Forgive

Tattoo_it_on_your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby-Forgive

Relationship problems are the result of sin played out in that forum. Sin is the culprit- our own brokenness, the gap in our relationship with Christ- where we are, as opposed to where Christ would have us to be.

Sometimes I catch myself praying for God to change circumstance and behavior when what is needed is for God to change hearts. Our actions and reactions are merely a symptom of the problem. When God transforms a heart, the change will spill out to influence all circumstance and relationships. We need to treat the root, not the fruit, if we want true and lasting change.

When I focus on my unmet needs, nobody’s needs are met, because no one is serving. I’m just having a self serving pity party. If I want to see change, then I must change, and the only way that will happen is if I let Christ have His way in me. I must give Jesus the reins of my heart.

“Will the tears ever stop, Lord?”

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalms 56:8 (NKJV)

“Sometimes I think that must be a really big bottle, Lord.”

But to forgive the incessant provocations of life- to keep on forgiving the the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son- how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning what we say in our prayers each night,“forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Forgiving means letting go of offenses, not holding it against the person. It means wiping slate clean, canceling the debt, not retaliating.

What if I dared to speak the words I’ve never said?

What if I set them free from the captivity of silence?

Would the chains of pain be broken?

Or would the weight of regret be too great?

For once let loose I cannot call them back.

 “Lord…?”

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-  …A time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 7 (NASB)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)

Extending forgiveness requires humility, putting aside my pride, emotions. It means valuing relationships and being right with God over my rights.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”Matthew 18:21-22

Life is too short and eternity is too near to be easily offended by those I am called to love. Bitterness is like barbed wire around a heart. The walls I build to protect my heart are the same walls which keep Christ and His healing out.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

Rather than trying to fix others, I need to fix my relationship with Christ. When I let Jesus overhaul my inward man, the core of me, many of my relationship problems resolve themselves. He is the restorer.

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Matthew 7:4 (NKJV)

As the old song goes, “It’s not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

I’m guilty, Lord.

Here I am

Forgive me

Heal my divided, renegade heart.

Deliver me from myself, my sin.

Change me, Jesus

I long for one accord with You

But I fail; I fall

Remember,

I am dust, Lord

Help me

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

You are The Way

Have your way in me

Burn up the dross

Make me pure

I want to love like You

Refine me until I reflect You

Jesus, my heart’s desire and delight,

Song of my soul

Form Yourself in me

I want to be one with You

Standing In The Need Of Prayer (Live)

I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant. This requires a supernatural enabling.

How I forgive others = God’s grace extended to me in forgiveness

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because Christ forgave the inexcusable in you. -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Many times what God asks of us is impossible. He knows we will fail in our own strength. He want us to acknowledge our brokenness, failures, our need, so He can change and empower us.

Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics)

Jesus didn’t just die for those who would accept Him. He paid the penalty for all the sins of those He knew would reject Him too. The sins of all humanity were borne on the shoulders of the great I Am.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Jesus did His part. He paid the price and provides forgiveness- it’s available up front, but we must choose to accept or reject it.

We must let go of unforgiveness, of sin, if we want to receive the forgiveness He offers. We can’t hold on to both.

The reason people mistreat others is because of what’s broken in them. If I focus on their need for healing, the injustices I receive will be so much easier to bear. When I really pray for someone, not just for my vindication or relief, I find God gives me the heart, the grace, to forgive them. And besides, I need forgiveness too.

Regardless of the behavior of others, if I forgive them and yield to God’s refining of my heart and character through the circumstances in my life, I will be rewarded with a closer walk with Jesus and the peace that comes from a right heart.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalms 28:7 (NKJV)

Love is forgiving. Love is serving. We are commanded to love. When I set my heart and mind to love and serve others as Christ calls me to, even if it is unrequited, Jesus will fulfill me. There is joy and contentment when my heart rests in Jesus’ hands and I walk in His ways.

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (NASB)

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)

Rachael_M-Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart-Forgive

The Story Behind the Song, Forgiveness –Matthew West

Robin & Spencer’s Story

On January 26 2002 my life changed forever. My son Spencer Macleod was brought into the ER where I was working as a nurse, barely clinging to life from a stab wound to the heart. He was pronounced dead fifteen minutes later. It was then that I discovered his identity. He died coming to the rescue of…Continued at:  http://spencersmom.com/the-story/

©2017 Rachael M Colby    Tattoo It On Your Heart

Not Fiddling with Religion

“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.” – Billy Sunday

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Not_Fiddling_with_ReligionThe preaching of the gospel and salvation of souls is the primary focus and call of the Gospel. It is biblical that all else done in the name of the Church, as representatives of Jesus, should be done with this ultimate purpose in mind.

The Great Commission:                           

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

Many organizations start out with this focus, but lose it as they get overwhelmed by attempting to meet the the endless physical needs of the people they are serving with their humanitarian work. This is something to be mindful of, so as to stay balanced and faithful to Jesus’ mandate.

The Bible Says:

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 (NKJV)

But the Gospel is not a buffet. We don’t get to pick and choose what we like in the Bible and ignore the rest. It’s all or nothing; we must ingest the whole thing.

Look:

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (NKJV)

“..and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” James 2:16 (NKJV)

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”  Matthew 25:34-44

Pray, Send, Plant, Establish, Support, Nurture:

Neither our home church, nor Adventures in Missions are organizations with a “drop a bag of rice and run” mentality. But rather, both believe and are are invested  in planting, helping establish, supporting, and nurturing ministries that are dedicated to planting themselves in the nations among the people they are serving. We must seek to serve both the spiritual and physical needs where we are called, with a hand up, not just a hand out.

 We each have different callings and how we fulfill them will play out differently for each of us. It is Biblical to serve first in our home churches and communities, but there are different seasons in which some are called to go; some to stay and send. But even those who stay and send get to go, as the sender is linked by their investment of prayer, finances, and encouragement to every impact the missionary makes for Jesus in the lives of other people.

In July my 18 year old daughter, Abigail, leaves on a month long mission trip for Nepal with Adventures in Missions. In spite of turning 18 and wanting a car, she has chosen to forego a month of pay from her summer job to go and work unpaid serving the Nepali people. I love her heart and her boldness. Abby’s team will need prayer support for their endeavor. As of today, Abigail also still needs to raise another $1,861 for her mission trip.

You can visit her website to learn more, and, if you feel led, there is also a link to donate here: https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/

Or you may go directly to her donations page on The Adventures in Missions website here: https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=partFund&selected=Passport&desc=Abigail%20Colby&appeal_id=COLBYABBY

We must each ask, “What would you have me to do Lord, to be your hands and feet and voice, to demonstrate your love and reach others with the Gospel?”

Tattoo it on your heart. Walk it out in your skin.

*Adventures in Missions is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for US residents.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

**The following two pieces were originally posted on https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/

Why?

by Abigail Colby

“Why?” is a question I hear way too often.

“Why do you want to go on a mission trip so badly?”

“Why do you care?”

I never understand their whys. As a Christian we are commanded to care for people and share God’s love with as many as possible. If I work hard enough I know I can raise enough money to go on a mission trip. Even those out of town outreaches on Saturdays- I don’t have anything to do a lot of Saturdays, so, of course I’m going to go. “Why not?” I find myself saying so often. The opportunity is there, and it makes no sense not to take it.

No, I don’t think I’m too young. There is no such thing as too young to serve in the best way possible and do God’s will for your life.

“Do these things when you’re old enough to appreciate it,” they say.

I know I’m capable of appreciating it now. God has put an overwhelming love in my heart for people now, so why not put it to use now? If I waited until I was older, what would I do now? I’m not waiting until I’m older because I’m capable of making a difference now.

I’m not doing this to have a good experience, or to better myself, but to better other people. Until I have ministered God’s word to people who can give me nothing in return, I have not lived.

“God, please use me now. My life is yours; do as you please with it.”

© Abigail Bethany Colby     abbysmission.wordpress.com/

A Letter from Abby’s Mom

by Rachael M Colby

People ask me, “How can you send your children away?”

“Why do allow your children to go to these far away and dangerous places?”

“Aren’t you afraid? Won’t you miss them?”

Here’s my answer. Yes. But I would Rather give my children to the cause of Christ than have the world steal them away.

There is really nowhere safe in the world anymore. Our older daughter Anna went on a three month mission trip to Kenya in 2013. Her team of thirteen girls was sent to serve in one of the most unattractive and unsafe towns in the country. The terrorist attack took place while they were there- but it took place in one of the nicest and seemingly safest areas.

When Abby went to visit and help out family who are missionaries in Lithuania, we didn’t book her on the lesser known airline which had a day layover in an unstable country. She did reach her destination unharmed. But a few weeks later, it was that same reputable airline that she had traveled on, Lufthansa, that was intentionally crashed by the copilot into the alps, thus killing all on board.  My heart breaks for the people impacted by these tragedies.

So, where is safe? The only safe place is in Christ. We  really just have to be ready. Safe is in the hands and will of Jesus. Safe is a right heart with God.

Which heart should I feed? She is young. She was only 16 when she went to Swaziland and will just have turned 18 when she leaves for Nepal. I am her mom, and I see the pull of the world and our culture. I also see that little bit of edginess and that youthful lust for a little risk, a little adventure. I see her heart for people and for God, that thirst to know God more and to do something that matters. It needs expression somewhere.  So let that expression be found in  the cause of Christ.

I challenged her and asked her in 2015, “Why Swaziland? Why not somewhere closer, cheaper, and safer?”

Her response was, “It seems to be the area of greatest need. And I don’t want to go somewhere easy.”

She could spend the month of July lining her pockets with silver from a summer job and shopping at the mall with friends, or relaxing on the beach… And that would be okay. But instead, in 2015 she chose to go and serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a hand up to a destitute, disease stricken people in the tiny African nation of Swaziland. How could I say no to that?

This Summer, in July 2017, her desire is to go on another month long mission trip. This time it is to Nepal.

I know there are plenty of people that need the Gospel preached to them and their needs met, right here on the home front- and Abby does outreach locally. But who am I to tell Abby, or anyone else, where God is telling them to “Go ye,” if God has laid somewhere on their heart? I held her back for a year the first time.

Here’s to the little girl with the little bit of an edge to her. The little girl with the gumption to reach for a dream and follow her heart for Jesus. I love you Abby.

So, if God speaks to your heart and leads you, go ahead and hit: DONATE

God bless you, and thanks for stopping by.

Abby’s Mom / Rachael

             ©2015, 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart