Forgiveness

from Our Daily Bread

I was having lunch with two men who had opened their lives to Christ while they were in prison. The younger man had been discouraged by the fact that the family from whom he had stolen would not forgive him.

“My crime was violent,” the older man said. “It continues to haunt and affect the family to this day. They have not forgiven me, . . . the pain is just too great. At first, I found myself paralyzed by this longing for their forgiveness.” He continued his story: “Then one day I realized I was adding selfishness to my brokenness. It’s a lot to expect that the family forgive me. I was focused on what I felt I needed to heal from my past. It took some time to realize that their forgiveness of me was a matter between them and God.”

“How can you stand it?” the younger man asked.

The older man explained that God did for him what he didn’t deserve and what others simply can’t do: He died for our sins, and He keeps His promise to move our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12) and “will not remember [our] sins” (Isa. 43:25).

In the face of such great love, we honor Him by accepting His forgiveness as sufficient. We must forget what lies behind and keep pressing forward (Phil. 3:13-14).

Friday Funnies

HYMNS
One Sunday a pastor told his congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate.
And there sat our Rosie all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns.
Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three most handsome men in the building and said, “I’ll take him and him and him!”

HOG
Fred called a church and asked to speak to the Head Hog of the Trough.
Secretary: How rude! I’ll have you know we would NEVER EVER refer to our pastor as a hog.
Fred: Okay, then just take a message. Tell him I’ve come into a bit of money so I was calling to give your church $50,000.
Secretary: Well hold the phone, dearie! I think I see that big fat pig coming down the hall right now.

GOSSIP
Mildred, the church gossip and self-appointed arbiter of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose in the other members’ private lives. Church members were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his pickup truck parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon.
She commented to George and others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.
George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny; he said nothing.
Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house… and left it there all night!

Bible Study

Blessed Are They Which Do Hunger And Thirst After Righteousness – When Our Blessings Become A Curse
Matthew 5:6

In this Beatitude, we find a blessing for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (holiness). This is not a reference to the imputed righteousness that brings salvation though it must be desired above all else.  We do live in a time when few are interested in Biblical salvation that comes through Jesus Christ alone.  Men would much rather earn their salvation that receive the free gift offered by God. 
The only thing that makes any sense at all is that men think more highly of themselves than they ought!  Sinners cannot save themselves and yet these believe that God will accept the based upon their personal merit!  He will not!!!
The righteous spoken of in this Beatitude is that of godliness and purity.  Even within the churches, there are fewer and fewer who have such desire.
 
Putting this verse in a right historical context. 
 
1.  The disciples of our Lord had given up what little that they had to follow Christ.  The Jewish people of that day were basically poor and had little.  They also had little hope of ever having anything.  This verse came easier to them and yet most never had a hunger and thirst for God, therefore, this Beatitude.
 
2.  Our day is so different and is rapidly becoming much worse as we live in the Laodicean Church Age of having need of nothing.  When I was a boy, we had enough but did not have what the rich kids had.  Eating out for us was “once in a blue moon”. 
3.  Today, the things that once belonged to the rich have become a way of life for even the poor.  It has changed our spiritual perspective!  We try to live a moral life because we have been taught from the Bible to do so but we do not “hunger and thirst after righteousness.”
 
The world will leave you empty, especially the child of God. 
 
1.  Things do not satisfy for long and more is required.  More does not satisfy for long and more becomes the desire of the natural man. 
2.  This does not mean that you cannot be filled with good days, happy days, successful days, and the such.  Life in itself is good and the Lord wants each of us to have a measure of happiness in this life but the joys of the world are not always lasting and can leave one empty.
3.  The joys of this life are temporal at best and have neither spiritual nor lasting eternal value.  We sing “Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me,” but it is for the temporal things and not because of a filling of the blessings of God for hungering and thirsting after righteousness!
 
Have you ever gotten hungry for something or had a taste for something? 
 
1.  You can eat everything in the house but nothing else satisfies.  When on a diet, you have a taste for what is a “no-no” and you nibble instead of just satisfying that desire and then going back on the diet.  What happens is that you eat all of those calories and then still end up eating the “no-no.”  It is better to just eat what your body is telling you that it needs. 
2.  When someone is sick or dying, one of the first things that happens is a lack of appetite.  You try to reason with them, “You have to eat!  Without fuel in the tank of the car, the car will not run.”  As a general rule, hunger and thirst are signs of physical health.  Spiritual hunger and thirst are signs of spiritual health. 
3.    Physically, the appetite must be trained.  When we were young, we did not get a lot of junk food.  It was beans, taters, cornbread, veggies out of the garden, etc. but, in this day, it is junk food with little of the above mentioned.  Kids today do not like to sit down to an old-fashioned meal.
4.  Spiritually, the appetite also must be trained.  We cannot feed from the junk of the world and desire the things of God.  The Spirit of God creates a hungering and thirsting in the child of God so that He may fill it.
 
