Let me again remind you of that ever-present Christian phrase that God will never put more on you than you can handle.
Most, if not all of you have heard and, dare I say, repeated to yourself and others this supposed biblical fact. You may have heard it differently at different times of your life, but the meaning remains consistent. It may be God’s intent to test you, but it is not his intent to break you.
Allow me to repeat what I believe is a spiritual fact. Tests come from the Almighty. Temptations come from the devil. Passing God’s tests and overcoming the devil’s temptations both lead to our individual testimony. Triumph over these kinds of adversity leads us all as Christians to render testimony for others. And without these pop quizzes in our lives, none of us would be able to testify as to the goodness and mercy of a God who has stood by us and seen us through it. And we all know if we live long enough, it happens.
I submit myself as an example. My ability to witness and perhaps help another believer is because my experience as a sinner allows me at some level to relate to the trials and tribulations of someone else who is catching hell here on Earth. No one is immune. As a matter of fact, did you ever think that it might just be a privilege for God to single you out to endure certain hardships?
If so, I believe we are obligated to share the triumph with another who, because you did, also can. They are able to overcome, persevere and join the fraternity or sorority of those who can say, “I’m here today as a witness to the mercy and kindness of Almighty God.” I guess what I’m trying to say is, when it appears that all doors are closed and you have run out of options, that is the best time to look for and depend on God for the answers you seek and the ones you need. There is a ram in the bush for all situations, but we have to have that mustard seed-size belief system that is guaranteed to move mountains.
Part of the reality of understanding this is the faith that God will never abandon any of us. In our darkest day or worst night, he’s there. I know this because I think I’ve had what I considered at the time to be many “worst days of my life” and several “it can’t get any worse” moments, only to survive to battle the enemy yet another day. God was with me then and truth be told, he is probably with me now and with you, no matter the circumstances.
I find peace in this because I know there is trouble ahead just as there was back in the day. But you see, back then I didn’t know the fight was fixed because I couldn’t always recognize my superstar teammate. For those of you who are wondering where I’m getting this from, I finally found the Scripture that guarantees what I’m saying is true. Corinthians 10:12-13, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way so that you can stand under it.”
The key here is God will provide the ram in the bush, not you. So in all things you must keep your eyes and ears open to his solution. Once you submit to the fact that it ain’t you, then you open the door to God’s answer. And the possibilities of his answers dwarf the prospects of yours. When you begin to think and believe in the possibilities inherent in God’s power, anything, and I do mean anything is possible. God is in control. Be still and listen. May God bless and keep you always.
Have you succumbed to the notion yet that prayer will get you through it? The “it” I’m referring to is everything. If you’re like me then the truth is at times you’re not very enthusiastic about your faith. That fire that initially burned in me when I finally met Christ leaves me more cold than hot and I cannot and do not remain constant or consistent in my journey towards eternal salvation, Have you ever been there?
Even my prayer life is more often weak than strong. I’ve finally figured out at times like these that if I only do one thing, I have to continue to pray. However casual or cavalier I might think it is, if I do nothing else, I’ve learned that I’ve got to pray my way through it.
If you’ve ever been lost on a nameless highway and know that you’re lost, you probably understand what I’m talking about. No exit, no gas stations, no people or other cars around, no one to ask for directions. You just keep driving and you just keep looking. It’s just you and the needle on the fuel gauge. Given your and my circumstances, prayer is probably very appropriate when one is spiritually lost; especially when you are forced to acknowledge that you are lost. My word to you is to just keep praying.
At this stage of my spiritual development, I can’t think of an alternative. I just happened to look up prayer in my Bible’s Concordance and found out that I’m correct in my assumption that prayer(s), pray(ed), praying, all hold a special place in spiritual history and in the eyes of God. For every quote I could give you right now, there are many of you who could quote at least three more appropriate ones for this message. James 5:15–16: “And prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
I will not sit here and profess to you to be a righteous man. What I will do is to profess to you and anyone who will listen that I am a sinner seeking God’s forgiveness. I am also on record as praying for you, my fellow man, that you too, will understand God’s faithfulness. Mark 11:24–25: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” I’m not making this up. This is what the text says. Hopefully, what I’m trying to convey to you is once I was lost. I’m sure I’ll get lost again and when it happens, prayer will continue to lead me home. It is an irrefutable spiritual fact. Try it. Speak to God from your heart. Let him know that you know he knows you are lost. He will then step up and act out on your behalf, proclaiming for all to see that you are never really lost. He has known where you were from the beginning of time.
