Tag Archive: forgiveness


What’s this I hear about grace?

Another great post by a good friend, Larry Sewell.

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Let’s dialogue for a few minutes about God’s grace.

What’s it like?  For one thing, it comes looking for me when I’m not looking for it.  Why?  Because that’s what grace does.  What do you mean?  Let me put it this way; it’s like saying, the nature of grace is aggressive in that it looks for people who need God’s help.  Well, who determines what I need?  God does.  OK, does everyone get this grace?  No. Why no?  When God made us He gave us a free will and we are totally free; no strings attached, to decide if we really want God’s grace when He offers it to us.  Really?  Yeah, really.  Pretty awesome don’t you think?  …and it’s all free.  Now, by free I don’t mean cheap.  Well, wait a minute, I wasn’t born yesterday you know.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Someone has to pay a price somewhere along the line.  That’s right!  Somebody did.  Wow, tell me about it.

What kind of price do you have to pay for grace?  The max.  What do you mean by the max?  …and who would even think of doing that for a total stranger?  Well, in a word — God did.  How did He do that?  He did what no one else could ever do.  What was that?  First He came to earth to live with people.  He was only here for about 33 years.  Get this, even though He was fully God, He was also fully man.  Why did He do that?  He did it so people could talk to Him and touch Him, and watch Him, you know, like we are doing right now.  Just think, He was God the Creator standing right there in front of them.  That’s right.  But what motivated Him to do such a thing for people who didn’t know who He was, to say nothing of the fact most people really didn’t want Him anyway?  He did it for the simple reason that He loves all of mankind; past, present and future.  Oh come on now, how can anyone do all that for total strangers?!  God can.

Well, OK, say for instance I am a little intrigued by this grace thing.  Answer this for me, what will it do for me?  Good question.  By accepting God’s provision, His grace, your sin will be totally forgiven.  …You know what sin is? or does?  Well, kinda, but, well not really.  Sin is rebellion against God. This rebellion is what separates a person from God —  forever, unless that sin
is dealt with by accepting God’s payment by faith.

His payment was giving Himself up to be crucified, shedding His blood and dying.  But, since He is the author of life, He rose from the grave, stayed on earth for a short time and then went back to heaven.  Is that why He came to earth?  Sure is.  Well then how do I make that work for me?  By believing you are a sinner, that you know what sin is, and what God did to pay for it.  Here
is what the Bible says you have to do.  If you state that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Saved means saved from eternal punishment in Hell.  God continues, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (before God), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

That’s pretty straight forward.  Don’t I have to do anything?  No.  Why?  Because there is nothing you could do to get into heaven if you worked at it for a million years.  So all I have to do is confess and believe?  That’s right.  …So what would you like to do?

  

This blog is a reflection of a song by Chris Tomlin. Marzani has an important message to share as she gives her testimony of how this song has touched her life in a special way. She gives her insights and challenges us to live a life basking in the glory of God. I hope this post will be a blessing to you today and a challenge to you as well.

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And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

These two lines keep repeating in my head, and maybe a few months ago, that’s where it would stop, but this morning it’s moved to my heart, deeper, more meaningful…freeing…so deep that every word touch my soul. These two lines of an ordinary song-to most-is what I made my life-rope today. Yes, ordinary song –the foundation that I CHOOSE for how I’m going to live today…for EVER!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us…?
To me this first 7 words holds the biggest ‘power’ ever given to us…well in my heart I would change the word ‘power’ to ‘life’, but to see it we would have to know who God is, and NO I don’t mean know about church, the ten Commandments, I’m not even talking about Christianity ! If I would hide your Bible and ask you, “Who is God to you?” what would you answer…? Easy Question…maybe, but it’s the question with the most dangerous answer, cause how you see God determines how you live, it determines your Happiness, Success, Significance, Fulfillment, Satisfaction, Security, Peace and Fun. If you can’t answer, ALL these things will be messed up in your life…short lived, meaningless, empty!

Growing up in church, with a Pastor for a Dad ,made me think of God as the One who made the earth, send us His one and only Son to die for our sins on the cross, raised up from death after three days and went back to heaven to prepare a place for His children and He will come back again one day to get all who believed in Him…for 17 years that was my answer to the question, “who is God?” I mean come on, I’ve heard it for 17 years!! So I ‘knew’ who God is, and yea He was ‘for’ me, but wow how many things ‘stopped’ me!! Things, people ‘stopped’ me to the point that I hated this God who was suppose to be ‘for’ me, yes . I didn’t want to have ANYTHING to do with Him!!! People lied to me enough, hurt and ripped apart I didn’t need a God lying to me too!! So I let go, I let go of the ‘wonderful bedtime story’ (as I saw it) told in church about a God who died for me and for my sins, cause wasn’t lying a sin? And if so then how could a God that lie, forgive sin.” Yes, that was my thoughts for 6 years, and maybe I could keep on pretending being the “perfect pastor’s daughter’ but I can’t cause I’ve ‘met’ God and He renewed my life, when God is your life, you can’t hide behind a mask no more, you can’t go on being fake, cause while being fake at least 20 THOUSAND people over the world die each day, not knowing God!!

So did God lie, maybe many people would want me answering ‘yes’ to this, cause then letting go is easy, but NO , NO GOD DID NOT LIE!!! GOD is WITHOUT SIN, but then again it wasn’t always mentioned in the ‘church story’, friends share just to get to the next topic on shoes or boyfriends. So if God didn’t lie, and He is for us all who believe in Him, and NOTHING can get us down, what did I do wrong? Or maybe you ask yourself “what am I doing wrong? Why does sooo many things get me down, why am all my dreams, happiness, fun, peace so easily ‘stopped’? WHERE is this GOD who is for me?”

Well He is WITH YOU, UNDER You, BEHIND you, ABOVE you, and if you accepted Him into your life , He lives IN you!! the question is not “where is God’ It is, “Does I understand or at least seek WHO God is?” all that I believed for 17 years , heard in church, it is not WHO GOD IS!!! it’s WHAT GOD HAD DONE…! The wonderful truth about how God send His one and only Son to die on a cross , raised from the death and coming again, that is what God has done and promise to do, cause of WHO God is!!

When you starts to seek WHO God is, you can truly have a relationship with Him, He becomes your best friend, healer, counselor, Dad, guide, King…I believe, have found and declares that when you begin to seek God for who He is, when you begin to know how God sees YOU, I can PROMISE you that NOTHING, NO ONE can stop you, and when you work on your relationship with God , WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HIM, just like you would ‘study’ a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife’s dislikes, likes , dreams , hopes , I promise you’ll see that God really is with you in every breath you take, and you’ll find NOTHING, NO ONE could stand against you!

I wondered, “what’s the toughest thing God ever tried to do?” What do you think was the toughest thing God ever tried to do?

Maybe this answer given by a 10 year old boy is right… “In science class at school, I thought maybe the toughest thing God had to do was create the world. Then in Sunday school we got to talking about miracles, and I thought maybe the Resurrection of Jesus was the toughest thing. But then I started thinking, and I decided no one knows God really well. So now I think the toughest thing God ever tried to do, is to get us to understand who He is and that He loves us…And it took God’s Son to do it…”

God let His son be nailed to a cross not only to forgive us our sin, not only so that when we are hurt, God can whisper, “I understand” but God let Jesus be nailed to a cross to open a way for us to get to know the LOVE God has for everyone of us, He let Jesus die, to open a way for us , so that we could learn WHO God really is …Jesus died for you, He was bruised, bled, killed to help you get to know His Father…would you really turn this ‘died-for’ opportunity down…?

I pray that you will start today to seek who God really is, get to know Him yourself, learn how much He loves you, cares for you… I dare you to open the Bible, get on your knees and let God introduce Himself to you…

“And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

This blog was written by a friend of mine, Tiffany. She speaks of how she has found hope and purpose in her life. I pray that her blog ministers to your heart. If you’d like to speak with someone about finding hope and purpose in your life through Jesus Christ, please visit the site below and contact me.

