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Forgiving, Even The Hard Stuff.

I made this sticker as a personal reminder to CONTINUE forgiving.

Forgiveness can be REALLY HARD. When we love deeply we can be hurt deeply. It is especially hard to forgive when betrayal, abuse and trauma, and other really hard situations are at play. As someone who is choosing to follow Jesus moment by moment through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I am still called to forgive because of what Jesus has already done for me. Both healthy boundaries and forgiveness is biblical.

This is my reminder to KEEP forgiving…

To continue to forgive when people don’t know the truth and choose gossip over truth.

To forgive those who choose to slander and use their words to intentionally hurt.

This 70 x 7 sticker is the reminder to forgive those who I have put my trust in who proved to not be trustworthy.

This sticker is my reminder to forgive those who have hurt me and done things to me, I would never even think of doing to them.

I forgive those who has abused me, betrayed me, used me for their own selfish desires, and YES, I choose to forgive those within the Body of Christ who used positions for power, control, and manipulation, rather than servanthood.

I choose to forgive, moment by moment, and sometimes minute by minute.

Why?

Because Jesus went to the cross innocent, and took the punishment for MY sins. He did what I could never do for myself, SAVE ME.

If He can forgive me and chooses to forgive them, I can surely forgive them too.

Can I do this on my own?

Absolutely not,

But I can choose to forgive 70 x 7 with the help of Holy Spirit.

So…this is my in my face reminder to walk in humility, ask for help when my heart is cut deeply, and forgive because I am forgiven.

He didn’t just die for me, He died for them too.

Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?”

“I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.

-Matthew 18:21-22

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When We Don’t Choose Him (Devotional)

The other day I had a super long day. I went out in the woods to just be with the Lord. I pulled up to the place where I felt his leading to stop and got out of the car. I heard his gentle prompting to look up.

Before me stood this tree.

He spoke to me that this is us as believers as we try to live life without Him.
It’s our life when we do what we think is best rather remaining in Him.
This is the life of a believer who only hears the word and does not do the word.
This tree is a representation when we choose self over choosing Him.

–Lifeless
–Fruitless
–Dead Men Walking
–Only Taking The Appearance of What God Has Meant For Us To Be

I pray we as the Body of Christ become a people who follow Him, no matter the cost.
I’m so thankful for mercy and grace for the times we miss it. But I’m so very thankful His love does not leave us in the same place.

🌿So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
James 1:21‭-‬25 NLT

🌿Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
John 15:4‭-‬8 CSB

🌿Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Matthew 16:24‭-‬28 CSB

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He Gives His Beloved Rest

In my morning devotional I saw this quote and it reminded me of the sweet rest that Jesus died to give His children.

So often, especially now a days with social media, we can fall into the comparison trap. Whether we fall into comparing ourselves to others or maybe we feel that we haven’t yet reached that level of success we thought we should be at. We end up heavy burdened, overloaded, schedules busy with an empty heart, and void of what is truly important.

Jesus didn’t die so we could strive for greatness here on earth or be the best of the best. His plan wasn’t for us to have a full schedule of what seems to be godly activities but empty of His presence that comes from the mountain. Jesus died so we would no longer strive but simply abide. It was to have fellowship with us. It was and still is, relationship that He desires.

Let us not get so busy that it takes away what is most important. May we not miss the mark by viewing and chasing worldy success rather than reaping an eternal reward. Let our heart posture be understanding and living from the place of what is most important in the heart of the Father.

Being One With Him —
Resting In His Presence By Knowing & Trusting His Character —
Trusting That It Really Is Completely Dependent On Him —
Surrendering It Isn’t Dependent On Us —
Knowing He Will Finish What He Started —

Our king’s pace isn’t the world’s pace and hustle culture is not kingdom culture.

He gives His beloved rest.

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Psalms 127:1‭-‬2 NLT

🖼: Ruth Chou Simons

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Choosing The Greater Portion

Martha was serving…

Serving: diakonía – ministry; active service, done with a willing (voluntary) attitude

But she was also distracted.

Distracted: to draw around (περί, III. 1), to draw away, distract; passive metaphorically, to be driven about mentally, to be distracted: περί τί, i. e. to be over-occupied, too busy, about a thing

Jesus spoke that Martha’s service (ministry) took her away from the ONE thing that is NECESSARY — to be with Jesus.

What was meant to once glorify God was the very thing that was drawing her away from Him. We too, can easily fall in this trap.

Our identities can be misplaced in what we do and results, rather than whose we are. We can fall for the deception that it’s dependent on us. If we don’t keep it all together, it will all fall apart. Forgetting that it is GOD who gives the growth and His purposes are already finished.

May we purposely choose to be undistracted. May we refuse to check off the boxes of religion that leaves us empty rather than choosing true intimacy with the Father.

May we purpose to choose what Jesus says is necessary, to simply be with Him.

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The Great Warning Of Apathy Through The Book of Jonah

I was reading the Book of Jonah this morning and Jonah’s heart posture stood out to me in greater measure than ever before.

(If you haven’t read the Book of Jonah, I encourage you to stop reading and go do so. This will help tremendously as you continue to read. )

What I came to see was that after Jonah had reluctantly obeyed God and after Jonah had been shown mercy, He had a really hard time dishing out to Ninevah what He has just been given. In fact, Jonah was angry at God for forgiving the people of Ninevah so much so He wanted to die. But, God came back with a question and I believe it is important for us to ask ourselves too.

We need to ask ourselves this question, do I have a right to be angry about this? Or is this what God has ordained?

We should never look at someone angrily because of a repentant heart. It doesn’t matter the weight of the sin, God looks at murder, gossip, and a white lie all the same. It is sin that needs to be forgiven. And truth be told, we all have fallen short and are in need of forgiveness.

You see, Jonah had became apathetic towards God’s own work-God’s people. We can learn from Jonah’s example that it is important to watch ourselves for pride or a biased expectation in the way we believe things should go. We must watch when we attempt to take place of God in judgment if we are not looking through the same heart of love God has for who He has created.

Rather, we should have an eagerness to willingly obey God and trust Him for whatever results obedience may bring. He desires no one to perish. We must look at everyone through eyes of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

If we cannot do this, we must check to see if our hearts have grown cold towards the very thing God loves most, His creation, His people.

When we are going through conflict we should remember these two things:

1. As God asked Jonah, do we have a right to angry about this? (See Jonah 4:4)

2. We also must remember the heart of the Father.

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalms 86:5 NKJV

Unlike the example of Jonah, let us willingly obey the Lord without reluctance or apprehension and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, give what God has delighted to give us.