Weekly Devotional – May 1, 2021

Did You Really Forgive?

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:11-18 (NKJV)

How many times have I heard someone who claim they are a Christian say, “I will forgive what they did, but I won’t forget.” If this is their attitude, they may as well not waste their time.

Forgiving is only half the process. We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did. If we keep the sin committed by another person in our hearts to use against them another time, then we are the sinners, not them.

Paul makes it very clear in the 11th verse above how the repeated reminder of a sin is fruitless. To truly forgive someone, we must also remove it from our heart so our mind can never remember it.

            No one ever said being a Christian was easy. God has never told us we would understand all His ways, He only wants us to trust Him.

            We can’t have salvation on our terms. Salvation is on God’s terms. Remember, we turned our lives over to Him.

How would we feel if God constantly reminded us of the sins we committed? Jesus paid for those sins and took them away.

In the 12th verse above, it states that after He had made one sacrifice for sin, He sat down at the Right Hand of the Father.

Jesus was the only one qualified to make that sacrifice. He is no longer in a position to make sacrifices, therefore, the sin must be forgotten and removed from existence. If there is no sin, there is no need for a sacrifice.

We must forgive and forget. If God can forget, if Christ can forget, who are we to think we can’t?

Without Love, I Am Nothing

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:2 (NKJV)

Before I started this blog, I wrote a book called “Forgiveness, the prelude to love.” While I studied the scripture for answers, I found out that all things lead us to love. Although there is nothing to pay to get love, there is a definite set of paths that you must take to get to the point of loving.

Just think of all the different loves we have in our lifetime. As a child we love our parents, we love our siblings, we love other relatives that we may have.

How many times have I heard someone who claim they are a Christian say, “I will forgive what they did, but I won’t forget?” They may as well not waste their time.

Forgiving is only half the process. We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did.

        Paul makes it truly clear in Hebrew 10:11, how the repeated reminder of a sin is fruitless. To truly forgive someone, we must also remove it from our heart so our mind can never remember it.

            No one ever said being a Christian was easy. God has never told us we would understand all His ways, He only wants us to trust Him.

            We can’t have salvation on our terms. Salvation is on God’s terms. Remember, we turned our lives over to Him.

 We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did.

As we grow into teens, we have other classmates that we learn to love. If we are well liked, there will be teachers, preachers, and bible students at church we become fond of. Yet if we combined all that love together, it would be no more than a speck on a wall in comparison to God’s love just for us. Why?

God’s love has no conditions. God was willing to die for each one of us. Which one of those whom you love are you ready to die for?

Vengeance is Not Mine

Leviticus 19:18

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD

Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)

How many times have you heard, “Vengeance is Mine?” This is just a statement to make your grudge against someone legal in your eyes. No one else will ever believe you are right.

I heard a story about a woman who was angry at her sister. She always said that her husband cheated on her with her sister. In the story they had not spoken for 10 years. In fact, her and her husband had moved away, and she had not been home to visit her family all this time.

One day the woman got a call from her mother; her sister was in a Hospice and was not due to live another day. She reluctantly agreed to fly down to be there for her mother.

After she arrived her mother introduced her to some people in the lobby. They talked for a while and then she met Heidi. Heidi was a friend of her sister’s and they had been the closest of friends for years.

During the conversation, Heidi disclosed the fact that she and the woman’s sister were married. The woman was speechless for a moment, finally she asked how long they had been seeing each other. Heidi told her they had met in Little Rock Arkansas on November 01, 2001.

Heidi stated that they had remained in Little Rock until November 21st. They had flown to Mexico and were married on November 25th.

The woman could not believe what she was hearing, and she challenged Heidi. Heidi left the room for a few moments. When she returned, Heidi produced a marriage certificate that proved what she was saying about the marriage.

The woman’s husband was gone during that period of time and she thought her husband had spent that weekend with her sister. The woman and her husband had separated and divorced in 2002. Since their divorce, the woman had lived her life in misery. The woman had hated her sister and the hatred had caused her not only mental problems; she had also developed ulcers.

This woman found out what could happen if we don’t follow God’s commands. The woman took it upon herself to want vengeance on her sister and the result was a loss of God’s love and mental and physical damage to her life.

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

Ephesians 4:26 – 27 (NKJV)

Paul went even farther than God in his expression of the fight against anger. Paul tells us in Ephesians that it is ok to occasionally be angry, as long as we do not let the anger grow and become sin. Vengeance is a growth of anger. If we don’t forgive and release the anger, it will grow within us like it did in the woman.

This woman lost not only her sister because of her vengeance, she also lost her husband and her mental and physical health. Don’t be like this woman; turn your anger into laughter by having faith that God will deal with any situation concerning anger.

Our job is to give God the vengeance in our hearts, give forgiveness to the person we are angry at, and receive God’s love because we did the right thing.

Serving Your Master

Christianity is not a religion; it is a way if life.

If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

Exodus 21:4-6

With all the turmoil in the world today, it is my faith in God that helps me endure all the hardships that come my way.

I look at the marching and rioting in our streets and I can only think of the Indians that are still on reservations. The Cherokee were placed on the reservation in 1830. They have been living on the reservation for 190 years. There have been protest over food and living conditions over the years, however they resolved the issues in a peaceful manner. These resolutions didn’t come at the expense of the law being downsized to allow more crime, these resolutions were sensible and rational. Reducing the police departments invites more crime, not more peace.

There are several people today that have issues with different things in their lives. If we use our Love for and from God, it will lead us on our journey to discover a peaceful resolution.

God’s love for us is more than just love. His love will give us peace in our heart and allow us to think of things that anger would keep hidden from us.

I look at the Cherokees and compare them to our demonstrators today. Over the years more and more of the rules and regulations that governed the Cherokees have been changed through peaceful negotiation with the government. They were able to do this because they worked hard and sought out the education required to know how to talk to the government.

God’s love gives us the intelligence to study the bible and know what the peaceful resolutions are.

Without God’s love we let anger and terror rule our lives. There is no forgiveness and where there is no forgiveness for our fellow man, there can be no love for one another, there can be no love for God, and without forgiveness the way to God is blocked.

God’s love comes from studying the bible and listening to one another’s troubles (James 5:16). The great Martin Luther King Jr. preached this message until he was finally listened to. In fact, his message was heard around the world.

There are still some people who are bitter and cause trouble, but for the most part we are still living the message given us. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell us to hold on to the bitterness and use it to take down the monuments of past leaders of the people, instead he taught that all people, no matter the race, must forgive each other and move on in life. He taught that no matter how many laws and regulations you change, if it does no involve forgiveness, God’s love in not any part of it.

Today all I see is bitterness. This is not coming from true Believers, but from the lawless and misguided souls that are still looking for something to hold on to.

We need to find another man like Martin Luther King Jr. This man or woman can be black, white, red, or purple and it would be the same. People listen to those who can prove from their actions that they know God’s love and wish the same love on all men and women in this world.

Greed, racism, women’s lib, hatred, domination, and many other things are trying to take over the world. These things can only survive in those who don’t know God’s love. Peace, prosperity, equality, togetherness, love for one another, and Christianity are all the product of God’s love.

If we can get the church building open again, we can all worship together and all can be at peace with one another.

Just remember, the bible leads to God, God give us love, love leads to kindness, kindness makes us love one another, and loving one another leads back to God.

Christianity is not a religion; it is a way if life. In life there are bumps along the way and we must steer clear of these bumps because the bumps lead to sin. The only way to steer clear of these bumps is to keep our eyes of God, not the world.