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STEPPING STONE #4
Welcome back to
I waited patiently for the LORD;
and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES CURE
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I trust that
you're waiting patiently to move on to the next step each day.
Your patience in following THE PATH one step each day, will pay off.
WELCOME BACK MY FRIEND ...
Ointment and perfume rejoice the
heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty
It's great to have you
back on THE PATH. In order to lay down the next STEPPING STONE,
we're going to get a lil dirt on our hands. The weeds in this area
of your garden have some deep seated roots, so it's going to take a
little effort. These weeds have been there for a long time, so
you'll have to dig deep to remove them, but once they're gone,
you're going to feel the difference.
If you ever feel the
need to take a step back to the previous STEPPING STONE to remove a
weed that has sprung up near it, by all means do so. You don't have
to count that as one of your 14 days, it is maintenance, like we
discussed at THE GARDEN GATE.
As you recall,
yesterday we learned of
GOD'S GRACE and how forgiving our
Today, as you stand on
the third STEPPING STONE in your garden, we're going to talk about
I realize we haven't
talked about your specific problem yet, but we will soon. Think of
it this way ... If you step on a bunch of little weeds to get to a
big one, you'll break them off at the stem and when you go back to
clear them out, you may not know the roots are still underground
Have you ever noticed
that sometimes a big weed is easier to pull than the little ones,
and there's usually a whole lot of little weeds, but only a few big
ones? If we get rid of all the little weeds first, you'll find that
the big ones are really easy to get rid of, so don't underestimate
the importance of each step, even though they may seem
insignificant, they're making a huge difference within you.
Hmmmmm, that's a tough
one, isn't it? Most of the time, this is our biggest problem. As
Christians, we know and understand that God forgives us, and we
don't (usually) have a problem forgiving others ... But, ourselves we
just can't seem to get the hang of it, now can we?
I have another TRUTH to
share with you. Way down deep inside many of us, there's a twisted
misconception that if we hold on to feelings of guilt, it somehow
justifies us in God's eyes. This is totally the opposite of what
your Father wants for you. He didn't sacrifice His precious Son so
that we would harbor feelings of guilt. He did it so that your mind
and heart would be TOTALLY FREE of that.
Guilt is a bad seed. As
long as it's buried down deep, it WILL grow. Unattended, it will
become a big problem in your garden, because it will bloom and go to
seed, and soon you'll have a whole bunch of little problems that
grow into big problems and it just keeps getting worse and worse.
Once God forgives you,
He doesn't remember it as we discussed in the King David story. You
are cleansed of it. Pure as a little baby. And that's how your
Father sees you ... As His Child.
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Look at this from God's
point of view. Let's say you're a loving parent, whose child has
done something wrong. You may chasten the child, or some other
circumstances may arise that bring him to repentance. Your precious
child comes to you to confess, and asks forgiveness. Then you
forgive him lovingly, and all is well. Later on, you're walking past
the closed door of your child's room and you hear your little child
crying and rapping his head on the wall, because he STILL feels
badly for what he's done.
How would that make you
feel? Maybe it would make you feel like he doubts your forgiveness.
It would make us want to console the child and make them HEAR and
UNDERSTAND that we truly DO forgive them.
But ... What if they ran away?
What if they did not BELIEVE that they were forgiven
or did not forgive themselves? That is what we do when we do not
forgive ourselves when God has forgiven us. Now, knowing that you
are God's child, how can you serve the Lord effectively and
efficiently, as long as you carry guilt inside of you?
As adult Christians, we understand that God forgives
us, so the bad feelings of guilt that we store up inside are in
TRUTH, self pity. You're wasting your time feeling guilty. You're
wasting precious time that you could be using toward God's plans for
your life. Lose the guilt, and get on with the God business. Put on
your garden gloves, get a good hold on that weed, and eliminate it
from your life once and forever.
IT IS A LIE
Replace it with this Step four seed of TRUTH by
BELIEVING this TRUTH.
When you ask our loving,
merciful Father to forgive you for a sin in the name of Jesus ...
