Monday, May 18, 2009

Forgiving Others

...that begins with a DECISION
First, comes the OFFENSE!

James 1:15 tells us that once lust is conceived, it brings forth sin. Then, once sin is finished with you, it brings forth death.

Unforgiveness is a conceived sin that is designed by Satan to kill YOU.

The unforgiveness you hold in your heart does not hurt the other person; but rather, it slowly destroys "your" entire being, robbing you of "your" life, all the while separating you from the presence of God.

Oh, I know firsthand, the pain and suffering caused by that gigantic bitter pill that was shoved down your throat... against your will. You didn't ask for it; you didn't even deserve it. You've tried to get rid of it. Yet, here you are, going through the motions of life on "automatic pilot". No joy. No vision. No peace. Just a nagging replay of your offense, going over and over and over again in your head. You want so desperately to be freed from this torment... But how?

First of all, let me tell you that you "are" capable of forgiving. No matter how vile your injury, God has given you the strength, power, and ability to overcome those demonic forces that have hurt you.

I remind you: forgiveness is a process that begins with a decision.

Once you have determined in your heart that you must forgive, you'll need to stick with your resolve until your emotions line-up with God's Word. The ONLY way to do this is through PRAYER... and lots of it!

After my husband defiled our marriage of eighteen years by gambling our finances away, lying, alcoholism, drug addictions, and secretly (so he thought) lusting over pornography, I was angry and frustrated to no end. But, once he crossed the sacred line of our marriage vows (after all that I had already put up with) by committing adultery, it was as if Satan, himself, shoved a nine-foot-tall glass of bitterness down my throat. I was poisoned! And now, this poison made me think I'd never be the same. I thought I'd never be able to get over the hell that he put me through for so many years. I was mad at him; I was mad at the adulteress; I was mad at an in-law for deceiving me concerning my husband's whereabouts; and, I was mad at God for allowing this to happen to me!

"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

I knew that the Word of God said you must forgive "seventy times seven", but I was hoping that I had reached that magic number of four-hundred and ninety so that God would allow me to harbor unforgiveness toward my husband - forever! Desperate for help; I ran to my church and sought counsel from a pastor on staff. I learned so many things from our sessions that helped me to forgive and I'd like to share some of them with you now.

First, when the Bible speaks of "seventy times seven"... it's not a finite number, such as four-hundred and ninety. When Jesus told Peter that he should forgive "seventy times seven", He was actually saying, "You must always forgive." Let's look at another passage of scripture that confirms this point...

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"

Ouch! Did this mean that God would not forgive me of my sins, if I didn't forgive everyone else of theirs... including my husband?

"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

You see, I was a born-again, spirit-filled Christian who had enjoyed the power of the Holy Ghost for many years prior to my offense; and now, I couldn't bear to think of ever returning to that place of separation from God's presence. I knew I would have to forgive "everyone" who seemed to have taken part in my demise, but I was completely overwhelmed at the enormity of my dilemma. Everything in my life appeared to be broken and I couldn't see any sort of light at the end of my tunnel.

Thankfully, this godly counselor gave me the following pieces of wisdom that saved my mind and made it possible for me to move forward in God's Will of forgiveness. First, he said, you must forgive your husband, as well as everyone else who has offended you throughout this trial. This does not mean that you have to stay married to your husband (Matthew 19:7-9 - according to scripture, divorce is permitted in the case of adultery - but this is not God's perfect plan); it does not mean that you have to associate with the adulteress or even keep company with your in-law. You "do" however need to stay in fellowship with God.

Then he said, "You need to compartmentalize your offenses so that you can deal with one hurdle at a time; leaving all of the other people and problems in the Lords care until you are ready to handle more." Learning to separate the troubling aspects of my life, to deal with one thing at a time, was a huge piece to the puzzle of my forgiveness journey.

And so, I decided to work on forgiving my husband, first. Of course, I knew I couldn't stay mad at God. After-all, without His blessings I'd never be whole again. He is my breath, my life, my strength, and my source. I needed Jehovah Shalom (My God of Peace) to restore my soul. I cried, "God help me!", as I literally ran to my closet - many times a day - screaming, crying, arguing, reminding, begging (yes, even begging) God to help me to forgive. I quoted scripture. I bound up principalities and powers. I bound good things (according to God's Word) to me, my husband, and my children. I pleaded, "God, take this bitterness from me! Help me to forgive!" Each day, the Lord would take my bitterness from me and I would be strengthened, but the next day... I would have to start the process all over again.

It's not that the Lord didn't take it; rather, I kept taking it back. The devil would flood my mind with horrendous thoughts and images sending me into a panic attack as adrenaline surged through every cavity of my soul. This was truly the hardest battle I had ever fought.

It took me about a year to purge the bitterness that consumed by being. I don't recall the exact moment, or the exact day, but I just know that at some point I became free. Of course, throughout this year long prayer vigil, I prayed for my husband (the one who offended me). Thankfully, he became a born-again believer shortly after our marital collapse; and so, I decided that if I had to forgive him, then I wanted the prize for my hard work. I wanted my marriage to be restored... and it was! Hallelujah!

Your situation may not require restoration with your offender. Perhaps you were violated by a stranger, or maybe by an acquaintance. Regardless of "who" hurt you, forgiveness mandates that you pray blessings and not cursings upon your perpetrator. If you find that too hard to do, start by praying for their salvation - that is more than enough. If the person claims to be a Christian, then pray that God will open the eyes of their understanding so perhaps they'll feel remorse over hurting you and ask for your forgiveness. If they don't... it's OK! Pray for them to not suffer the consequences of the wages of their sin(s) toward you.

I once witnessed someones house burning down in the middle of the night shortly after they blind sighted me with hideous rage. Through this instance, the Lord taught me the importance of praying for my enemies. That person, and their entire family, were not born-again believers and they would have all spent eternity in hell - had they died in their house fire that night. Was their house fire the wrath of God? That, I don't know; but, what I do know is that God spoke to my heart about the importance of praying for those who have offended me.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Forgiveness. How do you forgive?

* Realize that forgiveness is a commandment from God... it's not a suggestion.
* Purpose in your mind and heart that you will purge "all" bitterness and malice toward your offender.
* Cry out to God DAILY asking Him to take the bitterness from you - UNTIL IT IS ALL GONE!
* Compartmentalize your problems so that you can accomplish one thing at a time, leaving the others in God's hands until you are ready to deal with them.
* Pray for your offender. Pray blessings and not cursings.
* Read your Bible.
* Praise and worship God in the midst of your pain. (This really confuses the devil.)
* Don't rehearse your bitterness. Only speak of your testimony in light of what God has done to turn things around, according to His Word - and not according to the desires of your flesh.
* Speak the truth in love. If possible, tell the person that they offended you. Perhaps they'll repent. If they don't... you must still forgive, for your sake!

Remember what Jesus said as He hung on the cross... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This should be your example. This should be your goal. When you choose to forgive, you create fertile ground for God to work a miracle. Who knows? Maybe "your miracle" will be a restored marriage, mended relationship(s), a new job, born-again family members, your offender becomes born-again, financial prosperity, healing in your body, a dream accomplished or ____________ (put your secret heart's desire here). With God, all things are possible!

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

...Forgive and be free in Jesus name!

Please know, I share the details of my marriage in a transparent way because I want you to know that if Jesus can save our family, change my husband, and heal my broken heart... He can do the same for you. I now have a wonderful husband who is a born-again man of God. He is the head of our household and is completely free of all addictions. The Word of God is true and powerful!

For more teachings on FORGIVENESS, please click this link and order the CD or DVD of FAITH, FORGIVENESS, FUTURE.

Another great resource for FORGIVING and for overcoming ADDICTIONS, GENERATIONAL CURSES, and STRONGHOLDS OF THE MIND is the double CD set titled ROOT DIGGER, NOT A RUG SWEEPER. Click the link here to order yours...

Yours in Christ, Deborah

Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

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Monday, May 4, 2009


1 John 2:12
"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."

While a life of sin may start out as a joy ride that eludes to glamour, laughter, freedom, and fun, the final destination is always that of destruction. In fact, Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The hidden treasure at the end of a sinful rainbow is always a pot of dung. Guilt, shame, and brokenness are just some of the hideous surprises that await those who have been duped into believing that they can dance with the tip of sin's tail.

Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

God's Word tells us that everyone has sinned. We've all made bad decisions and poor choices that have brought us to that place of unrest in our soul. While our intentions may have been to "do the right thing", our sinful nature (apart from God) always seems to lead us down paths of trickery, leaving us empty and void - deep within. The pull of sin is a constant "tug of war" inside of everyone; challenging our conscience with cleaver justifications, all of which are in direct opposition to God.

Then, there are those "sinful situations" that were completely brought on by the evil devices of others. Maybe you live under the shelter of another who is trapped by the claws of sin. Sadly, "their sin" has drug you down a marsh pit of filth that seems to have stained your life forever. You may feel that you have spiraled too far out of control - that you could never be reconciled to God. As anger and rage consume the core of your being, you wonder how you could ever be forgiven. Even more, you wonder if you could ever forgive yourself.

Psalm 51:10
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

Precious friend, God knew that we would never be able to free ourselves from the snare of sins grasp. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. You see, Jesus left His heavenly abode to come to earth and rescue all who were scarred from the wages of sin. When you repent of your sin (repent means to turn; to change your mind) and trust in Jesus as you Lord and Savior, He instantly washes you clean and sets you on high. He delivers you out of the grave that held you captive; the grave that blinded you from the light of God's goodness. At that same moment of your conversion, the Holy Spirit (comforter, counselor, teacher) comes to live inside of you. You are born-again! You are a brand new creature! God says that your sins are as far as the east is from the west - He does not even remember them! Wow!

Psalm 103:12
"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."

Of course, the devil won't give up so easily. He is on a mission to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). His tactics are dirty and his methods are cunning. Since he can't do anything to keep a Child of God out of heaven (because God has already sealed them with the Holy Spirit of promise - Ephesians 1:13), his next plan is to render a Christian as ineffective in the Kingdom of God. If he can keep you doubting how much your Daddy (Abba Father) loves you, or keep you feeling as though you are a second class Christian, unforgiveness toward yourself will hinder the flow of God's blessings into your life. Unforgiveness is a sin. And God cannot bless sin. The devil knows this, and so he reminds you of the things you once did, and the person you once were, in an effort to cause you to linger in self condemnation.

Romans 12:2
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

So, how can you rise above the devils scheme of unforgiveness - the unforgiveness you have toward yourself? By renewing your mind! And, how do you renew your mind? By reading the Word of God!

Precious sister in Christ, forgiveness is a process. Don't be discouraged in your Christian walk if you are having trouble forgiving yourself. It will come. You will reach a day in which your past sins will seem like the story of another. The closer you get to God - through reading His Word - the farther away you'll be from the pain of that horrible "pot of dung" you once lived in.

Let me encourage you today to READ YOUR BIBLE. If you are a new Christian, start by reading the New Testament, first. Always pray before you read God's Word, asking Him to reveal Himself to you. The Words of the Bible are referred to as "bread" because God's Word brings LIFE to your soul, spirit, and body. As you continually feed upon the Word of God, you will be strengthened to conquer self condemnation - once and for all. Faith, peace, and forgiveness will rise up within you. You will be made whole!

Romans 8:1
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Now, if condemnation is coming to you from outside sources (someone is continually telling you that you are a bad person) you'll need to learn to repel words of discouragement within your spirit man. Ephesians 6:11-13 tells us to put on the whole armor of God - each day - so that we can be victorious in our Christian walk. Remember, you are not wrestling with "flesh and blood" but against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. If someone is bashing you for no reason, they are simply acting as a puppet in the devil's hand - probably because of their own insecurities. Pray for them; and, if at all possible, avoid being around them. If you cannot avoid their company, practice closing your ears with spiritual fingers. Silently ask God to protect you from receiving words of discouragement - even while that person is still speaking. Remember, they themselves are victims of "sins grasp" and they probably don't even realize that they are acting as the devil's advocate.

Proverbs 18:21
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

Are you speaking life to yourself? As a Christian, you need to minister to yourself with your own mouth! Instead of speaking negative thoughts of "what a bad person you are" or any such words of self-condemnation, start speaking praises of how God saved your soul and changed you from the inside out. Begin to share your testimony saying, "This is who I once was. This is when I gave my life to Jesus. This is who I am now." As you do, your perception of yourself will change. You will teach your mind to agree with your born-again status as a Child of the King. Remember, words are powerful; so be sure that the words you are speaking continually give glory to God by praising Him for your new life in Christ Jesus.

Mark 12:30-31 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

God has forgiven you, and now, you must forgive yourself. God loves you - and He wants YOU to love you, too! When Jesus said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", He was saying, "I want you to love yourself, first (because you were made in my image); then, you'll be able to truly love others.
So "how" do you forgive yourself?.....
  • First, you must be born-again.
  • Next, you'll need to renew your mind by reading your Bible.
  • Then, you'll need to practice closing your ears to the naysayer; always remembering to pray for those who persecute you.
  • In addition, you must practice speaking words of encouragement to yourself by praising God for His forgiveness.
  • Finally, you need to be patient. The day will come in which your past sins will only be a fact and no longer a feeling.
God loves you! He wants you whole! He has forgiven you and He remembers nothing about your past. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness..."
Yours in Christ,
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women
Healing a Broken Marriage

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Friday, May 1, 2009

I AM...


Colorful, Majestic, Righteous, Creative, Loving, All-Knowing, Wonderful, Bright Light ... multi-faceted and beautiful human perceptions of the God of the universe! But what are the names that God has called Himself? Who does He say that He is?

I am reading a book by Marilyn Hickey entitled The Names of God and I thought you'd enjoy gleaning from my studies. (The ISBN number is 1-56441-014-5)

Remember, these names reveal God's character. He "is" who these names say that He is and He "does" what these names say that He does. This is a powerful study!

Meditate on the names of God and the meaning of each one. I pray you'll receive a new revelation of who God is and what He wants to be in YOUR LIFE. Enjoy!

ELOHIM = Total power and might. Complete sovereignty. Complete creativity. The God Who Makes Covenants.

JEHOVAH = The Revealing One.

EL SHADDAI = One who is more than enough. He who is all sufficient.

ADONAI = Master, Owner, Lord.

JEHOVAH JIREH = He who meets your needs.

JEHOVAH M'KADDESH = He who sanctifies.

JEHOVAH NISSI = Jehovah, my Banner.

JEHOVAH ROPHE = Jehovah Heals.

JEHOVAH SHALOM = Perfect Peace.

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU = Jehovah, my Righteousness.

JEHOVAH ROHI = Jehovah, my Shepherd.

JEHOVAH SHAMMAH = He is present and alive. Jehovah is here. Jehovah is there.

EL ELYON = The God Most High.

JEHOVAH TSEBAOTH = The Lord of Hosts.

JEHOVAH MAKKEH = The Lord, our Smiter. The one who chastens us.

JEHOVAH GMOLAH = The Lord of Recompenses.

JEHOVAH ELOHAY; EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL; JEHOVAH ELOHEENU = The Lord, my God. The personal God of Israel. The Lord, our God.

Yours in Christ,

Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

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