Did you know that through love and obedience in Christ in all things you will inherit the Kingdom? Yep. But if you choose to ignore His ways and teachings then you miss out. You will not inherit anything but what you deserve. Period. Tough lesson but it’s the reality of what happens when you disregard God and His Word.
I missed out on for a long time. I thought I was doing right by going to church. I didn’t grow up in the church I grew up in the world. And so it was just show up on Sunday with your best clothes on. That is what I knew.
I went to the bar Saturday night and I thought I was cool setting my midnight curfew and then church on Sunday. It’s what everyone else did so why not? It doesn’t matter what city you are in; it’s the same. I didn’t realize it until I moved and saw it. Dallas is no different than Denver is no different than Seattle; no different than Nova Scotia. Churchgoers all around yet where is the power and authority in Christ? Where is the love? Where is the forgiveness? Where is the obedience to all of God’s Word? I thought those 2 hours a week would really get me to the fullness of Christ- NOT! There was no fruit; there can’t be. It’s like straddling a wooden fence and thinking you won’t get splinters.
I was told years later if I wanted radical change in my life and relationship with Jesus it would require 40+ hours per week; and the man that told me wasn’t kidding. I didn’t know what that meant or how 40 hours would work out with hockey season starting and all. I wasn’t sure how I would endure all of it but I chose and it was worth it. Beyond anything I can tell you!
You must choose. You must adopt the full lifestyle of being a follower of Jesus if you claim you are; otherwise you are making everyone else and yourself look like idiots. It’s not a very good witness and I know you know you that. I know that you may not know what to do with yourself if you don’t go the bar; and in Dallas I get it. But it’s everywhere and the choice is still yours. Why not choose the better thing? Jesus is better than a night at the bar. He’s better with you alone anywhere than you with some stranger who’s name you don’t know. He is better than anything you could have experienced with anyone around you; and He is waiting for more of that just with you. With you; no pretense just you and Him.
You see time is running out. Look around. It is really running out and you don’t want to miss out all because you thought the scotch tasted good and he or she was attractive. You don’t want to miss out for one more sale that isn’t going to really get you the dream job that you already know won’t make you happy. Time is running out. Make the choice for what is most important. In the end you can’t take your career, BMW 3 series of Christian Louboutin’s with you. But you can take the love of Jesus with you!
For more about love and forgiveness watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ Monday-Friday at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork. Stream live at www.uanetwork.tv or watch on Roku or On-Demand.
If you look around you may notice things changing; and rapidly. During this time you don’t want to less forgiveness pass you by. No unforgiveness is like the thief in the night and if you are not careful you will lose your life. And you are worth more than dying from unforgiveness; don’t you think?
You see; it’s easy to be unforgiving. Society makes it so easy. The State of Oklahoma recently removed the 10 Commandments, in Los Angeles just yesterday the streets were blocked by muslims because it was their prayer time. And if that isn’t enough the people who made the videos outting Planned Parenthood are being indicted. Statues of former presidents are being removed because some find them offensive and on it goes. And still; we must forgive. Forgive before it’s too late. We must love and love before it’s too late.
It is vital to recognize the ploy of the enemy. It simply stated in scripture is to kill, steal and destroy. If you are not on the offense living in forgiveness then by default you are on the defense and trust me; that is no way to live! The thing you must know is that once you live in forgiveness you don’t ever want to go back to living any other way; regardless of what buildings are burning or who is killing whom around you. You will recognize that your heart and the heart of others is too precious. You will recognize the love of Jesus is far greater than you could have ever imagined. You will stand firm on the Word of God regardless of what someone else thinks or attempts to force you to do. You will not be swayed-no not you.
And so on this day recognize that things are changing. The stock market is moving, the color of America is not what it once was and the world may be getting smaller but it doesn’t mean it’s a better place. But rest assured when you live in forgiveness in Christ there is no weapon formed against you that will stand. But; if you choose to be disobedient it will not only impact you but those around you and now is the time for us to impacting the lives of others and not infecting them. We have enough infection it’s time to be filled with forgiveness and love and hope for that future we all have and while we still can.
For more about forgiveness and love in abundance watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ Monday-Friday at 9:30pm CT. Stream live at www.uanetwork.tv Watch also On-Demand and Roku.
Failed relationships are not uncommon among people. They change, grow apart, find new interests, move; and a myriad of other things. While statistics continue to reveal that in marital relationships; the divorce rate continues to increase although there is much debate as the cause. The current divorce rate for first time marriage is higher than 50% while for second or third marriage it is said to be even higher.
Many will say that the cause for divorce is marriage which is true; however, it is much deeper than most people will discuss or even recognize. The rate for couples going their separate ways after living common law is also increasing since more people are choosing to cohabitate compared to getting married. Toss into the mix the number of homosexuals who get involved in intimate relationships and additional statistics will reveal more broken relationships. The reasons? The so called relationships experts will claim the proverbial lack of communication, trust, times are changing, financial reasons; and more. While all of these may contribute; not one of them is the hidden core that is left un-investigated. In parent-child relationships it too is evident. Yes the problems may not be the same; however, the outcome still desecrates the lives of those who unknowingly let it.
It is the one killer of relationships that contaminates more people than cancer. It breeds to every area of a person’s life and causes much internal struggle, selfishness, rage, envy, control, bitterness and resentment. It takes no prisoners and it destroys lives through every thought, action; and future behavior. It breaks people down and tortures their lives beyond their wildest imagination. It is one thing that no pill or chemotherapy can cure. It is something so small that can change one’s life in a matter of seconds to the detriment of everyone involved. It ruins lives without fail or hesitation to unsuspecting victims who are too focused on themselves to see what is actually taking their lives. What it is? It is un-forgiveness.
Un-forgiveness is very unforgiving in the pain that it is known to cause. Not only does un-forgiveness wreck havoc on a person spiritually; its physical manifestation is clear for all to see. Unforgiveness has been defined by Worthington and colleagues (Worthington, Sandage,& Berry, 2000; Worthington & Wade, 1999) as a combination of delayed negative emotions (i.e., resentment, bitterness, hostility, hatred, anger, and fear) toward a transgressor. It is clear to understand in this definition how the negative emotions lead to negative thoughts as well as negative or even criminal behaviors. Yes the almost 40 symptoms of un-forgiveness cause one to behave in a manner contrary to the Word of God; however, it is the un-forgiveness that is the root to the internal problem that destroys lives. In addition; for the Christian the consequences are much deeper with a much higher price to pay. Matthew 6:14-15 reads: “
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (KJV)
There are a few words that must be further discussed in order to truly understand the importance of this message. The first word to understand is ‘if’ because this places the responsibility on the person who needs to forgive. To be obedient to Christ this means that forgiveness is a command not an option for a rainy day. ‘If’ a person forgives ‘then’ he or she will be forgiven. It is also important to note that there are over 176 places in the Bible where ‘If you then I’ are stated. There is no way around obedience to Christ through being unforgiving toward anyone for their actions. And if you want healthy, sustainable, godly relationships, family, community and society then it starts with you; and it starts with you living in forgiveness.
There is a time for everything and everything in its time. God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. What He did during the time on the 7th day in terms of rest is left to speculation but rest assured; it was His time. When it comes to forgiveness it too has a time.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it tells us: ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’ which must include forgiveness because it is a command right? Everything is inclusive of all things. We know there is a time for peace and a time for war; a time to tear down and a time to build. And we must grasp in its entirety what that means; else we lose out and in more ways that most can imagine. Forgiveness in many ways is a tearing down and building up as you are tearing down what once was so that what is new can be begin.
You see; there is a time to forgive, be forgiven, and seek forgiveness. The time is now. Yes this very moment and not any time sooner or later. The time is not when you get around to it; or when you think someone else should step up to the plate. No no. There never is not the time now when forgiveness is a command therefore it is always time. You may think that it is on your time; except it will become very challenging to live the life that God has for you on your terms. So your time must be on God’s- and forgiveness is all the time.
