Ginrich's Devotional Blog

August 29, 2019

Nightly Check-up

Filed under: confess,forgive,fruit,Holy Spirit,joy,love,peace,repent,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:24 pm

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (NIV)

We need to give ourselves a nightly check before ending the day.  We check each fruit of the Spirit to see how it grew in us during the day or how we squelched a particular fruit that day.  Did we show the fruit of forbearance (patience) In our driving or with the customer that carried on a tirade blaming us for a company police or their own indiscretion?  What about joy?  Did we go around with a joyful expression and attitude?  Self-control can be a big one.  Did we practice self-control at the “all you can eat” buffet we went to for lunch or dinner?  Each fruit is a barometer of how we are walking in the Spirit of God.  If you’re normal you will find at least one, if not more fruits lacking during the day.  That’s okay.  Confess the lack, choose to turn a different direction, ask forgiveness and forgive yourself.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you be more mindful of that (or those) particular fruit during the next day.  Fruit must be fed to grow.  This is one way of feeding the fruits within us.

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August 24, 2019

Counteract Evil with Good

Filed under: commands,cross,forgive,God,grace,Jesus,mercy,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:44 pm

Romans 12:21 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (NIV)

This verse is hard for most of us. It follows these verses in Romans 12:19-20 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  It is part of the command to forgive others in the same way God forgives us.  We like to think there are some things we don’t have to or shouldn’t have to forgive.  Many of us have had some terrible things done to us.  How can we possibly be expected to forgive the person who killed a love one or raped us or someone we love or spread terrible untruths about us or many other things.  God forgives everything we’ve done or said or thought regardless of what it was as long as we ask through His Son, Jesus, for the forgiveness.  Jesus took every kind of sin to the cross.  Our forgiving and is not so much for the one we are forgiving but for us to keep us turning bitter.  To overcome the evil we start with praying for the one who was evil toward us.  We pray God will work His mercy and grace within that person.  When I did that, I asked God to let me see that person with His eyes.  As He revealed that person to me I began to hurt for that person and my attitude in prayer became less of following a command and more of wanting God’s love to be received by that person for it hurts God for those He loves (that means everyone) to not receive His love.  Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning what the person did or said.  It is right to hate evil.  It is the perpetrator of the evil who needs forgiving along with God’s healing grace and mercy.

July 19, 2019

Sin or Sinner

Filed under: Christ,forgive,God,Jesus,love,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:36 pm

Jude 1:16 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (NIV)

Recognize these people?  Our world is full of them.  We find them in our governments, our corporations, our legal systems, our schools, our churches—everywhere.  We even find ourselves, believers in God through His Son, Jesus Christ, tempted into these characteristics.  Praise God, Jude doesn’t stop there.  He goes on to tell us who to stay away from those natural, sinful temptations. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21) Just because we do our best through the power of God’s Holy Spirit to keep those sinful characteristics out of our own lives doesn’t mean we’re better than the others. In verses 22-23 we read, Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  As we often sum up, hate the sin, not the sinner.  It is in our mixing up the sinner with the sin that is one of the things that adds to the persecution.  In hating the sinner, the love of God through us is missing.  Since God loves the sinner (and we are still sinners even though forgiven through Jesus Christ) who are we to hate someone God loves?

June 18, 2019

Confession for Forgiveness

Filed under: Bible,confess,Father,forgive,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:01 pm

1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (NIV)

Many think, once they invite Jesus into their hearts, minds and lives they no longer need to confess any more sins.  The think sins in the future are covered by their initial confession.  Looking at tis verse it is important to read the first word, “if.”  It is the sins confessed that are forgiven.  That’s why I do what I call spiritual breathing each night.  I look over my day, what I did, didn’t do, said, didn’t say and thought.  I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that didn’t bring glory and honor to God.  It takes a willingness to be totally honest with our self to admit what we did or didn’t do or say or think could qualify as a sin but, in reality, anything that doesn’t bring glory and honor to God, anything that doesn’t agree with God’s instructions on living contained in the Holy Bible, is sin.  When I first started doing this I ended with, “And God, if there’s anything I overlooked, please forgive me for it.”  As I’ve grown in my relationship with God I find Him holding me more accountable for my own actions and inactions.  Is there ever an evening when I have nothing to confess?  Absolutely not.  Will there ever be?  That will be when Jesus brings me in front of the throne of the Father.  Let us be quick to confess our own sins and equally quick to forgive others their sins.

June 17, 2019

Literal or Symbolic

Filed under: Bible,forgive,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:49 pm

Matthew 5:30 30 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.  (NIV)

A friend and I had a discussion on this verse.  Is it to be taken literally or symbolically?  My mind centered on the pronoun “it.”  Most read the pronoun referring to the right hand.  I see it referring to the word “stumble.”  It is the sin we are to throw away from us.  If our right hand, actually it is the choices we make with our mind, causes us to sin, we are to be sure our right hand, the thought in our mind that chose to carry out the sin, is cut away from us.  The parts of our body respond to the thoughts we harbor in our mind.  What the right hand does is a reflection of what we are thinking.  Literally cutting off our right hand won’t change the thoughts in our mind I see this as a symbolic statement.  It is important, as we read and meditate on the written word of God, the Holy Bible, that we listen to the spoken word of God, the Holy Spirit, and gain our understanding of the application of the words in our life for the here and now.  When we become aware of our sinning or stumbling into a temptation, let us renew our minds through confession, forgiveness and inputting both the written word of God and the spoken words of God in the here and now.

June 3, 2019

Shooting Off Our Mouth

Filed under: Christ,confess,forgive,government,Jesus,Obey,scriptures,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:52 pm

Acts 23:5 5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’” (NIV)

Romans 13:1 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (NIV)

We take great delight in criticizing our government leaders.  We even say things about them that aren’t verified by fact.  We even enjoy hearing others speaking negatively about those who are in our government.  As much as we don’t like what scripture says, as a follower of Jesus Christ we are to follow what the scripture says.  We are not to say negative or evil things about those in our government.  In the United States, we have the power to choose who is in our government.  We do this by our vote.  I’ve noticed some of the people around me who complain and have the foulest mouth about those in the government are the same people who sit at home on election days.  Instead of mouthing off at those in government, let us practice obeying another verse in the scripture.  2 Chronicles 7:1  says if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Let us stop shooting our mouth off to others and use our mouth to confess our sins along with the sins of our government and ask God for forgiveness and direction.

May 30, 2019

One Thousand Years

Filed under: forgive,God,grace,mercy,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:46 pm

2 Peter 3:8 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (NIV)

This verse is not easily understood.  We are locked into our physical time and space.  God isn’t.  God is all eternity.  One thing we can learn from this verse is what we do or say in one day, even in one moment of a day, can last and does last into eternity.  Words and actions can’t be taken back.  We all have things we regret saying or doing.  Those things can be forgiven by God when we ask.  It takes God’s grace and mercy to erase those from eternity.  God doesn’t force others to erase those things from their memories.  They can only fade as we appropriate God’s forgiveness through us on others.  Sometimes we end the day saying, “Whew.  I’m glad this day is over.”  The physical day may be over but what we said and did could last into eternity.  Let us be mindful and careful with our words and actions.

April 6, 2019

Forgiveness

Filed under: forgive,God,Lord,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:55 pm

Colossians 3:13 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)

Sometimes this can be emotionally hard to do.  We’ve all been hurt at times.  It’s hard not to want to hurt back.  It’s also hard to choose to forgive.  Forgiving means not bringing it up again or holding it against someone.  When God forgives us, He said He remembers it no longer.  We are totally forgiven and are no longer to bring it up ourselves.  In our human nature we like telling and retelling others about our hurts of the past.  When we forgive, we can no longer bring it up for telling and retelling.  We might not have trouble forgiving what we consider to be little things but when the hurt is big it is much harder to forgive.  However, God doesn’t qualify what kind or how much hurt we’ve experienced.  Neither does He limit what kind of sin we commit that He will forgive.  He forgives all and we must do the same.  Forgiving releases us from the hurt even more than it releases the one whom we forgive.  Healing from the hurt doesn’t begin to take place until forgiveness is given.  God commands us to forgive, not so much for the good of the one who hurt us for they usually have consequences and guilt from their behavior, but for our good.  Forgiveness brings us freedom in the love of God.  Unforgiveness fosters bitterness and eventually hate which will block the love of God from our hearts and lives.  Let us always choose to forgive and let God bring healing to our emotions.

March 21, 2019

Recognize Who God Is

Filed under: Christ,confess,Father,forgive,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,mercy,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

When we pray do, we spend most of our prayer time asking for things.  We want to be comfortable.  We want this or that for our convenience.  We are to pray we will continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  If we need to go through a trial to grow, praise God.  But though we do ask for things, and this is okay to do, we need to spend most of our time in praise and words of love, bring glory to God.  We tend to concentrate on the Father image, the Daddy love, of God which sometimes leads us to forgetting Who God really is.  It is only by His grace and mercy through His Son, Jesus that we can approach Him, speak to Him, ask Him and praise Him.  We really don’t have a full concept of how mighty, powerful and all-consuming God is.  Yes, He is our Father if we have come to Him through Jesus, yet, He is still God.  Let us approach Him with praises and thanks on our lips and, only after we have confessed our love for Him and confessed our sin, ask for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit for help in changing our direction in the things we con Ifess, should we turn our attention on our needs and wants.  He already knows our needs and wants but, as Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted, God wants us to voice our wants to Him.  Let us remember ACTS in our prayers.  Acknowledge and acclaim Who God is, Confess our sin, Thank Him for forgiveness and for all He has done for us, the finally Supplicate – ask for things we need and want.

March 18, 2019

Smug

Filed under: forgive,God,mercy,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:28 pm

Jonah 4:1 1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. (NIV)

I hope you will take a few minutes to refresh yourself by reading the entire short account of Jonah.  Jonah was angry with God.  Jonah, in resentful obedience to God told Nineveh they would be destroyed because of their sin, Jonah wanted to see that was done.  So often we want to see others pay for the wrong they’ve done.  Revenge feels good to our sinful existence.  We like to forget we are also sinners.  We have done thing that have hurt other people.  God has forgiven us.  We know God also forgives others but, in our sinful nature, we resent that.  It makes us feel better, in our sinful nature, to see others get what we think they should deserve.  In our spirits we know we aren’t any better than the others but we like to think we are.  Seeing other get punished makes us feel better about ourselves.  I use to be gleeful when passing someone who’s been pulled over by police.  How smug of me.  I am occasionally guilty of speeding.  Instead of feeling smug, I should be glad they were stopped before getting into an accident and say “except for the grace of God that could be me.”  Let us learn to really love our fellow sojourners on this earth and pray they will come to know the merciful forgiveness of God.

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