Do you realize the benefits of forgiveness? Do you realize the consequences of not forgiving? Do you think forgiveness makes you weak? The reality is that by forgiving you are able to take back the power from the one who made you the victim. Do you think forgiveness means the other person is off the hook? The reality is that forgiveness removes the bitter or angry root from your heart and gives you freedom. The reality is that by forgiving them it puts the incident back into their hands and in their court to deal with instead of you needing to carry it around with you. Do you think forgiveness is only for other people? The reality is that to many people they are able to forgive others and even ask God to forgive them but the challenge they have which causes them to carry the burden is that they have a problem forgiving yourself!
This morning I was reading the chapter on Forgiveness in the Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith. It goes through various scenarios and various truths around forgiveness. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean they won’t have to pay for their actions. Not forgiving though means that even after they are gone (aka death row) you get to carry around memories, the pain, and the anxiety. I would strongly recommend reading the book as I only have 1 chapter left and having gotten to meet the chaplain at a men’s conference, it is definitely worth the read. Where have you been and where does God want you to go? Your past doesn’t define you and so will you be willing to forgive yourself? As you consider and reflect on your day and your life, how will you choose to live it out?
Need to hear or watch something to reflect on it better? Here is a video you can watch:
The 365 Plan
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: II Timothy 1:7
‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- Fear Not!
- We need to remember that God is bigger than our situation and circumstance
- Do you realize that the topic of “Fear Not” happens 365 times in the Bible? There is even a site where you can have 1 a day. It’s a book too “Fearful To Fearless“
- Enough for every day! So we don’t need to live a day in fear!
- We can trust God every day and so rebuke the fear the world sends our way.
- We can trust God in threatening experiences and situations!
- We can trust God when facing the most difficult people!
- God knows we are prone to fear and hence gives us so many reminders and verses to tell us to fear not!
- God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed!
- God doesn’t want situations to overwhelm us!
- So when things get stressful or difficult let’s change the way we respond and turn to God first!
- I use the idea in my head that both excitement and nervousness create the same butterflies in my stomach and so when that feeling kicks in I choose to think of it as how excited I am getting about the situation!
- Let’s choose to trust God rather than run away in fear!
- Let’s choose to turn to God first, remember how He is greater than any problems or situations that can come our way, His grace is more than enough, and then take hold of God’s ability to overcome anything!
- Today’s devotional reminds me of the two lion books I read by Mark Batterson – Chase the Lion and In a pit with a lion on a snowy day. It reminds me how my prayer life has changed to seek wisdom and discernment from God to make sure I am doing the right things and then a prayer for protection and health as I step up and step out in faith to do what God is asking of me and calling me to do.
- Let’s take hold of Paul’s reminder to Timothy – “if you are afraid, it’s not from God”!
- Let’s take hold of Paul’s reminder to Timothy – “God is the author of power, love, and right-thinking”!
- So rather than holding onto fear, let’s count on God!
- So what situation(s) is/are making you feel threatened?
- What situation(s) is/are making you feel out of control?
- What situation(s) is/are making you feel overwhelmed?
- Are you ready and willing to cast your cares on God knowing that He cares for you?
- Are you ready and willing to stop when that situation happens, look to God for wisdom and discernment, listen to His assurance through the Holy Spirit, and step forward in faith?
- Are you ready to take a hold of today’s verse of the day and step up and step out with power, love, and a sound mind?
- Let’s choose to trust God today!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some recurring situations that cause you to run away in fear or fight back in defiance?
- Challenge my abilities
- Challenge my integrity
- Challenge my character
When that happens again, what about God do you need to remember? How will this reflection help you in critical moments?
- Remember who God says I am
- Remember who God is
- Respond in alignment with the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding!
QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
So will you face the fear and choose to forgive? Will you reflect on the past and choose to forgive? Will you forgive yourself and forgive others in order to be able to release the past and walk out into your future with true freedom? Will you accept forgiveness from God, from others, and from yourself? Will you allow faith to overcome fear? Will you allow forgiveness to overcome anger, bitterness, and hate? Will you let love rise to the top and be how you lead and live your life?
Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?