“Blessed Are The Peacemakers”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”Matthew 5:9 NIV

The world needs peace. The home needs peace. The office, the factory, the school, and the family need peace. To have peace there must be those who bring the peace of God. We are called to bring the peace of God into the life of others. In the middle of the storms of life, you can be a person who brings the calm that others so badly need. When you look around you, you can see anguish, worry, doubt, and fear in the life of others. You can reflect the peace of Christ and bring a kind word of love and assurance. Give away the calm love of God. Bring the healing of His grace, love, and peace.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Sin has a way of creeping up in our lives. There’s no big warning sign that sin is about to manifest itself somehow through our lives and then boom, something comes out of our mouth or a thought crosses our mind and suddenly there it is. Often that can lead to strife among our friends and even our own family. Yet, there is a call from the Lord Jesus for us to be peacemakers at the same time. How can that all work together. I believe there are two catalysts to making peace as a peacemaker. One is forgiveness and the other is humility.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 VIV

Let’s face it, not everyone likes you or me. We may have enemies, even in the Christian body. But the Bible is clear that we are to make peace with those individuals. Whenever we encounter a situation that is hostile and fraught with tension, we are to be the peacemakers. The Bible teaches us to do whatever it costs to live at peace with all men. There’s a peace that comes from having an inner peace with God, one that allows you to sleep at night because you have been perfectly honest with yourself and with God.

Personal peace is only possible through Christ! Not only is it only possible through Christ, but it comes as a gift from God, totally removed from our circumstances of life. Even if one’s life is filled with controversy, anxiety, or even constant troubles, the peace of God can and will rule in the heart of the true believer. The peacemakers are those children of God who not only have great love for God, but also have love for all of mankind and they attempt to do everything possible for the advancement of peace everywhere.

Father, I thank you that I have found peace with you through Jesus Christ. I thank you that you have renewed my spirit. Help me to live with everyone in peace, that I can forgive as you have forgiven me and give me a humble heart. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet blessings

Letting Go Of Anger

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Anger is not inherently evil. It is what we do in our anger that makes all the difference. Hurt pride, self-pity, failure, jealousy, resentment, rejection, bitterness are all the fruits of anger. Unbridled anger can be such a damaging emotion to you and to others. Harboring anger often allows you to lose control of your emotions. Never let anger turn into hatred or bitterness. If you do, you will be far away from God’s will. You may not be able to change your situation, but, you can change yourself. Anger can devastate marriages, separate children and parents, and poison close relationships. That’s why the apostle Paul encouraged believers to deal with anger quickly—before it could take a toll on their lives.

“In your anger do not sin”; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

Like a sore festering on our bodies, so is unforgivness in our hearts. Anger leaves a gaping wound in our heart. Instead of attending to it, we leave it open. We want the world to see what was done to us. We have the need to vindicate our anger. Each time we look at what made us angry, our anger grows. Anger can destroy us from without and within. It can simmer quietly for years inside of us or quickly turn into uncontrollable rage. In almost every circumstance when we allow our emotions to grow into anger we lash out at others who have insulted or injured us. Then we are guilty of doing the very same thing that they did to us that caused our own anger to explode and we are left feeling worse then we felt before we exploded.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4: 32

Our world is full of injustice, hurt, and rejection. People cut us off on the highway, betray our confidence hurt our feelings and harm those we love. It’s impossible for us to avoid all the causes of anger. Letting Anger go can only happen from a growing a mature relationship with Christ. How you handle anger is directly related to how you understand your relationship with Christ. We can choose to respond to this powerful emotion in a way that will honor the Lord. When the Holy Spirit enables you to extend forgiveness to others, you will enjoy the supernatural peace and joy that God desires for all His children. Remember this important point; God uses people and circumstances to improve your character. So, make the most of your harsh circumstances, and surrender yourselves to Christ as Lord.

Lord, you are the Creator of our emotions and we turn them over to You. When we are angry, give us the desire to rise above self, and give us the strength and grace to forgive. In your precious name, Amen.”

Sweet Blessings

Forgiveness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” Proverbs 17: 9

Have you been hurt by a friend in the past and it was impossible for you to let go of the hurt? Does it seem impossible to forgive them when whatever they said or did hurt you deeply? Part of true forgiveness is releasing the hurt, letting go of the pain. When we don’t, it becomes a constant spiritual and emotional drain, robbing us of joy and peace. When we refuse to release people from the hurt they have caused us, we are gluing them to their mistakes. When we cling to pain they have caused us, we are refusing to see them as more than something that they have done to cause us pain or anger.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6: 14

When we accept the forgiveness of God, He separates us from our sins. Then He calls us to do the same with the people in our lives. He doesn’t say that we have to feel like forgiving. He just commands us to forgive. Our obedience is what matters. Forgiveness is an independent act between God and us. It is totally separate from the response of the person we are forgiving. We are not responsible for their reaction; that responsibility belongs to them and to God.

“Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover.” 2 Corinthians 2:7

Our responsibility is to forgive. When we refuse to forgive, we not only harm ourselves, we become a hindrance to God working in the lives of those who hurt us. Anytime that we impede the work of God we are in a dangerous position. To experience the power of forgiveness, we have to quit fishing in the emotional waters of our past. It is time to let go of the hurt. Choose to love your enemies and bless those who have harmed you. You will both be rewarded with peace and happiness and leave room for healthy relationships to grow.

Sweet Blessings

Counting Our Sins

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:13

I know God is displeased when we deliberately sin, but sometimes, we sin without even realizing it, not just by doing something wrong, but by failing to do something right. We may ignore someone who needs our help or encouragement, for example, or we may fail to pray for them or overlook their needs. So Is God displeased even when we don’t realize we have sinned? The answer is yes, because all sin is wrong in His eyes, and even if we don’t acknowledge it as sin, God sees it and knows that we have sinned. The Bible seems to indicate that there are degrees to sin, that some are more detestable to God than others. However, when it comes to the eternal consequences of sin, they are all the same, every sin, every act of rebellion.

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

We need to understand why God is displeased when we sin. He knows that whenever we sin, we are hurting ourselves, as well as others. He hates sin because it’s contrary to his perfect and holy nature. Therefore He hates anything that separates us from his perfect love. Know that God is aware and caring even when those bad things come your way. Sometimes you have done everything right when things go wrong. Stop beating yourself up when you know you have been obedient. It is merely God’s test to see if you will continue to be obedient to him. Ask God, through his Holy Spirit to help you to recognize the sin in your life. Remember…God hates sin but he does not hate the sinner!

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

Sweet Blessings

Grace To Forgive

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Do you need to forgive someone? Is lack of forgiveness keeping you from serving God today? Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s not forgetting, it’s not pretending you weren’t hurt, it’s not trusting the person again, it’s not even reconciliation. Forgiveness is a decision that you make to obey God. No one, not even God can make you forgive someone. If you can’t forgive you’ll be controlled by the person you aren’t willing to forgive. You must decide to give up your right to hurt the person back. To forgive those who hurt you because God has forgiven you for the hurts that you have caused him.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is not easy but it’s also not optional, the Lord commands it. We are all called to forgive as our Father in Heaven forgives. Forgiveness is not initially about the person who wronged us, it’s about us. If we will not forgive someone who hurt us, we start to change on the inside. We grow in anger and resentment. Forgiveness is a process, it takes time, but it is an act of grace that reflects God’s treatment to us. When we forgive, we release God to work directly on the person the hurt us.

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13

If you are having difficulty forgiving someone today, take a moment and examine your reasons. Are you having difficulty because they have not apologized and show no signs of changing their behavior? Remember that your forgiveness is about you, not about them. Are you struggling because you are still so angry and hurt? The pain will not subside until you make the choice to forgive. You will know when you have truly forgiven when the love of God can flow through you to the person who wronged you…when you are free from the pain, anger and hatred towards that person and experiencing God’s peace in your heart.

‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.’

Sweet Blessings

Hope and Forgiveness

by Kim McDougal

“Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” – Matthew 18:21-22 (AMP)

I forgive you, but I hope you have learned your lesson and you won’t do that again!Is this really the act of forgiveness? Not if you’re keeping score. Have you had anyone in your life hurt you over and over again? I’m pretty sure a lot of us have. And according to our scripture today, it doesn’t matter how many times a person hurts us, Jesus wants us to forgive them. I think what makes it hard for us to do this is, because we don’t see the correlation between somebody sinning against us and us sinning against God. How many times has God had to forgive you and I? If we could really see how grieved God is when we goof up, maybe we could more easily extend God’s grace to someone who has hurt us. Notice I said, “extend God’s grace.” My grace isn’t sufficient, because in my finite mind, I’d like the person to learn their lesson. But, I can extend God’s grace, because He extended His grace towards me.

Grace is something you and I cannot earn. We can do nothing to get it. It was given to us, because our Lord had compassion and mercy on us. And if I’m real with myself, I still mess up. My thoughts aren’t always pure, I don’t say the right things all the time, my attitude needs adjusting, sometimes I get frustrated quickly, etc. All these things have to be taken to the Lord in repentance and His grace gets extended over me to cover my sins that grieves Him. Sometimes it comes right down to: “Whose grace are we going to give, ours or Christ’s? We can extend God’s grace, because His grace is sufficient. Today, let God love through us even if we have to forgive 70 x 7!

Forgive Yourself

by Kim McDougal

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1 (NLT)

Have you done something you regretted?, or said something you wished you hadn’t? I’m sure we all have. While it’s very important to forgive others, it’s just as important to forgive yourself too. Christ said there is now NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, but what does this really mean? Well, when we are truly sorry for our actions and we ask God to forgive us and to help us to go on, HE does. Simple as that. He doesn’t condemn you like, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget!”, “You remember you did that two years ago?!….” He chooses to not remember your sin or mistake ever and He NEVER brings it back up and throws it in your face. Your job? You must do the same. Once God has forgiven you, now you forgive yourself. How? Choose just like God does.

If you want to live in peace and really be free, you and I MUST follow the examples of our Lord. With His Holy Spirit, care, kindness, presence, and power, we can do all things through Him even though within our own flesh we can’t. It is the Lord who gives us the power to live the way He wants us to. His words in the Bible are life to us. Remember this because, since we are imperfect beings, there will be times we fall short. When those times happen, we’ll know that God truly forgives and gives us the ability to truly forgive ourselves and go on. Today, if you’re feeling guilty or shame over anything you’ve done…tell God about it. Pour out your heart before Him and ask Him to help you use the power He’s already given you so that you forgive yourself. Don’t let your past mistakes eat you alive and keep you from living a full life. You can turn a new leaf starting today.