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Sermon: God’s Original Idea, Part 1 by Myles Munroe

Myles Munroe is one of the most phenomenal Bible teachers I’ve ever listened to and read. I came across him early in my studies, so I’m sure some of his explanations are embedded in my thinking. I’ve been listening to sermons this weekend and thought about him. He and his wife died in a plane crash in 2014, but thanks to technology, specifically #Youtube, he’s still easy to find. This sermon begins with how ideas outlive people. How wonderful that his teachings remain with us.

This is a teaching on God’s Kingdom – Heaven – and how the Kingdom of Heaven was Jesus’s reason, purpose and message on Earth.

 

 

Sermon Notes

Key Points

Ideas

Precepts

Concepts

Understanding

Communication

Ideas outlive people.

Continue reading Sermon: God’s Original Idea, Part 1 by Myles Munroe

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Sermon: TURN AND BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS

by Pastor Jerry Hampton

Click here to listen: Turn and Believe the Good News

This was an amazing sermon on repentance. I’ve studied and written and lived with a repentant (as much as I’ve been able to at any given point and time) for years now – this sermon took me to another level of understanding.

I’ll clean up my notes later, but for now, listen and be blessed.

Reference verses

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Psalm 51:1-3 : Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

v. 10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

– There’s hope.  A repentant heart looks forward.

Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
JC: Truly I say to you, you will be with me in paradise today.

Ephesians 1:13-14

2 Corinthians
No matter how many promises are made, it’s yes in Christ… guaranteeing what is to come

Acts 3: 19-21
Repent and turn

**Bring fruits worthy of repentance.
**Unless a seed dies and fall to the ground…

Key points

1. Jesus is the Kingdom of God personified: Kingdom of God is near /is here. He is here/with the believer.

2. What is repentance?
-Coming to a point where we admit there is a problem we can’t fix and recognize that solution is with God.
-It is an attitude of the heart that keeps you going. A changed mind. Change of conduct showing a disdain of sin.

5. It’s not just stop doing wrong things but to start doing right things. Also repent/turn from doing nothing.

6. Past performance is no indication of future results
– There’s hope.  A repentant heart looks forward.

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ACAD – Praise: Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 Or Be gracious to me
  2. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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ACAD: Giving Thanks – Psalms 7

In You Do I Take Refuge

A Shiggaion[a] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.

O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
    rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend[b] with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
    over it return on high.

The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    and may you establish the righteous —
you who test the minds and hearts,[c]
    O righteous God!
My shield is with God,
    who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
    and a God who feels indignation every day.

If a man[d] does not repent, God[e] will whet his sword;
    he has bent and readied his bow;
he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
   making his arrows fiery shafts.
Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
    and is pregnant with mischief
    and gives birth to lies.
He makes a pit, digging it out,
    and falls into the hole that he has made.
His mischief returns upon his own head,
    and on his own skull his violence descends.

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
    and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 7:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
  2. Psalm 7:4 Hebrew the one at peace with me
  3. Psalm 7:9 Hebrew the hearts and kidneys
  4. Psalm 7:12 Hebrew he
  5. Psalm 7:12 Hebrew he

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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A Chapter a Day: Jeremiah 3

“If[a] a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
declares the Lord.
Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
    Where have you not been ravished?
By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
    like an Arab in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
    with your vile whoredom.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have the forehead of a whore;
    you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
    ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth —
will he be angry forever,
    will he be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken,
    but you have done all the evil that you could.”

Faithless Israel Called to Repentance

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares theLord.”

And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,

“‘Return, faithless Israel,
declares the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
    for I am merciful,
declares the Lord;
I will not be angry forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt,
    that you rebelled against the Lord your God
and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,
    and that you have not obeyed my voice,
declares the Lord.
Return, O faithless children,
declares the Lord;
    for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
    and I will bring you to Zion.

“‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.

“‘I said,
    How I would set you among my sons,
and give you a pleasant land,
    a heritage most beautiful of all nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father,
    and would not turn from following me.
Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,
    so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,
declares the Lord.’”

A voice on the bare heights is heard,
    the weeping and pleading of Israel’s sons
because they have perverted their way;
    they have forgotten the Lord their God.
“Return, O faithless sons;
    I will heal your faithlessness.”
“Behold, we come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
Truly the hills are a delusion,
    the orgies[b] on the mountains.
Truly in the Lord our God
    is the salvation of Israel.

“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 3:1 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Saying, “If
  2. Jeremiah 3:23 Hebrew commotion

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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Who Is Righteous Before God?

This post, “Who is Righteous Before God?” summarizes quite a bit of the process I’ve been detailing for years in my own walk. The process of being separated from worldly influences and desires. Not for the purpose of becoming “self-righteous” — for who can make themselves righteous before God? However, we can get right with God by submitting ourselves to His pruning, weeding, cleansing and watering.

“So who is righteous in God’s sight? It is the person who believes the true Gospel, repents, follows Christ, and obeys the law. Not the written code, but instead, the law of the Spirit. And what does that entail? It entails “circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit”. This is the person God will praise by declaring righteous.

“And what is this circumcision? It is a cutting away from the heart that which is corrupt, defiling, God-hating, idolatrous, sinful, and wicked. Just as a male’s foreskin is prone to harbor disease, so the sinful nature, infected with sin and susceptible to more vileness, grows in the unregenerate heart, hardening it toward God. It must be sliced off. And it is the Spirit who does this for the person who believes, repents, asks, and submits to the process by willingly crucifying the sinful nature. This process is rarely the time-span of a prayer, but a “birthing” done however God pleases, and of which we are not meant to know how to completely explain.” {Click to read the original post}

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Study: Courage to Build, Maintain and Restore Relationships

courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

relationship: a connection, association, or involvement; an emotional or other connection between people

I think I’ve been working towards this study for a few years now. Looking forward to compiling it all summer. And I’ve been building it statement by statement for the last few weeks. Ultimately is formed from the prior “COURAGE” studies, however it encompasses everything I write about – RELATIONSHIPS.

Our primary relationship is with God. We have to know and understand His word in order to properly interact with Him. Once we understand the importance of “right relationship” with God, we pursue it continually. More immediately in our physical world, we have a proper working model of a “good” relationship. Our human relationships are to mirror our primary spiritual relationship. I hope this compilation of God’s Word helps you with your relationship with Him and with people.

Be blessed and live your life to be a blessing.

It takes courage to love

love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection

1 John 4:7-11 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other.

1 John 4:18 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.

1 Corinthians 13:2-8 …if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. 8 Love never ends.

The courage to commit

commit: to give in trust or charge; consign; to consign for preservation (to hand over or deliver formally or officially; to transfer to another’s custody or charge; to set apart for or devote to); to pledge (oneself) to a position; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc.); to bind or obligate; to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend (to entrust; give in charge; deliver with confidence)

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. (NLT)

Psalm 37:3 Trust the Lord and do good. Live in the land and feed on truth. 4 Enjoy serving the LORD, and he will give you what you want. 5 Depend on the LORD; trust him, and he will take care of you. 6 Then your goodness will shine like the sun, and your fairness like the noonday sun.

Acts 20:32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.

John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

It takes courage to prepare

prepare: to put in proper condition or readiness; to lead up to by some preliminary action

1 Chronicles 22:5 David said, “We should build a great Temple for the LORD, which will be famous everywhere for its greatness and beauty. But my son Solomon is young. He hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know, so I will prepare for the building of it.” So David got many of the materials ready before he died.

Esther 2:12 Before a girl could take her turn with King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments that were ordered for the women. For six months she was treated with oil and myrrh and for six months with perfumes and cosmetics.13 Then she was ready to go to the king.

Esther 3: 13 Then Mordecai sent back word to Esther: “Just because you live in the king’s palace, don’t think that out of all the Jewish people you alone will escape.14 If you keep quiet at this time, someone else will help and save the Jewish people, but you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this.”
      15 Then Esther sent this answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and get all the Jewish people in Susa together. For my sake, fast; do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my servant girls will also fast . Then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I die, I die.”

Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to wait for the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3 The five foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they did not take more oil for the lamps to burn.4 The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars. 5 Because the bridegroom was late, they became sleepy and went to sleep.
      6 “At midnight someone cried out, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!’ 7 Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.8 But the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 The wise bridesmaids answered, ‘No, the oil we have might not be enough for all of us. Go to the people who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
      10 “So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.

It takes courage to build

build: to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials; to establish, increase, or strengthen; to mold, form, or create; to base; found

1 Chronicles 22:11 David said, “Now, my son, may the LORD be with you. May you build a temple for the LORD your God, as he said you would.12 He will make you the king of Israel. May the LORD give you wisdom and understanding so you will be able to obey the teachings of the LORD your God.13 Be careful to obey the rules and laws the LORD gave Moses for Israel. If you obey them, you will have success. Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or discouraged.

Matthew 16:18 So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow, and the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.”

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do.23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts,24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.

Ephesians 4:25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.

