Forgiving Yourself and Others (A Devotional)


Written By, Crystal S Kauffman

Have you struggled with forgiving someone, who has hurt you or abused you? Do you find yourself thinking about it a lot lately? If so, this is normal to feel, whenever someone you trust has intentionally hurt you. However, you must find a way to give your hurt and pain to the Lord, for he will release you of the burden of guilt. Then, he will help you learn how to forgive those, who have victimized you or someone you love.

            The first memory verse is: Acts 3:19…“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (KJV)

            As you recite this verse, remember that you must confess all of your sins against God and others. Once you ask him to forgive you for all of your sins, he is just and will erase all of your sins immediately. For we must spend time, learning exactly what forgiveness truly is, because it can hinder your spiritual growth. Honestly, forgiveness is ceasing to be angry over unacceptable behaviors that have affected you.

            By forgiving someone, you are not giving them your permission to repeat the behaviors that hurt you. Instead, you should recognize the feelings that you feel, since these emotions are only going to cause you pain. Be honest and ask for the forgiveness of others, once you have evaluated your role in the entire situation. This way, you can free yourself, from the burden of bitterness and anger that can lead to depression.  

            The second memory verse is 1 John 1:9…“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (KJV)

            Recite this verse, as you begin your transitional journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor. No matter what has happened in the past, you can fully overcome its negative effect on your life. However, you must forgive others also, for the pain and anguish or their behaviors or actions to stop. But, by allowing the offender to receive mercy, you are becoming worthy of God’s complete forgiveness. 

            No longer will you receive condemnation, instead you will find peace that passes all understanding. In that moment, you will feel the burden of your guilt start melt away as the anguish disappears. Suddenly, all of your past iniquities will be washed away and fully forgotten by your heavenly father. Therefore, you will become a new creature in Christ, who is totally blameless and spotless before God.

Copyrighted, 2014

Why Did God Create You?


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

Jesus is there

©Whynotdakidd/Instapray.com

 

Many people wonder why God created them, but the Bible says we were all created for God’s pleasure. I couldn’t wrap my own head around the fact that God made me for his pleasure. I am a sinner who doesn’t deserve God’s mercy or grace. How could God get pleasure for my sinful ways? Everyone sins and fall short of God’s glory. However, through Jesus, we can be forgiven of those sins and be cover by his blood sacrifice.

Rev. 4:12 (KJV) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

This verse means a lot to me, as someone who truly tries to remember every day to somehow bring God pleasure. I love writing, so I use my talent to try and make sense of my everyday stumbles. Sometimes, I feel like God is right there holding my hand but other times I feel he is distant. However, I truly believe that my sin blocks my relationship with God and I choose to repent. I know I am forgiven when I stumble and fall. He is there to lift me back up, because he loves me.

Psalms 72:13 (KJV) “He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.”

So, now I try to take time to honor God every day. No matter the storm I am facing, I am trying to remember to pray and stay connected with God. I love reading and listening to my Bible, but I use a YOU VERSION app on my phone. I have been learning more and trying to always remember to thank God for each new day that I wake up. I am imperfect and I know that, but God wants me as I am. He can mold me into what he wants me to be with each new step.

References:

Personal Opinion- God doesn’t make junk!**

**I cannot go to church as regular as I want, but I spend a lot of time praying and seeking God’s guidance in my life. God gives me so much, so I can spend time with God at home and I can work on my failures. I hope this devotional can help you in your walk with God. Keeping a prayer journal can help you learn how to give your problems to God and learn how to pray to him.**

 Thank you for reading and come back to visit.

©2016,Crystal S. Kauffman

 

Frog: Fully Rest on God


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Unknown

©Unknown

Do you feel overwhelmed by life, as you know it? Are you a Christian, who is struggling to find peace and rest in your daily life? Did you know that God has promised to give you rest each week? But, only if you met his conditions and learn to believe in his promises with faith. Then, you must fulfill God’s conditions, in order to receive the rest that he has waiting for you. His conditions are very important, because your obedience shows him that you truly believe in his promises to you.
First memory verse is Hebrews 4: 9, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God!”(KJV)
Did you know that God is there waiting for you, to enter into his rest? But, you must remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Don’t perform any work on this day, instead, use this special day to spend time with God. Start learning more about his promises to you, by setting aside a certain day of the week to rest and read his word. Many Christians believe that Sunday should be the only holy day. However, other religions believe that Saturday is the true Sabbath day.
In today’s culture, some people are forced to work on these days. So, they must choose a different day to keep holy and begin learning more about his promises. Starting today, choose a day, which you have off work each week, like Monday or Wednesday. Then, each week, honor him by believing and entering into his peaceful rest. Before long, you will find yourself fully resting on God’s promises and sharing in fellowship with God.
Second memory verse is Hebrews 4:10,”For he that has entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”(KJV)
In the beginning, God labored for six days and he rested on the seventh day. He gave you an example, which you should follow throughout your journey. Even, if you stumble and fall, God will be there to help you back to your feet. He will be there waiting patiently, for you to meet his conditions and receive his promises. So, remember to keep the Sabbath holy and you will finally enter into his rest and find the peace that you have longed for.
Your father will give you a peace that passes all understanding, once you have faithfully entered his rest. Only God can ease your troubled mind and heal your broken heart, but you must come to him first. Go ahead and lay your head upon his chest, while his love will cover your soul and wisdom will fill your heart. Therefore, you will find the rest, which God have promised you and peace that will sustain your soul.
©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously Published

My Family’s Homemade Christmas


Homemade christmas
Papa and I were heading home from the auto parts store, as I stared out the window of the car. The radio spoke of a blizzard up north, which had crippled an entire community. This seemed unusual to me, since I lived in Florida where it never snowed. The houses we passed seemed to have something that we didn’t. However, my grandfather didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he thought of it as another day, where one must work to earn a dollar or two just to survive.

I felt confused by the lack of Christmas spirit in my home. Nevertheless, I knew that my family didn’t make a big fuss over the holidays, since I was a young girl. Yet, it began bothering me that no one spent time setting up a Christmas tree or adding decorations to it. So, as we pulled in the driveway, the house seemed cold and dreary. However, I noticed a nativity in the neighbor’s yard, which seemed comforting in a strange sort of way.

I smiled at grandma, as we passed through the kitchen and headed towards the backdoor. In the backyard, I found my two brothers playing on grandpa’s rusty old yellow lawn mower. It had been broken down for years, yet they were pretending to race. I always knew that my grandfather was a man of a few words, except when he was mad. However, he gave his heart to anyone that needed help and I liked that about him.

After, making it to the garage, we began working on the old red race car. I noticed that our neighbors were greeting their family members as they arrived. Suddenly, I began hoping my own family would start celebrating the holidays, since I was 13. Additionally, I wondered why my grandma didn’t invite the rest of the family to visit over Christmas. Finally, I decided to ask my granddad, but I was a little nervous to ask at first.

“Why don’t we Celebrate Christmas?” I asked nervously.

He answered, “It’s just another day Christy! You’ll figure that out when you get older. I couldn’t afford the decorations and presents.”

“Would you celebrate…if you could?”

“I am not sure, because I never have celebrated the holidays. My parents weren’t unable to afford decorations and presents. ”

I could see the sadness rising in his eyes, which made me feel bad for bringing up the subject. Nevertheless, I got quiet and began thinking of what other families had that we were lacking. Suddenly, I felt even worse that he had never experienced Christmas, not even as a young boy. For years, he was forced to watch others celebrate the holidays, as he worked hard to help his family survive.

On Christmas Eve, I began wondering what life would be like if my family did celebrate the holidays. My brothers watched, ”

Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, while I searched through my Bible for the story about baby Jesus. I knew it would be an inspiring story to read to my grandpa, because baby Jesus’ was poor too. However, I couldn’t find it and I fell asleep sitting in grandma’s recliner.

Early the next morning, I woke before anyone else and began making a small Christmas tree from an old one I found. After hanging the different ornaments on the tree, I taped a banner and notes on the wall behind the tree. In addition, I placed my dolls next to the tree and taped the different colored ornaments to the wall also. Suddenly, I saw grandma’s camera and I snapped a picture of my Christmas surprise.

I made my way to the kitchen, where I found some candy canes, chocolate bars, and mixed nuts to fill the decorated socks I borrowed to make a stockings. Immediately, I began feeling excited, so I ran to my room and began looking for presents that I could wrap for everyone. Soon, I heard my grandfather stirring in his bed, so I found items to wrap. I found many different things lying around my room and I wrapped them in old newspaper.

For my little brother I found a little a red and white kazoo. I also found a toy sword that I gave to my little brother. In addition, I wrapped a toy roller coaster and Kermit the Frog dressed in a Santa’s suit, for twin brother. I kept digging through my room, until I found more presents to wrap and give to the rest of my family. However, there was one thing that I forgot, so I tip-toed to the kitchen and called my uncle to join us for our first Christmas dinner together.

Thankfully, my uncle agreed to visit and bring his family, in order to help me surprise the family. I decided to finish decorating the house with my homemade decorations and written pages. However, I decided to stop and look for the story about baby Jesus one again.

In about an hour, I could hear everyone waking up with excitement and instantly I became nervous. As grandfather stood staring at what I had done to the living room. I saw a smile consumed his face, so I handed him two presents. He began opening the gifts I gave him with a sense of excitement and surprise. This made me feel, like I was able to give my grandpa something, which he had never experienced before.

“Merry Christmas, Papa!” I said with excitement.

“You shouldn’t have done this.”He replied.

“I wanted too!”

“Thank you!”

Later on that morning, my uncle surprised my family with a gingerbread house and some eggnog to share. After dinner, my grandmother told me where to find the story of baby Jesus in the bible. I read it aloud to my family, just before bed. As, I headed to bed, I noticed my grandparents were kissing under the mistletoe that my aunt brought with her. As I laid down that night, I realized that this homemade Christmas was more special to me, than any I could have ever dreamed of.

Fighting the Good Fight


fight the good faithIn the daily trials that you face, you begin learning more about yourself and your desires. You learn how much you can handle, without God at your side. Soon, you will learn how to let him take control of your entire life. He has given freewill to choose and dream, like everyone else in the world. However, he is waiting for you to choose him and give allow him know your innermost desires. By allowing him to guide you, he can deliver the things that you never dream of.

The first memory verse is Psalms 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (KJV)

Your spiritual father knows exactly what you want, even when you aren’t sure yourself. However, you must believe that he is capable of fulfilling your needs. So, rely on your faith and he will give you all of your dreams and desires. But, he will provide them in his own time and in his own way, which means you must stay faithful to him. Just allow your faith to grow and become stronger, by leaning on him throughout the daily trials in your life.

No matter what you want, you will be able to achieve it with faith and belief in God’s promises. He is there holding you, throughout your life changing lessons. However, rely on him to pull you through, as he promised that he would if you just believe. He will never forsake you or leave, so let home take over and hold steadfast to your faith. Life is a struggle each day, as you try to manage work and personal responsibilities.

        The second memory verse is: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (KJV) 

          Recite this verse everyday and believe it, because you are fighting the good fight. You must keep your faith, in order to finish your journey here on earth. Once you have finished, you will be given your reward by God himself. So, slow down and enjoy what your life has to offer and continue fighting for what you believe. Always remember to take time for your spiritual father and he will gently guide you through the obstacles in your life.

Only you can write the next page in your story called life, so began writing today for tomorrow maybe too late. As a Christian you will be forced into trials and tribulations, by those around you that don’t believe. However, the Lord will help you stand tall and face those people, who try to manipulate your life. Therefore, you will find yourself moving closer to your spiritual father, who is helping you finish the winding course.

Promises to Those Battling the Blues


depressionDo you ever feel like you are alone, when you are in the midst of life’s storm? Do you ever wonder where God is, as the bricks of life start to crumble around you? It is natural to get angry or afraid, but you don’t have to let it consume your mind. Sometimes, it is easy to forget all of God’s promises, which he made just for you. So, here is a verse for you to copy and memorize, for whenever you feel abandoned or blue.

The first memory verse is: Deuteronomy 30: 8, “And the Lord, he it is that do go before thee; he will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (KJV)

Have faith and believe that he is with you always, no matter where you are. As you recite, imagine a spiritual blanket of peace and comfort for you to rest in. You will begin a transition in a new person that you have always wanted to be. Remember, he chose you to be a soldier in his army, who is able to stand in the face of trials and tribulations. God will lovingly bring to your knees, so you can become stronger and stand in the midst of life’s trials.

God wants to give you more wisdom, which can be found in the Bible. He will shape your life and mold you in his grace while chasing the blues away. God doesn’t want you to feel alone or to fear his presence. Instead, he wants us to crave the meat of his word and personal time with him. When you find your comfort in his arms, grow spiritually by allowing you to experience these trials. Your spiritual father knows that you are not perfect and that you will fail, but his mercy is there waiting to catch you.

The next memory verse is Romans 3:23, “For we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (KJV)

Fortunately, he forgives you for your mistakes and he welcomes you back into his comforting embrace. But, you must be sincere and willing to learn what he has to teach you. When Life is scary or out of control, you must turn to him. Always remember that God won’t give you more than you can bear, since he is with you always. Learn more about his promises to you, by spending time with his word every day.

Remember, God is always in control! So, give him the reins and let him guide your path to spiritual happiness. You will find unconditional love and forgiveness, which is beyond any human understanding or capabilities. By allowing him to mold you into a new person, you become fully protected by God’s spiritual armor. Therefore, as you grow, you will find the spiritual peace and rest that you have always wanted.             

Allow God to Handle Your Burdens


burdensAs someone who has a lot of stress in my life, I have learned that sometimes I get overwhelmed by the stresses in my everyday life. I am learning to have faith in Jesus Christ and allow him to carry my burdens for me. Learning to manage stress or worry is difficult for some people, but it doesn’t have to be according to the Bible. Jesus reminds us to leave our worries with him, instead letting it cause us more anxiety or stress.

The first memory verse is: 1 Peter 5: 7“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (KJV)

In this verse, we are instructed to give our cares or worries to Jesus Christ, while we revaluate our faith and learn to strengthen it. Our Heavenly Father promises that he will never give us more than we can handle. Therefore, begin standing firm in your own faith and learn how you can strengthen it by studying God’s word. Stop worrying about things you cannot change and start letting God carry your burdens or troubles.

Allow God to help you during every trial or tribulation you may face, by praying to him for guidance before you react to the situation. If you change the way you react to a problem, then you may see significant changes that will help you find God’s peace through the storm. Sometimes, we forget that God is in control and we tend to leave him out, whenever we face trials in our lives.

The second memory verse is: Hebrews 13: 5“Let your conversations be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. (KJV)

Always remember, God promised that he will never leave you or forsake you, so you can smile knowing that he is handling your burdens. There is nothing that is too complicated or too overwhelming for your Heavenly Father to handle. He is patiently waiting for you to stop stressing and finally give the burden over to him. Additionally, have faith in Jesus, because he will help you learn new ways to react to different stresses and heavy burdens in your life.

Strengthening your own faith can allow you to find a way out of the tribulation that is causing you stress and pain. Stop and pray, before reacting to the problem that has consumed your mind. This way, you will find clarity that only God can give you during the crisis you may be facing in your life. Furthermore, give your burdens to God and let him handle them, instead of taking them back to solve by yourself.