Another Chance: The Forgiving Nature of a Gracious God

A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.  Psalm 51: 1 – 3 (NASB)


I’m sorry, forgive me
Clean me up, Jesus
I didn’t mean to hurt you, or desert you
‘Cause I love you so much
I admit it, that I did it
I didn’t mean to let you down
Please Jesus turn my life around
And give me another chance

~ Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir

 


Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51: 8 – 12 (NASB)

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Tell it, Tell it: Your Christian Story

“God’s Been So Good To Me, I Cannot Cannot Tell It All.

He’s Opened Doors For Me, I Cannot Cannot Tell It All.

He Made A Way For Me, I Cannot Cannot Tell It All.

He Supplies My Every Need, I Cannot Cannot Tell It All”

~ Chicago Mass Choir, “I Cannot Tell It All”

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As I noted in Your Stories: The Roots of your Christian Life:

The stories of your life are what define you as a unique person and child of God . . . Everyone has a story, a set of stories to be more exact, that I feel stand as the roots of their life.   As Christians, the soil in which those distinct roots are planted includes, in part, our spiritual values.

What you have personally ‘been through’, endured, and achieved is revealed in your stories.   Know the stories, know the man.   Have you heard a story this year that still lingers in your mind?

As I approach the end of this Series, I felt I needed to explore a few things not explored in that early-Series post last year.


Be a Willing Witness, not a Silent Witness

Whether in spiritual warfare, or a legal battle, being a silent witness can have a major impact on how things ‘go down’. As I sat in Bible Study last March, the nature of survivor’s guilt was discussed. The importance of witnesses was emphasized. The Tuesday night fellowship teacher explained, ‘God always leaves one’ to serve as a witness to others.  While talking about surviving a dangerous situation, it became clear -to me at least- that the role of being ‘the one’ and telling one’s story was important in many situations, ordinary and extraordinary.

Telling one’s story, be it an escape from Danger or an unexpected, timely Blessing you’ve received, is an important part of Christian life.   For you to hear a story, it has to be told first, right?  Abiding Christians should tell stories when suitable opportunities arise.   Doing so pleases the Lord; as well, it’s displeasing to the Devil.

LESSONS:

  • Be a Willing Witness, not a passive Silent Witness

  • Tell it, don’t keep it (your story) to yourself

  • Be it a Praise Report or a Testimony, speaking in public-or a face-to-face meeting- availeth much

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What’s Your Relationship with the Lord? (Psalm 23)

LeoReynolds_2677409202_48c575c2f4While we’re all familiar with the 23rd Psalm, an Associate Minister at my church (last Fall) helped me see it in a totally different way.   Before reading it she acknowledged how David’s relationship with the Lord was plainly evident in the verses of Scripture she was about to read.   As she proceeded to read it, much to the delight of most of those in the sanctuary (including me!), Rev. Guila Cooper was quite right.    As she read the 23rd Psalm, emphasizing every “My”, “Me”, and reference to the Lord, six very old verses of Scripture were revealed to this 53-year old Christian man in a very new way!


The Relationship

  • “The Lord is My Shepherd” (v. 1a)
  • The final verse (v. 6) addresses a relationship which can be both earthly and (with God’s grace) eternal.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

  • “He leadth me” is stated in two verses (v. 2 and 3).

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.

  • “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”. (v. 2)
  • “He restoreth my soul” (v. 3)
  • ‘Fear no Evil’ verse (v. 4).  The protective nature of walking with the Lord.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

  • This verse (v. 5) sets forth two ‘relationship points’ and states one of core benefits to a Christian who accepts Christ as their personal Savior:

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.

  • A second assuring benefit of being led by the Lord (v. 1b), beyond having an ‘overflowing cup’.

I shall not want


  • In the annotated verses from the Psalm (see below) I highlight “My” and “Me”.
  • “He”, “Thy”, and “Thou” are references to the Lord.
  • As a result of the Christian relationship which is richly depicted in the 23rd Psalm, David states he was assured of two things:
    1. “I shall not want” (In the 1st verse).   Shall doesn’t mean could or might; it’s a promise from the Lord.
    2. My cup runs over (5th verse)

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Psalm 23 (Annotated)

  • With emphasis on Christian Relationship Points (in Red) and two core benefits of it (in Green)

1 The LORD is MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want.

2 He maketh ME to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth ME beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth MY SOUL: he leadeth ME in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with ME; thy rod and thy staff they comfort ME.

5 Thou preparest a table before ME in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest MY HEAD with oil; MY CUP runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow ME all the days of MY LIFE: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Scripture

Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 136, and Isaiah 54:17

  • Dealing with, respectively, Soul Restoring, Mercy, & Protection which allows one to ‘fear no evil’.

Psalm 23


  • A post (Psalm 23 – An Eye Opener!) from a blogger (Gertrude Ferguson, Enough Tribulations Ministry) that provides a perspective of Psalm 23 that I enjoyed!

In closing, may this new year be one of the best in your life!  Christian Assurance (9 Pillars) is available for all children of God who’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.   Faith is about that relationship, not being a robotic Churchgoer or Scripture Memorizer; live the words of God (in the Bible) and have a worship which is engaged and ‘for real’.     Just owning a Bible and being a Churchgoer will not make every saved person a heaven-bound, Christian disciple.   It ain’t that easy; the Devil is going to try to get you to leave the Path which Christ wants you to stay on.

  • Let your endurance of trials now lay the groundwork for your triumphs tomorrow.
  • As the Apostle Paul tells us (Romans 8), your Heavenly Father wants his children to be ‘more than conquerors’, handle afflictions gracefully, and know that eventually ‘all things will work together for your good’.

Whose your Shepherd?    Whose house will you dwell in until the end and beyond in Heaven?    To God be the Glory.

 Greg Silverthorne, 1/1/15


Photo Credit (Sign):  Leo Reynolds/flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit (Boy with Bible): Jerry Worster/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Still cussing

I’ve always found Peter to be one of Jesus’ most intriguing Disciples.  He was one of Christ’s ‘inner circle’ of Disciple, but he surely wasn’t bland!   He could be called the Cussin’ and Cutting Disciple.  I love this post from Lionel and wanted to share it with you today.  Peter and David were fascinating, faithful, but flawed men of God.  Grace, mercy, and peace to you. Greg

Lionel Sneed Ministries

PeterMatthew 26:74-75 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.


Peter was a man’s man. A rough, rugged take charge type of guy. One who took names and asked questions later. The kind of guy you want in your corner or over for a football game. Yes, that was Peter.

There is so much to say about Peter. The one thing you can say about Peter is there was never a dull moment when Peter was around. Matthew 26:74-75 picks up where Peter is in the court-yard being confronted by people who recognize him as one who was with Jesus.

Peter adamantly denies this in a series of cussing rants as he denies knowing Jesus three…

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The Lord is My Shepherd

LeoReynolds_2677409202_48c575c2f41 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (KJV)


Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds/Flickr – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

How would Jesus Lead?

A post I wrote, in early months of this blog, seemed a good way to relaunch the Your Next Triumph worklife series.  If you are a Manager, your Faith offers a foundation for being an effectual one I feel.   Want to be ‘more-than-a-conqueror’, not mediocre, as you manage?     Christ offers a good road map to do so.

66 Assurance Way

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers”. ~ Colin Powell

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision.   You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”  ~ Rev. Theodore Hesburgh

As I noted a few weeks ago, I will touch on Career and Work Life issues occasionally.   As I read a post by Ron Edmondson this afternoon, this question came to mind.

  • K.I.S.S.  Keep it simple servants (of God) – If David could say what needed to be said in Psalm 23 in 119 words (less than 600 characters in the King James Version), a meaningful response -to the question posed in the title- doesn’t always need to be a lengthy megapost.
  • As the Powell quote suggests, making things simple is a valuable leadership skill.   As Christians, the ‘trumpet we sound’ when leading should reflect a value-driven vision that puts our Lord in…

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For Thou Art With Me // The Whispers (Gospel, Scripture)

Video

  • For Thou Art With Me
    • The Whispers (the 4th verse of Psalm 23 never sounded so good!)
  • SCRIPTURE (below), King James Version and The Message.
    • To give you two distinct looks at these beloved words from the 23rd Chapter of the Book of Psalm.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.   (KJV)


1 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. 2 You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. 3 True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. 4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure 5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. 6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.  (The Message)