Devotional Thought

Help When You Really Need It

“Pastor, I just got laid off at work, and I can’t pay my rent. The landlord says if I don’t have the money in two days, he’ll evict me. Does the church have any money to help me?”

Churches often get such calls — from total strangers.

It is not always a financial crisis that prompts a call for help. Sometimes it is a marriage problem. Other times people are suffering from abuse of one kind or another.

With our rapid mobility, family and friends are spread across many states. They can’t easily come to each other’s aid. In time of crisis, people turn to the government for help. What they often find is red tape, overburdened resources, and long waits.

People look to the church as a last resort. They are wise to do so. They are not so wise to wait until the roof falls in.

God uses his church family to minister to people in their needs. David writes in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

Rarely have God’s people failed to help one another in time of need. Usually God’s people go way beyond what is needed to help in crisis.

God provides more than just material needs through his church family. Crisis always brings emotional and psychological turmoil. An impersonal government agency cannot meet these needs. God can and does through his people.

God’s people know Jesus. They want to reflect his generous and loving life.

Jesus gave his life on the cross to pay the punishment for our sins. His sacrifice removes God’s anger, gives forgiveness, and brings the assurance of heaven. Only Jesus truly answers the fear, anxiety, and guilt that usually go with crisis.

God’s people want to share this good news and their love.  But please, don’t wait for the roof to fall in.


kneeling at cross
Devotional Thought

God Forgives Me

“I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget what she did to me! How can one human being do such a horrible thing to another?”

Have you ever heard words like that? Perhaps you have said them!

Can a person really forgive and not forget? Often someone who won’t forget, really won’t forgive either.

It isn’t fun or easy to clash with someone. It causes stress and turmoil. We might wish that person were not around, but she may never go away.

Thank the Lord that he forgives and forgets!

If God forgave but never forgot, we would be in deep trouble. We would always have to fear that God might change his mind about how much he loves us. We would always have to worry about being punished in hell. We would always have to try to make him forget by doing something good, and then wondering if it was enough.

God does forgive and forget! The writer of Psalm 103 says in verse 12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” God is telling us that he considers the sins of his people to be long gone.

Really? Yes! God says, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). That is forgiving and forgetting!

God’s love for us is so great that he sent Jesus to take our place to suffer and die on the cross. There Jesus took the punishment for all our sins. We don’t have to suffer in hell. Believe that and receive the wonderful, loving benefits of your Savior’s efforts.

Forgiveness is not something we deserve from God. Far from it! It’s a product of his amazing love.

In grateful response to what Jesus has done for us, we will want to be forgiving also. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Forgive and forget? Indeed! Jesus did it for you, and, if you believe that, he expects that you will want to forgive and forget the sins of others too.