Taking a break.

I’m taking a few days off from blogging. Work is leaving me physically and mentally exhausted and I could do with a rest. I would also like to take a look at some of my followers blogs, read my bible and devotional and catch up on some other stuff.

Have a blessed day 🙂

 

Advertisements
Taking a break.

Thoughts and stuff – 10/2/2016

So I’m sitting here, with the K-Love radio station in the background and thinking about how my spiritual journey is progressing. There are both good and bad things that I want to chat about.

The good stuff

I guess the first thing is the blog. I am surprised and happy that it seems to have taken off in the way it has done. I thank God that He has enabled me to express myself through this medium, and I thank God that people are reading it. I hope one day (whether I know or not doesn’t matter) that it will touch someone who really needs God with them, and it enables them to go and find God again.

I will also be getting married soon. The only regret I have about it, is that we booked the registry before we found our faith again, so it will be a non-religious ceremony. Offsetting that is the fact that we have a couple of good friends attending who will pray with us afterwards, and we will be getting a blessing from our church when we return from honeymoon, so that is good.

I am also hoping to get baptized before the marriage too. I’m not sure when it will be, but I feel as though it’s something I need. I still need to talk to the Pastor about it, so it’s not happening quite yet, but soon.

The bad stuff

My memory is concerning me. It concerns me because I am forgetting to pray, I am forgetting to read my devotional and I am forgetting to study my Bible and look for inspiration for my posts. I am sure that this is a test, and as with other problems my condition has thrown up, I will overcome it with Gods help, but it’s bringing me down a bit at the moment.

There is also the fact that there are certain parts of my old life that I am finding difficult to leave behind, and the temptation to do these things has been too much for me to overcome. At the moment, I would like to keep these things between me and God.

Overall

I am excited for the future, especially now that I have found God again, but I know that I still have things I need to overcome and temptations I still need to fight. I know that God will be with me when these things occur (that is one thing I know I will never forget again).

I thank everyone who has followed me, commented or liked my posts. It is much appreciated.

God bless.

 

 

Thoughts and stuff – 10/2/2016

What is Gods grace?

Ephesians 2: 8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

I have often wondered what Gods grace actually entails. Is it a state of serenity that comes from communion with God? Is it the way we feel when we act with compassion and happiness in His name, doing His work and spreading His word? Or is it something else entirely?

Psalm 84: 11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

This verse suggests it is, at the very least, something that is bestowed upon those who walk with God. It does not suggest what it might be, but it certainly suggests that, whatever it is, it is given freely by God to all those who “walk uprightly”.

A number of verses mention grace being bestowed upon people:

Exodus 33: 17

So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

Zecharia 12: 10

Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

Luke 2: 40

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

None of these however explain what it is. This leads me to believe that it is a combination of things that enable us to be good Christians. Compassion, love, forgiveness, obedience. These things are the closest we can get to knowing the grace of God, and when He chooses to visit these things upon us, it is a truly unique and wonderful feeling.

 

What is Gods grace?

A prayer request.

I don’t know how much you know of the violence that has happened, and continues to happen in Northern Ireland, but these two stories popped up on the news recently.

A Dublin man shot dead and two injured at a boxing weigh in – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35503937

Man shot dead in Dublin ‘reprisal’ for boxing murder – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35526997

I have been writing about forgiveness a lot lately, and how we are expected to forgive the sins of our detractors and attackers so that we may in turn be forgiven for our own sins.

I pray to Almighty God that these groups can forgive each other, put aside the violence and prejudice that mars their souls and seek true and contrite repentance for their sins.

I pray that the families of the dead men are brought peace and compassion through the arms of Jesus Christ and that they seek solace for the loss of their loved ones in the loving arms of the Almighty.

I pray that no more violence, reprisals and tit-for-tat killings occur, that could hurt and affect more people, and that Satan is driven out and God replaces him in their hearts.

Through the love of Jesus Christ, who died for our Sins. Amen.

A prayer request.

Is forgiveness synonymous with letting people back in (as far as the Bible goes)?

Matthew 5: 43-45

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Following on from my forgiveness post, I wanted to explore something that came up in the comments. From a Biblical standpoint, does forgiveness go hand in hand with letting the forgiven back into your life?

From the above verse (one of my favorites) it doesn’t seem to mention anything about letting the forgiven back in. I decided to have a look at some other verses that dealt with forgiveness

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Matthew 18: 21-35

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.  The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’  Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’  So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Mark 11:25 seems to deal with forgiveness without mentioning having to let the person back into your life, but Matthew 18:21-35 seems less clear cut, in my eyes.

Despite the servants debts, the Master not only forgave him, but released him and cancelled the debt, allowing him to serve again. Whilst this seems a clear cut case of forgiveness being synonymous with acceptance, it makes no mention of it at the end and continues to simply say that you must forgive the trespasses of your enemies.

My opinion on it is this. Forgiveness is something that every Christian should practice if they expect God to forgive them in turn. Acceptance of the transgressor back into your life, however, is a matter of personal choice using the free will that God blessed us with

Is forgiveness synonymous with letting people back in (as far as the Bible goes)?

Sadness, and the ability of Gods word to remove sadness and uplift.

Most days I feel contented, when I can pray and glorify the Lord without the burden of a heavy heart. Some days I feel depressed, and I think that I am not good enough and my heart feels like it is made of lead.

It is on those leaden hearted days that I turn to my Bible for words of solace, words that will help me pray for the strength to get through to the next contented day and to keep the devil at bay. It does not disappoint:

Psalms 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalms 55:22

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5: 6-7

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

At the end of the day, these days of sadness are a test of faith, a test to see if you trust God enough to make things better, to help you through it and to make you a more blessed person as a result. As it is written:

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

and He will always be, through the bleakest of days as well as the most blessed of them.

Sadness, and the ability of Gods word to remove sadness and uplift.

Forgiveness.

Alexander Pope:

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

This is something that has been difficult for me to do in the past. I have always operated under a “one chance and you’re out” policy with people, and once that chance had been used up, that was it.

However, the rediscovery of my faith has made me come to terms with what these people have done to me, and make a decision on whether I was going to keep nursing a grudge against them or to let it go.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

It is obvious that, in order for our own sins to be forgiven, we must first forgive those who have sinned against us. How can we open up our own hearts to God if they are still full of distrust and negativity. How can God pour His love into us when we are filled to the brim with hate. To forgive is to empty ones self of the negative feelings that Satan likes to prey upon and to instead be filled with Gods love and grace, that we might lead better lives and be admitted into heaven at the end of it.

I still find it hard to forgive at times, but I feel better when I do, and all the negativity flows away.

Have a blessed day.

Forgiveness.