It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

How do we have peace in the midst of a storm? When the winds, the swells and the billows of life’s hurricanes come pounding against our mind, soul and spirit, where do we find peace? Where do we obtain the strength to endure this storm? When our foundation is sure and planted on the Rock of God’s word, which is Jesus, then we can weather life’s storms in a spirit of peace.

This is not to say that we will not go through the hardships of life’s mishaps. It is the Holy Spirit, that gives us this power, through our faith in Jesus as the Christ. Jesus becomes our Savior and we are able to persevere through our hope in His completed work and promises.

Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Psalm 95:1 Come, let’s sing for joy to the LORD, Let’s shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.

The foundation that we build must be Christ, He is our Rock, our Shield and fortress. When we know the person of Jesus and His character we are able to rely and trust in Him as a firm foundation. It is when we are firm in the love God has for us, we will know that He will not abandon us, nor will He give way to the blows of life, the raging tempests, or the upheavals and whirlwinds that we may encounter. Jesus’ foundation is sure and no other person, organization, principality or power can cancel, invalidate or compare with the work Jesus has established and purchased for us.      

1Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Psalm 18: 2-3 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Romans 8:35 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When our hope is established in Christ and tied to the Rock of His Salvation, then we can obtain the peace of God in the midst of hard situations and circumstances. Jesus has given us His Peace is the Holy Spirit living in us. But to operate in this peace is a practiced skill. A skill is learned and practiced and with this practice we become better.

It is not always easy to calm our minds and souls in the face of life’s encounters, challenges and trials. However, the more we practice trusting God, relying on His word and believing in His love for us the better we become at quieting our spirit, while believing and resting in God, knowing that He will deliver us from that or any situation.

Psalm 34:15, 17, 19 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 

When the attacks of the enemy and confrontations from this fallen world comes at us, our natural impulse is to be anxious, restless or frightened but we must rise to our supernatural abilities which lie within us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our first tendency and slant may be the natural response, but we should not stay there. With immediate purpose of thought we should turn our minds and hearts to the word of God, His promises and the faithfulness of His love for us.

The sooner we are able to turn our hearts and minds to Christ the quicker we will be able to rest in His peace. God tells us many are the afflictions of the righteous but He will deliver us from them all. When life’s storms come we should be quick to remember that God is faithful to His word and with that truth we can practice resting in the Peace of God, knowing He will deliver us.

Psalm 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:1-2 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

Those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior through faith in the death burial and resurrection of Christ have received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit living in us and through us to teach us the word of God so that we may reveal and reflect His likeness, which is God’s glory on earth.

It is the Holy Spirit that teaches us how to walk in the peace of God in the midst of hardship and life’s storms. He is our Helper whom the Father has sent to help us remember God’s word in the midst of the battle and to enable us to have a peace that the world will not understand.

When the world sees us at peace they may mistake it for callousness, cold-heartedness or insensitivity. They do not understand that it is the power of God working in us to give us His Peace.

John 14: 26-37 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

In this life we will have battles. We should be quick to win the war, because the battle is in our mind, whether we will trust God with this conflict or not. It is with confidence in God’s word that we are able to be at peace in the midst of the storm. We should be quick to trust God and wait to see how He will settle the matter.

“Quicker war, quicker peace!”

Hope, what is Hope? In the Biblical context Hope is always attached to God! There are several words that are translated into the word hope in the Old and New Testament. With most of these words there are common themes which expressconfidence; a cord as an attachment; anticipation with pleasure;something waited for; something longed for; watching with expectation; to wait; to trust; to be confident and sure and to be bold. All of these expressions are rooted in Jehovah, God Almighty, who is able to perform that which we hope for. These cords of attachment are attached to the faithfulness, goodness and lovingkindness of God and His word.

Isaiah 49:23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, And their queens your nursing mothers; They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD, For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.”

Romans 4:17-18 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

The dictionary gives a more natural or worldly identification of the word, which is a watered-down definition of hope, as a feeling or a possibility of luck. It speaks to what is wanted or can be had; to believe or desire something; to feel something desired may happen or to place trust. The things related to our feelings are of the shallowest part of mankind’s existence in relationship to our mind, soul and spirit. With the mind we grasp understanding and come to a saving knowledge of God;the soul defines who we are as we develop our character, integrity and reputation; the spirit is the gift of life from God who is the source of life. Our feelings though they are a part of what makes us unique they are constantly changing as we grow in knowledge and experience life, but God is our constant, He never changes. 

Hope in the biblical context is attached and connected with a cord to faith in God and Jesus Christ our Savior. Therefore, it is impossible to have hope in God without faith in Jesus the Christ. Faith is credence and a moral conviction to the truthfulness, the faithfulness and trustworthiness of Jesus Christ and our reliance upon God for our salvation, assurance, belief and hope for our future.  

Our hope is rooted and grounded in faith in Jesus, He is ourhope and we are not ashamed to stand against the winds of doubt, uncertainty and the skepticism of people around us. Biblical hope is embedded and ingrained, founded and established in the knowledge and truth of our assurance in Christ. 

Though we may experience the same troubles, misfortunes and sufferings as the world, our responses and reactions are different. This is because we know in whom we have believed and know that He is able to keep us and bring us out with peace according to His purpose and calling for us. 

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 

The Bible tells us to not be terrified, alarmed or to panic when we are faced with dangers, difficulties and harsh conditions or when we stand before opposition from our adversaries or foes. Because when we stand in complete faith and hope without wavering in our Lord, it is a confirmation, a testimony and a clear verification to our adversaries of their destruction and punishment. While at the same time, this confidence speaks to our hope, salvation, deliverance and rescue that is coming from our Almighty God and Savior. 

Learning to trust in faithfulness of God is a practiced skill that we develop over time by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we are in a spiritual battle, or in a spiritual confrontation with our attackers we must learn how to stand in hope without hesitation, wavering or indecision as to whether we will trust God with this battle. 

Philippians 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.

Those who are familiar with hand-to-hand combat understand that they cannot blink or take their eyes off their adversary during the fight or conflict. A split second of indecision or losing sight of their opponent can cause them to lose the battle. “We don’t blink,” we are not terrified by our adversaries in the face of battle, but we stand firm in our hope and confidence in our God and that He is able to save us and give us the victory.  

Psalms 25:2-3 O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Psalms 71:1-3 In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.

As followers of Christ, our hope is fixed, joined and attached to the Almighty God Jehovah who is preeminent over all things. Unlike the world whose hope is that things might get better, or changes might come, like the roll of the dice, or through coincidence. Only to have their hope disappear like a vapor when things do not turn in their favor. Those who believe in Christ have the Holy Spirit living in them to empower them to stand and not waver. They can be still and wait on the Lord to settle the matter. 

Ruth 3:18 Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”

Philippians 1:19-20 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 

We will wait and see how the Lord settles the matter!

Many people want to make it big; they want to make their mark in life, or in history or with their family. This media driven culture feeds into the crazy rich, obsessiveness and preoccupation some people have with getting more. No matter how much a person may have, there can be an insatiable appetite and desire to have more, if left unrestrained or unrestricted.

Some people will look down upon those who do not have the big or the grand, or the latest and the greatest. We are instructed not to despise small beginnings; the smallest seed can grow into a great tree. God has given us all the ability to grow and fulfill purpose because we were created in His image. 

Zechariah 4:10 For who has despised the day of small things?For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”NKJ

In order to line up with God’s word we must change our mindset, the words we say and the way we think and how we view success in life. We have natural tendencies that have been developed since birth. But our spiritual and Christ centered perspectives must be established and cultivated through the understanding and grasping of the spiritual principles of God’s word, His ways and His kingdom on earth. 

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

To be consumed with the desire to have more money, more fame or more stuff has caused many people to lose focus on what is most important. They lose sight of quality family time,a healthy work/play balance and a good relationship withfriends and God.   Because they feed their eyes, emotions and flesh more than the time they spend to cultivate a loving heartand God like spirit. 

To be concerned with fulfilling one’s needs is one of the first and most basic acts we develop when we first enter this world. Whether it is craving and crying for milk or affection we all have the natural yearning and desire to have our needs met.  We are to develop and mature in God’s spiritual principles in order to have a greater understanding of God and to have a close relationship with the Father and Jesus our Lord.  We must choose to take our minds off the things of our former selfishness and refocus our minds on God’s principle and purpose for our lives. 

Ephesians 4:22-23 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, andthat you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

It is not wrong to want more or to do more because God gives us the ability to get wealth so that we may establish His covenant on the earth. When we look at those who were in a close relationship with God in the Old Testament, we see that they had wealth and were able to provide for themselves, their families and others. This is the purpose of God’s wealth, so that we may show His love and generosity to a world that is lacking. Through our lovingkindness, compassion, abundant charity and big-heartedness, we can give to those who do not have.  

Deuteronomy 8:18 And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Some people think it is a sin to be rich. This is just another deception of Satan to keep those created in God’s image from living up to their full potential and abilities. Or to hinder the spread of the good news of Christ, His love and salvation for the world. God created this whole world and all the riches in it for mankind to enjoy its wealth and beauty. Though it was corrupted by the enemy, Jesus came to restore what the enemy had taken and has given us the ability to grow and understand His principles. 

Mark 4:11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

It is the motive and the intent of the heart that concerns God.Many people’s eye gateway is focused on things of this world, they are lifted up in pride and self-conceit. Their attention is on how these things can bring them fame and recognition. God does not expect us to be content with nothingness, or to be without aspirations and goals. We are not to live without hope of increase, because we were created in His image with greatness in us. It is for this purpose we were created and it is our God given destiny to achieve increase for His glory. 

Our problem comes when we start comparing our life with those around us and our assignment in comparison with that of others. When we begin to despise our God given gift because it appears small in our own eyes then we become ungrateful and disheartened.  This is a trap of Satan that he has laid at the door of people to entice them to sin and to ignore God’s word and His ways and to give in to their own desires.   

Cain had the choice to bring God’s offering according to His word, a lamb without blemish, but he wanted to bring anoffering that was created by him, engulfed with pride. When God rejected Cain’s prideful offering his spirit fell and he descended into self-obsession, fixation and preoccupation of self. This led to Cain killing his brother because he refused to receive the correction of God’s word and was consumed with jealousy and self-importance. Self-pride will always lead to destruction, be it self or others. 

Genesis 4:6  So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Our God given life is about us living a God like life of growth, it is about living a fruitful life which is based on the principle of seed time and harvest time. All that God created in the earth has the seed of reproduction within itself, so that it may produce after its own kind. It is a principle that will remain as long as the earth remains, a small seed will produce much fruit when it is planted and cultivated according to its life cycle.  

Genesis 1:11-12  Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest,Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

In the parable of the man who was given the one talent and did nothing with it, God called him wicked and lazy. He wasconsumed with fear, which is another trap of the enemy. Instead, He should have transacted business with the one talenthe was given and not worry about what he did not have or how much other people may have had.

Matthew 25:24-27 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Every person will be responsible for the seed they were given, whither many or a few, we all will give an account for our time on this earth and how we spent His gift of life. If we are given a few things, let us do them well with a grateful heart knowing that God has given to us according to our abilities. And if we were given much, let us transact business well with a generous heart that we may show the lovingkindness and compassion of God to a world full of despair, lack and hopelessness. 

Luke 12:47-48 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

To those who are given much, much more is required of them. To the person who was given five talents, he earned five more. To the person who received one talent an increase was expected. Whatever state we are in, God requires growth and improvement. So, we are not to look down on those with little or despise those with small beginnings but we are to rejoice with hope and great expectation that God’s word is true. When we cultivate seed according to His will, we will have increase according to His word.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

As long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest time!

Many followers of Christ understand that Jesus died on the cross so that their sins would be forgiven, so that they would be reconciled back into the family of God and have eternal life. But Jesus did far more than that through His life and death at the cross. Jesus not only purchased eternal life for us, but also alife of peace, health and wellbeing.

Jesus gave us a new life, a new way of living that we may livean abundant life on earth, when we operate in His kingdom principles. Jesus was Wounded to pay for our transgressionsand misbehavior; He was bruised for our iniquity and crimes against God; He was chastised in our stead that we may havepeace, and He received the stripes we deserved so that we are now able to have health and healing. 

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. NKJ

God’s laws did not change, the wages of sin is death and the consequences of mankind’s transgression and misbehavior, are chastisement and unrest, sickness and disease.  Jesus came as a man and all these things He receive as the punishment that was due us for our rebellion and to settle the debt mankind owed to God for our disobedience. 

Now there are two systems in operation within this world. One is where fallen mankind is still operating under the oppression of Satan, choosing to follow their own thoughts and enticement, while being blinded by the enemy. The other is where mankind receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior, where He has paid for their sins and purchased for them a new life, new family and new kingdom. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Everyone has a will and everyone has the same choices, to accept Jesus or reject Jesus’ payment for their sin. If they choose to reject Him they must stand before God on their own to give an account for their actions, deeds, rebellion and sins. Mankind is bound to the one they obey. Whether it is to sin, and the satisfying of the desires of the flesh or obedient, fastened and connected by the Holy Spirit to the things of God.

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 

Jesus did much more than just die for our sins, though that alone would have been more than enough. He saved us from eternal destruction but He also came that we may have an abundant and prosperous life on earth. This is not to say that life will not have its challenges, difficulties and hard times, it will, because we live in a sinful world full of sinful people. But,our outlook and perspectives are different because we know God has a plan for us and we know in the end we will be victorious.  We too will go through the same difficulties as the world but God has provided a way of escape. He will give us a peace that the world will not understand, because we know how to operate in His kingdom ways and principles. 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The stripes that were imposed on Jesus were the ones we warranted and deserved because of the rebellion and insubordination against God our Creator, Lord and King. Jesus took the sickness and disease that we deserved and instituted the Lord’s Supper. This is a new covenant with His blood that was shed to take away our sins and to restore health and healing to those who believe in the healing power of His blood. 

Matthew 26:26-28 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread,blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Jesus took on the wounds that our transgression, disobedience and misbehavior deserved. He was bruised for the iniquity, evil and injustices we committed. The penalties for our sins were paid by Jesus and we are no longer in sin debt to God.  Jesus was chastised, scolded and criticized, He took on this punishment, rebuke and the penalty we earned from our disobedience, so that we may live at peace with God and have peace on earth. 

Nehemiah 9: 31 Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; For You are God, gracious and merciful.

All the condemnation the world tries to place on us was laid on Jesus. When we come to God in Christ for His forgiveness we also receive His peace. Though our life choices do have consequences, God has provided a way of escape and will work those things out for our good and His glory.  We are not punished for our sins because Jesus has paid it all. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.   Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 

For all who by faith believe in Jesus as their Lord and King, God has given them the Holy Spirit to help them in their weaknesses. God knows our heart and mind and the Spirit of God intercedes for us that we may walk according to His will. Though our life choices may not be perfect, God knows how to take what the enemy meant to be evil against us and work it so that it can be used for the testament of God’s goodness, mercy and His glory. 

1 Peter 2:24-25 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.   For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain but He washed me white as snow.

Some people are astonished at the fact that God would send His only begotten Son to die for sinful mankind. They speak of what a cold and heartless Father He must be to do such a thing to His Son, to allow Him to be beaten and crucified.   Yet they are blinded to the great love He has for us and all who are created in His image. 

The Father’s love is so great that He would allow His Precious Son to give His life for those who had no hope. Perspective is everything! How we view a matter is of the utmost importance. The enemy is constantly trying to blind the eyes of humanity of the great love God has for us.

John 12:40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” NKJ

Jesus’ great love for His people, moved him to lay down His life, though He despised the shame of the cross. It gave Him joy knowing that we would be forgiven and spend eternity with Him, so He endured the shame.  Jesus chose to lay down His life for us. God was not a tyrant Father who made Jesus come to this earth and die. The Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are always on one accord. 

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It was the love that Jesus has for us that compelled Him to give His life for His people and God the Father was moved with compassion, mercy and forgiveness and allowed it. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that moves and indwells every true follower of Christ that brings them to the saving knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.  This is the Trinity at work on one accord for the salvation of mankind. 

1 Thessalonian 1:3-4 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 

Our perspective will determine how we see and view God as a Father who offers up His Son for the sins of others. This can appear to be an act of a cruel and merciless Father with little or no regard for His Son. Yet, in reality it was a loving Father, a Sovereign God and His plan of redemption, salvation and restoration, for the rescue and recovery of His people and to glorify His Son above all.  

What appeared to be a cruel act, by a fallen world, was in truth a loving act of God our Father, full of compassion and mercy extending deliverance to His creation. God showing mercy and grace that we may live again and have an abundant life on earth and live eternally with Him in glory. For this reason, we must study God’s word to understand His kingdom principles and to know God our Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent. In this knowledge we are able to have peace and discern what is best from that which may appear to be good.   

2 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,   by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Satan is continuously lying to mankind and accusing God of being a cruel and heartless tyrant, while accusing mankind of not really loving God, but only caring for what they can get from Him.  It takes the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and His everlasting love for us. 

When we see what Jesus’ act purchased for us and the greatness of the riches and the glory God has given through Christ, then we will begin to understand how great the love God has for us. God loves all humanity, all mankind and all who were created in His image, and that is why He sent His Son to deliver us from destruction. 

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God loved us so much that He would not leave us in our corrupt, evil and wicked state. It would have been fitting for God to just save our souls from eternal destruction and leave us to pay for the consequences of our disobedience on earth.  But through God’s constraint He moved on our behalf with His tender mercy and great compassion that we might not only have eternal life but abundant life on earth. 

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Heartfelt thanks be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ–the Father who is full of compassion and the God who gives all comfort. 

Psalm 103:4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

May God give us knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. May we be granted wisdom to hate evil, pride and arrogance and to understand His kingdom ways and principles. May we also be given discernment to make the best choices for ourselves and family.  That we may have Favor with God and man to fulfill His purpose, to show His love to a dying world and to reflect and reveal His glory on earth. 

Daniel 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 

Hosea 2: 19-20 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord.

Jesus was sent by God His Father with a Divine purpose, to give His life that others may be saved. When we look at the life of Jesus we see the example that is set before us as followers of Christ. This same Divine purpose and assignment has beengiven to every true believer in Christ, to die to self, lay down their pride and to give their life that others may live and have eternal life.

John 20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

We must change the way we think about suffering and sacrifice for the gospel’s sake. When we look at the life of Christ and of those who walked closely with God we see the same pattern of self-sacrifice for the betterment and the greater good of others.And also, for the glory of God being magnified not only on earth but in the heavens and in the spirit realm.

Jesus was despised and rejected by the people He came to save. Jesus carried our griefs and sorrows, he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and He was chastised of men so that we could have peace in this life. 

Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 

We must adjust the way we view and measure success. We have to recalibrate our thinking and the way we view life, by resetting our goals and what we call success, which is most often the world’s way of measuring success. This is because this fallen world’s images stay before our eyes in every form of media. 

We are to set the life of Christ before us, let our eyes be open to His light, that the truth of His word must be the plumb line or the measure of our success and upward growth. God gave the prophet Amos the picture of the plumb line as a symbol of the standard of which God has for His people. This represents the requirement for those who are faithful to His word and as a way to measure or gauge their faithfulness to His divine calling.  

