What if I can’t Forgive ?

Suffering and pain are a part of life and nothing is more painful when we have been wronged by an individual. Offenses are committed everyday in our world and we are witnessing more violence’s in our neighborhood and on TV.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15

Suffering and pain are a part of life, and nothing is more painful when we have been wronged by an individual. Offenses are committed every day in our world, and we are witnessing more violence’s in our neighborhood and on TV. Some violence today is even becoming acceptable. Where does one draw the boundary lines? Humans are constantly trying to substantiate their own position that they are justified in their actions, yet do not see the spot in their own eye. In this text the meaning for trespass is to fall beside or near something. In other words, the individual has fallen themselves because they are holding onto a grudge. They are unwilling to seek forgiveness as they expect some kind of payment. Some even stroke the grudge for the life of the offending person because it feels good. The problem is that the grudge turns into bitterness. Bitterness stops you from going forward and it clouds your own judgement. You might say that if you cannot go forward in life, then you have fallen. Thus, the grudge has caused you to fall beside it.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:1-2

The grudge is the judgement you made, and it is being measured back to you. If you are a Christian this is very unsettling for, how do you expect to have mercy from the heavenly Father when you have drawn the line of boundary yourself. The apostle Paul said, “dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” [ Romans 12:19]. Having unforgiveness affects your prayers to God because Jesus said that when you pray you are to forgive anything you have against another person [see Mark 11:24]. For a Christian to have unforgiveness negates what Christ did on the cross. Whenever there was an offense in the Old Testament against an individual, restitution was to be made. Did you know about the trespass offering in Leviticus chapter 6? The trespass offerings consider the injury of an individual. Any fault found from having a false witness to stealing and cheating another is listed. The individual at fault was to make restitution. The priest made the atonement for the individual before the Lord in order that forgiveness was granted.

Let’s not forget about Job’s grievances for unfair treatment. Job had to realize his own fault about God’s sovereignty in that He is all knowing and can do anything even to the point of revealing His knowledge to refine the human character. God’s people trust and serve him because of who He is not just because of the benefits they may receive. His mercy is everlasting, and He knows our human faults. Job learned that he should have prayed for his friends despite the rebuke he personally received from his friends who had judged him. Jobs friends had to bring an offering for their lack of good sense when assuming that guilt was at the cause of Job’s distress. We can not always assume we know why God is doing something, but we can receive knowledge from His word to ascertain and receive revelations. Job’s experience may be the warning about the beam that we may carry in our own eye as it is stated in Matthew chapter seven.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

We can see that Job spoke the truth to God whereas his friends did not, but God provided atonement and gave back to Job twice what he originally had [see Job chapter 42]. Make sure that the beam is cleansed from your own eye before giving out any kind of judgement, so you don’t become a hypocrite. Failure to heed one’s own behavior also negates God’s mercy as well as God’s atonement. Do not allow the beam to become the focus. Take your unforgiveness to the Lord and ask him to change your heart. Let him know how you hurt and allow His love and forgiveness to flow to your heart. God’s atonement through Jesus Christ is for you. He alone knows the pain and hurt you are feeling? Christ took that pain on the cross and shed his blood for you. When you have fully repented, you will be free from that burden and will be able to forgive. For many Christians, this is a warning, and a reminder. Pray for those who have offended you and forgive them, so you don’t fall beside it or near it and stunt your growth in your Christian walk.

Unforgiveness is sin in God’s eye. Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. Jesus said, this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins [see Matthew 26:28]. The believer loses fellowship with God when unforgiveness is not dealt with through the blood of Christ. Christ is our high priest and atonement. All human forgiveness rest upon God’s divine result for forgiveness through the blood of Christ. This carries forward the trespass offerings in the Old Testament that Jesus is the final sacrifice. Unforgiveness without repentance nullifies your own forgiveness with God. You cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven without forgiveness. A believer is to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving just as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you. This is God’s condition. Think about it, only forgiven people who repent of sins and accept God’s sacrifice will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. God’s people will follow Christ in forgiving one another and not be tormented by holding a grudge. We are living under God’s grace and mercy until His coming, so repent while there is still time to do so.  Do not allow unforgiveness to hold you back from entering Heaven.

How are we Justified

How are you justified?  It seems that people make themselves justified by doing various things.

