July 31st ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

Father God,

We come to You today and lift up this nation. Scripture promises that if your people will humble themselves, and seek You, that You will hear and answer our prayers, and heal our land. God, this country desperately needs your great healing. We are your people, but so many of us have lost our way. Open the eyes of Your people to recognize the harm we have done to this nation, and forgives us our great national sins. Touch us all to repent and turn back to You. We call upon You to help us change our ways so You will want to heal and bless America. Lord, shed your grace on us.

Amen.

Thank you for praying for our nation this past month. Never underestimate the power of prayer!

Blessings to you all!

July 26 ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Proverbs 14:34:

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

 

 

Father God,

Forgive us our great national sins. As a people we have turned our back on You and acted in vile and despicable ways. Forgive us and guide us to righteousness. Help us to flee from sin and act righteously. Touch our tongues and make our speech gentle and kind. Help us change our ways so we act honorably and with humility in every situation. Make us a beacon of light to others. Help us to act rightly in every endeavor and serve everyone we meet for the good of every person, family, community, and the entire nation.

Amen.

 

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 13th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Lamentations 3:40-41

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”

Heavenly Father,

Only you are Holy. We acknowledge we have sinned against You – as a people and individually. Guide us to truly examine ourselves and our ways and to repent, for ourselves and this nation. Be merciful to us and guide us back to a right relationship with You. We lift up our hearts and hands in praise and thanksgiving to You Lord, and we and thank You for Your blessings, guidance, and forgiveness.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

 

 

Thankfulness – Day 6


Day 6 mercies new every am

Loving and Forgiving God,

Today I thank you for the gift of forgiveness. Thank you for Jesus Christ so that through Him we may be forgiven. Thank you for the promise of eternal life.  Thank you for second chances and new opportunities to honor and serve You. Help us to also forgive those who have hurt us.

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 86:15

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

May you be able to accept God’s forgiveness and also forgive others.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Images: Google Images

Letting Go


let_go

We all get involved in relationships that don’t go the way we want. Inside we say that the other person is wrong; and that may be true. However, if being right causes us intense grief and frustration, isn’t it better to just let it go?

Saying that is easy, practicing it, well- that’s an art form. So how do we deal with relationships that hurt? If possible, get out of the relationship. Since we can’t always do that, we have to learn to deal with the hurtful emotions and feelings.

I’m no psychologist, but I learned what the Bible tells us. The key is to letting go is to forgive (Matthew 6:14-15). Failure to forgive only leads to more bitterness and resentment. There’s an old saying that goes: “Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Refusing to forgive, or let something go, is not healthy for our relationships or our bodies.

What does it mean to forgive? Forgiveness is a deliberate decision to let go of resentment. We might always remember the event or words that hurt us. However, forgiveness can help us stop focusing on the hurt. Then we can look for positive responses. That’s how we begin to heal. Forgiveness may even lead to feeling empathy or compassion for the person who hurt us.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting us. We forgive the person without excusing the wrongdoing. It’s ok to avoid those hurtful situations in the future.

We also have to take into consideration the role we played in the event that hurt us. Could it be a misunderstanding? What about our responses so far? Did we do something (or not do) to contribute to the problem? Did we really have to say our peace? What have the hostile emotions done to us? We must take responsibility for our actions and forgive ourselves as well.

Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps us go on with life. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace. Forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being, lower blood pressure, less stress, improved heart health and a higher self esteem. You also learn to forgive yourself.¹

We have to decide what we are going to do (or not do) to make the situation better. Then go do it (or stop doing it.) The process will likely take some time, and a lot of hard work, but if we want our relationships to flourish, we need to deal with the negative ones quickly and appropriately.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 Colossians 3:13

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

 Matthew 18: 21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.

Matthew 5:23-24

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 Luke 6:37

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

 John 8:7 NIV

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

 

May you feel the peace and blessings of renewed relationships.

Scripture: www.openbible.info (ESV)

Image: google images

1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/25/forgiveness-health-benefits_n_6029736.html

The Restoration of Peter


I wanted to blog about Peter because we all fall short of doing what our Lord asks of us. The Restoration of Peter is a reminder that we can all be restored to Jesus.

What changed Peter? He was one of Jesus’ inner circle, but yet he went on to deny knowing Christ (Luke 22:54-62). Then, in Acts 2, he preached the sermon that converts 3,000 to Christ. Something happened in-between. We know the Holy Spirit came upon the Disciples in Acts 2:1-4. But I think the change in Peter happened before that.

The text I will refer to is John 21.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples returned to fishing (John 21:1-3). Maybe they were returning to that way of life, maybe they were simply providing for themselves. We just know they didn’t catch anything that night.

In verses 4-6, Jesus returns and directs their work. The lesson here is that when we work with divine guidance we will be successful.

Watch what Peter does in verse 7. Peter couldn’t wait for the boat to see Jesus again; he had to jump out of the boat to get to Jesus as fast as he could. This is the disciple who had previously denied his Lord.

Peter’s Restoration:

After the disciples enjoy breakfast with their Master, Jesus asks Peter the same question three times. In verses 15-16 Jesus inquires about Peter’s love. Peter responds that “You know I love You.” Then Jesus tells Peter to “feed His lambs and tend His sheep.” Forgiveness and restoration has already been given, along with a command of what to do next.

But Jesus goes on to ask Peter again, this time asking Peter if he loves Him more than “these” (verse 17).

What does “these” mean? It could refer to the large catch of fish, assuming Peter intended to return to being a fisherman. It could also mean the other disciples. In any case, the Lord wants our love and devotion above all other things, and people. One of the ways we do this is in service to other people. Jesus is telling Peter he must give himself to the service of God’s people.

Notice that Jesus does not ask Peter for a public apology, nor does he publicly humiliate Peter. But he does allow Peter three public affirmations of love to replace the three public denials of Him. At the same time, Jesus restores Peter to service.

Finally, in the call on Peter’s life, in verse 18-19, we see the phrase that applies to every one of us, “Follow Me.”

Wherever we fall short, Jesus can and will restore us, and allow us to serve Him, perhaps in miraculous ways. Never think your shortcomings have ended your service to our Great God.

Matthew 4:19 (ESV)

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 Scripture is from www.BibleGateway.com

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