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Betrayal

February 24th, 2016

“I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness.” Psalm 89:33 NIV.

Hurting people hurt others.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “betrayal.”

Betrayal is a harsh word but not a new occurrence. Everyone has felt the sting of misunderstanding, misjudgment, or unfair treatment. The experience is as old and common as time itself. Feelings of betrayal necessitate a relationship that holds positive expectations. Betrayal feels personal and usually is. David felt the sting of personal betrayal – from Saul, his king; Absalom, his son; and Ahithophel, his trusted friend and adviser. “Even my close friend (Ahithophel), whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9 NIV. David understood his own frailties and failures and forgave others as he had been forgiven. (As an interesting and relevant side note, scholars believe Ahithophel to be the father of Eliam and grandfather of Bathsheba. Might that grandfather’s disloyalty relate to David’s behavior with Bathsheba?) Betrayal of others breeds betrayal toward oneself.

Strangers or enemies cannot betray you; your expectations of the first are minimal, of the latter their unkindness is assumed. Friends and family hold unique power to inflict emotional pain. To one degree or another, friction happens in homes, at work, and even in churches. Sadly, it happens in marriages, families, and with friends or mere acquaintances. Hurting people hurt others. Knowingly or unknowingly, fallen people living in a fallen world inflict their hurts and unhappiness upon the lives of those around them. It’s usually about themselves, not the other person. Their pain causes their words and actions. It splashes out on whoever happens by.

Emotions of betrayal come in all forms and sizes, from annoyance to distress. Something as small as an unintended slight or something as large as intentional slander can both create feelings of betrayal. Judas betrayed Jesus. Matthew 27:3-5. Peter denied Jesus. Matthew 26:75. Thomas doubted Jesus. John 20:25. The disciples abandoned Jesus. Matthew 26:56. The crowds left Jesus. John 6:66-69. In differing measures, Jesus was betrayed and felt its pain, yet offered forgiveness and restoration of fellowship to each. Imagine Paul’s personal disappointment and pain as he wrote, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed.” 2 Timothy 4:10 NKJV. But God’s Word provides this assurance, “We have [a High Priest] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV. Jesus heals all hurts.

Betrayal is a word or action that causes emotional pain, eliciting strong reactions in return. It can be an action toward you as well as a reaction to you. As a teen, when I tried to justify hurting someone who had hurt me, my Dad would remind me, “Two wrongs never make a right.” Imperfect grammar, but he was right, of course. Obviously, there are two questions you are wise to consider. Felt betrayed by someone? Forgive, surrendering your pain to Jesus. Betrayed another’s confidence in you? Consider their pain.

When you have been betrayed, forgive. There is no better choice. Forgiving is for your benefit as much as theirs. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Read Colossians 3:13-14 NIV. “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Read Matthew 6:14-15 NIV.

When you have betrayed, ask to be forgiven. There alone you find redemption. Read Matthew 5:23-24 NIV. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Read Ephesians 1:7-8 NKJV. Read Romans 4:7-8 NIV. God’s promise is true, “I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness.” Psalm 89:33 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to always trust the faithfulness of God to heal and forgive.

EDL broken trust

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Communications 2016
www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Prayer and God’s Forgiveness

March 7th, 2014

“Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive . .” Matthew 6:12 TEV.

For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer and God’s forgiveness.”

Thus far in our study of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), we have examined, “The Pattern and Practice of Prayer,” “Prayer and God’s Sovereignty,” “Prayer and God’s Kingdom,” and “Prayer and God’s Providence.” Prayer also involves the practice of receiving and extending forgiveness.

Living without forgiveness results in soul-damaging condemnation, a heavy burden you were never meant to bear. Who has not needed to be forgiven by God and man? The Bible is clear; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” See Romans 3:23-26 NKJV. This truth offers bad news and good. We all need to be forgiven; we all need to forgive. See Mark 11:25 NIV.

Here’s how the process works: conviction of sin, confession of sin, cleansing from sin, or condemnation due to sin. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” See 1 John 1:8-10 NKJV. Be warned. If confession is not made, the Accuser imposes condemnation which worsens as confession is delayed. David suffered greatly when he failed to deal with his sin. His testimony is: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable . . Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me . . Create in me a pure heart, O God.”  Psalm 32:1-5/51:1-4/10-12 NIV.

In Jesus’ model prayer, He taught, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.’” Matthew 6:12 TEV. The word, “wrongs,” is correctly and variously translated as, “debts or sins.” Elaborating further on His words, Jesus said specifically, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt 6:14-15 NIV. Whether described as debts, sins, or wrongdoing, they come large and small.

