The 8 Requests of Esther :The Persistence, Courage, Boldness and Authority of the Bride

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  1.  Esther requests a 3 day fast of all the Jewish people of Susa. No food, no water for 3 days and 3 nights. Esther 4
  2. Ester boldly goes before the King to request that he and Haman attend a banquet the that day that she prepared for them. Esther 5:4
  3. At the banquet, she requests that the king and Haman attend another banquet that she will prepare the next day
  4.  She asks the king , pleading for her life and the life of her people “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.  For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss”
  5.  Esther asks the king to stop Haman’s orders and the scheme he has devised against the Jews. “Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.”
  6. Esther asks the king to write a letter for her and her people to revoke the letters and words that Haman sent out to destroy the Jews.
  7. Esther asks the king for permission, that the Jewish people be given another day to defend themselves – asks for another day. Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.”
  8. Esther asks the king to let Haman’s 10 sons be hanged in the gallows.

Every time I read the book of Esther, I learn something new. As I read Esther this past week, her persistence, her boldness, her courage and her authority stood out to me. It reminded me as we, the bride of Christ. should be. We can ask for anything in His name, He has given us spiritual warfare over our enemy, He tells us to be courageous and bold at all times, never to be fearful or full of worry. It reminds me of how we, because of Jesus, can go before our King without fear of death. Esther could have been killed immediately but she had the king’s grace.

God wants us to be bold and courageous. He has made us His bride, He made a life giving way so we, like Esther, can go before the Lord’s throne without fear of death, but knowing that He loves us dearly. Lately, when I pray, I stop and think …”uh, maybe I’m bothering Him, maybe I shouldn’t ask for too much, maybe I won’t ask”,however, when I look at the boldness of Esther I think – wow! She asked for it all! She was fearless! She could have stopped when she had her life spared, but no, she pushed it. She asked for the life of every Jew to be spared. Then she asked for more – she asked the king to revoke the order that was sent out, she asked for the impossible. When she got that request granted, she asked for even more. Haman , the wicked, was killed but that wasn’t enough. Esther wanted all 10 of his sons put to death. She asked and asked, and each time she could have been killed, but her persistence saved a nation. Her persistence and her boldness amaze me.

Esther prepared herself before she presented herself to the king

This is an interesting lesson, although I believe we can go before the Lord at anytime (Read Nehemiah and see all his short prayers continually in his days).  Esther made sure she was perfectly beautiful with careful consideration of her garments before she went to see the King. Esther and her people fasted for 3 days and nights before she went to the king. Before she was crowned queen, she spent 12 months preparing herself. I believe Esther was always prepared and beautiful before she stood before the king.
We also should be ready before our king (and always ready for His return). We should check our heart as David did , “Search me O Lord and show me is there is any wicked way in me”. Stop and consider our ways and our doings. Sometimes, before I pray, I ask the Lord to show me anything in me that goes against Him. I also recite Psalm 131: Lord, my heart is not prideful, my mind is not haughty : I stop to think: have I been prideful? Have I looked down on anyone? Have I been loving to everyone around me? Is there anyone I have offended? Do I hold any grudges, bitterness or unforgiveness in my heart? Is there anyone I have hurt with my words?

We are the beautiful bride of Christ, He is coming soon. Will He find us spotless as we should be? Will He find us ready and waiting for Him? He died for our sins, but he didn’t die so we stop considering our ways. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, it says : Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.   – maybe people see this verse in a different way than I do, but I believe it is telling us to stop and examine our ways – all the time. Repent is written in the New testament 55x, why have so many thrown that concept away? No sin can come before the Lord, He is too holy – we need to make sure no sin is lurking in our heart.

I like the way Jeremiah says it : Stop and look around, ask for the right way to go and travel it’s path. Sometimes we need to stop and check ourselves – is my life, my religion, my ways, my words in line with the word of God? Am I living in obedience to Him in love or have I made my own way? Do I search for righteousness or have I become lukewarm in my walk? Have I let the worries of the world, money, and fear of people pull me from the truth of God’s word?

