Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No Idols



Smash those idols. Smash them all.
Trust the Lord. Obey his call.
Other roads all lead to death.
He's your source of life and breath.
Think of all the good he's done.
Mark his blessings; name each one.
He has blessings yet ahead.
Look! the rising of the dead!

You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven. (Deuteronomy 10:20-22 NASB)

Image credit: Flickr user aka CJ. Photo name is Broken_red_roof_tiles_3

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Forgive?



Forgive? Forgive, you say? Forgive?
Just how can I forgive?
I've suffered all this pain and loss.
I'm hurting. Aching. Cold at night,
Cold at heart and getting hard.
And yet, you say, forgive?

But, Lord, you're right. Of course you're right.
Through you I can forgive.
I've caused you pain. I've caused you loss.
I've sinned. Rebelled. Been cruel, cold
Stone-hard of heart through my own sin.
And yet you, Lord, forgive.

Forgive? Forgive. I do forgive!
Your love lets me forgive.
Yes, I've had pain and cruel loss.
I've hurt and ached and shivered cold,
But now my heart is tender, warm.
I'm ready. I forgive.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
--Colossians 3:12-14 ESV


I wrote this for a friend who's found it hard to forgive someone who broke sacred promises. Forgiveness is both a choice and a continuing process. Selfish anger or resentment or bitterness may pop into our minds and hearts again after we'd already tried to forgive. All we can do is to keep forgiving. Forgiving doesn't mean we deny the facts of the offense, but it means that we choose to no longer hold them as a weapon over the person who wounded us. We can do that because of the Lord's forgiveness of us, because of his Spirit within us, and because of Romans 8:28--"we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Forgiveness is not fully completed until the person who did the offense is willing to acknowledge it and to turn from it (if appropriate). Yet, by God's grace, we can complete our side of it by having a heart that's both willing and eager to forgive as we've been forgiven.