HOW SHALL I FORGIVE?

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (Matthew 18:22 NIV)

How can I—who received so much grace—could not forgive everyone who offended me?

Have you ever thought of this? Peter asked Jesus about the times one forgives someone who sins against him. Jesus replied that His followers forgive everyone without exception.

Even if my sinful nature rebels, I must forgive completely and be free. That’s not easy but that’s what Jesus asked of you and me.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

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NEAR, BUT NOT WITHIN

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:34 NIV)

Near” but not “in” God’s kingdom—that’s what wisdom is only capable of. When people know about God, it does not necessarily mean they trust God for their salvation.

Do you know anyone who seemed to know God and the Bible, but still living in their own opinion and belief systems? Knowing something right doesn’t mean one is right with God.

For this reason, without faith, something is still lacking. It’s not merely about knowing things right but trusting and loving God that makes us right with God.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

ARE YOU TROUBLED AND UNCERTAIN?

He [Jesus] said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? (Luke24:38 NIV)

When you are troubled and in doubt, it’s always helpful to know the reason. The problems are only symptoms. You need to dig deeper to solve it.

After Christ was crucified, the early disciples were so afraid for their lives and deeply troubled. They’re not even sure if Christ is really who He said He was.

The beauty about Christ is that He understands your troubles and doubts, but He also wants your trust. Is the root cause of your anxiety and uncertainty the lack of faith in God’s promises?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

ARE GOING AHEAD OF GOD?

“Woman [Mary], why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4 NIV)

Have you ever felt you’re going ahead of God or out-of-synch lately? Perhaps, Mary, Jesus’ mother, did. So, you’re not alone.

Remember the wedding at Cana, Galilee, when the wine ran out? Jesus felt Mary seems to be out of timing in involving Him.

Oftentimes, we do treat God with hurried impatience or slothfulness. But God’s timing is always perfect. Trust Him. He can’t be late.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

THE LUKEWARM RELATIONSHIP 

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 NIV)

How is your relationship with God? Either you’re passionate or pathetic, but Christ doesn’t need something in between.

Love or lack of affection, these two separate those who are committed from compromisers. But we all know that there are also professing, lukewarm Christians. Be warned.

Christ does not need your moderate play-safe love. If you take your relationship with Christ for granted, is He on the verge of spitting you out?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

DO YOU WANT ANYTHING FROM CHRIST?

Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” (John 1:38 NIV)

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples followed Jesus. When Jesus saw them, He asked about what they want. At first, they just want to spend time with Him.

In fact, Jesus invited them, “Come…and you will see.” Jesus does want people to see what they’re searching for. But none can follow Him without spending time with Him.

Are you searching for life’s meaning, hope or salvation? It takes time to know the answer but certainly you’ll see if you follow Jesus.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

IS THIS THE TIME?

“[I]n fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” (John 6:2 NIV)

Jesus foretold that a terrible is coming. His true followers will be severely persecuted, not be secularists or atheists but, by religious fanatics.

Do you know of any religions today that espouse harming and killing Christians as an act of serving their god? Such murderous frenzy are going on in the world unreported by the mainstream media.

Religious persecution is nothing new. Even Christ and the early Christians were persecuted and murdered. If Christ gave His life for you, are you willing to lay down your life for Him?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

THE LORD OF THE HARVEST

He [Jesus] told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” (Luke 20:2 NIV)

Are you wondering why we don’t have massive harvest of souls today? It’s not because we lack workers and harvesters, but there’s a lack of “askers”—those who faithfully pray to God for harvest.

So before anyone could complain for the few workers, one should contemplate: Am I prayerful enough that God would change the spiritual atmosphere, prepare the field, ripen the harvest, and declare the harvest season?

Sharing the Gospel is ineffective and inefficient for lack of passion and prayer. The harvesters are only productive when God’s people pray for spiritual power and transformation.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

DOES CHRIST OFFEND YOU?

“Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, ‘Does this offend you?’” (John 6:61 NIV)

Jesus is offensive—not all the times, but nonetheless, He can be. But would you rather stay comfortable in sin or be confronted by His compassion?

When Jesus hits hard our false assumptions, upsets our false expectations, and hurts our sinful feelings, He can be very offensive.

Because Jesus is offensive, people left Him, even some disciples deserted Him. However, can you stand by Him and for Him? Only if you’re in Him.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

SAVING A SOUL

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV)

The Talmud says, “When you save one life [of Israel] you save the world.” The opposite also taught that those who harm a soul harms the world. As a rabbi, Jesus must be familiar of it.

But Jesus went farther. He teaches that when you save someone you actually save someone who is more precious than the world. What does this mean for you?

From God’s perspective, your soul is more valuable than the world. That’s why Christ came to save you. He reserved the best destiny for saving it and the worst punishment for losing it. Don’t lose yours.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018