Forgive Others As God Has Forgiven You

COLOSSIANS 3:13 NKJ 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Forgiving others for deep hurts seems to be one of the hardest things a human being can do. In fact — very few are successful in forgiving.

Yet, in the Bible God commands us to forgive. Is God overly demanding, or…?

God is smart. That is why He commands us to forgive. (Also because He loves us and desires the best for us.) God knows how terribly destructive it is for us to harbor unforgiveness. Not forgiving someone can literally kill you.

Unforgiveness is a poison that eats away at your spiritual, mental, and physical health and life.

Knowing that, God strictly tells us to forgive. But how can we? We are just human, and we don’t feel like forgiving when someone has wronged us severely.

(You may think it is impossible to forgive someone who hurt you. With God it is possible. He never asks us to do something we cannot do.)

The answer is in receiving God’s help, enabling you to forgive. First, you must be “born again” spiritually by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord. That means you receive new life in your inner being, giving you a new nature — a nature of love instead of selfishness.

Next, when you are wronged, you need to ask the Lord to help you forgive the person who hurt you. Having done that, you must make a firm decision to quit holding anything against that person.

Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision to quit holding something against someone. When you forgive you must release them and forget it.

You must forgive by faith, after asking God to help you. Feelings always follow faith — not the other way around.

How can we humans forgive others just as God has forgiven us? Having God’s help is necessary. Only His love in our hearts can enable us.

You must forgive others — no matter what they have done. To not forgive hurts you. You must forgive.

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You Are God’s Garden

1 CORINTHIANS 3:9 LB 9 We are only God’s coworkers. You are God’s garden, not ours; you are God’s building, not ours.

We discovered that God’s Word is a seed (Luke 8:11). Now we see that the Bible says that we, as believers, are God’s garden — the place where seed is planted.

The question for you to consider is: who determines the harvest? God, or you?

(The harvest I speak of is the fruit, or result, of the Word of God. The harvest of blessing that God’s Word produces in your life.)

I suggest that the harvest is mainly controlled by the one who determines what seed is planted. Would you agree?

If wheat seed is planted, it is unreasonable to expect a harvest of corn. If only a few seeds are planted, it is unreasonable to expect a large harvest. Wouldn’t you agree?

Yes, you are God’s field, but He allows you a lot of freedom to choose what will be produced in your life. And the main way you choose is by choosing what seed will be planted in your heart and mind.

You can choose something other than God’s Word. You can also choose different areas of God’s Word. Planting different scriptures will produce different results in your life.

If all you ever plant are scriptures on the new birth, you cannot expect to have a huge harvest of healing or financial blessing in your life. The choice is yours.

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Jesus Revealed God To Us

2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 ICB 4 The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News — the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God.

What is God like?

Before Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene, the human concept of God was a bit fuzzy. (It still is for those who have not understood this truth.)

But Jesus perfectly revealed to us what God is like. He was (and is) Heaven’s perfect representative.

COLOSSIANS 1:15 ICB 15 No one has seen God, but Jesus is exactly like him. Christ ranks higher than all the things that have been made.

COLOSSIANS 1:15 WEYMOUTH 15 Christ is the visible representation of the invisible God, the Firstborn and Lord of all creation.

HEBREWS 1:3 WEYMOUTH 3 He brightly reflects God’s glory and is the exact representation of His being, and upholds the universe by His all-powerful word. After securing man’s purification from sin He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

The scriptures above should have made it clear that God is like Jesus. Now let’s look at a verse summarizing the life of Jesus on earth.

ACTS 10:38 NKJ 38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Notice that Jesus went about DOING GOOD — not doing bad. Not hurting people, but helping people. That is what God is like.

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You Are A Citizen of Heaven

PHILIPPIANS 3:20 NRSV 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a new citizenship. Your name is written in Heaven. Heaven is your homeland.

Because you are its citizen, Heaven is responsible for you. If necessary, Heaven will send its soldiers (angels) to assist you, and when necessary, to evacuate you.

