Friday, April 15, 2011


God is Gracious

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.  Matthew 18: 21-22
We all seek to be forgiven, but what happens when forgiveness is asked of us?  It takes courage, patience and a generous heart to forgive others when we have been wronged. At times we hold grudges, seek revenge, suppress anger and struggle with releasing hurts that can be very deep and profound.  Consequently, we end up suffering more and becoming bitter by not letting go. 
So, how does one accomplish this daunting task of forgiveness?  Jesus’ death on the cross reminds us of the extreme suffering Jesus endured to provide payment for our sins.  So if God’s grace allows us to be forgiven without any cost, we too should be able to extend the same grace and forgive others without receiving payment.  When we embrace God’s miraculous gift of grace that has been extended to us through faith and not by any works we do, we will then be able to forgive others, and in doing so experience freedom and true joy. 
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

Because God is gracious, through Christ we are able to forgive others and live joyfully.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:13

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Fools

God is Just

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.      Proverbs 12:15

We all love a good joke or prank once in a while to break up the stress of the day … maybe this is why April Fool’s Day can be so much fun.  But that one day of the year can also serve as a reminder that foolish thinking, pranks and schemes should be the exception and not the rule in our life; that while life should be enjoyed, foolishness and folly have consequences.

The Bible speaks at great length on the topic of foolishness.  Solomon, the wisest man to ever live writes in the Book of Proverbs that fools do not seek God’s wisdom and understanding.  That they do not follow God, but rather live by their own set of rules.  But, it is written that one day God will judge us all and His justice will prevail.  And, while our pride may lead us to believe we will have the last laugh, are we truly prepared for Judgment Day?  No matter the recklessness or how foolish your past, God’s mercy and grace are still available to you today -- it’s not too late. 
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.               Proverbs 19:20

Because God is just, with Christ we will face the final judgment in confidence.