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The Secret of Forgiveness

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The secret of forgiveness

The secret of forgivenessWhen I was a child my father smoked a tobacco pipe on a daily basis. At the time I did not know it, but he had kept this a secret from his extended family for many years, especially his mother. Only my immediate family who lived under the same roof knew about his secret but that was all about to change.

One Easter Sunday when I was maybe eight or nine years old we all woke up early and donned are best clothes that were reserved for only special occasions. My mother and sisters were all wearing their best dresses and my father and I were decked out in dress shirts and our spiffy ties.  You see, it was Easter Sunday and we always went to grandma’s house for a big Easter lunch. I was filled with great anticipation as my mother was trying to straighten my tie and giving me the dreaded hair comb over with her hand. I was ready to go to grandma’s house!

Just as I thought we were getting ready to walk out the door, my father pulled me away into another room stating that he had to talk to me about something.  As we entered the room I noticed that he had a very serious look on his face. I asked; what did I do, like any reasonable kid would do. He said what I have to tell you is very important so listen carefully. With great curiosity I listened as he told me that his extended family and most importantly his mother did not know that he smoked a pipe and he wanted to keep it that way. He made me promise him that I would not tell anyone about his secret and gave me a stern warning to keep my mouth shut on the subject if I did not want to deal with the consequences later. I agreed to keep his secret. After all, I did not want to be grounded on Easter Sunday!

So we were finally on our way to grandma’s house! It felt like an eternity on the 10 minute drive across town. In fact, I think it was too much time. You see my excitement for the day of festivities quickly turned to a war inside my head. I could not stop thinking about my conversation with my father. I was so afraid of slipping up and blurting out his well kept secret. I could not get it out of my mind. I became so obsessed with it that it was all I could think about. I finally decided, I would not let my father down.

We finally arrived at our destination and walked to the back yard to find a huge decorated table sitting in the middle of the yard.  It was over flowing with all the delicious food that you could only imagine on a sunny Easter Sunday such as that one.  We all gathered around the table with my father’s extended family including his mother and after saying grace, the feast was on!

Everyone was laughing and having a great time together as we all were filling ourselves with grandma’s home cooking. Well, everyone but me. I still could not shake the feeling that I would let dad’s secret slip. Every time I opened my mouth to say something I found myself policing my every word.  I couldn’t take it anymore. This secret was too much for me to bear! Right in the middle of this fantastic dinner, I yelled “My dad smokes a pipe and he does not want you to know grandma”! I couldn’t believe the words that were leaving my mouth. Time seemed to go in slow motion as everyone at the table including my grandma all turned and looked at my father who had half a chicken wing hanging out of his mouth. The silence became deafening as I turned to see my father staring back at me. Fear gripped my heart and I knew that I would never see the light of day again. The whole atmosphere of the great Easter Sunday at grandma’s house changed.  There was tension in the air the rest of that afternoon. What had I done!

At the conclusion of our dinner my mom loaded us all in the car and we went home. I didn’t say a word to my dad, I was too afraid to say anything. After all, I figured I had said enough.  I thought the ride to grandma’s house felt like eternity but I was mistaken. The ride home in the same confined area with my father was the real eternity. As we pulled onto my street I knew that the apocalypse was close at hand. No one in the car had said a word the whole ride home (I think my little sisters were enjoying my humiliation due to the big smiles they had on their faces).

We pulled in the driveway and entered the front door of our house. My mother and my sisters all walked off their separate ways to their bedrooms to change their clothes while I stood one foot inside the front door planning my great escape. I couldn’t help but notice that my father stood only two feet inside the front door planning what I could only assume to be my punishment. Then suddenly my father said something I didn’t expect. He said “I forgive you son”. I couldn’t believe it as the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. I was not going to be punished for my crimes and disobedience against my father. He forgave me even though I deliberately went against his wishes. I never did hear another word about the incident and he never mentioned it again.

Would you have forgiven your child for being disobedient? If you were the father or mother in this story would you have not shown compassion to you son or daughter? Of course you would have. It is the same with our loving heavenly father. Though we sin against Him, He is always compassionate and forgiving to His children. Just like in the story, He forgives and will never mention your crimes against Him again if you would only believe.

Verse of the day:

25 “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. (Isaiah 43:25)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge to forgive someone. You may have anguish in your heart over what someone has done to you in the past. Today I want you to forgive them as your heavenly Father forgives you for you trespasses against Him. If you struggle with this then go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you forgive that person. Ask Him to help you cleanse your heart of all unforgiveness.

The Dove Shadow

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The Dove Shadow

The Dove Shadow 16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

The dove in the above verse represents the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God. When that Dove descended over Jesus the heavens were opened to Him.  This is a great representation of what happens when you give your life to the Lord.  The heavens will be opened to you.  Just like Jesus, when you accept the Lord as your savior you become a child of the most high God.

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

The book of Mark chapter 1 verse 10 gives a more dramatic depiction of what happened at Jesus’ baptism. It states that the heavens were splitting apart. God so desperately wants you inherit what He has created for you.  He wants you to have it so badly that the seams of heaven are almost bursting with great anticipation that when you take the Lord as you savior the heavens finally give way and split apart in dramatic fashion! God wants the glory of heaven to rain down on you and to flood your life.

Look what God said when the heavens split apart and the dove came down onto Jesus. He said “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” He says the same thing about you! When you gave your life to the Lord, He called you His dearly beloved child and He most certainly takes great joy in you.

17 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me (Proverbs 8:17)

Have you split heaven apart and let Gods love and inheritance pour out onto your life? Have you given Him the go ahead to stop holding back what He so eagerly wants to give you? Are you living under the dove shadow….

Verse of the day:

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to think about what it means to have heaven opened to you. What does it promise you and how should you react to being a child of God. What has heaven already poured out on your life and what is to come for those who live under the dove shadow.?

The 13th Disciple

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The 13th Disciple

The 13th DiscipleThere is a common term used in football that depicts the spectators in the stands as participants in the game. These spectators or “fanatics” are called the 12th man. They were given the name the 12th man because their respective team always has 11 men on the field at once and their cheers and loud noise disrupts the other teams game plan. Due to them having a great influence in how the game will play out, the fans were labeled the 12th man. This term suggests that the fanatics are like an extra player on the field giving their team an advantage.

The opposing team cannot hear the play calls coming in from the coach, thus causing defeat for lack of solid execution.  This governing body of fans, or the “12th man” has an enormous influence on the outcome of the game. If they are silent, the opposing team is free to execute their game plan and impose their will on their beloved team. One way or another, one of the teams will win the game and in most cases it all comes down to how passionate the 12th man was while at the game.

Like the body of fans who make up the 12th man lifting their voices so that their opponent is defeated, you are the 13th Disciple. When you believed in Jesus, you then became the 13th Disciple made up of a body of all believers in Christ everywhere. It is up to you to disrupt the other team and make it hard for them to execute their game plan. The game is almost over and everything is on the line. Your voice and loud cheers will have an impact on the game between Christ and His enemy. How passionate are you about the game? How badly do you want your team to win? Whether you are silent or loud your actions will influence the match one way or another.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

How loud is your voice in this world? Can the team hear you cheering for them? The game is winding down. The end of the game is the most important time to be screaming the name of Jesus at the top of your lungs to help your team win. Are you giving your team an advantage that will help them win? Do the people around you even know who it is that your cheering for? Can Jesus and His 12 Disciples hear you cheering them on and influencing the game? Are you one of the 13th Disciples?

Verse of the Day:

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:35)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge you to cheer for Jesus.  I want you to tell someone today that you are one of the 13th Disciples. This will most likely have the person scratching their head because of the common notion of there being only 12 Disciples mentioned in the bible.  This will be a good conversation starter that will open a door to tell them about Jesus. Would you not be intrigued to hear more if I told you I was one of the 13th Disciples?

25 Trillion Miles To Proxima Centauri

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Proxima Centauri

Proxima CentauriLight travels at 186,000 miles per second, or about 671 million miles per hour. That is fast but even to reach the nearest star; Proxima Centauri, which is 25 trillion miles from earth, it would take you a little over four years traveling at the speed of light. Think about that for a moment. 186,000 miles per second for more than four years to reach your first twinkling destination.

Using the Hubble telescope, scientists and astrologers have been able to peer as far as 13.5 Billion light years into space. The scientific community tells us that there are literally hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe all containing hundreds of million stars in each one. There are a hundred million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. So if Proxima Centaur is the closest star to the planet earth at 25 trillion miles away then how far are all the other starts and galaxies? Scientists say that the universe is still expanding and there is no end in sight (Literally). That is absolutely mind blowing!

26 Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

So this mystery in space has really had me scratching my head. What is God up too? The earth is the size of a grain of sand compared to the ever growing universe. We will never see the utter most ends of the universe on this side of death. We most likely will not even see the nearest star, Proxima Centauri in this life. So what’s it all about? What does the good Lord have planed for those who love Him? He continues to create things that he knows we will never see with our human eyes. Is He just showing off or is He proving to us that He means what He says when no eye has seen, nor ear heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him?  If you ask me I think it’s a little bit of both. Are you impressed, because I am!

Think how grand heaven will be where the Beginning and the End resides. If He created the universe that we will never see, just try to imagine what His dwelling place is like. I don’t think we can wrap our minds around that. I believe Him when He said no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.

The universe and the heavens truly do proclaim the glory of God. Look at all that He has created. The earth really is just a speck of dust in the universe. A speck of dust that the great Creator loves with all His heart. Won’t it be awesome to explore the universe that God has created when we will be made like Him? I’m glad we have an eternity to do it, because we are going to need all the time we can get! Remember, its 25 trillion miles until we reach our fist stop at Proxima Centauri.

Verse of the day:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. (Psalms 19:1)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to read the book of Geneses chapter one. In this chapter you will learn about the creation of this speck of dust that we call earth. Pay close attention to by what means God made the earth and the heavens. It will give you a clue as to how He is creating the rest of the universe.

I Will, I Will

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I will, I will

I will, I willHave you ever heard of “Hematohidrosis?” I’m going to venture to say that you most likely have never heard that term before. Hematohidrosis is a very rare occurrence in which extreme stress can cause your blood vessels around your sweat glands to constrict. In fact your blood vessels can constrict to the point that they can dilate and rupture. This can cause blood to be released from your body through the sweat glands. So why have I given you this medical lecture?

44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. (Luke 22:44)

The night before Jesus was brutally killed he went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was in great agony because he knew that he was only moments away from being tortured and hung on a cross to die. Did you know that Jesus did not want to die? He was afraid. He was scared to go through all the pain that He knew He would endure. He asked God to save Him from that dreadful hour when He said “Father if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” You have to remember that He was fully God but at the same time fully human. He was so afraid in fact that the Hematohidrosis took effect in His body.

Have you ever been in great agony or stressed to the point that you experienced Hematohidrosis? Probably not. Jesus could have easily said I’m not going to do this. I will not let them take Me. But he did not do that. Look what He said; “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” He wanted to do the will of His father even if it cost Him great agony and death.  Jesus went on to fulfill God’s will even though it meant laying down His life.

How many times have you danced around God’s will in your life? How many times  did you recognize God’s will in your life but did the exact opposite of what He would have you do?  I am guilty of it several times over. How do you know what God’s will for you is? Its very easy. He left a whole book called the bible that outlines His will for you. God’s will is for you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. His will is for you to worship the Lord your God and have no other gods before Him. His will is for you to pray without ceasing and love one another. To tell others about Him and His saving grace. Help others in need and to not quarrel with the world. His greatest will for you is to ultimately reside in heaven with Him in eternity with the one who sweat drops of blood on the ground for you.

God’s will for you may seem scary at times but there is a reason for it. He always make things work for the good to those who love Him. Look at what Jesus’ death on the cross has done. By accomplishing God’s will He has saved the whole world. He is ruler over all things and sits at the right hand of God for all eternity. There is great reward in following God’s will. Though you may not be able to see it at the time, He is trying to accomplish something great for you. The cup of suffering was Gods will for Jesus and he drank it. Will you drink from the cup that God gives you? The next time you encounter a situation that you know is Gods will for you then tell yourself; I will follow His will.

Verse of the day:

30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:30)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge you to find out what God’s will for your life is. Read Matthew chapters 5-7  in the bible. These chapter gives an excellent example of God’s will in all of our lives and in many cases the rewards that you will reap for following His will.