You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘forgiveness’ tag.


I think, in all of scripture, the one passage that spoke to me most on my journey out of the self-imposed wilderness I was in was the passage in Luke 22 where Jesus predicts Simon Peter’s failure. But the story didn’t stop with his failure. Peter’s failure (by human standards) was God’s tool for greatness. Peter’s failure was the means by which his Heavenly Father made him the leader God needed to empower and encourage his church in the early years.

The best part of the story is that Jesus prayed for Peter. He didn’t pray that Peter would be delivered, he prayed he would be strengthened. He didn’t pray Peter would fail, he prayed that WHEN (not if) Peter returned, he would encourage us.

Peter’s spiritual failure didn’t make him perfect, but it gave him an new outlook on life; a new appreciation for grace and forgiveness; a new energy to reach out to the struggling.

Nothing much has changed. We still fail. Jesus still prays for our strength. We still have a ministry. I hurt when I think of all the wasted years; all the unwritten stories; all the changed lives that could happen if we realized God can use your weakness to be strong in him.

Have you failed? You are a valuable tool in God’s kingdom. Don’t stop at the sifting. Let the grace and power of Jesus Christ strengthen you for the work God has for you. Don’t live in failure any longer!


What are we here for as believers? What was the constant message Jesus tried to instill in his followers? What task did he leave for us? What parting prayer did he offer to the Father God before his death?

Judging from what I see in social media today and hear spoken from the pulpits of some of our churches, our goal is to defend God and his word. Now, before you stop reading, let me say that Paul and others are very adamant about standing firm on the Word of God. It’s not only important, it’s a requirement.

However, in reading today’s verse, it occurred to me that perhaps our error is not in the standing, but in how we stand; it’s not in the message, it’s how it’s delivered; it’s not in making things ‘right’ but in being God’s light.

Paul seems to be stating here (and I encourage you to check the context) that his goal, and ours should be to present people to God as perfect. I envision the opportunity to present to God a brightly colored package with your name on it. Here is ‘suzy’ God. I’ve shown her your love. I’ve used the wisdom you gave me to bring her to you. I’ve relied on your power to make the change within. She is my gift to you.

Jesus attracted people by the thousands because he showed them God’s love and God’s truth in a perfect balance that couldn’t be resisted. That’s why the woman at the well, when her faults were exposed, ran to the village and said come and see the one…!

What gift are you working on today?


We live in a culture that comes just short of ridiculing anyone who implies they need help. We like our independence. We like to be able to say “I did it! And I did it my way!”

Ironically, at the same time, Psychologists tell us that we are a ‘lonely people’. A recent study showed that nearly half of the people interviewed felt isolated and alienated from their peers.

I wonder if Solomon was thinking of loneliness and alienation when he wrote these verses in Ecclesiastes. Certainly as king of Israel he needed no one, and if he did, they were at his beck and call. Yet there was a loneliness there. A realization that no one is an island regardless of their political, social or financial stature.

While there are exceptions of course, generally speaking people who reach out to help people are generally those that others are willing to help. Jesus story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that everyone is our neighbor and so, each of us has a responsibility to reach out a helping hand. The help we receive isn’t a reason to help, it’s a side-benefit.


Those who have been bruised know pain like no one else. They’ve experienced the rejection. They have endured the guilt. They have wandered the wilderness of loneliness. No two bruised reeds handle pain in the same way. Some explain it away; some hide it under denial, chemicals or pseudo relationships. Some wear it as a badge and look for some sort of comfort in letting others know about their pain. This works for awhile, until people get tired of hearing about it.

The smoldering wicks of our world die a thousand deaths every day. The unmet expectations of others constantly remind them of their failure and guilt. The constant attacks of their inner being shame them into the realization (in their eyes) that they will never amount to anything; that they were some sort of cosmic mistake.

Jesus brings justice if we will listen. Unlike the justice of our society, which is based on man’s external assessment of the situation, the justice Jesus brings is truth. Not truth based on societies standards. Not truth which will come at some point in the future, truth that is here today. Jesus tells us the real truth about us. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two. He’s seen every bruise. He knows every crushed dream. He’s gentle with your past failures (including the self-inflicted ones) and seeks to fan into flame the potential he gave you when he created you in his image to be a masterpiece.

Jesus knows the truth about you and loves you passionately.


No one would dispute the desire for justice, except, perhaps for those who know they are guilty. Even then, the guilty often find some reason to justify their actions. It’s easy to play the blame game. I wouldn’t do this if they hadn’t done what they did. Or, “Yeah, maybe I’m guilty of this, but what I did isn’t nearly as bad as what they did.”

The fickle attitude of society seems to gravitate towards an idea that ‘justice is that which gives my opinion, my people group, my passion the advantage’. Justice in our society changes with time and is often dependent on the general attitude of society. Things that seemed ‘wrong’ 25 years ago are socially acceptable.

True justice transcends time and opinion of man. The good news is true justice never changes and benefits mankind because of it’s stability. The bad news is that true justice, while beneficial over all, is inflexible. God speaks through his prophet Amos and reminds us that true justice is the plumb line of God’s word. There is no wavering.

Many may see that as intolerant but God’s law is governed by love. Perfect love, like true justice, casts out fear. Living according to God’s law brings stability, a sense of purpose and reassurance based on the promise that God is love. Even when we fail him he reaches out to us and offers forgiveness.

You can trust the true justice of God because you can trust God’s promises. We live in a world of turmoil now, but someday his justice will be the unmistakeable law of the land.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,701 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • Lies, Lies, nothing but Lies
    From our series "Keys to Freedom: The Ten commandments" Speaking the truth in love glorifies God and protects us from attack.
  • Faithful above all else
    From our series, "Keys to Freedom: The Ten commandments" Adultery, whether physical or spiritual, destroys relationships but forgiveness is possible through grace.
  • God is Pro-Life
    From our series, "Keys to Freedom: The Ten commandments" Since each of us are made in God’s image, and each of our days are ordained by Him, we should never intentionally take a life in anger or revenge.
  • The Freedom Honor Brings
    From our series, "Keys to Freedom: The Ten commandments" Honoring our parents is foundational to gaining and giving respect to others and to God.
  • The Rest Jesus Gives
    From our series, "Keys to Freedom: The Ten commandments" The rest Jesus gives frees us from the cares of life when we take time to remember who our deliverer is.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Archives

February 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: