forgiven much

Day 33: Those Who Are Forgiven Much, Love Much

Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of a sinful woman who comes to Jesus at a Pharisees home and begins to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, and anoint them with oil. The Pharisee judges both the woman and Jesus in his heart. He’s certain if Jesus were really a prophet he’d know this woman was sinful and wouldn’t let her near him.

Jesus, perceiving Simon the Pharisee’s thoughts, shares a parable about two debtors that illustrates how those who are forgiven much, love much. While we don’t want to sin judy so we can be forgiven more and love more, there is a way for any one of us to truly comprehend our own need for forgiveness and increase our love for God and other people — even our enemies.

In this video I share my experience with this principle and how I have applied it in my life. I hope you find it insightful.

I highly recommend Dr. John Demartini’s book, The Breakthrough Experience. It will transform your life, help you forgive, release judgement and increase your love for yourself and others. Most of all it will help you trust God’s divine plan for your life no matter what has happened or is happening.

 

 

Day 6: The Worth of Souls Is Great In the Sight of God

Have you ever heard someone say, “That person isn’t worth my time?” Or maybe you’ve heard people speak derogatorily about people of a certain belief system, lifestyle, race or ethnicity. Our world is a world of labels. For some reason we feel compelled to lump people into groups or categories and assume everyone within those groups may be judged as a herd instead of as individuals. Jesus had a different view about the worth of souls.

In this segment of the Light the World: Build the Kingdom 90-Day Challenge I talk about how Jesus Christ treated people and how we can follow His example. His life, death and resurrection can teach us much about how to view and interact with people we don’t agree with or who we might perceive as our enemies.

Make the impact you’re here to make! Find out how… get your copy of Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift the Planet on Amazon.

Get Your Gift Copy of Lord, Are You Sure?

One of the hardest things for a Christian to understand is what God is up to in his/her life. We go through spiritual highs and lows, have challenges and afflictions, suffer and sometimes succumb to temptation. All of this can seem confusing at times. Isn’t following God supposed to be joyous and froth with continual blessings? On the contrary, the Christian life is hardly a free hopper pass to Disney World. Christian or not, life is difficult, demanding and sometimes downright unfair. But if we can find the meaning in it all, it’s much easier to bear, and we’ll have peace knowing that God knows where He’s taking us and that the journey will all be worth it.

God works in definite patterns in the lives of His children. Understand God’s methods and how He navigates, and you begin to see what He is trying to teach you. You may think He’s crazy stopping off to see the largest ball of twine, until a piece of that twine comes in handy on a later adventure. Everything He does is for a reason, and that reason is to prepare you for something later down the road. Understanding human nature and also how God disciplines and instructs his children will help you quit questioning His navigation. You’ll begin to relax and let God work His wonder in your life.

Lord, Are You Sure? will help you:

  • Understand why certain challenges or problems keep repeating in your life, and how to break the cycle.
  • Unlock the mystery of why you encounter challenges and roadblocks on roads you felt inspired to travel.
  • Learn that life is not random. Everything happens for a reason.
  • Accomplish your righteous desires with God’s help.
  • Increase your faith to a level that you never thought possible.
  • Recognize the Lord’s hand in your life, how to find the line between what you control and what God controls, and how to know whether to forge ahead or be still and know that He is God.
  • Learn how to tweak your thinking and unlock the abundant blessings that God has ready to shower upon you.
  • Have true, day-to-day, lasting peace that passes all understanding – even in the midst of adversity.

To get your free PDF copy of this book, please fill out the form on the upper-right-hand side of this page.

The Power of Seeing Another Through Christ’s Eyes

There’s someone in my life I’ve struggled to forgive, wrestled with my own bouts of criticism, condemnation and frustration toward. It’s not a pretty thing to know you have unkind feelings toward someone. It’s not who I want to be. I want to be Christ-like, loving and forgiving. Gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be that way doesn’t quite seem like the same thing.

Jesus never seemed to be straining to forgive, never had to bite his lip and fight back a nasty comment. Those ugly dark things weren’t inside Him to begin with. It dawned on me that if I could see this other person through Christ’s eyes, perhaps I could have those natural feelings of unconditional love and compassion. Maybe the irritation would melt away and be replaced with God’s love.

Jesus Christ - Cristus statueThis morning I woke early and decided to use the time in those peaceful quiet hours to ask the Lord for the ability to see this person through His eyes. In my mind, He took me to a beautiful beach and had me take a seat on a log facing the crashing waves. He knelt in front of me, His hand on my shoulder, looking me in the eye. His were filled with infinite compassion and understanding.

He let me express the deepest desires of my heart — who I long to be, the type of person I want to be, free of these negative emotions, free to escape this cage I feel like I’m living in. It’s as if there’s this passionate ball of love and light that’s crying to break free and express herself but she keeps bumping up against negative limitations.

“If this person wasn’t in my life,” I heard myself telling Him, “I could be a good person.”

I could see the twinkle in His eye and knew immediately how foolish that statement was. It isn’t this person “making me have bad thoughts.” The propensity to be critical, condemning and judgmental is already there.

This person is in my life to give me a chance to overcome these feelings. They are a gift to help me eliminate the black blobs that are stuck to my glowing ball of light.

“How do I get rid of this negativity? Please take these thoughts and feelings away from me,” I pleaded. “Can I just give them to you? I would give away all my sins to know your thoughts, to be as loving as You are.”

Again I asked to see this person through Christ’s eyes. If there were some way to do that, perhaps all the resentment and bitterness would melt away.

At that moment, a situation from my past when I’d done something particularly bad came to mind. All the feelings of guilt and shame returned. It was a sin I’d already repented of, but the memory returned. After that event I’d felt despair and depression for quite some time. It was a dark time for me that I had no desire to revisit.

“That,” Christ explained, “Is how {this person} feels — all the time.”

“Oh my, really?” I remembered how immobilized I felt in that period of my life. I remembered feeling worthless, despondent and as if there was no use trying to do anything. It was a horrible, debilitating feeling.

“You experienced this for a short season until you received My forgiveness. Imagine it stretching on for years. What might you have become?”

I then understood how and why this person acts the way they do, why they’d become contracted and limited in their abilities. Why they responded to me the way they did for so many years, and much more. All in an instant, everything became clear.

And then Christ said, “Do you want to see how I see this person?”

“Yes, I do.”

He showed me a beautiful young person, long before the mistakes had draped them in a dark heavy cloud of guilt and shame. This shining valiant individual with a future so bright and promising stood before me. And I began to weep. This was the beauty beneath all the rubble.

Instantly I felt Christ’s love for this person flowing through me, and I felt such an overwhelming need to apologize for being so blind for so long. I had belittled, condemned, judged and criticized a fallen warrior, lying helpless, bleeding on the side of the road. I had not reached forth a loving hand. I had not dressed this person’s wounds. I had not given them a hug of comfort or kindness.

All I had seen was how their actions affected me. All I saw was how my life wasn’t as ideal and beautiful as I wanted it to be — even craved and needed it to be. I was too concerned with my rights, my needs, what “I deserved.”

And then Christ’s question came, “Will you help this person?”

“I will.”

“You may not see results right away.” He cautioned. “You may never see them at all.”

“I understand.”

“It’s not about them changing. It’s about you becoming.”

“Yes, I understand, Lord. Where do I begin?”

“Why don’t you just start with a hug.”

Are We Sheep Or Goats?

Hannah, Wilma and Dani

Hannah, Wilma and Dani

I used to own three goats. When I got them, Wilma was a couple years old and had had kids of her own. Hannah was about a year old, and Dani was perhaps six months old. These three goats had three distinct personalities, but one thing they had in common was their complete inability to share. They would knock each other out of the way, fight, and quite literally “horn in” to get what they want.

Especially Wilma was one of the most selfish beasts I’d ever seen. Not only did she want all the feed for herself, but she couldn’t stand for Hannah to have a speck of it. She’d share a trough with Dani (the little one), but never with Hannah. Not only did she not share a trough with Hannah, but also she didn’t want Hannah to have a trough of her own. She’d leave her own feed to ram her horns into Hannah’s side and drive her away from her food. She’d also frequently cast Hannah out of the big dog house they lived in and force her out into the rain — even though all three of them could fit in it.

Wilma made me think of people who aren’t satisfied to have their own success, but can’t tolerate anyone else having some too. This competitive, jealous, scarcity mentality is what gives goats a bad name, and I’m certain it’s why Jesus used goats to illustrate the nature of the selfish individuals who do not give their hearts to Him.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus related the parable of the sheep and the goats to describe his coming and the Day of Judgment:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or thirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The dividing line — the sure indicator of our conversion to Jesus Christ is how we treat each other. This analogy of the sheep and the goats took on greater meaning for me after owning goats.

While goats do have fun personalities and are easier to maintain, sheep are completely dependant upon their shepherd for cleaning and sheering. Sheep are generally docile creatures who follow their shepherd in all things. Goats, with their individualistic me-first mentalities, mark a stark contrast to the easy-going, follow-the-leader temperament of sheep.

Perhaps the Lord is trying to tell us that He would rather have us lean on Him to cleanse our sins yet follow Him in all things than to require less maintenance but be self-centered and competitive. Just try getting a goat to go where you want it to! Bribery is about all that works.

Following Jesus Christ and attempting to live our lives as He lives leads us to reach out and serve others, to lift their burdens, make room for them in our lives, share what we have with them, and in essence live a more Christ-like life. As we follow Him, we become like the obedient sheep who follow their shepherd and will “inherit the kingdom prepared for [us] from the foundation of the world.”

I am grateful for the people in my life who have offered me and my family Christ-like service. I hope and pray that when the Lord comes, I’ll be found on his right-hand as one of those who followed Him by serving others.

How to Forgive

I’ve been pondering a lot lately about the principles of forgiveness and unconditional love. How does one unconditionally love someone you cannot trust? How does one forgive someone who very well may betray, deceive or hurt you again?

I had the privilege of previewing an excellent book before it went to print. Victoria Fielding’s “A Piece of Time” gave me a critical puzzle piece along my path to more fully understanding the principles of forgiveness and unconditional love.

At one point in the story, the main character summarizes,

“There were many dancers, many styles of dances, with innumerable dances being performed simultaneously on the stage of life. And who was to say that one dancer was any better than another? No longer did I think it was just my stage. It was everyone’s stage, and we were all just inexperienced dancers bumping up against each other, and—for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best. That was all. And that was enough.”

This morning as I was pondering on the subject further, it occurred to me that I’ve been taking things very personally. When someone makes a mistake, blows a fuse, or does something that makes my life difficult, I’ve been taking it personally. I’ve been acting as if I’m the main character on the stage, and it’s all about me and how other people treat me. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been deceived. I’ve been used or treated like dirt.

How am I supposed to keep loving someone who may betray me again, may deceive me again, or may use me again? How am I supposed to unconditionally love those people?

But what if Victoria Fielding is right? What if we’re all dancers, performing simultaneously on the stage of life and all those things I perceive as “about me” aren’t personal at all! What if it’s other people bumping up against me as they try to play their roles in life? We’re all imperfect and human. Rarely is someone else’s mistake all about us.

I call a child for dinner and he yells at me rudely. I can take that personally. I could think, “How disrespectful! How rude! He doesn’t love me at all. How ungrateful!” Or I could realize this child was acting out of character and there must be more to the story. Sure enough, I later learn that he was mad about something else and my calling him three times for dinner was the last straw. It had nothing to do with me.

Someone once said, “No man knows my history.” We don’t know each other’s histories. We don’t know the string of incidents, choices, and beliefs that led someone to a particular act. Perhaps he was flailing his arms dancing on the stage of life and smacked you upside the head because you were the closest person around.

Have you ever noticed on crime dramas like “Criminal Minds” it’s rarely that the murderer simply despised the victim? There’s always this string of events, circumstances, choices and the perpetrator’s view of life that led to the crime. By the time the FBI team gets to the bottom of it, we see the perpetrator’s twisted view of reality caused by a myriad of factors that made the person snap.

Of all people who could take betrayal, deceit, and even murder personally, it would be Jesus Christ. But there’s one thing about Jesus — which I believe enables Him to love each of us unconditionally no matter what we do — and that is He doesn’t take our actions personally. Even though our actions caused Him pain, He still prayed on the cross, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” What if he wasn’t only talking about the soldiers driving the nails?

Jesus knew it wasn’t personal. And even if it felt very personal, He never took it personally. He knew that we all have a history, and we’re all imperfect dancers on a stage “for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best.”

That’s why if we’ll come to Him, and give Him not only our sins, but also all the times we’ve felt offended, betrayed, deceived, or injured, He can take those things and replace them with love — unconditional love that never ends. He will “bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and open up the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Will you join me in shifting perspectives? Can we stop taking other people’s actions personally? Can we choose to believe that, “we are all just inexperienced dancers bumping up against each other, and—for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best?”

(A Piece of Time by Victoria Fielding will be available online and in some Cosco’s in September. For more details visit www.VictoriaFielding.com )

Can God Help You With Your Business?

Would you like God’s help in your career or your business? If so, I’d like to share with you a rare look inside my story of faith and how God helped me build my business.

Dr. Joseph Peck of “The Story Behind the Story” interviewed me the other day about my latest bestseller, “Trust Your Heart: Transform Your Ideas to Income.” This was no ordinary webinar. Dr. Peck is a generous, Christian man who probed into my faith and how it weaves into my business success.

You can find that webinar recording here.

I hope this will bless you — especially if you’re trying to build a business around your ideas and dreams and want God’s help along the way.

Get Rid of Emotional and Mental Blocks

One of the biggest things that holds you back from living your life purpose and being the person you were created to be are emotional, mental and energetic blocks. Remove the blocks that stand in the way of your dreams. To find out more, watch this brief video about the method I use to get rid of my blocks.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BlnYAszSMg[/youtube]

Get more information at Energy Serenity.

Negative Thinking – Use It To Your Advantage!

Don’t just overcome the negative thoughts you have about yourself, use them to your advantage! They can actually work for you if you give this quick and easy exercise a try!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOlSW0maiQQ&feature=youtube_gdata[/youtube]

Learn more about Kirk Duncan’s “My Dot People” here.

Review: Trusting Spirit Now

One of my favorite things to do is attempt to see the world through another person’s eyes. It gives me rich perspective, insights and empathy that I would never discover on my own.

Life and truth are much like the parable of the blind man and the elephant — a composite of various perspectives. You know the story. Five blind men come upon an elephant for the first time. One takes hold of the trunk and says it’s like a snake. Another the leg and says it’s like a tree. Another feels the elephant’s side and says it is a wall. A fourth feels the ear and proclaims it is like a fan. Finally the fifth takes hold of the tail and insists it is a rope.

None of them is wrong. None is lying. But the truth is somewhere in the combination of them all. There is beauty and perfection to be found in each person’s perception. The truth is a combination of them all.

Judy Hansen is one of the few people I’ve ever met who approaches the elephant with eyes wide open — seeing matter, energy, spirit, truth and most importantly the Source of it all — Jesus  Christ — working in harmony.

Meeting her has changed my life. I already had a rich relationship with my Savior when I met her, but that relationship has deepened and become even more real and exquisite.

So when Judy told me she had written: “Trusting Spirit Now: Life Through the Eyes of an Energy Intuitive” — a book about how she sees the world and eternity, I couldn’t wait to read it. What a gift to be able to see the world through her eyes!

You may not agree with everything Judy has to say, but take the time to consider that what she says might be true.  Measure it against revealed truth in the Word of God, not against your own perception and interpretations of it. You will gain a richness in your relationship with the Savior and all His creations that you never had before.