A big thankyou to everyone who came out today! I hope you enjoyed the fellowship as much as I did! There is nothing like face-to-face fellowship 🙂
If you weren’t able to make it today, that is okay. We will continue to have it every Thursday unless it is announced otherwise. Next week please bring a finger food to pass! Same time, same place! If you live in a different state, country, or have something come up, we understand life happens, so the content will be posted online.
There has been a repeating topic that comes up when I talk to people about their walk with Christ, besides reading the bible. (You should do that too! haha!) That would be the topic of forgiveness.
“If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree—not to exaggerate—to all of you. This punishment by the majority is sufficient for that person. As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, he may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. I wrote for this purpose: to test your character to see if you are obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for your benefit in the presence of Christ, so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” -2 Corinthians 2:5-11
Often, we as humans, have a hard time forgiving people that hurt us. Let’s face it, people have done some really hurtful things. There’s sexual, physical, and mental abuse in this world, and then on a different side of the spectrum people lie, steal, and cheat. People’s hearts can be really vile. When we forgive someone who really hurt us, it says more about our character than it ever will there’s. It is actually beneficial to your health to forgive. Don’t believe me? Check out the article below on Psychology Today!
You don’t have to get an apology to forgive someone. When I realized you didn’t, it was so freeing to know that I didn’t have to carry around the baggage of the hurt of past abuse relationships, sexual abuse, and cheating to name a few. Holding on to unforgiveness leaves a bitterness in your heart for everyone else to see and feel. The devil has a foothold when you don’t forgive the people that hurt you. It can be really difficult to forgive someone who hurt you. But, growing isn’t always a walk in the park!Just because you forgive someone once, doesn’t mean you won’t have to repeat it aloud for the next 3 months. Say you forgive them out loud, until you truly do. Your words have power & satan will do everything in his power to stop God’s plan for your life. “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”-Proverbs 18:21 MSG
Jesus died for our forgiveness. So why wouldn’t satan try to stop something that God has provided? Being hurt and in the midst of trial is often when our obedience is being tested. When it’s hardest to forgive is when you should be forgiving. Not only does unforgivness hurt them, it hurts you.
You know the saying hurt people, hurt people? It’s true! We are called to be the light and salt of the world. So what we are called to do when someone hurts us? LOVE. Yes, I said it, love and comfort them! I know what you are thinking…Is this girl crazy!? I know it sounds crazy, but I am not asking you to do this in your own strength! If you forgive others, God forgives you. It brings them freedom and you! Double win!
Ask Holy Spirit to guide you. Ask him if you first you have any unforgivness in your heart. If a name comes to mind, say aloud that you forgive them. Keep the pattern going until their are no names left. The first time I did this, it took about 3 hours! Not joking! Pray to God asking him to have Holy Spirit teach your heart to love and forgive when someone hurts you. Realize that you aren’t fighting against the person that hurt you and that you are in a spiritual war against satan and all his little friends. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. “-Ephesians 6:12
Yesterday, my husband & I attended a Matthew West concert at Pentecostals of Alexandria. While I was there, the Lord revealed some things to me. When I arrived I knew things were different in the Pentacostal Religion. Most of the women were dressed in skirts, with their hair up in a bun, and most men were dressed in suits. I began to ask the woman sitting next to me about their doctrine. She kindly explained some of the things they do and why they do them. As Matthew West came out, everyone was standing up, hooting and hollering, with their hands raised.
Then…it was so weird, especially looking back on it after it happened. It was like all the sudden, all of us were pushed down to sit. It almost looked like the domino effect. If you’ve never saw me praising God, I usually have my hands raised, swaying back and forth, or one had is raised and the other is always on my heart. I sat down, and looked immediately at my husband and said, “That was weird.”. Something didn’t sit well in my spirit. I said to him, “It was like Satan flicked us and we all fell over.” Which later brought me to the scripture Ephesians 4:14.
“Then we will no longer be like babies. We will not be people who are always changing 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 deceive us—those who make clever plans and use every kind of trick to fool others into following the wrong way.” -Ephesians 4:14 ERV
I am not relating this scripture by stating that this congregation didn’t have sound doctrine nor am I saying it is wrong to sit down at a Matthew West concert. (Sorry Matt!)
The reason why I was reminded of this scripture is how many times do we follow the crowd instead of where Christ is taking us? We see someone else doing something that looks cool, so we try it. Even though it goes against everything God’s word states, it’s okay because its “socially acceptable” by our friends, family, and even some of our Church family.
“You people are not faithful to God! You should know that loving what the world has is the same as hating God. So anyone who wants to be friends with this evil world becomes God’s enemy.” -James 4:4 ERV
Sarcasm and swearing are two of the biggest examples I can think of at the moment. If you knew me back in the day, every other word was either drenched in sarcasm or profanity. The word has socially accepted sarcasm. Many people think it is hilarious. But when we begin to look at saying things sarcastically, it speaks death instead of life into whoever we are talking to.
a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual
the use or language of sarcasm
We are called to edify one another, not cut one another down.
“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.” -Ephesians 4:29
“Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].” -Ephesians 5:4
It has been a journey from turning my dark language into something colorful that glorifies God. I am not perfect, I trip up sometimes, but I am a lot better than I used to be! As Children of God, we are called to show Our Father’s character. People that don’t know God aren’t searching for people who are friends with this fallen world, they are searching for people who reflect Christ’s character. My prayer is that when people see me, they know something is different about me and they want what I have. Which is a relationship with God!
My reflection questions to end this post for today are:
How often do you edify people with your words?
On the flip side, how often are you sarcastic?
Do you go with the world’s trends instead of sticking with the Word of God?
If you were the only one standing up for God, would you stand or sit down with everyone else?
Thank-you Holy Spirit for the inspiration of this post! I hope that you enjoyed this post today, even if it was challenging. If you aren’t stretched, you aren’t growing! Remember, as you are going through this, rely on God for strength and don’t be too hard on yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight and the fact that you are even attempting is a good thing! If you have any questions, need accountability, or need some support through this process feel free to message, comment, or email me!
Did you know that if you make more than $2.50 a day that you are richer than half the population of the world? And, did you know that more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, making less than $1.25 a day?
This blew my mind today, after I complained about how the new printer we got wouldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi to our touchscreen laptop. Holy Spirit smacked me in the face with that one.
Needless to say, during this challenge I have realized that I take a lot of things for granted because I live in The United States. I have a lot to be thankful for. We have the freedom to praise God freely in churches without fear. We have the freedom to read the bible openly at anytime, anywhere we please. We have the freedom to choose to wake up every single morning and choose to be in his presence without the fear of our government coming in and killing us. This is the reality for many Christians. I have a roof over my head, food in my mouth, and clean water. I have many things I don’t need, like electronics to write my blog, use social media, and watch Netflix. Many of us can go out to eat and have people cook for us. We often forget that these things are luxuries.
Holy Spirit really gave me the true meaning of persistently being devoted to prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving today.
Are there things you often complain about that you really should be thanking God for?