Forgiving Day-by-Day

How to Deal with Mud-Churners

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Scripture

Isaiah 57:15, 20-21 (NLT)

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirits of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts...But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked," says my God.

Consider

Have you ever known people who like to stir up trouble? You might live with such a person.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

What to Give Up for Lent

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Scripture

Ephesians 4:31 (NLT)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

Consider

Ash Wednesday is right around the corner. What are you giving up for Lent?

Lent is a traditional 40-day season of reflection, repentance, and self-denial as we remember Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our salvation and the triumph of his resurrection. The purpose of "giving up something for Lent" (traditionally, fasting) is to learn to depend on God by temporarily abandoning those things in our lives that we fear we cannot live without.

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Go, So I Can Bless

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Scripture

Genesis 12:1-3 (NRSV)

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Consider

We can easily make the case that these three verses in Genesis 12 provide the foundation for God's great story of redemption.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Wilderness Time

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Scripture

Mark 1:12-13 (NLT)

The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

Consider

Jesus' forty-day wilderness experience is a theological echo of Israel's forty-year trek in the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt. For both Jesus and the Israelites, this period was an important test of character and a preparation for the ministry of bringing God's message of life and saving grace to nations who did not know God.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Shadows on the Heart

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Scripture

Isaiah 1:15 (CEB)

When you extend your hands, I’ll hide my eyes from you. Even when you pray for a long time, I won’t listen. Your hands are stained with blood.

Consider

Isaiah begins this passage with a plea to turn back to the law of the Lord (1:10). Like the Israelites of Isaiah's time, we, too, get lost in the rituals of prayer and worship and miss the point of the law—relationship. God cares exclusively about what motivates our worship and our prayers, not about how elaborate we make them.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Just Relationships

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Scripture

Proverbs 28:5 (NIV)

Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.

Consider

This deceptively simple proverb unveils three truths about relationships.

1. Justice ("what is right") is a relationship issue. When we are unjust, our selfish choices cause harm and suffering in others.

2. We choose whether to approach our relationships as people with selfish intent ("evildoers") or surrendered to God's purpose ("those who seek the LORD").

3. Those who seek God understand fully what evildoers cannot understand.

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Living in Light

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Scripture

John 1:1-5 (NLT)

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Consider

Word. Life. Light. Like a good novelist, John opens his Gospel with images of his main character. Jesus is the Word, the very essence of almighty God made flesh to walk the earth as one of us.

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Resolutions That Stick

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Scripture

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Consider

"Headaches are like resolutions. You forget them as soon as they stop hurting."

This quote from the movie Psycho (1960) gives us a clue as to why our New Year's resolutions tend to give out before the winter snow melts.

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Unto You

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PROPHECY

Isaiah 9:6-7a (KJV)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.

FULFILLMENT

Luke 2:10-14 (KJV)

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

When Idols Rule

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Scripture

Exodus 20:1-3 (NRSV)

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Consider

Idolatry has always been a temptation for God's people. Both the Old and New Testaments repeatedly warn against replacing worship of God with worship of people, things, or ideas. Jesus refers to this temptation when he challenges his disciples to choose between God and money, warning them that "no one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24).

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

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

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A Devotional Walk With Forgiveness – Week 1 Day 1 by Judith Ingram

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Borrowed Promises by Judith Ingram – Chapter 1 by Judith Ingram

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