“ARE YOU REALLY FORGIVEN?”

“Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Romans 4:8 NIV Read:  Hebrews 9:22-28   Have you ever offended someone or caused a wrong to someone?  Of course you have, it is no badge of honor…but we all have.   As good and righteous as we want to be or think we are, we are all struggling with the evils of this world.   Sometimes we let our guard down and we fail someone with our words or actions…or both. What do you do then?   Maybe you mumble a weak “I’m sorry” and never think of it again.  Does the person you offended or hurt accept your weak apology and never think of it again or are they still hurting?   Do you care enough to ask?   When these things happen, we have an obligation to correct our wrong.   There may be times when a sincere “I am sorry!” is adequate and there are other times restitution is needed. A gift or token with a note may be more responsible at other times to get your message across that you are really sorry. Still, there is more to forgiveness than an “I’m sorry”, even if it is sincere.    You may have received an acceptance of your apology from the one you hurt, but there is another you offended with your words or actions.  GOD. The other person may have forgiven you of your sinful act against them, but they cannot forgive you for GOD.   A few faiths teach the forgiveness of sins by another man.    No one can forgive you but GOD.   There is nothing more important when...

“TURN YOUR MESS INTO A MESSAGE!”

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”  1Timothy 1:16 NIV Read:  1Timothy 1:12-17 Have you ever made a mistake?  What about taking a simple mistake and turning it into a real mess?  Did you ever do anything that you knew was wrong, but after a little false self justification you did it anyway?  Or maybe, the question should be; when was the last time? It is common for us to want to forget those times.  We want to ‘sweep them under the carpet’ or ‘hide them in the closet’.  Neither ignoring or living with old mistakes is what we should do.   Do you want to get rid the mess you made?   As the adage goes; ’Turn your old mess into a new message’.   Once you have learned from your mistake, share your new found freedom with another.   You may help another from making the same mistake you made. Paul had made a real mess of his life.   CHRIST called him to turn his old mess of a life into a new message of the gospel.    Paul understood sin and the failings of life and he understood those failings prepared him to take the gospel of our RISEN SAVIOUR to all. Have you made a mess of things?   Ask JESUS to clean up the mess you created by forgiving you.   Then take that forgiveness and use it to help others who need to know what forgiven sins feel like....

“A FULL BELLY AND AN EMPTY HEART?”

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3 NIV    Read:  Psalm 126:1-6 Tradition has been to have plenty of family and food for Thanksgiving.   We are seeing our society opting for much less.   Now, it seems Thanksgiving Day is about food, football and shopping. True thanksgiving and family are being de-emphasised by much of America. Thanksgiving has always been celebrated with food.   In the early 1600s, both the Pilgrims and Puritans celebrated days of thanksgiving.   The Pilgrims celebrated the time of a good harvest.   The Puritans celebrated in faithful observance in prayer and feasting.   By the 17th century the two times of thanksgiving blended into our society as Thanksgiving.   Several early presidents attempted to establish a day of thanksgiving for the country.   It was not until 1863 that a national day of thanksgiving was established by Abraham Lincoln.  It took almost another 80 years to establish Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.   Now, stores are open on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate more sales, not families or to be thankful of all GOD has supplied.   More and more Americans are forgetting the reason for a Holy Day and begging the stores to take their money. What are you going to do on Thanksgiving Day?   Are you going to be thankful for all GOD has done for you or will you have a full belly with an empty heart? Today’s prayer:  “OUR ETERNAL GOD, Thank YOU for the comforting us and supplying all our needs.   May we be truly thankful of all YOU have...

“HOW FAR WILL YOU GO?”

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”   John 14:2-3 NIV   Read:  John 14:1-31   Even the closest star is farther than you can ever go…probably farther than you can even comprehend.   The closest star is 4.22 light years from earth.   A light year is the distance it takes light to travel in one year.   That is about 24 trillion miles.   I believe that is more than a weekend getaway. What is the farthest you have ever traveled?   Some have never traveled more than a few miles from home, while others routinely travel around the globe.   Distance is a relative term for each of us. A day will come when you will make a final trip.  Are you prepared?   How far will you go?   Scripture doesn’t tell us the distance to Heaven.   But, we know it doesn’t take light years to get there.   We don’t have mileage to hell either.  But, it takes the same amount of time to get there as it does to get to Heaven. If you have not decided where you are going, isn’t it time you did?   In less than a twinkle of an eye, you will make the trip to one or the other.   You need to make this one decision for all eternity. How far are you going to go with...

“WHO DO YOU ANSWER TO?”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Read:   Proverbs 3:5-12 Who do you answer to?  If you work in an office, you might say your office manager, Ms. Kelsey.  If you work in the sales department it’s your sales manager, John, who demands a higher and higher quota.  John answers to Bob, senior vice-president who answers to Mr. Stevens, President and CEO.   He then answers to the board of directors who are answerable to the stock holders. If you are self-employed, you don’t have these layers of bureaucracy.  But, still you are answerable to your customer.  We are all answerable to someone.   Outside of business, we are answerable to our family and friends.   While we may feel responsible and answerable to others as we should, they all should be pretty far down the list. There is only one we all are ultimately answerable.   When is the last time you really took everything to GOD?  Everything you do and everything you don’t do is under the direction of your CREATOR.   You keep your boss at work informed of your activities, good and bad.  Are you communicating with GOD as well as you should? Our verse tells us to trust in our LORD with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding.  We are to submit to HIM and HE will make our paths straight.   Submitting to our LORD is the ultimate ‘answer to’. Our submission to GOD is more...