Archive for the ‘Forgiveness of God’ Category

Calvary is our Homecoming

Monday, September 7th, 2015

“Christ brought us together through His death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through Him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:16-18, Msg.)

In a sense Calvary is our homecoming. It is the one place we become real, vulnerable and transparent. We come home to God, ourselves and significant others. For us the Cross is safe and inviting. Jesus took our place there, so that we could become all that He says we are!

There aren’t enough words to adequately express all that was accomplished by Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. Let’s consider a few of them: relational reality, peace, and equality.

Relational Reality: Authentic, UN-pretentious relationships are at best; difficult apart from Calvary. The Cross; symbolically and literally enables us to embrace our own relational brokenness. Painful and even life-long hostilities can be overcome by the blood of the Lamb! It is called forgiveness and reconciliation. The love displayed on Calvary provides the only power source for this relational reality.

Peace: What a pregnant and powerful word! Peace starts with God and is sustained by God. The peace of God invades our drama and the wars we have fought or will fight on every front. God’s peace provides the strategic edge for winning every battle we will ever face. The peace of God and with God is a direct result of Calvary. Jesus imparts His peace into our lives continuously. Through us, His peace kisses our unsettled and anxious world.

Equality: The Cross pronounces death to comparisons, differences, and division. It raises us up to the Royal Law of loving unity! You have heard it proclaimed, “The ground at the foot of the Cross is level.” It truly is. Living and walking in equality is a lifelong struggle with the prejudiced and judgmental voices of our own flesh. Scripture goes so far as to warn that ‘comparing ourselves to another is unwise.’ Boy that kicks the competition to the curb!

As we share the same Spirit and equal access to the Father, we blaze a path of equality for all others to follow. Embracing the Father’s heart and responding to the continuous promptings, nudges, and still, small, inner voice of Holy Spirit is our only hope of maintaining equal footing on which to travel.

The Cross of Christ will daily nurture our relational reality, peace and equal ground for life’s journey.

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

“You Will Be Rebuilt”

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Holidays, loss of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, financial problems, a major move, building a new home, or a family crisis can leave us worried or emotionally drained.

Earlier today, a woman talked to me about the death of her seventeen-year-old daughter. I grieved for her and her husband in the loss of their child at a tender age. Since I lost my only child, I could identify with that mother and her pain.

A friend shared recently about her diagnosis of breast cancer. As a fourteen-year breast cancer survivor, I recalled the days of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation and prayed for her.

A month ago, another woman told me she struggles with an upcoming divorce. She needs a job and worries about the children.

What about you? Are you in the midst of an illness, a loss, a major move, or a family crisis? How are you coping?

Will you turn to food, shopping, alcohol, prescription drugs, gambling, or another form of self-medication? Will you withdraw or give up?

Your heavenly Father loves you and longs to rebuild your life. Give him a chance.

Jeremiah 31:4: “I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt . . . Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”

Dear God, taking up a tambourine and dancing again sound impossible. Please help me. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to allow God to rebuild your life?

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Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Have You Seen God’s Loving Eyes?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV

Father’s eyes are continually scanning the horizons of the entire earth; searching for the heart of even one of His children that He has won to His love. Just the slightest detection or hint of one totally committed heart, evokes an eruption of color from His eyes that rival the Northern Lights dancing and swirling gleefully like a “love drunk” schoolgirl.

I know–I have seen the Northern Lights on a number of northern trans-Atlantic flights. They must reflect His eyes, as they lock in on even one of His children fully committing their heart to His heart. Why do I believe this to be true? Because they explode, dance and twirl all the way across the horizon with the sharpest and broadest display of color imaginable! That is the only way I can begin to capture or describe the experience of looking into His eyes.

Phil Whickam, in his song “You’re Beautiful,” wonderfully proclaims that “The colors of the morning are inside His eyes.? There is no color spectrum or palate known to man that could provide adequate definition to the colors of the morning. They are beyond description, yet Father’s eyes contain them all.

All it takes is one glance into His eyes; when your eyes catch His loving gaze, you see the dancing light and color — and for that moment you are certain His gaze has always been fixed on you. In that moment all of life comes into perspective. For that exhilarating moment; in the loving reflection of His eyes, you see yourself: your history, your family of origin, every relational experience — the good and the bad — and for that moment your life’s journey is okay.

The sum total of your life: the joys, the pain, the ups and downs, the struggles, the failures, the successes and victories, the infirmities, the shameful and knowingly sinful acts of rebellion, the insane and addictive behaviors, the confusion, the doubts, the fears, the deepest-yet untold secrets, the sincere good intentioned attempts at changes and reconciliation, the previously unknown or miss-understood divine interventions, every moment of your history fades into the pure light of His non-shaming, non-judgmental, all-consuming loving gaze.

Every glance into His eyes becomes a divine, romantic encounter of intimacy (into-me-see). And in that moment you recapture the deep knowing of childlike simplicity. You are restored to the sweet innocence of perfect Holy Communion with Him! In this loving exchange you are only aware of Father’s joy and complete delight to be with you! You are arrested by His joyous approval and pleasure. And you become a prisoner of love!

You are confronted in this sacred moment, with His great plan for you and the wondrous place of significance you have in His will and purpose! In this same moment you recapture destiny and calling. You finally fit. Everything has meaning — there is nothing in life that has been without reason — nothing wasted. Even your sorrows aren’t wasted — you see their redemptive value! Grief and loss is finally acquainted with Father’s loving plan. All of life’s divine purpose comes into clearer focus — in the perfect light and color of Father’s heart piercing glance.

Our Lord Jesus knew that revelation of Father’s love changes everything. No Cross is unbearable. In Father’s eyes we see that every test refines our faith like gold! The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to keep our eyes on Jesus…He began and finished the race of life we are in…He set the pattern for us to follow. We are to study how He did it.

He never lost sight of the goal or the prize. He always kept his Father’s will before Him. And Jesus always knew He was headed for an exhilarating finish — in and with His Father. Jesus always kept the Father’s loving glance in view. He only did what He saw His Father doing and because of that, He could put up with anything along the way — even the Cross, with all its shame! The only proof we need is that He is now seated at the place of highest honor; His Father’s right hand. Thus, we can see in His eyes (no matter what is happening around us) that we are also seated with Him in Heavenly places.

The climax of discovery in Father’s eyes is the passionate love of Jesus. His fiery love trumps everything else! Let the love of Christ be your life! Stir the embers in your heart by always remembering how he abandoned himself to/for us. His love is contagious, not reluctant but extravagant. His love calls the prodigals home to his heart; and at the same moment it unstops the ears of all the elder brothers.

There is no place for rules or law in His loving gaze! The moment you replace the spontaneity released through his eyes you lose the edge of romance! And the romance we discover in his eyes is scandalous, undisputable, un-diluted, pure loving grace!
In the grip of Papa’s loving gaze!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Feeling Overwhelmed or Downcast?

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Are you feeling overwhelmed or downcast? Is the drama of those around you drowning out your own? Do you feel that the narrative of your life story is unfair and unheard? If you are anything like me, many voices; both good and bad are screaming for your attention. Is your worldview and system of belief causing you to interpret your reality through the lens of hopelessness? Sounds; well… kind of desperate! Are you listening? Because I have good news for you!

The entire revealed history of God’s love affair with his people has carefully and patiently waited for this moment in your life! This is the moment you are awakened to his message. The sum total of your life experiences has prepared you to receive his great news.

This may sound strange at first…but let it sink in, all the way from your mind to your heart. God loves you prophetically! Wow! What in the world does that mean or have to do with my present reality? It means that God wants to make his own thoughts about you known to you! Here are two examples among many…

17 God, your thoughts about me are priceless.
No one can possibly add them all up.
18 If I could count them,
they would be more than the grains of sand.
If I were to fall asleep counting and then wake up,
you would still be there with me. Psalm 139:17-18, NIRV

“11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.
13 If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.
14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 29:11-14a, NLT

Armed with the assurance of God’s constant attention literally fixed on us, what will our response look like? We are invited to come boldly to Father’s Throne of Grace; throwing our entire history, present reality/needs, and future hopes, humbly into the Mercy and Love of Father. He resists the proud while overwhelming the humble with a daily baptism of his great love and all that it brings to our aide. Following is his (Prophetic Love) word to us at the start of each new day.

Today is the day of Salvation! Today, if you hear my voice of fresh revelation, dive heart-first into the oceans of my power and provision. I am bound by my own love to speak GOOD NEWS into your heart continuously.

“My word takes over the action; what I spoke to you in the incarnation,
My final Word through Jesus; radiating my image and likeness, powerfully impacts
Your whole being; body, soul and spirit are impacted by what He-Jesus speaks and it becomes a living and
Powerful influence in you, cutting like a doctor’s scalpel, sharper than a
Soldier’s sword, piercing to the deepest core of your human conscience, to the
Division of soul and spirit, ending the dominance of the sense realm of the
Soul and its neutralizing effect upon the human spirit; thus freeing the spirit
To be the ruling influence again in the thoughts and intentions of your heart”
(A paraphrased Mirror Word version of Hebrews 1:1-3 and 4:2)

Tuned in to the voice of hope!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Are You Living Your Life Splendidly?

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Life really is what this journey is all about. Our part is always to come running to Him. He is the only life source-the Bread of Life. Hunger and thirst will no longer drive your bus after you align with Him. Once we align our self with Him, He holds on and will never let go!

You can become absolutely certain of His ability to complete the Father’s will concerning you. Not a single detail missed: put together, upright and whole. “This, in a nutshell, is that will,” that you be completed. I want to call our daily walk toward that completion, “splendid living”. Our part is to embrace what He is doing: to co-operate with Him each and every day.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.”

“This, in a nutshell, is that will, that everyone handed over to me by the Father be completed–not a single detail missed–and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.” John 6:35-40, The Message.

Let me give you one example of splendid living. Liu Wei is a 23 year old piano player in China. He started playing at age 19-only 4 years ago. He plays splendidly. He has no arms! He plays the piano with His feet and he is a concert pianist. While being interviewed on China’s Got Talent (after a spectacular performance with his feet) he was asked this question: “what is your secret to this accomplishment?” His answer: “either quickly die or live your life splendidly.”

Spiritually, you may think you have no arms or that somehow the deck is stacked against you. You may only be focused on what you can’t yet do or what is not yet finished or completed in your life. Others may even cruelly point out your seeming contradictions or imperfections. You can be sure ‘the accuser of the brethren’ will be telling you there is not enough time to work through all your problems, flaws and issues.

What are your options? You can live in agreement with the enemy’s report. Or, you can eat daily of the Bread of Life. You can embrace Him and leave the completion to Him. You can focus on Him and not on yourself. You can daily choose to “either quickly die or live your life splendidly!” Jesus will enable and empower you for splendid living. He said, ‘My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.’ Be nurtured while living splendidly in Him!

In the grip of His splendid grace for splendid living,

Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Who will define your life experiences today?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Who will define your life experiences today? Jesus prayed to His Father that our lives would no longer be defined by the world.

“They are no more defined by the world, than I am defined by the world. Make them Holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your Word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I am consecrating myself for their sakes-So they will be truth consecrated in their mission.” John 17:17-19 The Message


I remember my life before-it definitely was defined by the world. As such, my life just kind of blended in with whatever worldly crowd or expression I was into at the moment. The pop culture defined me. In the early 70’s, right before I gave my life to Jesus-I was a street hippie. Not distinct, just one of that crowd-wandering around the country with no distinct definition or purpose.

Now, and for the last 42 years, whatever He (Jesus) has to say about me is what gives my life definition. Today, I will be defined by God’s opinion about me. I will not be defined by the old, self-disgusting voices in my head. I will be Holy (set apart-distinct) by His truth about me. I will be consecrated in and with that truth.

I will have and share in an awesome mission in the world today with my special Jesus definition. Truth, real and pure truth, is whatever He has to say about any and everything! Well, what is He saying about you and me today? Here are just a few: beloved, child and son or daughter of God, forgiven, not ashamed, redeemed, gifted, empowered…you add some more!

You have a high and holy mission in the world today. You are not brought down to the level of being defined by the world-no more than Jesus is defined by the world. You are defined by the opinion of Almighty Heavenly Father! Think on His definition of you today and be nurtured with those truths.

Set Apart by Truth: Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

God’s Finishing School

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Holy scrutiny is both, unavoidable and awesome. The closer we get to the piercing light of His love, the more exposed we feel. An instant after exposure comes the covering of Grace and the sublime sense and knowing of acceptance via unconditional love! Holy Scrutiny is what I call “finishing school.” And Love is the under-girding lesson of all the courses of life in Jesus

For years I had the mistaken notion that I was finished with school… not by a long shot. Not finished. Nope; still in finishing school instead! My experience with God is that He, Holy Spirit, is a teacher, “par excellant” and will not be dissuaded by any of my growth issues.

Let’ see how Scripture ways in on this?

And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.Philippians 1:6

He doesn’t stop pursuing us. I thought only young women and aspiring debutantes went to finishing school. You know, where you are trained in cultural-social graces and activities. Granted, my cultural and social graces are somewhat limited-well, okay, very limited. But, come on Papa-“finishing school?” Yes Son, finishing school.

So, I asked the obvious question… What exactly do you mean by “finishing school?” Of course, true to form… I got much more of an answer than I bargained for. I can imagine that your experience with Papa is just as surprising-no, serendipitous as mine. Don’t ever ask God a question that you aren’t ready for a big answer for. Son, I desire for you to finish the race complete, whole, and strong-with a unified heart. I had no idea how fractured my heart was. David asked for the same thing in his prayer recorded in Psalm 86:11.

Teach me your way, O Lord;
and I will walk in your truth;
Unite my heart to fear your name.

There are four distinct problems with that prayer. Learning His ways, walking in His truth, having your heart united and fearing His name are all challenging to our comfort zone-to say the least. Most of us have the mistaken notion that we know His ways. Nothing could be further from reality. I have walked with Jesus for forty+ years and am just now beginning to have understanding about His ways. I am learning that His way involves shaking and baking. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken and what remains will be purified in the furnace of His loving correction. I must add that His ways are best and bring Him the most Glory.

This “finishing school” process also includes getting acquainted with “truth and wisdom in the inner parts” The “inner parts” are often clouded with unresolved and unhealed issues. The longer we walk with Him the more light is shed on our inner parts. Holy scrutiny is both, unavoidable and awesome. The closer we get to the piercing light of His love, the more exposed we feel. An instant after exposure comes the covering of Grace.

Learning the truth about our self is always balanced by what my friend Alan Smith calls… LOVE, the truth that trumps all other truth. Eugene Peterson puts it this way in The Message.

We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know that troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert to whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:3-5).

Got It? We will!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Reconciliation with God, Others and Yourself

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Reconciliation has many aspects: reconciliation with others (who you have offended or who have offended you), reconciliation with yourself. Reconciliation with God.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as:
1. The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.
Reconciliation and friendship with God, really form the basis of all rational and true enjoyment.
2. In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with
God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.

— How do you define reconciliation in your own practical terms?
— Has it been missing from your life and/or recovery?
— What issues and difficulties have you encountered finding reconciliation with:

** God
** Others whom you have hurt or who have hurt you
** Yourself

— Do any scriptures speak to your heart regarding reconciliation?

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Is the Past Haunting You?

Monday, January 12th, 2015

When the past comes back to haunt me it can be something from years ago or from just yesterday. Usually the result is confusion in my entire being. But scripture teaches:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33

So I have to wonder if it is not Satan who drags some of this stuff up to confuse me, to make all of these emotions boil over and create a mess. Now, I am not saying I have to ignore these feelings and emotions. They should and must be dealt with in a godly and biblical fashion. But I cannot allow them to create confusion and a mess in my life. I have to be aware of these emotions and deal with them, not allow the pot to boil over.

I picture in my mind a big pot of oatmeal boiling away, starting to rise in the pot as it starts to boil over and finally it does boil over and what a mess it makes!!!!!!

I have to see the pot…. realize that it is starting to boil over… and then realize it is too much heat creating the problem… take to pot off of the fire. How to do that? Take all this boiling mess to Christ and not allow Satan to continue turning up the heat on the pot.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.

Remember that….

No matter what is going on in my life God can and will bring peace…..
healing…..
serenity….
and he will return the joy to my life.

But I have to turn to Him….
not the pot….
not the heat…..
not the oatmeal…..

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~ * ~
Copyright by S. O. Brennan.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
S.O. Brennan is the Director of
Christians in Recovery and Alcoholics Victorious

Who are You Looking To?

Monday, October 13th, 2014

“Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”—Isaiah 45:22

It is not “Look to yourself”… But it is “Look unto me.”

You say, “I do not repent enough.” That is looking to yourself.

“I do not believe enough.” That is looking to yourself.

“I am too unworthy.” That is looking to yourself.

“I cannot discover,” says another, “that I have any righteousness.” It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any. It is, “Look unto me.”

God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside, and look at himself; whereas God says, “Look unto me.”

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Sovereignty and Salvation