Tag Archives: forgiveness

What Happens When we Surrender?

God knows you because He created you. He knows what’s going on in your life and has a better grasp of your thoughts than you do. God knows what you have messed up, that needs to be straightened. God knows what you have broken that needs to be put back together. God knows what you think is impossible and He has declared that nothing shall be impossible and that with Him. all things are possible.

God knows what you worry about in the late dark hours of the night, the things that keep you from getting the sound sleep you are so desperate for. God knows the reoccurring pain which flows from a broken heart that never seems to heal. God knows that you think your life is a total loss and He also knows better than you, that it is not.

God, who created you is the master healer, the divine author and the chief instructor to help you heal your heart hurts, discover the miracles that put the broken pieces back together and teaches you about the power inside you that will help you to overcome anything outside you that might try to take you down.

The secret to unlocking the miraculous healing that puts it all back together is SURRENDER. The first step of surrender is admitting and accepting that we are messed up. We tend to get distracted by how we got messed up, but it really does not matter how it happened, because once it has happened, the mess has to be dealt with. Once it happens to you, it belongs to you so the question is: What are you going to do with it?

God cannot do and will not do what we can do for ourselves. We can talk to others about our problems. We can blame whoever we want to for the bad stuff that has happened to us, but until we name it and claim it, then we cannot surrender and let it go. And if we want or expect God to do something about it, then we must do our part. Transformation takes place when we do our part, so God’s part can be unleashed and set free to do the miraculous in our lives and living.

Forgiveness Is Freedom!

I woke up and fond myself in a prison of my own making. It’s bars were comprised of the memories which I had woven together with my unwillingness to let go and forgive those who had wronged me. I eventually discovered that I was my own judge and jury and that to be free, all I had to do was forgive, let go and the bars that held me in and kept me from moving forward would melt away and offer me sweet freedom to live, really live the life I was created for.

Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for you and me. When we forgive, it offers us the opportunity to obtain our very own peace of mind. When I seek to get even with someone else and attack them because I feel they have done me wrong I am really attacking myself, for in the spirit, we are all connected. Getting them back does not fix my thoughts and so I’m still stuck with a very serious problem.

This is why our thoughts are so powerful, because what I am thinking about you is really an expression of what I am thinking about myself, because through our Creator we are all connected and the same. God is love and we were created by love, in love and for love. Love unites us, joins us together and makes us one.

This love has the power to set us free to live an amazing and blessed life or we can abuse it and totally miss what we were created for. Real love does not just love self, it also loves others. And real love leads and empowers us toward forgiveness, for forgiveness is freedom. I don’t have to live a life addicted to pain, love sets me free, if I will just claim and enjoy my freedom.

One of the greatest powers we have been granted is the power of choice. We choose to give power to what someone did to us and empower their wrong, so that “the wrong” is calling the shots in our life and living or we choose love which leads to forgiveness and live in the power of our created purpose and enjoy the freedom that allows blessings to continue to flow into and through our life.

It really is all a matter of where you decide to invest your faith. What do you really believe in? Do you believe in the love you were created for, by and in? If you really believe, then you have all the power you need to overlook and overcome any sin committed against you. Face your feelings, feel them, work through them and then choose love which leads to forgiveness, which always ultimately sets you free to live the miracle.

Love is the way, forgiveness is the challenge and freedom is the reward…

Appreciation!

Don't Hate - Appreciate!

Someone said:  “You can’t see clearly until you appreciate fully.”  I hate to admit it, but for a small part of my life, I got distracted by people’s flaws and was unable to see and appreciate their potential.  If we focus on people’s flaws and miss their potential, then eventually the relationship/friendship will break down.

I am not perfect.  In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how just how many mistakes I have made and am still making.  Hopefully, I am at least beginning to learn from some of them.  None of us are flawless, but all of us have accomplishments and potential.  Many times our accomplishments and potential go unnoticed, because most of the people in our world are looking for what is wrong, instead of what is right.

When I was growing up, I used to hear the older folks talking a lot about appreciation.  I think appreciation may be one of the great lost art forms of our time.  To appreciate means that we make an intentional effort to look past and beyond the flaws, mistakes and mess-ups and instead focus in on a person’s value.  Every person in this life has value and contribution that makes life better.

