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


The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

All great love stories seem to have the same general plot. You have the hero, the villain and the beautiful damsel in distress that needs to be rescued. The hero will often risk his own life in a battle to the end in order to win the love of his life. No one will stop the mighty man of valor from destroying the enemy in order to win the hand of the one he loves.

When I read Zephaniah 3:17 that’s what I think of, a love story like none other. The God of the universe loves me so much the he pursues me. He will not be denied. The villain is dastardly. It can be relational dysfunction. It can be addictions or worry or an unforgiving spirit. It can be bitterness or physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Whatever it is that attacks me is no match for the power of this mighty warrior who refuses to let me fail.

In the midst of the battle I grow weary. I question whether I’m worth the fight. I see myself as weak and unattractive. I focus on my failures and my past mistakes. Sometimes I even willingly put myself in position for the enemy to attack!

He will not be thwarted. He will not allow me to fall victim to the strategy of the enemy. When I’m at my worst, the mighty warrior is at his best, staying by my side and taking great delight in me.

During those darkest nights. During those times when the battle seems too great and the enemy seems ready to claim the final victory over my soul, I hear music. I hear a beautiful love song in my ear. I listen and am surprised to hear that I am the subject of the love song! Imagine that! Even though I fail on daily basis, the God of heaven takes such great delight in me that he writes a song just for me. In the midst of the battle, that is what I want to remember. I want to hear the words of love and praise my Father in Heaven has for me. I am loved deeply. I’m worth the fight. My warrior will rescue me no matter what the enemy may say.

PRAYER: Father God, my mighty warrior. I’ve failed so many times. My past is strewn with lost battle after lost battle against the enemy. Still, you love me so much you take great delight in who I am. Such truth is too great for me to comprehend. Forgive me for those times I’ve rebelled and ignored your presence. Thank you for your forgiveness, your love and my very own love song. In Jesus name, Amen.


Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34

There is one thing we will never be short of. There may be shortages of gas, or food, or money, but there will never be a shortage of people who are ready, willing and able to condemn us for something.

Sometimes, if we are honest, we get accused of things that are really pretty accurate. If you are like me you say things that you really wished you hadn’t said, or found a better time and way to say the things you needed to say.

Other times, however, people seem to line up ready to put us down for everything from the way we do our jobs to the clothes we wear. There will never be a shortage of people who find fault with us.

The whole eighth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Roman believers centers on one theme. We are not condemned! With Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are not answerable to anyone but him. He owns us. When we sin, and we will, he is the one we must confess our sins to. Do we ask forgiveness to the one we’ve harmed? Yes, of course. But sometimes people we ask forgiveness to like to keep reminding us of our faults. We don’t need to listen to that.

People may refuse to forgive us in order to hold us captive. In Jesus we have freedom. Not only did he die for you and rise from the dead so you could live. He goes before the Father on a daily basis to pray for you and to plead your case before God himself.

Do you have someone in your life that is holding you captive by reminding you of your fault? Are you bound by a guilty conscience for the things you’ve done in your past or the people you’ve hurt either intentionally or unintentionally? Today is the day to be free!

Jesus died for all of your sins once. There’s no need to keep killing yourself. Confess your sins to him. Ask forgiveness of others when needed. Then let go of the guilt and condemnation you and others put on yourself. In Jesus, you are free! When you live your life with a clear conscience before Christ you won’t be bound by the fickle emotions of those around you.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. We both know I’ve made a lot of bad choices in my life. I’ve hurt people, done my own selfish things and not given you the praise you deserve. There are plenty of people around me who are willing to show me my faults and remind me of my failures. I give all that ugliness over to you. I release the pain they have caused in my life into your hands. Forgive me for my past sins. Help me when possible to seek the forgiveness of those I’ve harmed. Empower me with your Spirit to live in the freedom only you can give. Thank you for praying for me. In your name, Amen.

 


Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Galatians 6:7 (NLT)

Have you ever had the chance to visit a greenhouse in the early spring? While most of us are just beginning to think about getting out to do the yard work, greenhouses and nurseries are busy preparing and planting the flowers and plants you will use to beautify your yards and gardens.

They are making sure the soil mixture is just right, adjusting the heat and moisture levels, and making sure that enough light is available for optimum growing of the plants. Not only that, but they make sure that the plants they are preparing will grow well in your area. It’s not important if they grow well in the regulated environment of the greenhouse. Each gardener must ask the question, “How will this plant do in the real world?”

One more thing the gardener makes sure of before they offer their plants to you. They make sure there are no weeds among the plants. Weeds are tricky little things because sometimes they look just like the real plant. An untrained eye can easily pull up a flower thinking it’s a weed or leave a weed intact thinking it’s a flower!

A trained gardener is never surprised by what comes up in the pot they’ve planted. The seed they place in the soil produces the exact plant they intended it to be. No turnips from marigold seeds. No rose bushes from pumpkin seeds. No oak trees from pine cones.

