Joy of Forgiveness

Written by Andrei Yashurin

There is a tremendous joy in being forgiven – in being guilt-free, shame-free and have no self-condemnation. In order to experiencerepparttar joy ofrepparttar 127060 Lord in its fullness, we need to practice living in consciousness of divine forgiveness.

“The kingdom of God is… righteousness and peace and joy inrepparttar 127061 Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

I would encourage you to treat guilt as your worst enemy. It won’t help you to become a better person, no matter what some people say about it. Even if it may motivate you to improve yourself, it will ruin your self-esteem in a process. God doesn’t need guilt to correct you, He has a better way. Every message that is filled with guilt, of makes you feel guilty, is not inspired by God, and you don’t need to listen to it. Guilt paralyses, and God does not want to see you paralyzed. He is saying to you:

“Rejoice, for your sins are forgiven!” “Rise up and walk inrepparttar 127062 newness of life!”

When a prodigal son came back to himself and returned to his father, filled with guilt and shame,repparttar 127063 father (who isrepparttar 127064 symbol of God) didn’t want to listen to his apologies. He rejoiced over his child’s return and invited all people in his household to share this joy. He wantedrepparttar 127065 son to be confident that he is loved and accepted, as if he never leftrepparttar 127066 home!

“Bringrepparttar 127067 fatted cow here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:24).

“It was right that we should make merry and be glad” (Luke 15:32).

The lesson of this parable is that God is more willing to forgive us that we are willing to accept His forgiveness.

Recently I’ve seen a discussion about “an unforgivable sin”,repparttar 127068 one that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 12:31-32. Different people expressed different opinions of what can it be, not agreeing with each other. But I think those who really understandrepparttar 127069 nature of God and our relationships with Him, will easy findrepparttar 127070 correct answer.

Finding Joy in Christmas- When Everything 'Feels' Wrong

Written by Ellen M. DuBois

The year 2001 proved to be a life altering one. Barring our own personal problems which already may have had you in a state of despair,repparttar attack on America leftrepparttar 127059 nation-repparttar 127060 world- in a state of sadness, disbelief and hopelessness.

As we are surrounded byrepparttar 127061 sites and sounds of Christmas, many of us show a bittersweet smile while gazing at lovely Christmas lights or hearing a children's choir. We feel guilty for feeling happy when we are surrounded by so much tragedy and reflect upon a world that 'once was'.

It feels likerepparttar 127062 Christmas spirit has been knocked out of our sails and we are drifting aimlessly upon a sea of tears.

Yes, it's been one heck of a year. The loss we have sustained is incomprehensible. Combined with our individual problems; we're left wondering how to get through Christmas with joy in our hearts. Where isrepparttar 127063 room for joy when our hearts are filled torepparttar 127064 brim with sorrow?

My eyes mist when I think ofrepparttar 127065 lives lost andrepparttar 127066 families who must be struggling to shop for their remaining family members. What angst they must be experiencing. Those of us who didn't lose anyone feel for them- but, also feel helpless. How can we take away their pain? How can we make it easier for them to get throughrepparttar 127067 season? That weighs heavily on many of us and contributes further to our attempts of feeling joy during a season that's supposed to be joyous.

I've reflected a lot on this because of my own feelings of confusion and despair this Christmas. I've battled with guilt and sorrow. I've wondered if I should even bother decorating for Christmas when there are so many out there caught inrepparttar 127068 web of grief. My heart bleeds for them.

I ask myself, "What right do I have to be happy?"

I've come torepparttar 127069 conclusion that it's okay, even necessary to experiencerepparttar 127070 joy and hope of Christmas this year. If we take our focus away fromrepparttar 127071 gifts and decorations and point it towards what Christmas really is- we will find comfort, solace, peace and joy. For Christmas is Christ and Christ is eternal love, hope, life, joy and peace. Isn't that what we need right now- more than ever?

By focusing on Christ-repparttar 127072 very reason this holiday exists- our burdens become lighter

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