Amos 7: 7-8 Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand.  And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said: ‘Behold I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. 

At every turn we are being fed a steady diet of covetousness, materialism, greed and narcissism, which is shown to us in every outlet of media and social media, written or electronically. The enemy wants our eyes and minds fixed on the things and the corruptions of this world, so that we do not have time to read and meditate the truth of God’s word. 

Psalms 101:3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. NKJ

We wonder why our children and families are so self-centered and narcissistic. It is what they are seeing and being taught subliminally, without them knowing it, through all the noise, voices and distractions the world is sending out. It is in every toy and cereal commercial, in every clothes and shoe commercial or ad. This fallen world is telling us and our children that we need these material things to be happy, to be accepted or to have worth.  

Psalms 4:20-24 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my saying. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. 

As the Father has sent Jesus, so Jesus has sent us. We are toldto die to self as a kernel of grain dies when it is sown into the soil that it may produce a greater harvest. It is when we die to our selfish concerns that our lives are being planted by God, into the lives of others that they too may receive eternal life. Just as Jesus did for us. This is a hard saying, and not many can take it. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit and the will of every follower of Christ to accept this truth from God and pray to God to give them the will and the power to do His great work.

John 12:24-26 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

We are told not to be weary, disenchanted or fed up withdoing well, because in doing good and helping others, we will be rewarded. We rewarded if we do not become faint hearted and give up before we accomplish the assignment God has given us. We may get tired, exhausted and drained as we serve and engage the hurt and wounded, the oppressed and marginal but we are to come to God, our Source so that He may restore and refresh us.

We are not to get disillusioned or jaded with doing good to those who may not appreciate us, or to those who may not be lovely in their response to us. Because God will reward us if we do not faint or do not give up. Let the Lord be our Shepherd the one who feeds us and restores and refreshes our soul.

Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

That same Jesus who was despised and rejected by men, is still being rejected. It is the life of Jesus that lives in us that thisworld also hates and rejects. It is the resemblance and reflection of God’s glory that is upon us that is being attacked by Satan, who has set himself up as God’s enemy. Satan reviles, hates and scorns all humanity because there are created in the image of God, and as the people of God we are to reflect and reveal God’s glory on the earth.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Just as Jesus laid down His life without murmuring or complaining, so are we to be the example before this crooked and perverse world. We are to let the light of Christ shine through us and not allow our own selfish concerns to take priority. We can do this by holding fast to what the word of God tells us, so that we will rejoice with Christ and our labor will not be in vain.

Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all

John 20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

The life of every true follower of Christ is one that must die to self-service and be poured out for His service. We will rejoice when we see the souls of those whose lives we sowed into, living with Christ for eternity. 

This can only be done when we have received the Holy Spirit of God living in us and through us. We are called to be broken bread and poured out wine for those around us.

Many people have their own beliefs, opinions and perspectives that have been shaped by their families, communities and lifestyle. The information that we have been fed from our upbringing is the only information we have at the time. Though the information we have may not be truth, but it is what we have been taught, given from someone’s opinion, their teaching or philosophy.  Most times these teachings are developed for the benefit and/or the protection of that particular family or people group. There is only one truth, while there may be many opinions and perspective, but Jesus is the only way “the truth” and the life. 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJ

As young children we accept the teaching we receive from our parents and adult authorities as real when in actuality they may not be fact, but only the information that they have been limited to or had access to.  As we mature into adulthood we find ourselves evaluating and questioning those presumed facts, beliefs and opinions. We see this with our teenagers as they transition from adolescence to adulthood, they start reevaluating the information they received to see if these beliefs and opinions line-up with their experience. 

There are so many perspectives, opinions and beliefs that portray themselves as truth but in reality they are lies,deceptions and just smoke and mirrors. That is why we must be sure of what is the real truth and how to authenticate what is true and then accurately communicate that truth to our children, family and community. 

Johns 18:37-38a Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”…

As Pilate asked, people are still asking that same question, “What is truth?” Jesus stated, for this reason and for this root cause He was born into the world, that He should display, exhibit, make evident and be a witness to what truth really is. Truth is not part of this fallen world’s views and biases but truth is according to the word of God.  Without the truth of God’s word men would not have been able to believe by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and then to receive Him as their Lord and Savior. 

Jesus has revealed to us what truth is and has told us the He is the truth, life and the way to God our Father, Creator and Sustainer. 

Jesus “is the way,” the way we should live life on earth as God’s creation to reflect His glory on the earth.  

Jesus “is the truth,” the truth of God’s word to us and the truth of who we are and who we were created to be as God’s ambassadors to reflect and reveal His truths to those who live in lies and darkness.

Jesus “is the life,” He is the One who gives us eternal life that we may have everlasting life with God our Father for all eternity while experiencing an abundant life here on earth.  

John 17:17-19 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus’ prayer to God the Father is that He would sanctify us by His truth and that His word is truth. Many people have the wrong concept of the word sanctify, because of what they have been taught. Some people believe to be sanctified is to remove sin or to be without sin. Jesus said He sanctified Himself, that we may also be sanctified. Jesus did not have any sin to remove but He separated Himself and set Himself apart from His heavenly glory so that we through faith in Christ and the truth of God’s word may also be set apart from this world. 

To sanctify is to set apart, to dedicate, to bless, hallow or to respect. Jesus is asking God the Father to make a difference between His people and the world. To separate them from this fallen system, to bless them to give them honor and respect.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.   And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Before the foundation of the world was laid Jesus was with God in the beginning, He was the Word of God and He was with God and Jesus is God. All things were created by Jesus and He made everything in perfect harmony with God our Father. He also gave His creation, mankind a will, that is the ability to choose their allegiance. It was Satan that brought sin and darkness into the world. Fallen humanity was blinded to the truth of God’s word after they rejected God’s truth for Satan’s lie. Jesus came back to restore truth and gave mankind the opportunity to choose once again God’s truth over the lie of the world. 

John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

For those who choose Christ as their Savior, Jesus states, if they abide in His word they are His disciples through the actions and deeds that they perform. It is the word of God that instructs us on what truth is and gives us the ability to discern God’s best from what the world calls good.  

We shall know the truth and the truth that we know, will make us free. To know with understanding the word of God is different than just hearing words spoken without any intellectual insight or understanding in our mind. The truth that we should know, is the truth that is in God’s word. When we have a real understanding and knowledge of God’s word and put into practice what God’s word say on a matter, then we are able to be free from the bondage, oppression, suppression and burden this fallen world system tries to bring us into.   

What is Truth? Jesus, His life His words and His love for us is true reality of life. Satan is a deceiver, a thief and a liar but Jesus came to expose the enemies lies and to give us a life that will fulfill our purpose, which is to reflect and reveal God to lost world.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJ

John 10: The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The truth we need to know is that Jesus is the only way to Godthe Father. In Him is life, not only eternal life in some far-off future, but the way for us to live an abundant life on earth.

The “How” to Forgiveness

We spoke on who we are to forgive, everyone everything. We have explained what we are to do, forgive, because it is a directive from our Lord and King to forgive. We are told when we are to forgive, today, “let not the sun go down on your wrath.” We are informed where, from the heart, not in eye service before men but as unto the Lord we are to do this service. Why, because the blood and death of Jesus is precious to God His Father who forgave us our great debt against Himfor His Son’s sake. Now let us speak on the How of our forgiveness, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit and by faith in the completed work of Christ.

Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 

Ephesians 4:6 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. NKJ

Ephesian 6:6-7 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 

Hebrews 3:15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

How to perform every command of God is the same as the steps we take to be saved, the steps we follow to the call of faith in Christ unto salvation. All that God requires of us He has provided by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ. The how to perform for His good pleasure is given to us by the Holy Spirit. 

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Once we receive Christ as our Savior He becomes our Lord and King and through the power of the Holy Spirit we have the ability to forgive others no matter the hurt, loss, offence or debt.

The same steps of faith to receive the power of salvation, are the same steps of faith we take to obtain the forgiveness for others. They are same steps we take to receive the answers to all the promises of God, answers to our prayers and our petition to God for provision and protection. The steps of faith unto salvation are the same we need for the forgiveness of ourselves and others. 

The first step to the call of salvation is to acknowledge we are sinners in need of the Savior. The second step is to believe in our heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, to pay the sin debt that we owed God for our rebellion. The third step is to confess or to affirm that Jesus is our Lord. This is called the AB C of the gospel of faith. We use these same ABC steps to obtain the forgiveness we need toward others and are the same steps to receive any promise of God. 

Acknowledge the truth of what His word states on the matter. Father we acknowledge our wrong and our sin in that we are not letting go of our hurt, resentment and bitterness as our Lord and King has commanded us.

Believe and have faith in God to do what He promised in His word on the matter. Father in our heart we believe you are God and raised Jesus from the dead and through the power of the death and blood of Jesus, You forgave the whole world their sins.

Confess and keep on professing and affirming God’s word regarding the matter. Jesus as Lord of our life we askyou to give us the forgiveness we need to let this thing go and create in us a clean heart and right spirit.

When we acknowledge our sins, this is our will agreeing withGod’s word, that His word is right and we were wrong in our rebellious sinned against Him. We must acknowledge our wrong and our need for forgiveness. Many people want to cover their sins and pretend as though they did not sin but they are calling God a liar. When they refuse to acknowledge their wrong or as Adam did, blame someone else, they are saying they are right and God is wrong.

1 John 1: 8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

We are to believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. This is not just a head knowledge of Jesus or some dreamy belief that Jesus was just a good person, a good teacher or just a prophet. To believe in one’s heart, is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who gave His life that we might have eternal and abundant life. This belief is from our heart and is a firm conviction and certainty of faith that God raised Jesus from the dead for our sins.

