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CAT | Grace Forgiveness Pt 1

Feb/13

6

Grace Forgiveness Pt 7

We will finish this series on Grace Forgiveness by looking at how we  express anger!

Eph 4:26,27  Be angry, and do not sin : do not let the sun go down on your wrath,  nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)

Anger is an emotion given by God. It is a good emotion. It is a needed emotion. Unfortunately we’ve made anger out to be a negative response in our lives. Something we shouldn’t do.

But what did Paul the apostle say. He said, “Be angry”. Express your anger but do it without allowing it to become sin.

So how do we express anger without it becoming destructive and sinful. How can our anger become a healthy expression of our life.

WE CHOOSE TO BE ANGRY

We must first own our anger. That is, realize that when we get angry it’s because we’ve chosen to be angry! Others cannot make us angry no matter how they may mistreat us. We choose to be angry.

Therefore when we’ve been hurt by someone and need to resolve the situation. We can do it in two ways:

1) Destructive Anger We say to the other person, “You did such an such a thing to me and you made me angry.” Or we allow our anger to spill out with words of abuse, name calling and blame.

All these ways attack the person’s character without addressing their behaviour. Hence our anger has driven a wedge between our relationship.

This is sinful anger.

2) Constructive Anger We say to the other person, “I’m angry that you did such an such a thing against me. What you did was wrong.”

What have we done. We have addressed the person’s behaviour without attacking their character. When we express anger in this way, we can be as forceful as we wish because we are not projecting our anger onto the other person.

Because we have owned our anger, we need not feel guilty or condemned because we have expressed it in a righteous way.

Meditation Point: “Lord, when i have to address a situation, help me to remember to own my anger and address the issue not attack the person’s character. Thank you Lord that I can, ‘Be Angry’ and sin not.”

 

 

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Jan/13

21

Grace Forgiveness Pt 6

I want to continue to look at the practicalities of setting boundaries……..

PROTECTION!

We set a boundary in place to protect ourselves from being abused. Abuse takes many forms, verbal, non-verbal, physical, sexual, mental etc. We must remind ourselves that we have the right to send boundaries and not feel guilty or condemned when we do.

Unless we forearm ourselves with this knowledge, we will back down and capitulate when the threats and accusations flow. People will accuse us of being mean spirited, selfish, hurtful and even abusive. They will issue threats, mouth retaliation, send us to Coventry (go silent on us) and it all has one aim – to push the boundary and see if we will capitulate.

If we can picture the other person as an unruly child that needs boundaries to discipline and train them, it will strengthen our resolve to stand firm against any pressure. In fact, that is what the other person is behaving as – an unruly child.

Wherever our parents failed (don’t blame them) to set boundaries we will carry such behaviour over into adulthood and other people are forced to finish the job they started.

Be Wise! - Surround yourself with people you can contact either before or after you’ve set a boundary. These people will empower us, guide us and encourage us. Don’t go it alone – even the Lone Ranger had Tonto to help him.

Prov 27:12 A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences. (TLB)

So remember: BE STRONG AND DETERMINED!

DON’T BE A VICTIM

When we become aware that someone is transgressing our personal boundaries, if we allow them to continue such behaviour, it is our fault not there’s. Hence if we complain, moan or have a pity party, we have now become a victim of our circumstances.

For the person who doesn’t want to face up to setting boundaries, it becomes an ideal excuse to blame shift: “it’s their fault, they are always taking advantage of me” or “I told him not to speak to me in that way but he won’t stop.”

We are using our excuse to blame shift as a red herring to take the spotlight away from us and make somebody else the scapegoat for our own irresponsibility.

What we need is a friend who will gently confront us and tell us to stop being a victim and jolt us back to reality. We have to set the boundary, no else can do it for us, so put your trust in Jesus and face up to your responsibility!

Ps 27:1  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  (KJV)

Meditation Point: I no longer need be a victim. With Jesus by my side I can face up to and confront my weaknesses and set proper boundaries to protect myself from harm.

 

 

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Jan/13

14

Grace Forgiveness Pt 5

BOUNDARIES IN FORGIVENESS

Today we want to look at the practicalities of boundaries. Let’s start with…..

1) Personal Responsibility : We must make the decision to take responsibility for our lives. That means being willing to set a boundary in place and telling the other person, ‘NO’. Unless we’re willing to take responsibility, we will remain a victim of our circumstances. Victims blame shift, complain and allow others to rescue them because it saves them having to take responsibility.

2) Overcoming Fear : The major reluctance in people to set boundaries is the fear of what man will do to them. Hence they don’t like to say, ‘NO’.

There are 2 things we can and must do if we are to overcome fear.

a) We must put our trust in God and confess His word over our lives. This means if all hell breaks lose, if we are threatened, accused or blamed, we must steadfastly keep our trust fixed in God. He will turn things around in His way and His time.

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (NKJV)

Heb 13:6 “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  (NKJV)

b) The only way to deal with fear is to confront it. When we do this we find the fear dissipating and a boldness replacing it.

3) Boundaries Force People To Take Responsibility

When we establish boundaries it forces people to take personal responsibility for their actions. Most people don’t like to take responsibility, therefore be prepared for a reaction. Anger, shouting, threats, accusations etc will most likely be the result of setting a boundary. But as we hold firm to our decision, the other person will back away and the boundary will become established.

Many people say they’ve set boundaries but back down in the face of opposition. We’ve got to be determined to follow through on our decisions.

If we can but establish one boundary, it will empower us to set more. The Scripture says,

“Let the weak say I’m strong” (Joel 3:10 NKJV).

Heb 13:5-6 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (NKJV)

We must declare this over our lives when fear arises. By boldly declaring the word over ourselves, it releases the power in the word to strengthen us.

Whenever God wanted to create a thing, He spoke it into existence. As He did so, the latent power in the word was released to bring that thing into existence.

Gen 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (NKJV)

Rom 4:17-18 God, gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;  (NKJV)

Meditation Point: I will boldly proclaim over myself that I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. As I ‘say God’s word, it releases the word’s latent power.

 

 

 

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Jan/13

1

Grace Forgiveness Pt 4

BOUNDARIES

Another aspect which is crucial to understanding forgiveness is that of ‘boundaries’. God is a God of boundaries. In Gen Ch 1 God gathered the waters together making a separation between the seas and dry land. 

Gen 1:9,10 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (NKJV)

To stop the water flooding back onto the dry ground, God put a boundary in. How did He do it. He spoke a creative word and commanded the waves to remain in the place where He had put them. He drew a line in the sand and said, “Thus far and no further.”

Job 38:8-11 “Who decreed the boundaries of the seas when they gushed from the depths? And barred them by limiting their shores,  and said, ‘Thus far and no farther shall you come, and here shall your proud waves stop!’?  (TLB)

Remember when Jesus was with His disciples in a boat on Lake Galilee. A storm erupted and as water filled the boat, it began to sink. Where was Jesus. In the back of the boat, fast asleep. The disciples out of fear woke Him up: Matt 8:26 says, ‘ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.’

Jesus spoke a word of authority and commanded the wind and waves to calm down. What had He done. He had set a boundary!

Part of the righteous lifestyle of the Christian is to set boundaries with the people, circumstances and issues of life that surround them. That means making decisions which involve the words, ‘YES’ and ‘NO.

Many of us like to use the word ‘YES’ but have a problem saying ‘NO. We don’t want to upset people, especially those closest to us. We feel guilty, as if we’ve done something wrong. We don’t like being disliked!

Hence, we allow others to invade our space and privacy and allow them to dictate the pattern of our lives. We allow them to transgress our boundaries and it triggers anger, resentment and bitterness which leads to unforgiveness.

Today is the day of deliverance and hope. God is saying to you that He has given you authority and power to set boundaries in your life. To draw a line in the sand and say, “Thus far and no further”.

In our next Blog we will look at the practical details of boundaries and how to set them in our lives to bring protection, freedom and an enrichment to our relationships.

Meditation Point: I have the right to set boundaries in my life. I can overcome my fears and say NO to those closest to me because saying NO is an act of love!

 

 

 

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Dec/12

19

Grace Forgiveness Pt 3

Now we have seen that it’s grace forgiveness that sets us free, we will look at another aspect of forgiveness, which is:

RESOLVING AN OFFENCE

Let’s unpack 5 steps to resolving an offence.

1) Practice Being A Peacemaker

In life we can be one of 2 things: A peace keeper or a peace maker.

A peace keeper is a person who will do anything to keep the peace, to avoid confrontation, to prevent the boat from being rocked! They will sweep issues under the carpet, make excuses or tell lies.

A peace maker is a person who will do anything to make the peace. They will confront, tell the truth, bring issues out into the open.

God the Father is a peace maker: Col 1:20 God made peace through His Son’s blood on the cross and so brought back to Himself all things, both on earth and in heaven. (GNB)

Mankind was at war with God. They had disobeyed God’s command and partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Man’s disobedience broke the relationship they had with God, forcing God to expel them from His presence.

God knew that man was now imprisoned by sin and death and could not help himself, so God took the initiative. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross and take the punishment for the sin of the whole world. This great sacrifice removed sin and opened the way for God to forgive man, thus restoring the broken relationship, making peace between God and man.

Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (NIV)

Peace On Earth

Luke 2:13-14  Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”   (NKJV)

Most people reading the above scripture, think that God was proclaiming through the angels some kind of automatic peace towards mankind. That’s because at Christmas we don’t want to upset anyone. We want everything to be jolly, cosy and nice. In other words, we want to ‘keep the peace.’

Yes, God is here proclaiming peace towards mankind. But it’s not automatic. It’s something that has to be received, and we receive this peace by thanking God that He has forgiven our sin and by inviting Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and lives and live His life through us.

It could be you are reading this article and are suddenly aware that you need to invite Jesus to come and live in your life. You want to know peace with God, you want the salvation He is offering to you, you want the assurance of eternal life.

The scripture below instructs us how to do this. Read it through very slowly. Spend time thinking about what it says.

Rom 10:9 for if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.  (TLB)

Now you’ve invited Jesus to come and live in your heart, you need to tell someone what you have done. This telling confirms the work of salvation in your heart.

Meditation Point: Thank you Jesus that you died for me so I could receive forgiveness of sin from God and experience His peace. Give me the strength and help I need to tell someone that you now live in my heart.

 

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Dec/12

10

Grace Forgiveness Pt 2

We saw in Pt 1 that we are now under New Covenant (NC) grace forgiveness, which is:

Forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 4:32.  AMP)

Let’s now look at how to apply that forgiveness. Forgiveness has 2 parts to it:

1) Forgiveness is a decision – YES/NO.

God created mankind as free will beings. The will is where we make our choices, decisions and form our attitudes. Because we have free will, it follows on that we have to take personal responsibility for the choices we make.

2) Forgiveness is a process – TIME.

There are things that happen to us we can forgive straight away. But there are bigger things where the offense and hurt are too much for us to handle. Therefore we struggle to forgive. It’s at this point that many Christians sink under a cloud of guilt and condemnation. They think God will judge them, reject them or is angry with them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Such people are living under the Old Covenant model of law forgiveness that says God will punish them for their failures, sins and mistakes.

As D.L. Moody would say, “NO – a thousand times NO”.

We are now living under the New Covenant model of grace forgiveness.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (NKJV)

The word, ‘cleanses’ in the above verse is in the present continuous tense. This means whenever we sin, immediately the blood of Christ cleanses that sin away. See yourself stood beneath a fountain of blood flowing down upon you, washing you from all sin.

God always looks upon us through the blood of His son, therefore, He always sees us as righteous in His sight.

Let’s apply this truth to a forgiveness situation:

Your husband is badly beaten by a gang of youths. He is hospitalized and cannot work for a year. A tsunami wave of anger, hatred and bitterness sweeps over you. But as a Christian God has called you to forgive. How can I do this. It seems impossible.

The key is in understanding that although I am consumed by anger and bitterness, Christ’s blood continues to cleanse that sin away so that we are always forgiven, accepted and unconditionally loved by God, freeing us from any guilt, condemnation or rejection. This takes the pressure off and gives us time to work our forgiveness through.

We may have to forgive that gang of youths 100 or 200 times, but however many times it takes, God gives us the time to work it through until the day comes when that wound is healed.

Praise the name of Jesus who’s blood continuously cleanses us from all sin!

Meditation Point: Thank you Lord that I no longer have to allow any fear, guilt or condemnation to remain in my life. Jesus cleansed and continues to cleanse all my sin away.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)


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