Forgive & Forget


Let’s be honest…this is impossible.  As much as strive to forgive others, as we should, it is impossible for us to forget the things that some people do against us. It is our nature to remember and, if we are not careful, to harbor anger and bitterness.  We must remember that we have an adversary, the Devil, who will use anything against us to hinder our walk with God and our effectiveness for Christ.  The Devil can quickly detect and take advantage of a situation.  The Devil knows that an unforgiving heart is something that he can manipulate and control.

2 Corinthians  2:10-11  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

So to “forget” something that we have “forgiven” is a very difficult thing that we need to do.  The Bible states in Hebrews 10:17 that God will “remember no more” the “sins and iniquities” of the people.  We often times say that God doesn’t remember the sins that have been forgiven. I am not sure that is entirely true.  How is it that a God who knows everything can still forget something?  I believe the greatest lesson here is that although God may be able to recall the sins…He chooses not to.  For if He were to recall our sins that have been forgiven, then He would cheapen and nullify the sacrifice of His Son.  The very next verse states that “where remission of these is (sin), there is no more offering for sin.” Basically God is saying that Jesus covered those sins with His blood and God is going to leave them there.

There are some important principles that we should follow in having a forgiving heart….

  • The Basis of our Forgiveness

If someone was asked, “Why should we forgive someone?”, the answer would vary.  Some think that we should forgive others because it will make us feel good.  Although that may be true, this is not the greatest reason.  Some believe that we should not forgive unless the apology seems to be sincere or if the apology meets their standard.  It is true that we want people to be sincere in their apology.  If someone gives an apology that is insincere, it is almost a waste of time.  But these or any other reasons for forgiveness is less than the greatest reason.

The greatest reason why we should forgive someone is because we have been forgiven.  Paul encourages the church in Ephesus, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”(Ephesians 4:32) Notice that Paul did not say that we are to forgive for the offender’s sake or for the sake of the one who is offended.  We are to forgive for Christ sake.

What this means is that because we personally have been forgiven by Christ, we therefore should be forgiving to others.  No matter what someone may have done toward us, it can never compare to what we did to Jesus Christ by nailing Him to the cross.  We should forgive because we have been forgiven.



  • The “when” of Forgiveness


As we have already stated, the greatest forgiveness that we can receive comes from God.  He is the One that has been offended the most but also the One who forgives the greatest. But when did God show the spirit of forgiveness? When do we see that He was willing to forgive?  Was it after the offense and before repentance?  Was it after someone came with a repentant spirit? It is true that forgiveness is ISSUED after someone asks for it, but we should see that forgiveness should be AVAILABLE even before the offense is made.  God showed His willingness to forgive man of their sin, not after Adam and Eve sinned and not after they were caught in their sin, but He showed that He was willing to forgive them even before they were made. In Revelation 13:8 states that Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  God showed the spirit to forgive mankind even before sin came into the picture. 


In like manner, we should have the spirit of forgiveness toward others even before they may do something against us. Again, we will find the strength to do then when we keep in mind what Jesus has done for us.


  • Fullness of Forgiveness


Still keeping Jesus as our model, we must follow his example when it comes to forgiveness.  If our desire is the same as God’s desire, then we would want to have fellowship one with another.  Our desire to have fellowship must outweigh our tendency to withhold forgiveness.  God has such a desire to maintain our fellowship that He is always willing to forgive.


Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.


And whenever God forgives…He fully forgives.  He does not bring it back up to us again.  We also in like manner must be “ready to forgive” but also be willing to forgive fully…not desiring to bring it back up again.  

  • Safeguards from Bitterness

The truth is that we do not have the right to not to issue forgiveness toward others. As we saw in the beginning of this article, the basis of our forgiveness is the forgiveness that Jesus has issued to us.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Bitterness comes when we weigh the offense and the offender against our innocence and our pain. We feel that the greater the offense, then the greater the retribution and eventually the greater the bitterness that can settle into our hearts. But if we are honest, there is no one that has done more to us than we have done to Jesus Christ.  In Matthew 18, we read a parable about a servant that owed his lord 10,000 talents, which in that day was about 58,400,000 days of wages.  Because of the compassion of the master, his debt was forgiven him.  He then goes and demands the debt of his fellow servant…an amount of 100 pence, about 100 days of wages.  The master heard of this and imprisoned the servant and his family.  The greatest point of this parable is that because we have been forgiven so much, we must be willing to forgive others of what they have done to us.


Forgive and Forget…impossible, but to be willing to forgive and then be willing to not bring it up again…imperative.

Steve Taylor, Pastor

Pitfalls of Social Media…

We as Christians have the wonderful privilege of being called the children of God.  With that comes all the promises and blessings that God intends to give to his family.  All of this was made possible because Jesus bore our sin upon the Cross.  Since we have trusted in His sacrifice, we now bear His name.  Because we bear His name, we must be mindful of what we do and what we say…and even what we post.  In every area of life, we should be guided by the Biblical principle, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)  But like anything in life, we must be careful of pitfalls….things that catch us off guard that Satan can use to hinder our walk with God and our effectiveness for Jesus Christ.

  • Don’t use social media as a battle ground.

There seems to be a temptation to post things on a public form that we would never say in a private setting. Here are some reasons why some would do this:

  • They want to get their point across without the confrontation. They believe that the person that they are directing the comment to will read their post and they will “get the point”. This often times just fuels the fire of the confrontation without any kind of resolution.
  • Someone may be “fishing” for other people to side with them on the argument. They want to legitimize their argument by getting others to side with them. Part of the problem with the approach is that when someone posts something, they tend to post it with their side of the story or in a way that colors them in the best light.
  • Some may post something for no other reason than sympathy. They want someone to feel sorry for them or to find some comfort by some else’s words.  This approach isn’t as bad as the others, but in itself it can be dangerous. If this person is not looking to resolve the problem, then the seemingly encouraging words will stalemate any progress to resolution and reconciliation.

The best of to deal with any problem is, of course, the way that the Bible tells us. 

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;  24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

The greatest way to deal with any problem is to directly to the person in a humble and loving way and seek to resolve it in a way that glorifies God.


  • Perception is Reality


One of the greatest figures in the Old Testament is Daniel.  It was obvious from a young age that we was determine to honor God with his life.  He was just a teenager when we was first brought in with the captivity into Babylon.  It was then that he refused to eat the king’s meat.  We see later in his life that he refused to follow the king’s decree not to pray to God. This decree was made by the manipulation of Daniel’s enemies.  They tried find some way to discredit Daniel and could find none. So they knew that their only recourse was find fault “against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:5) His testimony was so impeccable that they could find no fault in him.


We must be careful what we post on social media.  It should go without saying that Christians should not use profanity or use language that is provocative in nature.  But is also dangers for us to share posts from other people that include such language.  One may say, “Well, I didn’t say it, I just share what someone else said”.  But the person who is scrolling through Facebook is not going to differentiate between your post and someone else’s.  You should want you name, and more importantly, God’s name associated with posts that are of a ungodly nature.


  • Approval of Others


We are living in an “Identity Crisis” in God’s church.  People are looking for approval and worth anywhere that they can get it.  If you are a child of God, there is no greater worth than living in the reality that God loved you so much that He sent His Son to earth to die for you sins and He is constantly working in your life.  But there is a pitfall of seeking approval on social media. There are actually people who battle levels of depression because they have no “likes” on their posts and their photos.


The truth is that there is no approval that you can receive on this earth that can compare with the approval that you find with God through Jesus Christ. Paul tells the church at Ephesus…


Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

We have no other need to find approval and acceptance in any one else because we already have the greatest acceptance through Christ.

  • Living in Reality

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being involved in everyone else’s lives that we forget to live in our own. People want to know what someone else is up to, where they have been or what happened to their lives.  We have “plugged in” so much to social media that we have “unplugged” from our own lives.  Social media can be used as a mild distraction but it should never be used as something that controls our lives.

Christ reminds us in John 17 that we are “in the world” but not “of the world”.  But we have been left “in the world” so that we can be a witness to the world for Christ.



  • Scroll Trolls


Just as social media could be used for the cause of Christ, it is often times for the work of the Devil.  We must be careful not to spend a lot of time scrolling around social media.  There are things that are put on social media that no Christian should look at or even spend time viewing. It is as a preacher once said, “Satan wants to use a toehold to create a strong hold in your life.”  We must be careful


1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

  • Time is Valuable


One of the biggest dangers of social media…or any kind of media…is that it tends to waste time.  Although you mean to just check one post or one status, sure enough you find yourself looking at another story or another video or following that one link that leads you to another link and before you know it, something that you only intended to take 2 or 3 minutes has just ate  up 30 minutes of you time.  Although many people do not have the same positions of influence or the same monetary substance, they all have the same amount of time and we are responsible to use it in a wise way.


Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.


**I am not totally against social media.  I have a Facebook and Twitter account myself.  I find that it can be a useful tool to post things that may be helpful to others on their Christian walk.  Social media can be tool that we can use for the cause of Christ. But we have to be careful that we are the ones controlling the tool and that the tool is not controlling us.

How to make every Sunday special…

There is no mistaking it, we live in a fast paced culture. With work, kids’ school, ball games, family nights, and trying to squeeze in some time for rest and recreation, it’s no wonder we all don’t suffer from exhaustion. As we begin to schedule a week or a given period of time, we tend to put the most crucial things on the top of the list and then the things that are expendable get bumped to the bottom. We create a list based upon what we perceive to be the most important things. What I fear is that in our country the things of God have become expendable. People are attending church less now than they were 20 years ago. Churches are having less services. People, although knowing that a daily relationship with God is important, don’t have time to read their Bible and pray on a daily basis. And if they are able to get to church, they are completely spent when they get there. A few weeks ago, I gave our church a list of several things that you should do in order to make EVERY Sunday special.

Go to bed at a decent time.

The human body requires rest. There is no way that a person can stay up late on Saturday night and then be awake and aware enough to listen, participate and enjoy church the next day.

Spend time in God’s Word and Prayer before the service.

This basically “primes the pump” of our minds and heart before we get to church.

Come expecting God to speak to you.

There can be many things said about the motives that we have when we come to church. Are we coming to fulfil some moral obligation, are we coming because we will feel guilty (or made to feel guilty) if we don’t, is it more of a social gathering etc. We must come with a realization that God wants to speak to us and to guide us.

Be there!

Church attendance is on a vast decline. Church is important! It is God’s design for us to be challenged from God’s Word. It is a place where the lost can hear the Gospel. It is a place where we can be equipped to do the work of God in our daily lives. In our given week, the most important thing that we can do is to be in the house of God.

Invite a friend

There is no mistaking it, God has given to all of His children the responsibility of the Great Commission. One great way to make church more exciting is to help it grow by inviting people in your area of influence.


There should never be such a thing as an inactive Christian. When Christ saved us, He saved us for a purpose. He gave our lives meaning and substance. So many Christians don’t enjoy church because they come with no expectation. They come, sit and do nothing. Join the choir, work in the nursery, be an usher, serve in the kitchen. DO something!!


**If there was ever a time for God’s people to stand and shine, it is today.

“God is not limited by the darkness around us, but He is limited by His children who refuse to shine for Him.”

What Do You See?

The question seems so simple, but truthfully two people can be looking at the same thing and “see” something different.  For example, when I look at an ocean, memories of fun and family vacation comes to mind.  I think of the fun times throwing the football and riding the waves.  Others may think of sharks, sunburn, and nasty seaweed.  Although we may be looking at the same thing, we have two totally different perspectives.  So the question “What Do You See?” has as much to do with your perspective, as what you are actually looking at. 


We live our lives from our own perspective, when we should be looking at life from God’s perspective.  There are many people in the Old Testament whose lives would have been much different, if they would have seen things from God’s perspective.  Genesis 3:6 says “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…”, how different would Eve’s life had been if she would have seen the tree from God’s perspective.  In Genesis 13:10 it says “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where…”, how different Lot’s life would have been if he would have seen the land from God’s perspective.   

Our perspective determines how we view people.  We see people as poor, rich, ugly, pretty, annoying, talented, and sometimes beneficial to our own cause.  But what does God see?  If we are going to have any effectiveness for the cause of Christ, we must start seeing people from God’s perspective.

What should I See?

I. Lost People

In Mark 6:34 , Jesus describes the group of people as sheep without a shepherd. People are searching.  What are they finding from us?  They should find…
A.Our Compassion
B. Our Shepherd
C. Our Investment

Jesus could have looked at the people in Mark 6 and had compassion and saw their need for a Shepherd, but decide that He just did not have enough time to minister to this group of people. That decision probably would have been justified, but at the end of Mark 6:34 it says that Jesus taught them. In other words, He invested in their lives.  Who is you project?  Who are you investing in for the cause of Christ?

II. God-given Opportunities
From John 4:31 we learn that…
A. Opportunities are Many
B. The people are Ready
C. We must be Willing
III. Eternal Souls

In Luke 16 we read of the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  Verse 23 describes the rich mans perspective, “And in hell he lift up his eyes…”.  The reality is that everyone will spend eternity in heaven or hell. 

If we will understand that our perspective now could affect someone’s perspective in eternity, we may start seeing things differently.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Jeremiah, the prophet, has spent his ministry preaching to God’s people.  He has warned them of the coming judgment of God upon them because of their sin.  Jeremiah’s ministry was not what we might call fruitful.   Israel did not turn back toward God and the judgment that he predicted came to pass.  Lamentations records the heart break of Jeremiah because of the condition of his people.  In the midst of this book, we find a verse that is quite amazing.  Jeremiah praises God for His faithfulness.  As he is standing in the midst of the destruction of his people, he still sees the faithfulness of God.  Let’s break down this verse…


  • This word means plenteous, exceeding or sufficient. The word “great” is often subjective to the context in which we find it. We might say that something is great in comparison to something else. We might say that a Wendy’s hamburger is great compared to one from McDonald’s.  But, then, we would say that a hamburger from Five Guys is great compared to the one from Wendy’s.  The truth is that no matter what God is compared to…He is great! He is plenteous, He is exceeding and He is sufficient.


  • This is a present tense word. The truth is all that we have is the present.  In Jeremiah’s time, there was no use to regret things of the past, he was focused on the present.  We also find ourselves being worried or anxious about the future.  But Jeremiah’s focus was on the time where he was.  No matter where or when we find ourselves, we find that God is there with us.


  • It is obvious that we will get to the word “faithfulness” in a minute, but it is also important for us to realize where that faithfulness comes from. The source of what we receive is more important than what we receive. You may sit down at a nice restaurant and have a beautiful plate of food brought to you, but if you went to the kitchen and find that it is full of mold and mice, you would definitely not want to eat it. Where does the faithfulness come from?  It comes from God!


  • God never changes, and God is always good. In this context, God was faithful to His Word of judgment upon Israel. God is also faithful to His promise of forgiveness and restoration.  God is faithful to honor His Word.  As we look back on our lives and see the faithfulness of God, we have no right nor reason to question His faithfulness in the present, nor His faithfulness in the future.


**At the time of this writing, I have received some news about a dear friend of mine. I can receive that news with some confidence and assurance because I have a God that is faithful!

Attitude – A Key to Leadership

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”  Proverbs 15:18

 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

John Maxwell, renowned authority on leadership, says that “everything rises and falls on leadership.”  I agree with that whole-heartedly.  Sports teams, companies, and countries are successful because of leaders within their organizations.  If you study these people very much, you’ll sometimes fine men with very explosive personalities.  Men like Bobby Knight, Vince Lombardi, and Richard Nixon to name just a few.  However, most of us would prefer a coach, boss or leader who was kind and positive in their approach.


While the vast majority of us are not leaders of sports teams, companies or countries, we are leaders in the various roles God has given us from parents and grandparents, to supervisors within our workplaces, to Sunday School teachers, etc.  Almost all of are leaders on one capacity or another.  So what kind of leader are you?  What kind of leader do you want to be?  Let’s take a look at a few things we can do to be the kind of leader most of us would want in our lives:
  1. Listen


Someone once asked John Wooden, the great basketball coach of UCLA, “What is the most important trait for a leader?”  His answer was very surprising.  He answered, “He must be a good listener.”  Dr Mark Rassmussen, author of the book 101 Tips for Teaching states, “Having a kind, listening spirit allows one to mentor and instruct far more thoroughly than if one was to be overly reactive, caustic, or cruel.”  Many have the thought process that children should be seen and not heard.  If that is the case, then how can you lead them?  Just like anyone that you lead, you have to listen to them to understand them and know how to lead them.  Now, that doesn’t mean that children are allowed to talk back when you tell them to do something.  What it does mean is that you should be open to listening to them so you know their feelings and understanding about a subject, event, or situation going on in their life.  If you don’t, you may lead them in the wrong direction or, worse yet, to a position of wrath.  James 1:9 states, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  Listen far more than you speak and you’ll be successful in leading others. 
  1. Be Sweet


“I’m the boss and I expect everyone to just get in line and do what I say.  I don’t care what is going on in their lives, they need to get over it and just do what I tell them to do.”  Would you want to work for that kind of a boss?  I wouldn’t.  I understand that there are times when a leader has to take charge and command because of safety or an emergency.  But those times are far fewer than some leaders believe.    In Proverbs, the greatest book of wisdom ever written, Solomon wrote, “The sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.”  I guess that was the reference for the great philosopher, Mary Poppins, when she sang, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”  Pastor Kerry Nance, Pastor of Southside Baptist Church, used to put it this way:

“ Correction is like a bologna sandwich.  You start with a piece of bread (something nice or commending), put on the bologna (deal with the error or issue that needs correcting), then put on the other piece of bread (finish with something good).”

If you evaluate that approach, there is twice a much good as there is bad.  It will get a far greater result than just harpooning the person with only negative comments.  You take them off the defensive, the issue is dealt with and then you send them off on a positive note.  They are far more likely to be successful in correcting the issue than the person who is dealt with in a totally negative way.
  1. Purpose To Commend The Good


As leaders, we should be experts in seeing and commending the good around us.  We can spot someone doing wrong, no matter how small an issue, from 300 yards.  We get them in our sites like a hunter ready for the kill on the first day of hunting season.  But if we would have the same amount of attention directed toward those who are doing right, we could change attitudes.  We must purpose to tell those who do right that we see them and appreciate them. 


No matter what leadership role God has given you, remember to apply the Golden Rule and strive to treat others the way you’d want to be treated.  You will be far more successful and those you are leading will be too.

Relevant Teens For A Radical Time

There is a desire inside every young person to be relevant and to have a purpose in life. Sadly, to many times young people take their relevancy from the world. The world says for a young person to be relevant they must rebel against authority, live an immoral lifestyle, and reject all absolute truth. Basically, trade your birthright as a child of the King of Kings for the pleasure of sin for a season.


God’s plan is much greater than that. In Esther chapter 4 Mordecai reminds Esther of her purpose, “…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. How different would churches and youth groups be, if Christians lived their lives with the belief that they are here in their families, jobs, and churches for such a time as this? I am afraid that we let our fear, doubt, and sin keep us from God’s purpose. The hope for this world is for our young people to decide to be relevant for the cause of Christ.

Simplifying Life

Take any point in the history of your life…think about the problems that you face, decision that you had
to make, the people that you encountered and the responsibilities that you had to bear. If we started to add them all together (and for some it is more like multiplication), it all seems so complicated! Although we have responsibilities and we have things that we have to do, the truth is that we truly don’t have many things to do. We only have one thing to do. Paul shares that with us in Philippians 3:13 & 14 when he tells us, “but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”


Our life is not about accomplishing many things, but it about accomplishing one thing…pursuing Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we don’t have to accomplish all of our responsibilities, but it mean that if we make Christ the priority that He will help us fulfill our  responsibilities. The truth is that I don’t have the wisdom, strength and discernment to make right decisions in life or to make it through difficult times. But if I make Jesus Christ my pursuit, then He will lead me in the right decisions and He will give me the grace that is needed.

What is involved in pursuing the “one thing”?

1. Realizing that you have not “attained”. The truth is that we desperately need Jesus Christ every day of our lives. We need His presence, wisdom, grace and strength. The great problem that we face is that our flesh is self-sufficient. Our flesh does not want to depend upon Christ. This is a feeling that is born out of a heart of pride. The only way for us to continually pursue Christ and find that deeper relationship with Him is through a heart of humility and desire.
It is amazing to read the words that Paul is writing here, “I count not myself to have apprehended”! By the time he is writing this letter to the church of Philippi, it had been approximately 30 years since the Damascus road experience and where he met the Lord. Since that time, Christ had used Paul in a great way to see many souls come to Christ, churches established and Scripture written. Also at this time, Paul is sitting in a prison for the faith. Despite the length of his Christian life, service to Christ and his present surroundings…Paul is declaring that he was “pressing toward the mark”!


2. We cannot live in the past
The past has but one virtue…it is to give us present strength as we serve God and move forward to the future. I was raised in a Christian home and my parents were faithful members of a good Baptist church. I can remember God’s hand of blessing upon our church where thousands of people would come every week. After high school, I attended a wonderful Bible college that was a ministry of a great Baptist church. It was incredible to see God’s hand of blessing upon that ministry as hundreds of people were saved and baptized and the church grew in wonderful way. These are all wonderful memories…but that is all that they are, they are memories. Not only the good times, but we also have to put forgiven sin behind us. When Christ died upon Calvary, He took upon Himself all of our sins and the sins of all mankind. The debt has been paid! And at those moments that we fail Him but turning away and sinning before Him, we need to repent and ask for forgiveness and restitution. Paul had to forget many things that he had done in the past. He was a persecutor of the church. He had to forget those things.

Christ tells us in Luke 9:62, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Paul had to come to the realization that he had to put all of the good and the bad behind him.


3. The Christian life is forward
As we see in Paul’s life, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been saved, how much you have served God, or what present situation that you find yourself in. We still need to “press toward the mark.” Paul teaches us in Romans 8:29,  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

God’s overall desire for us is Christlikeness. He is working in our lives to make us more like Christ. That is the “big picture”, but it realized and manifested in the daily surrender to Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”


Are you pursuing the “one thing”? Are the goals that you set this year surrounding the idea of following the “one thing”? The truth is that we accomplish so much more in life following the “one thing” that trying to do everything with it!