You are Forgiven

Welcome back to the Encouragement Challenge Week 3! We are talking about forgiveness this week. Today, we are going to focus on God’s forgiveness towards us. We are forgiven! You are forgiven!! No matter what you have done…you are forgiven! All you have to do is ask God to forgive you! He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins!

Here are a just few scriptures about God’s forgiveness:

Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Matthew 26:28 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Repent (turn away from) your sins and be forgiven. God has forgiven you…so now forgive yourself. We all fail and need forgiveness. Allow God to forgive you. Then, forgive yourself.

Be a blessing to others,
~M

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Let God Judge

Welcome back!! Today, we are continuing to talk about forgiveness. Have you ever judged anyone? While I was in college, I would judge high school cheerleader tryouts. I did not like doing it. It was so hard to judge them when I knew that someone’s dreams would be crushed if they didn’t make the team.

We are judged on a daily basis by what we wear, what we eat, what we say and even what we don’t do. As Christians, our lives are judged even harsher by the world. However, we often tend to judge others, too. We need to remember that we have ALL fallen short of God’s commandments. God has forgiven us, so we need to forgive others.

God does not need or want our help judging someone. He is perfectly capable of judging the human heart. He is perfect. We are not. When we judge someone else, we are living outside of God’s will for our lives. He has forgiven us for all our mistakes. Instead of being quick to judge someone…let’s stop. That is God’s job not ours. We have enough to worry about in our own lives than focusing on someone else.

Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this.

Matthew 7:1-5 ““Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ”

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven”

James 4:11-12 “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

Don’t judge–just forgive!

Be a blessing to others,
~M

Don’t Let Bitterness Rule You

Welcome back to the encouragement challenge. Congratulations!! You have made it to week 3!! This week we are focusing on forgiveness. We are going to talk about bitterness today. What is bitterness? Bitterness can be described as, “the experience of a negative emotion (anger or hatred, for instance) felt as a result of a real or imagined wrong done.” Bitterness is what happens when you hold a grudge for too long. Bitterness will not hurt the person who wronged you. It only hurts YOU! Let it go. Forgive and move forward in your relationship with Christ! Let’s see what the Bible has to say about bitterness.

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Hebrews 12:14-15 “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled”

Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.'”

I urge you today to seek your heart. Let go of any bitterness you are harboring. Let go and Let God take full control of you heart. Allow His love to consume your heart today.

Be a blessing to others,
~M

Encouragement Challenge Week 3 — Forgiveness

Hello Readers!! I hope you had a great weekend! Today, we are going to start with week 3 of the encouragement challenge. This week, we are going to focus on forgiveness. Forgiveness can be defined as, “to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”

When you forgive, you are setting yourself free from something that has been holding you back. You can become the person God wants you to be if you hold onto grudges. His Word reminds us of that.

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your Heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”

Proverbs 11:12 “Whoever shows contempt for his neighbor lacks sense, but a man with understanding keeps silent.”

Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Forgiveness is your choice. Will you choose to forgive or will you continue to hold that grudge?

Be a blessing to others,
~M

Happy 4th of July

Hello Readers!! Happy 4th of July!! I hope you get to spend some time with family and friends today. Celebrate what Christ has done in your life. Use this holiday to share God’s love with someone else! Give someone else some encouragement today. Smile and share your faith!

1 Peter 2:16 reminds us, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”

Be a blessing to others,
~M

Encouragement Challenge Week 2

Welcome back to the 2nd week of the Encouragement Challenge. Today, we are going to talk about the Power of Kindness.

Kindness can be defined as “the act of having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others; wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.”

Kind words can last a lifetime, but so can mean words. Do you want to be the positive influence in someone’s life or the negative, hurtful influence? Being kind to someone can change their whole life. We need those encouraging, kind people in our lives. What would you like to be known for: being kind or hurtful? It is your choice.

1 Thessalonians 3:12 — “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all.”

Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

Ephesians 4:9 — “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word is a gift.

Lord, please help us to be kind to others. Let us rise above the need to criticize others. Let me be the source of genuine kindness and encouragement to my family, friends, coworkers and anyone You put in my path. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Be a blessing to others,
~M

Take Time to Listen

Welcome back to the Encouragement challenge. Today, we are going to talk about taking time to listen. Listening is a key to encouraging someone. We must know what they are feeling about themselves and their situation to give personalized encouragement. Some people just want someone to listen when they are feeling sad; while others may need prayer. Today, take time to truly listen to someone and offer them encouragement.

James 1:9 — “Be quick to hear, slow to speak.”

James 1:19 — “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”

Remember to be a blessing to others,
~M

To Build Up

Welcome back to the 30 days of encouragement! Another way we can describe encouragement is building each other up. I had this wonderful art teacher in High School. One day, she gave us an assignment to write something nice about everyone else in the class. We were all smiles after we finished reading the notes from our classmates. So, take some time out of your busy schedule today, and build someone else up.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 — “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Ephesians 4:29 — “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

1 Corinthians 14:26 — “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 — “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Be a blessing to others,
~M

The Obedience of Joy

Welcome back to our Fruit of Spirit Series.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Day-3/4/14
The Obedience of Joy:

Psalms 119:111 (NIV)
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; 
 they are the joy of my heart.

Proverbs 10:28 (NIV)
28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Psalms 119:14 (NIV)
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches

Mercy Shown By Love Part 10

Happy Monday! It’s the beginning of a fresh new week. Will you show God’s love and mercy this week? We hope you have enjoyed this series about Mercy Shown By Love! Today is the last day of this series. Let’s get started with today’s verse.

Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB) from Biblegateway.com

27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28-bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29-If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30-Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32-If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33-If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34-And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB)

Notes:
36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

What does being merciful mean? Webster defines it as “full of mercy; treating people with kindness and forgiveness; not cruel or harsh; having or showing mercy; giving relief from suffering.”

We can find many examples of mercy and being merciful in the Bible. Take a walk through the scriptures with us:

Luke 1:49-50 (NIV) for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV) But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

Titus 3:4-5 (NIV) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Romans 3:23-24 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV) Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

Psalms 28:6-7 (NIV) Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

~G & M