Loss into gain (2)

2021-04-15
Matthew 3:8 NLT

When Israel’s leaders turned to Jephthah for help, they were in distress and wanted to ‘use’ him. So Jephthah said, in essence, ‘Let’s get an understanding of the type of relationship we’re going to have.’ At that point, he negotiated with them and ended up in a top leadership spot.

When our trust has been broken, we need to forgive. By doing that, we set ourselves free. But we need to use wisdom in how to move forward. Many of us will have experienced a similar situation to Jephthah’s at school, in the workplace, or even at church; perhaps someone has rejected, ignored, or laughed at us, but if they find they need our help, they want to build a relationship based only on the benefits they can get from it.

While it’s important for us to be forgiving, compassionate, and help people who are facing difficulties, God doesn’t expect us to put ourselves in a position to be hurt again. Forgiveness should be immediate, but trust must be earned. The person who has hurt us must show the fruit of repentance – consistent behaviour that shows he or she has had a change of heart.

Jesus said, ‘Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.’ We need two things: grace and wisdom. Grace means extending to others the same forgiveness that God has extended to us. Wisdom means understanding what kind of relationship we can have with that person in the future.

Phil 1-4; Mark 2:1-12; Ps 43; Prov 10:10

Turn your loss into gain (2)


Matthew 3:8 NLT

When Israel’s leaders turned to Jephthah for help, they were in distress and wanted to “use” him. So Jephthah said, in essence, “Let’s get an understanding of the type of relationship we’re going to have.” At that point, he negotiated with them and ended up in a top leadership spot.

When your trust has been violated, you need to forgive. By doing so, you set yourself free. But you must exercise wisdom in how to move forward. God doesn’t expect you to put yourself in a position to be hurt again. Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the guy who went to the doctor with a severe burn on his right ear. He explained, “I was ironing and watching television when the phone rang, and I picked up the iron instead of the phone.” Puzzled, the doctor said, “But how did you get the burn on your left ear?” The man exclaimed, “Because he called back!”

Bottom line: when you’ve been “burned” by someone, be careful about putting yourself in a position to be burned over and over again. Forgiveness must be immediate, but trust must be earned. Your offender must show the fruit of repentance – consistent behavior that gives evidence that he or she has had a change of heart. Jesus said, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”

You need two things: grace and wisdom. Grace means extending to others the same forgiveness that God has extended to you. Wisdom means knowing what kind of relationship you can have with that person in the future.

Soul food: Phil 1-4; Mark 2:1-12; Ps 43; Prov 10:10

Loss into gain (1)

2021-04-14
Judges 11:1 NCV

Jephthah was the illegitimate son of a man called Gilead. His mother was a prostitute. He grew up in the household of Gilead’s other legitimate sons who later chased him away. ‘”You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said’ (Judges 11:2 NLT). So he ended up living in a cave.

While he was there, he took a band of misfits and rebels and developed them into a great army. When the Ammonites threatened Israel, the elders turned to him for help. ‘But Jephthah said to them: “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?” “Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead”‘ (vv.7-8 NLT).

Not only did Jephthah lead them to victory, he’s named with honour in the Bible along with people like Abraham, Moses, and David. His life is full of lessons. Here’s an important one: God can use rejection and turn it into something good. Jephthah was rejected for reasons beyond his control – he was illegitimate. But instead of growing bitter, he moved on and did something good with his life.

When we’ve been rejected for any reason, it’s natural to feel upset. But we also need to invite God into our situation and tell Him how we’re feeling, so the pain doesn’t turn to bitterness. By God’s grace Jephthah took an ugly situation and turned it into a beautiful one. And when we turn our situations over to God, the same grace is available to us, and He’ll bring beauty out of our brokenness.

Lev 26-27; Mark 1:40-45; Ps 56; Prov 10:8-9

Respond with grace

2021-04-13
2 Peter 3:18 NLT

How do we overcome past hurts in relationships? How can we combine separate and unique perspectives to create a friendship or relationship that’s compassionate and caring?

There’s a very special ingredient called ‘grace’ that must be added to the mix. It calls for extending to the other person the same grace that God extends to us. It bandages broken people and allows the defeated to develop ways to break free from their pasts. It gives strength to those who struggle. Grace restores the heart and resolves the troubles of a tormented spirit. It is loving-kindness and forgiveness. It’s the favour of God. And as He bestows it on us, we should extend it to those who need our compassion and love. We are all broken in certain areas, and we need to learn to accept that and help mend the brokenness in others.

Peter didn’t believe he was capable of denying his Lord. He swore he would never do it. But Jesus not only predicted it, He promised to pray for him until he was fully restored (take a look at Luke 22:32). And we’re called to do that too; to extend to other imperfect people the same love and grace that has been shown to us.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: ‘We must always thank God for you, brothers and sisters. This is only right, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love that every one of you has for each other is increasing’ (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV). Peter also said, ‘You must grow in…grace.’ It’s a process, so it won’t always be easy, but with God, we can work on it day by day.

Lev 23:26-25:55; Mark 1:35-39; Ps 50:16-23; Prov 10:4-7

You must respond with grace


2 Peter 3:18 NLT

How do we overcome past hurts in relationships? How do two people combine separate and unique perspectives to create a satisfying and loving relationship?

There’s a very special ingredient called “grace” that must be added to the mix. It calls for extending to the other person the same grace that God extends to you. It bandages broken people and permits the defeated to develop winning ways to escape their pasts. It gives strength to those who struggle to be functional in areas where historically they’ve been dysfunctional.

Grace restores the heart and resolves the troubles of a tormented spirit. It is loving-kindness and forgiveness. It’s the Favour of God. And as He bestows it on us, we should extend it to those who need our compassion and love. We are all broken in certain areas, and we need to learn to accept that and help mend the brokenness in others.

Peter didn’t believe he was capable of denying his Lord. He swore he would never do it. But Jesus not only predicted it, He promised to pray for him until he was fully restored (See Luke 22:32). And we are called to do that too; to extend to other imperfect people the same love and grace that has been shown to us.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV). Then Peter adds, “You must grow in…grace.” And it’s a process, so you’ve got to work at it!

Soul food: Lev 23:26-25:55; Mark 1:35-39; Ps 50:16-23; Prov 10:4-7