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Archive for February, 2016

HAPPILY NEVER AFTER

I ran into an old friend the other day. We started talking and she began sharing with me some marital issues she was having. She’s been married a long time and her husband recently moved out and has no communication with her. There is deep hostility and resentment on both sides yet each one feels helpless to do anything about it. Neither of the partners want a divorce, but feel completely stuck with no help in sight.

Change a few details in that story and perhaps this is you. No matter the details or the length of the marriage, there is always one common denominator.  UNRESOLVED SIN

From my experience, it is normally one of the partners who carries all the pain while the other is unaware and unconcerned about healing or forgiveness. One of the partners has been praying and praying and praying and praying ………………….. for YEARS and nothing has changed. More often than not, the marriages end.

THEY DON’T HAVE TO!!!

Recently, as I was listening to a couple sharing their problems, it occurred to me that it’s not just prayers but the condition of our hearts when we pray.

Mark 11:25 (Message Bible) “And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

Whether we like it or not — when a relationship breaks down, no matter whose at fault, Jesus puts the burden on you & me to initiate reconciliation.

Praying with unforgiveness in your heart is like trying to put gloves on over top of mittens or trying to put on socks when you’re wearing shoes.  It’s impossible.

Remember the question Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness? Matthew 18:21-22 (Message Bible) “At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

Please understand, I realize years of hurt have left deep scars. But you can’t hold onto that excuse. You will be a prisoner in a bad marriage forever.

Jesus promised us:

  • He would use everything the devil meant for harm and turn it around for our good.
  • He would give us life and life abundantly.
  • He would give us the desires of our hearts … shall I go on???

If you’re tired of the same old problems year after year after year ……….try forgiveness BEFORE prayer.  You will be amazed at how quickly God will come to your rescue.

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I was watching a TV interview recently with a representative from the Catholic Church talking about all the sexual abuse that has taken place over the decades. Scandal in the church is not a new thing and it won’t be the last we hear of it either. The underlying cause of the whole mess is “sin”.

It begins like a sinkhole. There’s something happening under the surface that we don’t see. It’s ugly and it’s eroding the ground we walk on, yet we are unaware. It happens over time slowly, but consistently. Some try to “slap” a bandaid on it by digging up the ground and building new subdivisions or beautiful resorts over top of it. But yet — it’s still lurking, moving, ever widening. I think about those shivering news stories we hear where people were swallowed up and never heard from or seen again.A huge crater in Guatemala City

Sin is like that. It begins under the surface and we try and cover it up by re-directing our efforts elsewhere. But it’s still there, hiding and growing. We justify it by focusing on our surroundings and traumatic life events. Common sense is no longer “common” and those around you are infected with your now warped perspective. Those that know you begin to make excuses for you — and soon their foundation is crumbling.

Matthew 7:24-25 makes reference to a wise man building his house on a rock while a foolish man builds his house on sand.

I think about all those boys who were raped in the Church and left standing in the dark; the repeated attacks that went on for years and years that left them emotional prisoners with no where to turn. A traumatic event like that can forever change you and alter who you are to become. What you experienced was not love but evil. 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 says “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

For those of you who are still standing in the dark, forgive your attackers. Forgive yourself. Leave the judgment to God. Hosea 9:9 says “God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” There will be a Judgement Day, it comes to all of us. How we wish to stand before God is determined by what we do now. We are not the judge nor the jury.
Matthew 7:1 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Is your sexuality a reflection of who you are or a distortion of who you are? “Sin” is NOT our identity. Your identity began before the foundation of the world, you are a child of God; created in Love.
God said that He “knew us before the foundation of the world”. That means He knew who you were going to be before you were conceived in your mothers’ womb. God set you up to thrive.
I urge you to let go of the chains that have you bound. It is completely possible to have a beautiful and fulfilling future. As my pastor always says “God has never been your problem, He’s always been your answer.”

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