Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Whose Kingdom Reigns in Your Life?


Satan is in rebellion against God. He has already lost, and he knows it, but until he is locked up for good he still looks for opportunities to wreak havoc any way he can. (1 Peter 5:8). Knowing he cannot overthrow God makes him angry, frustrated, and he has turned his hatred toward humans, who are made in the image of God. He will do whatever he can to devour or destroy the human race. 

If he can’t kill you, he will try and recruit you into his rebellion against God. If that doesn’t work, he will try everything he can to keep you from walking in God’s kingdom and fulfilling your God-given purpose. You are a threat to him and he knows it. If he can keep you under his domain of darkness you will be out of his way for now, but will ultimately end up in eternal captivity and a slave to darkness.

But there’s good news…

For He (God the Father) rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14.

To be under the “domain” of darkness is to be in a place where darkness rules over you. It’s not a place of freedom. It’s not a place where you can do whatever you want. It’s a place of bondage, captivity, stumbling around in the dark, unaware and unable to find your purpose and place in life, and really, unable to find life itself. In this place satan has you where he wants you.

But God…

This Scripture in Colossians tells us that the Father in heaven rescued you from the domain of darkness and transferred you to the kingdom of His beloved Son Jesus. This was done when Jesus died on the cross, and it becomes a reality in your life when you believe in Jesus—that He died for your sin, that the Father raised Him from the dead—and when you confess Him, verbally acknowledging Him, as Lord of your life.

The domain of darkness is still around you, its around all of us, but through faith in Jesus Christ you are pulled out of that domain and placed into the kingdom of Light, even while still here on earth.

The apostle John gives more light on this in quoting Jesus:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

God, the Father, sent His Son Jesus to the earth to die on the cross so you could have eternal life in His kingdom of Light. He didn’t send Jesus to judge and punish people for sinful behavior. There is a time of judgment coming when that will happen, but not yet. Now, He has given us a way to escape this judgment. He sent Jesus to save us—to show us how to come out from under that domain of darkness and into His kingdom of Light. 

Jesus went on to explain:

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

Whoever is under the domain of darkness is already judged. Jesus didn't need to come pronounce judgment because judgment is already inevitable for those in darkness. Judgment already rules over them. Instead, Jesus came to proclaim a way out of the judgment and into freedom from the domain of darkness. 

He continues:

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. John 3:19-20.

Judgement comes on those in darkness including those who choose not to accept the Light when its offered to them. These are those who turn from the Light—from the rescuing hand of Jesus—and choose instead to stay under the domain of darkness. Instead of being willing to expose their sin and dark deeds to the light of Jesus so they can be forgiven and their sin eradicated, they choose instead to continue in their sin, to stay in the dark and hide, most likely hoping they won’t be found out, or ignoring the fact that there will be a judgment to come. But there is a judgment, and there is no way to opt out of that reality. We cannot be our own god and create our own truth, and if we think we can we are buried deep under the deception of darkness.

Everyone born into this world is born under this domain of darkness, under this judgment, because of the fall in the Garden of Eden. When the first man and woman yielded to the deceiver, they disobeyed their Creator God, who warned them not to eat the fruit of the tree that would kill them. Their spirits died when they ate it which bound them under the dark domain. They died spiritually while their physical bodies lived for a while. 

The entire human race is born in this condition because everything reproduces after its own kind, whether its apples, dogs, fish, or fallen human beings. The first man and woman, bound under the dark domain, destined their children, and the human race, to be under the rule of this dark domain and its judgment.

In this fallen condition the first reaction to doing wrong is to stay in the darkness—to hide rather than admit to the wrong. This is the root of pride.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the gardenGenesis 3:7-8.

They lost the glory of God as their covering, became full of shame, and hid. The awareness of their sin caused them to hide from God.

So what about the Kingdom of Light?

Every kingdom has a king. Jesus is Lord and King in this kingdom of light. But He is also our priest. A priest is a mediator between man and God. Without Him we would have no access to God. We would be forever bound under the domain of darkness. But He came and offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin in our place. The price He had to pay for rescuing us was His own blood.

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:7-10

When Jesus was here on the earth in the flesh, he offered up prayers to God, the One who could have saved Him from death. Jesus wasn’t looking forward to the death on the cross that He knew He would face to pay for our sin. He could have asked God to call off the whole plan and leave mankind under the domain of darkness and all the torment that goes with that. But instead, Jesus submitted His will to the Father’s. And as a result of His obedience, He became the source of our eternal salvation.

During His agonizing prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane before His death on the cross, Jesus submitted His will to the will of the Father in heaven (Luke 22:42). This is the foundation of the kingdom of Light. The kingdom of Light is a kingdom of submission—willful submission—to the will of the Father. In the kingdom of darkness you are under submission to that dark kingdom against your will. You can’t ever leave without the rescue of God through Jesus Christ.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He said “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” (Matthew 6:9-10). Once again, the kingdom of Light, the kingdom of God’s Son, is a kingdom of willful submission to the Father.

Jesus told His disciples if anyone wanted to follow Him, (follow Him out of the domain of darkness and into His kingdom of Light) then he would have to take up his cross on a daily basis and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24-25). Like Jesus, our cross is the place of death to our own will and submission to the Father’s. However, unlike Jesus we don’t offer ourselves in physical death, but as a living sacrifice. (We don’t kill ourselves physically!)

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2.

Paul the apostle urged the church to present their bodies a living and holy sacrifice to God. Instead of conforming to the world (the world which is under the rule of the dark domain) he said to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. In so doing they would prove the will of God. 

The apostle Peter wrote that those who enter God's kingdom are themselves a kingdom, and priests unto our God. He called the followers of Jesus a royal priesthood.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10.

Peter also said that Jesus bore our own sin in His body on the cross. Our sin is what wounded Him physically and killed Him. Yet, by those very same wounds we are healed.

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24.

Notice the purpose of our healing is so we may die to sin and live to righteousness. So we are not bound by sin under the rule of darkness, but free to fulfill our purpose in the kingdom of Light.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33.

When we seek His kingdom and His righteousness first above everything else, then all of the things we need for the body, whether food, drink, clothing, extended life (healing), or whatever provision needed for us to live the life we are called to life, is provided for. 

God wants our hearts, our desires, our time and attention, but not by force. He wants us to willingly give them to Him. 

Taking the role of a bond-servant

A bond-servant is one who willingly chooses to serve his master. Jesus was called a bond-servant:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

Jesus didn’t try to hold on to His position of equality with God. Instead He took on the form of a bond-servant, He came to earth as a man, emptied Himself of the benefits of His divinity, so He could suffer and die for our sins.

Choose a Kingdom

Which kingdom would you rather serve in—one who keeps you captive, is completely unable to provide for your eternal life, keeps you in bondage and torment under a motivation of hate, and takes out his wrath toward God on you?  Or would you rather serve a loving heavenly Father whose Son came willingly to die for you so you could enter His kingdom and enjoy the benefits of life, love, healing, provision, and fellowship with the God, serving in a royal kingdom as a priest unto a loving, all powerful Creator God?

It really is your choice. But the choice is limited to either staying bound under the control of darkness or freely entering the kingdom of light and love. There is no other plan. And there is no way out of the kingdom of darkness except through Jesus Christ. 

The apostle Paul described his pursuit of Jesus as this:

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:10-14.

Jesus reached into the dark kingdom and laid hold of us for a reason. Paul said he pressed on so that he could discover what that reason was and fulfill it. He wanted to lay hold of that for which Jesus laid hold of him. He continued to press on toward this goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ. In the kingdom of God, there is a reward, but in the domain of darkness under satan there is bondage and death.

The prophet Jeremiah revealed the heart of God when he said:

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

And the psalmist described God’s thorough knowledge of us, who we are, who He made us to be, and His beautiful plans for us as our Creator:

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
 will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Psalm 139:13-16


The Lord’s Prayer:

"“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]"

Matthew 6:9-13






Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Is it Fixable? Part Two of "Inevitable or Preventable"


In the last blog, Inevitable or Preventable, I brought up the importance of knowing the difference between what is inevitable and what is preventable. The point being that our actions will be different as God reveals which is which. When He does, we can prepare for what is inevitable or prevent what is preventable as we follow His lead.

In that post I made the comment that we don’t want to waste our time trying to prevent those things that are inevitable. However, it’s important to understand that even if we feel we can't prevent those things, we can still stand against them. For example if some bad thing is inevitable—like the passage of a certain law—We are not wasting our time to speak up or try and do what we can to stop it. We must always stand for truth and righteousness. Psalm 94:16.

In Luke 17:1 Jesus said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!" Certain things are inevitable, but we don't want to be the one that opens the door to those things, participates in them, condones them, or remains silent about them. And we don’t want to have the attitude that we are to just sit back and let it run rampant—Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. We always want to shine as a light, speak truth, sound the alarm when appropriate, and ask the Lord to show us any part of a seemingly inevitable event we can prevent, along with what and how.

And of course, we don't want to be one who did not discern that it could have been prevented.

What is Fixable?

So, what about those things that have already happened that could have been prevented but weren't?

I think everyone would agree that there are things that happen that we don’t like and didn’t intend to happen. The same is true of God. Since the fall of man there have been things happening on earth that God never intended. Even though He knew they would, for He planned for the solution, His preference would have been for mankind to avoid certain things from happening altogether. Cain killing Abel, the wickedness in Noah’s day, The enslavement of His people, the perversity in Sodom and Gomorrah, the sacrifice of children to a false god, to name a few. We could go on and on through century after century looking at things that happened that God never intended to happen.

These things happen because of the fallen nature within man—the pride and rebellion implanted in the human heart as a result of mankind’s rejection of God’s words and following the words of the rebellious deceiver instead. This had consequence in the Garden and still does today.

These consequences are things that have happened that God never intended, things that could have been prevented if His people would have listened to Him and followed His words. Not all that is happening today was inevitable. Some of it was preventable.

So the question now becomes what is fixable? Is anything fixable? Or are we stuck with these consequences? If so, for how long? What do we do now that we see what was wrong and could have, and should have, been prevented?

God’s answer first and foremost is always to repent. To turn from the wickedness, from the rebellion, from the disobedience to His Word, and turn to Him. To humble ourselves before Him, to seek Him, to follow Him, to acknowledge that His way is the only way—to make Jesus Lord of our lives, and all that that entails.
"(If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

There were times God’s people were in such a mess that there was no human solution. Surrounded by armies, besieged, in seemingly impossible situations—seemingly unfixable situations—yet when they turned to God He prevailed over their enemies and rescued them. It happened over and over until they turned so far against Him and hardened their heart so much against Him that they were taken into captivity. Thus it was proven that a Savior who would change the heart of man would be the only way to save him.

From the beginning, God had a plan of redemption for all of mankind. He sent His Son Jesus to pay the ultimate price and restore back to God those who believe in Him.

Is it fixable? It depends on what the “it” is. The human heart, which tends toward hatred, rebellion, pride, selfishness, and so on, is fixable, but only through faith in Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for us so we could be born again into His new nature, filled with His Spirit and hearts which tend toward righteousness.

And that is the first and most important step toward fixing anything else in the world.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Inevitable or Preventable?


A few times over the last week or so I've felt the questions rise within me, "Is it inevitable or is it preventable? (without knowing what the "it" was), and, "are we to prepare or to prevent?"

While asking the Lord for further insight on this He prompted me to rephrase the question and to ask instead, “What is inevitable and what is preventable?” and then “what and how do we prepare for what is inevitable, and what and how do we prevent what can be prevented?”

Inevitable means, “not to be avoided…unavoidable…no escape or evasion.”1
Preventable means, “...may be prevented or hindered.”2

There are some things coming that we will need to prepare for and some things we will be called to prevent. Our actions will be different based on whether the coming event is, in God’s eyes, inevitable or preventable. It’s important to note that the verdict of which is which is based on what God says is inevitable and what God says is preventable, not what we (or any other person) thinks or says about it.

So the questions become:

  • What is coming, (that the Lord will reveal to us)?
  • What is inevitable?
  • What can be prevented?
  • How do we tell the difference?
  • What do we do to prevent or prepare for each one? and
  • How do we prevent or prepare?

What is Inevitable

Concerning what is inevitable, ask the Lord how much of that He will reveal. He most likely will not reveal all of it to us, especially all at once, and especially that which doesn’t concern us. However, there are some things that are inevitable that we may still ask Him to reveal. In fact, we should seek Him for those things because He may not reveal them until we ask.

Why do we ask Him to show us what is inevitable if it’s just going to happen no matter what? So we can prepare, both for ourselves and others. And so we don’t waste our time trying to prevent what is inevitable when we could and should be working to prevent what is preventable and prepare for what is inevitable. Only He can tell us which is which—what to prepare for and what to prevent, and it may be different for different people.

The bigger danger, I think, is not being unaware of what is inevitable (as devastating as that might be) but its more dangerous (and you could say irresponsible on our part) when we assume that something is inevitable when it is not, when it is actually preventable. When we hear of something coming, or He shows us something to come, we must not automatically assume it is inevitable. We need to go to Him and talk to Him about it.

We sometimes underestimate what God has called us to do as His ekklesia—His governing body in the earth. All things are not inevitable, there are things that are preventable when His church takes their place in the kingdom as we are called.

What is Preventable

If something is preventable we need to find out from Him what our place and part is concerning it. Then seek Him on how to be equipped, and then actually ask for that equipping. Once again, He may very well not show us, or equip us, until we ask. Initiate a conversation with Him about these things, including:

  • Revelation about what is to come
  • Discernment to know what is inevitable and what is preventable
  • Wisdom, knowledge, and equipping to prepare for the inevitable
  • Wisdom, knowledge, and equipping to prevent what we can prevent

 In any case, never fear for He is with you always, no matter what is coming!


1 https://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/Inevitable
2 https://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/preventable



Saturday, September 2, 2023

Forgiveness Check-up


Do you ever struggle to forgive someone? Do you feel so obligated to forgive a person quickly that you mumble your forgiveness without a real sincerity? Let's take a look at the process of forgiveness as Jesus described it. 

Luke 17:3-4
3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Jesus was talking to His disciples when He said if your brother repents of his sin to forgive him, even if he sins against you seven times in one day, if he comes to you and repents then forgive him. Notice He said, “if he repents.” So if your brother or sister in Christ comes to you in repentance, seeking forgiveness for a wrong they’ve done, you are to forgive them.

But what if they don’t come to you in repentance?

First, let’s clarify that if your brother doesn’t come to you and repent then that doesn’t mean you don’t “forgive” him. 

Forgiveness is a relational thing. It takes two people. According to what Jesus said here you can't really “forgive” a person if they don’t come to you and repent. In the same way that you can’t withdraw money from your bank account if you don’t ask the bank for it. It’s there, it’s available to you, but if you don’t go through the process of requesting it then the bank won’t just randomly give it to you. They don’t even know you want it. In the same way, if a person who has wronged you doesn’t come to you and ask for forgiveness you can’t give it to him. They have got to go through the process of requesting it—to come to you and repent.

However, that doesn’t mean that you hang on to unforgiveness if he hasn’t repented. That doesn’t mean that you hold on to bitterness and seek vengeance. You deal with all of that (hopefully) at the time the sin is committed, (or when you find out about it). 

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that love “does not take into account a wrong suffered.” Love will not allow any bitterness or resentment to remain in your heart when someone wrongs you or sins against you. Neither will it seek vengeance or revenge on a person who wrongs you.

Romans 12:18-20 
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

We sometimes call forgiveness the thing that we do when we determine we will not become bitter or seek revenge on a person who wrongs us. Or we call forgiveness the thing that we do when we have held on to bitterness and then come to point where we realize we need to let go of our bitterness toward that person. But really, that is simply guarding our own heart against sin and determining that we will walk in love and not take account of the wrong(s) we suffer because of another person’s sin. We call it forgiveness, but it's more accurate to say we are keeping our own heart pure before God, and remaining in His love, which puts us in a position where we stand ready to forgive if/when they ask. Forgiveness is what we do toward them when they come to us in repentance asking for our forgiveness.

The reason I think this distinction is important is because there is a process we go through to come to the point of keeping bitterness and revenge out of our heart. When someone sins against us, we might be able to let it roll off of us without a problem. But there are times we may need to take a minute to acknowledge a wrong done toward us and go to the Lord about it. We may need to talk to the Lord to gain understanding about the person, what they did, or the situation in general. We might need healing from wounds caused by the person's sin. We might need to examine our heart to see if we’ve done anything wrong. This takes a little time, prayer, and thought to work through, but when we feel that we have to immediately “forgive” a person (or God won’t forgive us) then we may bypass this important process of healing, self-examination, and seeking the Lord for His perspective.

Now that we understand what we can do right away when we are wronged to keep our hearts right, let's look again at what Jesus said:

Luke 17:3-4
3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Notice Jesus first said if your brother sins to rebuke him.

Again this is relational, so you don’t go around rebuking every Christian you know for what you perceive to be sin in their life. There was a woman who came to our church once who told us of a time she visited a church with her two young children. Before the service even started some women came up to her and told her they had already found four things wrong with her. That is not what Jesus meant here and I would guess that not one of those four things was actually sin.

So we don't want to go around looking for faults in every Christian we see. Yet with those we have a relationship with, the best course of action to take when they sin against us is to talk to them about it and address it (See Matthew 18:15-22, Galatians 6:1, James 5:16, 20). Try to clear the air right away. Ideally, we want the relationship restored. Sometimes that’s not possible. But in any case, we still do what we need to so we keep our own hearts pure and ready to forgive.

Forgiving as Christ has Forgiven us

Paul said we are to forgive our brothers and sisters as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). 

How has He forgiven us? Jesus came and died so we could be forgiven of our sins and made righteous. Yet it doesn’t happen without our coming to Him in repentance asking for His forgiveness and His salvation. Then, once we are born again into His family, we walk with Him endeavoring to keep His Word and not sin. But if we sin, we confess it to Him, and seek His forgiveness.

John said if we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Asking for forgiveness brings us into relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ and it keeps us in relationship with Him even if we sin after we have experienced His salvation. He provided for our forgiveness by dying on the cross and He is not holding our sin against us (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus took our sin on the cross and paid the price. He presents us before the Father without spot (sin, defect) or blemish (original sin).

In the same way, we do not personally hold our brother’s sin against them. We do not hold bitterness in our heart against them or seek their demise. Yet the act of forgiveness doesn’t happen until they ask for it, and we let them know we have forgiven them, having genuinely kept our hearts pure from anything which would result in unforgiveness. In our minds, and heart, we have already forgiven them, it’s ready and waiting for them as we’ve already gone through the process of forgiving them before the Lord—a process that might have included healing, correction, a strengthening, and/or gaining understanding on our part first.

Stephen asked the Lord not to hold the sin (of stoning him) against those who were stoning him (Acts 7:60). God is the one who forgives sin, and though Stephen wouldn’t be around to forgive them if any of his murderers repented later on, at the time of his death he did “forgive” them by keeping his heart free from seeking vengeance and letting the Lord know he did not want anything to be held against them on his behalf.

We do not have to, nor should we, wait for a person to come to us in repentance before we "forgive" them. We prepare our hearts now.

What About Retaining Sins?

John 20:21-23
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the word retain is the Greek word krateo which most often in the NASB version is translated seize or seized. It’s also translated to hold, hold fast, take hold in various forms or arrested.  The word means to be strong, rule.