Hungering and Thirsting is:
 
1.  A Hungering and Thirsting for Personal Communion with the Lord. 
Psalms 42:1-2  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  (2)  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
 
Psalms 63:1  O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;  (We live in a spiritual “drought” in the Bible Belt!  “Where no water is.”)
 
2.  A Hungering and Thirsting for God’s Word. 
Job 23:12  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
 
Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
 
3.  A Hungering and Thirsting for God’s House. 
Psalms 84:1-2  How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!  (2)  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Psalm 27:4-6  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.  (5)  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.  (6)  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
 
4.  A Hungering and Thirsting for Holiness of Life. 
Psalms 19:12-14  Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  (13)  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.  (14)  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
 
Psalms 26:1-2  Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.  (2)  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
 
5.  A Hungering and Thirsting for the Souls of Men. 
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?  (20)  For ye are our glory and joy.
 
Daniel 12:3  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
 
6.  Hungering and Thirsting for Heaven. 
Revelation 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
 
2 Timothy 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

What are you hungry for?

Victory Baptist Church 08 July 2020 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

God Has a Purpose for Storms

By Charles Stanley

Psalm 119:71 “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

Perhaps you’ve seen a TV show in which a distracted person is about to step in front of a moving vehicle. Then suddenly another character races onto the scene, tackling him to prevent a catastrophe. Stunned and indignant, the near-victim fumes and swats at his rescuer—that is, until realizing he has just been saved from a far worse outcome. What at first seemed like a bad thing turns out to be very good.

Storms in our life can at times serve a similar purpose. It’s easy to get so caught up in the daily grind or preoccupied with chasing a goal that we miss the good that the Lord has in mind to give us. When we’re this focused on our own desires, we also become more vulnerable to making choices that don’t align with His Word.

But wanting the best for His children, our heavenly Father will go to great lengths to make sure we are positioned for His blessing in our life. That’s when we may suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a storm—where life was once sunny, we are now faced with turmoil or even pain. Disappointment like that can catch us off guard and make us wonder, Why is God letting this happen to me? It just may be that He’s trying to protect us and draw us closer to Him.

Though the Lord sometimes allows storms in the form of problems and hardships, His goal isn’t ever to hurt you. If you’re going through a trial right now, God may be trying to draw your attention back to Him. It is possible He’s disrupting your plans so He can implement His.

Tuesday With Karen

So thankful HE is the Master of the sea! KI

This Storm Won’t Be Forever

This storm won’t be forever, it will have an end,
We’re very blessed, God is our Faithful Friend;
It doesn’t matter, the circumstances we face,
We’re never alone, with God giving His grace!

This storm won’t be forever, it’s in God’s hand,
His power does things we can’t understand;
He oversees our life with His watchful eyes,
In every step we take, He’s right by our side!

This storm won’t be forever, as it may seem,
God is there with us, daily giving us strength;
Whatever happens, He lives inside our heart,
His presence is real, and He never departs!

This storm won’t be forever, God is in control,
All things, in His hand, He securely holds;
The devil may try to make us stumble & fall,
But God is giving grace in the midst of it all!

Fourth Watch

The Fourth Watch

Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them,
walking on the sea, and would have passed them by
. Mark 6:48

By David Jeremiah

Once after a busy day, Jesus hurried His disciples onto a boat and sent them across the lake while He retreated to a hillside spot for prayer and solitude. A storm descended, and for hours the disciples strained at their oars in the raging darkness. Jesus didn’t show up to help them until shortly before sunrise. Why did He wait so long?

We don’t know all the reasons, but we recognize the same is true for us. Sometimes the Lord doesn’t seem to show up as quickly as we’d like. Yet our times are in His hands, and He is always perfectly on time. Perhaps the apparent delays are His way of developing our faith, patience, perseverance, prayer habits, endurance, and courage. Sometimes it’s for testimony’s sake or to allow circumstances to align correctly.

If you’re impatient today for the Lord to answer your prayers and relieve your burden, remember the disciples on Galilee’s lake and our Lord’s words to them: “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50). Trust His timing and wait patiently on Him.

His wisdom is sublime,
His heart profoundly kind;
God never is before His time,
and never is behind. —J. J. Lynch

Ode to Retirement


Old age is golden, so I’ve heard said

But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.

With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup

And my eyes on the table until I wake up.

Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself

“Is there anything else I should put on the shelf?”

And I’m happy to say as I close my eyes

“My friends are the same, perhaps even more.”

When I was young my slippers were red,

I could kick up my heels as high as my head.

Then when I was older, my slippers were blue,

But still I could walk the whole day through.

Now I am old, my slippers are black.

I walk to the store and puff my way back.

The reason I know my youth is all spent,

My get up and go has got up and went.

But really, I don’t mind when I think with a grin,

Of all the grand places my get up has been.

Since I have retired from life’s competition

I busy myself with complete repetition.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,

Pick up the paper and read the ‘obits’

If my name is missing I know I’m not dead

So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

Freedom

Celebrate Freedom!

I Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures . . .

July fourth is Independence Day, and all across U.S.A. people will celebrate the tremendous freedom we enjoy. Truly we are blessed! We who know Jesus Christ as our Savior have another kind of freedom to celebrate. We are free from the bondage of our sin and death.

