Category Archives: Forgiveness of Sins

One Another


ONE ANOTHER

This is what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should be doing to one another to gain our respect. This is also a guide for how we all should act towards one another.

Teach and counsel one another:
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:28-29

Instruct one another:
I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. – Romans 15:14

Carry each other’s burdens:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

Love one another:
This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17

Confess to one another:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

Pray for one another:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

Live in peace with one another:
Live in peace with each other. – 1 Thessalonians 5:13b

Do what is good for one another:
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Encourage one another:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13

Spur one another on towards love and good deeds:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, – Hebrews 10:24

Be kind and compassionate to one another:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –  Ephesians 4:32

Forgive one another:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –  Ephesians 4:32

Submit to one another:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  – Ephesians 5:21

Accept one another:
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:7

Friends and family should follow these “”one another” scriptures!

Friends pray for each other.
Friends confide in one another.
Friends empathize with each other.
Friends help one another.
Friends do not gossip about each other. (Gossip separates the best of friends – Proverbs 16:28b)
Friends are sincere and loyal to one another.
Friends trust each other. (An honest answer is the sign of true friendship – Proverbs
24:26)
Friends enjoy time with one another.
Friends accept each other’s weaknesses and imperfections.
Friends are good medicine.
Friends enrich our lives.
Friends celebrate good times and support in difficult times.
Friends prevent loneliness.
Friends are quick to ask for forgiveness, and ready to be forgiving.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8

Can you imagine a world where we all abide by these scripture verses?

The Promise


The Promise

You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. – Joshua 23:14

M: Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” – Luke 18:27
C: We believe that God can do the impossible.

M: Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
C:  I do believe in the promise that God is always with me.

M: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
C: We believe in the promise that God deeply cares for us.

M: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
C: I believe in the promise of answered prayers.

M: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1
C: We believe in this promise that there is redemption for us.

M: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. – Romans 8:26
C: I believe in the promise that the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf.

M: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26
C: We believe that God can soften stone cold hearts.

M: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 out so that you can endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
C: I believe this two fold promise – God will not tempt me beyond beyond my strength and He will provide the means for me to endure it.

M: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
C: We believe in the promise that only God can give is peace.

M: And this is what he promised us—eternal life. – 1 John 2:25
C: I believe in the promise of eternal life. Amen.

Unconditional Love Deserves Unconditional Worship


Unconditional Love Deserves Unconditional Worship

This website is read predominantly by believers; we are children of God, we know Jesus as our Savior and we repent of our copious sins. God loves us unconditionally.

If you had an abortion somewhere in your past; take heart, God forgives you and He loves you enough to have died for you.

If you are in jail for a heinous crime; take heart, God loves you and forgives your sins and removes them as far as the east is from the west.

God has boatloads of Amazon-sized unconditional love for you.

How do we acknowledge Him for this unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and grace? Often, with conditional worship.

• I will only sing hymns, no contemporary music.
• I will only praise him with a rock band accompaniment.
• I will not worship in a church that has “coffee and couches.”
• I will not worship in a church that has a video screen.
• When our new hymnal committee asks for feedback, we say things like “Go back to the blue hymnal!”

If you can only worship with one book or one style of music; then your idea of worship is limited and shallow. We need to be able to worship God in all circumstances – even if your church loses power on Sunday morning, worship goes on!

Jesus Will Fix You


That one horrible sin that haunts you…
That one nagging sin that you keep perpetuating…
Those hurtful words that you wish you could take back…
That email that you should never have sent…
Take heart, Jesus can fix you.
Repent.

The struggles in your life…
Always being bullied…
Betrayed by a close friend…
All of the unjust persecution…
Jesus is fixing you.
Forgive.

That chronic pain that you are suffering…
That diagnosis that crushed you…
Jesus will fix you.
One day, He will put all of your broken pieces back together.
Rejoice!

Jesus is the ultimate healer.
Though your sins are red as scarlet they will be made white as snow.
As far as the east is from the west.
Jesus can, He is, and He will always fix you.

You are a fixer upper.
But one who is loved.
Remember!
Worship!

For more devotional writings, see Steve’s book here Lifestyle Worship

The Sweetest Scripture Verse


“It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.”  – by ?
 
The Quote! 
Anyone know who wrote that quote?  I think whoever it was, is right on.  And I think we need to keep this in mind especially during times of persecution. We have all been there, haven’t we?  Someone says false things about you behind your back?  Someone bullies you at school or in the workplace?  Most times words hurt more than fists.
 