Although we live on earth, we operate under the laws of our homeland, Heaven, as well as the laws of earth.

As a citizen you have certain rights and obligations. To understand them you need to read the Bible with the help of illumination by the Holy Spirit. You need to ask the Lord to teach you and give you understanding of these things.

COLOSSIANS 1:13 NRSV 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,

As believers, we are no longer under the authority or control of the devil. We have been transferred into a new kingdom.

One of our rights as citizens of Heaven is to resist the devil and all his works. Anything that is of the devil, we do not have to submit to.

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How God’s Word Will Make You Free

JOHN 8:31-32 NRSV 31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Notice carefully what Jesus actually said. It is not those who “start in the word” or “try the word for awhile” who will be made free. You must continue in Jesus’ message — His Word. It must be His accurate message — not just someone’s idea about it, or religious tradition.

Some translations use the word “abide” instead of “continue.” Abide means to stay somewhere continually. Either way, the meaning involves staying with it.

Note what Jesus said in verse 32, “and you will KNOW the truth . . .” Just hearing truth does not necessarily make you free. You must KNOW it is the truth. When you KNOW something, you will act on it. If you are not acting on something, you do not yet truly KNOW it. You act on what you know.

Hearing the truth is not enough. Loving the truth is not enough. Even speaking the truth is not enough. You must continue until you know that you know that you know that you know. Only then are you at the point where truth will make you free. Because only then will you be able to act with faith and boldness on God’s Word.

The devil is against you and is intent on keeping you in bondage. Only when you KNOW where you stand will you act in faith and overcome the strategies of the devil.

You may ask, “How can I KNOW the truth? I just have weak faith.”

Jesus gave the answer: continue in His Word. As you continue in the Word of God you will become convinced — you will know — you will have faith. When you reach the point of knowing something — you will act on that knowledge. In this way the truth will make you free.

This works in every area of life: your relationships, your health, your finances — everything. Continue in the Word of God on any subject — and you will eventually see the fruit of freedom in that area of your life.

God gave you His Word for your benefit — not for His benefit. God already knows the truth, and always acts on it. Because God loves you, He gave you His Word to help you.

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Thank You!

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 NLT 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

When you don’t know what to say or do — say “Thank You!”

Sometimes we feel like we don’t know what to do. We wonder what God’s perfect will is.

Certainly the will of God is not for us to start worrying and being fearful about missing His will. Instead we should stay in faith, knowing that God is working and guiding us even when we are not aware of it.

God is not responsible for the bad things that come our way in life — the devil and people are to blame.

But when we start complaining and criticizing, we step out of faith, joy, and peace. These spiritual forces (the “fruit” of the spirit) are for our protection.

So we can, and should, always thank God at all times. We should develop the habit of having an attitude of gratitude.

Our God is amazing! He can turn bad things around and take the sting out of them.

When we stay in faith, always being thankful, the sting is removed from the evil that comes against us. Then, instead of destroying us, it can become a stepping-stone to take us to a higher place of blessing.

So while God is not actually responsible for any of the bad things that happen, we should be thankful always — no matter what happens.

An attitude of constant gratitude provides a shield of faith protecting you and allowing God to freely act in your life, bringing blessing and deliverance.

So when something bad happens in your life, don’t complain. Don’t criticize God, or people. Don’t beat yourself over the head. Just begin (and continue) to say things like:

Thank You Lord that you are with me to guide me and help me, that You love me, that You are working in my life, that You protect me and preserve me and deliver me from evil, and that no weapon formed against me shall prosper or prevail!

The most appropriate words you can ever speak are “Thank You!”

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The Difference Between Jesus And The Devil

John 10:10 NIV 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

There is a stark contrast between the Lord Jesus Christ and the devil.

Jesus is for you. He loves you and desires the best for you. He loves you even more than He loves Himself. He proved it by dying in your place. His desire is for you to have life in its fullness — life as God planned it to be — both now and for all eternity.

The devil is the opposite of Jesus. The devil is against you and is always trying to steal from you, kill you, and destroy everything that is good. The devil is selfish and does not care about you or anyone else but himself.

Can you trust the devil? Yes . . . to be the devil. You can depend on him lying and trying to always deceive you. The purpose of this deception is always to draw you away from God and His Word because that is your only source of help and deliverance from the devil’s strategies — which are stealing, killing, and destroying.

Can you trust Jesus? The answer should be obvious. Anyone who cares for you enough to die in your place, suffering for you, so you won’t have to suffer, is trustworthy. Jesus promised to never forsake you. He will never quit loving you and trying to help you.

The trouble is, too many people hinder Jesus from helping them. They believe and follow what the devil says, and turn away from Jesus and the Word of God.

You need to invite and welcome Jesus Christ into your life — in every area. He wants to help you, but will not force His help on you. If you don’t — the devil may get into those areas of your life and wreak havoc.

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The Gift of Righteousness

ROMANS 5:17 NIV 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

The New Testament reveals the good news that God offers righteousness as a free gift to everyone who receives the Lord Jesus Christ.

Righteousness means right-wise-ness, or being right. So righteousness is right standing, or good standing with God.

Righteousness is a GIFT from God — not something you can earn or achieve. God simply declares that you are innocent, as far as He is concerned, because you believe in Jesus.

You are righteous if Jesus is your Lord. In fact, Jesus is your righteousness. So, you are really as righteous as God is — because He IS your righteousness. As a believer in Jesus, you will never be more righteous — no matter what you do.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:30 NIV 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

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Hold Fast Your Confession

HEBREWS 3:1; 4:14 NKJ 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

HEBREWS 10:23 NKJ 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Your confession is what you say. You should persistently continue speaking in faith, agreeing with what God has said, regardless of circumstances. If it never seemed like it was not working, there would be no need to hold fast, or hang on, to a confession of faith.

Some people are surprised when they act on God’s Word and it does not immediately come to pass. But there is abundant evidence in Scripture showing that is normal. God never promised that everything would happen instantly. The time period involved gives us opportunity to walk in faith and please God.

Remember that authority is released through words. When we speak in DIS-agreement with what God says, we are giving authority in that area of our lives to our enemy. This is why Scripture tells us to struggle (if necessary) to keep speaking in agreement with God’s Word.

Why does the Bible tell us to “hold fast” — or you might say “hang on tight” or “hang on for dear life.” Obviously, something or someone is trying hard to get us to turn loose. Who or what do you think that is?

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Life Can Be Tough

JOHN 16:33 ICB 33 “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”

Jesus never promised us that everything would be perfect here on earth. He recognized that we would encounter trouble. But His instructions were to be of good cheer — not to let it get us down.

As we encounter difficulties in life, it will help us to remember the big picture. First, God is our Father and has a wonderful eternal plan for us. We are His children and He loves us. Second, this time is but a training period for our future life with God. We are supposed to be learning to trust God and to obey Him.

So, every problem we ever face is an opportunity to walk in faith and please God. Every problem is an opportunity to overcome with God’s help. How can we expect to receive the blessings promised to the overcomer if we never have anything to overcome?

What is the answer when we seem overwhelmed with trouble? Look to Jesus. He has already won the victory. He has overcome and defeated the world. In Him is victory.

You may ask how you can look to Jesus. It is mostly a matter of focus — what you choose to think on. What God says in His Word will set you free and give you peace. What the circumstances say is not the final word.

So, go to God’s Word. Cling to the promises. Speak them. Sing them. Shout them. Rejoice over them. And thank God for them.

Also, you need to develop a closer relationship with the Lord. That is His desire and it should be yours. All relationships are based on communication, so you must talk to the Lord to deepen your relationship with Him. Develop the habit of talking with Him about everything. You can speak freely to Him — after all He knows what you are thinking anyway.

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