Monday, March 20, 2017
Proverbs 10:12 (KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
There are Christ-like qualities that, as Christ Followers, we aspire to achieve or perfect during our lifetime, such as selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, love and hospitality, to name a few.
One of the ones I struggle with the very most is forgiveness. It seems to be most counter-intuitive to humanity. We simply don't get it.
Here's the interesting part, when people hurt me--it stings---but I get over it. My ego has been bruised enough in my 55 years, that I can take it. Even with the worst offenses, it takes me but a few months to completely turn it over to the Throne and let it go. (I'm not perfect; it takes a lot of work!) However, if they hurt someone I love--the mama bear in me comes out and I see red.
Christ commands us to forgive in obedience to Him. When we show grace to those who cause us pain, we are modeling Christ. He was quick to forgive.
Mark 11:25 promises that if we forgive others, our Father will forgive us our sins. In fact, the New Testament has at least 11 references to forgiveness as an edict of God. This value is one that I especially want to win the spiritual battle.
The most interesting part is the enveloping peace that is a rather pleasant by-product of forgiveness. I cherish the warmth and joy it imparts.
"Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace."--Author unknown
Monday, March 13, 2017
Anyone who has suffered loss, knows the pain it causes. Your heart feels shattered...unmendable. As grief takes its toll, we begin to ask tough questions:
Does God really care?
Why would God let something like this happen?
Here's some better questions:
Who do we know God to be?
Is He a just and loving and good God?
Tell yourself some truths:
We never grieve alone. He is beside us.
When God does what only He can do, things can change.
When we open our heart and will to Him, healing happens.
Dare to follow Him, even when times are hard. Don’t hide the tears…let them fall. Cleanse your soul.
"Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love."--Terri Guillemets
Monday, March 6, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
"You don't mind looking silly, do you?" a co-worker asked me today.
I smiled and said, "No, actually I prefer it." (I was wearing a jaunty chapeau for Hat Day.)
She chuckled. "I like that about you."
Last week, I turned 55. And it was the fifth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. I'm still here. I'm still living and working and loving my life.
Joy is something I strive for every day. Usually, I achieve the goal. But there's always room for improvement. Stress, fear, doubt and worry have no place in our lives. We need to cling to His power, not cobble together our own "good enough" plan.
Listen to Him.
Live with joy.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995
Monday, February 20, 2017
Since birth, Christ was accused of being a "son of fornication," by the ultra-religious (and legalistic) sect, the Pharisees. They claimed that his mother and father had sex before their marriage, at best, and that his mother was a harlot, at worst. Jesus, and his family, lived with this stigma all their lives.
The Savior did not carry any shame, however. He was shameless. And He was thus because He was sinless. Christ didn't allow taunts to absorb into His psyche. God was His father. Nothing any man could say would harm Him.
Matthew 1:18-21 (KJV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Because Jesus was born to save us from sin, we are free from its bondage. All we have to do is claim it. And that is where the trick lies. So many of us, me included, carry shame and other ugly weights around like old friends. They are not.
Trust Christ. Not shame.
Trust Christ. Not regret.
Trust Christ. Not sin.
Because He lives.
"Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway."--Mary C. Crowley
Monday, February 6, 2017
The surgery was a success. The patient had been wheeled into the recovery room, and the last surgical team member turned off the lights as she exited the room. The suite stood in disarray, soiled linens and used instruments littered the floor and tables. The weary surgeon headed home from the hospital.
There was a tragic car accident. A young man is badly injured. He will need immediate surgery. The orderlies rush him through the doors of the operating suite, only to find that it is still dirty from the last surgery. None of the team is dressed or ready to operate. There are no clean instruments to use. The surgeon sees that nothing is ready, so he turns and exits the room. There will be no surgery today.
Unprepared. There are days when I've got it all together, and others that it all falls apart. When I pray, read and study the Bible, I become disciplined in the ways of Christ. Not only that, but it helps me to discern the wiles of Satan.
Interestingly, there is no saturation point. You don't look back one day and call it good. The study of God and His Word is a lifelong pursuit.
The Surgeon only uses instruments that are sharp and ready. God wants His warriors to be prepared for battle.
"The study of God's Word, for the purpose of discovering God's will, is the secret discipline which has formed the greatest characters."--James Waddel Alexander