A man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:16 [beginning of verse]

How are you justified?  It seems that people make themselves justified by doing various things.  Even Christians can fall right back into working for their justification leaving Christ behind.  I pray this does not happen but when we read the word of God, God brings warnings about the subject of justification and how it is applied.  Thus, the apostle Paul in his writings to the Galatian churches gave warnings about mixing the purity of doctrine with conduct and distorting the Gospel of Christ.  The cleverness of some who exhort their authority to teach a different doctrine will in part go along with salvation is from Christ, but then insist that one should also work for their salvation as well.  It is like saying “let’s cover all our basis just in case.” just in case of what?  That our salvation is assured? That we are justified by our own efforts?

 

Even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 2:6 [ending of verse]

The apostle Paul tells the Galatians that the works of the law no flesh[man] will be justified.  How do we establish the law and its meaning?  The do and don’t rules have been designated by God with the ten commandments and how the Jewish people followed the “torah” that provided instruction on behavior and conduct for living.  Tradition is the discipline in how we live and treat each other that is handed down from generation to generation.  The customs that each nation has is derived from its indigenous population.  For the Jewish population it is the establishment and the correct practice and interpretation of the “Torah.” The Jewish rule may be seen as common law even though to some it may seem as codified.  In essence it is a matter of interpretation and what is happening at that specific time.  Historians are at times baffled and continue to argue to this day.  If we get down to the root of the problem in God’s eye it will always be a matter of the human heart.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh,” [see Matthew 15:6, KHV].  This is the root of the problem our heart.  We speak of what is in our heart, what is in our mind as we personally perceived it to be. In Proverbs 23:7, it is said “as he thinked in his heart, so is he.”  We are in life is what we become through what we think.   Jesus said that it was the traditions that made the commandment of God ineffectual [see Matthew 15:3-9].  maybe we should give this a little more thought since we are so easily influenced to go back into legalistic ways of keeping a standard of rules in order for God to accept us. 

The Hebrew root word for salvation is “Yeshua,” which means the Lord is Salvation and it carries on with the meaning of freedom from that which binds or restricts.  Now if we look at the Hebrew word for justifies “sadaq,” is carries the meaning of condemnation that brings judgement.  What Paul is conveying in Galatians chapter 2 verse 16 is that Jesus is the only way that we can have freedom from that which binds or restricts us to where we will not have condemnation or judgment.  Our freedom from condemnation is only through Jesus Christ because He is the final sacrifice for all our sins.  We cannot earn God’s favor by doing or keeping certain traditions or laws of man.  This is not God’s method for reconciliation no matter how good it sounds.  We receive God’s favor through the finished work of Jesus Christ.  We receive it through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, not by any efforts we do ourselves.

If justification was by our works, then why did Jesus die for our sins?  Justification by our works nullifies what Jesus has done on the cross.  It also nullifies the ministry of reconciliation towards God and each other.  Did you know that nullify means to remove the force?  Would we deny the force of Christ sacrifice on the cross to save us from the oppression of the evil one?  Be careful to what you subject yourself too [such as any social movement], it could bring you under bondage.  Legalism in the church lacks joy because they feel they deserve something from God by doing good works.  Legalism in the church compares themselves with others thinking that they are better than others.  “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known,” said Jesus to his disciples in Luke 12:1-2.   Pharisees followed strict observance of the traditional and written law claiming that they were more righteous than other people.  The truth was that they could not even follow their own words they spoke or told others to do.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Galatians 3:24

That is why Paul stated that the law is our schoolmaster to bring us back to Christ.  Did you know that there is power in the blood of Christ?  That power gave us His righteousness, His faith, and His love.  He gives us the victory over the evil one and even death.  He also gives us eternal life.  Let us come to Jesus and place our faith in Him alone and nothing us.  Let us ask Jesus to keep us free from that which binds or restricts us in any way from His power and from who Jesus is, the son of God, who came in the flesh, and arose to sit on the right hand of God ever making intercession for all of us.  Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.  Let us not nullify who He is or His power to save us all from the evil one, our sins, and our pride.  Jesus truly is our justification, and it is by our faith in him alone not by anything we can do ourselves that we are justified.  Let us praise God for providing us the way to reconciliation.

Listen to a Messianic classic song titled “The Sacrifice Lamb” sung by Joel Chernoff.  In the early 1970’s the duo group “Lamb,” who was Joel Chernoff and Rick Coyhill came on the scene with this wonderful song titled “The Sacrifice Lamb.”  This song has always touched my heart, and I pray it will touch yours as well.

The Mercies of the Lord

Have you sung of the mercies of the Lord?  What does it mean to sing of the mercies of the Lord? 

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 89:1

Have you sung of the mercies of the Lord?  What does it mean to sing of the mercies of the Lord?  Has God saved you from the hand of the [evil one]?  These are important questions we must answer for ourselves because it is based upon a promise that God has made generations ago through a covenant.  In Psalms chapter 89, it is all about a covenant that God made with David.  However, God’s covenant began with the children of Israel who came out of Egypt.  That covenant was carried on through David.  In fact, it is still being carried on today, for many are being grafted into the vine through Christ [see Romans 11:23].  I do not know of any covenant that has lasted this long in history, but it is amazing how our God in loving kindness and compassion provided a way through Christ for us to be grafted into the olive branch.  It is unbelief and disobedience that detaches us from the olive branch and the covenant or promises of God.

God’s faithfulness to graft people into the vine is a mystery especially for the Jewish population, but God’s promises is a sure thing and will continue to carry on for all generations.  This is something to sing and shout about.  A covenant is an agreement between two people.  That agreement carries on a commitment of honoring a pledge.  David was a man after God’s own heart because he learned about obedience and repentance.  David had a passion for God and wanted to build a house for God like his own.  David spoke to Nathan a prophet about building that house for the Lord.  The Lord told Nathan that he did not ask for a house to be built for him.  Since the time he brought Israel out of Egypt, God has walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.  God went on to say to Nathan the prophet to tell David how He has chosen David from the “sheepcote,” which means a covered enclosure for sheep to being a ruler over the people of Israel [see 2 Samuel 7:8]. 

We can have the best intentions to do something for the Lord, but it may not always be in God’s will to carry out what we have personally planned.  Such was the case with David.  God was reminding David where he came from and what his purpose was in that he was to be a ruler over the people of Israel.  It is God who appoints people to a position.  It is God who finds the place for the people to dwell.  It is God who withholds the wicked from afflicting His children and or people.  Within the family of God is mercy everlasting in that His purpose is to restore and bring healing to all generations.  You can read for yourself in 2 Samuel chapter 7 what Nathan told David in verses 4 through 17.  It is amazing that God spoke about the past and the future with David and we can also see how God had a specific plan for David’s life.

In verse 3 of Psalms 89 it states a covenant was made with David and that his seed is establish forever. God affirms His covenant with David, and David rejoices in the goodness of the Lord. If you read on in Psalms 89, you will find that God chastened those who do not follow in His will or commandments [see verses 30-32 of Psalms 89]. Despite the disobedience of His people, God still showed his loving-kindness and faithfulness [see verse 33 of Psalms 89]. Forgiveness and restoration are in God’s hand. God will never break his covenant, nor the words that were spoken from His lips. We can have the assurance through Christ that we are grafted into the precious vine that gives us life eternal. Like David we can sing of the mercies of the Lord forever because Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. 

God is able to save us from all sins, and from the evil one who is Satan.  How wonderful are the mercies of the Lord that He provided a way for everyone to be saved.  Let me tell you how great this is.  I was born out of wedlock, and I have traveled halfway around the world to learn about the salvation of the Lord.  Today, there are a lot of lost teens who are looking for their identity.  I wanted to know who I was and where I came from.  I had no ties to my real father or my mother’s family.  There are a lot of people who question their identity, and there are those who also run from their family identity.  I found out that my grandmother was of Jewish lineage through a will after she had passed away.  I never had the opportunity of meeting my grandmother.  Today, many people are finding out about who, or where they came from through DNA testing.  My DNA is split right down the middle like two sides of the coin.  One side is the Jewish lineage, and the other side is where fables and stories of paganism come from.  Our culture can influence who we are as an individual, but we make the choice to follow it or something else.  Sometimes this can be a battle that we fight with on a personal level.  In my early teen years, I ran away from home in the city of Perth.  In Kings Park in the city of Perth, I was physically assaulted.  I cried out to God, and He saved me from being seriously hurt and from being choked to death. 

God’s love and mercy saved me.  He spoke to me and told me I had to go back home.  I was totally lost and did not know where I was, but He miraculously brought me back home. I was amazed that God would talk to me in an audible voice and that He would help me to bear the verbal abuse of my mother.  I did not understand why I got the negative verbal abuse nor why my mom was angry.   We do not always know the truth behind the situation that we are in, but God knows.  After this experience, I fully trusted in God to see me through.  I did not know about God’s son Jesus Christ.  All I knew was the ten commandments that I had memorized when I was nine years old.  God had a plan for my life, a future that as a teen, I was not aware of. I had to trust God that He would work it out no matter what happened. You may find yourself in a similar situation not knowing where you are going, or what the future may hold for you. Trust God to bring you through any situation and to place you where you need to be. His love and mercy will restore you and bring healing to your heart and soul.  No matter what danger you are in, you can call upon the Lord to save you.  He will protect you and provide shelter when you need it.  In 1974 in Seattle, I learned about God’s son who died on the cross for my sins.  It is through Christ sacrifice on the cross that we can come to the Father in prayer.   I also found out that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets [see Matthew 5:17].