Do not treat forgiveness like laundry. Do not attempt it at the latest time possible and only because you don’t feel like going to Wal Mart to buy another 3 pack and so laundry it is. Don’t do that. Many people live their lives this way and what happens is that they and everyone around them and everyone around them too; suffer the consequences. And all just because you wanted what you wanted on your time with no regard for the time around you or the time ahead of you; or the time that you are in. And guess what? You are not most people. Therefore; you cannot live to the ways and means of others or in their time. There is something better for you. And to get it you must act now.
What happens with the mindset of forgiving when you feel like it means you never will; like cleaning the garage. Most people don’t truly ever feel like forgiving; especially when they fell unjustified in even needing to do so in the first place. Don’t fall into that trap. Regardless of what people feel like does not change the fact that forgiveness is a command and yes a choice; but so is life or death. In choosing life it is a choice to choose what comes with it and in the time that it is set to be. While forgiveness may be a process and a healing one at that; does not mean that it is something to be waited to do after your favorite program, after you get married and divorced; or after the Detroit Lions win the Superbowl but rather a lifestyle to achieve and with urgency. The time is now. You never know what will be lost in the time that you chose to not forgive. So don’t wait to find out. Find out all of what happens and will continue to happen when you forgive. Make forgiveness now. Do it for you, do it for those around you; and do it to demonstrate your love and obedience to Christ. Do it now; and then live and bask in it forever.
For more about forgiveness and love watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ Monday-Friday at 9:30pm CT on the UANetwork. Check your local listing or stream live at www.uanetwork.tv
Each religion has an idea of forgiveness and an interpretation; although the relationship with their Creator is what appears to be missing some in them. Forgiveness may be a part of their ideas although striving to be a better person does not mean that you are. It would be like believing that if you drive your vehicle faster you will become it. In the end being better person may be good if this is the only goal; although being better does not mean anything other than trying harder to not repeat mistakes. And if you subscribe to a religion that has no standards you are only fooling yourself. Sin is sin whether we like it or not and living in it doesn’t change because we just don’t see it. I lived in the sin of unforgiveness for decades and argued that I did not; until I saw the truth. John 8:32 tells us plainly, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV) In knowing the truth it will be up to you to take the steps necessary to doing something with it. Unless something is done and there is restoration of self to your Creator or Abba Father then what really is the point? What would be the point of spending a lifetime trying to be a better person on this earth and still end up going to hades when you die? Once I understood the larger picture of forgiveness as a Christian I grew to the level of maturity of forgiveness and the magnificent role that it should play in the hearts and lives of every Believer.
In Christianity, forgiveness is beyond the act of sin. When there is forgiveness of sins there is a transformation within the person to the original intent that God had in mind. There is a restoration of the person to the Father that takes place that cannot take place in other religions. A man made religion does not restore anyone to who they were created to be because no one knows! These other religions are simply based upon individuals seeking themselves for self-change and then trying to manifest their own change for self-glory and that is even if there is a reason to need forgiveness in the first place.
The life change that occurs through the process of forgiveness is just one reason why it is so important in the life of a Christian. I didn’t know that until I went through it. I did not know how forgiveness would impact my life. Not only this; I had no clue the impact that unforgiveness had on my life and would have continued to have on my life and those around me. The best example I can share takes us back to New Years Eve 2006 and the beginning of 2007.
I spent two full days in my room forgiving. I was given a deadline of what must occur and my elders would pray in agreement with me to ensure that every open doorway of unforgiveness was closed. And so happy New Year! I endured through that time persisting to know what forgiveness was and how or where to begin. I went before the Father and stood there in silence. Then as I fell to my knees I cried; and the continued for what was probably minutes but felt like hours. I was unsure of what I was doing although I knew I had a task to complete and that if I failed my life would be as miserable as it had been to that point. As the hours went by and God spoke clearly to me what the process was, to whom I needed to forgive and all the details that were required my healing and deliverance through forgiveness was in full force.
By the end of the two full days in my room I was never the same. I sent two letters to two people sharing my forgiveness toward them for the pain and agony they caused to my life. One was to my adoptive mother for the abuse I endured at her hands the other was to my biological mother who abandoned me at age three. Both responded. Both lives have been changed.
