ALOHA FAMILY & FRIENDS,   Beloved of me and GOD,    John 3:16

FORGIVENESS,     “WORTH CONSIDERING”    8/4/20    From Ken<><     
Today’s Scripture            (Across my desk this morning from Texas.)
“…I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love…”   (Luke 7:47, NLT)

Forgiven Much
Jesus was at a Pharisee’s house when an “immoral woman” came in and poured a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and began to wash them with her tears and her hair. The religious leaders were shocked that Jesus would allow this “sinner” to touch Him. But though she had made a mess of her life, she loved and longed to please Jesus. When she took one step toward God, He showed her mercy and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”  That’s the God we serve. Maybe you’ve made a mess, and now you think, God will never help me. No, God is not judging you based on what you’ve done. He looks past the outside, past the mistakes and failures, and He looks at your heart. The question is, is your heart turned toward Him? As it was with this lady, when you call out to God, you’re going to see His favor, restoration, and mercy.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for looking beyond my performance and seeing my heart. Thank You for forgiving my mistakes and failures and messes. I’m shaking off the guilt and condemning thoughts and believing that You will show me Your favor and restoration. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Ken’s Comments
OK, So this concept is really foundational to Christianity.  The example of prayer that Jesus gave us has this concept of forgiveness in big lights.   Matt.6:14-16, “For if you forgive [a] others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others [ nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.   It can not be made much simpler.  You can not be in the Spirit of God and retain a vendetta or unforgiveness towards anyone, ever….   Both Jesus and Stephen are wonderful examples of this.  In luke 23:33-35, Jesus forgives the guys who were driving big spikes into his hands and feet.   “ When they came to the place called [a]The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34 [b]And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves. 35 Now the people stood by, watching; but even the rulers ridiculed and sneered at Him, saying, “He saved others [from death]; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God, His Chosen One.”  HE wanted to make sure he was free of any unforgiveness.   And Stephen as he was being Stoned to death.  Acts.7:54-60,    Now when [k] they heard this [accusation and understood its implication], they were cut to the heart, and they began grinding their teeth [in rage] at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit and led by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory [the great splendor and majesty] of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened up [in welcome] and [l]the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they shouted with loud voices, and covered their ears and together rushed at him [considering him guilty of blasphemy]. 58 Then they drove him out of the city and began stoning him; and the witnesses placed their outer robes at the feet of a young man named [m]Saul. 59 They continued stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!” 60 Then falling on his knees [in worship], he cried out loudly, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them [do not charge them]!” When he had said this, he fell asleep [in death].

Today I hear much unforgiveness towards many things.  In Hawaii there is a tirade against Trump for what seems about everything, supposed and otherwise.  Constant, every day in the West Hawaii Today.  It is amazing as none of these gifted and very vocal people have ever had any time with Trump.   They have only read or listened to others.  Tonight at dinner we prayed, “Father, help Trump to become the man you created him to be.”  We all need that prayer prayed over us.  None of us are like Jesus as yet and many do not even know that there is that possibility by the Grace of God.   We read this in 1 John 4:16-18: “ We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”

Yours in HIS great love,   Ken<><

Worthy Brief <; China’s Communist leadership has ordered devoted Christians not to believe in God.   Reports emerged this week that Islamic extremists in eastern Uganda have murdered a pastor and a church member for preaching the Gospel to Muslims, the Christian Post reported Saturday. Pastor Peter Kyakulaga and parishioner Tuule Mumbya of Church of Christ were beaten and drowned in a lake in Lugonyola village in the Gadumire Sub-County of Kaliro District on June 22. Church leaders have reportedly asked the local Christian community not to retaliate, but to be in prayer instead, the Christian Post said.    Foreign Christians are being told to leave Turkey and others have been barred from re-entering the country, Morning Star News reported Sunday. Rights advocates have said the Turkish government seems to be purposefully aiming such actions against Protestant Christians.    California churches this weekend rallied against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s worship restrictions as many pastors continue to disregard state-imposed bans on singing and indoor services.    The most recent death certificates submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that COVID-involved deaths in this country declined 8.26% in the second half of July.

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