Daily Devotional for Wednesday October 9, 2019

“Would you publicly forgive someone who killed your family member?”

(Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, I cry out to You today. I have no place to turn but to You. My life is Yours. Do with it as You will and I will obediently serve You with my very last breath. IN the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..AMEN!

***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: As someone who has loved sports my entire life, like many sports fans I became saddened as over the past 10 yrs sports has become so politicized like everything else in our culture. I have spoken of this in many Daily Devotionals and many nights on the Liveprayer TV program. Like the majority of the non-sports media, ESPN and the sports media in general took a very liberal look at our culture. The few who take a more traditional or conservative position on the culture, like baseball pitching great Curt Schilling, found themselves out of a job. Along with many high profile athletes, slamming President Trump, promoting social justice like in the NFL kneeling for the National Anthem, glorifying those who chose to engage in perverted sex with people of the same sex, and being sympathetic to mentally ill people who don’t even know what gender they are, fans of all sports have been turning off the games on TV and not going to sporting events in the numbers they had in the past. Much of this erosion in viewership and attendance is due to the hyper politicization of sporting events.

Perhaps no sports league has been more at the forefront of the current social justice movement in sports than the NBA. From top players, to many coaches and owners, they have been bold to speak up on the social issues of the day and castigate those who didn’t share their viewpoint. That is why I have found it not only ironic, but actually funny, watching these loudmouths sit in silence over the current spat with China. It has proved that these brave social justice warriors are gutless when it comes to actual dollars! This started with a single tweet by the GM of the Houston Rockets simply encouraging the Hong Kong protestors. The Communist Chinese government was outraged and moved to shut off potentially billions in revenue in response. The NBA quickly tried to backtrack and beg for forgiveness. This is about basic human rights and what we hold so dear in this nation, the freedom of speech. However it ends up, we have seen a real life example how China reacts to those who cross them. If they do this to a mere sports league that is wildly popular with the Chinese people, imagine their response to someone who proclaims God, not man or country is who we worship. Imagine their response to people whose faith is not in the communist state, but Jesus Christ!!!

*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm

“Would you publicly forgive someone who killed your family member?” This is the Liveprayer poll question of the week. I don’t think I have ever had a poll question that generated this many emails. They are all on the same track. People know what they should do, but they don’t know if this happened to them it is what they would do!!!

That is OK. Until we are confronted with certain situations we really don’t know how we would respond. However, it is spiritually healthy to consider these circumstances and use it as a teachable moment and show us an area of our spiritual life we might need to work on. There is nothing to be ashamed of, since each one who has given their life to Jesus, is working each day to become more like Him!

Not one person reading this Devotional today, has not had someone at some point in your life hurt you. Some of you may have been physically or sexually abused as a child by a mother, a father, a relative, or someone your family knew. Some of you may have had a wonderful childhood, but in your young adult life been hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Some of you may have been the victim of a horrible crime like robbery or rape.

Still others may have been deeply hurt by your husband or wife that wanted a divorce. There are many of you that have been hurt later in life by your children. Lots of people reading this have been hurt by employers, business associates, or close friends. Sadly, some of you have even been hurt by a pastor or someone in your church. The fact is, EVERYONE reading this today has been hurt at some point in your life.

As painful as the experience was that caused this hurt in your life, so many people have compounded that pain by letting bitterness, even hatred into their life against the person or people who caused your pain. Today, I am going to help set you free from this hurt and pain you have experienced in your life!!!

In a prison, they have a central lock that can automatically open all of the cell doors in a given area. If you have ever been in prison or watched a prison movie you know what I am talking about. There is the loud buzz, followed by the clanking sound of all of the cell doors automatically opening. Today, many of you are in prison from the hurts and pains in your life. Today, the cell door is going to open and you are going to be FREE!!!

The key to unlocking that door is FORGIVENESS. As simple as this may seem, it can be one of the most difficult things in this world to do. Forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply is one of the hardest things to do in life. It is not something that we can even do in our own strength, but must be done in the strength we get from the Lord.

I realize that many people right now are saying, "NO WAY, not after what that person did to me." As a Christian, it should be our goal to be like our Lord every day. What were some of the last words Christ spoke from the cross? What was his last act before dying that horrific death? He asked God to forgive those who had crucified Him!

When we sin, and we all sin every day, what do we do? We go to God and ask Him to forgive us. We do so with the full assurance that He will forgive us because He has promised to in His Word. In Colossians 3:13 the Bible tells us to "forgive as the Lord forgave you."

God's Word is clear that just as Christ forgives us when we sin against Him, we must forgive those who sin against us! That is the key to unlocking the prison door and being free once and for all from the hurt and pain you have experienced in your life. FORGIVE the person or people who have hurt you in your life!

The other problem I deal with each day is people not being able to forgive themselves. Listen, the Bible tells us that we have "all come short of the glory of God." We are all sinners. We all make mistakes. When you go to God and confess your sins, the Bible promises us that He not only forgives us but cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He not only has forgiven us, but He has forgotten the transgression. God acts like it never happened. The point I'm trying to make is that if God has forgiven you, if God has wiped the slate clean, if in God's mind the sin never existed...then you need to forgive yourself.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize that this is a difficult word for many of you to hear today, but this is going to literally change the lives of those who will receive it...and do it! I want you to take a moment right now, stop what you are doing, and take out a piece of paper and a pen. Literally write down the name of the person or names of the people in your life who have hurt you deeply.

Now, pray this prayer,"Dear Father, I come to you today, thanking you that you love me so much. I thank you that you are not only a God of love, but a God of forgiveness. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. Father, I come today and pray that you will give me YOUR strength to forgive those who have hurt me in my life. Right now, this moment, I forgive (name/names). I not only forgive them, but Father, I ask that you bless them. They need you in their life and I pray that they will come to have a personal, intimate relationship with your Son. Thank you for giving me the strength to forgive and thank you for setting me free from the pain in my life. In Jesus precious name I pray, AMEN!"

I will be praying for each of you today to pray this prayer. It is time to forgive those who have hurt you, and it is time to forgive yourself if need be. Put the hurt and pain of your past behind you once and for all and move forward with your life. God still has much left for you to do and by forgiving those who have hurt you, you are now free to do all that He wants to do in and through your life for His Kingdom!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller