A Word From Bro Joe!

Hey Church Family,

This past Sunday, we witnessed a brother in Christ stepping forward during the decision time to rededicate his life to Christ! During the past 50 years, I’ve watched the frequency of individuals publicly repenting and seeking forgiveness dwindle. Is that because we’ve become better people, with purer lives? I don’t think so! Rather, I believe it’s the result of harder hearts and a growing resistance to view ourselves as sinners.

The truth of the matter is, we all have a disgraceful “rap” sheet! Today, most everyone understands that a rap sheet is a record of an individual’s criminal history. Unless a crime is officially expunged from the record, it stays there forever. What if God kept rap sheets in Heaven on us permanent records of all our sins and failures? Every time we violated God’s righteous standards our rap sheets would grow longer.

Fortunately, the New Testament says that God took the list of all our violations against His law and nailed it to the cross of Christ, forever to be canceled (Colossians 2:13-14). Our rap sheets have been erased and made clean. We have been forgiven by God. And because we have been forgiven, we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). God is love (1 John 4:8,16), and Paul writes that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5b). If we are to love as God loves, we will keep no record of wrongs either.

There is no escaping being hurt and wronged in this life. Just make sure you forgive as God forgives and keep no record of those wrongs, either. Forgiveness is God’s command! Seek it and do it.

Sunday, I will conclude my present series, MONEY TALK$, emphasizing “The Grace of Giving.” I hope to see you this weekend, after you have celebrated Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Love always,
Bro. Joe