Forgiving is neither optional nor easy, but is essential for spiritual health and growth. The measure and nature of your treatment of others determine what comes back to you – from others and from God. “Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. [What you give] will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:37-38 NLT. Let me simplify Jesus’ words, “For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.” Unforgiveness of others is an unkindness you impose on yourself. Read Matthew 18:22-35 NIV.

The ability to forgive others flows from your experience of lavish, unmerited forgiveness from God. “In Him we have . . the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 1:7-8/4:32 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you will embrace and extend God’s forgiveness.

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A Forgiving Heart

May 6th, 2013

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your Father will forgive you.”  Matthew 6:15 NLT.

A forgiving heart offers love undeserved and unmeasured.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a forgiving heart.”

There will not be a shortage of offenses, nor a lack of opportunities – really necessities – to have and express a forgiving heart. “It is impossible that no offenses should come . . “ Luke 17:1 NKJV. Your personal experience will confirm that reality, and the Bible’s counsel is, “Get rid of all bitterness . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32 NIV.

Relationships create an emotional proximity that occasionally results in misunderstandings, minor and major. When someone hurts or fails you, remember your own need for grace. When disappointed in a relationship, the grace of God is readily available to you; don’t depreciate God’s provision and nor delay claiming it. Pay attention to the Bible’s warning: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15 NIV. The bitter fruit of an unforgiving heart is a disposition that colors your life, interpreting the past and projecting the future.

The time immediately following an offense is precarious. Don’t let moments become minutes which soon extend to hours, days, and longer until the hurt grows bigger in your thoughts and settles deeper in your feelings. Forgiveness, or unforgiveness, is not as complicated as people make them to be; it’s simple really. Jesus said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Romans 12:21,Matthew 6:14-15 NLT.

The Kingdom of God sets a high standard but not an impossible one. An unforgiving heart imposes self-inflicted wounds to one’s spirit. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 NIV. It has helped me to differentiate between forgiveness and pardon. Forgiveness is honest about hurts while releasing to God all rights of either retribution or pardon. People can forgive; only God can pardon. Only God has perfect knowledge and sufficient grace to pardon.

Forgiveness does not claim wrong to be right, nor does it deny guilt. A forgiving heart offers love undeserved and unmeasured, neither self-imposing consequences nor demanding God withholds mercy and grace. Such a benevolent act of grace releases God to pardon, if He wills. Paul understood the purpose and extent of grace; “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.” Read Romans 2:1-11 NIV.

My prayer this day for you is that you will trust God to set wrongs right with others.

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Love and Forgiveness

March 29th, 2013

“We have redemption through His blood, [and] the forgiveness of sins.” Ephesians 1:7 NKJV.

Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you are imprisoned by an inescapable past.

My thoughts and comments today are about “love and forgiveness.”

Who has not been wronged, whether slightly or severely? And who has not done wrong against God or man? Life is not livable without forgiveness and forgiving; the burden of your wrong, or the wrong of another, eventually becomes too great to bear apart from forgiveness. Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you become imprisoned by an inescapable past. See Mark 11:25 NIV/Colossians 3:13-15 NIV/ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV.

It is not forgiveness with which we struggle; it is love that is our challenge. Love demands more from you. Love keeps no score of wrongs . . bears all things . . endures all things . . love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. With love, sacrifice is less burdensome; inconvenience not worth mention. Forgiveness comes without measurement of wrong or deservedness. The one who chooses to forgive accepts the price and pain of the errors of another.

Good Friday is about immeasurable love. Jesus, who had done no wrong (See 2 Corinthians 5:21), took your sins, accepted your place before the righteousness of God, paid the awful price of your sin, and felt the pain for every sin and wrong you committed or will commit (Matthew 27:46). The worst of which every person is capable was embraced on a cross, the instrument of our Savior’s death.

His cross represents the worst of sins but also the greatest of loves. He forgave you there because of love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17 NIV.

On that cross, your history and destiny were forever changed. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us . . that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Read Ephesians 1:7-12 NKJV. No one has to remain as they have been.

It was a Good Friday indeed, because hope was born there for anyone who would believe. Read 1 John 1:9-10 NIV. Author Max Lucado wrote, “Jesus would rather go to Hell for you, than to go to Heaven without you.” What do you do with a God like that? You can’t just dismiss Him. Instead, you humbly bow before Him, accept His forgiveness, and live your life for Him.

“[Christ] presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready . . We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:7-8 MSG. Imagine; God put His life on the line for you!

Recipients of such grace and love, why do we struggle to forgive? Here is the application. You cannot leave the wrongs of another unforgiven, when yours have been so freely and fully forgiven. The Bible says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ forgave you.” See Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV. Love is at its best when forgiving.

My prayer for you this day is that you know God’s immeasurable and wondrous love.

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