But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4
The world does not like to forgive. Vengeance is the desire of many throughout the world. People want someone to pay for what was done wrong.
Feuds often continue for years because neither side wants to forgive the other. It is all about self and not loving the other person enough to forgive. People are self-serving and will hold a grudge against someone for years.
Often they are passing one what was given to them. One is not forgiven, so he will not forgiven anyone else. Only pain and trouble will continue with this type of life of self-service.
The writer of this psalm knows that God forgives. The purpose of forgiveness is so that he can serve God.
There have been many who have made bad decisions in the past and feel as if those bad decisions hold them back. They feel as though they can no longer really serve God, because of past sins.
People know that if there is sin in their lives, they cannot serve God. Satan fills them with the facts about past sins and holds them back, forgetting that it is because of sin that Jesus came to this earth. He came to forgive, not condemn.
Jesus knew that with sin in a person’s life, he cannot come before God to serve Him. Jesus is willing to forgive and remove all of those sins in order that the person may come before God and serve Him.
Where there is forgiveness there is peace and love. Since God has done a great thing in forgiving a person, he can now serve God with a pure heart of reverence. Jesus did a great thing in forgiving a person, it was a selfless act of service. The believer can now return that act and pass it on to others.
You may be holding back from serving God because of some past sin that you have done. Know that Jesus is standing there ready to forgive you and help you move on.
You have been forgiven of your sins, so that you may stand pure before God. You may enter His house to serve Him in any way He needs. Do not allow yourself to believe that you are worthless and not worthy of serving God. Jesus made the way for you to do so. Serve God out of love for what He did for you.
I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides you; that you will serve God with love and reverence; that you will have peace with God; and that you will serve others out of love for God.
I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Job 16:2
As a person is going through an extremely tough time, many people will just avoid that person. They avoid him because they don’t know what to say or do, or because they don’t want that bad situation to come upon them.
Others will be quick to show up at his side. The purpose of showing up, however, is to give some advice. People are very quick to give advice in how to deal with something. Often this advice is coming from people who have never been in the situation themselves. It is what they think they would do if they were in that position.
Very few people show up, just to be a support, without giving a ton of advice. They are there to show compassion and love.
As Job was going through extreme difficulties and his world was falling a part, some of his friends came by to be with him. Instead of being silent and supporting him, they wanted to give him some advice or counsel. Their counsel was not supportive or encouraging. It was degrading and condemning.
In the church there are many believers who are just like Job’s friends. They intend to speak well, but in the end are condemning and not supportive. There is no love, mercy or grace of God in their words.
People often thin that they know and understand fully what is going on in the life of someone else. On the outside it can appear as one thing, but on the inside it can be totally different. Just because someone is going through a tough time does not automatically mean there was unrepentant sin involved or that God is against him. Knowing the end of the story, one knows that Job was innocent in this case.
You will have times when you will have a friend going through a tough time. Things will be falling a part for him. You need to be there for him to support him and lift him up.
However, be careful with your words. Be sure that your words are the words of God, words that show love, grace, mercy, and compassion. Do not be so quick to condemn or find fault. It is the devil that condemns, not Jesus. Jesus came to heal and save, not condemn.
What type of comforter will you be for a friend going through a tough time? Loving? Or condemning?
I pray today that you will know God’s love; that you will share God’s love with others; that you will speak the true words of God at all times; and that you will be a comfort to those in need as God comforts you.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus was telling the disciples that they were the light of the world. The important thing about a light is that it is not hidden, but put out for everyone to see. They were to let their light shine for all to see.
There are many people who like to keep their personal beliefs personal. They do not feel that they need to say out loud what they believe. This becomes very true about their belief in God.
One reason some people do not want to speak out loud about their belief in Jesus is that they do not want to offend anyone. Another reason is out of fear of ridicule or persecution. Speaking out loud about a belief in Jesus will often bring about opposition, and most people do not want that.
Since this is the case, many believers are silent believers. Often they are silent to the point people who don’t know them in church, do not even know that they believe in Jesus. They are not letting their light shine.
Another way they do not let their light shine, is by being a judgmental, hating Christian. They condemn non-believers. This is not the way Jesus walked and talked on this earth. It will not draw anyone to Jesus.
When you let the light of Jesus shine in your life, it will make a difference with the people who see you. Yes, there will be some who will ridicule and persecute you, but there will others that will glorify God because of you.
If you are living the loving, compassionate, caring life as Jesus did, the world cannot but see the good in you. Although some will hate you, many will also see that you are being true to your belief. They will be attracted by your love and compassion.
Let the light of Jesus shine out bright into the world around you. Let people see who Jesus really is. Do not hide that wonderful light.
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Paul commended the people of the Thessalonian church that they were living in a way to please God. He then encourages them to do this more and more. They were not to stop striving to please God.
There are people out there that when they look at all of the ways that God wants a person to live and the perfection He is looking for, they don’t want to even try to live for God. Many will start out living for God and striving to please Him, only to give up later.
People often give up, because it is, in reality, impossible to become perfect for God…on their own. They look at all of their faults and say they cannot do it, which is true, on their own. It is only when they rest in Jesus, trust in the power of Jesus, that they can become more like Jesus.
It is in the aiming for, striving to please God, that God finds pleasure. If you are aiming for perfection, just to be perfect, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your goal in life should be to please God.
Are you being a witness for Jesus?
Are you loving others? Including your enemies?
Are you serving others? Including your enemies?
Are you forgiving everyone?
Are you spending time with God?
Are you turning away from sin?
These and many other things are ways to please God. You may already be doing many or all of these things. That is great! Now Paul is saying do it more and more.
Keep working at pleasing God. Do everything as though you are doing it to and for God. Seek His Holy Spirit to give yo the strength and wisdom in what to do and how to do it. Living like this in the end will get you the “well done good and faithful servant”.
I pray today that God will reveal what He wants you to do; that your actions will please God; that your thoughts will be pleasing to God; that your heart will strive to please God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.