Something to be aware of: when we want to do something, or we like something, we find all kinds of reasons why it's the right thing to do and reasons why things that contradict it are wrong (dieting/church attendance/paying bills/etc, etc). We must be very careful that if we are doing this in our spiritual lives, or with our morality/ethics, that we are going to the Word of God FIRST, and for the final say, whether we like it or not, and truly submit to God's Word to govern our decisions. As Christians, disregarding the Word of God until after we choose to do our way isn't optional any way, and if we do not take heed to this truth, we will always regret it sooner or later.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NLT)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
I recently reached out to someone to extend kindness because I had not seen them for quite some time, and I thought I would send them a friend request on Facebook. The response I received was hateful and rude. The individual proceeded to tell me that it was because of the way I had ignored them at the local grocery store, and Walmart, that they were bitter toward me. Worse of all, this individual is a professing Christian who then sent me scriptures about love to reprove me.
Problem? This is not reality. What do I mean? If she was at the local store or Walmart, I never saw her and have absolutely no idea what she is talking about. So what’s the point? False assumptions, and ESPECIALLY false expectations, cause much division, bitterness, and harm in our relationships and churches. If she ever saw me, I did not see her. If she thought I saw her, and expected me to come to say hello, this was a false expectation.
Until we see the exceeding sinfulness of false expectations, we will never stop doing it. Be very careful that you are not severing relationships, and hindering God’s work, because you expected someone to “do this” or “that” and were disappointed. It is very foolish, and harmful, and we hurt people senselessly by doing it.
One last thing; the busier a friend may be, the more we need to understand this. When we are expecting someone to do/not do something, and they are extremely busy, it is even more unfair to them as compared to a regular situation. Walk in love and you won’t operate this way…and you can only operate in love by knowing Him who IS love. Be kind, assuming the best, and work to empathize with others. All of this is possible through God’s love.
1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Titus 1:15 (NKJV)
15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure;
but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
1 Corinthians 13:4–5 (NKJV)
4 Love…..thinks no evil
The Bible says in Isaiah 42:3a, "A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench."
Let me briefly paraphrase this, what God is saying is that if you are bruised, if you have even a little flicker of hope in your heart and faith toward God, He will not break you. He will not put out your ember. What this means is, if you have a mustard seed of faith in your heart, if you have any hope in Him, even though you might have failed Him miserably, maybe you have backslidden, if you even have a little bit of an ember left in your heart, come to Him. God will restore you and He will save you. Confess your sins, ask Him to forgive you and refresh you, and He will. The devil is a liar and he will tell you, "There's no hope, what's the use." This is a lie; come to Jesus He loves you. And after you come to Jesus, hold on to Him and don't look back. Keep your heart in right relationship with Him through your devotional time and fellowship with true Christians; just as the Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23-
"Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life."
Are you feeling like God is angry with you? Or have you been feeling condemned? Maybe you have done wrong and this is why, or maybe you have not yet trusted Jesus Christ to save you? Whatever the case, here is some great encouragement, to the truth of who God really is, because our feelings deceive us frequently if we are not careful-
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 16 For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.’”
So what do we need to learn here? God Almighty delights in/dwells with those who are brokenhearted over their sins. Those who are truly heartbroken and feel terrible for their wrongs, when they come to God and ask for forgiveness, He is quick to forgive and restore. God does not hold a grudge against such as these, those who are truly sorry and repentant for their sins, however, we also need to take heed to verse 11-
Isaiah 57:11b… (NKJV) “Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?”
In modern Christendom we have two main errors that our deceitful hearts err towards…
1- God is angry at us after we confess/repent for our sins and He then beats us down
2- God is like a carefree grandpa who “loves” us (counterfeit love) and does not pay much attention to our sinful activities
These are both wrong, and this is why it is essential that we are biblical, and take heed to these verses in Isaiah 57. God wants us to have the abundant life (John 10:10), but when we veer away from the truth of the Bible, we simultaneously veer into destruction of some form. God does not beat down those who are brokenhearted, and He does not overlook our sins just because we think He seems to when He is patient with us. Beware of living by your own deceitful heart, emotions, and opinions. God is good, but we cannot live in His goodness if we foolishly veer into our own philosophies and away from His Word. Learn to live in the true Fear of God and believe He forgives when you repent.
Fear is one of the most destructive things in our lives. There is appropriate fear, to fear God...however...the wrong kind of fear causes us to make stupid decisions and be miserable. Remember that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). This verse says everything we need:
"Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You."
Sometimes Jesus will wait to answer your prayers until you are not only more sick, but all the way dead. Yes, sometimes He waits until you die to answer your prayers...and this is why we often stress unnecessarily.
John 11:1–6 (NKJV)
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
The rest of the story is that Lazarus ended up dead (but not for good; this is what Jesus meant when He said the sickness was not unto death)...and Jesus went and raised him from the dead a few days later. But why this post? Because as we had family devotions last night, my wife read this passage and for the first time I got new light on it. It occurred to me, that Jesus sometimes waits, until we die all the way, to do something. So how does this apply to us? Sometimes, we cannot enter into God's greatest plan if we are still in charge/alive trying to control everything. Also, you cannot be raised from the dead lest you are dead. If I think I am "alive" and I can handle things "on my own" without God (we do this without realizing it ALL the time), God will often times set back and wait until you come to the "death" place. The place where you give up FOR REAL and truly let God have it. THEN, and ONLY then, will you see the resurrection, the answer you want...and when God answers, it's always better than what you thought you needed.
This is what Jesus does when a people truly asks Him to move in their church:
Matthew 21:12–13 (NKJV)
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
He purges the worldly/idolatrous/business-type/money focus out of church, and replaces it with the biblical focus; seeking God through prayer.
And the next verse shows us what happens after Jesus cleans the place up according to His standards:
Matthew 21:14 (NKJV)
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
If we want God to truly save/heal/deliver people from satan and sin in our churches, we MUST get/keep our focus OFF of money and numbers. I have been pressured over the years at different times to focus on fundraiser this, and fundraiser that…but we are called to TRUST GOD. God provides according to His will for ANY church that honors Him.
God help us to remember that church does not rise or fall based on the bank account…but we rise and fall based on whether we are truly building on Jesus. We are called to be a people of prayer, with our focus on God, not worrying about how much money we have. Yes we need money, and yes we should do our part, but after that, leave it to God and do NOT scrape and scratch trying to get more, more, more. God is faithful and we must entrust our everything to Him, He will provide what we need when we need it if we will just honor Him.
19 years ago today I was sitting in prison for the third time and feeling hopeless. I started to think about God more and more and decided to go to a church service where I heard the truth from the Bible. I told God, "If You are real, please help me, please show me." What He did was convict me of my sins, and reveal to me His great love for me in sending His Son to die on the cross for my sins to save me from satan's bondage, and my rebellion. I believed the truth, asked Him to forgive me and save me, and I was born again. I am more grateful to God for this than I am for any other thing. I love Him more than anything and I'm so thankful for His salvation and for all the things He's done in my life...saving me from alcohol, violence, and total foolishness/letting me be a dad/husband/pastor. Praise Jesus because He really is alive and He truly saves. My best birthday is today... the day I was born again 19 years ago. If you have not been truly saved/born again, if you have not come to really know Jesus Christ, come to Him and be real with Him from your heart and He will save you. Believe that He died for you, to save you from your sins and the devil's lies. Ask Jesus to forgive you, believe that He was raised from the dead to give you new life, and He will completely save you from the inside out
Whatever your denominational title, whatever your theological system, beware of exalting yourself over other believers. And beware of falsely assuming that other people who disagree with you are not Christians or they are wrong. If you have not studied God's Word yourself, with a humble spirit seeking Him, then be very, very slow to judge others. If we really want to please God then we will ask HIM to give us HIS heart and HIS eyes and ears. ... HIS way of seeing things, HIS real love. We will go to God's Word with the mentality, "Father, if I am wrong about anything please show me and help me humble myself and change. Father help me not to look down on others or separate myself from other true Christians because I have some kind of a doctrinal system that I put too highly. God please show me if I'm wrong."
If you will pray this, God will honor it. Lastly, if you know other Christians and you are hesitant to be around them or fellowship with them because they have a different title, and you assume they are something, beware of that also. This often hinders God's work. Let us walk in love and wisdom.
Just in case you feel unworthy, and unacceptable to God, just remember that God is looking for those who are real with Him and themselves about their sin. God is looking for people who humble themselves to Him. If your heart is broken over your life, and the mess it may be in, or your sinfulness, come to Jesus. Read the following Bible passage and you will see how He feels about those who feel ashamed...if they will just come to Him, and admit/confess their sins to Him, He will forgive and save. Sometimes I need to read this passage because I feel so unworthy to do anything for God, and then I read this and it brings tears to my eyes and reminds me that God, in a sense, wants this from us:
Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV)-
"Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'”
Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid."
