When God Forgives But You Can’t Forgive Yourself

What sin can’t God forgive? In truth, He can do anything. He’s God. If you come to Him in repentance, He loves you and will take those sins away. Just as the prophet Isaiah says, the Lord will forgive and blot out your sins and he will remember the no more. You must give Him the chance to do it though.

The problem is that we often don’t forgive ourselves. We keep harboring those memories of sin and pain and the wrong that we have done even after God has blotted them out. Not to add more guilt to you, but you are in essence fighting against God at that point. He has forgotten your sin but you keep bringing them up.

Much like a nail in a board, the nail gets removed but the hole still remains. That’s the way our sin is. The sin is forgiven but there’s always some consequence of it even if that consequence is strictly your own guilt. With time, the Holy Spirit helps to fill in that hole.

So what if family or friends or others don’t let you forget about that sin? What if they don’t forgive you?

If they are Christians, they are commanded to forgive. Otherwise, they had better never pray the Lord‘s prayer again. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew 6:12.

Have you forgiven others? Have you held your forgiveness from anyone?

The Bible says that the devil is the accuser. If you have anyone, maybe in your own family or even fellow Christians, that accuse you and do not forgive you of your past sins, then that is by definition the work of the devil.

The point is that if you have repented and truly tried to change you mind and direction, then they must show forgiveness. They must show love. Just as the gospels say, how often should I forgive my brother? Perhaps seven times?

Jesus said don’t forgive just seven times, but 70 times 7. That doesn’t mean just 490 times, that is actually to stand for a number perfectly perfect, eternal.

We have been forgiven for so much more than what we could ever think of. We’ve been forgiven of the sins that we’ve asked forgiveness for, sins we’ve forgotten about, and even sins we didn’t know were sins.

Jesus paid it all on the cross. If we love Him and accept His sacrifice, we are forgiven. The Bible says peace comes from the Lord. Now you must allow yourself to experience that peace.

Know that Christ has forgiven you and let other know that too. We all need to hear it more often.

Start living for Him the best you can. Know that you are made righteous by God through Jesus Christ. You are forgiven, now forgive yourself. Go and do better knowing that you are fully loved and fully accepted by God.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Whosoever

For years I felt disconnected from the Bible, as if it was good, but just didn’t speak to me personally. Sure, I believed in God, but I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. I didn’t get much out of church (if and when I actually went) and I just felt like I had more important things to do in my life.

Then, God pointed out to me the word “whosoever” in the Bible.

You’ll find the word whosoever used many times in the Bible. That word means everyone and includes you and I. Do yourself a huge favor. Cross out that word in your Bible and write your own name above it. When you do that, the Bible takes on a whole new meaning.

Salvation is for the many, but first it’s for the one. Being saved is personal. It’s for you and for us all.

“Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) See that whosoever there? Put your name there. [Your Name] calls upon the name of the Lord [and] shall be saved.” That’s right, you can be saved from all of your sin and all the bad things in your life.

Try some other places now. For instance, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15) If you personally confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself will live in you and you I’m God. That statement is so fantastic just to think about God being with you constantly. The God who created all things loving you and empowering you to do wonderful works. His life force is for you and for your benefit if you simply call to Him and follow His Son Jesus.

Warning: This is only for people who really want peace and desire to do better in their lives. You see, that word whosoever is also placed as a reminder to stay on the right path. Just as in John 8:34, when Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.”

Is that you? Are you on that side of the whosoever? You don’t have to be.

You can be free of those sins. You can break the chains of that sin through the cross of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be weighted down by the pain and guilt of sin any longer.

You can be a part of one of the most famous ‘whosoever’ in the Bible. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus paid the price in His own blood upon the cross. He paid the penalty for sin so you and I don’t have to. Believe in the Son of God and you shall be saved. Accept His payment for your sin and be free. Turn away from your old life; be loosed from it. Then you will find peace and blessing like you’ve never known before.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” – Luke 9:24

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Cast Off Your Hand

“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” – Matthew 5:30

Temptations abound in this world. You can’t turn on the tv or even drive down the road without being bombarded by beckoning sin. Even the smart phones we hold in our hands create an open doorway for all kinds of evils. What is a good person to do?

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said that if your eye or your hand causes you to stumble, it would be better for you to pluck the eye out or cut off your hand and cast them away rather than to have your souls to end up in Hell.

What Jesus is saying there is not about hurting yourself, it’s about being willing to do whatever it takes to keep your eyes and your mind on Heaven. Aim for your righteousness and it will help yourself and others.

I do say “yourself and others” because you have more power and affect on other people than you realize. There is truly no such thing as a personal sin. Sin hurts and people who think much of you will follow your lead. You will take many souls with you wherever you go, either to eternal peace in Heaven or to eternal death.

Jesus mentioned the right hand for a reason. It is an example of your strong side. For most people, you get the greatest benefit from using your strong hand. That being said, even if something is benefitting you, it may also be what is doing the most damage to you in the long run.

There are many things in this world that are OK to do, but are they leading you somewhere good? Has the Holy Spirit been knocking on your door recently about something? Do you pray? Do you spend time in the scriptures? Do you use your tone wisely to help others?

I like to fish and I enjoy watching TV now and then. A few little relaxing pursuits are OK, but not when they consume my time. Even OK things, lawful things that benefit us, can get in the way of our eternal salvation. Moderation is key in many cases, but some things, even small seemingly insignificant things can take you away from the life God has called you too.

Jesus Christ suffered and died so that you can be free from sin. All of those bad things you’ve done are gone when you accept His payment on the cross. He died and rose again to give you an abundant life not only in Heaven for eternity, but here on Earth as well.

Use your abundance, whether it is food or money or strength or whatever, to help other people. Don’t use your time and earthly pursuits to chase sin. And make no mistake about it, if you are not actively chasing Heaven, you are slipping back down farther towards hell.

Jesus said there are only two roads. There is a wide one with a large gate that’s pointed in the wrong direction. Many people are on that road, heading for destruction. However, there is another road, a straight and narrow path that leads to an eternity of love and peace. Few find that road.

Which one are you on right now?

Once again, I’m not telling you to ACTUALLY cut off your hand. Please don’t! But I am telling you that we must be ready and willing to cut things out of our lives to gain God’s kingdom and blessings. Even if those things in our lives are OK and lawful, maybe they even benefit us sometimes, but if they harm us and cause others to stumble, then those things must be done away with in our lives.

If you do this, God has promised blessings and peace for now and forever. So stay on that straight and narrow path. It’s worth it.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9

God’s blessings to you.

DH

This Guy is a Complete Tool

I remember a friend of mine worked at a video store (for you youngsters in the crowd, we had VHS tapes that you could rent back in the days before the internet was really a thing). I had browsed and found a couple of movies to rent. When I went to check out, it turns out that my friend had wrote something into the comments section of my rental file. Specifically, he wrote, “This guy is a complete tool.” To which, when the lady at the counter read this, she chuckled almost uncontrollably. We talked about it and had a good laugh together.

Fast forward a couple of decades later to my dad’s funeral. I had just finished delivering the final benediction at the gravesite and we were all leaving. One of the funeral directors looked at me and said, “You are a really good preacher.” To which I replied, “Thanks. I’m just grateful to be a tool for the Master to use.” This just came out of my mouth, not for some false humility, but I was honestly happy to be there in that capacity that day. I was sad for my dad’s death, but honored to preach God’s Word at such an important time in my family’s lives.

I look back and realize what was being said in both instances. In one sense of the word ‘tool’, I was being called something derogatory and not worthy of any recognition. In the second use of the word, there was a recognition, but it was being passed from myself to the one who was using the tool. In one sense it was a negative, in the other sense it was a positive. What changed was who used the tool and what the tool was being used for.

You and I are both a certain type of tool. We may not be used in the same ways and at the same times, but we are all going to be used for a purpose. The difference is who is using us. We can either use ourselves for the wrong purposes or we can let go and allow God to use us to create something wonderful.

I have a toolbox with hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. Why do I need all of those? I need the right tool for the right job. A hammer shouldn’t be used to turn a bolt or you will quickly end up with something ruined. Just like that tool scenario, your experiences and talents enable you to handle certain situations better than other people.

In short, nothing you’ve been through in your life will be for nothing. All of the experiences have made you into what you are today. The good and the bad that you’ve gone through over the years will be used for God’s glory, if you just make yourself available for Him to use.

I have an old hammer that belonged to my grandad. It’s been plenty used and It’s worth noting that the head had come loose years ago. The wooden handle broke a bit, but my dad was able to fix it well. Now, I use it and like using it because it is still just as solid and trustworthy as when it was first made.

Was that hammer broken, yes, but that wasn’t the end of the story. The owner fixed it. It was better than ever and became the centerpiece of his toolbox.

You and I may be a bit broken from the trials of life, but are you ready to heal? God is ready to make that happen. You’re worth it to Him. The Bible says that you are God’s masterpiece. You are very special to Him. He loves you and wants to help you experience your best.

You are useful and this world needs you. However, you need to be made available for God to use. Our sin will keep us from our calling, but through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are released from our sin. His blood on the cross frees us and makes us capable to do great and wonderful things for Him and our fellow people.

When we accept Jesus Christ, we are healed of our brokenness. You have talents and skills that can be used to help so many people in this world. The difference happens when you let go and you put yourself into God’s hands. Don’t be afraid of being a tool for Him to use. Who better than the Master Craftsman to know how best to utilize you and to take care of you?

Yes, I am a complete tool. Proud of it in fact. We are all tools. So what will you be used for?

God’s blessings to you.

DH

The Reason for the Season

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

When the world needed peace, Jesus Christ was born. At a time when things didn’t seem that they could get any worse, Jesus arrived. When people were scared, angry, self-absorbed, and looking to the wrong things to bring themselves happiness, God arrived on Earth.

By all rights, this description sounds a lot like 2020. Wars and rumors of wars, protests and infighting at every level, and a pandemic that has affected the world. Nothing about this year was easy or occurred by any of our supposed plans.

We need peace, we need complete love, and we need hope for the future. In short, we need Jesus. Now more than ever, we need The Savior. We need Jesus Christ for n our lives and in our hearts. He is the only way to where we need to be.

Whether you believe in Him or not, Jesus Christ has changed the world forever. Our common year is based off of the life of Jesus Christ. Even if some people changed the acronym, it’s still before Christ’s birth and after. Phrases we use every day, such as “Go the extra mile,” “blind leading the blind,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” or “straight and narrow” are all words straight from Christ’s mouth. This whole time of year especially is because of Jesus. You can say happy holidays all you want, but the truth of the matter is that Christ is the reason for the season.

Even in places that are cynical of Christian values, I have heard Christmas music playing. Take the time to listen to those songs. Those are songs of praise and worship and they are being played all over the place and even all over the world this time of year.

To paraphrase the book of Acts, if this whole Jesus thing was just of men, it would turn to nothing. However, if this really is of God, there’s nothing in this world that can stop it. It’s been over two thousand years since the birth of Jesus and there is no silencing the believer, no matter what heretical laws are passed and no matter how politically correct this country becomes.

Why is that? Because the person who has been forgiven of much shows the most love for the Lord. I have been forgiven of many wrongs in my life and, if by chance I am ever rendered mute, my actions and my very soul would still sing out in praise of the God Most High.

That’s why there was a bright and shining star that showed the way to Christ’s crib that fateful night. Even the universe showed praise to the Creator with a glow that could never be equaled. That shining star stood for peace and hope to the ones in need of a savior. It also stood as a warning light to those who thought they were doing fine by their own ways. It was a green light to love and a red light to evil.

So please remember this time of year, Christmas time. Praise Jesus for His wonderful life and His death upon the cross for our sins. A believer’s future is sealed by complete and boundless love and it all started because a star was born and His name is Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and God’s blessings to you.

DH

You Are The Key

“I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” – Revelation 1:18 NLT

Aren’t keys funny little things? They are small jagged pieces of metal, but when they are used for their maker’s purpose, there’s nothing else that would do the trick. If the key was rounded or smooth, it would be useless and wouldn’t work where it was needed.

My family would tell you that I can be a little rough around the edges. I am far from perfect, but I am just as useful to God when I allow myself to be fully utilized by Him. Even a broken paintbrush could be used to make a beautiful painting in a master’s hands. The brush just has to be available. Unfortunately, I allow my brokenness to take me out of commission now and then through sin. When I engage in the bad things, I don’t allow myself to be used for good.

God wants us to be instruments of good here on earth. He wants the best out of us because in His eyes, we are worth it. We are His children, and even when we are not exactly at our best, He still looks at us and says, “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” How can God say that, especially about people who are inherently broken? The reason is because God doesn’t just see us how we are at this moment; He sees us from a forever type of viewpoint. He sees what we are to become rather than the mess that we act like sometimes.

There’s a reason why we go through our trials. We can’t just be born and just stay there. Our lives were meant to be lived. God wants us to get out there into the world and to grow into the people He created us to be. Make no mistake, this is a fallen world that’s full of evils. We aren’t to partake in those evils, but God knows we will occasionally screw up. It’s going to happen. We make some bad choices now and again, but the Bible says that God will use all things for the good of those who love Him. That means just what it says, ALL things.

Take King David for example. He’s not exactly portrayed in the best light, but it’s real. The Bible shows David’s good sides and bad sides. Lust, jealousy, and murderous intent does not sound like someone who would be called “a man after God’s own heart,” but he is that man. It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters. That doesn’t mean that you can just plan to live like you are straight from hell right now and expect to get into Heaven later. You can indeed be forgiven for a life not-to-well-lived, but that is only if you truly want the forgiveness. God knows what is in your heart. It doesn’t mean that He is happy with your actions right now, but it does mean that He will look beyond the ‘now you’ and see the ‘forever you’.

You are shaped by your experiences and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Nothing is for nothing. You will be pressured and cut down by this world, but God allows it. He’s not OK with evil, but He will occasionally allow it to occur in order to bring about a greater good from it. Look at the cross. It was an extreme form of punishment that was reserved for the worst of the worst criminals, and yet we find our Lord Jesus right there. We read in 2 Corinthians that even though Jesus did not sin, He was made to be sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. Through evil, the greatest good, our salvation, came from it.

You may have a hard time at life and feel like you get cut down by everything in this world, but Jesus tells us to take heart, for He has overcome the world. God did not just entrust us with the keys to His kingdom, we actually become the keys when we become more like Christ.

Keys symbolize such things as security and freedom, but a key won’t work until it is cut and shaped into its final form. Allow God to form us into what He needs us to become. Embrace the struggle and let the Holy Spirit chip away at your rough edges. Don’t get down on yourself when you make a bad choice, just learn from it and rise above it.

You may feel rough and unusable, but just like a key, you are shaped exactly the way God needs you to be. Leave yourself open and available to God’s good will. When you do that, I believe and declare that He will show you some amazing things that He has in store for your life and the lives of others.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Faith Healers

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

I have a relative way back, I think my mom’s uncle, who was a bona fide faith healer. Some of the stories of how he mended bones and manifested great miracles blows my mind. He wasn’t the only one in my lineage that was strong in the Lord, but he really stands out. The unfortunate part is that I don’t even know his name. I can’t even pass along a name to my kids when they ask about him. It’s sad that so much faith and power and circumstance that went into this man’s life, and we don’t even remember his name.

That being said, a man like that with that much faith wouldn’t be interested in us knowing his name as much as he’d want us to know Jesus’s name. Any person who walks with God daily truly knows that it is God’s power that makes all the difference. Much like the moon reflecting the sun’s light, the best we can do is simply reflect as much of Jesus to this world as we can.

The Apostle Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” How many of us can truly say that? Are you living for Jesus? Do you do everything not for the here and now, but for the joy that awaits you in Heaven? It hurts me to say that even I have days where I’m being selfish and do things that help nobody but me. Granted, you need to keep yourself healthy and safe, or else you can’t help others. But to who’s comfort do you seek, others’ or your own? A great person is not made through selfishness, but through sacrifice for others. You can amass wealth and fame and have it all, but it’s all for nothing if you lose your soul to get it.

The memory of my mom’s uncle and so many like him live on in our minds and hearts because of their close connection to Jesus. It’s about what they gave and not what they took from this world. And although this generation forgot much about them, we are stronger in the Lord because of people like him and that’s what really matters. Will the next generation say the same about you? If not, now is your season and time for change.

God’s blessings to you.

DH