As humans, even as born again believers, it can be hard for us to understand total forgiveness because that is something most people struggle with today.
It’s easy for us to remember things from the past and get upset again, even when we told the person who hurt us that we forgave them. Some people will go their entire lives holding a grudge against their parents, an old friend, a previous spouse, or an employer who wronged them because even though they forgave the person, they never let go of the situation or moved on from the hurt.
This is why it can be difficult to go to God for forgiveness when we mess up – because we’re so bad at that ourselves.
God is more forgiving, graceful, and merciful than we ever could be though! He does not reluctantly forgive us as we do at times with family and friends in our own lives, but He willingly and happily forgives us so nothing stands in the way of our fellowship with Him.
Psalm 86:5 says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (NIV) This verse assures us that if we call upon the Lord we will receive love and forgiveness in return.
Remember when you’ve messed up that God wants you to call out to Him for forgiveness, and when someone hurts you remember all that you’ve been forgiven of, this will help encourage you to extend that same mercy to others.
I challenge you to think about how good God truly is for forgiving us of our sins and to make it your aim to forgive and forget quickly!
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
God doesn’t do anything partially. He doesn’t give us one step of direction for His plan and then tell us to come up with the rest. He doesn’t partially heal us. He will never give you only half the finances you need. He is always fully there to love, forgive, guide, provide, and heal.
Knowing this allows us to completely put our trust in God. When you know that He will be faithful in every situation then there is no reason to not give Him our all and trust Him and His Word.
It can be our default to come up with a backup plan even when we’ve prayed and asked God to help us. With God, you don’t need a backup plan. He will always come through for you 100%. When we proclaim His powerful Word and use the authority we have in the name of Jesus, whatever we pray about will be answered fully and on time (John 14:14).
Our heavenly Father never wants to halfway bless us, which secures the belief in us that when we pray, God will take care of our entire need/desire, not just part of it.
This is why we can make God our source without being fearful or doubtful. The Lord can make a way through every situation and provide us with everything we need, not only physically or financially, but also mentally and relationally. When God is our source we know we have everything we need and there is no reason for a backup plan.
Does it ever feel like you are struggling to hear God’s voice? You’ve prayed but now you’re waiting on an answer or sense of direction.
When this happens it often is not that God hasn’t answered us yet, we just need to focus on Him and listen.
So how can we better hear God speak to us?
Get quiet before God. When you’re speaking with someone do you do all of the talking? Hopefully not. We give the other person time to talk back to us during the conversation and talking to God is no different. When you are praying, don’t say all you think you need to say then go on with your day, give God time to speak back to you before you rush off. He will guide you when you give Him your attention and the opportunity to speak.
Spend time in the Word. God is always speaking to us because He gave us His written Word! The Bible is no ordinary book, it is alive, powerful, and active (Hebrews 4:12). When we spend time reading the Bible it not only helps us recognize God’s voice and character but also helps us remember scripture to make wise decisions. Knowing the Word of God allows us to act in a situation without always seeking God first because He already gave us direction through His Word.
Always trust your heavenly Father. To hear from God it is important to realize that He wants to speak to us and reveal His plan to us for our lives. At times it can feel like we’re pulling on God to tell us what we need to do as if He is reluctant to tell us but that is never the case. Our Father loves us and wants us to seek His plan and walk in it, He wants us to be in His will and fulfilling our purpose.
When you give your attention to God allowing Him time to speak to you, read His great Word, and fully put your trust in Him and the fact that He does desire for you to live out the plan He has for you, you will surely hear His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” ~ John 10:27 NKJV
You may not realize it but there are different types of believers. I’m not talking about denominational differences, but our mindset after we become born again.
There are passive believers and dangerous believers.
Passive believers are men and women who receive Jesus Christ but only ever let their relationship with God impact their own lives. Dangerous believers are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. They take what has been revealed to them through scripture and their relationship with God and they share it with others.
Through dangerous believers people are saved, redeemed, and healed; the kingdom of God grows and the love of God is widely known. But sadly through passive believers, the Word of God is not spread, more people do not come to know the forgiveness and love of God, and men and women all over the world continue to suffer not knowing the Gospel message.
I would like to clarify that not everyone is called into the fivefold ministry, nor do we need to stand on the sidewalk with a sign that reads, “Are you going to hell?” but we should be committed to listening and obeying the Spirit when He moves on us to speak to an unbeliever.
We can share Jesus wherever we are, not just from a stage. Whether you are a professor, a grocery store clerk, a mechanic, a lawyer, or a stay at home parent, God places people in every area so that His truth can be shared with all people, not only the people who come to church on Sunday morning.
The latter part of James 4:14 says, “…For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (NKJV) We do not want to waste the short days we have on this Earth as passive believers. We should desire that everyone around us be set free by God’s truth and go to heaven with us.
Be a dangerous believer today. Choose to be someone who positively impacts people and the kingdom of God by sharing your faith and all that your heavenly Father has done for you.
Oftentimes the perception people have about God is that He is some intimidating begin far off in the sky. We don’t know His desires, His dislikes, or really anything else.
I am writing to tell you today that God’s deepest desire is to know you. To have a relationship with you.
God wants us to love Him because He loves us but He created us with a free will so we could choose whether to love Him back or not. It really wouldn’t be love if we were forced to do it, right?
So God wants nothing more than to have a relationship with us, but what does He dislike?
God hates sin because sin is what pushes us from Him and strains our fellowship with Him. And it isn’t God that pushes away, He is always waiting with open arms to forgive us when we come to Him, but that’s the problem, a lot of the time we don’t go to Him because we’re ashamed. Instead, we let a wall be built up by guilt between us and God.
1 John 2:1-2 reveals to us that God gave us His Word so we could read and understand His commandments and not sin, but God loves us so much that next He says “BUT if you do sin… I gave you a way back to Me, I gave you Jesus Christ as your advocate in heaven.” (author’s paraphrase)
If you’ve sinned, if you’ve built up a wall of guilt or shame between you and God, go to Him today and tear it down together. He desires a relationship with you as His child. Repent and receive His forgiveness for your sins.
He isn’t waiting for you to go to Him so He can scold you, He just wants to love you and be in fellowship with you.
“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” ~ 1 John 2:1-2 NLT
Has this new year already taken a toll on you? Are you feeling stressed? Maybe you get easily frustrated and you’re not sure why?
I have one question for you – are you reading God’s Word regularly?
When we intentionally spend time reading the Bible that is where we find direction, rest, and strength. It becomes easier for us to discern God’s voice and enables us to live more at peace, no matter what our circumstance may be.
If the new year brought more stress into your life, go to God with it! He will take the weight of your stress off of you and give you peace. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT) God cares for you and He is a safe place to cast all of your worries, frustration, and fears.
When we do this, though, it is important that we listen to the guidance God gives us. Often when we go to God with worry or a problem He will tell us what needs to be done on our part to resolve that issue. At that moment we have a choice because we may not like the action we need to take, even though it is the right one.
Reading the Word during times of unease in our lives is also helpful because we find verses like 1 Peter 5:7 that we can stand upon to trust God. If we don’t know what is in the Bible we can’t act on it, and that means we will be stuck feeling stressed and worn out.
Your heavenly Father is inviting you today into His rest, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT) Spend time in God’s Word today, hear from Him, receive His peace and direction.
Don’t let anxiety or exhaustion keep you from God’s plans for you this year. Seek him, read the Bible, and immerse yourself in the rest He freely gives to us all.