*I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, Oh Lord! please don't let me be misunderstood*

Tag Archives: repentance


A Bag of Nails

A Bag of Nails … a “deadly” reminder

A mother once gave her daughter a bag of nails and told her that
every time she lost her temper or insulted somebody she
must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.

When Temper is Lost; a Nail is nailed to the Fence

When Temper is Lost; a Nail is nailed to the Fence

The first day the girl hit 14 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the
number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled. She discovered
it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the girl didn’t lose her temper at all.
She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now
pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper.
The days passed.
Finally, she told her mother that all the nails were gone.
The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence.
She said, “You have done well, my daughter, but look at all the holes
in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things
in anger, they leave a scar just like these.”
Holes represent the Spiritual, Emotional and Physical "Wounds"

Holes represent the Spiritual, Emotional and Physical “Wounds”

You can put a knife in a person and draw it out.
It does not matter how many times you say I’m sorry;
the WOUND is still there.
A verbal wound is almost as bad as a physical one.
 
“How can I repair the fence?” asked the girl.
“Will it have to remain damaged forever?”
“Yes and no” said the mother. “Our Rabbis say that if the fence is alive
and responds to the way you have changed, it too can change and heal
itself. If the fence is dead to the possibility of your repentance it will
carry its scars onward. The fence will never be as it was before, but it
doesn’t have to become like new to be a good fence. If you do your part
and change, and the fence does its part in response, God will do
something wonderful. God will promote a healing that will make you
and the fence better. This process is called Atonement.
It means that the changes that come about from repentance
and forgiveness lead people to higher levels of relationship
than was the case before.”
 
“What happens if the fence doesn’t respond?” asked the girl.
“Can I ever make it whole?”
 
“You should try on three different occasions,” said the mother,
“but if the fence remains dead even after you have changed,
YOU can’t force it to become whole. In that case you should fix
another fence somewhere else.
There are always lots of fences that need fixing, and whenever
you fix a fence God will make something wonderful happen.
That is the miracle of Atonement.
God always responds to our attempts to change by helping
us change and always responds to our change by giving us new
and wonderful opportunities for Atonement. This is why we
have a Day of Atonement ten days after the beginning of every
New Year; so the New Year will be a better one than the last one.”
as retold by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Moral :
Wars and Quarrels are mostly started by humans,
who are sinful by nature, they do not
think deeply about ramifications nor consequences
of their verbal or physical outburst that is spilled
or acted out in the moment of anger or jealousy.
In Proverbs 19:19,
King Solomon in his God given wisdom,
exemplified that
“A hot-tempered man MUST pay the penalty;
if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.”
That hot-headed man must realize and admit and change
his ways because nobody, not even God, can help him
if he does not TRULY AND HONESTLY REPENT
of his ways!

 

Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Her mother once gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper or insulted somebody she must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.The first day the girl hit 14 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
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“MAN MUST LIVE, NOT ON BREAD ALONE,

BUT ON EVERY UTTERANCE COMING FORTH

THROUGH JEHOVAH’S MOUTH” (MATTHEW 4:4) – NWT

66 books of the BIBLE : ALL SCRIPTURES ARE INSPIRED BY GOD


PART TWO

LAMENTATIONS – A SEQUEL TO JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY WHOM
LAMENTED SORROWFULLY OVER THEIR RUINS OF THE HOLY CITY
AND THE SACRED TEMPLE WHICH HAD STOOD FOR OVER 400
YEARS. JEREMIAH WEPT IN SEPARATE POEMS IN LAMENTATIONS
REGARDING WHY GOD HAD PERMITTED THE FALL OF JERUSALEM.
IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR
REJECTION OF THE ONE TRUE GOD, JEHOVAH.
EZEKIEL – PROPHET EZEKIEL APPOINTED BY GOD TO PREACHED
CAREFULLY CONTRIVED PROPHECIES REGARDING DOWNFALL
OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM; JUDGMENTS UPON NATIONS WHO
SEEK TO DESTROY HIS PEOPLE; THE FINAL CALL AT THAT TIME
FOR THE REPENTANCE OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND LASTLY,
THE GLORIOUS RESTORATION OF ISRAEL.
DANIEL – DURING THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY OF THE JEWS,
DANIEL AND HIS 3 FRIENDS [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego]
HAVE DISPLAYED THEIR FEARLESS LOYALTY TO THE ONE FAITH
IN ONE TRUE GOD, JEHOVAH, OF THEIR FOREFATHERS AND
ALSO THEIR ADVANCEMENT INTO THE REALMS OF ROYAL FAVOR.
DANIEL INTERPRETED KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM AND
THE SYMBOLIC VISIONS THAT PORTENDS THE FOUR SUCCESSIVE
EMPIRES OF THE WORLD : BABYLON, PERSIA, GREECE AND ROME.
THE LAST EMPIRE WILL BE SUCCEEDED BY THE COMING OF THE
KINGDOM OF GOD.
HOSEA – A PROPHET OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL
CALLED REPENTANCE FROM THEM AS HE FORESAW THE DOOM
THAT WERE TO BEFALL THEM IF THEY CONTINUED IN THEIR
SINS. THE REBELLIOUSNESS OF THE CHOSEN ONES WITH
THEIR UNGRATEFULNESS SOUGHT HELP FROM THE ASSYRIANS
AND THE EGYPTIANS RATHER FROM THE ONE TRUE GOD,
JEHOVAH, WHO HAD BEEN SHOWING THEM HIS LOVING
KINDNESS AND MERCY TIME AND TIME AGAIN. HOSEA ALSO
FORETOLD ABOUT THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST,
700 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE.
JOEL – A SYMBOLIC VISION FROM JOEL AS HE WARNED JUDAH
AND ISRAEL REGARDING THE PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS AND SEVERE
FAMINE OF THE LAND IF THEY DO NOT REPENT.  JOEL PLEADED
WITH THEM TO HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE THE GREAT LORD
GOD JEHOVAH AND TO ASKED FOR HIS FORGIVENESS THROUGH
FASTING AND PRAYERS.  JOEL WAS PROSNOSTICATING OF THE
COMING OF THE “DAY OF THE LORD” WHICH GOD WILL SMITE
ALL THOSE WITH A REBELLIOUS AND UNREPENTANT HEART AND
HIS JUDGMENT WILL BE HARSH AND SEVERE, THOROUGH AND
MOST CERTAIN!
AMOS – A SHEPHERD FROM TEKOA, A SMALL TOWN FROM JUDEA;
WHOSE NAME MEANT “BURDEN BEARER” WAS CALLED BY LORD
GOD WITH A MISSION TO SEND THE MESSAGE OF DOOM UPON
ISRAEL AND THE SURROUNDING NATIONS. THEIR PRACTICES
OF IDOLATRY, PAGAN WORSHIPS, GREED, OPPRESSION OF THE
NEEDY AND ALSO THEIR CONTINUAL NEGLECT OF GOD’S
WORDS IGNITED GOD’S WRATH UPON OTHER NATIONS AND
JUDAH BUT ISRAEL SUFFERED THE HARSHEST OF PUNISHMENTS;
MORE SEVERE BECAUSE OF THEIR DEPTH OF THEIR SINS. AMOS’S
CHASTISEMENTS  WENT UNHEEDED AND SO ISRAEL WERE
EXILED INTO CAPTIVITY.
OBADIAH – HIS NAME LITERALLY MEANS “SERVANT OF JEHOVAH”.
THIS BOOK IS THE SHORTEST OF PROPHETICAL WRITINGS IN
JUST ONE CHAPTER WHICH FORETOLD ON THE DOOM OF EDOM,
WHO ARE DESCENDANTS OF ESAU AND THE PROMISE OF
