Christian Living

Why is it important to forgive people?

What I want to start off with is just a show of hands: Has anyone ever hurt you? Okay, we've got a few. Has anyone ever hurt you? Some people here have way better lives than mine. Okay, this is not going the way that I thought; I think that some people are distracted.

I think that it's fairly safe to say that in most of our lives' we've been hurt by someone. Maybe emotionally, or perhaps physically, but there's been something that's been done to us, and we didn't like it very much. Now we can react in many different ways to people hurting us. For some things, we might just shrug it off. We might just say, "Hey, it's all good," and we never think of it again. This is the kind of stuff where someone steps on your toe in the line at Disneyland—actually, I've been to the lines at Disneyland, and that's not usually how you respond to someone stepping on your toe, it often goes a bit beyond that.

But okay, when you brush past someone on the street in Canada, right, “Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s all good!” You never think of it again.

For others of us though, and for other types of pain, types of hurt that we’ve experienced from people, we might wallow in it.

Christians Have Power Over Paganism and the Occult

Christians Have Power Over Paganism and the Occult

For many of us, we think about the occult, or paganism or the demonic and we think, “Well, they’re nice stories. And we see them in biblical days, but none of that stuff is real. There’s nothing behind any of this stuff.”

For others of us, we think about these things, and we break into a cold sweat. Maybe we begin to seek the power that can be found in these things, or perhaps we think that there’s nothing that we can do to stand in front of these sorts of things. But what are we to do about these, because we can’t ignore them.

It's Okay to Grieve

grief, hope, peace, comfort, death, prayer

I recently lost a friend and colleague, and it seems that many others have lost friends and loved ones this year. It hurts to see a person you care about pass away; your heart may ache and you may wonder why they had to go. Sometimes the grief is overwhelming, possibly even turning to anger: anger at yourself, anger at the departed, anger at the world, or even anger at God. In those moments, one may begin to feel ashamed for their grief or pain. Others may try to bottle it up and move on with life. However, the story of Jesus Christ’s friend, named Lazarus, offers help in these times. This story can be found in the Bible, in the book of John chapter 11. Here we learn that it is good to grieve and that there is hope available to us. Jesus arrived on the scene after Lazarus was dead, but he knew something no one else did: he was going to bring Lazarus back to life! Yet here he was, surrounded by people mourning and wailing and telling him that everything would have been different if he had just arrived sooner—then he could have healed Lazarus before he died. As Jesus sees the pain that sin—humanity’s rebellion against Creator God—and death has caused, even he begins to weep. In all this, do you know what is missing? There is not even a hint of Jesus condemning these people’s grief. Jesus does not condemn grieving; it is good and healthy to take time to mourn your loss.

Still, we need not feel hopeless in our grief. Jesus told Lazarus’ sister, Martha, that he is the resurrection and the life. In other words, he came to win the defeat death by dying in your place. All people have sinned and their relationship with the Most High God has been broken. That broken relationship has killed every person’s soul—there is no more life there—and it opened the door to physical death. The problem? There is nothing any human can do to fix that relationship. But Jesus did. He was both fully God and fully human, and when he died on the cross and three days later rose again, he offered all people eternal life.

[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags="true"]Jesus doesn't condemn grieving; it's good & healthy to take time to mourn loss.[/tweetthis]

Now all you have to do is believe in your heart in the name and work of Jesus and make him master of your life. Then, God’s Holy Spirit will come to dwell within you and will bring life to your soul--life now and life for eternity—and one day, Jesus will return and your living soul will receive a new and perfect body that will never deteriorate or pass away. Truly, there is great hope in Jesus, the resurrection and the life!

pastorstephen
pastorstephen

--Pastor Stephen 

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This article first appeared in the Pincher Creek Echo.

Do You Need Some Rest?

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sleeping catIf you regularly feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, or if the weight of life seems to always have you down, you are not alone. A 2014 survey found that twenty-three percent of Canadians age fifteen and older feel that most days are “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful, and it really is not that difficult to see why. At no other time in history have we had as many conveniences and opportunities available to us, yet those very things that can be so positive also have a negative side. With the convenience of the internet, social media and smartphones comes the expectation for us to always be on and at the ready for work, family, and school related communications and projects. The simple fact is that, for many people, coming home no longer means the work day is done.

Additionally, with an increase in opportunities comes increased busyness as we feel it necessary to be involved in numerous recreational events, in learning new skills, and to have each child in multiple afterschool activities--all while trying to keep up on the plethora of our favourite crime dramas and superhero shows. It is no wonder more and more of us are feeling stressed out! How many of us can regularly be heard saying, “I need a vacation,” or “I just need a break”?

Meanwhile, my God, Jesus Christ, is saying, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). When your soul is troubled with wondering about the future, how you’ll get ahead, hurts from your past, or what your eternity looks like: Jesus offers you rest. With Jesus, you receive peace. Peace, because your material consumption and the endless pursuit of getting ahead no longer have to be the main things in your life. You can trust that God will provide for your needs as He invites you to take a day each week to slow down, rest, refocus, give thanks and recharge. When you give your life to Jesus, you will find rest; you will find forgiveness; you will find freedom; and you will find hope in an eternity spent in God’s Rest.

If you want to know more about this rest, I would love to talk with you about it further. We want to hear from you...yes, you! Leave your questions and comments in the comment section below and Pastor Stephen will get back to you as soon as possible!

This article, written by Pastor Stephen, appeared first in the Pincher Creek Echo.