As we reflect on the race season and look back on our adventures, what are
we thankful for? I thought over the next few weeks as we lead up to
thanksgiving we might look at some things we receive but donít always
notice. This week letís be thankful for forgiveness. Greetings in the name
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever done something wrong? Seems like a simple question with a
simple answer, but why is it we forget that when it comes time to forgive
someone else from a mistake they made. Forgiveness is something we want to
receive but many times are not as willing to give.
Let me set the record straight, we all make mistakes. We all make choices
that seem right at the time but in retrospect they were not the correct
ones. That being said, why have we become a society that has developed a
less forgiving attitude? Zero tolerance is not the right way to deal with
As the season winds down I can remember several occasions over the past
few months that mistakes on and off the track have been made. At the moment
when they occurred it seemed the whole season hinged on them. After a little
time passed their significance has waned and we have moved on. Those are the
ones that are easy to deal with. Other mistakes take on a life of their own.
Some are not truly mistakes but maybe a little creative rules
interpretation. Penalties are levied and corrections are made. We move on or
at least we are supposed to. Some of us have longer memories than others.
Some issues never seem to be dealt with and they linger and fester. These
types effect relationships and are the most destructive. No matter what the
situation was, when mistakes are made they need to be corrected. We need to
take responsibility for them and seek forgiveness. We then need to forget
about it and move on.
Forgive and forget; a familiar refrain, but one of the most difficult
things for us to do. We want to get back at the person who wronged us. We
have a need to get even. We have our rights and no one is going to take
advantage of us. We say that we forgive but we will never forget. We tend to
be unforgiving people when it comes to others, but we want to be forgiven
when it comes to us.
Letís take a look at what God says about this issue. Godís rules never
change and His standard is always the same. God does not accept our
mistakes. God is right and just and mistakes are not something that God can
accept. God says all mistakes are the same, big, small doesnít matter, all
mistakes fall into the category of sin, missing the mark. We all have made
them and all will have to pay the penalty.
Romans 8:23; There is no difference, for all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And the penalty is the same;
Romans 6:23a; For the wages of sin is death,
But when we look at the rest of that verse and
we start to see what God intends for us.
Romans 6:23b; but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God said I will make a way for your mistakes to
be forgiven; I will send My Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for you.
John 3:16-18; "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal
life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but
to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but
whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not
believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Keeping the peace is a difficult task. Have you
ever thought about what it takes to be a peacemaker? Jesus was the ultimate
peacemaker. He gave his life so that we could have peace with God. Jesus
came, suffered, died and rose again so that the penalty for our sin would be
paid in full. We can receive that payment by accepting it. It is a gift from
Ephesians 2:8-9; For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith--and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.
God provided this opportunity for forgiveness
and we can receive it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When
we do we make peace with God, we restore our relationship with Him, and our
sin is forgiven, remembered no more.
As the season comes to an end, take a look back and see if there are some
people you need to forgive. We are expected to forgive as God forgave us.
That means not because we deserve it but because He loves us. Forgive not
because they deserve it, but because God forgave you.
We cannot experience the full blessing of God if we refuse to forgive
others. Our unwillingness to forgive implies that our standard is greater
than Godís. That is not correct; Godís standard is the only one that counts.
If God is willing to forgive you there is no reason we could have for not
forgiving others. Make that commitment this week. Commit that you will go to
the people you have refused to forgive and forgive them. Donít worry if they
refuse to accept it, many have refused to accept the forgiveness that God
offers. We are not called to make people accept our forgiveness, but to
offer the gift. Offer that gift to someone today.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
SUPERBOWL OF AUTO RACING - Following up the World Series at Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park, New London/Waterford Speedbowl rolled out the
Inaugural Super Bowl of Auto Racing, another action packed wall to wall
racing event. Plans donít always go the way we expect. I need to send a big
thank you for a job well done by our own Rev. Ray Pavkov. Rev. Ray handled
the event with great success.
Our intent was to have others there but unforeseen medical issues
prevented Rev. Scott and me from lending a hand. Rev. Scottís dad is
battling Pneumonia and was just released from the hospital. Also, my wife
Lynda finds herself in the same boat, battling Pneumonia and needing my
Again Ray, thanks so much for your dedication and service. I am sure you
are pretty wore out this morning.
NORTH/SOUTH SHOOTOUT AND WORLD DIRT FINALS - Again the racing
world returns to Charlotte for a couple of season ending events. The N/S
Shootout returns to its traditional home, Concord Speedway, the fast
tri-oval that showcases Modifieds.
Also the World of Outlaws returns to the Dirt Track at Charlotte to close
out their season with a three night racing extravaganza. Following it up
with their banquet on Sunday night.
We will be well represented at both events with chaplains traveling from
as far as Montana to minister in the Lordís name. Please keep their travel
in your prayers.
DONíT FORGET, TURKEY, TURKEY, TURKEY! - Come enjoy a traditional
Harvest Dinner with us at Mt. Carmel Christian Church, Sunday, November 1,
12:00. If you plan to join us let us know so we can have plenty of great
food for all.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
www.rwjm.com. Send us
your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family
you are in, or give us a call. Remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
Tolland, CT 06084.
Check our weekly printed pages in "Area Auto Racing
the East Coastís largest weekly racing paper.
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We invite you to input your thoughts as you sign our Guest Book.
Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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