While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was mocked by the crowd, the soldiers and even one of the thieves that was hung with Him mocked Him. That thief died and went to hell. The other thief asked for forgiveness and ended up in paradise with Jesus. This is a glaring example of immediately reaping what we sow. Just as God spoke the world into existence, we can speak words that create and build up or we can speak words that destroy. Let us be sure that we are speaking words that edify one another and that our actions prove the words that we speak. We will not always receive immediate punishment for bad words and deeds nor will we always receive immediate rewards for good words and deeds. But if we are faithful in doing good works, we have a reward laid up in heaven. So, let us continue to do good works, not for earthly rewards, but because we love our Lord and Savior. 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:62 (NIV) 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.–2 Tim. 2:12a (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Nathan, the prophet has told David that God will not allow David to build a permanent temple for God. Nathan also tells David that God will establish David’s house as a dynasty. There would never be a time when someone from David’s lineage would not rule in Israel. Instead of being upset that his idea was rejected, David rejoices in the better plan that God has for he and his family. David then prays this prayer of thanksgiving to God. Then David goes on to be obedient to God and God gives him victory after victory on the battlefield. David collects all the materials necessary for Solomon to build the temple. Though God rejected David’s request, He gave David something better. God always hears and answers our prayers. When God says no to our request, it is usually for our benefit, so that He can give us something better. Either the plan is wrong or the timing is wrong. But, like David, we should accept God’s answer and praise Him for all the things He has brought us through. We should realize, as David did, that there is no God like our God. David had never even heard of a God that could do what our God does and neither have we. Our God fulfills every promise He has ever made. He does this in His timing, not in ours. Too often, we are willing to settle for good things and not wait on God to give us the better things He wants for us. This is true, spiritually, physically and financially. Don’t rebel against God when He doesn’t answer yes to every request exactly when we want him to do so. Wait on the Lord, He has a better plan. Praise Him for Who He is, not what He does for us. He has already given us His Son, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. — Isaiah 43:25 NLT
God forgives us of our sins and chooses not to remember them or hold them against us. No where in the Bible are we instructed to “forgive and forget”. Like many sayings attributed to the Bible, this one is not in there. While it is a beautiful expression and idea, I am not sure that humans are capable of forgetting those transgressions, either the ones we have committed against God or those that have been committed against us. While we may not be capable of forgetting, we are charged over and over with the responsibility of forgiving. That we can do, because it is an act of the will, it is a decision that we make. God has certainly told us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Eph. 4:32
There are many other verses emphasizing the fact that we must forgive. These verses also show us how our relationship with the Father is affected by a lack of forgiveness. (Matt. 6:15) They also show us how a lack of forgiveness causes us to become bitter (Hebrews 12) and how unforgiveness will cause us to lose our reward (2 John).
The “forgetting” part means that we should be so sure and certain about our decision to forigve that the transgression no longer affects our relationship with the person committing the act. It is no longer a part of any discussion we have or any decision that we make. It means that just as God has justified our standing with Him, we do the same for the transgressor. It is as if we had “forgotten” or as if that incident had never happened.
Notice in the passage from Isaiah that God said He would forgive them for His sake which indicates there are some good things that come to those who do the forgiving as well as to those who are forgiven. So, if for no other reason, we need to forgive for our own sake.
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.–James 4:13-17 (NLT)
Although, none of us are promised tomorrow, it is still a good idea to have a plan. God has set that example for us. He had a plan for all His children collectively, before He laid the foundations of the earth. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.–Matt. 25:34 (NLT)
He also has plans for each of His children individually. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.–Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
So, it is not wrong to have plans. They are only a problem and a boast when we plan without asking God about it. Or if we think that we can accomplish anything good without God. We are only here on this earth for a very small portion of time and then we are gone. So, we need to spend our lives “redeeming the time”, in other words, making good use of it to further the work of the Kingdom of God. This was His plan when He created the world and us. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Eph. 2:10 (NLT)
So, we see that God planned us, formed us, and then created us anew to do His good works for His glory. If we plan anything less, it does not honor our Creator and if we plan anything greater, it is presumptuous and sinful. When we know to do good and refuse to do it, it is a sin against God and our fellowman.
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived..–2 Timothy 3:10-13 (NLT)
We hear it almost every day. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? Truth is that good and bad things happen to good and bad people. Is God still in charge? Why does God allow these seemingly paradoxical things to happen? Of course, God is still in charge and yes He does allow bad things to happen in good people’s lives. We can look at Job and see that this is true. God knows where we are spiritually at all times. I believe that God allows tests in our lives so that we can know where we are spiritually. The one thing we can know for sure and hang onto is this: Whatever God allows in our lives is for our benefit. Our experiences are how we learn and grow. We can be assured that God will not allow any temptation that we can not overcome and He always provides a way of escape.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.–1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
God sends rain on the just and the unjust. It is not our business to determine who gets what, when or why they get it or don’t get it . Earthly stuff is temporary, we are to work to lay up rewards in heaven. The rest is God’s business and He always takes care of His business. 12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming
–Psalm 37:12,13 (NLT)
20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. .–2 Timothy 2:20-22 (NLT)
God has a plan for every Christian. Each of us is an original design created by the original Designer. His canvas is the universe. We are limited in how much of that we can see, but be assured His plan has been in existence since before the foundations of the earth and they will be completed, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago–Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Whether we are gold, silver, wood or clay is not our concern. Our concern is to be prepared to carry out His plan for our lives. To do this, we must remain pure and clean. We must avoid the very appearance of sin and run from things that stimulate us physically. Our focus is to be on righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace.