Forgiving Day-by-Day

Circumcise Your Heart

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Scripture

Deuteronomy 10:16 (NRSV)

Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer.

Consider

This verse is situated in an important Old Testament passage in which God describes the essence of his relationship with his people. "You belong to Me," God says in effect. "I chose you. Physical circumcision distinguishes you from the world, but you must circumcise your hearts as well. You must 'cut off' useless and counterproductive practices of the world and instead act in ways that identify you as mine."

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Because We Are Dust

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Scripture

Psalm 103:10-14 (NIV)

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Consider

This psalm of David is one of the most quoted in the psalter.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

You Are My Witnesses

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Scripture

Isaiah 43:10-11 (NIV)

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior."

Consider

In a court of law, witnesses play an important role. Witnesses provide a bridge between an unfamiliar event and the people (jurors or judges) who must render a decision about it. A witness's value lies in his or her personal experience of the event in question.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Quality Faith

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Scripture

Matthew 17:19-20 (NIV)

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive [the demon] out [of the boy]?" He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Consider

Like the disciples, we sometimes wonder why our spiritual lives are not more effective. We love and believe in God, so why do we so often fall prey to worry and fear, anger and resentment?

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Fruitful Prayer

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Scripture

Mark 11:22-25 (TNIV)

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Born for Trouble

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Scripture

Job 5:6-7 (NLT)

"But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire."

Consider

When we experience hardship, we instinctively look for a cause. If we can determine the cause-and-effect relationship responsible for our trouble, then we not only validate our understanding of how the world works but also imagine that such understanding can help us avoid the same trouble in the future.

In the above quote, Job's friend Eliphaz argues that humans are responsible for their own troubles.

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Piety That Counts

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Scripture

Matthew 6:1-4 (NRSV)

"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Consider

How do you "practice your piety"?

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To Be the Potter’s Hand

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Scripture

Jeremiah 18:5-6 (NRSV)

Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the LORD. Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Consider

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God is reminding Israel that a human being, like every other creature on earth, is fashioned according to the desire and purpose of God. Moreover, God holds a unique vision for each person and constantly works to shape and reshape one's heart and life toward the perfection of that vision.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

How to Resist Mockers

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Scripture

Psalm 22:6-8 (NLT)

But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, "Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!"

Consider

Scorned. Despised. Mocked. If you are a Christian who stands up for your faith, sooner or later you will be ridiculed. "Are you the one Jesus supposedly loves? Then why do you have problems? If your God is so great, then why isn't your life perfect?"

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Four Corners of Christian Community

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Scripture

Acts 2:42 (NRSV)

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Consider

This passage describes the earliest “new members class” of the Christian church. In response to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, about three thousand men and women committed their lives to Christ and devoted themselves to living in community with one another.

There were, however, no programs in place to fold the new converts into the fabric of church life.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

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