Creating Altars

It’s been a while since I have been moved to post anything here. I have a feeling that has been because God has wanted me to focus on my personal issues that were preventing me from opening my heart fully to Him.

I feel as though I have made a breakthrough today (although it is up to me to capitalise on it). The sermon at church this week was about building altars. One of the verses that were quoted was this:

Genesis 8: 20-22

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

God took the offerings and they pleased him so much that he promised never to destroy life as he had done with the great flood. God also feels the same way when we praise him, whether at church or at home. Our bodies are the altar and our praise is the sacrifice that we offer up to God.

I got on my knees and I prayed and I felt uplifted. It felt wonderful. I felt reconnected to God again. It is now up to me to take that feeling out of Church and spread it throughout my daily routine.

Have a blessed day.

Creating Altars

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)?

Determination.

I had wanted to post some thoughts on my latest devotional page, but something came up that I wanted to discuss more.

I was looking through Facebook for some religious groups to join when I stumbled across a post about Pentacostalism in South Korea. One comment among the many stood out to me:

Determination2
Red = Original Poster, Black = Other Poster, Green = Me

Firstly, I have blanked the name of the OP out because I do not believe in their privacy being possibly infringed upon, and secondly, I believe my comments to be words of encouragement and support, not of hostility and control.

That being said, I know where this person is coming from. When I was an active supporter of Communism (including it’s anti religious sentiments) I made many comments like that (and probably a good few worse than that) and felt that they were right and should be aired.

However, I have felt His presence and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was powerful and moving and truly awe inspiring.

Matthew 1:21

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

This verse reinforces my belief that, if God can reach out, touch me and make a believer out of me when I, at my darkest hour, was denouncing Him and attacking not just Him, but his followers too, he can touch the heart of this person in the same way. We are all His people, and the choices we make (using the free will that God gave us) doesn’t change that in the slightest. Whether we renounce Him or embrace Him, He is always with us.

Psalms 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

To end, comments like the one above do not discourage me. In fact, they do quite the opposite. They make me more determined to show my faith, and to reach out and try to show people who’s faith in God has gone that he is still there for you if you reach out to Him and let Him in. If I could bottle the feelings that I felt when I rediscovered Him, I would share it with everyone I could find but, because I cannot, I hope my words can do the same.

Have a blessed day.

Determination.