“When you forgive others as God forgives you, you are essentially giving each other a rebrand, cleaning the slate as God does for all of His Kids.”~TB
A dog shows its belly– the most vulnerable part of its body– to those it trusts. But if said trusted individual kicks the dog in the belly, that dog will be sure not to show weakness to that person again. We as people tend to have that mindset when dealing with each other. Forgiveness is difficult because at the root of it exists pain and mistrust. Our thought process is: “how can I trust that person if they’ve hurt me?”. And to be completely honest, it’s tough. While I try to quickly forgive and turn the other cheek, I too have to reconcile the pain and mistrust that happens when those close to us let us down in one way or the other. That’s where God steps in– if you ask and allow Him to.
Give It Up
The pain and sorrow of transgressions are not for us to hold on to. In fact, we are supposed to give those things to God, because we lack the ability to process those things in a Christ-like manner on our own. When you give the transgressions and burdens to our Father in Heaven, He makes a way in us to love and extend forgiveness to our brothers and sisters. This is because He forgives us so freely and willingly each and every time, when you experience that kind of mercy, it becomes easier to share it with those around you. More to the point, when you practice honest, Biblical, forgiveness, not only do you allow the transgressor the ability to change, but so do you.
Have you ever been looked at as the person you once were rather than the person you are? It’s not fun carrying an outdated interpretation of your past, no matter how far you’ve come to make amends. It’s tough to change and grow when we all hold each other to the less than stellar moments in our lives. Trust me, we all have those moments. But to keep each other in those chains, it stagnates growth and community. That’s what happens when we do not forgive each other. Instead, give people space and grace to grow and be who God made them to be. By wiping the slate clean the act of forgiveness is a mutual endeavor that gives not only the parties involved the chance to start again, but those who are watching can accurately see that person as they truly are too. I’ve seen firsthand what a rebranded person looks and behaves like when given the opportunity. I hope that we all can tap into the Holy Spirit to grant each other that chance to rebrand and change too,
Are you giving space and grace to allow your brothers and sisters to rebrand; or are you stagnating the healing process?
Enjoy the reading
1If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered.
2Oh, that I could go away and forget my people and live in a travelers’ shack in the desert. For they are all adulterers— a pack of treacherous liars.
3“My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. They do not know me,” says the LORD .
4“Beware of your neighbor! Don’t even trust your brother! For brother takes advantage of brother, and friend slanders friend.
5They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth. With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning.
6They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge me,” says the LORD .
7Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “See, I will melt them down in a crucible and test them like metal. What else can I do with my people?
8For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows. They speak friendly words to their neighbors while scheming in their heart to kill them.
9Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?”
10I will weep for the mountains and wail for the wilderness pastures. For they are desolate and empty of life; the lowing of cattle is heard no more; the birds and wild animals have all fled.
11“I will make Jerusalem into a heap of ruins,” says the LORD . “It will be a place haunted by jackals. The towns of Judah will be ghost towns, with no one living in them.”
12Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it to others? Why has the land been so ruined that no one dares to travel through it?
13The LORD replies, “This has happened because my people have abandoned my instructions; they have refused to obey what I said.
14Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them.
15So now, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink.
16I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely.”
17This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Consider all this, and call for the mourners. Send for the women who mourn at funerals.
18Quick! Begin your weeping! Let the tears flow from your eyes.
19Hear the people of Jerusalem crying in despair, ‘We are ruined! We are completely humiliated! We must leave our land, because our homes have been torn down.’”
20Listen, you women, to the words of the LORD ; open your ears to what he has to say. Teach your daughters to wail; teach one another how to lament.
21For death has crept in through our windows and has entered our mansions. It has killed off the flower of our youth: Children no longer play in the streets, and young men no longer gather in the squares.
22This is what the LORD says: “Bodies will be scattered across the fields like clumps of manure, like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them.”
23This is what the LORD says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.
24But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!
25“A time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit—
26the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah. And like all these pagan nations, the people of Israel also have uncircumcised hearts.”