May God bless and keep you always.
The road to spiritual salvation is sometimes so obvious, so apparent, that we just miss it. Like most of Jesus’ messages, it doesn’t seem possible that by simply changing one’s outlook, the kingdom of heaven is yours.
Disciples asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of the law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is just like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the laws and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36–40.
It is not always through guile and deceit that the devil works his evil. He can accomplish his goals if he can convince you that what is very important is of little matter and no consequence. This love thing is pretty well documented throughout the Bible, and Christ certainly clarifies its importance in the above passage. Remember, this is the son of God talking. The single most important thing I can do to abide in God’s will is to possess love in my heart for God and my fellow man. That’s it? Yeah, that’s it! If that’s as close to a guarantee as we can get. Why are many of us hell-bent on doing the things that will ensure our place at the kitchen table in hell?
I personally think the concept of loving God is pretty easy to comprehend. Most of us, dare I say, are arguably, trying to accomplish this in one way or another. It’s the loving your neighbor as yourself that’s causing the problem. The devil is having a field day on this one. Count how many people you can’t stand at this very moment. Take your shoes off and add to your list those people, of whom, if they died tomorrow, you would be among those who would think, if not say, “Good riddance.” The devil has us so confused and dumfounded on this issue that we can’t see that the hatred we harbor for others, the contempt we feel for people we don’t even know, masks an underlying reality that won’t allow us to love our neighbor. In actuality, we hate ourselves. You see, the devil has tricked us into hating the mirror image of us. Deep down inside we hate in others that which we might become, because we really don’t like what we have become. HELLO!
The devil knows man is not perfect, so he entices us into hating the imperfection of others; their flaws and faults, their weaknesses and shortcomings. All the while, being imperfect, ourselves, ensures that we cannot live up to the greatest commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Isn’t it interesting that most people who claim being saved tell you they first had to realize that God, through Jesus’ sacrifice, loved them, warts and all? The stories come from former drug addicts, adulterers, petty gossips, murderers and greedy, self absorbed takers in life, who wished they knew how to have a healthy, respectful, loving relationship with another human being. One by one, we line up and confess that once we accepted that God indeed loves us, then, and only then were we able to love ourselves and subsequently love others just as they are: all imperfect, all flawed children of God, all welcomed at his eternal kitchen table. At this point one sees God in every man, every woman and every child, because once you accept that God resides in your own sinful soul, you can see God in others. God knew you before you knew you. And he loved you anyway in spite of what he knew you were going to do. As incredible as that sounds, it’s true. It’s called love. God’s point is so simple. If he’s got it for you, the least you can do is have it for others. Step back, Satan. I love me, and I ain’t got nothing but love for you too. May God love and keep you always.
Have you ever gone to a specific church to hear a particular pastor only to find out that said pastor will not be in the pulpit? It’s happened to me and I’ve come to appreciate it’s not the messenger. It’s the message. And so it was recently when a minister unknown to me spoke of humility. Fortunately for me, it was one of the first principles I remembered from the guy who saved my life, the minister I was going to hear. Humility, as the guest pastor clarified, was particularly evident in Philippians 2. The entire chapter is devoted to Paul’s message to the church at Philippi regarding “Imitating Christ’s Humility.” As I listened, humility went from a concept of docile behavior to a fact of faith and strength of conduct. It was made clear that Christ deliberately chose to consider himself at best equal to, if not less than His fellow man. Remember, this is God choosing to make himself human, in order to serve his divine purpose. This text tells us. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Now, my recollection of Christ says that’s a pretty good description of how he looked upon his duty and pretty much what got Him killed.