Keeping the thought in mind that you don’t technically forgive someone until they come to you seeking forgiveness (even though you’ve determined not to hold on to bitterness or a vengeful heart), we might look at this action of retaining sins as something that occurs if a person is seeking forgiveness for a sin but wants to continue in it. In other words, they are seeking permission or tolerance of the sin, not true forgiveness. They want “forgiveness” and fellowship among the brethren, but not through repentance.

There are times that sins are to be “seized” or “arrested.” It is to be ruled over and put in its proper place. We are to declare what God has already judged about sin—that it is not to be allowed to freely operate in the church, among believers. It is to be rebuked, not tolerated.

So what this means is that by our forgiveness we are not saying we condone someone continuing in sin. We seize that sin, arrest it, address it and confront it in our brother or sister. More important than restoring their relationship with us is the restoration of their relationship with God.

 So What to Do?

To check up on yourself, go before the Lord and talk to Him about anything you may be holding in your heart against another person who has wronged you. Ask for healing if needed, ask for understanding, and receive any correction He gives you. Remember that His love has been poured out in your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Remind yourself of His love for you and receive it fully because receiving His love is what gives you the ability to love others (1 John 4:19). Ask Him for forgiveness for anything in your heart that you are holding against anyone else. You do not need to wait to be free from the pain that their sin has caused you. You can be free right now.

If that person does come to you in repentance, asking for forgiveness, then you will be ready and willing to do so because you already have in your heart. They may never repent and ask for forgiveness. Some may have passed away and others just might never seek your forgiveness, but in any case you are not bound or wounded by their sin anymore. You are free from that sin and the rippling affects of it.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Created on Purpose


Say this today:
"God created me on purpose,
because He wanted to.
I am not a mistake.
I am not a disappointment.
I am wanted and loved.

He predestined me to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
I have a future and hope in Christ.
I press on so I may lay hold of that which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
I reject all rejection.
God created me because He wanted me.

I have a place and a purpose.
He has poured His love out on me,
in me,
and through me.
I receive it all.

The Love of God Within You

"...the love

 "...the love of God has been poured out within our hearts
 through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
 Romans 5:5

"We love because He first loved us." 
1 John 4:19

God never intended for His love that has been poured out within us to immediately flow out to others without it first doing a work within us.

Allow His love to forgive you, cleanse you, heal you, restore you, and become a part of you.

Then you can love others as yourself and love your brothers and sisters in Christ as He has loved you. 


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

My White Horse and the Rider's Cloud

 Press Release

Contact: Rose Murdock
Email: Connect@Bibleseed.org
(248) 923-0524

Author’s Fourth Book is an Imaginative Fictional Fantasy Adventure with a Delightful Spiritual Twist

Xulon Press presents exciting, thought-provoking fiction; a story with a unique perspective on biblical truths that will be appreciated by believers and non-believers.


Rose Murdock presents compelling fiction with spiritual principles for readers of any age to enjoy in My White Horse: And the Rider's Cloud ($22.49, paperback, 9781662878312; $9.99, e-book, 9781662878329).

 Murdock takes readers on an adventure through the clouds and into a fascinating realm outside of time and space; a place where each visitor is given a new name and a white horse. The story unfolds as members of one family explore this new world on their own, unknowingly meeting one another along the way. After an encounter with a mysterious “Rider,” the family grows to know and love this person, remaining unaware of his important role in their destinies. Readers will be delighted as truth begins to be unveiled and their belief in this mysterious one grows as they seek to know him for who he really is.

 When asked what inspired this author to write this book, Murdock said, “I started developing the characters for this book through writing a series of short stories for my granddaughter. Then after having dreams about a white horse, I combined the stories and dreams into a book. Of course, the basic premise is Revelation 19:14.”

Rose Murdock is also the author of Living in the Land of Your Anointing, The Epistles Pen and The Good Wine: Miracle at Cana. For more information about the author, her blog, her books and more, visit Bibleseed.org.

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 15,000 titles published to date. My White Horse: And the Rider's Cloud is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.