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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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So Iniquity Shall Not be Your Ruin

I ran a post a while ago about forgiveness from the perspective of the one who was offended. I’m taking the other slant and looking at forgiveness from the perspective of the offender. The truths are the same, regardless which side your are on.

Forgiveness is four fold.

1. We are required to be willing to forgive as Christ forgave. He forgives all those who ask. 
2. The responsibility of the offender is to acknowledge his sin.
3. The offender is also required to pay restitution/make it right.
4. Restoration will happen when 1-3 are done completely and correctly. “Completely and correctly” are the keys.

Without all three, forgiveness isn’t complete. I can do my part and still maintain the blessing of God on my life (peace, contentment, closure, etc). That is all that is required of us. If the offender doesn’t do his two parts, he will not experience God’s blessing or victory in that area (of offense). If the offended party doesn’t do his part, the same results will fall on him. That’s partly why we see Christians today not experiencing blessing or growth in their lives – they stay nominal or shallow in their Christian walk.

 

Christ said to forgive as He forgives. He forgives all who asks. So, I’m using His example of forgiveness to show the steps of reconciliation. If we offend someone, repent of the deed acknowledging it as sin, ask forgiveness, and pay restitution, we are the one walking right with God. If we are not forgiven by the person we offended, it will not hurt our walk with God. Of course we might suffer more dire circumstances because of an unforgiving heart, but God will walk through them with us and use them to purge us. Mercy toward a sinner can only be shown by one who sees the advantage of forgiveness. While it is true that consequences can be our best teacher, mercy can be an even better catalyst toward change in the life of a sinner. Iniquity doesn’t have to be our ruin.

(Eze 18:30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”)

Our pastor preached Sunday on forgiveness and I thought it was a remarkable sermon. It wasn’t the normal, hum drum sermon that we’ve heard 70 times – but then none of his ever are. It was like he’d delved into it himself for personal reasons and came out of the refining fire different and wanted to share it with us. His heart is truly one of forgiveness and acceptance, full of compassion. Just watching him with our children has given me the fuel to continue on this difficult journey. Really, that’s what it’s all about. Traveling through this world is just temporary and if we can help someone along the way, then the world has been a better place because we were here. The world definitely is a better place because he lives here. Thank God for Pastor Ron.

Col 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ps 86:5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”

Lu 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I try to often contemplate that God has forgiven me for a lifetime of sinful behavior, so I ought to remember that as I seek to forgive others. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

It is those who fall and get back up using God’s hand for a support who become a better person through it all.

(Prov. 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”)

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