Psalms – Prayers of Honesty and Praise
We are beginning week two of our mission work here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We are still in the “honeymoon period” where all is well. We have nested into our new home. We have renewed relationships with friends we met the first time we came to this place together a year ago. We met and taught art to our elementary students for a full week. We are being trained to take over teaching Bible to 11th graders in the fourth quarter. It has been a good start to accomplishing God’s purposes for bringing us here.
We enjoyed planting flowers in pots on our front porch of the mission house yesterday. We purchased everything we needed at the wonderful outdoor/indoor marketplace where throngs of Bolivians gather to buy and sell. Wow, what a great experience! What a time to hear the language we are trying to learn and watch the exchanges between the people in another culture other than our own.
There will be a time, I am sure, when it might feel as if the “bottom is falling out” of this plan. Satan loves to get in the way, throw up roadblocks to our obedience to God. He loves to dig into people’s hearts and cause discord. What will we do? Will we be alert to who the real enemy is when relationships are tested? Will forgiveness, like God to us, be OUR habit?
“If you, God kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.”
Did you get that? “FORGIVENESS IS YOUR HABIT”. This phrase, these words that describe the Creator who knows our names, our hearts, minds and souls, leaps from the page of this passage this morning and begs reflection…Is forgiveness my habit, my way of life? When others back home or in business offend, cheat, put me down, say what I’m doing is crazy, or who I follow isn’t real…is immediate and complete forgiveness MY habit as God’s is for me?
Psalm 130, The Message
A Pilgrim Song
1-2 Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.
3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.
5-6 I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.
7-8 O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
FROM THE HEART…
All I am and all I have I owe to God. He has brought me through thick and thin, hard times and good times, challenging and easy tasks on the journey to knowing Him more and more. I’ve messed up many times with saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, but because of the work of Jesus Christ, His Son, on the cross for our sins…ALL sin past, present and future has been taken care of and paid in full. Forgiveness is God’s habit. Let’s develop God’s habit of forgiving, even when other’s don’t ask for it. THIS is the byproduct of God’s forgiveness to us. It is mandatory. Love God. Love Others. Forgive Others as God forgave us. Experience complete freedom having the holy habit of forgiveness. Be a revolutionary!
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. –Jesus
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your holy habit of forgiveness to us. You are God and we are not but You are willing to forgive us completely. You are also willing to teach us how to develop your habit of forgiveness for others. Thank you for your patience, love, mercy and grace for us. Thank you for this lesson today.
In Jesus Name, Amen