Though seasoned in walking with God, Jacob remained a victim of his own carnal clumsiness. Instead of seeing the Lord’s hand of protection on his sons’ lives, he became paralyzed by fear, worry, and resentment. Jacob relied on himself rather than on God’s strength. And his reluctance to trust God almost led to disaster. Sometimes we tend to be just like Jacob—expecting the worst rather than trusting God’s best.
The word forgiveness draws various reactions. If we’re talking about God’s forgiveness of us, it can be a soothing topic resulting in gratitude and peace. If we need to seek forgiveness from someone we’ve wronged, we might wrangle a bit with our pride before we finally approach that person in humility—but our resulting cleared conscience makes it well worth the effort.
Usually, however, the most uncomfortable kind of forgiveness is what we must extend to someone who has wronged us or hurt us deeply. The Bible says a lot about this kind of forgiveness—perhaps because our emotions arm wrestle with it and other lingering memories skirmish with it. It’s really hard to do.
Find out what God’s Word says about forgiveness, how essential it is to understand, and how to actually do it...if we want to grow in our walk with God.
After seven years of blessing and abundance, the famine was in full bloom. People from the surrounding lands came to Egypt for grain—including Joseph’s brothers. Upon recognizing the men who threw him into a pit and sold him as a slave, Joseph faced a difficult decision. Would he be the type of person who remembers what he ought to forget and forgets what he ought to remember? Are you?
Too often, we end up saying “if only I had known then what I know now.” How deep the feelings of regret and anxiety in the hearts of parents who “blew it!” Since there’s no way to go back and relive our lives, we need to focus on the best way to respond to these painful memories. Otherwise, we will live under clouds of blame and shame and be paralyzed by fear.
Paul’s letter to Philemon has great practical value for us today. It teaches us about giving others second chances, the equality that believers have in Christ, and the power of the Gospel to transcend cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. In short, Paul’s postcard to Philemon reminds us about grace.
Let’s seek the Lord’s counsel as we attempt to uncover the reasons an individual will admit his or her error, turn around, and come back to the Lord as a humble, repentant child of the King.
In this letter, Paul requested that Philemon reinstate his runaway slave and accept him back in a spirit of forgiveness.
Christians since the first century have been tempted to trade grace for a life directed by strict law and high-minded requirement. The Apostle Paul addressed the Galatian church on this very issue, warning them against trading God’s Gospel for a different, human-made gospel. As we hear the word to the Galatians, keeping our message grounded in grace will help our lives exude grace.
A wandering mind drove King David to distraction and became more than he could bear. But his multiple sins refused to stay silent. No struggle is more relentless than sin…especially unconfessed sin. Let’s take a close look at David’s response to his sin and gain some insight for our own lives about God’s blessed gift of forgiveness.
The ravages of war and the consequences of disaster are usually beyond belief or description. Few are those who can capture the tragic scene in words. Jeremiah was one of the few. His brief, biting journal of what he saw and felt following the fall of his beloved nation is contained in this short book.