.

Thank Jesus for what He has done for you. It will destroy the power of the wrong to upset you. Peace and joy is already given to the child of God; God’s Word reveals how to live in it. We must trust and obey.

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”  Matthew 18:21-35 The Message (MSG)

 

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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