VIDEO What Does Love Do? Love Forgives! – Power Of Forgiveness

What Does Love Do? Love Forgives!

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Sometimes parents face the awkward dilemma of being caught in an act of hypocrisy. The parent corrects a child’s use of language or behavior and the child responds, “Well, you do that!” The parent is then tempted to say, “Do as I say, not as I do!” There may be times when adult and child behavior can diverge, but not often. When it comes to modeling behavior, actions always speak louder than words.

 

CHARACTER OF THE NEW MAN

When it came to forgiveness, the apostle Paul gave the church at Ephesus both a command and an example to follow: Forgive each other, just as God in Christ forgave you. It is never a case of God saying to us, “Do as I say, not as I do.” What God expects of us is no more than what He Himself has done. We are forgiven completely and unconditionally by God through faith in Jesus Christ. That forgiveness is the model for how our love for others should be expressed by forgiveness.

If you are called to forgive someone today, ask yourself not what Jesus would do, but consider what God has already done and do likewise.

Nothing causes us to so nearly resemble God as the forgiveness of injuries.  John Chrysostom


The power of forgiveness

 

Blooming in the Right Spot

So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. 1 Samuel 20:16

“A weed is any plant that grows where you don’t want it,” my father said, handing me the hoe. I wanted to leave the corn plant that had “volunteered” among the peas. But Dad, who had grown up on a farm, instructed me to pull it out. That lone cornstalk would do nothing but choke the peas and rob them of nutrients.

Human beings aren’t plants—we have minds of our own and God-given free will. But sometimes we try to bloom where God doesn’t intend us to be.

God invites us to participate with Him in taking the gospel to our world.

King Saul’s son, the warrior-prince Jonathan, could have done that. He had every reason to expect to be king. But he saw God’s blessing on David, and he recognized the envy and pride of his own father (1 Samuel 18:12–15). So rather than grasping for a throne that would never be his, Jonathan became David’s closest friend, even saving his life (19:1–6; 20:1–4).

Some would say that Jonathan gave up too much. But how would we prefer to be remembered? Like the ambitious Saul, who clung to his kingdom and lost it? Or like Jonathan, who protected the life of a man who would become an honored ancestor of Jesus?

God’s plan is always better than our own. We can fight against it and resemble a misplaced weed. Or we can accept His direction and become flourishing, fruitful plants in His garden. He leaves the choice with us.

Lord, please forgive us for those times when we act as if You have planted us in the wrong place. Help us see what You have for us to do today.

God invites us to participate with Him in taking the gospel to our world.

By Tim Gustafson

INSIGHT

Do you ever wonder whether you are in the place God wants you to be? David and Jonathan help us ask a different question. When combined with the story of Jonathan’s father, Saul, they give us reason to ask not about our place in life but about the condition of our hearts.

When Israel rejected the God who delivered them, they asked for the kind of king they saw ruling other nations. So God gave them Saul, a handsome man, head and shoulders above any other man in the land (1 Samuel 9:2). He seemed to be the ideal match for a nation that wanted to be led by men rather than God (8:1–5).

Saul’s successor, David, was also a good-looking man (17:42). But when the personal and family lives of Saul, Jonathan, and David are considered together, they show us that while man looks on the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. By trusting his eyes rather than the Lord, Saul became a bitter, violent man. David, though far from perfect, knew what it meant to trust the Lord. As a result, Jonathan learned that being loyal to David and trusting David’s God was far better than being next in line for the place of his father’s ruined life and throne.

Mart DeHaan

We Are Free to Enjoy God

Psalm 34:8-10

What an amazing truth: Our God, who created the world and is Lord of all, wants us to find pleasure in our union with Him. Although He “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17), our greatest enjoyment of all should be God Himself. The satisfaction we’ll find in our relationship with Him is far superior to all else.

One of the joys we find in the Lord is acceptance. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, God accepts those of us who believe in Christ and adopts us as His children. We who were once His enemies are now embraced as His family. Permanently accepted by God, we never have to fear condemnation and are free to enjoy rich intimacy with Him.

The Lord has done all that is necessary for us to have a relationship with Him, but there are certain actions we can take that will increase our enjoyment of Him.

• Praising God for who He is and what He’s done will make our hearts rejoice. 
• Spending time listening and getting to know Him through His Word will increase our closeness and deepen our enjoyment of Him.  
• Refusing to believe lies—for example, that we should be afraid of our Father or that our sin is too great to be forgiven—frees us to receive His love and know the joy of forgiveness.

