Colossians 3:13

My word for this year is forgive.  It has been a journey of lessons. What follows is some of what I have learned.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13b niv

When I read the word you that means me. I am to forgive, it is a statement, not a question or suggestion. I am not to forgive in my own way but as the Lord does, completely without hesitation or restrictions. statue-499190_640

When the Lord forgives me He doesn’t keep reminding me of what He has forgiven me. It is done. So it is to be when I forgive someone. Forgive and be done with it. Forgive once and for all. It is to be the same when I need to forgive myself. I mustn’t hold onto regrets and “if only’s”.

I want to be truly forgiving of others, readily, without holding back or waiting to be asked for forgiveness. I often have a hard time letting go of hurts and offenses. My heart needs to be softened. There is only one way to accomplish that softening; on my knees in prayer. I may need knee pads, I can be pretty stubborn!

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

2018 Word, Forgive

Every year I am given a word of the year. I say given because I don’t look for the word it just seems to find me.  In November while talking with Jesus he reminded me of the verse;

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13b niv

Really? Forgive is to be the word in 2018?

I questioned this because I think I am a fairly forgiving person. Oh, I know I fall short when it comes to being forgiving. But I pretty much have put past offenses behind me and when I feel I have been offended or hurt now I try to put it to rest and simply move on. Look at those last two sentences and notice the words; pretty much, fairly, try. You can see that I haven’t mastered forgiveness. I am still an apprentice.

I looked up the word forgive and here’s what I learned:

  • to forgive is to grant pardon, absolve, free
  • cancel, cease to blame or feel resentment
  • to give wholly without reservation
  • to give up resentment or claim to requital on account of offense or wrong

I have some work to do!

Soon after I was given the word forgive I wrote this on my other blog, Patricia’s Place.

The sharp fragmented pieces wildly scattered about
have gathered as soft feathers to fill this soul
preparing it to soar in the heavens.

Then I decided I wanted my word of the year to be soar!lion-1657960_640

Well, that is not to be because in my next chat with Jesus I told Him my word was going to be soar. Yes, I can be a brat even to the Lord.  I think He was laughing when He replied, “You cannot soar on wings like eagles when you are burdened with unforgiveness.”

So, forgive is my word in 2018.

Do you have a word of the year? If you do please share it in the comments.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Be Gentle

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.(Col 3:12 nlt) Notice the word gentleness. What does it mean to be a person of gentleness?

Gentleness is a quality of character. It is a behavior that is deliberate, a behavior we choose to demonstrate that isn’t always natural to us. We show gentleness when we act or respond in a kind and quiet way. With gentleness, there is calm in the storms of oursheep-451981_640 relationships.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Eph 4:2 niv

Some may think that gentleness is soft and weak but in truth to be gentle takes strength and thought. Not only our actions are to be gentle but also our speech is to be gentle. Sometimes we must say something to another that is hard or unpleasant; at those times we may need strong words. When strong words are needed it is best to have a soft voice, guarding our tongues and expressions so our words are expressed in a way that can be accepted without anger or hurt feelings.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Prov 15:1 nlt

Some people are gentle by nature and find it easy to show and express gentleness. They at heart are kind and merciful. I have talked to Jesus about this on many occasions when I have not felt merciful or kind, patient or humble, times when I have not shown gentleness where it was needed. He knows these traits are not necessarily inherent in us and it is essential that we develop them.  He will help us;

Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt 11:29

To help us He tells us to take His yoke and asks us to let Him teach us. He doesn’t force these lessons but He wants to teach them. When we look to Him as our Teacher we learn to be like Him, humble and gentle at heart. Is that not what we want, too?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

Gift of Peace

Peace can seem like an elusive aspect of faith. We are meant to live in peace with one another and to do that we must have peace within ourselves. We are not left to our own devices to find this peace. We don’t have to search to find it. It is a gift that is given to us.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Col 3:15 nlt

Jesus gives us peace freely without hesitation but it is up to us to let it have the dominate role in our heart. We must let it control our hearts. There is only one way that peace can regulate our responses and that is to trust the One who gives it to us.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isa 26:3 nlt

Peace is not just an emotion of our hearts it is also the thoughts of our minds. If we allowdove-41260_640 the confusion, turbulence, and anger of the world to take precedence over our thoughts we will have no peace. Jesus is to have first place in our hearts and minds. That is the only way peace will have the power to work in us and through us in this world. We have to claim the gift of peace and use it for His glory.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jo 14:27 niv

Jesus gives us peace for all time. He doesn’t give it then take it back. It is ours to keep. What we do with the gift is up to us. We can hide it away, we can ignore it, we can even claim we never received it or that we lost it but that won’t change the truth. We won’t have worried or fearful hearts if we understand the simple truth that peace has been given to us by the Prince of Peace and it is ours forever.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Patience

I thought I was a patient person until a couple of years ago. Patience was the word given to me in 2015 as the word to study and to think and pray about. The first thing I learned was that patience is something that God wants us to put on because He loves us and we are His people. It’s important.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves,
you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Col 3:12 nlt

The second thing I learned is that I am not a patient person.  The year was challenging in many ways and patience was not often my response. I don’t remember what all the challenges were they weren’t big or overwhelming just enough to require patience to see them through. Repeatedly I failed the patience test. It took awhile but I found the key to developing patience.

Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying.
Rom 12:112 nlt

See that last phrase, “and keep on praying”. That’s the key to most challenges in life bighttps://pixabay.com/en/flower-life-crack-desert-drought-887443/ and small. Pray! So, that’s what I did and what I still do. Learning patience is no small task for me. I haven’t conquered my impatience yet, I am a work in progress, but my failures are fewer and less often now.

God being who He is, answered my prayers with encouragement;

being strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy;
Col 1:11 esv

Jesus and I talk about this often. You and I were created to be like Him and we have some work to do to become who we are meant to be but we are not left on our own to do this. We have the Spirit within us, His power and might, to keep us strong and confident as we persevere with patience and joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia