The practice of comprehensive forgiveness overcomes our love of being right, our actual enjoyment and treasuring of our sense of being wronged… The constant practice of forgiveness leaves no room for self-righteousness. Frustrated condemnation of others and treasuring of old wrongs are not part of the artillery of God, but the slithering, slimy, deadly creatures of the Prince of Darkness. ~ C. John Miller and Barbara Miller Juliani, Come Back, Barbara, P&R, 1997, p. 79-80.
The person who is living by grace sees this vast contrast between his own sins against God and the offenses of others against him. He forgives others because he himself has been so graciously forgiven. He realizes that, by receiving God’s forgiveness through Christ, he has forfeited the right to be offended when others hurt him. ~ Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace, NavPress, 1991, p. 44-45
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." ~ C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, “On Forgiveness”, p. 124– 125.
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”
For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.”’
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
“As for me, I would seek God,
and to God would I commit my cause,
who does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number:
he gives rain on the earth
and sends waters on the fields;
he sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
so that their hands achieve no success.
He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
They meet with darkness in the daytime
And grope at noonday as in the night.
But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth
and from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.
by Scotty Smity
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:17-18
Dear heavenly Father,
I praise you for the gift of another day. May I steward it well… to your glory and the benefit of others.
Speaking of stewardship, this portion of your Word could not be more timely or needed. I don’t think I’ve ever lived when the uncertainty of wealth has been more certain than today. Even as the stock market goes up, the value of our homes is going down… that which we long assumed to be the “best investment.” Foreclosures and “short sells” are becoming as common as the common cold. Our economy has never felt so predictably unpredictable.
Therefore, your command for us not to put our hope in money, stuff and wealth is not only well-founded, but incredibly loving. Apart from the wisdom you give we, would be held hostage to the foolishness of men. Indeed, even your commands are a grace-kiss and your warnings are the wooingsof hope.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Lord Jesus, I begin this prayer having to repent for flat-out disregarding this clear admonition from the Scriptures. Ever since our sitting president was inaugurated I’ve found it far easier to scorecard and scorn the man than to pray for him and his family. I praise you that I’m a citizen of a country that allows for protest and dissent, but my heavenly citizenship calls for a very careful stewardship of all such freedoms.
My cynicism and disobedience are somewhat arrested when I realize that the madman Nero was probably the sitting “king” in Rome when Paul urged believers to pray for “kings and those in authority.” Forgive me Father, not only for my prayerlessness, but also for my unbelief. Help me and my friends to be redemptive participants in the culture, not drive-by assailants nor passive gnostics.
There’s no panic or pause in heaven. Let me hear your laughter, Father, as the truly enthroned one. Give me a clearer vision of your Son, Jesus-already installed as your appointed King over all things, destined to inherit the nations and the ends of the earth (Psalm 2:4-9). Indeed, Lord, let me see that many colors decorate the chambers of your “throne room”, not just red, white and blue.
There’s only one unshakable eternal kingdom, Father… yours! And indeed, Lord Jesus, in your person and work, the kingdom has come and the kingdom is coming! So as those called to a peaceful and quite life, we do lift our president up in prayer, and all those in authority. Holy Spirit, throughout this day, and in the coming days, generate requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving in our hearts in keeping with the great truths and resources of the gospel. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
A Prayer I Haven't Been Praying was originally posted August 19, 2009 on Heavenward by Scotty Smith. Used with permission.
Sep 29, 2009 | by Scotty Smith
A Prayer About My Critical Spirit
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2
Dear Lord Jesus,
I should have seen it coming. Just when I was starting to feel pretty self-righteous about not being self-righteous, the serial killer inside of me woke up. My irritability factor has gone from a 3 to what feels like an 8, on a scale of 1 to 10. The tell-tell knots inside of me aren’t about nervousness, they’re about censoriousness. It’s been easier catching people doing the wrong thing than affirming the many more things they do right. Once again, I’ve taken on the role of an Olympic judge with score cards in hand, and I’m not giving out any 10’s.
God have mercy on ME, the sinner. I really mean that, Jesus. You have exhausted God’s judgment against all my sins upon the cross-the 4% I am aware of and the other 96% I am oblivious to as well. Who am I to judge your servants, your beloved? To you they answer, not to me. Jesus, you have called me to love others as your love me, not judge others with the judgment that has been ALONE entrusted to you.
Soften my heart today, Holy Spirit; gentle my heart with your love, heavenly Father; tenderize me with your grace, Lord Jesus. Indeed, my sense is that it will take the whole Trinity to change someone like me into the kind-hearted man I’m called to become. Bring the resources of the gospel to bear upon my heart. Bring the power that raised Jesus from the dead to bear upon my heart. Bring the hope of the new heaven and new earth to bear upon my heart. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ name, with gratitude and expectancy.
A Prayer About My Critical Spirit by Scotty Smith was originally posted September 29, 2009 on Heavenward by Scotty Smith. Used with permission.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3
I pray for all those today who are wrestling with feelings that are difficult to shake.
For those who are afraid, give them courage.
For those who are anxious, give them peace.
For those who feel listless, inspire their minds.
For those who are beat-up, show them mercy.
For those who are bored, renew their interest.
For those who are confused, give them clarity.
For those who are cynical, give them confidence.
For those who are discouraged, encourage their hearts.
For those who are discontent, give them contentment.
For those who are disheartened, give them hope.
For those who are enslaved, give them freedom.
For those who are frustrated, calm their souls.
For those who are gloomy, cheer their spirits.
For those who feel hopeless, give them grace.
For those who are hurting, give them comfort.
For those who are lonely, give them companionship.
For those who are mistreated, give them justice.
For those who feel rejected, give them acceptance.
For those who are sad, give them joy.
For those who are sick, give them healing.
For those who are skeptical, help them belief.
For these who feel timid, make them bold.
For those who are tired, give them rest.
For those who are uncertain, give them assurance.
For those who feel unloved, show them love.
For those who are wandering, give them guidance.
For those who are weak, give them strength.
For those who are worn out, give them energy.
Gracious Lord, make your presence know to all those who feel these things today, so they can live for your glory today.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen!
by Elizabeth Turnage
Resurrection Wonder Fading FastFamily and friends have returned home, back to school and work. Loads of laundry and dishes need cleaning; blogs, Bible studies, and emails need writing. It is the Monday after Easter, and Resurrection wonder is in danger of fading as fast as the pretty pastel eggs.
So what do we do when the celebration of new life gets lost in the drudge of daily life? Remember THE STORY! As we look back at what the followers of Jesus did post-resurrection, we re-discover the joy of living the resurrection.
5 Ways to Keep Living the Resurrection
5 Ways to Keep Living the Resurrection Together was originally posted Friday, March 29, 2016 on Elizabethturnage.com. Reposted with permission.