Acts 2:38 What Should You Do?

Repent

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

After the disciples had waited in Jerusalem, God had sent His Holy Spirit just as Jesus had promised. When they had received the Holy Spirit, the people started talking in tongues and the people around them were amazed. Peter told them that this is what was promised by Jesus who they had crucified. Then the people asked Peter what they should do and Peter answered for them to repent and be baptized.

All around the world there are many different views on how to get to heaven. Every religion, except Christianity, requires work to be done and then a person might get into heaven.

Jesus is the only one who does not require any works to get into heaven. Works, while very good, are not enough to get into heaven and Jesus knew that. God had it in mind to provide a way for every person to get into heaven. No person is good enough to get in by his own personal merits or works. 

When He died upon the cross, He paid the price for all the sins of every person. Jesus is able to remove all sins through forgiveness of them. He made a way for every person to be able to get into heaven.

Being saved and getting into heaven is not a difficult process. All a person needs to do is repent of his sins. That is he must be sorrowful of and turn from all his sins. He must than accept what Jesus has done for him, paid the price for the sins and removed them for all eternity.

Jesus made the way into heaven so simple that even a child can do it. He wants everyone to be saved and get into heaven. God does not want anyone to have to be sent to hell.

Take a look at your own life. Ask yourself why God should allow you into heaven. There is only one correct answer, and that is Jesus paid the price and has forgiven you of your sins.

If you cannot answer the question with that answer, seek Jesus and repent of your sins. Turn away from your sins and believe in Jesus and you shall be saved.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent of your sins and turn to Jesus; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus gives you; and that you will be filled with His Holy Spirit.

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Luke 23:34 Ultimate Love

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Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

As Jesus was being crucified, dying on the cross people were mocking Him and not believing in Him. This was occurring after a long night of extreme torture. Even as this was happening Jesus still asked the Father to forgive them.

People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. Most people will strike back or attempt to strike back at those who strike them. They want to get full vengeance for the wrong that was done to them.

The striking back takes different forms. Some will physically strike back and immediately. Others will strike family or friends of the person. Some will strike with just words rather than get physical. Many will call authorities and lawyers to strike back. Some will slander the person, causing another type of strike.

One common theme runs through all these methods of striking back and it is self vengeance against another person.

Jesus did not do any of these things while He was on the cross. He had never done anything illegal or wrong to anyone at anytime. He was perfectly innocent before men and God, yet was tried and sentenced to death on a cross.

As He hung there He was willing to forgive the people, because He knew that they really did not know what they were doing was wrong. He showed ultimate love for the people.

Anyone who hurts another person really does not know what they are doing is wrong. They think that they are doing the right thing. Satan has deceived them into doing the wrong thing.

You may never have to go through actual physical violence, but you will have a time where you will be hurt by someone. Someone may lie about you, or curse you, or cut you down in some way. Regardless of how you are hurt, it will hurt.

You will have a choice to make. Either you strike back in some way. Or you choose to love the person and forgive them…showing ultimate love as Jesus did.

Show the person God’s love and forgiveness and they may repent of what they did and serve God. They may choose the path of love…if they have been shown it and given that opportunity.

What is your choice: vengeance as the world or love as Jesus?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will share His love for others; that you will not seek vengeance, but forgiveness; and that you will know what God has forgiven you of. 

Luke 11:4 A Dangerous Request

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“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:4

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, so Jesus gave them a model type of prayer. Part of it said that the person is to ask God to forgive them, just as or because he forgives everyone himself.

This prayer that Jesus gave the disciples has become known as “the Lord’s prayer.” Many people and churches pray this prayer on a regular basis. There is a Christian radio station that does this prayer on the radio everyday at noon.

Since Jesus taught this model of prayer, it has to be a good prayer to make. However, many people probably pray it without really thinking about what this prayer says or asks.

In this prayer it asks God to forgive them, just as or because they forgive others that sin against them.

This brings up the real question: do people forgive others?

Everyday people are being hurt by others. Some hurt them on purpose, while others do it by accident. These hurts are sins against another person. Many people, not only in the world, but also in the church, are not willing to forgive that person who hurt them. Grudges and vengeance is held against that person.

Many churches and church families have been split because of anger against someone who has hurt them. Harsh judgement is called down upon people who have harmed someone or it did wrong. Chances for restoration and forgiveness are very slim.

Families, that call themselves Christians, are split up because of sins against each other. Divorce, fights, abandonment, and vengeance occur because people are sinned against. The anger sits in the heart for years, often for life. People are hurt and are unwilling to forgive. There are some ‘Christian’ believers who hold hatred for a past hurt for decades, because they are unwilling to forgive.

If every believer was to really pray this prayer from their heart, how many would God actually be able to forgive if He forgives as they forgive?

You have to examine your own life before you make this prayer. Are you willing to do what this prayer asks? Have you done what you would say with saying this prayer?

Be willing to forgive others, just as Christ Jesus has been willing to forgive you. Allow God to forgive you.

I pray today that you will have the love for others as God had for you; that you will forgive others as Jesus forgave you; that God will strengthen you to release all past hurts and pains; and that you will live for God all the days of your life.

Luke 5:20 The Highest Priority

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When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:20

As Jesus was talking at someone’s house, some men brought a friend who was paralyzed to be healed by Him. They could not get into the house, because of the crowds, so they lowered him through the roof to Jesus. Jesus saw their great faith, and told the man that his sins were forgiven.

Some of the people who were there were upset about Him forgiving the person, thinking that He was just a regular man. Jesus then heals the man on the spot.

Although the leaders were upset with Jesus forgiving the person, many people are upset because that is not what the men brought their friend in for.

People often pray for healing. They go to pastors or other speakers to get prayed to be healed. Which is what  person is supposed to do. However, they do not always receive healing. They get upset that the healing did not take place.

Since people are human and finite, they look at the here and now as the most important thing. The immediate situation appears to be the need for healing or some other physical provision from God. Healing is something that can be seen and felt immediately, thus taking priority over everything else.

God does not look at things the same way man does. God’s first priority is looking at eternity. He could bring healing immediately to the person, but then the person goes to hell because his sins are not forgiven. That means the healing was worthless and a waste of time.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. In order for people to be saved, they have to have their sins forgiven. Forgiveness of sins allows a person to be accepted into heaven. Whether a person is healed or not, has no bearing on whether he gets into heaven or not.

There will times you will seek for God to heal you. As you go to Him for healing, make sure that you have sought forgiveness first. God’s highest priority is getting rid of your sins. This should be your highest priority also.

Once sins are taken care of, seeking healing can take place. Do not gain healing without eternal life, it is worthless.

Allow God to take care of all your needs in the correct order of priority and need.

I pray today that you will seek God’s forgiveness first; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that God will hear your prayers for healing; and that you will know the salvation Jesus offers.

 

Mark 14:27-28 Hope After Failure

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“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Mark 14:27-28

Jesus had just predicted His death again, and also predicted that the disciples would abandon Him for a time. He does also say that He will meet with them again after He has risen.

Failure is something that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Each person has a different amount of failures and types of failures. Some keep trying many times and go through many failures. Many quit after a failure, giving up all hope of succeeding. Or they change what they are trying to accomplish.

Thomas Edison is known for saying that with each “failure” it was not a failure but a success. He then knew one more way not to do something.

God knows that every person is human and will make bad choices. They will fail at times in following Him with all of their heart and life. Jesus knew this about each of the disciples. They would deny Him and walk away in fear.

However, Jesus was still willing to accept them and work with and through them. Despite the failure, He planned to meet with them afterwards and move on, rather than giving up on them.

A lot of people have made mistakes and failed God, then quit trying to serve Him because they are such failures. They lose hope in being able to be saved by Jesus.

Salvation is not dependent upon how you live your life, it is dependent upon your belief that Jesus saved you and will save you. Take a look at the lives of the disciples and see how often they failed Jesus, and yet He still loved them and worked through them. He met with them afterwards and did not scold them for failing Him.

Do not cut yourself down when you fail God. Go to Him and repent and accept the forgiveness Jesus provides. Jesus is waiting for you. He is going ahead of you to meet with you when you are ready to meet with Him in your Galilee.

There is still hope after failure. It is not the end, until you take your last breath in this life. Believe in the hope Jesus provides you.

I pray today that you will know the hope Jesus provides; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will keep striving to serve God; and that you will trust in God with all of your life.

Mark 2:5 The Best Part

You Are Forgiven

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5

Jesus had been at a home speaking to the people. It was crowded and the house was filled with people. Outside there was a man who was paralyzed, who had some friends that worked to get him in to see Jesus by lowering him through the roof. They wanted Jesus to heal the man. When Jesus saw him, the first thing He told the man was that his sins were forgiven.

When a person is sick, injured or has a deformity, the first thing that most people think about is getting healing. The individual is usually most concerned about being healed first.

Believers are very quick to pray for healing for the person. That is what appears to be the most important problem to ask God to deal with. While healing is something that is important and may be needed, it may not be the most important thing the person needs.

As bad as it was for the man to be paralyzed, it was even worse to be plagued with unforgiven sins in his life. Jesus knew this and took care of those sins first, before bringing about the healing.

A person can be healed of the worst disease, injury or deformity that is possible, but if he still has sin in his life, it does not mean a thing at all. If there is any sin left in his life, it will mean eternal separation from God. Anyone who has sin in his life cannot be allowed into heaven.

It will not do a person any good to be healed and have a perfect body in this life, then be cast into the lake of fire in the next life, because he never received the forgiveness Jesus offered. That perfect, healthy body will burned and tormented for eternity, because the first priority was not taken care of.

You may have some healing that you are desiring God to take care of. As you approach God for that healing, be sure to take care of getting healed of your sins first. Jesus died for your sins so that He could take them away. He is willing to cleanse you of all sin, you just need to repent and ask Him to forgive you.

Being healed of your sins is the best part in any healing.

I pray today that you will seek forgiveness of sins first in your life; that you will trust Jesus to remove all sins in your life; that you will trust God to heal both your body and soul; and that you will be the person God wants you to be.

Matthew 18:35 Forgive From The Heart

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“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35

Jesus told a parable about a man who owed the king a lot of money. He was forgiven by the king and the debt was wiped out. Later the man had someone who owed him a little money. Because the person could not pay, he had that person put in prison. The king found out about it and put the man in prison because he was forgiven a lot and did not forgive a little.

At the end Jesus told the disciples that if they did not forgive from the heart, God would treat them in the same way as the king treated the man.

Forgiveness is something everyone wants, but many do not want to give. Little children are known for saying “I forgive you,” in a sarcastic way, not really meaning it. They are only saying it because the parent or adult told them to say it. The words do not come from the heart.

Although most people think of children doing this, adults do it on a regular basis also. Adults will change the words from “I forgive you,” to “it really does not matter,” or “it is ok.” Yet, under their breath they are seething with anger against the person. They take the person to court. They talk bad about that person to others. There is no forgiveness in their heart.

Think for a moment of what Jesus has forgiven you for. How many things have you done wrong to God? Keep in mind that every time you have sinned against God, that one sin is deserving of the punishment of death and abandonment from God for all eternity.

The thing that someone has done wrong to you, was it worthy of death and eternal punishment by you? If not, then why not forgive the person?

Be willing to forgive just as God has forgiven you. Forgive from the heart and truly mean what you say. When it is difficult to forgive someone, stop and think about what God has forgiven you for. Think of how many times God has forgiven you and accepted  you back to Him.

Do not force God to have to punish you for not being willing to forgive someone from your heart. Show true love and forgive from the heart.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know what God has forgiven you of; that you will love others enough to forgive as God has forgiven you; and that many will know God’s forgiveness from your example.