No matter what you are going through, you can be assured that God knows all about it.  His Love and mercy are always available to you.  It is through Christ that we can enter the throne room of grace and mercy to ask for help.  Like David, we can also sing of the mercies of the Lord.

Everlasting Joy

Can we as Christians have everlasting “Joy” in our life every day? Is there plenty of joy in your life? Being glad and having happiness for most of us is an emotional response that only occurs occasionally

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:11

Can we as Christians have everlasting “Joy” in our life every day? Is there plenty of joy in your life? Being glad and having happiness for most of us is an emotional response that only occurs occasionally. Jesus is speaking about a joy that is lasting because it is His joy that is within our heart, and it is a fullness of joy.  Hebrew words often depend on the context in which they are used, so one must study to understand what the full meaning conveys in the written text.  Hebrew words are conveyed by themselves as concrete instead of abstract, so it is important to see the context of a whole sentence in which the word is placed.  The Hebrew word for joy is “simcha,” and means to have exceedingly, gladness, and joyfulness. In John chapter 15, the word “Joy” can be associated with well-being in that it is through Christ that we can have an everlasting amount of joy. In John chapter 15, Jesus is talking about a fullness of everlasting joy that comes from knowing him. It is based upon fellowship, and this is the key to living in the vine.

John chapter 15 is all about abiding in the vine. Jesus exclaims that we are the branches and He himself is the vine.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

John 15:5

It is all about keeping Jesus foremost in our life. Nothing should separate us from Jesus or take over in importance in our everyday life. Our life is the life of Jesus living through us through the Holy Spirit. In fact, “Joy” is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit [see Galatians 5:22]. If you read the whole chapter of John 15, Jesus explains about bearing fruit as a result of abiding in the vine. So, having a fullness or everlasting joy comes from abiding in the vine [who is Jesus] to where you will bear much fruit.  This is the act of getting to know someone personally. This is a continuous process of growth. If you are not growing, then you are dying from not receiving nourishment from the source of the vine. Something is blocking the source of nourishment from the vine.

It is like a plant I have and no matter what treatment I give it, such as misting, fertilizer, sunlight, and water, the plant leaves are dying and dropping off. The plant has disease that is causing this condition. Any kind of blockage that an individual is withholding from the Lord will cause disease to start and decay. If we confess all to Jesus nothing is withheld. Jesus assures us that if we abide in him and in his words, we can ask him anything, and it shall be done [see John 15:7]. Let us remember that love is also in the fruit of the Spirit. To have love and joy means to abide in the vine where the source of nourishment is. There is always a process of growth in the Christian walk. Like the disciples of Jesus, they grow from being a servant to becoming friends to be a brother in the Lord. This is a progression of growth and Jesus said that this growth will bear much fruit that the Father will be glorified [see John 15:8].

“Every day has enough trouble of its own., therefore; we pray every day and seek the word of God to keep the communication open for growth to occur. This is our sanctification which means to become holy. A person can only be Holy if they are grafted into the vine, and this is what the Apostle Paul referenced in Romans 11:16. “If the root is Holy, so are the branches.” The fellowship we have is through Christ and through Christ we are able to love one another. In 1 John chapter one verses 3 and 4, we have the same reference about our joy being full. John exclaims that our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son, Jesus Christ. That is why the Word of life was written, or the Word of God. The conclusion is that we are to stay in the vine which is the source of light so we can have fellowship with Jesus and each other. How miraculous this is as it takes on the evidence of our well-being and our feelings of having everlasting joy. Our wellbeing comes from Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.  Placing our faith in Jesus gives us fellowship.  Faith opens the door for the miracles to happen.  You could say it this way that Jesus who is our faith opens the door for miracles to happen.   This brings joy into our heart that will remain in us forever until the coming of our Lord. 

May His joy forever live within your heart and soul. This week is also very special for it is the Jewish New Year. The Jewish lunar calendar year now is 5782. It is also the 7th sabbath year of rest. What this means is that it is a time of getting to know our Lord better by hearing his voice. That our peace comes from the word of God. The 7th sabbath year of rest means that all debts are to be forgiven and distribution of food is to be distribute widely. There is to be no working of the land for food. The land is resting for the year in that animals may eat of what is left growing along with the people. This sabbatical year is known as Shemitah. If you like to read more about it, click on the word to go to the site: Shemitah.

Listen to the song titled “Abide in My Love,” taken from John chapter 15. Here is the link to the song at my music web site: Abide in My Love.