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Friday, October 12, 2012

Two days too late?

Funny how we can be so familiar with certain parts of Scripture and then suddenly see something we never saw before. Very alive is the Word and the Spirit!

So, Jesus had just told Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus' sickness "is not unto death, but for the glory of the God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it" (Jn. 11:4). Two days later Lazarus was dead. We know the rest of th
e story. This was not the end of it. But Mary and Martha couldn't see the future any more than we can.

Every believer has heard something from the Lord. Promises that have yet to be seen and even seem, at times, out of the realm of possibility. We have little idea if the fulfillment of a promise will be this side of eternity, unless specified for us in Scripture, or "in the resurrection at the last day," as Martha assumed. But we can know that God will glorify Himself through it all, along the way. The heart of it is this, speaking to myself, "What do I want more-the 'sickness' to be gone, or that through it God is glorified?"

It takes a very big work in my heart to truely desire that God be glorified through "sickness" more than I desire for what seems wrong to be made right; what is dead to be made alive; what is unresolved to be resolved.

What are some indications that my heart is not there? There are many, most of which I am sure I share with Mary and Martha. But perhaps the most revealing is a heart that says, "Lord, it's two days too late. If You had been...then this would not have been." Both sisters said it. I may plead with God for the sickness, the wrongness, the deadness, the unresolved to be raised and righted before it's too late...but have I pled for His glory?

Plead for His glory!

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seventy times seven times equals...

You and I know by the actions of the Lord and by what He tells us, that forgiveness is very precious to Him. If anyone could have understandably said, "Lord, I don't know if I can forgive them," it would have been Jesus. But he did forgive us, and He tells us to make forgiveness our way of life. How many times? Seven times seventy times equals a lifetime of all the time.  Knowing this, it is something we must purpose to do.

It is a sacrifice to forgive.  Are we not called, by the mercies of God, to be living sacrifices? It is painful to forgive. Have we not been prepared by God Himself to offer forgiveness? It is possible only by God's love to forgive.

Walk closer and closer with the Lord of love, because forgiveness is step by step. And the first step is often nothing less than a decision to obey God. It has little to do with feeling, and everything to do with obedience. We may have been standing so long in painful shoes that there is no feeling left in our feet, but we can still say, "Yes, Lord. I choose now to forgive," when He says, Forgive."

What follows may be different for everyone, but I imagine it is not very different because it was a step that Christ Himself had to take...submitting the will. We look at the choices before us and say, "Either I will be torn apart by soul pain, or I willl submit. Either I will stay here fighting to preserve myself, or I will surrender myself and be preserved by my Father's love."

From here there is just one place to go. It is the place where we say, "I love You, my God and Father, more than I hate sin." Did Jesus hate sin? Oh, yes. Did He love His Father more than He hated sin? Yes. It is a very freeing place to say, "I love God more than I hate sin." How much do I hate sin? A whole lot...especially when it offends me directly and causes me great pain. I'm sure you know what I mean...who hasn't felt it and hated it? But those who realize they love God more than they hate sin are those who can forgive again and again, seventy tims seven times, all the time for a lifetime. Step there.

written by: Carolyn Roehrig