All week the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about the fact that more and more our culture and churches want to be flattered and encouraged while we often need correction and reproof. The Bible says that if we do not correct our children we do not love them (Proverbs 13:24), likewise, if we really love God and people we will sometimes need to correct them also. It is not my job to correct everyone but it is my job to correct those within my circle as God directs. My family, the church I pastor, sometimes friends, we have to rebuke sometimes. God save us from itching ears that only want to be encouraged and flattered which will result in us becoming more narcissistic. May God help us to be thankful that He is a loving Father that corrects His children when we need it. Why is it more loving to correct someone then to flatter them? Because if we have to correct someone in our circle, it results in pain/inconvenience for us, which is essentially hurting for that other person. In other words, when we have to correct our children or people we love that we are responsible for, it is an expression of real love to do it in spite of personal inconvenience. It is just a kind of sacrifice for that other person.
This is our church last Sunday morning, so encouraging. I have repeatedly felt I should share something God has been teaching me here today, so here it is:
Recently, over the past 1-2 years, God has really been doing unique things in our church. When I say unique I mean special in a truly good way. But I want to tell you that this "uniqueness" came right after I left church one night, came home, and cried like a baby telling my wife I was finished pastoring. Yes, I truly gave up, and I mean I gave up; something I KNEW I would never do when I first started pastoring in 2002. Repeated discouragement, personal struggles we all have, betrayals, misunderstandings, and to top it all off, it seemed our church was growing very slowly, if at all. I was truly trying to be honorable to God in every way, but it seemed all I was receiving for years was primarily negative results. I was determined that if I could not pastor the correct way, I would not pastor at all. Many, many, many times I would ask myself (and God), "Am I being cursed? What am I doing wrong?" As it was at that time, it seemed that the "right/biblical way" was just not going to work in this culture. Trying to teach what I felt led to, trying to do church discipline when needed, and trying to focus on Jesus, not catering to people's "wants." Thank God I have a truly godly wife that gave me the right counsel when I was in utter despair. She basically told me, "Honey, God is mostly weeding out hypocrites and fakes, and He has blessed us with real, solid believers. We are blessed to have our church." I was like, "Yep, she's right, and I will fight to the death...no matter what it looks like to me." I decided, that if our church should dwindle etc, and I had to be the last one standing, I would. I basically told myself, "I don't care if everyone thinks I am a failure, I don't care if everyone leaves our church, I don't care what happens, I WILL HONOR GOD NO MATTER WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES...even to death." Well, I think that was something God wanted etched deep in my soul...even though I thought it had been before. The reason I say that is because of what has happened since. From that day, our church has seen many new conversions, a new nationwide radio ministry start, and we are growing. Most importantly, I don't know how God did this, but He has engraved in my heart the main thing He's looking for in our lives and churches. It's not doctrinal correctness (although we must be, especially in the major areas), it's not adhering to a denominational loyalty, it's not promoting "our church", it's not our "distinctives", it's not our traditions, and it's not our mole hills that we make into mountains. What God really wants from us is true godliness from true love. What is true godliness/holiness? To love God more than anything, and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31). As I have received more light on this truth, I have come to feel greater compassion for backsliders and hypocrites. So what is the moral of this? Love. Love is the most important thing. To love God is to serve and honor Him...to have His love is to love people...and until we truly have the fullness of His love, we cannot truly see people with real compassion. Yes, people are going to go to an eternal hell for hypocrisies etc, if they do not repent, but we must pray for them because they usually do not truly know what they are doing. The more I have come to realize this, the more I feel God's love when I preach and pray. I don't see people as being so much of a source of pain as I used to. I now see them more as sheep needing a shepherd...many of which cannot see nor do they know their right hand from their left. I believe God was waiting for me to truly learn this...even though I thought I knew it. The result? He now is bringing people to our church that want to help, and give, and love God. They truly love one another...and I think God was waiting to work something into me all the while...more of HIS GREAT LOVE. I have not arrived, and won't until heaven, but I am so thankful that God has consistently lifted me up when I was discouraged. That's the message to you, KEEP PERSEVERING...ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD (Romans 8:28). No matter if you are a pastor or what you do, go to Jesus for strength and trust Him to work what is perfect for you.
This passage summarizes the whole message of the Bible in a few words:
Psalm 145:17–20 (NKJV)
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 The LORD preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
So what makes us wicked or righteous? Faith in Jesus Christ and faith alone. In other words, to live by faith is the only sure hope to us that we will receive all of the promises of God in our lives. To live by true faith is to live as a true follower of Jesus...because you cannot truly believe that He is who He said He is without following Him/obeying Him. The expression of unbelief (being wicked) is to live outside of Jesus Christ. To live according to our will, and our way is to be wicked. This should comfort us if we are believers...because we are not saved by our emotions, how we feel about ourselves, or our conduct...but true, living faith. You see, a true believer knows that they should not sin. A true believer hates their sin, and a true believer grows in true righteousness as they live their life of faith. So if you are a true believer, God does vs 17-20a for you EVERY DAY. but if you choose to trust in your way, your philosophies, and the world's way to "happiness", you will experience vs 20b, "But all the wicked He will destroy." The Bible makes it clear that God loves everyone, but only those who trust in His Son will receive forgiveness and salvation. Lastly, we must be careful not to take "white-out" to our Bibles when we see things that are hard. We must receive God's truth and the truth will set us free.
Have you recently started to pray and seek God? Have you recently started to try to honor Him and live for Him? Or, have you recently felt God was calling you to do some work for Him? Then I am certain, biblically speaking, that you either are, or you will be, resisted by the devil. This post is mostly for those of you that have started to pray and seek God because He has been revealing to you that you need Him in your life etc.
What happens frequently, is that people start to seek God, try to obey Him etc, and then resistance comes...and they get discouraged. DON'T GET DISCOURAGED!!! It is NORMAL, and it is BIBLICAL to be resisted...but YOU WILL NOT BE DEFEATED IF YOU WILL KEEP YOUR FAITH IN JESUS!
This morning I read from Ezra 4:1–5 (NKJV)-
"1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the LORD God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers’ houses, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do; and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel said to them, “You may do nothing with us to build a house for our God; but we alone will build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.” 4 Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, 5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia."
What to learn here? Plain and simple, satan hates people, he hates it when we start to try to "build God's work/change our lives," and he really hates people who are drawing closer to Jesus. DON'T be discouraged and KEEP seeking God.
Here are some ways that satan resists us:
1. Sudden problems in relationships/coworkers
2. Distractions when trying to read the Bible, pray, and attend church
3. Constant condemnation when we fail
4. Condemning, negative thoughts
5. Conspiracies to cause us to fail
DO NOT let the devil lie to you...get into God's Word, and read to see how this is normal. Most importantly...WE WILL OVERCOME if we will continue to live by faith in Jesus!
The people of God (in passage above) were simply trying to do what God told them, and all of the sudden, problems and resistance started to pop up from no where. The summary of it all though? Even though they were resisted, and hindered, God's work was eventually accomplished.
Don't give up. Especially those of you who have just started to put your faith in Jesus. Don't be discouraged. Marital tensions, financial fears, problems at work...if you have been seeking God, understand that these problems might very well be the proof that you have a real faith that causes hell to tremble.
1 John 5:4 (NKJV)
"4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."
Getting ready to do another funeral today. Every time I have to do one I am reminded that life is precious and it is very short. Do not take your life for granted, make peace with people in your life if at all possible. Above all, make sure you put your faith and your hope in Jesus Christ. Jesus died for everyone, but unless we put our faith in Him it does not apply to us. Let us live by faith in Him and have love come out of our lives because of that. Let us live the life of God's love so that our funeral can be a time where our families know where we are and have a hope of meeting again in heaven instead of hell.
John 15:17 "These things I command you, that you love one another."
We could all use help with our discernment, so let's look at a statement Jesus made:
In Matthew 10:16 Jesus said, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
How do we do this? I want to give you a few short discernment helps:
1. Religiosity, without God's real love in the heart, equates to sheep's clothing while being a wolf on the inside.
-1 John 3:10 says, "In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother."
2. One important thing we need to understand is that proper doctrines and religious conduct alone are not the litmus test as to whether someone is a wolf or a sheep. Love manifested in our lives is the real proof that we are true Christians.
3. If we do not have discernment in these last days, we will be deceived. There are many wolves in sheep's clothing in church today, and if we do not stay close to Jesus we will be deceived.
4. Beware of assuming someone has love just because they are nice, it may very well be sheep's clothing. When you judge righteously (which Jesus commanded us to do in John 7:24), remember that the love you are looking for is the authentic love of God. If you go by human understanding you will always go astray.
5. Whether we like it or not there are many wolves, and if you love Jesus/are born again, you are a sheep. Our only protection is to stay close to Jesus Christ, keep Him first in our lives, and accept the truth He reveals to us without arguing with Him. If He shows us that someone in our life is counterfeit, pray for them, possibly reprove them, but beware of fellowshipping with them.
6. There are many true pastors that truly love God, but there are also wolves in sheep's clothing. Beware that you do not drown out your discernment, and your conscience, because you do not want to be inconvenienced by having to change churches or stop listening to some false teacher. On the other hand love, support, and pray for your true pastor.
7. The world we live in today is a world in which we must be serious about having discernment. The Word of God tells us that we are to "be sober and vigilant because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Take that seriously, and rest in the security of Jesus' arms.
I don't know who this may be for, but I know that God has continued to put this in my mind all day so now I am going to post this. I believe that God wants me to speak to those of you who are feeling condemned constantly because you did not get to say goodbye to a loved one before they died, or something like that, and you feel guilty because you did not leave on good terms or you were not able to make amends before they died. Or maybe you feel condemned for how you raised your kids, or something like that... something you cannot now change. God does not want you to feel condemned and guilty over this. The Bible says in Romans 8:1 that there is, "No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Put your faith in Jesus and ask Him to remove the condemnation and guilt from your life. If there is sin that you have not asked God to forgive you for... if you have not come to God and put your faith in His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior, and turned away from your sin and unto God, do it now. Let God give you His peace and a clear conscience. Satan destroys many people through guilt and condemnation. God loves you and He does not want you to feel this way. However, if you do not go to Him, then the only result will be persistent condemnation and guilt. Go to Jesus, He truly cares for you. If you need someone to talk to you can email me at this address and I would love to help you if I can:
This post kind of goes on with yesterday's post about not giving up. Here is a short passage, and if we will listen to it, we will experience great things from God personally; it is Psalm 107-
5. “Hungry and thirsty,
Their soul fainted in them.
6. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
7. And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.”
*V5- when we get hungry and thirsty for God and to a point that we are faint-hearted trying to do things our way, and trying to find strength in the things of this world, then we will cry out to God (V6) and He will deliver us out of our distresses, and (V7) not only does He deliver us out of our distresses He leads us the right way that we can enter into the city of peace and joy and love in knowing Him and being forgiven for our sins. Keep seeking Him....He blesses ANYONE that comes to Him in faith with a sincere heart
I felt I was supposed to post encouragement here today. I want to tell you something from experience; this may not make sense to your human mind, but if you will spend time with Jesus in prayer and get into His Word the Bible, it will lift so many problems. God removes anxieties, depression, and hopelessness just by spending time with Him. Do not lose heart, Pastor David Wilkerson used to say, "The hardest part of faith is the last half hour." I have been through severe trials in my own life, and I'm telling you, simply spending time with the Lord Jesus Christ in faith will bring peace and joy, even though it does not make sense to the human mind. God touches us when we come to Him by faith. It does not matter what kind of guilt and condemnation you have right now, come to God, ask for forgiveness, because His Son Jesus died for you and He will restore, refresh, and revive you. Do not lose hope....get up and come to Jesus:
"Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees"
Something God showed me this morning that I had never seen:
Luke 7:47b says, "to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
I have always known that when Jesus said this that He was referring primarily to God the Father, and that when we confess sin to God and ask for forgiveness He forgives us, and in turn we will love Him much because He forgives us. What I had never really seen before was this: it also applies to people. What I mean is, it occurred to me, the people that I love the most in my life are those who have forgiven me for the most. Starting primarily with my wife. Our spouses see the worst and best of us. The longer we are married the more I love her, not because I am supposed to, but because she shows me Jesus' love. How is His love manifested through her? She forgives me sincerely, if and when I fail her somehow.
If there's someone in your life that you want to love you, be sure you are loving them through forgiveness. And always remember to practice forgiveness, don't just expect to receive it if you did not give it, we reap what we sow...
And most importantly? You cannot truly love and forgive, fully, unless you are saved from the power of sin by Jesus Christ. Trust in Him as your Lord and Savior, ask Him to forgive you, ask Him to save you and He will give you His Holy Spirit and deliver you from the power of sin and the devil.