The cross“I Do Not Remember”

How little we understand of eternal redemption! How many times will God forgive you? If you have truly set your heart to follow Him, He will cancel your sins as often as you ask. Will He forgive you of the worst sin you can think of? Yes! You may have to live with the consequences of your misdeed, but God can use your repentance and newly found humility to inspire others. As for the sin itself, if you sincerely repent of it, not only will God forgive you, He will blot it out of His memory.

Let me share an experience. A certain man of God had been gifted with revelatory insight into people’s lives. During an evening service he ministered to a Presbyterian pastor and his wife. By the gift of the Spirit, he revealed the couple’s past, uncovered their present situation, and then disclosed to them what was to come. This work of God greatly impressed the couple, and as the prophecies were fulfilled, one month later the Presbyterian minister brought two other pastors, each with their wives, to another service for personal ministry.

The word of knowledge was exceptionally sure that night, and the second minister and his wife marveled at the accuracy and truth in the prophetic word. The third couple stepped forward for ministry, and again the word of knowledge was present. The prophet spoke to the husband, revealing his past, present, and insight into his future. Then the man of God turned to this third minister’s wife. As he began to speak of her past, suddenly he paused, then said, “There was a very serious sin in your past,” he said. The woman, with her worst fear upon her, turned pale and closed her eyes. The congregation hushed and moved to the edge of their seats.

The prophet continued, “And I asked the Lord, ‘What was this sin that she committed?’ And the Lord answered, ‘I do not remember!'”

The Lord had been faithful to His covenant promise: “I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25). Although many times this minister’s wife had asked for cleansing, still she could not believe the depth of God’s forgiveness. Christ had placed her sin in the sea of His forgetfulness. He removed it “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). From everywhere but the prison of her own mind, her sin had been paid for and removed. And now, in His great mercy, He removed it from there as well!

Oh, what burdens we carry, what guilt and limitations surround us because we do not accept God’s total and perfect forgiveness. In Isaiah we read, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25).

How great is the God we serve. How wonderful is His love toward us. He is our Redeemer, our Savior! If you are willing to forgive others and will but ask Him to forgive you, He will pardon your debts as often as you contritely turn to Him. He promises He will remember your sins no more

Written by:

Francis Frangipane

http://francisfrangipanemessages.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-holy-obsession.html

 

imagesCAU48C1PThe Holy Obsession

To be in love is to be obsessed with one’s beloved; it is “to think continually about the same thing.” In this sense, the Father is obsessed with love for His Son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, beginning with eternity past, revealing the Firstborn in the womb of time, and then continuing with the transformation of the church, the Father’s ultimate goal is for all creation to be summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10). Our goal is to participate in this “summing up” until all that we are — our loves, our passions, our dreams and our character — is conformed to Christ.

Now, if the Father is obsessed with His Son, let us also surrender to this divine obsession. For such is the prayer of Christ Himself for His followers. He prayed,

“I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).

Jesus prayed that the very “love with which” the Father loved the Son — His obsession — would be in His disciples. Lord, lift us higher! We can receive and be flooded with the very same quality of love that the Father has for His Son. We can be obsessed with God’s love for Jesus.

Therefore, let us give ourselves to the supreme focus of God: to see creation, starting with ourselves, summed up in Christ. For it is here, in the transformation of our lives, that we discover and fulfill the wondrous obsession of God: the unveiling of His Son in the church. It is here that we discover the power that one life surrendered fully to Christ has upon the heart of God.

Father, let my heart become as obsessed with Your Son as You are. Let the fullness of my absorption with Jesus displace all my other pursuits until, at the mere glimpse of Your Son, my being is flooded with the inexhaustible pleasure that You Yourself feel.

Written by:

Pastor Francis Frangipane

http://francisfrangipanemessages.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-holy-obsession.html

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God-cares-for-usForgiveness God’s way

Matthew 18:21

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

I think out of all of the things that Jesus asks us to do, this is the hardest one to do, offer forgiveness for an offense towards us.

To forgive means to pardon, to release the offense done to you and send it away. Yet it somehow feels good to be able to think about the offense, justify to yourself why you should feel mad at the other person and why they should pay for what they have done to us.

This is not God’s way however, and when one of the disciples asked Jesus how many times they could forgive someone, he replied seventy seven times, that is a lot, at least with seven times we can think to ourselves, well, they have not shaped up by time number seven so now I can justifiably hate or excommunicate them. The problem with not forgiving another person is this, we open a door that allows bitterness and strife to enter our hearts towards that person, and then the next thing we know we are gossiping and slandering them, feeling justified in our actions.

The bible is very clear, that this kind of attitude is of the flesh and of the old man, but the man that is controlled by the spirit, and who desires to obey God, must not only imitate God but we need to live a life of love for our brothers and sisters, just as Christ has loved us and has given himself up as an offering to God for our sins.

When we are harboring un -forgiveness, we are no longer kind, compassionate and full of mercy towards those around us, instead we are driven by our pride to be right. Therefore my prayer for you today is that if you know that there are people that you need to forgive, that right now you would ask the Lord to help you to do that, out of obedience to him. Jesus has forgiven you of your sins and will never hold them against you ever again; therefore he requires that we do the same for the people around us.

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imagesCAFQ0ISEWhere did that Compassion come from?

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

A few years ago, I got the dreaded call, “mom is dying and you need to get home” Home for me is in South Africa, so I hopped on the next plane I could find and made my way there. For the next month I nursed my mom before I had to return to Canada. It was the hardest thing in the world watching someone who used to be so very strong now in need of help for everything. I felt hopeless as the cancer was advanced and there was nothing that could be done.

From that moment on, I avoided sick people like the plague. The truth was that I was terrified of losing my mom and felt that there was nothing I could do to help her as she slowly wasted away. It was very traumatic and affectedly me greatly for years to come.

Then last year, I had the privilege of nursing my husband who was very sick with cancer, he too was helpless and I found myself facing my greatest fear, nursing someone only to have them die. The Lord however used this experience to remove my fears and heal my heart. I found myself with such compassion and mercy, kindness and gentleness, goodness, joy and peace as I loved him through this terrible sickness. I did not get angry or resentful; instead the Lord gave me a very sweet love and appreciation for him, something that I had never experienced before.

I thank the Lord for the fruit of his spirit that lives within me that came out to minister to my husband when he needed it the most.

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Receiving the unexpected

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Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

The fear that kept me up at night when I heard that my husband had cancer and would need treatment immediately was not that he could die, or would suffer, but what will we do to pay our mortgage and feed the kids.

Thankfully God promises that he takes care of us and meets all of our needs often even before we know we have the need. So when my husband’s boss found out that he needed treatment he asked him what he could do to help. My husband told him that his greatest concern was how to meet the bills that would still come in. His boss then spoke to his boss and they decided that they would pay my husband a set amount every month, whether he worked for 2 hours in the day or 8. They were also prepared to continue doing this throughout the treatment process.

Who does such a thing? We believe that God prompted their hearts, filled them with generosity and they supplied the need that we had.

We were astonished at the method God used, but were ever so grateful for his faithful provision all through the 6 months of treatments. I want to encourage you today, that God does really care about you and your needs and will generously supply every time.

imagesCA5MKIZDPerfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3          

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

I have learnt over the years that the greatest spiritual battles are not fought out on a battle field that I can physically walk on, but the battlefield is right in my own mind. The devil who prowls around like a lion seeking whom he may devour and is always looking for ways to put us into bondage in our minds because he knows that if he can do that, then it is not long before he has us fearful, fretting, angry, taking offense, gossiping about our friends, stirring up division amongst believers and a whole lot of other things.

On television these days there are many shows depicting the various stages of depravity that man has stooped too.  There are hoarders, who fear loss, people with strange addictions, people so obese they need fork lifts just to be moved out of their homes. All because they never surrendered their thoughts to the Lord and asked him to help them to think on things that were good for them, and not harmful.