Ephesians 4:29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

It takes courage to acknowledge our sin

acknowledge: to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of; to show or express recognition or realization of

sin: any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, or lapse

Psalm 32:3 When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. 4 Day and night you punished me. My strength was gone as in the summer heat.
      5 Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, “I will confess my sins to the LORD,” and you forgave my guilt.

James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.

It takes courage to hold others accountable

accountable: liable; obliged to accept responsibility; subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable; responsible to someone or for some action; answerable

Leviticus 26:40 “‘But maybe the people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors; maybe they will admit they turned against me and sinned against me,41 which made me turn against them and send them into the land of their enemies. If these disobedient people are sorry for what they did and accept punishment for their sin,42 I will remember my agreement with Jacob, my agreement with Isaac, and my agreement with Abraham, and I will remember the land.43 The land will be left empty by its people, and it will enjoy its time of rest as it lies bare without them. Then those who are left alive will accept the punishment for their sins. They will learn that they were punished because they hated my laws and refused to obey my rules.44 But even though this is true, I will not turn away from them when they are in the land of their enemies. I will not hate them so much that I completely destroy them and break my agreement with them, because I am the LORD their God.

Revelation 3:19 “I correct and punish those whom I love. So be eager to do right, and change your hearts and lives. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.

It takes courage to repent

repent: to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc; to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent

2 Corinthians 7:8 Even if my letter made you sad, I am not sorry I wrote it. At first I was sorry, because it made you sad, but you were sad only for a short time.9 Now I am happy, not because you were made sad, but because your sorrow made you change your lives. You became sad in the way God wanted you to, so you were not hurt by us in any way.10 The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.

Revelation 2:16 So change your hearts and lives. If you do not, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword that comes out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what you have left before it dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants. 3 So do not forget what you have received and heard. Obey it, and change your hearts and lives.

It takes courage to forgive

forgive: to grant pardon for or remission of; to give up all claim on account of; remit; to grant pardon to a person;  to cease to feel resentment against; to cancel an indebtedness or liability of

Colossians 3:12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. 14 Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble.9 Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing.

Ephesians 4:31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

It takes courage to restore relationships

restore: to bring back into existence; to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor; to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition

2 Corinthians 7:11 See what this sorrow—the sorrow God wanted you to have—has done to you: It has made you very serious. It made you want to restore yourselves. It made you angry and afraid. It made you want to see me. It made you care. It made you want to do the right thing. In every way you have regained your innocence. 12 I wrote that letter, not because of the one who did the wrong or because of the person who was hurt. I wrote the letter so you could see, before God, the great care you have for us.13 That is why we were comforted.
      Not only were we very comforted, we were even happier to see that Titus was so happy. All of you made him feel much better.14 I bragged to Titus about you, and you showed that I was right. Everything we said to you was true, and you have proved that what we bragged about to Titus is true.15 And his love for you is stronger when he remembers that you were all ready to obey. You welcomed him with respect and fear.16 I am very happy that I can trust you fully.

It takes courage to continue and maintain relationships

continue: to go on after suspension or interruption; to go on or keep on, as in some course or action; to last or endure

maintain: to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain; to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired; to keep in a specified state, position; to affirm; assert; declare

Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

James 1:2 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily,20 because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.21 So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.

Ephesians 4:2 Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love.3 You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way.4 There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope.5 There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.6 There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.

Ephesians 4:13 We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. 14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path.15 No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.16 The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.

See other COURAGE word and verse studies:

Courage to Hear, See, Believe and Obey God

Courage to Seek God, Follow Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit

Seeing Your Enemies As They Are: David vs. Goliath

All definitons are from www.dictionary.comAll scripture is from www.biblegateway.com, New Century Version, unless otherwise noted.
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Excerpt: You Must Believe to Understand

Introduction to The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love & Forgiveness

[F]or you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.  ~1 Peter 2:9, 11-12

The most difficult tasks involved in writing The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness were deciding to whom to address the text and to maintain that focus throughout the book.

My questions to “self” consisted of: Am I writing to the people who love, or to the people who are loved? Am I addressing the repentant at heart, or the unrepentant? Should I focus on those who have forgiven, or those who have received forgiveness? Is this work ultimately for people who believe in God, His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit, or for those who don’t believe at all?

The answer from “self” was: everyone represents, has represented or will represent each of those characteristics at any given point of their life.

This book is a tool to be used in working out love, repentance and forgiveness issues in human relationships through the examples God has provided. Those relationships could be with parents, siblings, spouses, other family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors or community members. There are many relationships during the course of our lives through which we have to navigate our way. Some of those relationships fail and die because one or both parties involved are unfamiliar with the process of love, repentance and forgiveness. Love, repentance and forgiveness are more than just words that you speak and forget about. Love requires action. Repenting mends the love you hurt. Forgiveness is a loving response to the attack on love. They are all choices. Asking is involved. Receiving is necessary. Giving is the only way each is shared.

The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness is a work by a Christian woman who has chosen to purposefully sow into the Kingdom of Heaven. My goal with this book is to speak directly to anyone with eyes, ears and a heart open to see, hear and receive the truth of the Word of God. The majority of Biblical scripture used in this volume is addressed to Believers from the mouths and pens of Jesus and His Disciples.

The Holy Bible is a Teacher’s Manual full of instructions telling Believers (a.k.a. Teacher Aides) how to conduct themselves… and how to show God to other people. Believers are commissioned to teach the world by showing nonbelievers God’s ways through their mode of living and their treatment of others. The Father’s process is very deliberate!

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  ~ 2 Peter 3:9-10

This knowledge encouraged me to address Believers and nonbelievers alike. My hope is that the Believer will be encouraged, edified and strengthened; and that the nonbeliever will be exposed to a truth they can no longer deny and will begin to pursue.

What does it mean to “believe”?

God’s word is locked. His secrets are hidden. His word does not make sense to everyone. He does not reveal knowledge and understanding to all of Creation. But those He call His children are permitted to know His secrets and understand His ways through His Spirit.

How do you become a Child of God?

You must believe on and receive the One He sent – Jesus Christ the Messiah.

We must have confidence in and be convicted of God’s existence. That’s how we believe. By believing in His existence, we can then believe in His works.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn — not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  ~ John 1:10-12

Having faith is another way of expressing belief in God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the confidence that our hopes will manifest and it assures us about the things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:6 further explains:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Again, this may not make sense to a nonbeliever, but then again a nonbeliever wouldn’t be reading this if they weren’t seeking truth. So, if that’s you, keep on reading!

For the Believers, this may be elementary, but a review never hurts anyone. So, you keep reading as well!

Do you believe God?

You acknowledge that God exists, but do you have enough confidence in His existence to obey His Word? To believe God is to accept what He says as true. He doesn’t allow picking and choosing or alternating between a straight walk and a zigzag. If you claim to believe in God, but you do not believe what He says in the Bible (His Word), then you do not really believe God. God and His Word are one. “The Word” is also another name for Jesus Christ. God and Jesus are one. If you believe God, you will believe and obey His Word. If you do not believe what God says directly or through Jesus, it is God Himself you are disbelieving and rejecting. (Yoonu Njub, 1998)

But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.  ~ John 20:31

How to become a Believer

If you desire to become a child of God, a Believer, one of God’s chosen people, a member of His royal priesthood and holy nation, then simply do so. All that is required is that you follow His instructions. If you desire to become one of God’s very own possessions and heed His call by walking out of the darkness of the world and into His wonderful eternal light, then you have only to believe in your heart and speak with your lips the words of Romans 10:9-10, and ask the Father to be your Teacher and Guide for everything He wishes for you to learn on your spiritual walk with Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  ~ Romans 10:9-13

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Psalm 51: Repentance vs. Apology

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit — with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

~ Psalm 51 (NLT)

I’m in the middle of reading The Five Languages of Apology by Dr. Gary Chapman. It’s an interesting read in some respects. In other respects I think it omits the full impact and importance of repentance. The book suggests that apology is the ultimate communication to restore a relationship. I think that’s misleading and have become increasingly dissatisfied the further I get in the book.

In the jargon of the book, the five “languages” of apology are (1) expressing regret; (2) accepting responsibility; (3) making restitution; (4) genuinely repenting; and (5) requesting forgiveness.

According to the Bible, repentance is the ultimate communication leading to forgiveness and resulting in a restored relationship. Repentance consists of (1) acknowledging your sin; (2) accepting responsibility without defending yourself; (3) understanding the severity and repercussions for what you have done; (4) humbling yourself and requesting forgiveness; (5) knowing that mercy and grace are not deserved; (6) expressing a sincere desire and intention to change your ways (7) doing what you need to do to restore the relationship. [in no particular order] 

Psalm 51 is an excellent example of David’s true repentance for a very specific sin against God. It’s an amazing declaration of his love and devotion to God, as well as an expression of his desire to be cleansed and live as a righteous man. It’s an example of how we should seek to heal and restore our human relationships.   

Repentance is so much more than an apology. It’s completely turning away from the course you are on and committing yourself to God’s ways (or in human relational language: committing yourself fully to the relationship you are seeking to restore). Repentance is not something that works by picking and choosing elements that suit you – as The Five Languages of Apology suggests.