I Corinthians 15:1-4 gives a concise picture of the freedoms we have in Christ. First, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” He died for one reason: to pay the penalty necessary for our sins. He took our place. Because of His death, we are made free from the death penalty of sin and stand righteous before God. This is our justification.

Second, “that He was buried.” Romans 6 tells us that through faith we died with Him and were buried with Him and are now dead to the power of sin over us. Sin no longer has dominion over us, so we can choose to live righteous, holy lives. We are free from sin’s control over us! This is our sanctification.

Third, “that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” His death alone could not save us; it was the resurrection that showed God’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice, and that gives power unto salvation. In Colossians 3:1 we read that we are risen with Christ. His resurrection guarantees a future in Heaven for us where we will be free from the presence of sin. This is our glorification.

From that past moment when I truly believed, I am free from the penalty of sin . . . Free from the present power of sin over me . . . And guaranteed to one day be free from the presence of sin. Now that’s cause for celebration—every day!

Lord Jesus, let me never forget the great gift of freedom that You give to me as Your follower.

Friday Funnies

DRIVING
A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. ‘Careful,’ he said, ‘CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You’re cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They’re going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you’re cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don’t forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!’
The wife stared at him. ‘What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don’t know how to fry a couple of eggs?’ The husband calmly replied, ‘I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.’

CHECK OUT
A young man was walking through a supermarket to pick up a few things when he noticed an old lady following him around. Thinking nothing of it, he ignored her and continued on.
Finally he went to the checkout line, but she got in front of him. “Pardon me,” she said, “I’m sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It’s just that you look just like my son, who just died recently.” “I’m very sorry,” replied the young man, “is there anything I can do for you?” “Yes,” she said, “As I’m leaving, can you say ‘Good bye, Mother’? It would make me feel so much better.” “Sure,” answered the young man.
As the old woman was leaving, he called out, “Goodbye, Mother!” As he stepped up to the checkout counter, he saw that his total was $127.50. “How can that be?” He asked, “I only purchased a few things!” “Your mother said that you would pay for her,” said the clerk.

SPY
Henry, wanted to get his beautiful blonde wife, Lucy something nice for their fifth wedding anniversary. So, he decides to buy her a cell phone. She is all excited, she loves her phone and he explains all the features on the phone.
The next day, Lucy goes shopping. Her phone rings and its Lincoln: “Hi honey”, he says “how do you like your new phone?”
And she replies: “I just love it, it’s so small and your voice is clear as a bell but there’s one thing I don’t understand though”. 
“What’s that, baby?” asks the husband. 
“How did you know I was at Wal Mart?” asked Lucy.

Bible Study

Blessed Are The Merciful Matthew 5:7

A.  In this verse, we find that those who are merciful obtain mercy.
1.  In Matthew 6:12, one of the verses in the Model Prayer in which our Lord taught us to pray, He ties our request for forgiveness with our forgiveness of others. Matthew 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  2.  This is one portion of prayer that we are probably more familiar with than any other:  the need for forgiveness of sin.  If you are saved, you have no problem with knowing that you are both a sinner and sinful. 
3.  This is one of the works of the Holy Ghost who indwells the believer.  One of the most evident signs of salvation is sensitivity to sin.  Things that never bothered you as an unbeliever now bring you to a place of repentance.
 
B.  There will be times when we will sin against God and each of us must throw ourselves on the mercy of God.  I have never come a place in my life that thought myself worthy of God’s love and know that I am just an old hell deserving sinner.
Lamentations 3:22  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
C.  If we expect to be recipients of God’s mercy, then we need to show mercy to those who sin against us also.  Matthew 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 
D.  At this point, we know that we are not God and God knows that we are but flesh so I thank Him that his mercy extends beyond the realm of the mercy that I show to others.
 
E.  We need to strive to be as merciful to others as we expect God to be merciful to us.  Let’s examine the mercy of God that we are to pattern our lives after.
 
1.  God Forgives Immediately.
 
1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Psalms 86:5  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
 
We Are To Forgive Immediately.
 
Matthew 5:23-25  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25  Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
 
The First Mention Of Forgiveness – Genesis 50:17-21  So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18  And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.  (Notice the word “Now.”  We are to forgive immediately as we desire God to forgive immediately!)
 
2.  God Forgives Completely.
 
1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (There is nothing in the believer’s life that God cannot or will not forgive!  What a blessing!)
 
Psalms 25:18  Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.  (Notice the prayer.)
 
Psalms 85:2  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
 
Psalms 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
 
Isaiah 38:17  Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
 
Isaiah 43:25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
 
Micah 7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
 
We Are To Forgive Completely.
 
Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
3.  God Forgives Continuously.
 
1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
Psalms 130:4  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  (“There is” is present tense!  You will always find forgiveness with the Lord.)
 
We Are To Forgive Continually.
 
2 Corinthians 2:7  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.  (“Ought” speaks of moral obligation.)
 
Matthew 18:21-22  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
 
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Victory Baptist Church 01July 2020 victorypalmetto.com