Archive for the 'Getting Real – Not Religious' Category

24
Feb
12

FILE THIS ONE UNDER DENIAL

File This One Under “Denial”:

A few years ago I heard Richard Dawkins sputter through an absolutely awful attempt to refute the idea that God created the world by attributing the possibility of its intelligent design to aliens. In a recent discussion at the University of Oxford, the writer of The God Deception steps away from his atheistic stance and moves closer to agnosticism. He still sputters though (click the link below to see the video on YouTube).

Dawkins: I can’t be sure God does not exist

God Bless & Grace 2 U,

RET

 

13
Sep
11

Some Good Parenting/Schooling Insights

Okay, so the title seems a bit daunting, but the article I attach is still worth reading for the insight Reb Bradley brings to the topic. I gleaned this off of the Josh Harris blog: (Homeschool Blindspots).

Regardless of the title, I think the article speaks to more than just home schooling our children. I struggled with sharing it though, because I don’t want anyone to feel judged or criticized by Mr. Bradley’s observations or any of my remarks. I am not putting myself, Mr. Bradley or Pastor Harris in a position of great authority here. I just think the article does a good job of highlighting our motives in parenting our children as we have chosen to do. The fact of the matter is there is a lot you can do to make sure your children are influenced by godly principles. However, as they grow, your children will make decisions based on their upbringing and their personal walk with our Lord (or perhaps, even out of a lack of that relationship). Far more important than any school  urriculum is how you live your faith in Jesus Christ out before your children’s eyes and ears.

Consistency of belief, applied in a life’s walk, communicates deeper truths to their hearts than anything they will read or learn in a classroom setting. Please don’t take this is the wrong way: in  your efforts to raise “godly seed,” your actions will communicating more about your real faith, regardless of the Biblical content of your words. Living a life informed by and conformed to the Gospel is what makes a lasting impression on our children’s lives. I, like Mr. Bradley in the article, have my own regrets in how I brought my two ladies up, but in the end, I’ve always trusted in our Lord for their ultimate protection, provision, and maturity. We rarely get any “do-overs” in parenting, so we must make the most of our opportunities when we get them. Take encouragement from this article and let me know if you have any feedback.

GB&G2U

24
Feb
11

Don’t Grow Weary – Don’t Be Deceived

  

I was drawn to an article on an online job search and career advice website this week (The Ladders: http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/depression-making-unemployment-longer). The article was written by a Ms. Debra Donston-Miller, a writer and teacher, and the article’s title was what caught my attention: “Depression Is Making Unemployment Longer”. As one who has been prone to depression in the past, and given my current under-employed situation, I thought I’d give the article a once over. The subtitle really summed up her direction: Depression and anxiety create a destructive cycle for job seekers, making it harder to find a job. My first response to that was, “Duh!!!” With all apologies to Ms. Donston-Miller, God is way ahead of her on this issue.

I was preparing to give a brief devotion to a care group in our church that’s aimed at helping people who’ve recently lost their employment. The verse I was going to focus on was from Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (All Biblical quotes in this piece are from the English Standard Version – ESV)

At first glance, I wondered what was promised to us in this verse. I came up with the basic thought that if we hang in there and fight off getting weary, we will experience a reward. But since it’s taken out of context, we really need to look at it in relation to the surrounding verses. For brevity’s sake, I started at verse 6 and took it through verse 10. I could have gone further, but this was to be a brief devotion.

Galatians 6:6-10

“One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  

First, to establish some background, I looked at who wrote this entire letter, to whom and for what purpose: The letter was written by the apostle Paul, to Christ-followers in Galatia (northern Turkey) who were being influenced and coerced into adding legalistic requirements to their trust in Christ. Paul was combating the “Jesus plus X” heresy of outsiders who were trying to discredit him and his teaching. We need to add nothing to Christ; are salvation is by faith in Him alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Starting in verse 6, Paul tells us what we’re to do as we are taught, informed, or instructed, presumably in the Word of God (the article “the” makes what’s being taught something about Jesus or at the very least doctrine). We are to share good things with those teaching us. Good things are deeds of benefit. However the Greek root for the English word “share” used here is fellowship. It means to distribute, be partakers with, or communicate to others. So the sharing, like the teaching, can take an oral form. As I was addressing a care group that comes together to encourage and help each other find gainful employment, this seemed to fit the situation well.

In verse 7, Paul warns us not to be deceived, which our dictionary today defines as “to be false or cause someone to accept as true what is invalid or false.” Here again, a look at the Greek can be helpful. The word in the Greek means to go astray, err, or wander, as well as deceive. We are often responsible for, rather than being victims of, our own deception. As we seek employment, self-doubt is one of our biggest adversaries. We can be guilty of fooling ourselves. Paul links this with another cautionary statement that God is not mocked. Mocking is when someone makes fun of or belittles another’s words or actions. The Greek term means to turn the nose up at, disdain or ridicule. God is not ridiculed. The world is standing by as we struggle to find work, ridiculing our faith. We can be deceived into thinking that God is not working with us, even that our faith is in vain, leading to the despair and depression that was discussed in the article I referenced earlier. But God is not mocked: not by extremists seeking to captivate new Christ-followers in Galatia and not by those of us seeking employment in today’s difficult job market. We dare not ridicule God in our actions or demeanor as we seek work and deal with the frustrations that come with that endeavor. He is our God and He cares!

In verses 7 and 8, Paul goes on to illustrate a point using farming as the example. He specifically talks about sowing and reaping. Sowing is the act of scattering seed for the purpose of gaining a crop. If we were to watch a first century farmer sowing in his field we might be tempted to think he was engaged in a very haphazard endeavor. Yet that farmer knew the amount of seed to cast for the ground he’d be covering in order to eventually gain a harvest. He would then be able to eat the harvest and perhaps even sell some of it on the market in order to buy other supplies and necessities. The act of reaping is to harvest a crop after it has been planted and grown to maturity. Personal effort and time are required to achieve the desired end.

In his illustration, Paul compares ministry to farming, with a foreseen harvest as the goal. Paul is talking about ministry, not seeking work. However, the job seekers today in a very real way are casting the seeds of their resumes and applications, with the hope of reaping a harvest of employment. Both endeavors take patience and time to see a full result. Important to note though is Paul’s admonish not to sow to the flesh, but to the Spirit. Here, by flesh, Paul is referring to the physical body, without any interaction of the soul or spirit. The flesh is our human and earthly natures, with their weaknesses and desires, apart from God’s holy influence and therefore prone to sin. We are warned here to do nothing based solely on our own intellect, apart from God’s wisdom. The following two passages support this:

Colossians 3:16-17

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

The Colossian passage is a simple admonition to apply Scripture to our daily lives. The Philippian passage reminds us that God’s Word teaches us to live in contentment in all circumstances. It’s worth repeating: We should do nothing based solely on our own intellect, uninformed by the Word of God. This applies to all aspects of our lives, but for the care group I addressed in process with their searches for employment it applies to how we go about seeking and responding to the offers or lack of offers for work. We may not be able to see the ultimate results if we were to get a particular job. We are merely seeking employment. God however sees the “big picture” and how that deferred job might influence us to waiver in our testimony or wander away from the faith. A hard blow for us now (not receiving the job) may be a blessing down the road as God is protecting us from those who might take advantage of us in these difficult times. Our best possible course of action is to rely on God and His will and wisdom in our lives.

As we come to my initial verse, Paul urges us not to grow weary. That can mean that we feel like we’re failing. We can begin to lose heart, feel weak, faint, fatigued, utterly spiritless, worn out, burnt out, exhausted, and/or discouraged (Hello, Ms Donston-Miller! This is what you’re article is addressing). God, in His all-knowing wisdom, sees us seeking work, and knows that we are likely to grow weary. That state of mind will also begin to pull us away from the very things that will build us back up: fellowship with those of like faith, ministry that enriches others and our selves, times in personal devotion or worship of God. Paul’s inspired advice: don’t go there!

Finally in verse 10, Paul mentions three distinct groups that should employ and receive his advice:

  • We/us.” The first group is the author, the Galatians, you, and me; all of us who know Christ and serve Him. As opportunities come our way, even as we seek employment, we’re to continue to do good. This begs the question: To whom?

  • Everyone/all men.” This second group consists of people, whether or not they are Christ-followers. We are to take every opportunity to share the good things God is doing in our lives with everyone (1 Peter 3:15). After all, He has given you salvation, hasn’t He?

  •  “The house hold of faith.” Putting it simply, this third group is comprised of Christ-following believers, who belong or are related to us by family or relationship. We are encouraged to care for all our fellow men, but particularly those who trust Christ with us. What a beautiful illustration of the care group I was to address.

 

This brings us back to the question: Can we claim the promise of Galatians 6:9 today? Looking back over the contest, I think we can say, guardedly, yes, if we labor as well for the Gospel and our Lord. However, we do not have the right to dictate the time God, in His sovereignty, will fulfill that promise. Our job is to avoid growing weary or ceasing the good we can do (ministry, worship, witnessing, sharing the good things of God, etc.) as we have opportunity and as we continue the search for employment. And the good we do includes keeping our spirits up; joyous if you will. We serve a great and glorious God, who loves us and has given us the greatest gift in life. Our testimonies, particularly in times of trial and testing, can speak volumes of our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

GB&G2U

10
Dec
10

Some people don’t get it…

 

I put a picture of our Christmas tree up as my profile picture on Facebook. Some people don’t get it. Call it a “rhapsody in red.” Call it a “scrawny, little branch.” Call it what you will, it’s my Christmas tribute this year: a real life version of the Christmas tree from one of my two favorite Christmas programs – the cartoon feature A Charlie Brown Christmas (the other is the film A Christmas Story).

Christmas doesn’t really happen for me until I hear that Vince Guaraldi soundtrack and that opening exchange between Charlie Brown and Linus:

 

Charlie Brown and Linus stop at a wall on their trip to the pond for ice skating…

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. [begins to walk with Linus again] I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
Linus: Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.

 A Charlie Brown Christmas is a metaphor for my life at Christmas – the guy who wonders through one of the greatest seasons of the year kind of depressed. It started a long time ago, and before I go on, let me assure you, the celebration of our Savior’s birth is the source of great joy for me. And that’s what the cartoon does for me; remind me of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Charlie Brown and Linus return to the gang (gathered to put on a Christmas play) completing their assignment to go out and buy a great big, wonderful Christmas tree, to help everyone get into the meaning of Christmas. They are met with the following exchange:

Charlie Brown and Linus return with the puny little tree…
Violet: Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown.
Patty: What kind of a tree is that?
Lucy: You were supposed to get a “good” tree. Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?
Violet: I told you he’d goof it up. He isn’t the kind you can depend on to do anything right.
Patty: You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown.
Frieda: Completely hopeless.
Charlie Brown: [upset] Rats!
Lucy: You’ve been dumb before, Charlie Brown, but this time, you really did it.
[pause; then everyone bursts out laughing]

Perplexed and down cast Charlie Brown cries out for someone that knows what Christmas is all about:

Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage] Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on Linus]

 
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'” [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

 

Luke 2:8-14. That’s what it’s all about. Not the tree, but the child, born in a manger, announced by angels, worshipped by shepherds.

2010 has been a rough year around our house. This little tree is our Christmas tree this year, and I think it’s perfect. Because, as in the cartoon, when you see the simplicity of the little tree, the glory and spirit of the season can truly shine through. Some people don’t get it. And some people won’t get it. But it works fine in our home this year.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

 

And Merry Christmas to all of you.

God Bless & Grace 2U,

Ron

31
Jan
10

Update to Six Questions

I have no blog, per se, this week, but I do have a follow-up to something presented last week.

 http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=667377c5dd3cf6e2e5db

The attached link, to Tangle.com, provides a video with a brief story on Brit Hume’s reasons for his remarks featured in last week’s blog.  It also gives a little background on Hume’s testimony.

I promise to update the blog shortly with my usual stuff, but until then, I hope you’re inspired by Hume’s remarks.

GB&G2U

25
Jan
10

Six Questions

 

Any English or Journalism major will tell you there are six important questions you need to ask when writing or investigating a story. They consist of five W’s and one H:

  • Who (was involved)?

  • What (happened)?

  • When (did it happen)?

  • Where (did it happen)?

  • Why (did it happen)?

  • How (did it happen)?

These six questions, whether in news style, research, or any investigation, form the basics tools of information-gathering. They represent a formula for getting the “full” story on something. For a report to be considered complete it should answer all six questions. So, if we’re going to give the full story, if we’re to be able to relate what we believe to others, we must be able to answer the five W’s and one H of the Gospel.

 The first of the six questions is:

 

“Who?”

Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”  

Acts 9:4-5

Who are the main characters involved in the above passage? Jesus Christ and Saul of Tarsus. Saul was on his way to Damascus, on orders from the High Priest to arrest some followers of a new Jewish cult, when he is stricken by a bright appearance, causing him to fall to the ground and hear a voice call out to him. Saul is confused and asks an important question (the same question we must answer if we are to understand the full story of the Gospel): “Who are you, Lord?”

If we are to have any success in sharing our faith with others, we must answer that same question for ourselves. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Your answer to that question colors your clear understanding of the Gospel and the ministry of Jesus Christ. Well, you might say, “Jesus is my Savior”. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” He is God’s only begotten Son.” He is the Lamb of God, who takes away my sins.” All of those are accurate enough, but it’s not enough to just say words, you must know, in your heart that He is exactly Who Scripture says He is, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior. He was fully man, so He completely understands everything you struggle with as a person. He understands hunger, fatigue, lust, temptation, etc. But unless this is a settled matter in your heart; unless your knowledge of this comes from an unshakable conviction of the truth it contains, than you do not truly know who Jesus Christ is. So, I again ask the question: Who is Jesus Christ to you?

Now we move on to the next question we must answer to understand the full story of the Gospel:

 “What?”

So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 

Acts 9:6

Saul next question is, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” We must answer this question too, if we’re ever to fully understand the Gospel fully. What does Jesus Christ want you do with your life? He sent Saul on into Damascus, blinded. Jesus may want you to stop seeing things as the world does (blindness) and see things, perhaps for the first time, as He sees them. See the sin in your life, as He sees it. Feel the pain it causes, as He feels it. Speak out about the lifestyles you see around you, regardless of what it may cost you.

An example of this kind of courageous behavior was displayed when on a recent panel discussion on Fox News, commentator, Brit Hume made the following statement regarding the predicament pro-golfer, Tiger Woods, finds himself in:

“The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”

A great many people immediately declared this the most outrageous thing they’d ever heard and denounced it as evidence of everything from chauvinism and bigotry to outright stupidity.

  • Jon Stewart used Hume’s words on the Daily Show, to mock and demean Hume’s convictions.
  • News commentator Keith Olbermann condemned Hume for trying to “threaten Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian.”
  • News commentator David Shuster suggested Hume had belittled his own religion by discussing it on a talk show.
  • A Washington Post TV critic mocked the idea that Christians should “run around trying to drum up new business” for their faith, unless of course “one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize.”

 

Mr. Hume simply shared what he thought Jesus Christ wanted him to do (i.e. testify to the truth of the Gospel). What does Jesus Christ want you to do?

Our next question to consider is:

 

“When?”

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

Mark 13:3-4

Four of His disciples ask Jesus “When will these things be?” Jesus just described the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, and they basically ask when it will happen and when will Jesus usher in the Kingdom they so long for. We must ask ourselves when we trusted Christ. It’s important to know when you yourself trusted our Lord, not to the day or hour, but that it happened. The Gospel tells us Jesus will destroy sin’s reign over our lives, but we must ask the question when. When will we start living like we’re dead to sin? When will we start acting as we should toward our family, friends, or the world? And if we’ve not trusted Christ as Savior, then we must ask ourselves when will we?

The fourth of our six questions is:

 

“Where?”

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Luke 8:24-25

In this passage (and in the other Gospel accounts of this event) the disciples ask a couple of questions: Don’t you care that we are perishing? Who are you that you’re able to control the natural elements? The question we need to consider though is the one that Jesus asks: “Where is your faith?” The disciples had heard Jesus teach about the power of faith and even observed Him heal Peter’s mother-in-law. They walked so close to Him, yet didn’t understand what it meant to have faith. “Oh, ye of little faith,” is how it’s translated elsewhere. Jesus asks them (and us) where does your faith reside when you’re afraid, when you’re overwhelmed, when you’re pushed to your limit? Is your faith in Jesus (Philippians 4:13) or is still in yourself? You can’t begin to share your faith until you’re completely certain as to where is your faith resides.

The last of the five W’s is:

“Why?”

