When Jesus Said, “It Is Finished,” The Father Said…

This past Sunday at Cornerstone, we began a series for the month September around the theme of forgiveness. I started out with the obvious one – God’s forgiveness of us. And I jumped into a passage I love, looking at 1 John 1:1-2:2.

It’s quite amazing to know that God is not only faithful, but also completely righteous to forgive us through the blood of Jesus.

Yes, that’s what it says – faithful AND righteous.

But what does it mean that he is righteous to forgive us?

Are you ready for it? Continue reading

Not Defining Enemies

With this being the 10th anniversary of 9/11, here are words that I believe are pertinent to remember in our world today:

Let us, as followers of Love Incarnate, Jesus Christ, not define who is and is not our enemy. Continue reading

Forgiving Those Who Have Hurt Us

A couple of days ago, I posted an article on dealing with the hurt caused to us by other people. Needless to say, the article brought some good interaction via the comment section here, on Facebook, and on Theologica (an online network for theological discussion).

I think the major interaction, and disagreement, revolved around these words of mine:

I believe that, if someone never asks for forgiveness, then there is no responsibility set upon us to forgive. You cannot forgive one who never asks for forgiveness.

Many of the responses that have come have challenged such a notion. I have been reminded that the call to forgive is unconditional, rather than being based upon whether or not the person asks forgiveness.

As I’ve pondered the responses, my mind has gone in a few different directions. The first has been to forgive everyone for disagreeing with me, even if they have not asked for such forgiveness. đŸ™‚

Ok, not really. Continue reading

Dealing with Hurt from Other People

One of the most difficult things to deal with as a Christian, or as human beings in general, is that of the hurt that others inflict upon us. There might be nothing like it. The reason such becomes so difficult is that, normally, our emotions and the deepest parts of us get involved. That’s because relationships run deeper than the surface. And, thus, the deeper the relationship, the deeper it hurts when others wound us.

And you know what? There is no prescribed formula to help us deal with it. There are some principles to consider, but you can’t just give 3 or 4 keys as a band-aid (or plaster for my British friends) and everything will just be better. Pain is painful. Hurt is hurtful. There is simply no denying it. And many times it doesn’t disappear when we wave our magic wands.

Of course, we can push it aside, not think about it, not deal with it, and deaden ourselves to the pain. Or we can cover the pain with all sorts of other things – when it arises, we can head to the television to attempt to drown out the hurt or pick up some ice cream and eat half of the tub (or the whole tub). Or we could engage in graver things as well. But anything so we don’t have to deal with the hurt. Continue reading