Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I have a real problem with Jesus…

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Day 340

We are in the book of Luke in our bible study series…and I have one question, who does this Jesus guy think that He is?  God Almighty or something?

I mean His standards are not the same as mine, and therefore…He is WAY off the mark.  And I am glad…

I love reading the bible, because even though I have “heard” and “read” all of this stuff before…when you read it with the Holy Spirit guiding you, it is like it is new territory…every time.

But I love what I read today…because Jesus does what He always does…breaks the “mold” of how we think that life should go….and then He takes a dagger and slices the veneer of our hearts.

Let me paint the scene….Jesus is a rock star, healing people, raising folks from the dead, casting out demons…not your everyday stuff.  So like everyone who is rising in popularity, the power mongers…the Pharisees…the ones who were supposed to be leading the people “to” God…want to have Jesus over for some chow…

And then all of the sudden, this real sleaze-bag of a woman…a real slut…comes in and starts crying and wiping His feet with oil with her hair no less.  Really a very uncomfortable scene…I mean she is a SINNER and if Jesus was really sent from God, He would tell this chick to beat it…but instead Jesus says this to His host…..

Luke 7:40-43 – Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. (NIV)

Way to go Simon…you are on track for Jeopardy.  Dude…you are smart…you have got to get tired of being right!  And Simon beaming with pride, I am sure looks around at his peers with a smug sense of pride…all the while the “sinner” keeps wiping Jesus’ feet.

Jesus looks at the woman and says, Okay Simon….Bonus round….

Luke 7:44-48 – Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” (NASB)

Slam Dunk!  Checkmate!  Take that Simon!  No…Jesus is just telling him that he needs to re-think God.  God wants to forgive everyone…but they have to acknowledge their sin and desire “repentance”…and believe that only HE has the power to do that…and she recognized that in Jesus.

And don’t you love it?  Her sins….which are many…  How sweet is that? Jesus says, oh yeah, she is guilty…and for that reason she knows how sweet forgiveness is!  She doesn’t want to continue in her life of sin, because it is a dead end street!  It is dark, and ugly…and Jesus says, “YOU ARE FREE!”  Free from the lies…free from the deceit…free from guilt…free!!  Now change your life and make it count for God.  You owed a lot…and have been forgiven of your debt.  And for that reason…because she realizes it…she will love Me greatly.

But for those of us who haven’t done anything wrong?  We don’t love Him…because we don’t need His forgiveness…WE HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING WRONG!!  She should get what’s coming to her…she is guilty and DESERVES punishment…

I on the other hand who is free from that condemnation of guilt because of my “near” faultless life…I don’t have to worry about such a fate.  No Jesus, I don’t need your forgiveness….but thank you very much.

I’m sorry Dan…er I mean Simon.  Did you say, “near-faultless?”  Which of course means that you are guilty.  Well, yes…but not of any big things.  I mean…

I will admit on occasion that I have taken God’s name in vain…but only when I was really drunk, and of course I do covet a few of my neighbors possessions…especially his car, and I guess I have skipped church to play golf, and I did cheat on my taxes…sort of, and I would have killed that guy who cut me off in traffic if I had a chance…and well I lied a little bit about my co-worker because I “deserved” that promotion, and I guess I do worship my success and house and my material trappings, and I have watched a little porn,and I am in debt up to my ears so I can’t give to the poor, and I am too busy to help my neighbor who’s life is imploding around him….but NOTHING like HER!!!  She is a SINNER!

Be encouraged if that sounds familiar…Jesus is standing by to forgive you for much.  You may not think it is much, but according to God’s standard…it is exactly the same.  And when you realize how much you have been forgiven?  You won’t be able to help but love Jesus all the more for the Cross of Crucifixion, and His atoning blood…for my sins.

Grace and Peace, Dan

Clean the slate…and Giddyup!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Day 67

We spend so much time disqualifying ourselves that it is ridiculous.  You don’t know what I’ve done….God can’t forgive me…blah…blah…blah.

Oh for crying out loud…repent and get over it.  Christ did not die so that we could wallow in our mistakes of the past….BUT…He does want you to confess them.

Consider Psalm 32:1-5 – 1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Now that is cool….when we grovel in our pit…God ‘allows’ it to be painful for us.  But when we quit pretending with Him…’then’ He can and will use us.  Okay…so the first part is confessing…and initially God just asks for that between you and Him.  Now later, He may ask you to do a little more confessing…don’t know…again, that is between you and Him, if you ask Him…He will tell you…I can assure you of that. Why would you want to carry around that bag of rocks that we drag around.  Why would you want to live in a pig sty of sin when God is offering you a beach front condo ( by now, you should know that I love surfing…and by the way, if anybody needs a house sitter for Hawaii or Costa Rica, I am  available)???

By the way, after you get roadblock number one out of the way, here is what God does for you…

Psalm 32:6-11 – 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle    or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

I love the last verse…”…be glad….sing, all you who are upright in heart.  The moment that you confess your sins with God, He will forgive you…not so you can sin again (Romans 6:1), but so that you can SING!

Be encouraged…it is Springtime. Not just outside…but in your life as well. Just let God take over.  Verse 8 says that He will counsel you with His loving eye.  That means that EVERYTHING that He guides you to and through are so that you can SING! So Giddyup…get moving!

Grace and Peace, Dan

I’m Sorry Dad!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

My son is a great guy…I think he is the most amazing young man that I have ever met, and I love him dearly. I can’t wait to watch him go through life, and grow and mature. And, he teaches me a lot of lessons! This one just happened this morning. We had a spat over something last night (let’s face it…most of the time we forget what we are even arguing about). And I “demanded” an apology. In fact, I think that I had established a position that I would not back down until he did that. But the bottom line is that I was miserable at life until he came crawling at my feet to apologize. That officially puts me in the category of a Jackass….or donkey, but the first name sounds more appropriate. Think about all of the lives that have been destroyed, the wars that have been fought, the feelings that have been hurt….by that same thought pattern.

I am reading a book called, “With Christ in the school of prayer” and I got to a page that talked about the prayer that Christ gave us to model. The dialogue starts in either Luke 11:2 or Matthew 6:9 (read it for yourself please). Our Father is the opening salutation. Stop right there.

Our Father. Can you imagine if God treated us the same way that I treat my kids? Ouch…that hurts. He is upset when we are mad at Him, just like we are. We are stubborn and refuse to apologize just like our kids are. But unlike “me”, God is ALWAYS standing by and ready to forgive. So how about saying something simple like….”sorry Dad.” That is what my son did for me today, and that prompted me to write this.

By the way…I really didn’t care about the apology…I just wanted him to remind me that he loves me enough to care about how I feel. The same goes for God! He just wants to know that we love Him. The difference with Him is…that He is just standing by with blessings for EVERYBODY who restores their relationship with Him.

So how about calling him up, and telling Him that you love Him. Think about if our whole nation did that? We are about to entire the primary election season, and you will hear a lot of rhetoric about how to fix our Nation’s problems. God makes it pretty easy. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says this, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

It doesn’t get much easier than that. Thanks to my son for being such a great guy who I love so much. And thanks to you all for reading.

Grace and Peace, Dan

Have you asked for forgiveness lately?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Do you want to be freed from bondage and pain, and suffering? Do you want to get past that hurdle that you can’t seem to get past….then ask somebody to forgive you! That may sound a little strange, but it is so essential. Many times we let the hurt of the past poison our lives. We don’t want to give up the right to be angry….because that is power my friend…because you are angry and EVERYONE should immediately bow to you and do things “your” way. When you get to that point, pat yourself on the back and say congratulations…to yourself that is…because you will probably have alienated anybody that you have “lorded” that power and anger over….and anybody that you “cared” about. Because all you do when you get to that point is make “yourself” miserable. I will explain after you consider Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV) – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

I learned this lesson courtesy of my best friend…the one that I didn’t want to learn it from. You see, I was saddened and angry because things hadn’t come out the way that “I” planned it. Nobody would listen to me, and I was right!!! But by taking that position…I was in a bad mood any time I was around those that I “cared” about. Because the issue isn’t about who is right, the issue is about what attitude you take. In my case the issue is irrelevant…my attitude was relevant. You see, God told me that I am not in the “fixing” business…that is not my job…that is HIS job. I am not the one to execute God’s plan…that is HIS job.

My job is to use the approach in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And that means that God will answer your request. The answer may be yes, no, wait, or I have a better plan…but He will answer.

In the meantime…get off of your high horse…apologize, and ask for forgiveness from those who in your mind…may not deserve it…but that is only because you are so busy being right that you probably don’t realize how much pain you are causing.  My “friend” gave me this searing comment, “You say that you are happy as a Christian?  You are miserable every time you are around us…who would want to be a part of that?” Ouch…as a guy who wants to tell people how wonderful and joyful the life of those who follow Christ is…well I guess that I didn’t do so well.  But after asking for forgiveness for my bitter attitude, God has opened up my eyes to a whole new world, because He has reminded me that “fixing things” is his job.  My job is to follow, and watch Him work!  And to pray without ceasing about those things that I can’t control…which is everything.

Hard to do? Yep…on your own power. But after you bring it to the Lord in fervent prayer…it is easier. And after you have done it…IT IS LIBERATING!!! Try it and let me know how it works out.

Until the next time….I reside in God’s grace and peace…and I am so happy that I do. Dan