While the world is striving to attain perfection, I realize the only perfect One took my place, as a perfect sacrifice, on a cross. Through Him my weaknesses are made strong. I'm not afraid to be different, because I AM different. I'm a child of The Most High. I can be imperfect because I am loved by a Perfect God.

Praying for Direction. Lift by Prayer. Working for Peace. Labor by Power. Driven by Love. Love by Patience. Living by Faith. Live by Presence. Held by Hope. Learn by Faith.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heart of the Matter

Back in high school I was introduced to The Eagles, thanks to all the guys in Drumline. There was one song I was particularly fond of, Heart of the Matter.
In the live recording Don Henley said "This song took 42 years to write, and about 4 minutes to sing"
The more life experiences I have, The more truth I find in these lyrics.

These times are so uncertain
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter
But everything changes and my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down and hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; life goes on You keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside
I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter
But everything changes and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
I mentioned in my last blog how God has been dealing with me on forgiving people.

In his song, Don Henley says, if you keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled

 Ephesians 4 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
It seems pretty safe to say that holding on to anger NOT forgiving causes roots of bitterness to grow.

Now, John 13 directs us to love one another, and that could very well be our greatest witnessing tool.

In the lyrics Don Henley says "How could love survive in such a graceless age?"

 I'm so very thankful for God's grace! In John 13, Jesus says
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

So, clearly, God has commanded us to love each other. Well, not just love as in "oh I love you like I love pizza. No Jesus says "love one another as I have loved you"
2 Corinthians 6:14 "...Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"

 Following the same principle...How can I exhibit God's love toward's someone if I am harboring roots of bitterness?

 Simple answer: YOU CAN'T

Isaiah 38 17Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
Now, I know, I've thrown a lot of stuff out there already. But if you can just hold on a little while longer. Something was recently drawn to my attention. I know we have to forgive, but what is the true importance of forgiveness?
What if I told you:
the salvation of the word depended on forgiveness?
God sending His Son to be our Savior depended on forgiveness?
the salvation of the world depended on ONE man to forgive?

You can read the story of Joseph starting in Genesis 37. Now let me just say, from my perspective, Joseph's brothers were jerks. Years later, when Joseph's brothers showed up in Egypt, he could have easily had them killed. No one would have faulted him! He could have even denied them food, and let them starved to death. Yet Joseph chose to forgive. Because he forgave them they were able to prosper.
 Joseph had a brother named Judah who had a son named Phares. If you read Matthew 1, it gives the geneology of Jesus.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram

Also in Luke 3 starting with verse 23, the lineage of Jesus is given again.

33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
 34 Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor

One man was able to forgive, this ensured that our savior would robe himself in flesh, die on a cross, so that the sins of the world could be forgiven, so that we may have eternal life.

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