Category Archives: forgiveness

Musings on … God is Love

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I keep hearing this “God is Love”, especially when it comes to um, how to put this, either sin of any kind, non-christians to christians, etc. And by Etc., I mean anyone who doesn’t understand the fullness of God.

Here is the link to the full size one READ IT! [if you click on picture it should pop up full size]

Tim Challies has a bunch of these Visual Theology Posters/Prints, I recommend looking at all of them. Store front here

so back to God is Love. Yes, God is Love, BUT He is and has other attributes or characteristics. God is all of his attributes, all of the time, from the beginning to the end of time. He cannot separate Himself from any of those attributes, therefore WE should NOT separate any of those attributes from Him.

When we place so much emphasis on the character[s] of God that we like or that are comfy, mushy, soft and fluffy and not include the hard to understand and comprehend character aspects, we make our God small. and comfy. and genie in a bottle-like, easy to digest and we mock Him.

We throw out ‘God is Love’ when we want someone to love us or not judge us. We want the love of God but not the wrath or justice of God or even the holiness of God and especially not omnipresence, that would mean He can know us, our hearts, our thoughts, our mind.

He does know us, our hearts, minds and souls, that is why we are called to Love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls and strength.

To seek after Him and glorify ALL of Him to the nations.

Without wrath, there would be no love, without love there would be no justice, without justice there would be no need for mercy and so on and so on. please look at the picture and pray and ask the Lord how you can come to know all His attributes and proclaim all of them to the world. Or even just your family and neighbors 😉

Please don’t miss out on all God has done for you and will do for you through His Holy Spirit, my beloved.

6 of Satan’s Favorite Conflict Phrases

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“Submit yourselves, then, to God. 

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Satan promotes conflict in many ways. Among other things, he tempts us so we give in to greed and dishonesty (Acts 5:3), he deceives us and misleads us (2 Tim. 2:25-26), and he takes advantage of unresolved anger (Eph. 4:26-27). Worst of all, he uses false teachers to propagate values and philosophies that encourage selfishness and stimulate controversy (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Here are some of the expressions that often reflect the devil’s lies and influence:

“Look out for Number One.”
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“Surely God doesn’t expect me to stay in an unhappy situation.”
“I’ll forgive you, but I won’t forget.”
“Don’t get mad, get even.”
“I deserve better than this.”

Satan prefers that we do not recognize his role in our conflicts. As long as we see other people as our only adversaries and focus our attacks on them, we will give no thought to guarding against our most dangerous enemy.

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 50-51.

Food for Thought

Read Jesus’ responses to Satan’s temptations in Matthew 4:1-11. Note that in contrast to Satan’s favorite expressions noted above, none of Jesus’ responses contain the word, “I”. What’s more, none of Jesus’ responses to Satan even contain the word, “you”–usually our second favorite word in conflict! How do we prevent Satan from getting a foothold in our conflicts? We keep our conflict responses (and our words) God-centered, remembering that if God is not at the center of our thoughts during a conflict, Satan will be altogether too happy to quietly take God’s place.

The Right Kind of Gains in the New Year

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A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

When we overlook the wrongs of others, we are imitating God’s extraordinary forgiveness toward us: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:8-10).

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 82.

Food for Thought

Want to experience some gains, fast? Well, you probably experienced some gains over the holidays as the candies, cookies, and festive meals took their toll. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Instead, try this no-fail exercise.

You’ve seen lists of New Year’s Resolutions, right? You’ve probably even crafted a few yourself. Have you ever seen this one on anyone’s list? “I resolve this New Year to overlook more offenses.” Yeah, that’s a rare one.

But the writer of Proverbs indicates that when we overlook an offense, it adds directly to our glory. We experience a gain. And since the only glory we will ever have is a reflection of God’s, those overlooked offenses are adding to the glory of the Most High. God experiences a “gain.”

“What kind of gain?” you ask. By exercising our patience and overlooking offenses, we are increasing His Name and Fame throughout the land. We are drawing the eyes of men and women to Him. We are imitating his compassion. We are being peacemakers, getting in shape for the Kingdom that is coming!

Universal Idols

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Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people. But the concept of idolatry is much broader and far more personal than that. An idol is anything apart from God that we depend on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure.

In biblical terms, it is something other than God that we set our heart on … in short, it is something we love and pursue more than God (see Phil. 3:19).

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 104.

Food for Thought

????

When was the last time you heard a pull-out-the-stops sermon on idols? How about a straight-up-tell-it-like-it-is book on personal idols? What about a conversation over coffee that kinda-sorta-talked about idols?

Maybe every once in a while, but for the most part, we don’t like to talk about idols. As Ken reminds us, they are always something very personal.

The Food For Thought line above usually has a question of some sort to prompt reflection. This time it has nothing but question marks — four to be exact. Allow those four question marks to raise this question, “What are four things, besides God, that your heart is set on?”

In other words, take time and identify four idols in your life. Not your spouse’s life, or your co-worker’s, or your neighbor’s. Your life. Your idols. What are you depending on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure?

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1. self

2. son

3. hubby/control /church work

4. hobbies/exercise/me time

Empty Gifts

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“…forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Eph. 4:32
I could see the weariness in his face. “I’m sure both of you are in terrible pain, Rick. But I don’t think divorce is going to end it. You’ll just trade one kind of pain for another. There is a way to keep your marriage together and to truly put the past behind you. But you won’t find it with the empty forgiveness you’ve offered Pam.”
“What do you mean, ’empty forgiveness’?”

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 202.

Food for Thought

Does your forgiveness promise a lot but deliver a little?

“Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are both in the past, and many of us have gotten a jump on our Christmas shopping. Now that you’ve worked so hard to find a gift for a loved one, would you neglect to actually include it in the box when you give it to him or her?

Empty forgiveness. What if we confessed a serious sin to God and He said, “I forgive you…but I can’t be close to you, ever again?” We’d probably have a very strong reaction to that, countering with something like, “Well, that’s just empty forgiveness!” And it is. It’s not how God acts. But that’s how we act sometimes.

Consider for a moment those times this past year where it looked like you gave the gift of forgiveness; however, once the person opened it, they found the box was empty. For whatever reason(s), you’ve withheld intimacy or friendship, and you’ve just traded one kind of pain for another.

As you head into the Christmas season, make sure the gift of forgiveness is more than a bright covering of wrapping and bows with nothing inside. Instead, by God’s grace, make your gifts jam-packed with true forgiveness, modeling the forgiveness that you have received from God in Christ (Eph. 4:32).

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I can’t add anymore to this…. 🙂

~Kristina

~Evil Has A Name~

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“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Satan prefers that we do not recognize his role in our conflicts. As long as we see other people as our only adversaries and focus our attacks on them, we will give no thought to guarding against our most dangerous enemy. Both James and Peter were aware of this danger, and they warn us to actively resist Satan’s schemes (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).

Paul gives a similar warning, reminding us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12).

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 50-51.

Food for Thought

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
— C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

So the problem isn’t really the terrorists, or even the difficult person in your neighborhood, family, or church.

What would be your answer if someone approached you on a street corner and asked, Who is your most dangerous enemy? Think about it for a moment. Just what would you say? Odds are that among both non-Christians and Christians, most of us would answer in terms of flesh and blood; in other words, someone or some group of people.

But as Ken reminds us, that’s just not the case. Or at least, it’s not the truth. Three scriptural authors — Peter, James and Paul — all echo the reality that our most dangerous enemy in this life is Satan.

But think about that question again — Who is your most dangerous enemy?

And think about the reactions you would get, from non-believer or believer, if you answered with, Satan. Would you get the raised eyebrows of total shock and awe? Would you get a full-out belly laugh followed by a “come on, I’m being serious here”? Would you get a dismissive roll of the eyes, indicating you must be one of those people?

Our responses to that question and the responses we might get from those around us are very, very telling. There is an enemy out there and we’re basically oblivious to his schemes – we’re asleep at the wheel. We just keep on blaming each one another, a.k.a., flesh and blood, for everything that’s going on.

Ken says it well: Satan prefers that we do not recognize his role in our conflicts.

If we have any intention of living and moving and have our being as peacemakers, it’s imperative that we live with an awareness of our most dangerous enemy. Now it is true that most of our struggle comes through flesh and blood, but we’ve got to be self-controlled and alert to the truth that it’s not against flesh and blood. Peacemakers with that kind of presence of heart and mind are Satan’s most dangerous enemies. Awake, o sleeper! Live dangerously!

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I sometimes have a hard time with thinking Satan is my greatest enemy. I think I am my greatest enemy.

But I’m sure the devil loves to play on my weaknesses and sinful inclinations to wreak havoc on me.

Do you agree with Ken and the Peacemakers devotion, or not?

~Kristina