Isn’t it ironic to think that the most dangerous, therefore the most powerful and important thing you can do in life is to care more about someone else than you care about yourself? This humility thing has teeth. Paul teaches us that it is our fundamental responsibility as Christians to be united in emulating Christ’s denunciation of status, pride, ego and self. I mean really, if anyone had a right to be arrogant, try being the walking talking Word and deliberately transform yourself into a mere mortal. If you can grasp that thought, please do not let it blow your mind because you know you couldn’t do it. I certainly couldn’t, no matter my intent. I mean, become the Son of God and die on the cross at the hands of men. Fortunately, as the guest minister sermonized, Paul was not asking us to do the impossible. He lets us know the goal is service unto our fellow man. He reminds us that the mission is to put a cap on what we think of ourselves and our independence in favor of the recognition of our collective interdependence upon each other and the Almighty. Christ died to save us all, and here in Philippi, Paul tells us that our conduct must be based on the recognition of the following truth. Out of this thing called humility, Christ saved the world. Are we better than he is? Think it through. If you look down your nose at anyone, if you think you’re better than anyone, then you think you’re better than Jesus, who thought himself no better and even less than you. He died in service to you. Do something today for someone else simply because you can. If you don’t get this, I think you had better think again.
May God bless and keep you always.
Is it really possible to put your life in the hands of the Lord? To some modest extent I have experienced the effect of trying to do just that. I ask the question of you because I feel obligated to share the exhilaration. Exhilaration may be a poor choice of words, but it comes close to describing the emotion associated with an honest effort. And, honest effort is again why I ask the question, is it possible for you to really get inside of what putting your life in the hands of God really means? I can only share with you what I think.
The obstacles in the way of making an honest effort to embrace and step to God are at times huge and obvious. At other times they are so subtle they’re practically indiscernible. For example, pride can get in the way, because pride has no place in the relationship between you and God. Then the truth be told, pride has no place in your relationships with your fellow man either. To pride, you can always add envy, vanity, greed, lust, selfishness and bitterness, just to name a few more impediments to an honest attempt to let God order your steps in his Word. In sports they say it’s not whether you fall or fail, it’s what you do after you fall and fail, because you’re definitely going to. Time and again we fall. Time and again we fail. It’s part of the game of life, also necessary part of the Christian experience. The question always has been, what do you do next? Is it possible in the context of your reality to get up, dust yourself off and try again to put your life in God’s hands? Many of us, including me, want to hold on to our own abilities to solve our own problems, cure our own ills (sinful natures) and figure our way out of impossible circumstances by ourselves. We routinely pass judgment, think and act as if we’re better than others and give God no credit for the many blessings we do have. The positives (of life) are due to our own ingenuity and the negatives are blamed on everybody but us. Now let’s see you make the effort. Let go and let God. Submit first and then see what God has to say about your situation. Without this submission, I don’t think any of us is in a position first hear and then listen to the Word of God. Y’all know I believe Satan shouts and God whispers. If you’ve ever been whispered to when you think the person speaking is saying something important, then you know your capacity to shut the world up and out. You can be anywhere and hear a whisper, just like a parent who can hear their child’s voice in a sea of young faces on a crowded playground. I believe if we put forth the effort, we can hear God tell us how to give our lives to him. There is a singularity to hearing God’s Word. He is specific in what he says to you as opposed to what he says to me. That singularity becomes a plurality as we begin to understand his message, if not his words, are intended to have the same effect on each of us. It’s like an optical illusion. Once you finally see it, you can’t from that point on, not see it. Once you get someone else to see it, he or she can’t not recognize it from that point on either. It’s, well, exhilarating. Failure is only then a byproduct of lack of effort. But the saved make the sincere effort. It’s not always successful. But it’s always there. The key is to build upon the successes one success at a time and not dwell on the failures one failure at a time. Therein lies the answer to my original question. You can do it, and God expects it to be done one step, one day and one situation at a time. “So then dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation….”2 Peter 3:14-15.
May God bless and keep you always.
Have you ever gone someplace and come back with an impression of the experience etched in your psyche, seared into your memory bank? You vividly remember the smell, the feel, maybe the pain or the pleasure of the experience.
As time goes by, reminiscing about it means re-experiencing that impression as if it was actually happening again. Every now and then, I believe I get a glimpse of the life and times of my lord and savior Jesus Christ as he walked among us. Most times this happens as I am reading Scripture or listening to a dynamic sermon. When it happens, I tend to think in terms of his righteous indignation. It is so vivid to me that I sometimes feel that way also.
Through it all, Scripture lets us see, in Christ’s own words, his incredulousness at the prospect of the apostles not embracing the concept of unconditional love. To him, it was so simple a message that you could almost hear him sigh in frustration that they (we) just didn’t get it. What is so difficult about the notion that God the Father so loves you, that he sent his only son to die in order to save you? To Christ, what was so difficult to understand about a love so strong that no matter what you do, what secrets you keep, what thoughts you harbor, what misdeeds you perpetrate, that love will only endure and grow stronger and more encompassing? For someone who was sent to die for the salvation of mankind, the prospect of ignorance on this subject must have been just a tad disheartening. Scripture lets us experience some of this as we come to grips with the fact that this sacrifice was, yes, made for us also.
Can you imagine somebody, anybody, loving you enough to condemn a most prized and honored offspring to the most vile kind of death possible? I guess what I’m getting at is if you could talk to, recognize, appreciate the reality of this kind of love, how would you treat it? Could you really handle it? Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, can’t comprehend this from our fellow man. Original sin has something to do with it. To us, love begets fear in the natural sense; fear of betrayal, fear of loss. Life in a sense can brainwash you into believing no one can really love you unconditionally, if they know of all your flaws and faults. It just doesn’t seem natural to us. Love, to us, always comes with strings attached.
On a supernatural level, the one in which we were created, we were made in the image of God, and believe it or not, therefore, worthy of universal unconditional love, the kind reserved for the Almighty and given to us by him. That is whom we honor and who resides in us in the form of the Holy Spirit capable of giving and receiving this blessing of grace. Christ must have been a basket case at the notion that man simply couldn’t understand the truth of love being the answer to the human experience. Biblical reference after Biblical reference confirms this message over and over again. John 3:16 says “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.” Kinda awesome I know. I had to get used to the idea myself. It’s love, stupid.
May God bless and keep you forever.
Prayer, and how we approach it, can really make a difference in our perspective on life, particularly when the proverbial “going gets tough.” Personally, I am coming to rely heavily upon the notion that prayer will indeed get you through it. The “it” I’m referring to is, well, everything.
The fire that initially burned in me when I finally met Christ sometimes leaves me more cold than hot and I cannot seem to remain constant or consistent in my journey toward eternal salvation. Have you ever been there? Even my prayer life at times can be more often weak than strong.
I think I’ve finally figured out that at times like these, there is only one thing to do and that is to continue to pray. Through prayer we seek the face of God. Pray my way through it.
If you’ve ever been lost on some nameless highway in the middle of nowhere, you probably know what I’m talking about; no gas stations, no exits, no one or other cars around, nobody to ask directions. You just keep driving and looking. It’s just you and the needle on the fuel gauge. Given the circumstances, prayer can be very appropriate when you’re physically lost. I submit that prayer is more appropriate when you’re spiritually lost. My word to you today is to just keep praying.
At this stage of my spiritual development, I can’t think of an alternative to prayer for what ails you. I looked up prayer in the Concordance of my Bible and found out that I am correct in my assumption that prayer(s), pray(ed), praying, all hold a special place in biblical history and in the eyes of God. For every quote I could give you right now, there are many of you who could quote dozens of more appropriate ones for this message. James 5:15-16 “And prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Now I will not sit here and profess to you to be a righteous man. What I will do is confess to all who will listen that what thing you can be sure of is that I am a sinner, a sinner seeking God’s forgiveness. I believe I am also on record as praying for you, my fellow man that you too, will come to understand God’s faithfulness. Mark 11:24-25 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that the Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” You cannot make this stuff up. This is what the text says.
Humbly, what I’m trying to convey is once I was lost and I’m sure I’ll be lost again and again. Life happens. But when it does happen the fact is prayer will lead me home again and again. This is an irrefutable fact for me. I encourage you to try it. Speak to God from your heart. Let Him know you know He knows you are lost and wavering. Then step back, and watch God step up and act out on your behalf, proclaiming for all to see that now, you are found.
All I’m trying to say is when you don’t take prayer for granted, you might still get lost but you’ll never be abandoned — big difference.
May God bless and keep you always.
If you’re like me, prayer is a subject that keeps popping up because sometimes out of sheer habit, I keep doing it. Intellectually I understand its purpose and its benefit. But sometimes I get lost in the reality of who and under what circumstances I’m moved to sincerely pray. It’s then that I want my prayers answered on my time for my reasons, forgetting or not wanting to remember all things happen for a reason; God’s reason, to be precise.
This past Sunday the minister reminded me that God’s plan happens on God’s time, and our job is to be open and ready for his answer to our prayers. Simply put, he said, delay is not denial. God answers all prayer in his time, in his way, with his power and for his purpose. That’s it, and we have to deal with it. But as Christians, when you think about it, God’s time, his will and power for his purpose is not so bad. As a matter of spiritual fact, we should prefer it that way even when we have the audacity to think we know what’s best for us. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts (higher) than yours.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
First of all, God answers all prayer in one of three ways: 1.) Yes, 2.) No, or 3.) Not now. The question is never Can God answer? The real question is, does your faith acknowledge that you know he can? One of the hardest things to reconcile is that there are times that God puts you in helpless impossible situations in order to let you know it’s all about him. ”Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but he was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” These words… were written not for him alone, but also for us to whom God will credit righteousness for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Romans 4: 20-24. The more you read about and try to really comprehend prayer the more you come away knowing how pure this communication should be between you and God. There is no disbelief for a child who believes in Santa Claus because his parents told him to. God keeps telling us to believe in him. Can you? Do you really? “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24. Each and every time it comes down to that belief thing. Prayer always calls your faith into question.
I sometimes pray for the faith that accesses the power of God. This is not ego on my part, but humility to ask that I might be a vessel empty enough of me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe God’s grace will flow more freely and through me, His will will be done. Wouldn’t you like to know that kind of power up close and personal in your own life? Think again about why that mustard seed example was given in the first place. “Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Matthew 17: 19. They couldn’t do something they thought they should have been able to. “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20-21.
Unfortunately, faith is tested each and every day. Most times I think we merely look at it as “life happens” and try to move on, get past it, at least until life serves up the tragically impossible. Prayer comes to mind first when unwavering faith is called for. As I catch myself praying out of habit sometimes, I’m reminded it’s more about God and less about my circumstance. Put it in God’s hands and let it go. Believe me. I know personally that’s so much harder than it sounds. But my God said in his time, in his will, by his way and because of his power, it will be done. I’m just trying to take those words to the bank.
May God bless and keep you always.
There’s this thing that happens when you read in the Bible about miracles being performed to the amazement of hundreds and even thousands. Today, I believe most of us would have a hard time dealing with miracles and merely chalk them up to “back-in-the-day” stuff. That was then. This is now. Sure, Christ and his early followers did the unexplainable, the unbelievable; the stuff modern science still can’t figure out. If the truth be told, do you really believe in miracles? Our explanation, our feelings, are rationalized because after all, the Bible is a book of faith and not a book of science. Well, for Christians at least, the truth of miracles is crystallized in whether or not Jesus actually came back from the dead. It is the foundation of our belief. That’s probably why we’re called believers. That is a discussion for another day, even though “miracle” is a perfect term to use for Christ’s life, death and life. It’s this miracle thing that guides my perspective today.