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

With our mouth we confess Jesus to be our Lord, Savior and King. Some people want to believe in Jesus but are afraid to confess Him before their friends, family or community. Just as those, who lived during the life of Christ, who believed in Jesus, yet they refused to commit or confess their beliefs because they wanted to be accepted by the leaders and into the synagogues. To have faith in God’s word requires a corresponding action that reveals and reflects our belief. 

John12:42-43 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

James 2:19-20 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 

Words are powerful and they are important to God, He created the whole universe with words. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died and was raised again for our sins, and we confess and commit to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we shall be saved. 

Jesus had to die for us to be forgiven of God. It was the death and blood of Jesus that allows us to be forgiven and also allowsus to be in right standing with God. God has forgiven our sinsand has given us a directive to forgive others.  We receive this forgiveness by faith just as we receive salvation by faith. Though our feelings may not change immediately, we must have faith to know that God has given us the forgiveness we asked for, towards others. 

When the enemy comes and tries to bring those old feelings of resentment back, we are to remind him that the blood of Jesus has paid for that debt and they are forgiven and so are we. 

This is not to say people will get away with their wrongs, vengeance is God and He will repay the unrighteous for their acts. Forgiveness allows us to be set free from the pain and to trust God to act on our behalf. We no longer have to feel responsible for paying someone for what they did to us, or have to feel ashamed or belittled because of some wrong done to us. We can now have faith and trust in God’s word and that He is faithful to His word. 

Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.’

This does not mean we have to allow those who does us harm into our space. God does not want His children to be misused and though we forgive them, we do not have to give those who harm us space or access into our lives.

Some people may think they can be a follower of Christ, and even call themselves Christians, while they are unforgiving toward others, but they are self-deceived and living in darkness. They are not in right standing with God.  Some may ask, why is forgiveness so important to God and why must we forgive everyone for the wrong they have done to us? 

God in His love for all humanity sent His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the whole world. So that those who choose to believe in the death and the blood of Jesus as their payment for sin and accept Jesus as the Lord and King, they will have eternal life with Christ.  To refuse to forgive a person is refusing the blood Jesus shed on the cross for all humanity.

John3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  NKJ

It is man’s pride and self-centeredness that causes them to hold on to their hurt, anger and resentment and thereby refuse to forgive others while they disobey God. He has commanded us to forgive so that we may be forgiven. They want God’s mercy and grace for the forgiveness of their sins and yet they will deny others that same grace, charity and forbearance. Often it is because they are stuck in the old mindset of fallen mankind where their vanity and self-importance, rise above the blood of Christ and His death. Our obedience should be to the word of God and the call of God to forgive. 

Matthew 18:32-35 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother ]his trespasses.”

God was operating out of His true nature, which is love, when He sent Jesus to pay for our sins. He saw mankind in their sin and depravity and with great compassion He sent Jesus to be the propitiation or payment that they could not make for their own sins. The blood of Jesus and His death, is precious in the sight of God and yet He offered up His Son and Jesus gave His life that the world and all mankind could be forgiven. To refuse to forgive is to refuse the blood of Jesus, which to God our Father, was a great price that Christ paid for their offenses.

Many people have refused God’s offer of grace, His mercy and love, which is salvation through belief and faith in Jesus Christ.  To all who believe by faith in Jesus’ completed work of redemption and choose to confess Him as their Lord, Savior and King before this world, they will be reborn into the family of God and have eternal life.  

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

1 John 2: 1b-2 And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.    

Jesus had to die for us to be forgiven of God. It was the death and blood of Jesus that allows us to be forgiven and also allowsus to be in right standing with God. If God has forgiven our sins, who is man to bring a charge against someone when Jesus has died and paid their sin debt. God has made restitution for our freedom. Who is man to condemn or hold an offense toward another when we have been forgiven such a great debt of sin ourselves. 

Romans 8:32-34 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?   Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.   Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Refusing to forgive someone is refusing the blood of Christ which was paid for everyone’s sin, that they may be forgiven. Refusing to forgive someone is not an act against that person but against God. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the one who committed the offense but everything to do with the heart of one who was offended. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God in us that our hearts are able to be free to forgive others. To refuse to forgive is to refuse the gift of God’s love in our lives.

Some people are waiting for an apology or an acknowledgement of the wrong doing by the person who did them wrong. They think they are justified in requiring the offender to confess and give an admission of guilt. That is because their pride is sitting on the throne of their heart while Jesus and the love of Christ has been dethroned. It is the love of Christ that indwells our heart through the Holy Spirit that give us the will and the strength to do God’s good pleasure and Hisgood work of forgiveness.

Philippians 2:13-14 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing,

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Forgiveness is not an option but a directive from our Lord and King! Forgiveness may not be a prerequisite, requirement or condition of salvation, but it is the evidence of true salvation! Forgiveness is the sign, the proof and the mark of authentic and sincere salvation, with the love of God ruling in our hearts and lives through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. 

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

God requires a forgiving heart. We are to forgive everyone, everything.

God has committed to His people the ministry of reconciliationand this is done through intercessory prayer. Jesus Christ is our example; He died and gave Himself as payment to make restitution for the debt mankind owed but was not able to pay. We as followers of Christ are to die to self, pride and offense when others misuse us and forgive their wrong doing, and we are to intercede for them and to bring them before our Father in prayer. That is the example Jesus set for us on the cross when He died for us and prayed for us saying, “Father forgive them…”

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting theirwrong doings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Luke 23:34 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Though God is the creator and over all things, He gave dominion of the earth and all that is in it to mankind. God does not go back on His word; He gave mankind authority and they gave it to Satan. Thereby, God will work with mankind to accomplish His will on the earth. This is why Jesus came as the Son of Man that He may have legal right and authority, as a Man, to operate in the earth to save mankind and to regain what they had lost and turned over to Satan. This is also why God works in collaboration with humanity and not autonomously, independently or on His own, regarding the things within the earthly realm. God has respect for the words He has spoken and God does not go back on His word. 

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.   He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.   But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God reconciled us to Himself and forgave us by faith throughthe death of Christ and He also put us in right standing with Himself through Christ. Our collaborative work with God is to reconcile others to Christ, through forgiveness and intercessory prayer that they may come to the saving knowledge of God by faith in the completed work of Christ. 

As followers of Christ, we must accept our calling to bring those who have hurt us and those who are hurt, full of hate and anger before God in prayer to intercede for them. We are to pray that God would open their eyes to the light of the gospel, of the good news of Christ and to bring them out of darkness so that their souls will be saved and that they may be reunite with their Lord and Sovereign King.   

Acts 28:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Some people want to say they believe in the life of Christ and may want him to save them from their sins, but they refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Master. Many want to be saved but will not allow Jesus to command or direct their lives on earth or tell them they are to obey His word. God is calling us into a relationship with Himself as Father and child where there is reverence and respect as a loving Father who teaches,corrects, disciplines and guides us in the way we should go. 

God is not calling us just to believe in Jesus, the word says “the demons believe and tremble.” God is calling us into a relationship where He is Lord over our lives and we are to be like Christ, to follow Christ and His life’s example on the earth. That is so we may reveal and reflect God’s glory on the earth. And like Christ, this may even be at the cost of giving up our comfort, our reputation, or even our lifestyle for the revealing of the truth of God’s love and forgiveness on the earth. 

James 2:19-20 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!   But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 

God is our Sovereign King, Almighty God, Jehovah and Lord of all, the one who has purchased us at the price of His Son’s life so that we are no longer our own. We as followers of Christ are not to live for our selfish concerns and desires.  Though we were once sinners and aliens to the commonwealth and family of God we are now made to be children of God, the product of His craftmanship. God is creating us to be like Christ for the good work of reconciliation and intercession for the lost and forthose who offend and mistreat us.

Ephesians 2: 10-13   For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

The old man has passed away, the self-centered, prejudiced and unforgiving person is no longer who we are. As followers of Christ, we have been made a new creature by the power of the Holy Spirit. Though we may still have to fight against the old flesh and those natural affinities that we want to stay connected to. In the past we have aligned and affiliated ourselves according to our race, ethnicity and national ties, which is part of who God created us to be. But these things cannot take precedence or prominence over Christ and the love of God in us. Only God can have preeminence, absolute authority over who we are and how we live our lives. That is what the Lord and Master does, He leads, directs, rules and governs our lives.

Ephesians 2:15-18 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Jesus came and abolished all the reasons for disunity, prejudice, hostilities and biases according to the flesh and made us to be one new person in Christ.  Many people want to say they believe in Jesus but they will not obey Him, they refuse to give up their natural affinities prejudices and also refuse to forgive others, they live in self-centeredness and pride.

They refuse to show the love of Christ because they do not have the love of God living in them. They will say “It does not take all of that, we do not have to forgive or love others, God knowsme and made me who I am.”  But, they have listened to the liesof the enemy, God did not make man in that way or in that image. 

1 John 4:20-21 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Jesus is our High Priest in heaven where He is making intercession for us before God the Father. We are called to be kings and priests on the earth, where the king has dominion over his kingdom and also the responsibility to provide and protect his people. A priest is one who represents the people before God one who also intercedes and prays for the people before God. Though mankind slayed Christ, He forgave them and though they turned their backs on Him, yet He said He would never leave them nor forsake them. This is how we too must be like Christ, to not be easily offended and to forgive and pray for those who have wronged us. 

Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 

In God’s love we are called to intercede for others and to bring them into reconciliation, where there is no room for unforgiveness. This is only done through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we must forgive everyone, everything.

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