Forgiving Day-by-Day

When God Seems Gone

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Scripture

2 Samuel 24:13-14, 25 (NLT)

So Gad came to David and asked him, "Will you choose three years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the LORD who sent me." "I'm in a desperate situation!" David replied to Gad. "But let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands."…David built an altar there to the LORD and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Honor Your Enemy

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Scripture

1 Samuel 26:7-11 (NLT)

So David and Abishai went right into Saul's camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.

"God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!" Abishai whispered to David. "Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won't need to strike twice!"

"No!" David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.

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Beauty from the Ashes

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Scripture

Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Consider

One of the hardest things to forgive is losing a dream or a future we've been counting on because of someone's harmful action. Perhaps a child is molested, and an unspoiled future is lost. A parent suffers estrangement from an adult son or daughter whose choices have caused friction and harm in the family. Criminal activity cheats a couple out of their retirement money.

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Forgive Like God

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Scripture

Numbers 14:19-23 (MSG)

"Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people."

Consider

In all the years since the Israelites were freed from bondage in Egypt, they seem to have learned nothing about God's grace and power. Now on the brink of entering the Promised Land, they grumble about their hardships and threaten to abandon the quest and return to slavery in Egypt.

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Fudging the Facts

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Scripture

Matthew 26:59-63a (NIV)

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'" Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" But Jesus remained silent.

Consider

Jesus' trial was rigged from the start.

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Treasures of a Good Heart

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Scripture

Matthew 12:35 (NLT)

"A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart."

Consider

In this passage, Jesus is confronting the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, who claimed to represent God yet refused to acknowledge the divinity and authority of God's Son. They were trying to discredit Jesus by accusing him of being in league with the devil. Jesus, however, turns the tables on them and accuses them of the same thing.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Forgiver’s Prayer

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Scripture

Exodus 34:8-9 (TNIV)

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. "Lord," he said, "if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."

Consider

This prayer follows on the heels of Moses' coming down from the mountain with a freshly minted Ten Commandments, only to find the people worshiping a golden calf. In his anger, Moses smashes the stone tablets and orders punishment for the idol worshippers.

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Asset or Stumbling Block?

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Scripture

Matthew 16:21-23 (NRSV)

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

Consider

At first glance, Jesus' rebuke seems unfair.

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Winnowing the Chaff

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Scripture

Matthew 3:11-12 (NIV)

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Consider

To the farmers of Jesus' time, winnowing (or threshing) was a familiar harvesting event. A winnowing fork was used to toss ripe grain into the air so that the wind could blow away the worthless chaff.

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Firm Footing

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Scripture

Psalm 143:7-10 (NLT)

Come quickly, LORD and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don't turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, LORD; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

Consider

Like so many psalms of David, this one is a cry to God for rescue. The psalmist feels overwhelmed by enemies to the point of desperation and despair.

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Bridge to the Past by Judith Ingram – Prologue by Judith Ingram

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