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Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.


-1 Corinthians 4:5

Continuing this thought from my last post, I've been considering this call to "forgive us our trespasses...

AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US," from the Lord's Prayer.

What is a trespass anyways?

According to Dictionary.com:

noun

1. Law.

  1. an unlawful act causing injury to the person, property, or rights of another, committed with force or violence, actual or implied.
  2. a wrongful entry upon the lands of another.
  3. the action to recover damages for such an injury.

2. an encroachment or intrusion.

3. an offense, sin, or wrong.

verb (used without object)

4. Law. to commit a trespass.

5. to encroach on a person's privacy, time, etc.; infringe (usually followed by on or upon).

6. to commit a transgression or offense; transgress; offend; sin.

 

So whenever someone trespasses against me, that person has either ignorantly or knowingly crossed a boundary line. When this happens, it is most certainly important to instill consequences, but it is possibly even more important that when instilling needful consequences, we don’t do so utilizing the harmful tool of shame or cruelty. It really is such a balance act on a tight rope, isn’t it? I believe wholeheartedly that this is one crucial reason we need to surround ourselves with wise men and women – people who can help us navigate vital choices when we’re experiencing the painful wounds of having been trespassed against.

Forgiving my trespasser(s) is the only path to freedom from the anchor of bitterness to an event or act against me. I don’t have to “shoot” my trespasser(s), but in working through genuine forgiveness, I also don’t have to continue to be trespassed against.

I’m so grateful for grace and truth that help me live a life of peace and joy even when learning how to handle delicate relational challenges like this!

Shelley Hendrix has authored several books and study guides, including Why Can’t We Just Get Along? which was featured in CALLED Magazine’s Summer 2013 edition as a “Must Read!” She is also the founder of Church 4 Chicks,  2014 Kingdom Awards’ Ministry of the Year honoree, and co-founder of Heart Smart- Counseling, Coaching and Consulting with her husband (and BFF), Stephen D. Hendrix, LPC, CADC II. Together, the Hendrixes help individuals, couples, families and teams learn how to live a "heart smart life" in their relationships both inside and outside of the home.

More of Shelley Hendrix: http://heartsmartlife.com/

Join the Crowd -  

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. —Hebrews 12:1

 

I’m not sure about you, but there are many days when I feel unworthy of my calling as a Christian, husband and father. I’m always encouraged that the “great cloud of witnesses” found in Hebrews 12 refers to the fathers and mothers of our faith (see Hebrews 11). These were not perfect people, but depended daily on God’s strength and power in their lives. My friend Pam Laster, sent me the message below and it’s a great reminder for us all. Someone needs to read this today!

 

No More Excuses

Author Unknown

 

The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember:

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer

AND

Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses!

God can use you to your full potential.

Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What types of excuses have you relied upon to suggest that God can’t use you?

 

2. How can you find encouragement in knowing that great people of faith also had flaws?

 

FURTHER READING:

Hebrews 11; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com. 

Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California. 

More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com

A LONG DAY -    

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Bible students find many parallels between what they read in the Word of God and what they see in the animal kingdom. Many of God's creatures have been singled out as examples of various kinds of activities. We are all familiar with the expression, "Busy as a bee." Although perhaps not as noticeable, the activity of others of God's creatures is just as great as that of the bee. For example, the thrush gets up at 2:30 every morning, begins work at once and does not stop until 9:30 at night. That's a whole nineteen-hour day. During that period of time this bird feeds its hungry fledglings about two hundred times. While the busyness of the bee is more noticeable, the activity of the thrush is equally as productive.

Astounding parallels can be drawn between the life of the apostle Paul and the busy activity of the bees and the long days of the thrush. When Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, the Bible says, "Straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God" (Acts 9:20). Paul may have said something like this to God at his salvation, "Lord, if you save me, the world will never hear the end of it!" It never did.

In this last chapter of Acts the apostle completes his tortuous journey to Rome and arrives to be placed under house arrest until his hearing before Caesar. It would have been a time for rest, recuperation from the rigors of the voyage, and restoration. No one would have criticized Paul for a lack of activity. He could have rationalized that to preach Christ in this situation would have jeopardized his case before Caesar and perhaps ultimately cut short his ministry. Still, "There came many to him into his lodgings; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets, from morning till evening" (Acts 28:23).

He had just spent two years in prison at Caesarea. Since he was a Roman citizen, his final appeal was always to Caesar. While en route to Rome, a tempestuous wind arose. The ship was tossed to and fro for 14 days and finally ran aground. With the others Paul had to swim to shore, clinging to broken pieces of the ship. As if that were not enough, on shore he was bitten by a viper, but he did not die. After three months they continued their journey, finally arriving at Rome. All this occurred just before Acts 28:23. From early in the morning until late at night he continued his preaching and teaching activity. No one asked him to put in such a long day, especially after the trials of the preceding months. Paul did it as a volunteer in the service of the Lord.

More importantly, the busyness of his activity was not in defense of his apostleship or in spinning yarns of his shipwreck. His activity was entirely a witness to the grace of God. He expounded and testified of the kingdom of God and persuaded them of the messiahship of Jesus. He had the right method; he preached unto them. He had the right message; he preached Jesus unto them. He had the right manner; he preached Jesus unto them from morning until evening.

Even toward the end of his recorded ministry the apostle Paul put in a long day of activity for the Lord. You and I have the same responsibility, the same opportunity, the same message as did the apostle. We must be as busy as a bee and put in a day like the thrush, with the message which stirred the heart of the apostle, if we are to rest at the end of this day fully satisfied of our service to the Lord God. Let's make sure we're satisfied tonight.


MORNING HYMN

Give of your best to the Master, 

Give Him first place in your heart; 

Give Him first place in your service, 

Consecrate ev'ry part.


Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/a-long-day#sthash.EZh6JnxM.dpuf

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

THE DISCIPLINE OF FAITH -  

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

In Streams in the Desert

"All things are possible to him that believeth." - Mark 9:23

The "all things" do not always come simply for the asking, for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith, and in our training in the faith life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.

Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith. You have made your request of God, but the answer does not come. What are you to do?

Keep on believing God's Word; never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed. The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God's Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line.

Often God delays purposely, and the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes.

In the lives of all the great Bible characters, God worked thus. Abraham, Moses and Elijah were not great in the beginning, but were made great through the discipline of their faith, and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them.

For example, in the case of Joseph whom the Lord was training for the throne of Egypt, we read in the Psalms:

"The word of the Lord tried him." It was not the prison life with its hard beds or poor food that tried him, but it was the word God had spoken into his heart in the early years concerning elevation and honor which were greater than his brethren were to receive; it was this which was ever before him, when every step in his career made it seem more and more impossible of fulfillment, until he was there imprisoned, and all in innocence, while others who were perhaps justly incarcerated, were released, and he was left to languish alone.

These were hours that tried his soul, but hours of spiritual growth and development, that, "when his word came" (the word of release), found him fitted for the delicate task of dealing with his wayward brethren, with a love and patience only surpassed by God Himself.

No amount of persecution tries like such experiences as these. When God has spoken of His purpose to do, and yet the days go on and He does not do it, that is truly hard; but it is a discipline of faith that will bring us into a knowledge of God which would otherwise be impossible.


The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/the-discipline-of-faith#sthash.QY8Vkp9e.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

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