Jeremiah 6:16
  This is what the LORD says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want

Let’s stop and consider our ways: (Galations 5:16- and 1 Corinthians 13)
Am I walking in the Spirit? Does my life show the fruit of:
• Love?
• Joy?
• Peace?
• Longsuffering?
• Kindness?
• Goodness?
• Gentleness?
• Self control?
• Have I crucified my flesh with it’s passions and desires?
Am I walking in love?
• Do I envy?
• Am I prideful?
• Am I rude?
• Am I selfish?
• Do I demand my own way?
• Am I easily angered when provoked?
• Do I rejoice in evil?

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” 1 Cor 13

 Persistence in Prayer and Requests

“ pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you 1 Thes 5:16-18

Persistence is found throughout the bible, but remember – God has the final answer. Paul requested that he be set free from a thorn in his side, but it was not granted. Jesus plead before God if there was any way that his cup might be taken from Him – but said – let Your Will be done. Persistence pays off, but God word stands forever y ya!

I like the way Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego put it. They were about to be thrown into a fiery fire pit and said to the king:
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. Daniel 3:16
They said, God can and will deliver us, “but if not” let it be known, we worship no other God. That is a good attitude to have. God can and will deliver me, but if not, then I lift my hands and Praise my God, for He is my redeemer, the One who see’s me. He is my All sufficient One.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16b

In Luke 18:1-6, Jesus tells us a parable of a woman who came with request before an unjust judge. I love this parable, it shows us the value of persistence (and it reminds me of myself):

     Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Jesus specifically tells us that we should always be praying and never lose heart. We could go on and on about the many stories of persistence throughout the bible: Sarah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, David, Noah, so many, many more. So don’t give up no matter what struggle you are in.

Notice in the verse from Daniel below, the man in linen tells Daniel that his prayers were heard but there was spiritual interference when the answer was sent – so never give up, you don’t know what’s going on in the spiritual world. Pray without ceasing:

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

More Scripture that reminds us to pray without ceasing- persistence in prayer:

• Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
• Ephesians 1:16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
• Colossians 1:9 [ Preeminence of Christ ] For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
• 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
• 2 Timothy 1:3 [ Timothy’s Faith and Heritage ] I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

Authority of Mordecai and Esther

Mordecai made the final say in the letters. “ Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.”
Esther wrote, with full authority, to confirm the 2nd letter of Purim to the appointed times to remember this day. Not only was Esther persistent and bold (but always in reverence), she also had authority. Aren’t we told we have authority in Christ. Just like Ester had full authority from the king to call out orders, so we have authority in Christ Jesus and all authority comes from God alone (Romans 13:1)

Authority over the enemy:

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:11-19

And so my final word to you today is Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh which are :adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries. Anything you do, that you know is wrong, is a sin. People who walk in this manner will not inherit the kingdom of God, but dear brothers and sisters – turn from your ways and walk no longer in the flesh and fellowship with this world.
Let the fruit of the Spirit be evident in your life, that is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.
Take up your cross, be bold, be courageous, don’t let the words of others knock you down. Stand unshakable in Christ Jesus looking forward always to His glorious return. Amen and Amen!

 

Christian view of the Color Run (Holi festival): Putting the brakes on Pagan Christianity -stop bringing the World into our churches

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Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods”
Deuteronomy 12:4

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:30-31

     The newest fad in our churches, Christian organizations and youth groups is the Color Run. The Color Run is an ancient Hindu and Hare Krishna festival also called the Holi festival.  Holi was the name of the Hindu demon king’s sister. This festival dates back to over 2000 years ago. It wasn’t suddenly invented two years ago as some websites claim. It’s been going on for thousands of years at the beginning of spring. When I first heard about this 5k color run, it sounded super fun…however something didn’t feel right about it and I wasn’t comfortable with my children participating in it. When I found out the origins, I was still unsure. However that same day, I sat down to read my bible and this verse practically jumped off the pages:

“Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods” Deuteronomy 12:4

  Let me clear some things up first. I’m not judging anyone who is participating; I only hope that those who are feeling indecisive about this, would find their answer. I pray that the shepherds would be more aware of the paths along which they are leading their sheep  and that those called out to be gatekeepers and watchmen would stand guard and protect the flock.

 
Photo credit: newyorkdailynews- Holi celebrations kick off in India


Color run origins:

The Holi (aka Color run) Hindu festival is celebrated at the beginning of spring each year. The name Holi (which means burning) originated from the name Holika, the demon king’s evil sister.  She, Holika, helped her brother reign by killing his son/ her nephew. Legend says that the son of the demon refused to worship him and instead worshiped Vishnu. So Holika ended this by putting the boy on her lap and sitting in a fire so he would die. She thought she would be untouched because her super power was that fire could not burn her- but her plan backfired and she sizzled to death.
In India, they throw colored powders in the air over the people as a symbolic remembrance of this demon sister Holika (Holi) and the beginning of spring.  On this day many others worship Kaamadeva, the love god. There are a few other variations and myths (and some have changed over the years): to some it was a time when the moon god was worshipped- here’s another one – Krishna wasn’t happy with his skin color so his mother told him to color his lovers skin so her complexion would change and from there, they started the color festival. Don’t ask me to explain that one, but if you want to find out more, see the links below.


photocredit- indiajoin. com


Why are we turning to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age ideas and witchcraft to find new ways to play church? 

Last year, the fad was the Harlem shake. I embarrassingly watched my children’s youth group’s you tubes as they gyrated in their underwear wearing large animal head pieces. I cringed! Then I saw pastors and churches joining in. The year before this it was the Circle maker. Why are we going to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age and witchcraft to find new ways to play church?

I wonder how many pagan practices we unknowingly have within our churches, traditions and holidays. It’s our job to stop it when it begins to sneak into our churches.  What are we teaching the next generation by doing this? The Color run sounds like a lot of fun, no doubt about that- but I ask you, as Christians and Church members- When are we finally going to put the brakes on bringing the world and pagan practices into our churches?

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turnedas worthless as a half baked cake.
Hosea 7:8

For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways; Isaiah 2: 6

Reading through Hindu sites I found mixed emotions on how they feel about us celebrating their tradition. Some are deeply offended and some are happy they can share their Hindu and Hare Krishna religion with us- yes, they see it as an open door to share their faith.

Do Something New!

God wants us to be NEW. A new Creations. He gave each one of us an amazing mind- surely we can come up with our own new ways of worship and fellowship. I am sure we can think up new creative ways of fellowship without copying pagan religions. We are not to be conformed to this world, but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind.

I just thought of something!!!!!! Joshua at Jericho and Gehazi with the Shumanite were both supposed to run/walk without a word spoken, okay maybe it’s boring – but think of how much we’d have to say when we reached the end. And how about Elijah’s supernatural run when he outran the chariots, there was a terrible storm coming. So I’m thinking everyone has to run like the wind and anyone who is slow gets soaked. Lol– but you see, you can get creative, amen?

He asks us to sing Him NEW songs. He specifically tells us in Deuteronomy 12:29-32

“When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land,  do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’  You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.

 Hear the Word of the Lord:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:1-3

“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs.Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit Zephaniah 1:8-9

 You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies Isaiah 57:8.

This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. 2 kings 17

 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 2 Kings 21 (NLT)21

  Photo credit: dw.de

This festival is also called ‘run or dye’ – yes, churches are using that slogan.  I have no comment for that- just a sigh……

Money, Money, and More Money   

One more thing that weighs heavily on my heart- the pull of money, money and more money – isn’t that what this is all about?  Are we feeding the hungry?  are we visiting the sick? are we visiting those in prison? are we clothing the naked? are we helping the widow? are we going after the lost? are we guiding the those who have backslidden? Where have our priorities gone? What example are we setting for the next generation? How much of our thoughts- and our church leadership’s time and energy is put towards  business/money and how much is put toward walking with God? It’s time for a heart check- where are my priorities? Am I really trusting in the Lord? How can I get to that place where I can walk with the Lord as Enoch did?  Would I be on the left or the right in that last day parable described in Matthew 25:34-

 “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. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me!’

 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

 Related articles:

 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

Forgiveness: make allowance for each other’s faults Colossians 3

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Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 

This song has been chasing me around all week.  Everytime someone has really got me mad or upset, suddenly this song is playing…and it’s one of those songs that stays in your head forever! It’s driving me crazy! I can’t stay mad, the song convicts me until I’ve completely forgiven the person. All my plots of sweet revenge have been smothered out.

 If we want the Lord to forgive our sins, we must forgive others:

 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.Mark 11:25

       I remember the strength of the Lord Jesus. He walked in silence as His accusers lied about him, accused Him, and said horrible things about Him. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing “. Could you have walked that walk with love?  Isaiah describes that moment:

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished Isaiah 53;7

Luke 23 records that moment: The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.  They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”  A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it  Luke 23

   I’m going to honest with you…I don’t always want to forgive. I sometimes want revenge and other times I think I just want to be mad a little bit longer and then I’ll forgive. I’ve gotten better, but I still run into situations/ people that disturb me. I’ve noticed the Lord’s blessings in my life for all the times I’ve forgiven. The Lord blesses me when I forgive and keep peace.

God Chose you to be Holy – so we need to act like it

       Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15

 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark 26:27

70 x 70
Sometimes we need forgive the same thing a million
times:
(you know when you forgive someone from your heart, and it pops back in again… we have to forgive again….oh here it comes again…. forgive again and again and again until you know you have completely forgiven that person- and it’s more than lip service – God checks your heart. You can’t sneak out of this one)

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! 
    
Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
     “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
   Jesus taught us this parable on Forgiveness: “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
  “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
      31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.  “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

   Okay TWO things in this parable are really important!

  1. We have to forgive from our heart- just saying it without a heart change is worthless
  2. This says if we don’t forgive, we aren’t forgiven. That scares me. I saw another verse that says unforgiveness can interfere with healing. We need to ask the Lord to search our hearts for unforgiveness, I may have a few things hidden in there that I’m not aware of. 😦

Revenge belongs to the Lord
Proverbs 20:22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter

Love your enemies

 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
          “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

 “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.  Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive Luke 17

Reality Check: Sometimes I have hurt others 😦 Say your Sorry!
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23

Remember what Jesus did for you

It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.Luke 24:47 

I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. 1 John 2:12

 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts 1 John 1:9

  For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. Hebrew 9: 21-23

For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:15

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases Psalm 103:3

More lessons the Lord has taught me on this: God wants us to live in unity – the Power of unity ,  Unity- can’t we all just get along? and a vision the Lord gave me as I struggled to forgive : Don’t let the sun go down on your anger and wearing the shoes of peace
 
 

 ” In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.  We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.  We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.  We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.  Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.Related articles 2 Cor 6:5-

Miracles…….Still happen today “Make known His deeds among the people” 1Chronicles 16, Psalm 105

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I thought I’d share some miracles in my life that give me hope and are constant reminders to me of God’s promises. As I recall each one, I suddenly remember another..and another and so on, I don’t know where to start……

As I was contemplating this early this morning, I remembered all the crazy things my brother has been through and miraculously survived. I thought, just for fun, I’d start with him.

About 16 years ago, my brother was in a drunk driving accident. His friend was driving drunk, ran into a tree at high-speed and everyone in the car was taken to the hospital. The police had to get the jaws of life to cut the car open to get my unconscious brother and his friends out. He wasn’t doing well, had crushed bones, something wrong with his neck, and punctured lungs. The doctors were about to begin tracheotomy surgery. I remember the family in the lobby praying as he went into surgery. About 5 minutes later, the surgeon came out and said- I don’t know what just happened, but he is completely healed. Every puncture wound was gone. It was a miracle.

He has also rolled off the back of a pickup truck while on the highway- and lived. He jumped off a three-story building – and lived (drunk, he thought it was funny), a car ran over him while riding his bike, it mangled the bike and he just limped home torn apart. He tried to surf during a hurricane,  got a concussion and doesn’t remember how he got to shore, he just thought he was dead. I’m sure there have been many other times…it’s difficult to keep up with him, in fact last week they almost had to amputate his leg because of an accident he had while he was fishing.

 Jesus is the greatest miracle! 

Miracles in my life: My daughter was born weighing only 2 pounds.  The doctor said all sorts of horrible things were going to happen- I don’t even want to remember them all, but she turned out perfectly normal.

