Monday, April 30, 2012

Colossians 3:12-14 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. This little passage appears to be of great importance to God, and in turn, to us. Twice in the past three days this message has been brought to my attention. It was the subject of a Ladies' Retreat and again this evening as the subject of my daughter in law's blog.( God so loved us that He wanted us to know that by following the example of Christ, we can all find the sweet freedom that forgiveness offers. We are only human, and find it easier to hold grudges, anger and past greivances in a corner of our hearts, for safe keeping. We fret over them, pull them out to mumble over,and to remind ourselves of the hurt and pain that someone has caused us; telling ourselves that we will never forgive, or forget. Then stuff it all back down, building a wall around our hearts. As we do so, we become more angry, more resentful, allowing Satan to step in and capture these feelings to use against us. It separates us from God's love and promises. God has put us all in the position of holiness, as His child. He loves us and provides for us in all our needs. Christ died for each of us, shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. We are forgiven by His grace and mercy. How can we not forgive others? Ephesians 4:31 says: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
In Bible study we have covered the story of Joseph. Remember how his brothers cowered in front of him after realizing who he was…and what they had done (Genesis 50:18)? Joseph offered his brothers, the same brothers that had sold him into slavery, forgiveness. He reached out to them and restored them to a place they didn't deserve. He didn't do it because of them. He did it because of God. Walk in the freedom of simply doing what God has asked and let Him take care of the rest. God requires us to sacrifice our pride in exchange for the blessing of peace. In every area of life, including managing our most powerful emotions, God tells us to be quick to listen (to Him and others), slow to speak and slow to become angry. As we apply these practices in our relationships, we become 'doers' of His Word, not just 'hearers' and that leads to the righteousness God desires in each of us.
This past Friday and Saturday I attended my very first Women's retreat. The lesson of unforgiveness was our goal, reaching inside our hearts and tearing down those walls we have built with bitterness. Opening our eyes and our hearts to the incredible love and joy that comes with following God's Word. The old saying, Let Go and Let God came to my mind several times, and tears cleared away the refuse of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. This retreat brought me closer to several new friends, bonding over our Bibles, listening to their life stories, and praying for many who, through wonderful leaders, let go of their bondage and accepted the freedom that God offers. Thank you Lord for placing me in such a place. Making it possible to travel safely, to laugh and cry, wipe our tears, and stand firmly in Your Word, in Your Love and in Your Promises.

No comments:

Post a Comment