Don’t CHOOSE to sin


When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.                                                  Frank Sinatra

Get_out_of_jail_free

 It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.

Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN

Forgiveness frees

The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.              William Blake

forgiveness frees

 Sometimes it is so much easier to hold on to our anger than to forgive. We may be using the anger to give us energy. It seems that the whole world is about finding someone to blame. We feel empowered by our anger. We feed on it. The truth is that anger drains us, uses up our energy and makes us ill. This is not what Christ said. He told us to forgive our enemies. The church tells us before we come to communion to turn loose of our grievances with others.  We must forgive. Forgiveness heals.

Prayer: Forgive us as sins as we forgive the sins of others.

 

We did it!

 Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.

John Stott

father forgive them

 For many years we Christians blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. It was easier to do this than to accept that had we lived in his time and place we could have been a party to his death. We are not blameless even now. We kill him again each time we don’t acknowledge that was are Christians, each time that we hurt someone else or don’t do something the we know is right. We kill him little by little.

Prayer: God of forgiveness, we are sinful people and we fall off the path all the time. Help us to think before we act. Amen

 

 

The enemy is us

pogo-met-the-enemy.0This is so true that it is scary. We are the person who get ourselves into trouble. We are the person who doesn’t follow the path of Jesus. We are the one who passes by the homeless person on the street. We are the person who judges others. We are the person who tells malicious stories about our acquaintances. We would like to blame someone else but we can’t.

We HAVE met the enemy and he is us!

Loving God, help us to take the log out of our own eye. Remind us that what we hate most is others is frequently one of our own failings. Teach us to love. Forgive us and grant us your mercy. AMEN

Keep quiet—walk away

Conflict cannot survive without your participation. ————-Wayne Dyer

The Bible shows us how to avoid conflict. It tells us to turn the other cheek. Not an easy thing to do. For most of us it has nothing to do with physical violence but instead using words (that may not be too kind). A person can’t argue by themselves. If you can’t keep your temper walk away. Words can hurt and cannot be taken back whether out loud or on social media.

walk away

Gracious Lord, you have called us to kindness and love. Help us to remember this when faced with unpleasant situations. AMEN

Mercy

Pope Francis insists that mercy is at the very top of the Christian hierarchy of great truths and everything falls apart whenever mercy is displaced by anything else or anything less.

The dictionary defines mercy as: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

The Old Testament. Mercy: A Part of God’s Nature. Although people have the capacity for showing mercy, especially toward those with whom they already have a special relationship, a lack of mercy is more natural to the human condition. Mercy is, however, a quality intrinsic to the nature of God. It is for this reason that in some situations “merciful” was a sufficient description of God. from: Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Mercy is something we don’t always see as related to us. We think of a courtroom with a judge. But sometimes we are the judge. We can choose to be hard-nosed or forgiving. Notice that the dictionary includes forgiveness in the definition. Forgiving a hurt is mercy. We have opportunities to forgive and it is sometimes difficult to do. We may have to show forgiveness but work for a while on really forgiving.

In-todays-society-in-which-forgiveness-is-so-rare-mercy-is-ever-more-important.

Merciful God, you have forgiven us so much. Help us to show the mercy that you so readily give. AMEN

Forgiveness

Real human progress depends upon a good conscience. ———-Albert Einstein

We are not perfect….so we can’t always do everything right. This means that we will make mistakes and do things that we are not proud of. Thankfully, God has granted us a way to continue to have a good conscience. It is called forgiveness. All we have to do is see the error of our ways and ask forgiveness.

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Loving God, you never stop forgiving us. Thank you, thank you. AMEN

God forgives—others can too

Eve left the garden and wondered if God was still hurt by her betrayal of His love for her. ———————-Suzanne Boyd

We often do things that hurt others. If we care about them we regret that hurt. We wish we could take it back. We also do things that we know makes God dismayed and disappointed. In both cases we need to seek forgiveness. Genuine regret can be seen and felt by the person we hurt. By acknowledging our regret and asking for forgiveness we can begin to set things right.sorry

Be sure to say you are sorry when you hurt someone.

Forgiving God, we know that when we ask forgiveness we will receive it from you. Help us to also seek forgiveness from those we hurt. AMEN

There is still a chance!

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.————–Carl Sandburg

All the news about the world around us is so bad. There is so much evil and pain. I Don’t know if it really is worse or just that we learn about it so much quicker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that there is any hope for mankind. Yet good things still happen and babies are born. I guess God hasn’t given up on us yet.

good things

Than you, loving God, for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. AMEN