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  

Mark 10:17-18

Note the question Jesus asks of the rich young ruler, “Why do you call me good?” The young man wanted to be sure he had eternal life, in case he’d left something out.  He comes to Christ and calls him “good teacher” (a formal greeting, not a true estimation on his part). He had an intellectual recognition of Christ as an instructor, but Jesus asks him if he recognizes the true Lord standing before him. He was underscoring that man’s goodness isn’t comparable to God’s absolute and undefiled goodness. Jesus was asking if he could see the Messiah, the Lord, standing before him. If we’re to be effective in sharing our faith, we must understand why Jesus Christ is the only One Who can save us from our deserved fate. Why do you call yourself a Christian? Have you truly, unreservedly, totally given your life over to Him as your Master, or are you still holding something back. Why is Jesus the only One capable of bringing you salvation?

Now we move to our final question:

“How?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 

John 3:3-4

Nicodemus asks “How can a man be born…a second time?” Jesus has told him he must be born from above to get into the Kingdom. In effect Nicodemus asks: “How can I be born again?” And that is the final question in our investigation of the full story of the Gospel that we must be able to answer. We must be able to explain that one must accept the fact that we deserve nothing more than death and eternal separation from God. We must be able to believe that God sent His only Son, out of His magnificent love, to die in our place. We must confess (agree with God) that we are sinners, and can do nothing, of ourselves, to escape our fate. It is Jesus who saves us.

GB&G2U

16
Jan
10

A RIGHT TO BE RIGHT?

AGREE? or DISAGREE? 

 

 

Have you ever been slapped into attention by a particular topic from the Bible? I have! The topic was forgiveness. In the short span of about two days, I heard two of the godliest men I’ve ever had the privilege of learning from teach on that very topic. You can’t ignore that kind of divine poke in the ribs! This all led me to begin considering forgiveness in light of a particular perspective.

Do we have a right to be right?

If we know in our heart that we are right (scripturally, morally and intuitively), what rights do we have? Consider some the answers I found:

I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

John 10:30-33

 

While ministering in Jerusalem, the Jewish authorities attempt for a third time to stone Jesus. He had just asserted that He and the Father were one; in effect, claiming His deity. What He’d said was most certainly the truth, but how did the authorities of the day respond to such truth? They sought to kill Him. Did Jesus remain and assert His right to be right?

Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed.

John 10:39-40

 

Jesus withdrew and went into a place beyond the Jordan River. Jesus understood God’s timing. He knew that standing toe-to-toe at this point in time, even with the certainty of His authority, would be manifestly unproductive. Sometimes, even when you are right, it’s better to withdraw rather than press your point. I didn’t like that as a solution. You see, when I am right, I can be so very good at being righteously indignant. However, I was compelled to consider these passages a little further.

Where did Jesus go? He withdrew to Perea, where John had preached and baptized Him before Jesus opened His public ministry. I found it ironic that Jesus went to a place identified with a special defining moment in His ministry. He returned to Perea, where His public ministry began, just before He would, for the last time, turn His face toward Jerusalem and His ultimate death. Like Elijah, Jesus went to a place of beginnings. Just beyond the Jordan was a place of descents or endings. How ironic, or was it? You see Jesus did nothing apart from the perfect Will of God.

If we name Christ as our Lord, we are to follow His example. Paul urges just that in 1 Corinthians 11:1 when he challenges us to imitate him (Paul), as he also imitates Christ. In Matthew 16, Jesus calls us to follow His example in very dramatic terms.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24

 

What Jesus demands from His disciples, and from us, is total commitment. This was a call to full surrender, a call to life-or-death devotion to Christ. In light of this, I had to return to my initial question: Do we have a right to be right? What rights do we have? If God were to ask, would you give up your right to be right? Would God ever do that?

He does every time He calls us to forgive and reconcile with another brother or sister in the Lord. When it comes to forgiveness, we have no rights to stand on. We are not in ourselves worthy of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of us through Christ demands that we forgive others. End of argument. The right to be right collapses before the matchless power of grace, because grace brings responsibility and obligation. Jesus put no limitation on the scope to which we are to forgive each other. The reference to “seventy times seven” in Matthew 18:22 is not a limitation, but rather an illustration of going way beyond what we think is humanly possible.

To what lengths are you willing to go to forgive and be reconciled? Would you be willing to walk away from a situation before your right to be right led you to commit sin? Would you be willing to give up your right to be right? Which is more important: being right or being obedient to the gracious command of our Lord?

GB&G2U




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