And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

 

free

My mother would quote this scripture when I was a child and she thought I, my brother or someone else was lying about something like when someone broken something or maybe got into some candy without permission or whatever other mischief kids are prone to get into. She would start out asking us as a group, then as individuals. She would usually quote John 8:32. Eventually someone would confess or tattle on the guilty party at risk of getting into further trouble. And, because of when she used it, I often thought back then that it was essentially a scripture for use with guilty parties to “force” a confession so they would have less punishment and, to an extent, that is true. BUT, the truth that sets us free is the truth of Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was resurrected. Defeating death and earning us forgiveness and salvation that we don’t deserve. AND….we escape all punishment for our sins.

But, I also realize that like many scriptures there is more than a simple meaning to it. Yes, there is always a simple understanding of the scripture, but there is often a deeper, more profound, meaning to many verses and passages. Now I have come to realize that the truth of Christ is not the only truth to set one free. Sometimes in life a person is accused of some sort of wrong doing but the truth comes out, the falsely accused will be found innocent. Such a situation occurred at work not too long ago, one nurse accused another of not doing some things at work she was supposed to do, and also claimed the accused nurse did some things she didn’t do, issues with patient treatment that came up after the patient complained that something was done wrong. Well, nurse A accused nurse B, because nurse C made statements to the effect that nurse B did not splint a patient as they were told, and that they gave them a wrong medication. Confusing? Hang on, because it gets worse.  But anyway, one nurse accused another because of what a third nurse told them because of what yet another nurse said that they heard. Well, it was a few days after the fact before it was reported and the supervisor started to investigate the situation. At first, the nurse that was accused by another nurse that was not even working the day it supposedly happened but said “she was told” that the nurse didn’t know what she was doing, splinted the patient wrong and then did not check the medication that she gave the patient. Well, she didn’t say who told her but did admit it was what she heard but did not know for certain. Well, the accused nurse was on duty the day in question, but after reviewing all the information she was not the nurse that was taking care of the patient involved and after they determined what nurse was actually taking care of the patient they talked with her and she initially denied, but then later admitted that she did not know how to apply the splint she was supposed to put on the patient. Now, she could have asked and someone would have helped her or done the splint for her. In addition to that, she said that she was stressed because of the splint and “may have grabbed the wrong pill bottle.” Well, as it was she only gave a lower dose of the prescribed medication but not a wrong medication. Still, too low of a dose and the patient did not get the pain relief they should have gotten. There was a lot of conjecture about who told nurse A about what happened and most seemed to believe that the nurse that actually started the rumor and almost got the initially accused nurse into a lot of trouble was likely the one to start it. All done by a different nurse to try to keep herself out of trouble.

A few lessons in this case, if one doesn’t know something they should ask for help; if one does something wrong then admit it. Because as it stands, the truly guilty nurse had more problems after all this than if she had fessed up in the beginning. Nurse B who was falsely accused and had to deal with a lot of the fall out was in the end, exonerated. Although, put through a lot of stress unfairly, because of the unsubstantiated allegations that were made and some “judgement” of being guilty until proven innocent was applied. All in all, it was a mess for a while. Because someone would not admit to a mistake and because of the effect of the rumor mill.

BUT, the truth, when it finally came out, did make nurse B free. Not the freedom from sin and eternal damnation from which they who believe In Christ receive but freedom from the repercussions of someone else’s wrong act.

Well, thinking about the times my mom would quote John 8:32 she would often also quote:

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

She would try to get someone to confess and if the guilty party did confess they would probably get a lecture about being more careful, but if they did not admit to whatever had happened she warned she would find out and the punishment would be more severe. Well, the same thing applied to the nurse that initially messed up. She apparently tried to cover up her wrong doing by causing scrutiny of an innocent person.

As I think about this situation, there are a lot of lessons to be learned, on a day to day, real life situation it is better to admit shortcomings than to try and cover them up. It also reminds me that if one sins and does not confess to Christ that they are a sinner and ask for God’s forgiveness, they will have a price to pay for their sins. BUT, the truth and glory of God’s mercy and grace is that He sent His Son, Jesus, to stand in the gap for us, to take our sins upon Himself and obtain forgiveness for us.

 

Lord, I pray that I remember the truth of Christ and His sacrifice for me. That my forgiveness is not earned by me, but bought by Christ, the true Son of God. I ask in Jesus Name that You help me avoid sin and to live as You wish so that I can be an example of Christ on earth. I ask that You forgive me of any sins and that You help me see the truth in all situations before I subject someone to unfair scrutiny and false accusations. Teach me to not judge others and to not gossip and cause others to suffer needlessly. Draw us all closer to You and teach us all to be the Christians You wish us to be.

Amen

 

I hope all are ready for a great weekend, that you are blessed and also that you have a chance to be a blessing to someone else.

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He forgives!

 

forgive

Well, it may seem weird, but bear with me. I was flipping channels and came across the movie Tombstone. It’s several years old, about, surprise, surprise, Wyatt Earp and his time in Tombstone, AZ. It was a dramatized, historical telling of the events. We all know that Hollywood takes some liberties with the facts, but the big points about things were pretty accurate. But, one of the scenes I can’t say is, or is not, based on fact or just Hollywood’s way of telling about a relationship that Wyatt Earp had with a woman. But, in one scene there has been some gunfights with an outlaw gang and the woman he was in love with was on a stage coach that was robbed and a friend of hers was killed, shortly after that the stage coach stopped to water the horses at a ranch where Wyatt and his friends were staying. He saw her and went out to talk and he said, “I’m sorry about your friend. I…..” as he started to try to come up with an excuse or reason but she interrupted him and said, “I forgave you as soon as you said it.” Now, that got me to thinking how God forgives us instantly, just like that, as soon as we say we are sinners and ask for His forgiveness, He gives it to us. We don’t need to explain or rationalize; we are just forgiven. In addition to that, we are given salvation, redeemed of all our sins, and granted life eternal through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

As a human, it is sometimes not easy to forgive that quickly, the human in us likes to hang on to the slights and hurts for a while before we forgive. The human in us wants to hold a grudge, at least for a while, to somehow make others pay for the wrongs they did us when they apologize. That is not what Jesus would do, or wants us to do. He wants us to be like Him and forgive, instantly and unconditionally. I wish I could say I have always been exactly how He wanted to me in that regard (and in other ways as well) but I am human and because of that, I have in the past, held onto the hurt caused by whatever action and not forgiven immediately, fully and unconditionally. I am much better than I was in that regard because I have learned that the feelings that keep me from forgiving unconditionally hurt me more than anyone. Those feelings interfere with my walk with Christ. So, I do better than I once did.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

All that being said, I hope anyone out there that may have done me wrong, before you say it, or if you never say it, I forgive you. I pray that any that feel that I did them wrong, forgive me as well.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  Mark 11:25

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness You give so quickly, even though I don’t deserve it. I thank Christ for His sacrifice that made it all possible. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better learn how to forgive as You forgive, immediately and completely. I thank You for helping me be better at it and helping me understand the benefit it gives me to forgive as You instruct us. I also ask that You help others understand forgiveness as well and that You help them forgive as You do. I pray that You draw loved ones to You and help us all learn to serve You better and to be more like You.

Amen

Thank you all for your time. I hope all are blessed somehow today and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else too.

The after Christmas returns.

la-fi-holiday-returns-20151225

 

Christmas is over and all the retailers are preparing for the rush of people returning gifts they received. Maybe the gifts were the wrong size or color; perhaps someone received gifts from different people that are the same or they started using the gift and found out that it was defective somehow; maybe the recipient just did not like the gift, there are many reasons a person may want to return something to the store to exchange it. The good thing about this time of year is that most retailers are more willing to accept exchanges with less fuss, without the receipts and work with people to make the process less of a hassle.

God lets us exchange without hesitation, but not only after Christmas. He allows us to exchange anytime. We can exchange our anger and sorrow for joy, our hate for love, our confusion for clarity and understanding. As it says in the song I have been hearing on the radio and He  “take all that is wrong and make it right.” All we need to do is listen to Him and let Him have His will in our lives. Just follow where we know He is leading us.

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.  Job 22:23

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.  Lamentations 3:40

Yeah, the Lord takes returns and He does so gladly. He takes us with all our faults and sins, no matter how we have used and abused our souls. He takes the damaged and defective creatures and makes us new and perfect, that is a better exchange program than any store.

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.  1 Peter 2:25

Just as in the parable of the prodigal son, the son is not only allowed to return but is welcomed back by his father with rejoicing, open arms and without judgement or criticism, without saying “I told you so.” That is how God does when we return to the life He wants for us and turn away from sin. He accepts us; He’s glad that we are back; and He doesn’t try to tell us He told us so. He rejoices that we did return. That’s how I aspire to be, I hope I prove myself worthy.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  Luke 15:20

 

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Luke 15:22-24

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.  Luke 15:32

Yes, I hope to be as the father here, as God our Father, and rejoice when a lost one returns. No other thoughts than how important it is to rejoice.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34

 

Lord, I praise You for welcoming me back when I had strayed from You. Thank You for accepting me and not dwelling on my mistakes. Thank You for the mercy and grace You showed. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn from You and from Christ’s words about the prodigal son whose return was met with only rejoicing and no other thoughts or concerns. That when I see other’s return to You, and Your will for them, that I not say or think about anything but rejoicing on their return. That all I think, say or do, be a reflection of the joy You feel and the way You respond when one returns to You. I ask that You draw us all to You so we may all know the perfect love and forgiveness You give and that we all know that it was paid for through the sacrifice of Your son, Jesus, when He died on the cross.

Amen

 

I hope all are enjoying the last of this current year and are blessed throughout the rest of this year and all of next year. Remember to try to be a blessing to someone as you go through your days.