FORGIVENESS

One of the great principles of the Christian life is forgiveness. Jesus modeled this principle for us when he hung on the cross and prayed for the very people who had put him there. His words were so powerful and unexpected that they brought about the conversion of one of the thieves hanging on the cross next to him. Because completely forgave us, he wants us to follow his example by forgiving others. We need to follow Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children.”Jesus - woman at the well

God Desires to Forgive Us

Psalm 130:1-8

From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness,  that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

Unforgiveness-Prayer

O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation. He himself will free Israel from every kind of sin.

 

Forgiveness Should Have No limits

Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came to him and asked. “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”  “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”For this reason the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. But the man fell down before the king and begged him, ‘Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all’ Then the king was filled with pity with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

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“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full.

“When some of the other servants saw this, they were upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?” Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart.”

Forgiveness Is Not Selective

Matthew 5:38-48

“You have heard the law of Moses says, ‘If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.’ But I say don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

“You have heard the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt, tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

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How We Can Know God

What’s Missing in Our Life!

In the Bible –  Ecclesiastes 2: 24-25 “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that this pleasure is from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?”

Purpose, meaning, a reason for living – these are all things we desire and search for in life. But despite our search, we still feel empty and unfulfilled. We each have an empty place in our heart, a spiritual void, a “God-shaped vacuum.” Possessions won’t fill it, nor will success, relationship, or even religion. Only through a vibrant relationship with God can this void be filled, but before such a relationship can be established, we need to face a serious problem

The Problem: Sin

“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible identifies this problem as sin. Sin is not just the bad things we do but an inherent part of who we are. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. King David once wrote, “I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Because we are born sinners, sinning comes to us naturally. And every problem we experience in society today can be traced back to our refusal to live God’s way.

The Solution: Jesus Christ

“We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we can all be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.” (Romans 3:22). God understood our problem our problem and knew we could not beat it alone. So he lovingly sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to bridge the chasm of sin that separates us from God. Jesus laid aside his divine privileges and walked the earth as a man, experiencing all the troubles and emotions that we do. Then he was arrested on false charges and killed on a Roman cross. But this was no accident. He did it to suffer the punishment deserved by us all. And then three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death forever!

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Jesus carry the cross

Nail Pierced Hand

The Response: Accepting God’s Offer

“Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins.” (Acts 3:19). To know Jesus Christ personally and have our sins forgiven, we must believe that we are sinners separated from God and that our only hope is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came and died for our sins. But we must not stop with this realization. We also need to take steps toward confessing and turning from our sins. And we must welcome Jesus Christ into our life as Lord and Savior. He will move in and help us to change from the inside out. If you are ready to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ so that you can receive his forgiveness, take a moment to pray like this:

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Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me and dying for me on the cross. Your precious blood washes me clean of every sin. You are my Lord and my Savior, now and forever. I believe that You rose from the dead and that You are alive today. Because of Your finished work, I am now a beloved child of God and heaven is my home Thank You for giving me eternal life, and filling my heart with Your peace and joy. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer and meant it from your heart, you can be sure that God has forgiven you and received you into his family.

 

 

Prayer Of Faith – (Last of the series)

The Prayer Of Faith Has A Bold Confession

A positive confession is essential to the functioning of faith. “I believed, therefore have I spoken” (2Cor 4:13). “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. (Rom: 10:10). “Let us hold fast to the profession [confession] of our faith without wavering, for he is faithful that promised, who also will do it”. (Heb 10:23).

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Jesus explained the relationship between our confession and receiving what we ask of God. “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he sayeth shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23).

What so ye desire.................

If your confession does not agree with the Word of God, then it is not faith speaking. Faith always agrees with God’s Word. The literal meaning of the verb “to confess” in New Testament Greek is “to agree with,” “to say the same thing.”

If we are to pray the prayer of faith, without doubting, then our conversation and confession must also harmonize with our prayer.

Persistent Prayer

The Prayer Of Faith Acts In Agreement With Our Confession.

Our faith confession is a verbal statement which agrees with the attitude of faith we hold about the healing of this sick person. We go somewhat further than speaking words of faith. We must take faith actions. These are actions which agree with the faith statements we have made. This is literally acting upon God’s Word.

James says: Faith without works is dead.” (Jas 2:20). If we profess to believe something, but do not act upon it, then our profession is empty. So often Jesus demanded faith action from those whom He healed. “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” He commanded the lame man (Mark 2:11). It is usually at this precise moment, when one begins to act in faith, that a miracle takes place.

In contrast, many do not receive healing, because at the moment at which they should act in faith, they fail to finally set on the promise.

The Prayer Of Faith Continues Steadfastly.

Hebrews 10:23 says: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for he is faithful that promised.” Very often our faith is tested because what we ask and believe for is not immediately manifest. This is very critical and important factor in the exercise of faith.

True faith is enduring quality which continues to believe steadfastly, even when the results are not immediately evident. True faith does not cast….”cast away its confidence, which has great recompense of reward” (Heb 10:35,36).

Bible faith relates solely to what God’s Word declares. It does not depend upon feelings, symptoms or evidences. It believes, confesses and acts upon the Word of God.

For Abraham, this process went on for years. While he waited for God to do what he promised, Abraham “…was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom 4:18-21). With faith and patience, he inherited the promise (Heb 6:12)

The Prayer Of Faith Gives The Glory to God

Abraham is well known as a man of great faith. His example in this regard is both inspiring and instructive. Romans 4:16-21 contains helpful principles concerning the operation of his faith. These include the fact that Abraham was careful to give the glory to God.

The trouble with many Christians is that God cannot trust them with great exploits of faith, because they would take the glory to themselves. They would make themselves appear to be someone great.

God is extremely jealous of His glory. He will share it with another. We also need to be mindful of this fact. Always be careful to give honor and glory to God for wonderful things which He accomplishes. It is not your faith which has performed the miracle; it is God’s faith, fullness and power. Your faith, at best, has been but a channel for God’s power to flow through.

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Prayer Of Faith

The Prayer Of Faith Has A Definite Objective.

Jesus asked: “What wilt thou, that I should do unto thee?”  (Mark 10:51). In modern terminology He was asking “WHAT is your specific desire? What is the specific nature of your requests?”

Christians are often so unspecific in their prayers that they would not even know afterwards whether God had answered their prayer or not. If we pray vaguely, we shall not receive anything. We must define specifically , what it is we are believing God to do, and make that request known to Him in prayer with thanksgiving.

10168217_795077327249121_8881002770221161502_nA blind man to whom Jesus addressed such a question replied immediately: “Lord that I might receive my sight” (Mark 10:51). He stated his desire definitely, specifically and concisely. Jesus responded to his request at once, and the man received his sight.

The Prayer Of Faith Asks And Receives

Many sincere Christians, have failed to understand that the prayer of faith is both asking and RECEIVING. To ask and to keep on indefinitely can sometimes be an indication of our unbelief.

Jesus said: “Ask and it shall be given to you (Matt 7:7). So when we have asked Him, we need then to receive our request from His hand with appropriate thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:6)

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The Prayer Of Faith Has A Right Motive.

James in the Bible explained two main reasons why we sometimes do not receive the answers to our prayers (James 4:2,3) The first is that we sometimes simply do not ask! The second reason is that we pray, but with wrong motive. James says “we ask a miss” for selfish reasons.

So we ought to ensure that our motives are pure. Do we want this request for the right reason? The right reason is that God should be glorified and His Name exalted. Anything less than this is frequently suspect in its motivation.

Many people desire things for extremely selfish reasons. God does not generally respond to self-centered prayers. It is good to clarify one’s motives and make sure they are worthy ones. The minister whom God may use to impart healing must also ensure that his motives are worthy ones. Some pray for the sick because of vain and superficial motives. Too many ministers begin to think that the power comes from them instead of through them. Many are puffed up with pride because God is using them. They frequently disqualified themselves from greater effectiveness through this carnal attitude.

Still others would use the gift of God for personal gain. In doing so, they pervert that gift. The principle is:….”freely you have received, freely give…….” (Matt10-8).

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PRAYER OF FAITH

Prayer of faith

Heal Sick Bodies – Ways and Means Of Healing

The Prayer Of Faith is based solely on what’s God’s Word declares. The foundation upon which the prayer of faith stands is the integrity of God’s Word alone. The prayer of faith does not look to any other source for confirmation or encouragement. It believes implicitly that God’s Word is the source of ultimate truth. “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Rom 3:4).

Biblical faith has its origins in God’s Word. “Faith cometh by hearing,  and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). It follows that if we are to pray the prayer of faith, we must familiarize ourselves thoroughly with what God’s Word says about healing.

We must KNOW, from His Word, that it IS His will to heal. There must be a sound foundation of faith deep within us, built upon God’s Word alone.

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The Prayer Of Faith Knows The Will Of God

A leper once said to Jesus: “If you will, you can make me whole”. (Matt 8:1-4). This leper had no doubt whatsoever as to the ability of Jesus to heal his condition. His doubt was in the area whether or not it was His will to do so.

Jesus settled this immediately when He replied:  “ ‘I will, be thou clean, ‘ and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”  We must also be firmly settled in our heart that it is God’s will to heal. If any uncertainty or doubt within causes us to conclude our prayer with “if it be Thy will,” then we have NOT prayed the prayer of faith.

In other words, while it is always God’s desire to heal, sometimes His healing is delayed or hindered for certain reasons. We need to ascertain that it is indeed God’s will to heal this person right now. Sometimes when we seek this specific knowledge, God reveals some hindrance which is blocking the manifestation of His healing power. We can then seek to rectify that problem, and clear the way for healing to take place.  The prayer of faith is, therefore, totally committed to the confidence that God is going to answer prayer and heal the sick one. There is no room for doubt, uncertainty or hesitancy. This prayer is one of supreme, committed confidence.