And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him (Luke 15:17-20)~ No matter how far anyone has wandered away from God, no matter how deep we have gone into sin, whenever we turn around…God is right there to receive us with open arms! God doesn’t care what we’ve done in our past! He only cares about what we’re doing right now and what we will do in our future! Thanks to the finished work of Jesus, no one ever has to be lost because of their past sins. We are only lost because we will not surrender, repent, and accept what Jesus has done for us. If you have strayed away in your life, just turn around and come back. YES, it’s that simple…no working it off, earning forgiveness or proving yourself worthy! Christ has done the work, by Grace He has forgiven us. We in our guilt tend to feel like we’re not worthy of His grace, but my friend, we’re SO worthy that He gave His life to prove it! YOU are restored in relationship and covenant; redeemed of everything that separated you and reconciled to FULL authority and inheritance as a child of the Lord! God is eagerly awaiting you and will see you from Heaven as soon as you start to return to Him and He will draw you back to Him and meet you on the way – and what a meeting that is! Don’t stay away friend! God has the light from Heaven focused on you – waiting for you to turn and come Home! Just Come on Back!
Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matt 18:22)~ there we have it– you just keep forgiving– whether the offense against you happened once or it keeps happening- it’s not about how many times or who started it, it’s time you get over that grudge– that actually does you more damage than the person you carry it against! After all, WHO is the one that’s mad? WHO is walking around with an imbalanced temperament? WHOSE blood pressure is up because they’re being mad just because they want to be? Stop justifying your selfish anger and get over yourself cause that’s what you’re doing .. Making it all about YOU! Time to let go and love the unlovable, pardon the unpardonable, believe the unbelievable and hope when everything seems hopeless. YOU need to forgive the petty mess that’s going on between you and “them”. It’s not about who’s at fault or who apologizes first. But since you made it about YOU, YOU NEED to forgive. See, others don’t need your forgiveness nearly as much as YOU need it yourself. It’s YOUR heart that is hard because YOU haven’t forgiven; YOU are carrying carry heavy burdens…YOU are weighing yourself down more and more with stress just by holding that grudge! Every excuse you make to justify your anger, grudge and unforgiveness just makes the burden heavier on YOU! There is only one way to lift this load. ForGIVE it away!!! Every ounce of forGIVEness you dispense to others lifts off the burden that YOU bear. The forgiving heart is the forgiven heart. You can experience the freedom and healing power of forGIVING away the burdens of unforgiveness. Each of us has that one grudge that we haven’t let go of…and what is it doing? It’s enslaving YOU in burdens of anger and rage…for what?? My friend, life is too precious and too short to stay mad at them over some petty trivial junk whether it happened way back when or yesterday! Holding back forgiveness is like standing in an open cell and refusing to walk out. Stop imprisoning yourself!!! Christ set us free in His forgiveness of our sins for eternity. The prison doors that held you have been opened….but you need to embrace your freedom and walk out into that freedom! Give up that pride and make yourself thankful for mending that tear in that relationship! It’s truly liberating!
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments (Gen 35:2) ~~ Our garments are our intermingling with the world. Over time and experience, we start to look like what we have been in, around and through and who we were hanging with during it all. Some things good, some things WE think are good and some things not good at all. Those things that take our time, devotion, money, etc… away from God become our gods. They rule over us, they guide our decisions in our lives, they set the course of direction for us and the future generations that we impact; they literally define our destiny. We need to make a change and do a “reset”. We must break way from things that hinder our relationship with God – We need to literally and sometimes physically remove ourselves from those things. WE know our habits and vices that are holding us down. We also fight it because to separate ourselves from them in some cases will be challenging, painful, stressful and even devastating. This might bring on a pain that we might feel is like we would experience death…and in reality, in order for us to “reset”, something in us, about us, of us… has to die that we may live in the abundance of Christ’s promise (John 10:10). There can be no purification without separation; and there can be no separation without agitation, discomfort or change. We all want the abundant, prosperous and blessed life that Jesus promises, but we have to realize that change only happens when change really happens! God called Abraham to change where he was…get out of that comfortable land…so that he could see the promise God had in store for him. God called Noah to build the ark for the coming storm rather than sit and wait for it to happen, He called Moses to deal with the fears of his own abilities and trust what God would do so that he could lead the Israelites out of Egypt to reach the promised land. Friend, YOU will have to make a change in your life to see a change in your life. It won’t be comfortable, it will probably hurt in some areas because you’re going to have to leave things (and people) behind, you will have to take some actions, YOU have to make changes to be able to see changes, and you will have to face your fears and you’ll HAVE to have a relationship and trust God to help you do what you have to do. It’s time to hit the reset button…Walk away from those things that you KNOW are not good for you, keeping you from your relationship with God, trust Him, make the changes you know you need to make… you will endure the hurt, but you will also survive it…and walk in God’s blessing!
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil (Prov 4:23-27)~ We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God’s word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Don’t get complacent because you feel like everything is going smoothly, in fact you must even more intently Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8). In other words, WAKE UP …there is a force of darkness looking for ways to cause you to fall! And if you think, “That will never happen to me” look around… there is a whole world of people who never thought they would be susceptible to “falling” and yet they have. It’s prideful to think otherwise; and Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). Don’t be naive- most people who end up down the wrong path didn’t set out to get there. Be aware of your choices- A major battle is won when we stop asking what’s wrong with certain choices, and instead, ask what’s right with them. The choices we make everyday dictate the life we lead. To thine own self be true!
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them (Prov 14:3)~ How you use your tongue, one of the most difficult things to rule, dictates how you are treated in life. Both death and life are in the power of the tongue, and if you indulge yourself in talking, you will realize one or the other result. There are consequences to pay for your speech. Harsh and proud speech brings punishment and trouble; discreet and gracious speech brings blessing and safety. A fool cannot control his proud speech, and it causes others and him grief wherever he goes. When a fool talks proudly with his mouth, the pride in his words causes others to dislike and resent him. He loses friends and relationships, but in his ignorance does not know why. But a wise man is preserved and honored by his tongue. He uses speech for the good of others, and they love him for it. His gracious and kind words win the blessing and favor of others. He preserves his soul from much grief by wisely dealing with those around him. When a wise man graciously and humbly sets within himself to always advance others, they respond with affection and appreciation. He gains in friends and honor. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph 4:29). What do you have to say…for yourself?
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4)~ The duty of FATHERS: Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with your children; convince their judgments and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and COMPASSIONATE correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected; as many men, through their own actions set their children against religion. But this does not excuse the children’s disobedience, in fact it may be awfully the cause of it. There’s a point in life where God will hold ‘each’ of us accountable for our lives – as a man and father – part of my accountability will come in how I was as a father to my children because that influence makes a difference in the lives they will live beyond me! God alone can change the heart, and He gives His blessing to the good lessons and examples of FATHERS, and answers their prayers. My prayer and main concern regarding my children is that they grow up knowing Him and that I may be the Earthly example of God’s love to my children! Train up a child in the way they should go..and when they are old they shall not depart from it! Father…are you doing what you’re supposed to do? Are you loving your children with a stern but compassionate heart? Are you correcting them in love and not ruling by fear and intimidation? Are they learning through you what it’s like to be loved by God? Much respect to the men out there that DO it like a FATHER should.
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers ‘with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth (Prov 5:15-18)~~ Why are you asking for a divorce?” the judge inquired. “Because all my husband wants is to make love,” the woman said. “Most women would be pleased!” said the judge. “They are!!” the woman fired back. “That’s why I want a divorce!!!” The only real promise of infidelity is that most of those marriages end in divorce. In the blink of an eye, the trust and security that was the foundation for a healthy marriage is destroyed. Sadly, it takes years of dedicated work to rebuild lost trust and security ripped away by an affair.. IF it even happens at all! The reason is simple. After an ice storm, have you ever attempted to walk down a frozen sidewalk? Although it’s possible, there’s always anxiety that a horrible fall might be right around the corner. What many couples fail to realize is that an absence of trust and security in a marriage is like condemning a person to live on that ice-covered sidewalk. Your mate is never truly free to relax because he or she is continually fighting to keep his or her footing. Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God’s word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. If people put as much attention into their OWN marriage as they give to outside entities activities and people, imagine how low the divorce rate would be! Instead of looking at how green the grass APPEARS to be on the other side, try watering your own grass! It’s amazing how well a marriage flourishes when we nurture it!!! It’s been said how awesome it is to marry the one you love.. (Well, who else would you marry???)– but even more awesome it is…when you love the one you married. #LoveIsAnAction