Appreciation isn’t so much about saying “thank you”, as it is actually taking the time to recognize and understand the other person’s value and contribution that they can make.

I need to get better at appreciation.  In fact, I want to pull out this old art form from the past and put it into practice, but I can’t do it by myself.  I need your help.  If enough of us get it and practice it, then it will become a part of our nature.

Here are a few things that I am trying to do to practice appreciation for others:

1.) Accept people as they are!  I don’t have to agree with everything and I don’t have to like everything about a person to find something of value to appreciate in them.  Sure I want to see people grow, improve and live up to their potential, but I am learning that before I can help anyone do anything, I first have to accept. appreciate and love them.

2.) Be willing to learn new things!  I am a human being, but I don’t know all there is about human beings and what it means to live and succeed as one.  Since I have room in my life to grow, then I need to be open to differences of opinion, realizing that while, I don’t have to agree, that I also don’t have to let it tear apart what could be a meaningful relationship of relationships.  Sometimes we burn our bridges with no idea of who else could walk across them.

3.) Consider The Quickies:  There are a few things that I need to do and keep doing to really appreciate others.  I need to PAY ATTENTION.  I am sometime so focused on myself that I miss everything else around me – must continually work on this one!  I need to ASK MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS.  Questions help me to get below the surface, so that I can know more.  The more I know about you, the more opportunity, I have to find something to appreciate.  I need to REALLY CARE.  I care.  I have always cared, but I am learning that I can care more deeply and more real.  I am also discovering that I want to.

Appreciation is a choice.  We want others to make the choice to appreciate us, but maybe we need to make the choice first, and then take whatever might come our way.  Just a little something we all need to think about.  Here’s a question for you:  Who do you or who can you appreciate today?  Take the time to appreciate them and you will be glad you did!

Treasure Map!

Got Your Treasure Today?

As you wander though this life, you will stumble across many treasures!  Some will be found very easily, while others will take solid and continued effort.  These treasures are not placed upon life’s path by accident.  They are placed there by our Creator and are intended for out blessing and our growth.

Missed Any Lately? How many treasures have you missed out on?  Missed out on because you were not paying attention, or because what was a treasure did not look like a treasure to you?

Life Changing! When you come upon one of God’s treasures and you know it’s one of His treasures, from the very moment of it’s discovery, your life begins to change.  Your focus changes, your dreams increase and your goals grow!  Treasure is important, because it always carries with it the capacity to change our lives.

Matthew 13:44 says:  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Kingdom Relationship! One of the greatest treasures that God has given us, is the treasure of a Kingdom Relationship.  He does not give it to us because we deserve it.  He gives it to us out of His grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Because He gives us this Kingdom Relationship, it should change our lives – who we are, how we live, what we do, where we go and the why of everything that we do.

Don’t Waste It! Don’t waste your Kingdom Relationship!  Do whatever it takes to protect it, grow it and share it!  Remember:  It is a treasure and a treasure should bring blessings!

Three Things You Can’t Do!

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!”  Romans 5:1-2

There are three things that you cannot do, no matter how hard you try!  You can pretend to do these things and many people do, but to what advantage?

You Cannot Save Yourself! Scripture tells us that we are “justified through faith!”  Our being justified (made right) comes through faith, but not just any ole faith will do.  We must have faith in someone or something that matters or it is all for nothing.  We are made right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ!  It does not matter how smart or slick you think you are.  You will never be smart or slick enough to save yourself.  Jesus came and died on the cross – to do for you and me – what we could not do for ourselves!

You Cannot Manufacture Peace! Because we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am not talking about a moment of no worries.  I am talking about an inner certainty that everything is going to be okay as we trust, yield and follow God.  The very best that we can do in our everyday living is to put a band aid on the situations and circumstances that are bringing us down.  When you are made right with God through faith in Jesus, then you know that whatever is going on in your life is being used for God’s glory and man’s blessing as we trust and surrender to God and His magnificent will!

You Cannot Waste Grace! Faith in Jesus allows us to stand and walk in grace!  I think a lot of people now a days are living with a “fake grace!”  We like to say that we have received this beautiful gift from God, but the truth is this: If you have the gift of grace – it will change your life and the way that you live it! I see a lot of people now a days wasting grace, but it’s not God’s grace.  It is a grace that man has made up to justify his doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants and that is not grace at all!  It’s real or it’s fake and the way to tell is by how you are living your life!