My adoptive mother apologized for the pain she caused me and asked for forgiveness. She did not know the depth of her actions. My biological mother actually called me and we spoke. Since that time she has given her life to Jesus, became baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit. She has received many spiritual gifts and is a guest host on my television program ‘Living in Forgiveness.’ To underestimate forgiveness is to underestimate the commands and outcomes of God’s Word.
The importance of forgiveness is that it is what will change your life and who you are in Christ. It will change your relationships with other people and with the Father. You cannot not be changed when obedient to the Word of God. So why not make 2016 the year and today the day that your relationship with Christ, your obedience to Him; and your life changing in abundance in Him be the resolutions that you live by? Mark my words- you won’t regret it.
For more about freedom in forgiveness in Christ watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ Monday-Friday at 9:30pm CT on the UANetwork. Check your local listing or stream live at www.uanetwork.tv. For prayer requests and resources visit www.julieblair.com
The new year has entered and people are of course ready to start off on the right foot; and of course time to get busy. But at what cost? Let’s face it: when you remove yourself from being busy your hearing from God can and will increase. Let us not forget what busy really is: Bound Under Satan’s Yoke. And who wants that? The bondage of busyness kills even the slyest of them all; so don’t be fooled.
When we look at this new year, this new season it’s a wonderful time to get things in order. Many start off with the goals of new promotions, vacations in the sand; and perhaps a degree or two. Oh the plans of mice and men! Of course then there are the typical new years resolutions but how many of them have you already broken? Perhaps one too many beers or a skipped workout? Don’t worry you aren’t the only one. And besides who says that you even have to have a day to start a resolution in the first place? Forgive yourself for the unpromised promises that you made that you already knew you weren’t going to keep. Your fingers were cross behind your back; we all know it. We’ve all been there. So don’t feel bad. Instead; be glad that you don’t have that guilt and remorse hanging over your head and look for those treasured moments when you hear from God. don’t let anything cloud that judgment or hearing as it will only be a lost opportunity and who needs another one of those?
I know that when I stopped making new years resolutions my life did and didn’t change. It changed in that I didn’t have to engage in the conversations about what they were and I didn’t have to feel bad about not following through. I didn’t have to think about what resolutions I would make and break; because I know myself that well. And then it didn’t change because life kept going and that would make sense as it does regardless of what day it is or what tradition people follow. That in and of itself removed a level of busyness that I realized was pure clutter and that too; had to be removed.
You see; when you remove all the clutter; in the spiritual and natural your life will change. Sure everyone has an app for that; expect how cluttered does your phone and life become just to get organized and yet still not hear from God? We live in a time where people have more access to make life simpler and easier; yet it is more complicated. Oh the experience of the oxymoron. It’s time to remove all of what you are allowing to cause yourself to be busy and get to the foundation of life; and that is and can only be in Christ. And you truly don’t need an app with customized alarm for that. Just let it be.
If you step away for a moment and reflect on the experiences that you crave with Christ but never get who’s fault is it? His? How could it be? His Word is clear that He will never leave nor forsake us. It’s His Word that tells us to be still. So it must be us; which would make sense right? In the era of trying to be more, do more, get more, live more, experience more, see more and share more we have become a society of less. Less tolerant, less loving, less forgiving, less related, less healthy, less experienced; and less in hearing from God. It is time now that the trend must turn. It must. Or the experience we get will be one that there won’t be an app for.
The choice is yours. What do you truly want? One more gadget that you need a degree to operate? One more promotion in title only that steals your time from your family yet pays less? One more program to watch that only kills your mind? One more drink that numbs the pain of years past? Or do you truly want one more experience with God Almighty that is one you will never forget; leaving you to be on watch for the next one more experience with the God Almighty that will leave you forever changed in yet one more way that couldn’t ever come through any other means? If you chose the latter you choose life and isn’t that what His Word tells us? Of course. So on this day while everyone is priding themselves on being busy in the name of busyness; why not take the route less traveled? Make your own way by removing the clutter the bondage of busyness breeds and increase your hearing from the One who is ready to give you more than what you could ever dream or imagine. You won’t regret it.
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