I have some pretty amazing on line friends that inspire and encourage me. :) This post was inspired by Lisa at My Heart's Home. She wrote an amazing raw post on Friends talking about forgiveness and that got me to do some pretty serious thinking.
Luke 21:34-36 NIV
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
According to the above Scripture we see that in the lat days one can be weighed down by multiple things one being the anxieties of life. From listening to and taking part of conversations I am realizing that more and more people, as time moves on, are being weighed down by the anxieties of life. Could this be caused by making merry with lots of strong drink? Maybe, or it maybe the fact that as we grow closer to the time of Jesus' return, Satan is throwing the concerns of life at us.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
That is a very hard word to take to heart. Friends, I am seeing this. Me, who lives a lot in solitude am seeing this in the few people that I associate with. I am seeing a bitterness and a hardening of heart weave into the church, into people who I knew to be kind, loving and very forgiving. I see the affect of a selfish world penetrate into God's people. We truly need to be diligent in seeking after the heart of God, turning the other cheek to those who lash out at us. We need to keep our focus on God and His love seeking after a forgiving heart even when others hurt us.
A really good example for me comes in the form of driving. ;P I use to be a transport truck driver and I drove all over Canada and the United States. I consider myself a very good, professional driver who obeys the rules of the road and the unspoken common courtesy, like not driving in the left hand lane except to pass. Here, Satan can really get under my skin and my temper can rise when I see arrogant, foolish people doing 10 K or more under the speed limit sitting in the passing lane. This is a form of selfishness and it is on the increase here in Canada. Where the rule of thumb, even in Toronto on the 401, use to be always keep the left hand lane clear, is now being filled up with those who do not follow these rules. I know this is minor and really not a huge issue but it is one that shows the underlying heart of a person.
Brothers and sisters, we need to walk the talk. How can we be sure that we will go to heaven if we do not do what we are told to do?
QUESTION: If Jesus raptured His church today are you sure you would go?
This is something I am really thinking on and examining my heart over. Am I living in sin? The sin of anger and unforgiving of that person in the left lane clogging up the traffic.
No, we are not perfect and we will continue to sin, but are we holding on to that sin and wallowing in it like a pig wallows in a mud hole?
The more times I read this above passage the more I am understanding that walking in the Spirit goes against our 'feelings'. We may feel anger and hatred but we are not to act in anger and hatred but we are to act in love and forgiveness and the more we act in love and forgiveness the feelings of anger and hatred will dissolve. The more we love and forgive the easier it will be to spread this and hopefully show others the Spirit of God and allow them another chance to see who God is and hopefully they will consider Him and give their lives to Christ. After all that is the biggest concern for the Christian, to win others to Christ through our actions. :)Galatians 5:13-26 NIVYou, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Blessings in Christ Jesus,