The path is narrow and I am wide!

<!– just a regular guy trying to do right –>

I forgive you

Forgiveness is not forgetting but it is an action and an attitude. There are times when we should forgive someone and never speak it to them and only God and other times when we should go to them but the act of forgiveness is crucial towards our walk with the Lord. I do know our prayer life and relationship with God will be hindered if we harbor bitterness and un-forgiveness. We are not to delay a moment in prayer to tell the Lord that we forgive those who have hurt us and then ask the Lord to bless us with the Holy Spirit to empower us to do things we cannot such as heal our heart, change our attitude and maybe go to the offenders and tell them we forgive them. Ask the Lord for the power and He is faithful to deliver. I know you can do it and I will be praying with you.

Jesus Teaches About Anger (NCV)

21 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘You must not murder anyone.[a] Anyone who murders another will be judged.’ 22 But I tell you, if you are angry with a brother or sister,[b] you will be judged. If you say bad things to a brother or sister, you will be judged by the council. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift.

25 “If your enemy is taking you to court, become friends quickly, before you go to court. Otherwise, your enemy might turn you over to the judge, and the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe.

An Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, when my fellow believer sins against me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, you must forgive him more than seven times. You must forgive him even if he wrongs you seventy times seven.

Jesus Teaches About Prayer

5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward. 6 When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing, thinking that God will hear them because of their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him. 9 So when you pray, you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name always be kept holy.
10 May your kingdom come
and what you want be done,
here on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us the food we need for each day.
12 Forgive us for our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.
13 And do not cause us to be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.][a]
14 Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins

My heart is yours Lord

Hear my cries oh Lord, this world has nothing for me. My soul is torn between this place and home. How I yearn to be closer to you and in some way bring honor to your holy holy name. Search me oh great Lord and show me how to be less so that you can be more. Teach me to follow you and put you first in all my thoughts and actions. Lord, I give my soul, my body and my mind to you. I give my family to you and trust you with all that I am. Lord forgive me for complaining and not doing as you instruct without hesitation. Lord forgive my selfish desires. Search me oh great I AM and cleanse the worldly from within. Lord, show me how to care for your children and give more of what you have blessed me with. Break my heart and open my eyes to the needy all around me. Show me how to pray for them and do what I can for them.

Be Careful about Complacency

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
-1 Corinthians 10:6-11

Privileges like a free country, a godly heritage, a good family, or a great church don’t guarantee spiritual blessings like grace, mercy, favor, and eternal life. If we grow lazy or complacent in our faith, sin can creep in, and before we know it, we find ourselves looking down a path wondering how we got there so quickly. This is the foundation for what Paul wants to explain in the above passage.

We must be careful about complacency. Sin creeps in and it won’t be ignored. In verses six through ten, Paul refers to the Israelites of old and to the sin they committed. He warns about desiring evil as they did, and instructs us to live differently. And mostly, to learn by their example. We don’t have to make the same mistakes if we don’t grow complacent.

Paul specifically tells us why he is referring to these old stories—to warn us. Look again at verse six, “Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” “These things,” are referring to the consequences received for their rebellion, disobedience, and sin. Paul addressed the people of his time with these words so they wouldn’t do the same things as his ancestors and suffer the same consequences. He was making the old story an example in real time, trying to warn those he was ministering to. They are to be examples to us as well.

These words are not just a warning, but Paul reminds us these words are for our instruction (11b). It’s for those of us on this side of the cross, “on whom the end of the ages has come.” This means, if you’ve ever thought the Old Testament was passé or didn’t apply to you, think again! The events recorded were explicitly written that we might not desire evil as they did and suffer the consequences. We don’t have to suffer the consequences of sin we don’t commit. If we don’t grow complacent, or lazy, in our faith, and we learn by other’s examples, those spiritual blessings can then rain down upon us and those around us. That’s how Paul frames his thought; that sin won’t be ignored. It wasn’t then, and it won’t be ignored now. Take heed from the warning and learn from the example.

Special privileges don’t guarantee spiritual blessings. Be careful of becoming complacent. Blessings from God or special privileges now don’t guarantee spiritual blessings later. -Rob Willey – Senior Pastor – Harvest Davenport, Iowa

Your ways are not my ways…

Klara, a devout catholic and loving mother of two was enjoying a book when a knock at the door preceded the news every parent dreads to hear:” your son has been in an accident”. The waiting room echoed the clicking heals pacing back and forth as time passed like molasses running uphill. The doctor approached Klara, his face spoke to her soul. Your son is not going to make it ma’am, you need to say your goodbyes to him. Klara dropped to her knees beside the pale eight year old boy. As the tears poured from her eyes, she cried out to God in excruciating pang: “Father, save him! Take my life instead!” God spoke to Klara: “you don’t understand what you are asking me Klara”. Without hesitation Klara responded with a resounding: “I do Lord, take my life! I give it willingly!”

The Lord did take Klara home a few years later when she died of breast cancer. Klara’s son lived to be a healthy man; he lived a total of 56 years. Adolph Hitler died April 30 1945.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:8-9

We may have the best of intentions and what we desire may be noble and pure but we don’t always understand and this life will remain a mystery. Bad things happen to good people and justice does not always prevail… in this life. It isn’t always fair and things seldom work out the way we would have them. There will be a day when the pains of this world will be no more but until that time we must trust the God of the universe knows what He is doing and we need to lay aside our worries. Garth Brooks said: “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. I came to realize long ago that God does answer the prayer; He just doesn’t always give the answer we wish for. The learning curve is being thankful during the storm.

The War Within Us

We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave. I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good. But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.
So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin. -Paul