The Lord tells us that we need to daily renew our minds, in other words to change our thinking from the old man and his ways to thinking the about the Lord and His ways for us. We do this by filling our minds with the words of the bible; believing these words and then living by them, thus allowing ourselves to be truly transformed. When we do this, God promises that he will keep our minds steadfast, in other words, our minds will not wonder to places they should not go, all because we trust in God. We learn to trust God through learning about him in his word. Start renewing your mind today.

 

 

God our provision

Philippians 4:19               

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Last spring, I wanted a bicycle and I had asked around my friend group to see who would have a bike to loan me for the summer as a I love to feel the wind in my hair as I ride around. A friend stepped up and lent me her bike for a while and I was really enjoying it. Then one day she called and asked to have it back due to the fact that she had been cleared to ride it again.

I was really disappointed. So I took my sulky self to the lord and complained and whined and pouted about how I really wanted a bike and that it would be a great stress reliever to ride and I thought I would throw in for good measure that I would lose weight and get some exercise. About 2 weeks later I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone when my doorbell rang.

I sent my daughter to answer it but we got to the door at the same time.  Some precious servant of the Lord had bought a brand new bike and placed it on my front deck, there was a card on my window with my name on it, and it just said guess who.

To say I was ecstatic was an understatement and my poor friend on the phone, kept saying “what? What is going on?”

I was so thrilled to receive the bike, thankful to the lord that he gave me a bike in spite of my whining and bad attitude and that He had used one of his children to bring the blessing.

God hears us when we talk to him; he is very concerned about the big and small things in our lives because he is our compassionate father. Don’t be afraid to ask him for what you need or want, because he is faithful to supply all of your needs through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

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imagesCADSI1L6Assurance of peace in the midst of turmoil

Philippians 4:4-7

 The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God guards our hearts and minds; this dear friend is an amazing truth that I encountered not so long ago, as I was in the midst of one of the hardest struggles of my life, walking with my husband through cancer treatments. Trust me when you walk through a journey such as that, fear, despair, hopelessness, anxiety, exhaustion are often your companions.

The lord though in his great love for me and my family, heard our cries for mercy and help and gave me a peace, that defied logic, that went beyond just a feeling of well-being, it was a peace that spoke to my soul, and assured me, that I was not alone in this battle, I had the Lord as my protector, that my sins were forgiven and my eternal home was secure. It was a peace that assured me that there was nothing in all of creation that could snatch me out of my heavenly father’s hand. I could rest in God and trust him for the outcome.

If you are facing trials today that seem too overwhelming for you, and that you cannot possibly see a way out of, bring your prayers and petitions to the Lord, He will hear and He will answer and He will most definitely give you the peace that you need to proceed.

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Unity among the believers

John 17:20- 23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one,  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me

Unity –  oneness of mind, harmony, or agreement. This is the definition given by the dictionary of what Unity is meant to be.

I have been thinking about the prayer that Jesus prayed a lot recently and naturally looked around to see what kind of unity I could see amongst the members of the local church that I attend, in my home, in my community and even my unity with Jesus. I found that there was some definite cracks in the overall picture of unity, togetherness, harmony and peace, and I could have indulged my sense of self-righteousness and said to myself, wow, look how divided and wrong this and that is, but the truth of the matter is, I always need to come back and examine myself and see what part I am playing in the promotion of unity with the community around me, I am sad to say I found myself coming up short.

This is not what Jesus prayed for when he prayed for the future church, He prayed that we would be so united both in him and with others so that the world around us would believe through us that God had sent Jesus.

When I saw the state of my prejudice heart towards other believers and my lack of promotion of unity I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness. My prayer for you today is that you too would have a look and see where you stand, do you actively promote unity between yourself and God and the world around you or do you stand idly by while the community gets ripped apart. Jesus prayed for unity, so should we.