Day 5: Who’s really out to get you?

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Does it ever feel like the whole world is out to get you? 

While that feeling is real, it’s probably not true. Not everyone is out to get us. It’s more likely that one person is out to get us, and his name is Satan.

Satan is our real enemy, and he will exploit any hostility he finds to shift our focus away from God. If we get in a dispute with a neighbor, his is the voice telling us that everyone knows and they’re all on the neighbor’s side. Soon, we’re convinced the whole neighborhood is against us.

Bitterness builds resentment and makes it harder and harder to hear from God. This is why forgiveness is such a powerful weapon against our enemy. Where the enemy tells us to watch our backs and defend ourselves, God says, “That’s my job. You get to forgive. Leave everything else to me.”

Imagine that for a second. No more looking over our shoulders or plotting how we’ll get back at everyone. Instead of waking up exhausted, we can finally rest our mind and enjoy the day.

Bitterness never hurts the person we’re mad at. In fact, the person most affected by our bitterness is probably us. Allow forgiveness to set you free.


Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 6: What do I do when someone hurts me?

Read: Luke 6:27-36

Even Christians can experience rage. Your body shakes. The heat rises to your cheeks. Your mind can’t comprehend how someone could mistreat someone so badly. You’re seething as you think, “How could they?”

A reality of being a human on planet Earth is that someone, someday, in some way will hurt you. When that happens, what should our response be?

Jesus gives us an answer in Luke 6:27-36. Love people, even when they are not lovable, even when you don’t want to. Give grace, be merciful.

No one knows more about loving people who don’t deserve it than Jesus. No one else can sympathize with you more than Jesus. He was hurt, made fun of, and talked about. Yet, He was willing to die for those who hurt him.

Our goal as Christians is to mirror what Jesus’ response was. Jesus knows all the unlovable people in your life, and He can equip you to love them the way He does.

The best way to begin changing our hearts toward someone is to pray for them (Luke 6:28). Be honest with God about your frustrations. Talk to Him about how hard it is to love that person, and see how God starts to transform your heart and mind.

It’s easy to respond to pain with pain. But only love will lead to healing. The more we love those who hurt us, the more our hearts are opened to letting Jesus heal our pain. Jesus is able to understand your pain, turn your heart toward forgiveness, and help you love. That’s what the grace of Jesus does.

Loving your enemies won’t be easy. It takes an effort to offer mercy as Jesus did, but He promises the reward is worth the work (Luke 6:35). If we will try to forgive and love, we will start to see our hearts soften. Give your hurt to Jesus day after day, and watch how He grows your heart.

Reflect:

  • Is there anyone in your life you need to forgive?
  • Do you need help loving a specific person? Ask God for help and how He would have you respond to that person. 

Article courtesy of NewSpring

Keep Battling What Beats You

Humble yourself, get past your pride.

There are places we are vulnerable to peer pressure and signature sins. It’s only when we let God transform those innermost places that we can be defeat what beats us.

A temporary “feel good” fix (like alcoholism, addiction, drugs, pornography, etc…) only starts to make us loathe who we are. Beyond getting over our pride, we have to keep battling what breaks and beats us. This is only done by letting God battle with us.

How Do We Forgive the Unforgivable?

When Jesus taught us to pray, we are to forgive OTHERS as He forgives us. So Jesus immediately recognized that we need to forgive others.

We have to practice forgiving other people. When we forgive others, we release them from our own bitterness, not God’s accountability.

If we don’t release bitterness, it could destroy our lives. As difficult it is for us to forgive others, to that degree we learn what it cost God to forgive us.

Letting Go of Bitterness

We live in a fallen world where people hurt each other, and we’ve all been wounded. Sometimes the more you open your heart, and the closer the relationship, the deeper the pain. If you have pain from your past that you’re clinging to, follow the example of Jesus. Of His 12 disciples, one betrayed Him, one denied Him, and they all abandoned Him in His hour of greatest need. Jesus chose to forgive them – and forgive us – and sacrifice His life to restore us all to our Heavenly Father.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:31-32

Receiving God’s Forgiveness

Sometimes what holds us back from the better life God has for us is that we’re unwilling to receive His forgiveness. It’s true that none of us deserve it. All fall short of the glory of God.  But Jesus died on the cross to cover our sins and give us the gift of salvation. We simply have to accept this life-changing gift!

Davey Blackburn: One Year Past Tragedy

Davey has walked through some profoundly dark days of grief as a pastor, widower, and single parent. Now a year later, his perspective has shifted, and he is hopeful for his present and trusts God for his future. He challenges us to walk differently through tragedy and to minister to others amidst their suffering. Today, Davey chooses to walk through tragedy with triumph.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

– Psalm 23:6

 

Davey Blackburn: God Amidst Tragedy

No one is immune to tragedy and sorrow in our sin-fallen world. In this video, Resonate Church Pastor Davey Blackburn shares his personal story of heartbreak and loss. After his pregnant wife was shot, he was determined God was about to perform a miracle – and instead, he tragically lost his wife and unborn child to a senseless act of violence. Rather than angrily turning away from God, Davey grew closer and more dependent on the Lord as He allowed Jesus to shepherd him through his grief.

Fair Fight

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13

Love Redefines How You Fight

5 Fair Fight Lessons from Love:

1) “Love cares more for others than for self”  (Sponge)
Love absorbs annoyance.

2) “Love doesn’t fly off the handle”  (Frying Pan)
Love lets things roll off your back.

3) “Love doesn’t keep score of wrongs”  (Wastebasket)
Love trashes the list.

4) “Love isn’t always me first”  (Hammer & Nail)
Love hears before it’s heard.

5) “Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have” (Measuring Cup)
Love is content (or discontent will undo you).

Get Wisdom

  • Wisdom is the God-given ability to see life with rare ____________
    and to handle life with rare ______________.
  • Wisdom in parenting is ________________   _________________.
  • The Beginning:  ________________ is the beginning of wisdom.

(Proverbs 9:10)

The 3 Irreducible Boundaries:

  1. R___________________________
  2. S______ – ________________
  3. F______________________

The Culture

Main Thought:

Where there is no F________, the People P__________
(Matthew 7:15-27, page 972)

3 Practices:

•    B________ a Filter for W__________

•    B___ a Filter for R_______________

•    B______ a Filter for I____________ *

Q:  Which of the 3 practices need more practice?

The Freedom

One Life Principle:

There is NO Freedom without Boundaries

  • Earthly Anchors (…of boundary setting)
  • Eternal Anchors (…of boundary living, Jonah)

~ Book of Jonah, page 925

Q:  Is it time for you to ‘get right’ with God?

“Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.  Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”   ~ Jonah 3:8-9

The Tension

3 Huge Decisions – to manage, not remove:

• Loving without E_______________
(John 3:16-18, page 1065)

• S___________ without S______________
(James 4:1-3, page 1218)

• E______ without H______
(Proverbs 12:24, 24:30-34, page 640, 653)

Q:  Which of the 3 tensions most needs your attention?