That sin is as far away as the
East is from the West ...
For as the Heaven is high above the Earth, so great is His
mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from
the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth
them that fear Him.
since God has chosen to forgive you, please choose to do so as well.
We are harder on ourselves than our Father ever was, is or will be.
Once sin is removed ... It is gone.
At the risk of being
repetitive, let me just say once again ...
God did the job.
You don't have to go and clean up after Him.
LET GO AND LET GOD!
LET GO (of your problem), AND LET GOD (remove it)!
Prepare to see this reminder quite often.
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES ANSWERS
CHRISTIAN TEEN COUNSELING SERVICES FIELD TRIP
We're going on a FIELD
TRIP now. The first one is a lesson about forgiveness. We've talked
about God's forgiveness ... That lovely blessing called Grace, and
we've talked about forgiving yourself. This FIELD TRIP on
forgiveness is about forgiving others for we must forgive all ... To
FIELD TRIP TO
Forgiveness . . . Has
different meanings for different people and sometimes different
meanings for the same people, depending on what's being "forgiven."
Actually, the meanings are very similar, but the levels of
forgiveness are different. The question is, What would Jesus
consider forgiveness? While you let that question simmer in your
mind, let's look at what He said about it.
If your brother sins against you, go and talk to him about
it alone, and if he will hear you (make peace), you've
gained your brother.
the book of James we get a clear picture of what happens when you
gain your brother.
Brothers, if any of you sin, and someone brings him to
repentance, let him know that the person who converts the
sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from
death, and will hide a multitude of sins.
What a wonderful
But, Jesus said, If
your brother won't make peace with you, then take one or two people
with you to witness and reason with him.
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any
iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the
mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses,
shall the matter be established.
1 Timothy 5:19
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before
two or three witnesses.
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES HOPE
CHRISTIAN TEEN COUNSELING SERVICES SALVATION
If he still doesn't
want to make peace, tell the church, but if he still refuses, think
of him as a heathen and a publican. Honestly I tell you, whoever's
sins you retain on earth, will be found guilty in Heaven and
whoever's sin you forgive on earth, will be forgiven in Heaven.
Again I tell you,
if two agree on earth, concerning
anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven,
because where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am
there in the midst of them.
This whole thing
brought up a question in Peter's mind and he asked Jesus, Lord, how
many times should I forgive my brother if he sins against me? Seven
times? Jesus answered him, Not only seven times, but ...
SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.
Let's do a little
digging and find out who we really are today, shall we? Remember
when we said that the meaning of forgiveness differs from person to
person and circumstance to circumstance? Well, the reason we seem to
have given the act of forgiveness different levels, is so that we
we've forgiven, without really finishing the job. We feel like as long
as we've achieved or performed any given level of forgiveness, we
can take credit for the total act of this very important virtue.
We're gonna take a look
at the different levels that we've divided forgiveness up into and
you can decide for yourself, which level(s) you've chosen to grant
to the people in your life. Some of these may sound the same to you,
but many people don't like to admit to something (even to
themselves) unless every word in the description are the very words
they would use. These aren't in any order of importance.
- You cease to feel resentment
against an offender, but you really don't trust them anymore
whether you should or should not in some cases, causing you not
to be able to trust others for this particular offense caused by
- You can forgive but you can't
forget. You store a record of the offense in the back of your
mind just in case you need to bring it up at a later date for
- You claim to forgive, but your
relationship has never been quite the same with the person ... and
never will be. You tolerate the offender as much and as you can
bear to, because Jesus said to forgive. Sometimes you rarely
speak, if ever again, and the relationship virtually ends after
the so-called forgiveness.
- You excuse the offense, but you
ridicule, deride, mock, taunt or rally the offender, sometimes
in anger and other times in humor.
- You forgive outwardly for
appearances, but inside you just can't seem to forgive.
- Some things you forgive, some
things ya don't, it's complicated y'know.
- You pardon someone totally and
unconditionally. You continue to love the person who sinned
against you, just as you did before the offense. It's as though
it never even happened. Recollections of the offense are not
used for any reason. You don't forget
that you're a sinner yourself and mercy and grace are the
greatest gift that God has given you through Jesus Christ.
Maybe the level of
forgiveness that you use isn't included here. If it's not, go ahead
and add them in, because there are bound to be millions of
conditions and levels that fall in between these categories, or have
additional little addendums. It's okay, we're all guilty of it.
Ah, here's one I
- As long as you're in a good mood,
your forgiveness abounds, but wake up on the wrong side of the
bed, and anyone who has ever sinned against you is a scoundrel
until your mood changes.
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES ARE COMMONPLACE
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Now, let's look at the
word forgive. The prefix
and the word give
in this case, means commit.
So, to forgive is to think
of things as they were before
the offense was
. You may say, That's a tough thing to do, until you
think about it this way: Have you ever
that you wish you had never done? Is there something
that if you could, you would totally erase it from your life, that
it would be forgotten totally from anyone's memory who knows about
it? It won't happen unless you forgive others the same way.
with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Now that you turn
things around, and your own forgiveness of others is involved, you
can relate better to the phrase forgive and forget. To sum up this
whole definition business, it would be fair to say that to forgive
IS to forget.
It's hard on both the
offender and the victim of a sin, when forgiveness is not granted.
For the offender, they feel untrusted and ashamed. It can weaken a
person's soul to live with knowing that they're not forgiven for
something that they're so sorry for.
It's as if there's an
invisible net around them that they can't escape. To repent for
something we've done, and not to be forgiven, is an experience that
God didn't want us to bear, and that's the whole reason why we have
the New Testament, and why Jesus died for us. It's a shame that
we've defiled this beautiful gift of grace by putting it into
levels. Forgive others the way you want to be
forgiven by God for things that you've done.
What about if you're
the victim of a sin? Let's say someone has committed a sin against
you and you don't forgive them. How can being unforgiving hurt you?
It's in your subconscious mind if you haven't completely forgiven
someone for something. Your mind knows what level you've assigned to
each act of forgiveness you've granted. You don't think about it all
the time, but the knowledge of it is there. This can cause
bitterness in your spirit that can affect other parts of your life.
Your faith will feel like it's tainted with guilt.
That's because you're
being measured by God with the same
forgiveness scale that you're using. Your lack of trust in
your offender can cause you to be untrusting of others as well. If
your offender is a loved one, you can become blameful of them for
unrelated things that happen in your life.
When we are hurt very deeply, we sometimes fail to forgive and rebuild
the trust with our family or friends that hurt us.
Now, obviously this does not mean that you MUST trust ALL of those
who have hurt you, in particular when terrible crimes were committed
and allow what occurred to happen again ... God forbid. It means
that you should not let the lack of trust in them, establish a habit
within you and have you walk in fear, unable to trust anyone else.
HOW TO FORGIVE CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES
CHRISTIAN TEEN COUNSELING SERVICES HEALING
The point is ... Being
unforgiving can cause a chain of circumstances that prevent you from
being fruitful for God. Until you completely release your offender
from his sin, you'll remain in the same net that you've put that
We've done a pretty
thorough job of putting forgiveness into levels, now let's look at
the levels that we've put sin into. What about people? Do you find
it easier to forgive a loved one than an acquaintance or a stranger
for the same offense? Are there sins that we simply find
unforgivable and others that we have no problem whatsoever
forgetting? To that, I have to ask you, are there some sins that
you've committed that you think God should hold you accountable for,
or do you want Him to forgive all of your sins?
Jesus addressed this
And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have
so your Father in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you don't
forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you.
Did you catch that? If
you have anything
against any. Forgive all or you won't be
forgiven. Sorry, there are no levels for all. All means all. It
doesn't limit the number(s) or the intensity of the sin(s), or even
how long ago they happened, it's infinite.
Our report card on our
forgiveness performance will be administered to us on judgment day
and we'll be remembered in God's eyes exactly the way we remembered
(or forgave) others. We're gonna conclude this study with a parable
that Jesus told Peter.
The Kingdom of
Heaven is like a certain king who wanted to check on the debt of
his servants. When he had begun to estimate, one person was
brought to him that owed him 10,000 talents (a talent is an
ancient coin of a certain weight). Since the man had no money to
pay, the king ordered that the servant, his wife, children and
all that he owned be sold so that he, the king, could be paid.
The servant fell
down and begged, Lord, have patience with me and I'll pay you
everything I owe. The king was moved with compassion and
released him, and forgave him the debt. (The king actually set
the servant free AND wiped out the debt.)
The same servant
went out and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him 100
pence (that's about one millionth of the debt that the king
forgave him for). He took him by the throat and said, Pay me
what you owe me! His fellow-servant fell at his feet and begged
him, Have patience with me and I'll pay you everything I owe.
The man would not, but he went and threw his fellow-servant into
prison until the man could pay the debt.
When the other
servants saw what happened, they were very sorry and went and
told the king what was done. The king called him and said, O you
wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt because you asked
me, shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow-servant,
like I had mercy on you? And the king was angry and put him in
jail until he could pay all that he owed the king.
In the same way
will my Heavenly Father do to you, if you from your hearts don't
forgive every one of your brothers for their sins.
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES PATH
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Okay, back to the beginning. Remember the question
we began with? What would Jesus consider forgiveness? My friend, the
answer is: He's gonna use the definition you choose with
others! With that in mind, you may want to consider how generous you
are with the gift of forgiveness that you grant others and to
It's never too late to forgive. There may be
something that happened years ago, maybe even in your childhood that
you haven't completely forgiven someone for. You can change that.
You can free yourself and other people to be more fruitful for God
if you do. If someone hasn't forgiven you for something, perhaps
you'd like to ask them to forgive you. You're not only seeking for
peace for your own soul, but you're also giving them a chance to
escape that invisible net that they've unknowingly put themselves in
God's Grace is above all, the most precious gift we
have. Extend your own mercy and Grace to others. Every day is a new
beginning, every moment, a fresh start. Clean your slate and give
others a chance to clean theirs too.
Did you remember to
apply this to forgiving yourself too?
LET GO AND LET GOD!
LET GO (of your
problem), AND LET GOD (remove it)!
FORGIVE OTHERS! - FORGIVE YOURSELF!
make mistakes. We fall. Sin gets in our way. Temptation
surrounds us and we don't always resist. But that is exactly
why God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins,
and to give us the FREE gift of GRACE! He wants you to ask
forgiveness and keep fighting the good fight of faith. When
you find yourself struggling with feelings of failure,
unworthiness, fear, weakness or shame, just remember that
you so very much and He wants you to get back up when you stumble. PERSEVERE! NEVER
GIVE UP! If you have a bad day, this study will help you
understand more about the liberating GRACE that our Father
wants each and every one of us to enjoy.
STEPPING STONE FOUR
CHRISTIAN SIN AND CHRISTIAN MISTAKES
CHRISTIAN TEEN COUNSELING SERVICES
Take some time between now and tomorrow when
you return to THE PATH, to reflect on some things that you
haven't forgiven yourself for and release them into God's hands.
Stop banging your head against the wall, come out of your room,
and get on with the freedom that God intended for you to have.
While you're at it, if there's someone who you need to forgive,
or you want forgiveness from ... You know what to do.
Whew, look at that bushel of weeds you pulled!
Throw 'em out with the trash. You've worked hard today, and
you've earned your fourth STEPPING STONE, so give yourself a pat
on the back ...
Continuing in EACH step daily is so very important.
over each step often to
be sure you have not
REMEMBER TO JOT A LIL SOMETHING DOWN IN YOUR JOURNAL.
TEENAGE SIN MAY BE NORMAL BUT
TEENAGE SIN DOES NOT OWN YOU ...
To continue our journey tomorrow down THE PATH ...
RETURN TO YOUR
HOME PAGE AND SELECT:
STEPPING STONE #5
And I will meet you there!
Stay Real !!!
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