If you’ve lost your joy in the Lord, ask Him to reignite it. Then take the steps necessary to rekindle your relationship with Him. The more you learn to love Him, the greater will be your joy.

By His Doing

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

In this one verse we find described four aspects of Christ’s work on our behalf. As we look at each one, let us first note that it is “of him,” literally “by his doing,” that we are in Christ Jesus, who “is made” or “who became” these things to us and for us.

Wisdom of God: This is the preferred rendering. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (a Greek city). The Greeks were infatuated with wisdom, but Paul declared Christ Jesus to be the “wisdom of God.” Such wisdom is likewise imparted to believers (v. 24), while “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (v. 25).

Righteousness: Christ, being “made” righteousness, becomes an all-sufficient righteousness to us. This imputed rightness before God gives us a new standing before Him, permitting us access to Him, peace with Him, and ultimate glory with Him.

Sanctification: In Christ, we not only have this righteous standing, we are assured of a holy state as well. Through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we know that our lives will be constantly molded into Christ-likeness.

Redemption: Christ is made redemption for us, and in its fullest definition, this is His final goal. Through His redemptive work, we have been completely delivered from the power of sin and will one day be delivered from the presence of sin.

The introductory phrase “of him” or “by his doing” is emphatic in the Greek text. When we see what He has done, we realize just how helpless we were and how strongly He has acted on our behalf. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (v. 31). JDM

Can these bones live

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Ezekiel 37:1-2

Such were the captives among whom Ezekiel dwelt: they were spiritually and nationally dead; their recovery seemed hopeless.

Ezekiel 37:3-6

It seemed an idle thing to prophesy to dry bones; and it appears equally useless to preach to unregenerate sinners: but it is ours to do as God bids us, and leave the result to him.

Ezekiel 37:7, 8

Preaching arouses mans moral nature, but it cannot give him spiritual life until the Holy Spirit breathes upon him.

Ezekiel 37:10

Easily enough is the miracle wrought when the Spirit descends. May the Lord bless the word of our minister to the salvation of thousands.

Ezekiel 37:11-14

Israel would live again, though as a nation it was politically and even morally dead. God had not given up his people, nor forgotten his covenant, and ere long he would restore the national life, and give the remnant to dwell in their own land.

May the Lord also quicken our souls into vigorous spiritual life.

Psalm 137:1-6

What good news must this have been to the banished ones, whose sadness is so well depicted in—Psalm 137:1-6

Psalm 137:1-6

Love to Zion had not died out with the faithful. Some Jews settled in ignoble comfort in their captor’s land, but not the spiritual among them; to them the land of promise was dear as to the patriarchs of old. Let us never call this Babylonian world our rest, but keep our eye upon the heavenly Jerusalem, where our portion is reserved.

 

We Must Give Time to God

In his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

I have often wished that there were some way to bring modern Christians into a deeper spiritual life painlessly by short easy lessons; but such wishes are vain. No shortcut exists!

God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. It is well that we accept the hard truth now: the man who would know God must give time to Him!

He must count no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance.

He must give himself to meditation and prayer hours on end. So did the saints of old, the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets and the believing members of the holy Church in all generations.

And so must we if we would follow in their train!

May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the kingdom like little children through the marketplace, chattering about everything but pausing to learn the true value of nothing?

 

Hear So As to Be Heard

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Note well, that we must hear Jesus speak if we expect Him to hear us speak. If we have no ear for Christ, He will have no ear for us. In proportion as we hear we shall be heard.

Moreover, what is heard must remain, must live in us, and must abide in our character as a force and a power. We must receive the truths which Jesus taught, the precepts which He issued, and the movements of His Spirit within u5; or we shall have no power at the mercy-seat.

Suppose our Lord’s words to be received, and to abide in us, what a boundless field of privilege is opened up to us! We are to have our will in prayer, because we have already surrendered our will to the Lord’s command. Thus are Elijahs trained to handle the keys of Heaven, and lock or loose the clouds. One such man is worth a thousand common Christians. Do we humbly desire to be intercessors for the church and the world, and like Luther to be able to have what we will of the Lord? Then we must bow our ear to the voice of the Well-beloved, and treasure up His words, and carefully obey them. He had need to “hearken diligently” who would pray effectually.

 

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