HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT) - “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The issue of forgiveness is at the forefront of all that the Bible teaches.
The entire reason that Jesus came was so that the forgiveness of sins is possible.
Forgiveness, according to the Bible, is understood as God's promise not to count our sins against us. Biblical forgiveness requires repentance on our part (turning away from our old life of sin) and faith in Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is defined - as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. To release someone from a debt that they owe you. To lay down anger and hatred and refuse to hold the wrong and hurt that someone caused you against them.
It is a difficult thing many times to forgive those that have wronged us. The truth is that many people have been hurt deeply by others. Many have had abusive parents or an abusive spouse.
People have had unspeakable and unthinkable things done to them and yet Jesus still calls us to forgive.
Matthew 5:44 - But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
This past month there was a story circulated on the internet about a pastor who had a heart attack and went to hell. He was shocked at how horrible everything was. But most of all he was angry at God that He was there.
Here is what happened. - "I rose up out of hell and God spoke to me. He said, 'You were secretly angry with people who harmed you and you hoped I would punish them. These are not your people. They are My people. I just want you to focus on the task I have given you.' "A man who cannot forgive is a man who forgot that He was forgiven,"
Forgiveness does not come easily or naturally to any of us. It is not supposed to.
Forgiveness is something that is to be chosen and it is to be learned.
Truly forgiving someone who has hurt, wronged, shamed or used us is a process that we work through with God.
It is a choice and a decision, but it is not a light or trivial thing and it is not supposed to be.
Forgiveness causes us to look at what someone has done to us and honestly and intelligently deal with the fact of how it has affected our life. You can’t effectively heal unless you address the places of woundedness.
It is remarkable how unforgiveness can turn an otherwise nice, kind and caring person into a bitter, angry and fearful individual.
Hebrews 12:15 (NIV) - See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
(AMP) - See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
The word resentment comes from two Latin words that mean to “cut again and again”.
Every time we rehearse a hurt or injustice, or the devil brings up pain or we dwell on our anger and frustration about what was done to us, we are getting cut and reinjured all over again.
This is why the devil loves his tool of unforgiveness. It allows the hurt and pain to feel fresh and new all the time. –
Unforgiveness is not justice, it is torture. It is also murder because each time we feel the pain it reminds us of how we would like the person who hurt us to suffer.
This is why Jesus honestly reminds Peter that forgiveness is not a onetime event. Forgiveness is a process that we must work through until the hurt and pain no longer have an effect on us.
Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Our job is to forgive. It is Jesus’ job to do the healing in our lives.
So, every time we feel the hurt, pain and woundedness return we must make a conscious effort to forgive. For some of us, depending on our personality and the level of the hurt it may take a while. It may take 490 times a day for a little while until the work of forgiveness is complete.
Someone needs to hear this – forgiveness is not effortless. Just remember that the effort is not pointless, it will be rewarded.
This month as we celebrate the Resurrection let’s take time to remember how God has forgiven us. Let’s also take the time to forgive those that have hurt us. Let’s release them from their sin and place them into the hands of God. Take time to allow God to heal any areas of your life that have been affected by hurt. The Bible that “He who the Son set’s free is free indeed.
I believe this is going to be a powerful month of forgiveness, healing and redemption.
Remember You are dearly loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Hebrews11:1-6 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken, he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Our faith is the foundation of all that we believe.
Hebrews chapter 11 is often described as “God’s hall of faith”.
These are people that we can look to as an example of what it is to serve God, love God and to make a difference in this world for God.
Faith is at the heart of all that a true Christian is. Christians LIVE -By Faith. Every aspect of our life is lived – By Faith.
2 Corinthians 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight.
True Christians live by faith and not by what they see. They trust God and His Word. Faith is not wishing, it is not positive thinking, it is not manipulating things and circumstances. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Our faith has substance to it. And it is the substance of faith that gives substance to our lives.
This year our theme is – By Faith. We will be learning to live our lives by faith. To walk BY FAITH and not by Sight.
Today many Christians are living by what they know and see. This year is a call to Biblical living. Faithful living and faith-filled living.
What many consider faith is something that has been humanized. Today much of what is taught about faith is corrupted faith. It is rooted in personal gain or to meet self needs and desires. The faith that is taught is urging believers to ask God to bless them, prosper them and to give them their dreams and desires.
True faith that walks in obedience to God’s Word already understands that they are blessed and walk in favor with God because it stems from a relationship with God.
True faith is born out of intimacy with God.
If the faith we have doesn’t come out of intimacy with God, it really isn’t faith in His sight. True faith comes out of the SUBSTANCE of our intimacy and relationship with God.
It is out of this intimacy that the blessings of faith come.
Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
People want to know the secret of having great faith. – There are no shortcuts, no secret formulas. God is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM. People of great faith are people of prayer. Those who spend time in the presence of God.
The presence of God is not a mystical cloud that appears – to be in the presence of God means that we are PRESENT where HE is.
Presence is not a feeling, it is not an anointing, it is PROXIMITY.
James 4:8a - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
You only truly get to know someone the closer you get to them. First in physical nearness then in emotional and spiritual nearness.
The reason people of faith are able to walk by faith and see the results of faith are because they stay close to God. –
A life that is lived by faith is a life that is lived near and close to God. Daniel 11:32b - but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.
It is impossible to have faith that pleases God without sharing intimacy with Him.
True faith comes as we desire to know and please the Lord above everything else in our lives.
A life lived by faith is not a life that is lived alone it is lived in relationship with God. It is a bond of faith, a communion that is like a marriage.
A life lived by faith is a life lived together with God. All of it.
Each year we start out on a fresh journey. I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives individually and through us as a church as we truly learn to live – By Faith.
May you and your family be blessed in this New Year. Remember it is a New Year but the Same God! You are Loved-
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
2 Timothy 3:1 - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
(AMP) But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear].
(NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
While God promises us peace and safety; the Bible also warns us that in the last days dangerous, difficult, and even terrible times will come.
While there are many people that condemned the Apostle Paul from warning the early Christians that they were going to have hard and even dangerous times, he never shied away from preaching the truth.
Today the world is much the same way; people want to be told how beautiful and perfect everything will be. Instead of preparing believers for the difficult times that are ahead we are teaching them to live their best life. We have surrounded ourselves with peddlers of a painless Christianity instead of prophets and pastors who will warn of the consequences of sin and the difficulties in society and the world that will precede the coming of the Lord.
In many parts of Christianity, we are raising up soft believers who know nothing of living by faith and trusting God.
Understand - because of the sin that is in the world we are reaping a harvest of violence, selfishness, corruption, and wickedness. We have seen this before in the world. Remember there is nothing new under the sun.
The wickedness of Noah’s day and in the days of lot are very similar to our time. The danger and persecution that the early Christians faced under the Romans is very similar to what many believers are facing in China, Iran, North Korea, and India now.
The Bible warns us that in the last days Dangerous, terrible times will come.
The danger zone is a place that separates the men from the boys and the women of God from the little girls.
There are some different ways that people respond to the danger zone.
In the movie Top Gun, they talked about the danger zone, but they talk about the rush of combat the almost passing out from the G-forces at work as they fly in combat. There are those that love the adrenaline rush of all of it. They live for that moment, it’s all that they can think about. These types of people are adrenalin junkies that are a danger to themselves and to others in the times of danger because they are all about the thrill. As a matter of fact, they are destructive in their personal lives because they are bored without the speed, pace, danger and need for quick and immediate decisions.
Then there are those that thrive in the danger zone.
These are those who in the dangerous times are mature. They are able to deal with the rush, the emotions, the fear, and the thrill so that they are able to make good decisions that help others and preserve themselves. In the middle of the danger, they are able to discern God’s will and fight the enemy and win.
Hebrews 5:13-14 - For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
While it is true that difficult and terrible times are coming, I believe that God is raising up people who are skillful, equipped, and ready for those times.
To be ready for those times we must be fueled up by feeding our spirit.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 - But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
In times of trouble, we must keep the main thing. The main thing.
Our source of strength never changes. It is from the well of the Word of God that we will continue to derive our strength in difficult times.
Paul said to Timothy you have learned and studied the scriptures since Childhood. Your daily devotions, what you have been doing for years you must continue to do.
If we can’t do regular life on empty, we certainly can’t do difficult times on empty.
Listen in order to thrive in the danger zone we need to be filled.
Psalm 119:92 - Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.
When pilots are in the danger zone, they can get all messed up. They can start to believe that up is down and down is up. – This is when they must depend on their gages and understand certain laws that are pressing on their life and working either against them or for them.
This is why continually being in His Word is vital it helps us to know what’s going on and what to do next and what to do about it.
Those who thrive in the danger zone are skilled in the Word.
It seems like life right now is making massive withdrawals. It is asking more of us then we really have to give.
You and I were never designed to run on empty.
My Friend, I know you are looking at the world and can see it is a dangerous place. I want to remind you that the Bible says that in this world you will have trouble but TAKE heart I HAVE overcome the world. THERE is HOPE!
I am looking forward to sharing this important message with you.
Be encouraged and expectant. Remember, be thankful this November for all of the blessings and promises we have in the Lord.
May you and your Family have a very Happy Thanksgiving month.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn