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Life Lesson: May 15

15 May

Forgiveness and forgiving – a gift from God to us, compelling us to do the same with others.

Meditate:
Read Romans 4:13-25.
Mediate on the word Forgive. Repeat several times, “I am forgiven!” Each time you say it, put the emphasis on a different word.

Sing
“Freely, Freely” (page 165 in CFO Sings)

Chorus
He said freely, freely
You have received.
Freely, freely, give.
Go in My name
And because you believe
Others will know that I live

Verse 1
God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name And in Jesus’ name
I come to you
To share His love as He told me to.

Verse 2
All pow’r is giv’n in Jesus’ name
In earth and heav’n in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His pow’r as He told me to.

Message
“Tell them you are sorry!” I would tell my kids, as if it will just make a wrong go away. We force our children, under threat, to say they are sorry. Under their great protest, I would make my kids hug or “kiss and make up”, in order to reconcile a wrong. We like to think that our sins are forgiven by a few words or an action taken.

Although this sounds nice, it was not that easy. This passage from the book of Romans tells us, “He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins.” That included the little sins and the big sins. A word did not do it. Death did it. A hug did not reconcile us and make it right, it took the mighty power of God resurrecting Jesus from the dead.

We must not forget the great price and power it took to remove our sin, reconcile us to the Father, and bring us into new life. Yes, forgiveness and reconciliation are real and available, but we must not minimize it or take it for granted.

You have been forgiven! Do not let your un-forgiveness of others steal your joy!

Blessing
Call someone who you have struggled with and just let them know you are praying for them today.

Move
Go outside and feel the air and the weather. If it is cold or hot, rainy or clear, windy or calm, take some time to feel it. Walk around your home and notice how the air and weather affect how your body feels. Feel it penetrate you. Picture the air and the weather as God’s forgiveness. Sense how the power of God’s forgiveness affects your heart and soul. Feel it penetrate you.

Create
Take some old magazines and find pictures of fruit. Write one word on each piece; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self-control. Take each paper and tape them in various places around your home, office or car. Ask God where to put them so that the reminders will be in the place where you need it the most.

Nourish
Prepare a recipe that you have never made before because the recipe scared you.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Go visit a museum or attraction in your community that you have known about but never visited.

Pray
Be still and ask God to show you how he has changed your heart. Ask Him who to pray for and commit to pray for them over the next several days.

Snacks
Make a fruit and low-fat yogurt smoothie

World Prayer
Pray for those who have un-forgiveness in their heart and believe they are unable to repair the damage that someone has caused.

Sleep
Lay in the dark and sense God’s presence penetrating your whole being. Thank Him for the forgiveness and love He provides.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

_________________________

Lyrics Credit:
“Freely, Freely”, used with permission, CFO Sings page 165

Life Lesson: May 8

8 May

Let’s be honest – how well do we love others?

Meditate

Read 1 John 5:1-6

Sing
Beloved, Let Us Love One Another

Beloved, let us love one another.
For love is from God
And everyone who loves is born of God
and he knows God.
The one who does not love
does not know God for God is love.
Beloved, let us love one another
for love is from God

Message
During a recent Bible study, we were working our way through First John when I made a startling connection. These were not new Scriptures, but two old familiar Scriptures were suddenly connected in a new way. The first passage came from 1 John 3:16 where we decided, as a group, that love was defined as: “laying down one’s life for another.” The second passage came from 1 John 4:7 where we read that God commands us to love each other. We all agreed and were quite happy with ourselves when we decided that we love everyone.

Then… There was a pause… Do we, according to our previous definition, love (lay down our lives for) everyone? Now three are people who I love and I would lay down my life for. Then there are people who I love and hurt when they hurt. Then there are those who I tolerate. Lastly, there are those who I would rather not be around. Do I love everyone? Would I lay down my life for everyone? John then takes this to the next logical conclusion: If I say I love God and hate my brothers and sisters, then I am a liar (1 John 4:20). John previously told us that if we hate our brothers and sisters, we are murderers and cannot live with God (1 John 3:15). As a Bible study group, we came to this final conclusion: If I say I love God, then I must be willing to lay down myself for others. If I am unwilling to set myself aside and raise others up, then I am simply a liar and a murderer. Because of God’s love for me, I must make amends with others and treat everyone as better and more important than me. For more of this, read James!

Blessing
Contact someone who you tend to just “tolerate” and pray a blessing for them.

Move
Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor or bed. Be aware of each body part from your toes to your head. Do not miss any part, moving from the bottom to the top. As you consider each part, tense, hold and release each part. When you are finished, pray that God will release your love for others, just as you have released each body part from tension.

Create
Using a 3×5 card or other small piece of paper, write a blessing to an unknown person. Ask God how many of these you should do and do as many as he tells you.

Nourish
Pick one meal today and whatever you eat, donate the food stuffs for that meal to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Find a natural place of beauty, museum or exhibit in your area that you have never been to and go enjoy it. Go even if you think it might not be something you are interested in.

Pray
In prayer; make a list of people who you need to love better. Take a few minutes to pray for each of these people. Give these people the blessing cards you created today.

Snacks
Treat yourself to something you find really yummy. Do not over-do it, but enjoy it. We cannot do this every day, but a treat is something special.

World Prayer
Pray for those areas of the world that are in war.

Sleep
Pray one last blessing on the person you find most difficult before you fall asleep.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

 LYRICS CREDIT:
Beloved, Let Us Love One Another, Dale Garratt, CFO Sings, pg 304

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