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[original post 7/19/16]
Every once in a while, I will put down all other reading plans, and just read straight through the gospels of the New Testament.
It never fails that when I do, I fall blonde-head over cracked-heels in love with Jesus again.
I read through it slow. Just one chapter a day. I like to soak it in. Each word drenching my heart with His teaching, grace, mercy, and jaw dropping love.
My heart becomes exposed each time I read. The Light of Truth pierces the dark corridors of this heart, and warms deep into the cold places.
Almost every time, I cry. I hold my bible close to my chest as if doing so will cause His Love to jump right into my spirit. Like osmosis, seeping into my pores and flooding me with Himself.
I want this so much.
He shows me something new each time I read His Word. Amazing how that happens, right?
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
A verse did this very thing to my heart last week. I still hear it over and over again. Pondering its meaning and praying for God to reveal to me what this means for me.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Notice, the verse doesn't say "if you have something against your brother or sister." It says, "if your brother or sister has something against you."
I have never looked at it like this. Usually, I am praying to have a forgiving heart towards those that have wronged me or offended me. I ask for God to bless that person despite the hurt they caused.
However, look what this is saying. Go to the person that has something against you.
This takes on a whole new perspective.
Who have I wronged that I need to make right?
Who may be holding a grudge against me?
Who may have misunderstood something I did or said?
This verse really comes into play when pondering this scripture, "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise" Ephesians 5:15
Are we careful with how we are living? With our words? With our lack of words? With our actions?
Are we thinking of who we may have offended or wronged today, or just focused on who offended us.
Oh, y'all. This is powerful. And so important.
We must live out our faith with the words we speak. We must be so careful with our conversations. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
We must be careful to not be a stumbling block to those around us. I believe we can even be an unintentional stumbling block. Therefore, it is so important that we be intentional about NOT being one. Because of our flesh, we are not always thinking about how others may receive our words. Many times our focus is on how we receive the words of others.
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 2 Corinthians 6:3
I wonder if this is what happens to our prayer life. Our prayers get stifled and smothered due to the lack of wisdom in how we speak and treat others. Again, even if we are not aware. We must ask for Jesus to show us, to open our eyes to ourselves and see ourselves clearly. Not shadowed by pride of murky self-righteousness.
Let's take these words of Jesus and put them into practice. Who may I have wronged? Let me go and make it right!
Let not another day pass that there is friction and strife in the heart of another towards us. To really have a heart like Jesus, we must be concerned about the heart of others, not just ourselves.
We may not be able to receive the persons forgiveness, but we can receive the forgiveness of our
Father for trying to make it right with the offended. We will have to trust that God will do the work in the persons heart that we have intentionally or unintentionally offended.
Jesus is rocking my world,