Who is the offender?

order up

order up (Photo credit: circulating)

A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

My husband and I were dining with another couple at a nice restaurant. When our food was brought out, my entrée was cold and the meat somewhat raw. I called the server over and explained the problem, but was polite and understanding. The couple with us was amazed that I didn’t get all upset and demand satisfaction. I wish I could say that I was always this understanding, but the truth is … sometimes my impatience shows through.

Allowing God’s Spirit to guide us in words and actions will be noticed. It is almost considered normal to demand our rights in this country with no consideration for anyone else. Revenge is on our hearts when we have been offended. We forget for that time span how we have been offensive. The grace of God shown through us says that we know who died for our sin and who put him on the cross. While yet offensive, Christ died for us.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I forget what you have done for me. There is no offense against me that measures up to the offense I had against you. You have taken the sting of death away by your grace and mercy. Amen

Faith Tip: If you have been offended or are offended today, look upon the offender as Christ looked at us from the cross.

Teaching grace

Jinda's nail salon

Jinda’s nail salon (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.  – Psalm 119:66-67

I’ve been going to Tulip City Beauty College to have my nails and hair done. Not only is it nice on the budget, but it has been a wonderful experience helping students master their craft. The instructors are there for the students as they work on clients.  The staff and students have been a blessing to me as I have come to know them.  As a student was working on my nails, they made a small mistake and felt so bad about it. I let them know it’s not a big deal and we are learning together.  I think of the times through my life that I have been shown grace, and have learned to show that same grace to others. It was through the tough times that I learned the most about grace.

It takes challenges in life to get our attention. As we journey through them, we get our greatest teachings and learn about trusting God and his word. If we didn’t have difficulties, we wouldn’t care about growing in our spiritual walk because everything would seem fine. Why would we want to rock the boat? But God has so much that he wants to show us. An attitude of neediness is a good place to be when it comes to our relationship with Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the times you have helped me grow. You have never left me to fend for myself, but always held my hand to guide me in the way I should go. I pray your grace will be experienced by others through me. Amen

Faith Tip: Be intentional on showing a large amount of grace today to those God wants to touch.

Paybacks

The national debt clock outside the IRS office...

The national debt clock outside the IRS office in NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And forgive us our debts, 
   as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12

I heard those words that we have all heard at one time or another, “I owe you one.” I was to meet with someone, but communication didn’t get through to everyone as happens many times, so I went and they didn’t. The person who set up this meeting felt they owed me something for my inconvenience. 

Whether it is a meeting not kept, a lunch bought for someone, or some other “indebtedness” situation where one feels like they need to payback something to the other, the sense of owing is well known by many. There’s a belief that if someone does something for you, you need to do something for them. That adds a price tag to good deeds.

When Christ paid for our sin, it was the ultimate price paid. There is nothing we can do to payback this action. Our debt of sin was paid in full … free and clear. While there is no repayment plan in place, we can respond to Jesus’ sacrifice to forgive us by forgiving others … no matter what. That’s what the Lord did for us. We did not deserve forgiveness, but he forgave us all anyway. We can pay it forward.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, your forgiveness for me helps me realize that I am to forgive others. There is no one on earth that doesn’t need your grace. I pray the grace you have shown me will be reflected on others as I dispense grace unto them. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there someone you need to give grace and forgiveness to?

Living with Risk

Dangerous Risk Adrenaline Suicide by Fear of F...

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Seeing children at school once again in the fall is always a fun time for me. It’s amazing how much they grow from one year to the next. I love to hear what they did during the summer and what they like about school so far this year. I also find it amazing how well all the students seem to get along and actually spur one another on to do good and achieve more. They genuinely seem to care about one another. It’s a gift they give to one another.

We as Christians also have the opportunity to enjoy the gifts that God has given us in grace, love and fellowship. These are not gifts to put away to keep safe, but gifts we use every day with vulnerability. There is a risk in actively living grace, love and fellowship with one another. But it is a risk well worth taking for if we didn’t, we would not know the true richness of being one with Christ. The human experience is full of ups and downs where our hearts are bruised, but the beauty comes from the overall experience of living as Christ. He is the one who heals and strengthens us for his higher calling.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the calling you have on my life. The challenges I have experienced have made me stronger and more able to serve where you have called me. I pray that I follow you closely each day knowing you are always there with me. Amen

Faith Tip: Be vulnerable today in living out grace, love and fellowship. You are blessed to be a blessing.

Turn anxiety into ashes

A page of a calendar.

Image via Wikipedia

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.” – Philippians 4:6-7

 This tends to be a busy time of year with graduations, weddings, end of ministries for the year and their celebration, along with everyday life and work. Sometimes we can become anxious about it all because it seems overwhelming. We wonder how we are going to do it all and forget that the One who created all things is there. If we can keep from grouping everything together in one chaotic mass and enjoy them one by one, day by day, minute by minute praying for God’s grace and wisdom as you journey, the trip will go much smoother. Peace will descend upon you as you allow God into what you are doing. This peace will guard your hearts and minds as a protective barrier against evil.

Be thankful for prayer. Choose to use prayer in your every moment enjoying the presence of all mighty God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for prayer and for the promise of peace. I pray that I choose to trust you in all things. Amen

Faith Tip: What’s on your schedule today and tomorrow? Take one thing at a time and begin talking to Jesus about it. Accept the peace he has to offer.