Where Do You Stand?

You can’t save yourself, but you can be saved!  Just put your trust in the only One that really matters and let Him take care of the justification.

You can have peace, but you have to get rid of that pretend stuff that you have made up to open up your life to the real stuff that flows out of a growing and meaningful relationship with Jesus!

You got grace just waiting for you to allow yourself to really experience freedom.  Not freedom to do whatever you want, but freedom to do the right things that guide your life into and through blessing!

Realize what you can’t do and get out of God’s way and let Him work!  As God works on, in and through you, make sure that you are living the life that is giving Him the glory and you can’t help but experience the blessing!

U-Turn Blessings!

u_turn_sign_2So you have heard from God and made the decision to turn your life around! The Spirit has spoken and you have listened from the inside – out!  The message inside your heart will change the outside of your life!  Now that you are heading away from the destructive patterns of the world and toward the constructive plans of Heaven – what should you expect?

When we repent, change, u-turn or 180, then we can expect God to show up in big ways! God wants to do an amazing work to you and through you!

First – we can look for REFRESHING! I talk to people every day about life stuff and have discovered that most people are tired, frustrated, discouraged and just plain weak from the blows that life has dealt them.  We all need and long for refreshing!  Refreshing is not something that we can do for ourselves.  Refreshing is the work of God.  You can open your life to it, but God has to do the work.  When we repent, we open our lives to the refreshing work of the Holy Spirit.  God comes into our tired, frustrated and discouraged lives and strengthens us with power, hope and encouragement.

Second – God will provide RESTORATION! This is an amazing and beautiful gift from God.  Often times as we live our lives and make mistakes, we will later discover that our mistakes were not cheap, in fact they often costs us so much more than we ever dreamed we would have to pay.  But God is more than faithful and when we repent, He begins to put back together the broken pieces of our lives.  Your life may seem like a big ole mess, but it is never to big of a mess for God.  In fact God specializes in taking the impossible and making it possible!  Just trust Him and do what you know you need to do!

Third – God will bring REVIVAL! God has a whole new spiritual place that He wants to take you.  He has things that He wants to show you that will change your life for all eternity.  God wants to grow you from the inside-out and enable you to do awesome and mighty things for Him and His glory.

Make sure that you have made the turn away from self and go running just as fast as you can into the open arms of a loving Heavenly Father!  You will be glad, so glad that you did – as you experience His refreshing, restoration and revival!

Tempted!

Are you ever tempted?  That is really a crazy question, because the answer is obvious!  We are all tempted in many ways, on just about everyday of our lives!  

It starts in the morning when you need to get up and get going – you are tempted to just stay in the warm and cozy bed.  You get up and you are tempted to take shortcuts in getting ready, but your looks and smells are to important to mess that one up.  You are tempted to skip breakfast or to just grab a Snickers, instead of taking the time to eat something that is good for you.  When you get in your car, you are tempted to not wear you seat belt and you are tempted to speed to work, because you are running late!  (In fact – some of us have already given into a few at this point!)

When you get to work you are tempted to clean some body’s clock, because they looked at you funny or said the wrong thing!  You are tempted to get on Facebook and day dream a little, but there is just way to much to do.  You are tempted to really blow it at lunch, but you know – you won’t be fit for the afternoon if you really eat all of that food at the Chinese Buffet!  You are tempted to leave early – who would know and would that really be stealing?

When you get home you are tempted to crash on the couch with a glass of milk and eat all of the Oreo cookies!  You are tempted to watch a lot of different shows, but instead you give into the temptation to just flip from channel to channel to channel for over an hour.  You think:  Why did I just waste so much time watching a bunch of nothing?

Finally, tired of it all – you fall into bed and remember that you forgot to brush your teeth – you are tempted to say skip it, until you lean over to kiss your spouse and they say:  “No way Oreo breath!”  You fall a sleep and dream about temptation and actually wake up feeling guilty because you gave into the temptation in your dreams!

I hope you will join me this coming Sunday morning at Northwood as we learn from Jesus about how to face and overcome some of the more serious and threatening  temptations of life!  Hope to see ya Sunday at one of our two campuses!