When she turned 4, I noticed she didn’t talk to anyone outside the immediate family. No one had ever heard her speak. Some of the teachers laughed it off, some got annoyed, and others judged me as a parent. I didn’t know what to do? I received different advice from everyone. Some parents said I was too strict, others said I was too nice, others said it was nothing to worry about. Kindergarten began and I had to video record all her reading homework as well as first grade. I went to every counselor, seminar,  prayer group- you name it- I was there. I was seeking help. I found out it had a name “selective mutism” and other children have this also. Some have it into their teenage years and in an emergency, they cannot even call 911. Many therapists, doctors and counselors said the answer was medication. They wanted to put her on a lifetime sentence taking anxiety pills, but I refused to medicate my child. Then they tried to push ADD medication on her and I said –NOOOOO Way am I giving my child this brain altering drug- (plus I found that there is an interference with prayer when taking these drugs) I began to sense that this was a demonic stronghold on her?  She wanted to speak, but no words would come out. One day I had a group of women begin praying over her. The very next day we were out shopping and a little girl came up to my daughter and said hello. My daughter said hello back!  I was so happy! I saw prayer work. First grade was coming to an end and I decided to get serious in prayer and fasting. I fasted for three days and prayed earnestly. The day after my three days of prayer and fasting– we never had to deal with this again. The teacher called attendance and my daughter said “here” for the first time. I was called into the office with the counselors and doctors to see how we were going to handle 2nd grade. I said, with full assurance, we no longer have to worry about this, it is gone. They were silent..”are you sure?”, they asked. I answered. “ I am sure”. She was completely healed- after 4 years of  being completely mute, she was now speaking like any other child. Praise God.

Book Fair Miracle

I was at the school book fair volunteering for the day. The first group of children walked in and began selecting their books. I watched them as they surrounded books that filled with death, spells, promiscuity, witchcraft and demons. I watched as their fellow peers followed quickly behind to buy the “popular” books that the children surrounded. The books had vampires, spells, warlocks, murder, witches, graveyards…(click here for a sampling of what the kids practice).everything ungodly. I was very sad when I saw this. I didn’t know what to do—gripe? Say something? Tell the kids to find something else? I hung my head down and spoke to the Lord and suddenly the Holy Spirit reminded me to PRAY about it. So I prayed “Dear Lord, protect each child walking in and out of here from evil. Protect them from this evil and witchcraft. Send your angels here to keep them from going to this section, In Jesus Name, Amen” Not thinking much of it, the next class came in – same age- same grade (there were about 140 children per grade for K-8  that day) and you know what!!!!!! I was amazed! I watched that section stand empty! Not one child even walked over that way. It was as if that section wasn’t even there. I praised God for hearing me. I knew two angels were standing there protecting that area. For the rest of the day I watched the classes come in and out buying books and not one – not one person walked over to the “popular section” with the newest Potter and witchcraft books. God is good! Amen

 Fasting Miracle

I needed a confirmation on a Word I received from the Lord. I heard Him, but I asked Him for confirmation. I knew a prayer meeting was coming up that I was invited too. I fasted and prayed that the Lord would confirm His Word to me at this meeting. I fasted and prayed for a week. I went to the prayer meeting, still fasting, and a pastor came up to me. He spoke the confirming Words to me that I had prayed about. Amen again!

 Earnest Prayer Miracle

My first-born daughter born weighing 1.14 lbs had died in my arms. I was distraught and determined to find answers from the Lord. I prayed night and day 24-7 non stop for the Lord to show me where she was. I kept reminding Him of the persistant woman going to the judge in Luke 18. I knew finally the Lord would answer me, even if I had to wait a lifetime. I didn’t care. I didn’t stop. I needed an answer. On the 7th day, He answered my prayer. I have this miracle posted here…..Sarah – Lord, where did my baby go?

 My sister

My sisters and I  :)

My sisters and I 🙂

My sister was in a horrible accident on the expressway.  She was in the passenger side of a convertable sports car when it collided into the wall. Many saw my sister fly out of the car into the air. They stopped to see if she was okay, but they found her sitting in the car buckled without a scratch. The car was totaled and both were taken to the hospital. People were coming up to my sister saying “We just saw you fly over the overpass in the air” They thought she was dead. My sister didn’t remember anything, but was shortly released from hospital all in one piece, amen!

 My Niece

I was praying for my niece for years. She was learning many nonbiblical ideas in her “Christian” school from her teacher. She would argue with the family that the bible wasn’t real. The plagues of Egypt can all be explained in nature, not God.  She was taught and argued with the family on how the bible was worthless.  I began praying for her, that she would find the Lord. She ended up working in an occult shop after high school and I still continued to pray for her. She found the Lord a few years ago through a friend. She is strong in the Lord, and now she brings others to Church. She never stops talking about the Lord. She helps with the children at church, she is involved in video and is a great blessing to the Church today. I know God heard each prayer. She is now leading others to Christ. I believe she will do great things for the Lord’s kingdom.

Embarrassing:    But okay, one day I was driving quickly to work on a foggy morning. I made a quick turn and realized that there was a woman in the middle of the street and I ran right through her- or she through my car. I thought I was going to run her over, but suddenly she was on the other side of my car. Weird!

 Top of the Class

I began praying in the summer for the following school year for each child.  For my oldest, I prayed that she would be “top of the class”. I prayed this for a few months. The second month of school, my daughter comes home smiling ear to ear. She hands me a paper and the teacher had written on the very top of the paper …”top of the class”.

 My first memory of a miracle
 
This may not sound so great to some, but to me…it’s priceless. I always go back to it. I always remember it. I was in 2nd grade and selling Girl Scout cookies. Back then, you ordered and paid first then waited a few weeks for the cookies to come in.  I collected all my orders, soon the cookies came in and I delivered them all except for one. It was a box of thin mints. I kept knocking on the buyers door, but she was never home. I knocked for about 1 or 2 weeks. I starred at the box of thin mints day after day on my shelf. They were my favorite and my family had eaten every last box of cookies except for some reject box no one liked. That box sat downstairs untouched. I couldn’t take it anymore and I opened up the box of cookies my neighbor ordered. I ate one, then two, then three, and I thought- ugh, I can’t give her cookies opened – so I , a tiny 2nd grader, finished off half the box of thin mints. Gulp. Guilt set in. Now my parents really weren’t around so I tried to handle my own issues (dad in law school, mom at work full time and I took care of my brother and sister in day). A few days passed and I knew I had to fess up and knock on her door again. In my Girl Scout bag, I had her ½ box of thin mints, the reject cookie box my family didn’t like, and a full refund (in nickels and change, I had scrounged up) just in case.

I began my two block walk and I can still remember it well. I prayed to God with every step. O dear Jesus! I’m in trouble, O dear God, you need to help me! O God, please help me, O dear God, please don’t let her be mad at me, please don’t let her be mad at me.

Knock, knock, knock. I felt sick. She opens the door and without me even saying a word she says “ Oh, I’ve been waiting for you, listen I was out of town at a friends house and I tried another box of cookies that I really liked. Do you think I can exchange the thin mints I had ordered?” Yes, that was the reject box I had brought along. I honestly don’t think a word came out of my mouth. I reached in my Girl Scout bag and handed her the box of cookies she wanted. She was so happy and said “Can I give you extra money for this?” I shook my head no. “Are you sure this is okay, do I owe you anything?” I shook my head no. I couldn’t speak. She said thank you and told me how happy she was. I skipped home leaping and thanking the Lord.

Vision the Lord gave me of the heart and strongholds

I have soooo many more!  Some seem so small to share, but so precious to me. I remember all the times my little one would jump out of the crib and land on her head and it was as if an angel was there with a hand held under her head as she landed lightly. She would do flips off the couch in the air and I would see her come crashing down, but slowly, as if a hand were there protecting her. Once my sisters and I prayed that my dad would turn around from going to the casino and somehow, I blurted out in the prayer, “and have him bless us financially when he comes back.” We laughed and thought that was funny. However, within 10 minutes my dad returned, he had changed his mind. He got out his wallet and handed my sisters and I a $100 bill each. That right there is a miracle. He doesn’t do that. In fact, to explain how odd that is, he would never buy sodas because the price was “offensive” and if we wanted cheese on our burgers from McDonalds we had to bring it home and put it on our hamburger at home lol because the 10 extra cents was “offensive”. ohhh… one more. My daughter had a horrible growth on her legs and she needed surgery. It had multiplied and the children at school were making fun of her because of it. I tried all kinds of medicines and went to doctors, but now it was worse.  She needed surgery.  My mom and sister laid hands on her and prayed that the Lord would heal her. The next morning everything was gone. Every growth had fallen off her leg. It had covered her from the knee down to the feet. Not even a scar was left the next morning she woke up.

See! I keep remembering more. I need to stop more often and remember.  It is good to remember His great works and proclaim them to the assembly.

Psalms 105:1 :”O give thanks unto the Lord ; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people

1 Chronicles 16:8 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Isaiah 12:4 In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted

God is good, Amen and amen. Make known His deeds today, tell others the good things the Lord does, proclaim His Holy name.

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