Guest Post – Forgiveness, Repentance & Reconciliation

colossians 3:13, bible, colossians

Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

What do you do when you have done something to violate your own values? How do you forgive yourself and reconcile what you have done with who you are?

Forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation are like cousins; they are related, but function independently of each other. You can have any one, two or all three.

The first cousin is forgiveness. It is entirely up to you if you forgive or not. The offender’s repentance can make forgiveness easier, but is not necessary. Forgiveness happens inside of you.

The second cousin is repentance. This is the job of the offender. Repent comes from ‘metanoeo’ which means ‘to think differently or reconsider’. There is also an emotional component (2 Corinthians 7:10). Focusing on repentance should be primary. Forgiveness will be much easier if you acknowledge your own guilt, shame and remorse. Knowing and accepting your vulnerability will enable you to protect against re-occurrence.

The third cousin is reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-24). Here reconciled comes form ‘diallasso’ which means ‘to change thoroughly’. It is also translated from ‘katallage’ (Romans 5:11), which means ‘restoration’, and ‘katallaso’ (2 Cor. 5:18) which means ‘to change mutually’. Reconciliation requires BOTH parties. Both have to want to continue the relationship, and do their parts. This is healthy reconciliation; it has both forgiveness AND repentance. The relationship has been mutually changed and restored.

But there’s still the other side. Unhealthy reconciliation is maintaining the relationship without forgiveness or repentance (Acts 7:26). Here reconcile comes from ‘synelavno’ which means to ‘drive together’. We do that sometimes – drive a relationship together when there is no repentance.

The other possible response to repeat offenders is to end the relationship, to not have reconciliation (Matthew 18; Romans 12:18)When you have followed the prescribed course, and the other person refuses to make any changes, it might be time to end the relationship. God is able to bring good from the hurt of a broken relationship (Acts 15: 36-41; Romans 8:28). No one else can decide for you to continue or end the relationship, and no one else has the right to judge your decision. This is between you and God.

It is also possible to have forgiveness and repentance without reconciliation. Each does their part; forgiving and repenting. However, one or both decide to not continue the relationship. If ending is the decision, forgiveness and repentance are important to have healthy relationships with others. If you don’t forgive or repent, you’ll carry that hurt into other relationships, and recreate the same destructive dynamics.

So how do you respond in a healthy way to the lack or repentance? Forgive and set strong boundaries (Luke 17:3-4). If you can forgive, and the other person is earnestly trying to repent, you can choose to continue the relationship. To do this, you must be very clear and consistent in identifying and not accepting the hurtful behavior. If you cannot set that boundary, you would be fostering the sin you both have.

Confession IS good for the soul (James 5:16). Confessing to another is essential when you need to repent and forgive yourself. Avoidance comes with secrecy, perpetuating the shame and guilt. Confession illuminates reality, and establishes accountability. It does not have to be a public confession. Do be careful in selecting the hearer of your confession. The goal is healing, not condemnation. Choose someone whom you trust and respect, can keep your confidence, is humble and is full of God’s grace. The hearer of your confession does have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to proclaim God’s forgiveness to you (John 20:23).

How are you working to reconcile your relationships? Share with us!

bill syrcle, guest blog, counselingWilliam L. Syrcle is a therapist and coach at Synago, in MacombIllinois. He has a Master degree in clinical psychology, is a certified Professional Christian Counselor, is licensed by the State of Illinois, and been in private practice since 2002. He also specializes in business, executive and leadership coaching. Learn more about Synago here.

Tommy Higle’s Journey Series – Expository & Topical – Lowest Price Ever

higle, journey series, tommy higle, wordsearch bible, preachingLike you, author Tommy Higle knows that every Bible study is an adventurous journey. This seasoned pastor spent 30 years writing The Journey Series, which is now a 36-volume library filled with insight and practical lessons. For the next 14 days, The Journey Series Complete Bundle is on sale for only $59.95. JUST CLICK HERE and you can begin your own journey immediately! If you prefer to order by phone, call us at 1-800-888-9898 (mention special offer 8255).

 Introducing THE JOURNEY SERIES!

The Journey Series is written for hungry students of God’s Word. Each book is a series of lessons designed to be used for personal study, small groups, or Sunday school. Many pastors say they use The Journey Series as ready-to-preach sermons. Over 12,000 churches have used this wonderful resource!

It’s Both Expository and Topical.

Tommy Higle guides you on your journey through individual books of the Bible, lives of Bible characters, and topics pertinent to daily life. Higle has organized his series into 3 categories:

The Journey Bible Series takes a focused look at individual books of the Bible, such as Psalms, John, and Revelation.

The Journey Living Series concentrates on important elements of Christian life, for example Discipleship, Prayer and Marriage.

The Journey People & Topical Series examines Bible characters, including Moses and Peter, plus important Bible topics, such as the names of God and the second coming of Christ.

A Massive Library of Exciting Discoveries.

There is so much great material in this bundle that it would take you over 7 years to preach or teach the entire collection!

I know you are going to really appreciate Higle’s exposition, and his engaging questions and answers. I hope you’ll try The Journey Series for yourself. This low-price of $59.95 is good for the next 14 days. Just click here to add this great resource to your digital library. If you have any questions or would like to bundle this with any other books, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8255.

In His Service,
Jim Baird

Free Friday! Sovereign Grace

SovereignGrace. d.l moody, wordsearch bibleHappy 4th of July everyone! Today’s featured free download is Sovereign Grace by D. L Moody. Click here to download.

Men talk about grace, but, as a rule, they know very little about it. Let a business man go to one of your bankers to borrow a few hundred dollars for sixty or ninety days; if he is well able to pay, the banker will perhaps lend him the money if he can get another responsible man to sign the note with him. They give what they call three days grace after the sixty or ninety days have expired; but they will make the borrower pay interest on the money during these three days, and if he. does not return principal and interest at the appointed time, they will sell his goods; they will perhaps turn him out of his house, and take the last piece of furniture in his possession. That is not grace at all; but that fairly illustrates man’s idea of it. Grace not only frees you from payment of the interest, but of the principal also.

Sovereign Grace, Its Source, Its Nature, Its Effects — this work by the great American evangelist D.L. Moody emphasizes the many aspects of the full free Sovereign Grace of God, the unmerited mercy, and undeserved favor of our Lord.

Dwight Lyman Moody was born to parents of modest means in Northfield, Massachusetts on February 5, 1837. At a young age, Moody became familiar with hardship with the passing of his father and his mother’s struggle to raise nine children alone. Largely because of such circumstances, Moody left his Northfield home at the age of 17 to seek financial gain in Boston. In Boston, he found the love of Christ and a new passion for souls.

With multiple influences leading him, Moody set out for Chicago with the ambition to make a fortune in worldly wealth and bring lost souls into the kingdom of God. He was successful in both until, in 1860, he felt the call to abandon his pursuit of mammon altogether and devote himself to full-time ministry. After a great soul struggle, Moody did just this.

Moody went on to minister to the poorest children in the Chicago slums of the time, and he received his practical theology training during the Civil War as he ran to and fro ministering to wounded soldiers and trying to bring the healing balm of Christ to any soul sickness found. Equally important to Moody was the work of the YMCA, an organization he devoted countless hours to in teaching the Gospel to the young men of the city, praying with those in need, and raising funds to build facilities.

In 18871, Moody experienced a much desired outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and this very ambitious man learned new lessons in humility, love of God, and submission. After this experience, he traveled to Europe to study the Word, but quickly returned home for his wife and children when he sensed he was being called to Europe to help spearhead a revival. Returning to Europe, Moody and Ira Sankey held countless meetings in England, Scotland, and Ireland preaching the Gospel of Christ and meeting one-on-one with people to share the Word. With Moody’s preaching and his living testimony (demonstrated by his kindness towards Catholics, his refusal to take up offerings, his eagerness to exalt others over self, and his love towards those who slandered him), scores of people were transferred from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of light. His trip to Europe is considered one of the greatest evangelistic enterprises of the 19th century.

The influence of Moody continues to this day with the schools he founded, the church he planted, the publishing house he created, and, perhaps, most importantly, with the legacy of great and humble love for God and man he gave us.

After you have read the book, we’d love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

4th of July Sale – 40 Books Marked Down to $4 Each

4thjuly, independence day, sale, books, americaHappy Independence Day Eve! Since our Customer Service Reps will be enjoying the holiday with family and friends, we’ve put together a special 4th of July Sale, good all the way through July 14.  For this sale, we’ve hand-picked 40 excellent tools for your digital library and priced them at just $4 each. You’ll find volumes normally priced at $27.95, $24.95, $19.95, $14.95, and $12.95, but, to celebrate the holiday, they’re all just $4 each. Click here to browse this sale. Downloading new content is fast and easy, and you can be using it within minutes. If you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8261.

You’ll find lots of tools for preaching and teaching. We’ve selected a wide range of volumes from our categories of: Commentaries, Sermon Helps, Theology, Homiletics, Study Notes, Word Studies, Dictionaries & Encyclopedias, Sermon Illustrations, Handbooks, Outlines, Evangelism, and more! Click here to browse this 4th of July Sale now.

R.C. SPROUL 6-Vol. Commentary – Sale ends Monday

This is the commentary many have been waiting for. Respected theologian, R.C. Sproul, presents the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary. This is a teaching and preaching commentary, as all included material has been preached by Dr. Sproul from his pulpit at the St. Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, FL. These 6 volumes cover the books of Matthew, Mark, John, Acts, Romans, and 1-2 Peter. Purchased in hardcover, these 6 books sell for $210.95, but, through July 7, this bundle is on sale for only $49.95. Click here for more details or to download today. Or, call 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8261.

Vance Havner Bundle – Lowest Price Ever
Here’s a highly-collectible library of preaching and teaching helps by the great preacher Vance Havner. Through July 7, our Vance Havner Bundle, a 25 volume, hard-to-find collection is on sale for70% off. This includes 8 sermon books (with over 100 Havner sermons), 5 devotionals, 5 books on Christian Living, and 7 additional Havner volumes on a host of biblical topics. For more details and a complete listing of the works included, click here. Or, if you prefer ordering by phone, call 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8261. This sale ends on Monday.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these specials before they expire. As always, I guarantee you’ll be delighted or I’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Guest Post – Walk It Out

romans 12:12, prayer, bible

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/480759328944977375/

Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

God our Heavenly Father is truly the everlasting God, King above all, Lord forever. We can completely trust Him because He always stays true to His Word and never changes (James 1:17). We change. Sometimes we get tired of waiting for God and we start trying to work things out ourselves, only to end up getting in the way. We realize it when we see the struggles we cause for ourselves. Then we start wondering why God allowed us to fall into the hole we were so anxious to dig.

I remember times in my life when I felt as if God left me to figure things out on my own, or He wasn’t listening when I prayed. Nothing I would try was the answer, and it seemed as if God was watching me run aimlessly in circles. Then after I had exhausted all my options, I was finally ready to pay attention. That’s when I realized that God actually has everything under control.

Before this realization, I would usually try to determine when and how I believed my situations should be resolved. Yet, all I was actually doing was getting stressed over my plans instead of walking out God’s plan in faith (Jeremiah 29:11). My plans were merely distractions that kept me occupied until I was ready to move forward with God leading the way. It took a while, but I finally learned that God really knows what He is doing. He doesn’t need my input, advice, or permission.

God wants us to successfully complete the journey that He has set before us. That’s why He so graciously provides everything that we need and even some of the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). If ever we feel discouraged and wonder why God seems so distant, all we have to do is trust Him enough to walk out His plan with confidence in knowing that He is with us every step of the way.

Let’s be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Revised blogs from Blessings in Blogs: Living Effectively by Genia M. Owens, originally published by Trafford Publishing. © Copyright 2012, www.trafford.com

Genia Owens, author, blog

Genia Owens is an e-book Developer at WORDsearch who loves to inspire others through writing. She also enjoys watching a good movie with popcorn, spending time with family and friends, and going on outings with her husband to take photos for their online photography art business – GREO Galleries Unlimited (http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/greo-galleries-unlimited.html).

New Release: R.C. Sproul’s 6-Vol. NT Commentary

SproulCommentToday I’m delighted to announce the new release of a 6 volume commentary by one of today’s most respected Reformed Bible scholars, R.C. Sproul. Dr. Sproul is a prolific writer, having authored over 80 books for the edification of believers worldwide. This commentary bundle, the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary, is available in hardcover elsewhere, usually with a list price around $210.95. For a limited time, our introductory sale price on this set is just $49.95. Click here to add this excellent scholarship to your digital library today. Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8245.

The Preaching & Teaching Commentary of R.C. Sproul

Like me, you may wonder how this work got the title of St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary. In 1997, Dr. Sproul was invited to the pulpit of St. Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Dr. Sproul was determined to preach each Sunday morning, and he chose to preach through books of the Bible, a dedicated ministry he continues today. This commentary is the result of Sproul’s preaching ministry, and everything in this set has been preached by Dr. Sproul at St. Andrew’s Chapel. This makes the material all that more adaptable for use in your own preaching and teaching ministry.

This bundle covers every passage in the New Testament books of: Matthew, Mark, John, Acts, Romans, and 1-2 Peter. You’ll discover a great deal of horsepower in these volumes.

R.C. Sproul is a Passionate Defender of Christian Faith

Whether or not you are in agreement with Reformed theology, I’m confident you will find yourself in agreement with the vast majority of what Dr. Sproul teaches in these commentaries. You’ll find his research is deeply rooted in Scripture, and he shores up all his points with specific, relevant passages from God’s Word.

Dr. Sproul often pauses to point out key words from the Greek. He holds them up to the light and explains deeper truths that are not always obvious upon the first reading. I found this extremely helpful. Sproul also employs practical applications and personal anecdotes that inspire us to take action.

Fearless When It Comes to Sin – Sproul Tells It Like It Is

When it comes to godlessness and sin, R.C. Sproul pulls no punches. He constantly reminds us of how fortunate we are to be redeemed by such a generous and loving God. He’s not afraid to come right out and expose the brutal truth.

I was reading his commentary on Romans, which, by the way, is so good, it’s worth the price of the entire set (if you don’t agree, I’ll happily refund your purchase). As you know, Romans 1:18-25 deals with sin and the wrath of God. Sproul covers this passage thoroughly and beautifully. I was inspired by his fearlessness when I read one of his personal side notes describing an encounter with an atheists’ club. Here is an excerpt:

I was invited to a university campus several years ago to speak to an atheists’ club. They asked me to present the intellectual case for the existence of God. I did, and as I went through the arguments for the existence of God, I kept things on an intellectual plane. All things were safe and comfortable until I got to the end of my lecture. At that point I said, ‘I’m giving you arguments for the existence of God, but I feel like I’m carrying coals to Newcastle because I have to tell you that I do not have to prove to you that God exists, because I think you already know it. Your problem is not that you do not know that God exists; your problem is that you despise the God whom you know exists. Your problem is not intellectual; it is moral—you hate God.’”

I know people who need to hear this, and I’ll bet you do too. I hope you’ll accept my invitation to try the St. Andrews Expositional Commentary and see for yourself. I guarantee you’ll be delighted and it will become a much-used addition to your biblical library. Click here to download yours now and you can be enjoying it within minutes. Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8245.

Just mention promo code 8245.

In His Service,

Jim Baird