The Ultimate Betrayal

 

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At one time of another, all of us has experienced some form of betrayal. Betrayal comes in so many forms: Gossip, cheating, lying, and treason to name a few. Whether it was a spouse, friend, co-worker or family member, the pain can run so deep that it may seem you will never heal again.

The ultimate betrayal was found in the life of Jesus Christ. There are several accounts of betrayal he experienced from the people closest to him; to the absolute stranger who despised him. He was persecuted, betrayed, mocked and murdered all for the sake of His ultimate purpose and sacrifice to die for our sins and to save the lost.

What should our reaction be when faced with betrayal? We should look to Jesus as the model of forgiveness. One example was in Luke 22:34. “And he said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny thou that knows me.

You may have experienced this situation at one time or another.  You spot someone in a room or familiar place that you know. You could be at the grocery store, shopping mall or social event and someone you know sees you across the room but instead of a smile or wave, they just turn their head like they don’t even know you.  This is just a minor example of how you may feel when someone doesn’t acknowledge your presence for whatever reason. Either way, it doesn’t feel good. Can you imagine how Jesus felt? The one closest to him denied him three times! There is nothing worse than a two-faced person. You may also question your relationship with that person even if they are only a co-worker, neighbor or an acquaintance. It’s a breach of faith in hopes of building a friendship or business relationship.

Another prime example was in Luke 22:48. “But, Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrays thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” Flattery is often buried under deceit. Sometimes the sweetest person is disguised as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You shouldn’t be suspicious of every kind and loving gesture but action speaks louder than words. As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”

The ultimate betrayal was in Mark 10:33-34. “Behold, we go to Jerusalem and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the scribes; and they should condemn him to death and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him and the third day he shall rise again.

Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins out of his love and forgiveness. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.John 3: 16-21

There is only one account in the Bible that I’m aware of that God does not forgive. In Mark 3:29 it states, “But he who blasphemes or mocks against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”

Forgiveness is not easy. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. It is also a life-long process. The act of forgiveness releases us from the negative emotions that hold us in bondage to the person who hurt us. However, if you happen to be on the other side of forgiveness, a sincere apology is the least you can give to the person you hurt. Empathy, patience, and understanding will have to be worked through in each issue of any relationship.

Forgiveness is not something that can be taught. It is the most difficult thing to overcome in the flesh. Memories play over and over in your mind which makes it hard to let go. However, the quicker you can let go of the pain, the faster you can move on. You may never forget, but you can forgive.

The best thing you can do is to acknowledge your pain, accept what you’ve experienced and walk in patience because it takes time depending on the level of deception attached to the pain. It’s much like the grieving process of a lost loved one.

Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to the same trifling people, situations or circumstances. It means you can release the animosity, anger, pain or guilt and open your heart to receive peace, grace, healing and freedom from every emotion that’s imprisoned you.

The act of forgiveness is the ministry of Jesus. It is the foundation, and cornerstone of the Gospel. It is also found in your heart despite the difficulties, challenges, and disappointments you face in life. You are set free. Don’t let another hour, day, week, month or year go by. Make the decision to forgive today.

“And whenever you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

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Laboring in Love

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Then he said unto his disciples. The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. Mark 9:37

The Lord is calling his people to step up. Often, we do not feel like we can accomplish the purpose and will of God. We may not even understand or know what His plan is for our lives. His plan is always much bigger than ours.

Allow the Lord to lead you down the right path. He knows what’s best for you. You will be placed exactly where you need to be. He has a strategic plan that is magnificent.  The spiritual eyes is so much more powerful than what man can see with his natural eyes. Seeing is not believing. “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corth 5:7

Work diligently unto the Lord and not for man. Toil in sweat, blood and tears and continue to shine His light in a dark place whether it be in a rough neighborhood, workplace, home or school. Do the work of the Lord in love. Be an example of His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. No matter what your circumstance or schedule, put God first in all that you do and He promises all these things will be added unto you. Matt 6:33

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Remember you are blessed and highly favored.

 

 Copyright Yolanda Berry – 2015 -All rights reserved.

The Little Things in Life

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3  King James Version (KJV)

When we think of the characteristics and qualities of a child, most people focus on the pure innocence and curiosity of a child. We think of the playful nature and free spirit that a child carries as well as their mischievous ways.

The Bible states that we must become as a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does that mean?

We tend to lose the basic traits as we become adults through the process and experiences of life.

A child lives in the present moment. They often do not think about the past or worry about the future. They are focused on the present moment. In Matthew 6:25-34, it states that we should not worry about our life because if the Lord takes care of the birds he will take care of you (See below for scripture reference).

A child depends on their parents to care for them. They believe all their needs will be met. They seek security and acceptance. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, their needs may fall short of being met however there is grace and protection over children. An adult will most likely step in to help, guide, nurture and protect a child that is in danger.

Just like our loving Father, the Lord will help, guide and protect us from harm. He will shield us from unknown dangers that we may not even be aware of at the time. Sometimes it seems as if our prayers are left unanswered but it’s the Lord’s will to protect us from all things that are not pleasing to Him or may cause us harm in the long run.

A child has a trusting heart. They don’t think that the world is out to get them. They are not concerned about all the extras and pressures that life brings. They do not seek power or status. They are contented with the simplicity that life offers. They find joy in the little things. They laugh and smile easily and cry when necessary. They’re not afraid to release emotions. They believe almost anything someone tells them but questions everything around them while they constantly try to figure out the world around them.

A child is quick to love others and does not harbor resentment or unforgiveness. Since they have no prior experiences, they do not fear of getting hurt emotionally. They easily open their hearts willingly through innocence and trust. They are not perverted or worldly. Their hands are clean as well as their hearts. They speak boldly which may even cause public embarrassment to others with the brutal honesty they give.

Overall, the reflection of a child’s nature is made of trust, love, peace and contentment. There are many other qualities that you may take notice of as you reflect on this message.

As you go about your week, take mental notes of the child-like qualities that the Lord has required for us to have and work towards transforming our rigid ways to mirror the characteristics of a child.

The wonders of life are enduring, wholesome and pure.

Psalms 131:2

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Mark 10:15

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 7:13-14

  13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Standing in the Gap

“I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody can get to heaven but through me.” John 14:6

 The divinity of the Lord is holy, pure and righteous. He is omnipotent and all-knowing. We will never be able to grasp the full knowledge and understanding of his love and power. However, we can receive His love and power by His spirit through faith.

Jesus was sent into the world to save the world not to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17-21

You cannot work yourself into heaven. If that was the case, Jesus would not have been nailed to the cross. His death would of meant nothing if we just had to be good and do well (with the possibility to still go to heaven). Eternity is not a gamble. It should not be left to chance or luck.

Jesus carried the weight of sin and He is the intersection between God and man. It is the T-junction between holiness and sin. Jesus came to stand in the gap to pay the debts of sin. He joined us together to reconcile us with the Lord.

Through His sacrifice, commitment and divine purpose to bear the burden for our sins, we receive the gift of salvation and eternal life. The infinite life that we receive by faith is an exact replica of the power of the resurrection: Dead to sin through transformation of the Holy Spirit.

You must first accept Him as your Lord and Savior and repent for your sins. You will no longer want to please your flesh, but instead please God. You will gain  wisdom, discernment, spiritual consciousness and awareness which is sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit brings deliverance and real transformation in your life. If you’ve never experienced this before, you will need to develop trust, obedience, patience and endurance. You will be molded and shaped through experiences. It’s not an overnight process. It happens gradually. It happens by the gentle touch of the Spirit of God.

Do not let shame, guilt, embarrassment or condemnation stand in the way of your choice. Do not let people influence your decision. You are ultimately responsible for your salvation. Your friends, family and associates will not be there when you leave this world. You came into the world by yourself (with the help of your mother) and you will leave by yourself, so their opinions do not matter. When you experience a tug in your heart you should follow through in obedience.

Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” I Thess 5:19

Jesus was the only man who was perfect. He suffered pain, humiliation, isolation, temptation persecution and murder. He was innocent and blameless, yet He was accused and convicted. We will never be perfect, but we have dominion and authority and can walk just as Jesus did.

When you look to the cross, it demonstrates strength, endurance, courage and victory. When you are aware of the power of Christ, nothing will be impossible to overcome. Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27

“I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Those same characteristics are within you. “And God said, “Let us make man in our image; after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27

You must pick up your own cross in this life. Matt 16:24 No one can escape this process; no matter who you are.

Whatever is dead in your life, ask for the power of the Lord to breathe upon  your life to resurrect all that is lifeless.

The word of God is life to your bones.  The word of God is spiritual food to keep  you nourished and spiritually strong. It’s the meat and substance to uplift and  empower you.

 Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34.8

“For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” I Thess 5:9-10