-Stephanie Lampman (www.restoredbyloveministries.org)

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Did you ever push someone away, putting yourself first? See someone hurting but just walked away? Plan to get together with someone but decided to make other plans? Be a listening ear? Be a friend? Flip out on someone without realizing their feelings to your reaction? Joke with someone but have the person take it seriously?

No one is perfect. We are all broken. We all make mistakes. We are all searching for something more.

Did you ever feel alone? Broken? Lost? Worthless? Hopeless? Unloved? Like no one cared? Did you ever just feel that you had no worth to even continue living your life anymore? That you actually tried to hurt yourself to feel alive. That maybe this will help numb the pain. Maybe if I cut myself, someone will notice me. Or maybe if I go get high and smoke pot I can drowned out everything. Or maybe you’ve even considered taking your own life or even tried too.

I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. You have worth. You are loved. You have purpose. And I care about you. I have walked in these footsteps times & times again. I struggled with cutting, depression, & even tried to take my own life 3 different times. I know what it’s like to feel alone; like no one understands what you’re going thru. I know what it’s like to feel broken; like everything around you is falling apart. I know what it’s like to feel lost; like no one even wants you around. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless; like there is no hope in the world for you. I know what it’s like to feel unloved; like everyone hates you. I know what it’s like to feel like no one even cares; like no one ever has any time for you. I know what it feels like to be depressed; like you don’t want to live another day. Lastly I know what it’s like to feel worthless; like the only way to escape the pain is to take your own life. I know because I’ve been there. But there is hope. There is healing. There is love.

You might be thinking, but Tiff how did you come out of this? How did you find worth? Hope? Healing? Love? Purpose? My answer to your questions is Jesus Christ. Jesus brought me hope, worth, healing, love, & purpose. You might be thinking; well Jesus might have saved you but He can’t save me. No one can. But don’t believe that lie for one second. Jesus can save you & I have proof.

Did you know that you are forgiven? 

When God sent His One & Only Son into the world to die for you, Jesus took your sins too: everything you would ever do wrong. He took it because Jesus didn’t want you to be destroyed. God sent His Son so that after we die we could spend eternal with Him in Heaven. Jesus didn’t want to see you punished for your sins so instead Jesus took that punishment for you when He was hung on the cross to die for you. But just because He died doesn’t mean you automatically go Heaven. This is want you have to do to be saved:

A: Admit that you haved sinned & be willing to turn from your sins.

B: Believe that Jesus in God’s Son who died for you & was raised from the dead. This isn’t just believing with your head but trusting Jesus for forgiveness of your sins.

C: Call on the Lord, confess your sins, & committ your life to Him. This is the willingness to turn from your sins & to turn to Christ as your Savior & Lord.

 Here are 2 verses from the bible to sum this up in Truth:

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”-John 3:16-18

“Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off—and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man. Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true. Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.”-Isaiah 53:1-10

So this is how I found worth, hope, love, purpose, & so on; Jesus is the answer. If it weren’t for Jesus saving me from myself I honestly would not be here today. But because of what He did I am. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank Jesus.

But I don’t know where your at in life. Maybe tonight your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you? Maybe you are so stressed out with school that you can’t take it anymore. Maybe your parents just got divorced? Maybe you just found out your pregnant? Maybe you just got busted for drugs? Maybe you’ve been abused? Maybe you feel like giving up? Or Maybe you are at the end of your rope & feel suicide is the only way out?

But please hold on. There is help & treatment available for you. Rescue is possible. Suicide is not the answer.—“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”-Revelation 21:4-6

I love you so much; but most importantly Jesus loves you. But tonight I watched a movie called “To Save A Life.” This movie has changed me from the inside out. I have a different outlook on life. God has showed to me thru this movie a hurting world that needs Him. I felt lead to write this tonight. I felt a tug on my heart from God telling me to take action. So I started writing. I really hope that after you have read this that it gives you some hope & positive encouragement. I pray you would take action too. You can take this or leave it where it’s at. But I know there is a hurting world out there that needs me; that needs Jesus; that needs you. If someone don’t take action, then who will. The last thing I want to hear is that one of my friends took their life. This world needs us. I can’t do this alone. But if we come together as one in Jesus name we can make a difference. We can save a life if we are willing to help others before ourselves. At the time you’re helping someone else, you are helping yourself as well.

You matter to me. You matter to someone. You most importantly matter to Jesus.

Throwing Stones…

Someone who has been so influencial in my healing is Amy (my former youth pastors wife). Below she shares a spiritual principle that is so vital in our journey toward healing and ultimately our relationships with God and others. Many of us have been hurt and think forgiveness is something so far out of reach. But as Amy reminds us, we are all sinners and no one has the right to judge or codemn anyone but the Lord. So who do you need to forgive? Your abuser? Your friend? Your sibling? Your parents? YOURSELF? Amy reminds us what the scriptures have to say about forgiveness.

“Two of my most favorite passages in the Scriptures both talk about forgiveness and speak to the awesomeness of the free gift of salvation. The first passage is a story in John 8 – a story about a woman accused and rightfully so…she had sinned and broken God’s law. When she was brought to Jesus by her accusers for judgement – he rebuked her accusers and offered her forgiveness. He was the only one who was without sin and could have stoned her, but He said “neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more.

The same thought is echoed in Psalm 130:3-4, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.” No one can stand before Him in our sin, not the woman accused, not her accusers, not me, and not you – except for His forgiveness so that He may be feared – respected, awed, magnified and worshipped.”

God has chosen to forgive us. CHOSEN is the key word. We have the choice to forgive or to not forgive. One leads to peace one leads to misery. We also have the choice to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation or not to accept it. One leads to death and one leads to life. What’s your choice going to be?

There are a few truths we need to recognize when it comes to keeping bitterness out of our lives or overcoming it in our hearts. The first thing that we need to recognize is that God is a Sovereign God. He is in control of all creation. This is something that was hard for me to grasp after struggling with why God allowed bad things to happen in my own life. God has a permissive will and a direct will. His permissive will allows or permits good or in this case bad, things to happen in order that He be glorified in the end. We may never know the reasons why God allows bad things to happen, or even good things for that matter, and we don’t need to know. We just need to know that God is God and we are not and that His plan and purpose will be accomplished. Jesus , understood this. God permissively allowed His son to be tortured, beaten and crucified. And yet on the cross, Jesus’ response to the mockers was “Father, forgive them…” He understood that God had an awesome plan and that even if it meant the pain and agony He went through He knew that God would be glorified. He didn’t become bitter , He forgave and acknowledge that God is a Sovereign God. It is good for us to be reminded that God is all-knowing. He sees beyond our immediate circumstance and pain and sees the end result. In the example of Jesus, He saw what Jesus’ crucifixion would accomplish, He saw struggling frail sinful humanity and desperately longed for us to be made new and find salvation in Him! I don’t know why God allows things to happen, but I do know that He always has a plan far greater than we could ever comprehend and I know that if you faithfully walk with Him and trust Him in the circumstance you will see one day why it happened. I know that is true in my life and I know it can be true in yours too.

Secondly, we need to realize that God is a just God. He is an impartial God. A quote that I found recently (from christiannet.com) is this “Justice is not an optional product of His (God’s) will, but an unchangeable principle of His character.” He is righteous.

Thirdly, we need to realize that we become what we focus on. If we are focusing on all the horrible things that have happened to us, we are destined for depression, despair and a miserable life. But if we dwell on who God is and His promises, we are well on our way and we will be able to see God doing great things through the circumstances in our lives. When we focus on Christ and not the circumstance we realize that God is indeed in control and we start to see His character more clearly. When we begin to see who we are in relation to who God is, we see our sin more clearly and realize that our sin is no different than the sin of those who have hurt us. Romans 3:23 says, “We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We also need to follow Christ’s example of forgiveness. 1 Peter 2:21-23 gives us great insight into His character and His response to those who betrayed and hurt Him. It says, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” We need to do the same to those who have hurt us. Harboring bitterness only hurts those who harbor it and blinds us to the purpose God has in the circumstance! Forgiveness requires us to see God for who He is, a Sovereign and just God. As we focus on Him and see the one who hurt us as He sees them and us alike, through eyes of love and forgiveness, this then opens up the door for Him to do awesome things in and through a seemingly horrible situation in our lives.

If you are a believer you can hold on to Romans 8:26-28 which says, “In the same way the Spirit, also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we KNOW that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” How often is the pain of your past too deep for words? I know I have felt that way many times. But isn’t it a comfort to know that God understands even the unsaid!

So what about you? Are you harboring bitterness toward those have hurt you? Do you want to live a life free of bitterness? Then why not get a different perspective of the situation and view the situation through God’s eyes and follow the example Christ has laid out for us. Realize that God has a purpose in every tough time.  And then sit back and watch all that God will accomplish through the circumstance.

Think about this…what are some things that you feel you couldn’t live without? TV, the Internet, a dating relationship, drugs, facebook or myspace, cutting? The list could go on and on. Let me tell you, there are so many things today that we can put before our relationship with God. Anything that we feel like we can’t live without and put our dependence on or trust in more than God is an idol.


Well…my blades was an idol that I held close for about 10 years of my life. I would think about it constantly, and sometimes would be so dependant on it that I would take it with me wherever I went. I was consumed by it. I put my trust in a worthless little blade. I trusted it to take away the hurt and to solve all of my life’s problems. Satan would use this little blade to convince me that if I just used it on myself and hurt myself that I would feel better, that I could escape life’s problems. Because as Satan whispered things in my ear like….you’re worthless, nobody loves you, nobody should love you, ect. I fell into the trap of temptation and sin. I decided to take matters in my own hands and punish myself. I started more and more to rely on what Satan was telling me about myself and my circumstances than on the ultimate, absolute truth God has promised us in His Word. I was sinning by trusting in something other than God and His Word. I also was disrespecting God because I was so self absorbed in my struggles and believing the lies in my mind that I failed to appreciate God’s gift through Jesus‘ blood that He shed on the cross. That blood was shed to cover my sin and yours. It didn’t need my feeble, sinful attempts at making up for the sinful person I was or the mistakes I had made. I didn’t rely on God’s love and forgiveness through the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross.


In Hebrews 9 and 10 it talks about how those under the old covenant in the Old Testament would sacrifice animals as an attempt to clear them of their sin. The high priest would go into innermost part of the tabernacle for worship (the holiest of places) once a year but He would take with him the blood from a slaughtered animal as a payment for the sins of himself and for the people. But in Hebrews 9:9 it says that these sacrifices were unable to make the worshipers perfect in conscience. Meaning the blood did nothing, it didn’t take away their sin. It goes on in Hebrews 9:11 though that it is different for us because we are under a different covenant which is the new covenant which sole basis is the blood of Jesus. He is our perfect high priest, to be the payment through His blood on the cross. He died so we could be in constant personal fellowship with Him and not have to go through anyone else but Jesus to be freed from the bondage of our sin. In chapter 10:8 it says that Christ gave an ultimate sacrifice and offered us ultimate forgiveness through His death on the cross, we only need to come to Him and accept that forgiveness. Which means I didn’t need to make myself bleed through cutting to pay the penalty for my sin because Christ already did that for me through His blood on the cross. Back in Hebrews 9:14, it goes on to say after speaking of the old payment for sin through the old covenant…”How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” God offers us forgiveness for every mistake we have ever made and every mistake we will ever make, but that’s not an excuse to just go and sin, but instead, if we are truly living for the Lord we will long for that close relationship with God through Jesus. His forgiveness should draw us into a closer relationship with Him so that we serve Him with our everything.


So I want you guys to think about your own lives, what do you put before God in your life that you need to put aside in order to fully be surrendered to God? Do you know what it is to have that relationship with Him? Have you accepted that you can’t pay for your sin on your own and that you need Christ? I challenge you to not to spend years of your life as I did, believing the lies of Satan instead of the infallible truth of God’s Word. Be totally surrendered to Him.