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Four Bible Verses on the Gift of Forgiveness

Have you ever fully thought about God’s forgiveness? About what it means that He has forgiven us?

I’m not good at forgiveness. I hold grudges. I say I forgive but then I don’t forget. I am not slow to anger and quick to forgive. In my sinful nature, I don’t want to forgive someone easily. They need to earn my forgiveness. I am so thankful that God’s forgiveness isn’t like mine.

Forgiveness is at the heart of our relationship with Christ. Through the forgiveness won for us on the cross, we are a part of God’s family. It’s an amazing gift that we receive through the Sacraments. Here are four verses to consider when thinking about God’s forgiveness toward us.

Homeward Bound

There is a glossy sheet of paper adorned with the face of a young man, which I keep in my car at all times. I like to pull it out and look at it as I am driving home. It makes me feel at home. I have written a Bible verse in the bottom right corner that reads:

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25 (NIV)

Engaging Authentically with One Another in Christian Community

This post is an excerpt adapted from Holding Up the Prophet's Hands: Supporting Church Workers by Bruce M. Hartung. 

What would happen if a congregation encouraged its members to develop significant relationships with one another? What if those relationships grew deep and the congregation became a place of authentic personal encounter, with God in Word and Sacrament and with one another, the members of the Body of Christ? Person-to-person relationships create a context in which words of appreciation can be spoken and received as meaningful and truthful. To show true caring for one another requires that members feel safe in making their needs known. It also requires that those who hear about an individual’s need have the desire and the capacity to respond in understanding, practical, and empathic ways.

5 Political-Season Reminders from the Book of Daniel

There’s no question that this has been one of the most contentious political seasons in memory. Since the primaries ended, the low favorability of both candidates has been a much-discussed topic. All across social media, you see people pouring more energy into lamenting a win from either candidate than championing one they believe in.

A Secure and Constant Hope

Our hope is not in our circumstances. 

It’s something I need to be reminded of regularly. Especially during times that are not routine or are unexpected, or when it becomes apparent that so little is in our control.

Just for Decoration

Special thanks to the ministries of St. Lucas Lutheran Early Childhood Center and Word of Life Lutheran School in St. Louis, Missouri, for taking the time to educate my children and many others on the promises of God.

In my household, I get the pleasure of dropping both of my children off at school each day. My wife is a full-time Lutheran school teacher, so she arrives at school quite early and is not able to drop the kids off on a consistent basis. As I load my two- and four-year-olds into our purple Ford Flex, they fill my car with songs from school—songs about Jesus. They kick their legs with excitement as they belt “Jesus Loves Me” with a remix of “Jesus, Remember Me” with a feature by the “ABC” song. I open our sunroof to get some fresh air and therapeutic sun into the car as the kids scarf down their breakfast, bellowing lyrics as we drive along.

Challenging More: You Don't Know Everything (and That's Okay)

The idea that each individual person has to know everything can set some on edge. How are you meant to know everything in the short lifespan that you have? In his new book, Meant for More, Rev. John Nunes says it's entirely okay to not know everything. In fact, we should embrace the unknowns and live happily in them. Read an excerpt from his book below to see his brilliant thoughts.

Build a Powerful Prayer Life

About a week ago, I got a text from my pastor asking if he could pray for me. Life has been especially stressful on me the past two months, so his offer was exactly what I needed, even if he hadn’t known why.

Asymptomatic Symptoms

Earlier this summer, I received a phone call that caused me to drop my glass cup on the floor right before heading into a Bible study. My doctor had called to tell me that the “routine” COVID-19 test I had taken was not so routine and that I had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease. The next few seconds were a blur, and I quickly popped into the Zoom Bible study feeling as if I had been hit with a ton of bricks.

I had COVID-19. What was going to happen to me?

No More Stress: Teaching the Faith at Home

As I write this, I am listening to the decisions made by my home state of Minnesota about school this fall. After this spring and the experience of distance learning , my children and I are ready for school to be back in session.