Just Like Christ! 
But we are to be Christ-like to our neighbors even if they fall soooo incredibly short of God’s morality.  A true Christian and follower of Christ will actually become more Christ-minded when people rub them the wrong way.  Perhaps this is part of God’s plan – sufferings lead to perseverance, perseverance to character and character to hope (Romans 5:3-4).  Maybe these hurtful people are placed into our lives for our benefit because they help us to realize our own shortcomings.
 
Forgiveness 
We need to overlook the offense and instead remember the all too numerous times God has forgiven us.  A simple act of love can change a boulder of a heart into a softer one; soft enough to be molded into something new by our artistic Creator.  Your heart is the softest place on earth, so take care of it.  Stay soft, it looks beautiful on you!
 
And by the way, the opening quote was said by Martin Luther.
 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

– Jesus 

 

That could very well be the sweetest verse in all of scripture.

The Golden Chain of Blessing


The Golden Chain of Blessings


Most churches in my denomination who follow the Lectionary will be listening to the reading of Romans 5:1-11 this Sunday as it is our Epistle reading for the day. I am giving permission for anyone who wants to reprint my poem based on Romans 5:3-4 in their bulletin or as an insert for your people to contemplate during the pre-service time. Pastors, also feel free to use this in your sermon if applicable.

“We glory in our sufferings, Because suffering produces perseverance; Perseverance, character; And character, hope.”  – Romans 5:3, 4

— 
We struggle through our sufferings, 
we drown in currents of woe, 
We all have stories of distress, 
whose origin we may not know. 

But determination will build slowly over time,
A glowing perseverance among our earthly grime. 
It builds to a point we really do not deserve, 
A city on a hill, a light, for all to observe. 

Then finally, a promise catches us by surprise, 
Blessings flow and gush right before our very eyes. 
It’s a golden chain of blessings after all, 
Suffering – perseverance – character – hope 
Designed by the Master to help us cope. 

It’s for our own good and in the end, 
it will be understood. 
Suffering was shared by Jesus, 
the One who also once withstood. 
So fear not, for the Holy Spirit is with you all the time, 
Hang onto the hope and use it to get through the daily grind. 


©2015, Steven Brown, Used with Permission

Forgive Me


I forgive you, do you forgive me? Those are healing words; for the giver and receiver.

In the spring of the the year 0,033 (plus or minus a year) a young, innocent, peace-loving man was brutally beaten, mocked, robbed, humiliated, whipped, insulted and ultimately murdered by a band of unbelieving, ruthless thugs, scoundrels, robbers and murders. Somehow between numerous thunderous blows to his head, he found the strength to mutter these words:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  – Jesus (Luke 23:34) … And He meant it. Deep within His hurting heart, He meant it.

That, right there, is our shining example.

M: We should not have a vengeful heart. For God says:
C: Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. – Romans 12:19

M: We should never repay with evil. For God says:
C: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. – Romans 12:17

M: We should want God’s blessings for those who do wrong to us. For God says:
C: Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28

M: We should not rejoice when calamities fall on those who do wrong to us. For God says:
C: Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice – Proverbs 24:17

M: We should not hate those who do wrong against us. For God says:
C: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44

M: We should seek reconciliation. For God says:
C: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18

M: We should never treat those who have done wrong to us poorly. For God says:
C: If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. – Exodus 23:4-5

Here is forgiveness: when you feel that someone is your enemy or when you simply feel that you or someone you care about has been wronged, forgiveness means:
resisting revenge
not returning evil for evil
wishing them well
grieving at their calamities
praying for their welfare
seeking reconciliation so far as it depends on you
and coming to their aid in distress.
All these point to a forgiving heart. And the heart is all important. Read Matthew 18:21-35 if you don’t believe me and ruminate on that last verse for awhile.

“To forgive, is to give up your right to be angry.” – Pastor Timothy Ehlers

Forgiveness of Sins for Easter


Forgiveness of Sins for Easter

The following is a “Forgiveness of Sins” written for Easter, but also containing references for “Good Shepherd Sunday.”  It is in a responsive format and is the result of a collaborative effort between Steve Brown (Worship Coordinator of Messiah Lutheran Church – South Windsor, CT and Pastor Michael Zarling – Epiphany Lutheran Church located in Racine, WI).

Minister: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
C: Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

M: I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:4)
C: I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands. (Psalm 119:176)

M: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. (John 10:11, 14)
C: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

Silence for confession for how we have strayed and wandered as God’s lambs and sheep.

M: He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. (Micah 5:4)
C: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (Psalm 23:1)

M: And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:4)
C: Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. (Psalm 79:13)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society