Friday, September 6, 2013

Consider: Forgiveness RJD Sept. 2013

Journal Entry January 18, 2004

“The Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.’” Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

The issue of forgiveness is a thorny one at best. People grow tired of being used and abused by their “friends” and “family.” They begin to build walls between themselves and those who cause the hurt. Sometimes the hurting ones feel they have to accept the stress and pain “because that’s the way they are!” Others who are hurt live with the circumstances because “he or she family.”
Jesus tells us through his reply to Peter that we have to forgive not once, not twice, not even three or four times, but as many times as it takes.
I can only forgive those who hurt me through Jesus. I say this because I cannot confront those people because 1.) They don’t believe they did anything wrong or anything to hurt me. Or 2.) They think they can do these things because “that’s who I am.”
Right now, I have to ask Jesus to forgive those persons who hurt me continually. I know they don’t even know their behavior causes me pain.

Father, please show me how I can do this forgiving when they don’t know  their part in hurting me. AMEN   

UPDATE: I have learned that it takes a lot of grace to forgive people continually. I believe I have made progress with this issue. I’m not perfect but I have found it easier to ask God to deal with the problematic thoughts of those around me. I learned this very well last month.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Light of the World


“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
John 8:12 (NIV)

What does Jesus mean by calling himself ‘the Light of the World’? A light illumines the pathway. Jesus shows us the way through difficult times in our lives. I am considering purchasing some of those solar powered yard lights to set along our front walk. I believe they would bring comfort as we enter our home. We could also see better when we exit our car in the evenings.
He continues to say that those who follow him will not be in darkness. We have toured several caves-Marengo Caves in Indiana, Mammoth Cave in central Kentucky and a cave in eastern Kentucky. All these places have a common part of their tours. The guides allow the groups to experience total darkness.
When they turn out the lights, you can’t see your hand in front of your face. We have been on these tours with families that had small children. I can remember the screams of those children. The noise was deafening. They screamed because they were scared. When I remember these times, I think of the souls who, by their behavior, have been relegated to Hades. This is the reason it is important to bring Christ to the world.
Those who walk in spiritual darkness stumble and bring hurt to themselves. Those who choose to walk in the light of Christ walk in safety and protection of Jesus.

Dear Father God: I thank You for giving us You Son. I thank You for His being Light in our darkness and for His guidance through the dark times. I ask Your presence be with those who suffer for You. Encourage them with Your Word and protect them from harm. All praise belongs to You. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN


Monday, September 2, 2013

Lamb of God

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said,

‘Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’”
John 1:29 (NIV)

John the Baptist’s father was a priest. “He was familiar with all the ritual of the temple and its sacrifices.”1 He must have seen the morning and evening offering of a lamb to God. The offering of a lamb brought atonement for the sins of the people. “The people performed this ritual even when they starved in war and in siege they never omitted to offer the lamb until A. D. 70 when the temple was destroyed.”2
Jesus freely gave himself to be the sacrifice “once for all.”(Hebrews 10:10) Because of His offering on Calvary, we don’t have to give sacrifice for our sins. He died for us that we might be deemed worthy to join Him and His Father in heaven at the time He calls us home.

1.      1.The Daily Study Series, The Gospel of John Vol. 1 © 1985 p. 81

2.      Op. Cit.
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