Life is the same way. In a sense we are gardeners and the world around us is the greenhouse. We plant seeds by the words we speak. We nourish plants by the actions we take and the attitudes we carry. When we plant understanding and acceptance, we gain understanding and acceptance in our own lives. When we plant love and mercy in the lives of others we receive love and mercy in return. When we cultivate our relationships with grace and forgiveness, we harvest grace and forgiveness in return.

What seeds are you planting in the lives of those around you? The Bible tells us that the things we instill in others by our actions and words are the exact things we will harvest. It’s true that sometimes we won’t see the results as soon as we’d like, but sometimes we need to prepare the soil by getting rid of the weeds and rocks and nourish it before the seed will actually take root.

Remember, we are responsible for preparing the soil and planting and nourishing the seed. It’s God who is ultimately responsible for the actual growth of the plant. The seeds you place in the lives of those around you will produce exactly what you plant, nothing more. Nothing less.

PRAYER: Father God, master gardener. I realize that you have made me exactly as you want me to be. I praise you for the wonder of my being and the privilege I have to be yours. I pray that I might be able to plant seeds in the lives of others that will bring forth the kind of harvest that is pleasing to you. Help me to sow seeds of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness in the lives of those around me today. In Jesus name, Amen.


Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Solomon 2:15

Preventative maintenance is important in many areas of our lives. A simple oil change can keep your car running better and longer. A few minutes of exercise everyday can keep your body healthier, your mind sharper and give you more energy for the day.

The same is true in our relationships with our spouses/significant other, our children, our families, our jobs or any other relationship we may be a part of. It’s the little things we do that keep a relationship healthy and growing. In order for relationships to be healthy they need to continue to grow. Stagnant relationships are dying relationships.

In Old Testament Palestine, vineyards were a huge part of the economy. One of the ‘predators’ for the vineyard was the fox. Small foxes would enter the vineyard at night and destroy the vines, eat the grapes and blossoms and dig up the roots. The owner of the vineyard spent much time and money to protect his vineyard from these little, but deadly enemies.

Healthy relationships are relationships where all parties involved work together to keep the little things from entering our ‘vineyard’ to damage or kill it. Most relationships don’t end like a train wreck. Train wrecks are sudden, unexpected and deadly. Relationships usually die a slow death from the inside out, like cancer, and usually happen when one or both parties involved fail to take preventative action.

The ‘little foxes’ of relationship can be something as simple as making sure you say thank you, or being brave enough to say ‘I’m sorry’ even if you aren’t totally at fault. The ‘little fox’ of sarcasm can attack the very roots of the relationship. Sarcasm is the lowest form of ‘humor’ and one of the deadliest relationship killers. Unresolved anger, guilt and emotional or physical abuse may seem like big issues in a relationship, and indeed they are. However they aren’t the main issue, they are the result of the work of little foxes.

The best protection for the vineyard of our relationships is a firm, unified relationship with Jesus Christ. Religion and going to church won’t protect your relationship any more than a sign at the entrance of the vineyard will ward off the foxes. Relationship with Jesus is much more than religion and warming the pew of some church.

Simple things like saying ‘I love you’ or, ‘I’m proud of you’, or ‘I like how you do that’ are little things that can add huge walls against the foxes of our lives. Studying the Bible together, making sure that there are no unresolved conflicts in your lives, being willing to forgive and be honest with each other and encouraging each other to use thief gifts are all ways to strengthen the bond of your relationships.

Vineyards were the life blood of the Old Testament economy just as relationships are the lifeblood in this journey we call life. Work as hard as you can to make sure the little foxes don’t enter and destroy.

PRAYER: Father, I admit to you that I’m not good at relationship. My past is full of so many foxes that I’ve never learned how to do relationship well. I’m tired of feeling like I’m the only one doing the work of relationship building. The pain of rejection and abuse keeps me back from trying anymore. Help me to build a relationship with You first so that I can build or rebuild relationships with those I love. In Jesus name, Amen.

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

Join 3,706 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • Blessed Assurance
    From our series, “Famous Last Words“ Our hope comes from seeing our need and seeing Jesus for who he is.
  • ‘Father, Forgive Them’
    From our series “Famous Last Words” — In the midst of Jesus’ suffering he chose to forgive those who didn’t know they needed forgiveness and didn’t ask for it. His forgiveness was based on his love, not their remorse.
  • Grow Deep!
    From our series “40 Days in the Word”— When we believe in Jesus we are strengthened through the vine and protected and empowered through the Father. The deeper you grow in the Word the deeper you grow in Jesus and the deeper your joy.
  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

  • RT @TimBurt: Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise." #GodKe3 hours ago
  • RT @DanComp02107462: Trust in the Lord with all our heart &mind & do not lean to our own understanding, but in All our ways acknowledge Him… 10 hours ago
  • RT @TimBurt: Isaiah 41:10 "Don't fear or be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteou… 10 hours ago
  • RT @BitsOfWhitt: “I am he that liveth, & was dead; & behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; & have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelati… 11 hours ago
  • RT @ArefMashaliUK: Father of all grace, thank you! Thank you for every spiritual blessing I have in Christ. Please help me grow in my abili… 11 hours ago

Archives

November 2019
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: