Thursday, 18 December 2014

3 ways asking God to help me forgive changes things


If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped. Psalm 130:3-4 (MSG) 

One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who hurt you. 

I know that I should. I know that Jesus asked me too but that doesn’t make the fact that often forgiving feels like trying to swallow a pill that should be a quarter of the size. 

I’m still learning day-by-day how to forgive when my heart aches and my soul is angry, maybe you are too, which is why I sometimes need to remind myself how asking God to help me forgive changes things:

1. It reminds me who God is and who I need to be in the situation.

2. It teaches me that forgiveness is a habit.

3. It gives me real-life stories of God turning ashes to beauty, evil to good, hurt to healing, pain to laughter. 

If you find yourself without words to ask God to help you forgive then know that you are not alone. (tweet this)

Author of Not Marked, Mary de Muth, shares her story of being violated by two boys as a young girl in this post about how to forgive someone you hate. And she offers these words for all of us who walk with a limp because we have been hurt by others to pray: 
Jesus, I’d rather not pray for the people who hurt me. To be honest, my heart is petty, not pretty. I want revenge sometimes. I want the people who hurt me to experience hurt themselves. 

But I can’t stay in that place, Jesus, because I know You ask more from me. Scripture (Matthew 5:43-47) makes it utterly clear that You want me to bless those who cause me pain. You want me to be like You, who when You were betrayed, You still called Judas “friend.” 

How do You do that, Jesus? How do you love so well? How did You forgive the people who put you up on the cross?

And even as I pray these words, I realize I put You up on that cross. My sin held you down as You bled for my caustic words, my unrighteous anger, and the things I’ve done that I deeply regret. 

You’ve forgiven a mountain of sin between us. And I have a hard time forgiving the molehill between my friend and me. To love them well, I must let go. Help me remember I’m more like You when I’m offering grace, than when I’m spewing judgment. 

I choose right now to give You my pain in this situation, and I ask for Your help. 

Please give me love for my enemy. I recognize that I don’t have it in me to do that. But You do. You’re good at it. So I trust You right now. Amen. 

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Monday, 15 December 2014

3 reminders of God's love for the days you feel invisible, unwanted or held back by your past

Romans 8:39 Nothing can separate us from the love of God pic
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8: 38-39 (MSG)

I’m taking a bit of a break from writing new devotionals over the Christmas season. But I thought I’d take a look back at some of the places where God has met me over the last few years and share these with you until the New Year. 

This is part of my attempt to remember the hard places that God meets us in

Today, I’m focusing on the times when God has reminded me that I am loved by him, seen by him, and that nothing can ever change the way he feels about me. 

For the times when you feel invisible, know that God has remembered you and he’s searching for you, longing to bring you back and he’s painting the sky reminders of his promises to you. 

For the moments when you feel like an outcast: God says, “Come sit with me, you are one of the family.” You are no longer called an outcast and a wanderer but a citizen with God’s people, a member of God’s holy family, and a resident of His household. 

If you feel crippled by your past: God is looking beyond that to your future.  He is giving you what you need for the right now and enough to take care of you into the future. 

As I look back at a few of the places and moments where God has reminded me of his presence and love I’m convinced that there is no loophole, no getting round the fact that you belong with God and to God. 

And you are loved by God. (tweet this)

If you remember nothing else, remember this: 
Nothing, absolutely nothing can get between you and God’s love because of the way that Jesus has embraced you. (tweet this)

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

When you don’t have anything left to give

I don’t really have much of anything. The only thing I have in my house that might be of any worth is a jar of oil. 2 Kings 4:2b (VOICE)

It was almost 12 months ago that I chose my one word for 2014.

I liked the idea of picking one word that sums up who I want to be or how I want to live, one word that I can focus on every day, all year long. 

I picked the word: enough.

I selected it because I hardly ever feel like I am enough

I chose it because I spend so much of my life making comparisons and believing that what I have isn’t enough. 

I wanted to stop doing that. 

I wanted to start believing that who God made me is enough

That the blessings God has given me are satisfying enough.

The other day I took half an hour and went for a walk on my own through some beautiful gardens at a wine estate. 

It was a rare moment of solitude for me. I gulped in the beauty, quiet and lack of distractions. 

As I started back towards the rest of the people I was there with the thought crossed my mind, “Sometimes we don’t need more; most times what I already have is more than I need. 

I’ve been thinking about this and the widow in 2 Kings 4 who came to the prophet Elisha after her husband died and pleading with him to help her. 

She needed enough to pay back her debtors. Elisha asked if she had anything of worth in her house to which she replied, “I don’t really have much of anything. The only thing I have in my house that might be of any worth is a jar of oil.”

The widow thought she had nothing but really the little she already had was enough. 

Elisha told her to round up all the bottles she could and pour the oil she had into them until they were full. 

The widow thought she had nothing but really the little faith she had was enough. 

She shut the door and with the help of her sons poured oil into jars until there were no more bottles left. Elisha told her to sell all the oil and pay back her debts. 

I love this story because it is such a reminder that who I am is enough, that what I have to offer is enough and that God is enough to supply all my needs. 

When I have nothing left, God is enough. (tweet this)

Ponder: What need do you need God to meet? Do you believe he is enough to meet it.

Prayer: God, turn what I already have into enough. 

This year I decided to take part in #OneWord365. Through out the year I’ve been writing devotionals about what I'm learning about “enough”. You can find the whole enough collection here or read why I chose enough as my word for 2014. It’ll be happening again in 2015 if you’d like to join in. More info at oneword365.com


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You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking hereI’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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