When a “Gift” isn’t a Gift

A “gift” is not a gift when there are strings attached or they want it back if expectations are not met, no matter how irrational. A true gift is given out of love and pure motives. Jesus gave us the ultimate gift, paying for us the debt we owed. His gift cost more than any gift could, His life. His gift shows us how to give- fully, sacrificial, and out of love. We need to give like that and stop trying to control outcomes. Let’s just give and love like that.😃❤️

Mercy and Forgiveness

Mercy is where Jesus paid our sin debt we owed, withholding justice and giving grace instead. Forgiveness is what God demands/commands of us in return. Sure, someone may have been horrible and mean and evil and hateful and may not even be sorry. However, we are to remember Jesus’ merciful payment on the cross for us who didn’t deserve it and give mercy to those who wrong us and don’t deserve it. We are to bestow grace in response to sins against us as Christ bestowed grace so generously on us who sinned and still sin against Him. This proves we understand what Jesus did for us and that we obey back and worship Him by trying to be like Him. Holding back forgiveness is proof you don’t appreciate or accept the gift of salvation and we will not be forgiven until we embrace it fully- why Jesus said the bit about “forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors” and Jesus says later, “for if you forgive others, your sins will be forgiven but if you do not forgive others, your sins will not be forgiven.” If we really get and embrace our merciful gift of salvation, though we were unworthy, from Jesus, we will mercifully forgive in return, even the unworthy. Mercy and forgiveness and grace all mingle together. Truly beautiful!😃❤️

God is With Us

God is with us because we are saved by Jesus, by His grace and mercy. He chose to save us because He wanted us saved and we agreed. Praise God, our salvation! Walk through your day gratefully, remembering your generous salvation and the amazing fact that God is with us today.😃❤️

Violence in the Bible

I found it interesting tonight at church that the professor (guest speaker) was a teacher of ancient and historic crime and punishment as well as a Bible professor at a local university (we have 6 here). The lesson was on violence in the Bible. On Good Friday, this was interesting. He spoke first about the Salem witch trials during which a lot of people with property and wealth were among those falsely accused of being a witch or wizard and if it went to trial, their property was seized if they were found guilty or not and often given to their accusers and if they lived and if and when released they would have to leave the area and start over penniless. You had to plead guilty or innocent to go to trial, a loop hole. Well, some 81 year old man was charged as being a wizard by a jealous neighbor who wanted his land and stuff. He had worked hard and wanted to leave everything to his family so did not plead innocemt or guilty so he would not be tried and his stuff taken away. They tortured him to death but he succeeded in not going to trial and his property and belo gings did end up staying in his family.

So he tied this with violence being inflicted for a purpose. He knew he would die to offer a better future to his children for generations. Jesus died knowing that He was saving us all from death and the consequences of sin- separation from Him. His love was that great!

And much of the violence in Scripture is pointing to Jesus as the Christ/Messiah being very specifically shamed, hurt, tortured, mocked, cursed, suffering and dying on a cross for our forgiveness. Also that He would raise from the dead. And the violence not pointing to that specific death of the Christ was man’s rejection of salvation, rejection of God and the consequences of that. It is very much a wrestling but does not have to be. Jesus made a way and is that way. We accept Him as our Lord and Savior and start reading our Bible and praying and we can accept His love and salvation and live eternally with Him forever. Praise God!😃❤️