DELIVERANCE FOR ZION, JERUSALEM.
JONAH – A LIFE OF PERIL LIVED FOR THE RELUCTANT RUNAWAY
PROPHET FROM DUTY ORDAINED BY JEHOVAH GOD. HIS MISSION
WAS TO DELIVER A MESSAGE OF REPENTANCE TO THE PEOPLE OF
NINEVEH FROM DESTRUCTION IN FORTY DAYS.
MICAH – HIS NAME INJECTS A MIGHTY STATEMENT “WHO IS
LIKE JEHOVAH”. HE FORESAW THE INVASION FROM FOREIGNERS,
THE DISPERSION OF THE ISRAELITES FOR THEIR SINS AND THE
INEVITABLE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BUT THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT OF ALL IS THAT HE IS THE ONLY PROPHET WHO
FORETOLD ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST IN BETHLEHEM [5:2]
NAHUM – A NATIVE OF GALILEE WITH A NAME “COMFORTER”
TO HIS CREDIT.  NAHUM’S PROPHECY WAS UNLIKE JONAH
WHICH WAS THE CERTAINTY OF DOOM FOR THE CORRUPT
PEOPLE OF NINEVEH WHOM HAD RETURNED TO THEIR SINFUL
WAYS. APART FROM NINEVEH, HE FORESAW JUDAH’S FUTURE
DELIVERANCE.
HABAKKUK – A PROPHET WHOSE NAME GOES BY “ONE WHO
EMBRACES” LIVED 600 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST IN TIMES
WHERE THE CHALDEANS CONQUERED NINEVEH OF THE
ASSYRIAN EMPIRE. THE “WHY” PROPHET WITH HIS
EXPECTANT  REPLY FROM HIS SINCERE PRAYER TO
JEHOVAH; LEARNT THAT WE NEEDED TO TRUST IN GOD
IMPLICITLY AND ALSO THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY
HIS OWN FAITH IN THE ONE TRUE GOD JEHOVAH.
ZEPHANIAH – HE PROPHESIED DURING THE REIGN OF KING
JOSIAH AND WHOSE NAME MEANS ‘DEFENDED BY JEHOVAH”.
HE FORETOLD OF UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT AND DIVINE WRATH
TO FALL UPON ALL NATIONS INCLUDING JUDAH TOO IF ALL
DEFY GOD’S LAW. ZEPHANIAH PLACED EMPHASIS ON SPIRITUAL
WORSHIP AND PREACHED THAT WORSHIP TOWARDS GOD NEED
NOT BE A PHYSICAL SANCTITY BUT IN THE QUIET SOLITUDE
OF OUR HEARTS. HE FURTHER STRESSED ON GOD’S SALVATION
AND JUDGMENT FOR MANKIND, AND ALSO THE PROMISES OF
NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH.
HAGGAI – THOUGH HE PROPHESIED FOR ONLY A SHORT TIME;
HAGGAI WHOSE NAME MEANS “MY FEAST” WAS THE FIRST
VOICE TO BE HEARD AFTER THE EXILE; HE RICOCHETED STERN
REPROOFS TO THE RESTORED PEOPLE OF GOD. HE TOLD THEM
OF THEIR DUTY TO RESTORE AND REBUILD GOD’S HOUSE OF
WORSHIP, THE TEMPLE, WHICH WAS BUILT BY KING SOLOMON
AND DESTROYED BY INVADERS. ZERUBBABEL, GOVERNOR OF
JERUSALEM AND JOSHUA, THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE PEOPLE
SET UPON THAT ENORMOUS TASK BUT WAS DISCOURAGED
EASILY. HAGGAI PIPED IN AND ENCOURAGED THEM THAT
GOD WAS WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES AND JEHOVAH
WILL BLESS JERUSALEM WITH A MUCH GREATER TEMPLE
ARRAYED SPLENDOR AND GLORY.
ZECHARIAH – “JEHOVAH REMEMBERS” IS THE MEANING OF
HIS GIVEN NAME. HE JOINED HAGGAI IN AROUSING AND
ENCOURAGING THE RETURNED CAPTIVES IN BUILDING
THE SANCTUARY OF JEHOVAH GOD. THE TEMPLE WAS
FINALLY BUILT IN FOUR YEARS AND DEDICATED TO GOD.
HIS PROPHESIES LOOKED FAR BEYOND INTO THE FUTURE,
TO THE COMING OF OUR MESSIAH AND THE DAWN OF A
BETTER AND BRIGHTER TOMORROW.
MALACHI – THE LAST MINOR PROPHET OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT AND HIS NAME BEARS “MY MESSENGER”.
HE REBUKES THE SINS AND FOLLIES OF THE JEWS. HE
PREDICTED THE PREPARATION OF HIS WAY [MESSIAH]
BY JOHN THE BAPTIST. HE ALSO REPROVED NEGLECTFUL
PRIESTS AND WARNS STERNLY ABOUT THE JUDGMENT
TO COME UPON THE NATION THAT HAD TURNED BACK TO
SINFUL WAYS AFTER BEING PROVIDENTIALLY RETURNED
FROM EXILED IN CAPTIVITY.

*keziah boey*


*The Sultan and Satan*

An ancient legend from the East tells of a great sultan who was a devout man of God. One morning he overslept. When the Devil saw that the hour of morning prayer was passing, he woke the sultan and urged him to get out of bed and pray.

Sultan from the East

Sultan from the East

“Who are you?” asked the startled sultan, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“Oh, it’s not important,” replied the shady figure. “The important thing is that I woke you up in time, otherwise you would have missed your prayers for the first time in ten years-and it is very good to pray, isn’t it?”

“Yes, that is true!” replied the sultan smugly. “I wouldn’t dream of missing my prayer time. Not even once! … But wait a minute! I think I recognize you. Yes, I know your face. Of course! You are Satan, and no doubt you have some evil motive for your appearance!”

Satan aka The Devil and Deceiver

Satan aka The Devil and Deceiver

“I’m not really as bad as you think!” exclaimed the intruder. “After all, I was God’s right-hand angel once.”

“That is all very well,” replied the wise old sultan, “but you are also the Deceiver; that is your business! So I demand in the name of God to know why you want me to get up and pray!”

“Well,” replied the Devil, having grown huffy and impatient with the sultan’s persistence, “if you must know, I’ll tell you. If you had slept and forgotten your prayers, you would have felt very sorry for it afterward and would have been quite penitent. That would have humbled you and brought you close to God. But if you continue on as you have for the last ten years, without missing a single prayer, then you will become so satisfied with yourself that it will be worse for you than if you had missed one prayer and had asked God for forgiveness. God loves your fault mixed with repentance much more than your virtue seasoned with pride!”

Often it is actually good for us to make some mistakes because if we didn’t, we’d most likely become so proud of ourselves and so self-confident that we’d no longer feel we needed any help from God or others. But in reality, when we feel so proud and self-satisfied, it’s because we’re not closer to God, but more full of ourselves.

Many people in the world today are taught that pride is a virtue. But God recognizes pride and self-righteousness for what they really are-sins of the heart! The Bible says that “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” and that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6).

Quite frequently God uses our mistakes to help keep our pride in check, to keep us humble and more dependent on His goodness and strength, rather than our own. The Lord blesses humility. He gives more grace to the humble, and promises to dwell “with him who has a contrite and humble spirit” (1 Peter 5:5; Isaiah 57:15).

It has been said that out of what seems like defeat come some of God’s greatest victories. “But what kind of victory is that?” you may ask. Well, God very often uses humbling experiences to make us better people-more compassionate and understanding of the errors of others, more loving and patient, when otherwise we might not have been so. The Lord wants to use our mistakes to teach us many important lessons that perhaps we wouldn’t be able to learn any other way. So isn’t it encouraging to realize that even our failures can be for our good?

Of course, in order for the Lord to bring this good to pass, we must be honest with ourselves, be willing to confess our mistakes, and attempt to rectify them. The hardest words to say in any language are, “I was wrong!” This takes humility of the kind that only God can give, because it’s human nature to want to appear perfect and faultless, and consequently be unable to confess our mistakes.

But if we want the truth and desire God’s blessing, then we’ll honestly and humbly admit our faults and failings. Then we can take comfort in knowing that we are wiser today than we were yesterday. Contrary to what some folks seem to think, an admission of error is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

Besides, God knows you’re anything but perfect. In fact, He knows you can’t be perfect and never will be. So the crux of the matter is not whether you are perfect or not, but whether you depend on the Lord and His grace, love and mercy. Do you give Him all the glory and credit for anything good that you do? Whenever you accomplish something good, you should say, “Just thank Jesus. Don’t thank me! If I have done anything good, it’s only because the Lord helped me do so.”

A good rule to follow is this: Give God all the glory for anything good you do, and yourself the blame for anything bad. That will help keep you from falling into that horrible trap of self-righteous pride, which is the basis of virtually all sin.

So whenever you make a mistake and are then tempted to get down and discouraged, just remember the sultan’s lesson: God loves your fault mixed with repentance more than your virtue seasoned with pride!



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