IT FEELS LIKE I AM ON DEATH ROW

TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 1:9

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Paul felt like he had received the death sentence for his life. How could this be? He is the great apostle who gave us most of the New Testament! Someone has said that not everyone in prison is behind bars. This is true! Family problems and financial difficulty often imprison our souls. Our bodies might be free, but our spirits are not free. Sometimes we feel like we are serving a prison term. Some of our difficulty lies in the testing of our faith.  However, it seems like most of our problems are self inflicted.   King David took full responsibility for his sins, and could say, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,”.   This feeling of being in prison is to get us to rely on God and not ourselves. Jesus came to set us free (John 8:32,36).  The real power in our lives comes from God who raises the dead. It is this resurrection power in our lives that we must discover. If God can raise the dead He can see me through my situation as I place my trust in Him. We can either trust ourselves and our power to go through life or we can begin to trust God and His resurrection power.  Memorize and meditate on the following prayer:

Jesus, be Jesus in me, No longer me, but Thee; Resurrection power, fill me this hour, Jesus, be Jesus in me.  AUTHOR UNKNOWN

SUGGESTED PRAYER:

Help me Lord!

I feel like I am trapped in prison. Lord my body is free but my soul is chained with heavy burdens.  Lord, You have all the power! Let me live in such a way that I depend not on myself but on You. Set me free so I can serve and glorify You.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I CAN’T SEEM TO FORGIVE THEM

TEXT: LUKE 23:34

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

When Jesus was crucified He said these monumental words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus uttered these words in the present tense meaning He continually said these words to His Father. The Jews and the Romans thought they knew what they were doing by killing Jesus. The religious leaders viewed Him as a religious threat, and Rome saw Him as a political threat. Both groups sinned out of ignorance and unbelief. The devil himself thought he knew what he was doing by orchestrating the death of God. The Father’s purpose was to redeem mankind through the death of His own beloved Son. There was a bigger purposed involved at Calvary that only the Godhead  knew about. No one really understood what was taking place till three days later when Jesus arose from the grave. As we reflect on those who have harmed us, we too need to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We should also recognize that God has a purpose in these hurts that we have experienced. We might not know the purpose of the hurt immediately but one day we will understand. Job never understood why he suffered on earth, and when he arrived at heaven’s shore it really did not matter because all of his pain and suffering were over as he beheld the glorious Son of God.  So the next time someone hurts you or trespasses against you take the higher ground and forgive them. Forgive them because it will help you in your relationship with God and it will help you see the great freedom is not being bound by roots of bitterness. If we do not forgive our relationship with God will be hindered. The people who hurt us  are living their everyday lives, and yet we are allowing them to have unwarranted power over our lives.  Who has hurt you?  Choose to forgive!

SUGGESTED PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,

I ask that You forgive those who have hurt me. These people sinned against me out of ignorance and unbelief. I trust that Your will be done through these hurts. Please bless those who have hurt me and my family. In our Savior’s Name. Amen