I believe miracles occur every day and everybody is the beneficiary of said miracle(s). You see, I think life itself is a miracle. I forget which supposed great philosopher said, “I think, therefore I am.” And as I’ve stated many times, “I am because he is;” he being God, of course. As I continue to grow in Christ, I humbly appreciate life more and more as a gift, a blessing and less and less as an afterthought of habit. I would dare say a lot of us take life for granted until someone close to us dies, or is threatened with death. Things become very interesting once you accept Christ for who he really is. I can readily admit to anyone who will listen that my appreciation of life is magnified by what it allows you to do. The fact that when I open my eyes on my own existence, I am able to gain a perspective on God’s other creations, including you. I am able to live and breathe and taste and see and hear and think and yes, love also. I am because he is.
God’s everyday miracle is still how much he loves me (and you). That love is why we’re here. Because of it, every now and then I am not so consumed with a habitual view of life. I can start a morning, end a day with a sincere thank-you. I can pray for the blessing of a new day, one that includes the revelation of who God is and who I am to him. And that knowledge lets me pass this way in truth and not ignorance. The age of miracles is still here. The proof — you woke up this morning to a new day in a world you didn’t create. You can think that’s normal if you want to. I choose to believe in miracles, those of the ancient world and the ones that have me writing this to you now. This life thing is an impossibility for me to take for granted.
May God bless and keep you always and give you one of the biggest most powerful miracles of our time, tomorrow.
I’ve been told that faith is a tricky thing to deal with. It is constantly under attack, and if you’re not careful, you’ll lose faith, if for nothing more than weariness due to constant grief. Life has a way of making you believe some things are just not worth the trouble. At some point each and every one of us just wants to quit. Quit your job. End a relationship. Just stay away from those situations and people that remind you of negativity and tough times.
But in the case of faith, you’re always supposed to have a way through. I just believe that way through is work. By work I mean work in the name of the Lord. Use your God-given gifts. It helps. How often have you been able to get yourself out of the doldrums because you decided to help someone else with his issues? How often have you been very thankful for what you have because you’ve seen firsthand what others don’t have? God does have a way of showing you, your stuff could be really worse. As I said, faith can be a tricky thing.
When it does kick in that now is the time, now is the test, then, comes the temptation that challenges your faith. There are no signs on life’s highway that flash “faith test ahead.” More often than not, we recognize faith’s stop sign after we’ve already run through it. Maybe we should feel a little better at that point because we did at least practice our faith some weeks or months ago, or maybe just a few minutes ago. But if we’re honest with ourselves, it doesn’t help when you know you should have handled a particular situation or person better than you did. I know I’ve botched many an opportunity to practice what I profess to preach. Talk the talk and then walk the walk. This is tricky stuff. At the end of any given day, a spiritual critique will show dozens of blown chances to witness, lead by example, help and serve. At the end of any given day, I have run faith’s stop sign again and again. I am one man who appreciates that our God is a God of another chance. And you?
Thankfully, you too know you’ll get another crack at it because you’re still alive and your opportunities to serve are multiplied on a daily basis. It’s called life. If you missed it this morning, another opportunity will come around this afternoon. The faith struggle is remedied by what you do as a result of knowing you can always do better. Real faith mandates a change in you. You just can’t do the same thing the same way with the same people once you’ve accepted Christ. Even though you might make the same mistakes, you will realize and accept them as just that, mistakes. Now what? “So watch yourself. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I repent,” forgive him. Luke 17:3-4. Further in this same passage Jesus proclaims … “So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do (by God), say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done.’” The fact that this comes on the heels of the apostles asking Christ to increase their faith is eye-opening. You know how incredibly hard it is to forgive those who have repeatedly come against you? But in doing so our faith is increased. Again it’s all about knowing the rules. We just need to know when they’ve been broken, when we break them and what to do when others do likewise. Our duty is to continue to work. We walk by faith and not by sight. Our effort is not to break the rules intentionally. The deed is the thing. Act on faith. Forgive and serve. Pretty soon our experiences teach us to recognize the faith signs. The more you do the more you see. The more you see, the more you stop, pause, look both ways and proceed with caution. You see, it’s not so tricky. You just need to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Stop only to help someone else. It’s the work, stupid. As a result, God will take care of what you need to get through your stuff.
May God bless and keep you always.