“By faith, the good work you do involves all that you have and evolves into more than you could ever imagine, when God is at the center of your motives and attention.” ~Jon Barnes
God has a way of making your simple plans and moves grow into big projects of importance, because of your obedience to His instructions. Your leadership role becomes important and noticed by all the people around you. People will listen and take notice of your personal stories of success and love because of your lifestyle and completion of service to God. Go with God’s Motives and not your own.
Opportunities will follow you by simply being faithful to God’s plan and being honest with your good work, thoughts, and deeds.Managing your time, money, and resources wisely is a major part of your faith walk. Teaching people to become committed to these important steps in their lives is not an easy task, so use patience. Distractions are real and they often kill dreams, visions, and deplete resources of success in the lives of people. As a result, nothing evolves because you quite the job God has for you and your addictions to this world can consume your life.
Being faithful is a product of working hard when there is no hope in sight. Your belief in God carries you to the next step in the process and each step appears as needed, right before your eyes. Your job is to take that step when it comes and pour the Love of God all over the job, as you complete that task. Destructive addictions will clog the arteries of success in your life by simply being disobedient to God. This will cause the steps of your path to disappear.
Is God at the center of your motives and attention or are your addictions controlling your mind and life?
Enjoy The Reading
1 Kings 15
Abijam Rules in Judah
15 Abijam[a] began to rule over Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel.2 He reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah, the granddaughter of Absalom.[b]
3 He committed the same sins as his father before him, and he was not faithful to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had been.4 But for David’s sake, the Lordhis God allowed his descendants to continue ruling, shining like a lamp, and he gave Abijam a son to rule after him in Jerusalem.5 For David had done what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and had obeyed the Lord’s commands throughout his life, except in the affair concerning Uriah the Hittite.
6 There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam[c] throughout Abijam’s reign.7 The rest of the events in Abijam’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. There was constant war between Abijam and Jeroboam.8 When Abijam died, he was buried in the City of David. Then his son Asa became the next king.
Asa Rules in Judah
9 Asa began to rule over Judah in the twentieth year of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel.10 He reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother[d] was Maacah, the granddaughter of Absalom.
11 Asa did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestor David had done.12 He banished the male and female shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols[e] his ancestors had made.13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down her obscene pole and burned it in the Kidron Valley.14 Although the pagan shrines were not removed, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful to the Lord throughout his life.15 He brought into the Temple of the Lordthe silver and gold and the various items that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel.17 King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.
18 Asa responded by removing all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. He sent it with some of his officials to Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message:
19 “Let there be a treaty[f] between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”
20 Ben-hadad agreed to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his army to attack the towns of Israel. They conquered the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Kinnereth, and all the land of Naphtali.21 As soon as Baasha of Israel heard what was happening, he abandoned his project of fortifying Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah.22 Then King Asa sent an order throughout Judah, requiring that everyone, without exception, help to carry away the building stones and timbers that Baasha had been using to fortify Ramah. Asa used these materials to fortify the town of Geba in Benjamin and the town of Mizpah.
23 The rest of the events in Asa’s reign—the extent of his power, everything he did, and the names of the cities he built—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. In his old age his feet became diseased.24 When Asa died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.
Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became the next king.
Nadab Rules in Israel
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam began to rule over Israel in the second year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Israel two years.26 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his father, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.
27 Then Baasha son of Ahijah, from the tribe of Issachar, plotted against Nadab and assassinated him while he and the Israelite army were laying siege to the Philistine town of Gibbethon.28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of King Asa’s reign in Judah, and he became the next king of Israel.
29 He immediately slaughtered all the descendants of King Jeroboam, so that not one of the royal family was left, just as the Lord had promised concerning Jeroboam by the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.30 This was done because Jeroboam had provoked the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by the sins he had committed and the sins he had led Israel to commit.
31 The rest of the events in Nadab’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.
Baasha Rules in Israel
32 There was constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel.33 Baasha son of Ahijah began to rule over all Israel in the third year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Baasha reigned in Tirzah twenty-four years.34 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of Jeroboam, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.