Monday, June 27, 2016

To Forgive Or Not-That Is The Question


What do you think of when you hear the word forgiveness? Does it bring to mind people, places or things that hurt you? Do you get a sick feeling in your stomach thinking about how you will NEVER forgive “so and so” for what they did?

These are common reactions until we understand forgiveness and how God instructs us in this area.

The Word of Truth, God’s Word, tells us exactly how to think about forgiveness and what action to take.

Forgiveness is not a natural instinct. More often we lash out or recoil in self-protection, or pull back, remove ourselves from the situation and reject those who hurt us.

Take some time this week to read and meditate on the following scriptures. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any area of unforgiveness in your life. 

God forgives us our sins as we forgive others who have sinned against us.
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
 

Adopt the forgiveness of others into daily prayer. Make it a habit.
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25-26

How different would the world be if we practiced making allowances for each other’s faults?
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness is often not a one-time deal. It is more often a process, a “layering” of forgiveness!
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 18:22


Monday, June 20, 2016

Embraced by Hope by Guest Lori Boruff



Do you know the difference between a hug and an embrace?

When my bible study friend asked that question over a casual cup of coffee, I asked her to explain. `

She shared that hugs are quick squeezes or pats, but an embrace is two arms encompassing you in a long, lingering hold. A demonstration followed her explanation and the embrace won my heart. I felt super-duper loved!

Later that day, God—in His perfect timing, allowed me to witness an embrace as our four-year old grandson bolted through the front door. With his “Grandpa” antenna up, he quickly located his target. The pint-sized rocket landed in Grandpa’s arms and they both held on tight. Grandpa’s big words filled his tiny ears saying—“I’m so glad you are here! I missed you! I love you!”

The most precious part of that moment is knowing they were together the day before!
While the idea of an embrace was new to me, it is not new to God.

God gave Moses a last assignment before his death. He blessed the 12 Tribes of Israel. One blessing to the tribe of Benjamin with a geographical embrace!

In Deuteronomy 33:12b (NIV) Moses says “…the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Loved by Yahweh—this small, significant tribe received a secure dwelling place between the mountains. God knew exactly what they needed!

God knew exactly what I needed as I watched our teenage son hauled away in handcuffs by an arresting officer.  With depleted strength and a shattered heart I uttered these words “God, I don’t know how to pray.”

The Holy Spirit whispered Deuteronomy 33:12—“…the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” I knew at that moment all I needed to do was press in. Rest. Know that I am loved. Believe that I am embraced by hope. My night was peaceful.

What about you? Are you facing unthinkable circumstances today? Did you receive a bad report? Do you feel rejected by someone you love? Are you struggling to pray through the heartache? This blessing is for you! You are the one the LORD loves. You are embraced by hope.

The word rest means to dwell. Living in his embrace is to be a way of life. How’s that going for you? I’ll admit prior to our son’s arrest, my relationship with Jesus was more on a hug-level. Of course, he was always there when I needed him but living life in that loving, secure embrace changed me.

It’s there that he fulfills all of my longings for success, significance, security, spirituality and intimacy. It’s in his embrace I experience that perfect love that casts out fear (I John 4:18) and so much more!

Sherry’s June 13th blog gave you the first steps towards living life embraced by hope. Let those scriptures soak into your heart then designate quiet time to practice living life embraced by hope.

Day 1
Press in between his shoulders. Be still. Focus totally on him. When your mind wonders to the pile of laundry, a grocery list or upcoming meeting—FOCUS on the names of God.
Psalm 46:10 - He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”

Day 2 (Repeat Day 1)
Know that you are loved!  Thank God for loving you first. Cultivate a heart of gratitude.
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Day 3 (Repeat Day 1 and 2)
Rest one ear on his chest. Listen for his steady, strong heartbeat. Remain there until your anxious heartbeat is in harmony with his.
Psalm 139:23  Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Day 4 (Repeat Day 1, 2 and 3)
Open the other ear to hear his voice. Do you hear him say I love you, I’ve missed you, I’m so glad you are here! What truth is he speaking to you? What is God calling you to do?
John 10:27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Day 5
Repeat and enjoy the blessing of living life embraced by hope!
Deuteronomy 28:2  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.




Lori Boruff is co-director of Christian Communicators and a certified Find Your Beautiful Life Plan coach. Her online workshops, coaching and book, Hope In The Ruins, have proven transformational for women who feel stuck and are ready to experience freedom, success and greater purpose. Lori is a 2016 workshop leader at Carol Kent’s Speak Up With Confidence Conference. She is a Stonecroft speaker and fun favorite at women’s conferences and retreats. Connect with Lori at www.loriboruff.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Guest on Christian Communicators



I am honored to be co-director of Christian Communicators and a guest on the blog today. Click on the link below to read "A Plan with a Capital P". Leave a comment and share with your friends.







Monday, June 13, 2016

Are You Living a Life of Hope?



I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

We don’t hear a great deal about hope on the evening news, on the internet, or in our daily newspaper. Placing our hope in the things of this world is a mistake, and will only lead to disappointment and discouragement. 

The world is filled with hopeless situations, and it would be easy for us to be influenced by the current state of world affairs. As Christ followers, our hope is in Him. When we place our focus on His promises, we can remain hope-filled people in the midst of world chaos.

I often hear expressions such as these: “I hope my marriage will last. I hope my kids will be happy.I hope I have enough money.I hope my business will be successful.” We can’t “hope” things in to existence.

Are you living a life of hope today, right now, this minute? What thoughts have gone through your mind today? Are they hope-filled or hope-less? 

Are we are relying on ourselves or others for hope? Placing our hope in ourselves, our abilities, our situation or circumstance is misplaced hope.

 As Christ followers, our hope is in Him!

This week, let's read and meditate on what the Bible has to say about hope. 


Monday
But now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Psalm 39:7

Tuesday
We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. Romans 8:24-25

Wednesday
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 1 Peter 3:15

Thursday
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

Friday
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

Saturday
Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech. 2 Corinthians 3:12

Sunday
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14


Monday, June 6, 2016

God's Top Ten



Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments—on the stone tablets. Exodus 34:28 (NLT)


As Christians, God’s ten commandments are the foundation of what we believe. These commandments should be the moral compass we follow daily. They were given directly by God to the people of Israel after He delivered them from slavery in Egypt.

The Ten Commandments are neither obsolete nor irrelevant to our lives today.

Unger's Bible Dictionary says, "The Ten Commandments contain the essential principles of the moral law, and are therefore of permanent obligation, is affirmed in the NT [New Testament]. Jesus held the Ten Commandments up as the perfect code. When the young man asked Him the way of attaining eternal life, Jesus quoted from the Ten Commandments and told him to obey them and live (Mark 10:19; Luke 18:18-20).”

The first 4 Commandments teach us how to relate to God and the next 6 serve as a foundation for our relationship with other people. 

Let’s use these commandments as our devotions this week. Read each one and meditate on the application for your life today.

Monday
I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me. Exodus 20:2-3 

Tuesday
You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. Exodus 20:4 
You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. Exodus 20:7 

Wednesday
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8 
Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 

Thursday
You must not murder. Exodus 20:13
You must not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

Friday
You must not steal. Exodus 20:15

Saturday
You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16