for praying for me as I have been going through some real struggles. It is not health for the Lord has been quite
gracious to me. I have lost a few pounds
which I needed to do and am feeling fine.
It is not a financial or social or personal problem either. It has been a spiritual battle within me. I find myself wasting time on lesser
important things and not doing the things that are of eternal value. One of the things that I have neglected is
posting here on the website and I felt that I needed to address it openly and
that I haven’t had time, for I get the same allotment that you and everyone
else get, 24 hours a day. Not even a
second more or a second less but exactly 24 hours a day. It is not how much time I have but how I
manage it. Lately, I have been letting
it manage me and that was my sin. Just
as you can just sit in a boat on a river and remain in one position, life is
constantly moving like the river and either you let it carry you down river or
you paddle to go upriver. If you try to
anchor yourself in one position you will eventually sink because the river is
constantly changing. Not only is it
always moving but sometimes it has more water and sometimes it has less. Sometimes the wind blows and sometimes it is
at rest. Also, the seasons are
constantly changing and bring various types of debris that affect your
12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Itis
not alike I was doing something that was sinful or immoral. I wasn’t being productive in my
stewardship. It doesn’t have to be a
sinful activity in order for it to be a sin.
Any old weight will do. Weights
are unnecessary activity that consumes your attention and resources so that you
are not effective in doing the will of God.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not,
to him it is sin.
I do not
offer excuses, but rather, I ask from you forgiveness. We are all on a journey to eternity and the
decisions we make determine not only the journey now but also how we are
completed for eternity.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly
unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace
to help in time of need.
wife asked me the difference between grace and mercy. She said that she has gone over this before
but still has trouble distinguishing between them. I know that they can be confused as they are
so similar. As in the verse above they
are used in the same sentence and the difference is not readily
understood. At one time I heard this explanation
and it stuck and I have been using it ever since, as it made it clear to me. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve and
mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
when I was growing up that there were times that I messed up and came under the
judgement of my parents. I was
confronted with my fault and there was a time of discussion followed by some punishment
which was then followed by my dad taking me in his arms and telling me how he
loved me and that it was harder on him than it was on me. I never understood what was so hard on him
because I was the one facing the music.
This came clear to me as a parent and on the other end of the
situation. The purpose of the discussion
was to make sure that my understanding was clear so that I would be able to
make a good decision next time. The
punishment was never for the purpose of me paying for my transgression, but to
turn me from such actions. Had it been
for punishment it would have been much more severe. That was mercy – not getting what I deserved. Then when it was all over and he would take
me in his arms and tell me how much he loved me – that was grace- getting what
I did not deserve.
people do not want to come to God to be confronted with their transgressions
out of fear, not knowing the heart of God.
Perhaps no one does, but I have
found that it is necessary if we are to our relationship with Him. This is also true between individuals as
well. No matter how good the
relationship was before, when a breach of that relationship happens, it is
never the same again. That does not mean
that it cannot be repaired and even become greater than it ever had been, but
in order for that to happen, there must be a confrontation between the offended
and the offender. If it is only
dismissed or ignored then the relationship cannot continue until it is
When the confrontation
happens, then the offended must cancel the debt in some manner. It will include both grace and mercy. There will be a forgiveness of the debt
(grace) and the holding of the person in greater value than the offence
(mercy). Whenever the offended is not big enough to extend both
grace and mercy then the offender is unable to get past the breach and will
carry it from then on and it will stunt his growth in future
relationships. It will either cost you
something or you will forfeit something.
So the end result is that the offender and the offended have an opportunity
to grow or both become handicapped because of the offence. It is really up to those involved as to which
path they will travel.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive
men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
2Corinthians 2:7 So that
contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such
a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
1John 1:9 If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
Forgiveness is a concept that is often misunderstood and has
therefore not brought the peace and relief that was intended. We hear
phrases like “Forgive and Forget” or “God will forgive us because He loves
us”. Though these type of phrases are well intended, they do not properly
represent the truth about forgiveness. You do not have the power to just
forget. You will still remember long after forgiveness has been
given. Forgiveness does not wipe the memory, but it justifies the
memory. Further, God’s forgiveness is not based on his pity or compassion
for us but it is based on the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we
reject His Son and His work on the cross, we also reject His forgiveness and we
Forgiveness is not excusing the trespass but accepting the cost
of the trespass for yourself. Forgiveness is not discounting the trespass
as though it doesn’t matter for it does matter. Forgiveness is not
overlooking the trespass for the barrier it has brought will continue to grow
until it is addressed with forgiveness. Forgiveness is understood as
‘giving forth’ or giving to the extent of the need. Forgiving will
cost you something. It not only hurts but also requires something from
you that is beyond your human ability. To forgive requires that you go to
God to receive the grace and mercy that is required by the offence. It is
not a natural thing but is a supernatural response of the Holy Spirit to reach
the heart of the offender and to reconcile man to God and man with man.
When we shut up our forgiveness several things happen. First
there is a conflict between you and God. To refuse to forgive is a
slap in God’s face for what He has done for you. Second, your concern for
the offender should be cause enough for you to forgive him. To withhold
forgiveness reveals a lack of love for your fellow man as well as a lack of
faith in God. Third, when we withhold forgiveness it causes a barrier for
us in our growth and we become bitter and the longer it goes on, the more
bitter we become. Further, it hinders our spiritual life is every way and
we open ourselves up to the tricks of the Devil. There is every reason
for us to forgive as it exposes God who lives in us, to the world, it improves
our relationships and people skills and equally importantly, it not only
improves our disposition and attitude but also settles the war inside of us,
restores our joy and peace and builds us in multiple ways. We are all on
a journey to our eternal home so lets enjoy the trip.