Saturday, February 14, 2015

Greater Love

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 15:13

     He hung there for hours after being beaten to unrecognition.  His friends fled except for the women and one of his friends.  They spat and mocked and bet on His clothes.  They laughed at the dying man.  They did not know what they were doing.  He said nothing to set Himself free at His trial, after the one who betrayed Him, a supposedly close friend, sold out for thirty pieces of gold.  He asked is Father before all this in the garden, if this could not happen, but then prayed for His Father's will.  His hands and feet were nailed to a tree with two criminals on each side of Him.  One would be in eternity with Him, because he knew Who He was and He forgave Him.  He was there on that tree because of the greatest love ever.  A new hope for all.  One Lamb to be sacrificed for all.  He finally said, "It is finished!"

     He laid down His life for His friends, for us.  The greatest love of all.  He was sinless, yet He died for our sins, so that we might live in Glory with Him.  That is the best Valentine one could give to another.  This Valentine's Day, do something to someone with sacrificial love in mind.  Not necessarily dying for them, but dying to yourself for them.  Jesus didn't have to die for us, and no one took His life, but He chose to lay down His life to save us from sin.  He chose.  Made a choice, and gave up His life for ours.  Can you fathom that?

     When I think now of roses for Valentine's Day, I think of the thorns on Jesus's head.  When I think of chocolates, I think of not only the sweetness of Jesus' love for us, but the bitter taste He was given in the sour wine when He was thirsty.  What He gave up was everything on our behalf.  So now what do we do with it?  Do we fly the bird at someone who cut us off in traffic?  Do we ignore those in need?  Do we love our family and friends with no strings attached?  Do we reach out to strangers with the gospel and share what He has done for all of us?  It's our choice.  It's your choice.  How will you respond this Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentine's Day 2015!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Forgive Others?

Mark 11:25
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

     Many years had passed with unforgiveness in my heart.  My heart was is agony.  I was defeated.  The unnecessary pain I went through was enough to engulf me in flames of despair to the point of death.  The troubles I had in the past compared to nothing that happened after.  Not a day went by that my turmoil and strife overwhelmed me.  I was wronged and I sure wasn't going to let that person off easy.  But it hurt me more than them.  Several years of hurt, anger and anguish passed...until I made my relationship right with Jesus.

     Jesus commands that we forgive, or we won't be forgiven.  It doesn't matter if someone murdered the one you loved, or a friend lied to you.  You must forgive.  It's not for the sake of the one who hurt you, but for your sake.  We all sin, since Adam and Eve.  We've all hurt someone.  Would you want to be forgiven?  Then forgive.  The barriers and walls of unforgiveness keeps us in bondage to Satan.  He wants us to hate others and be miserable, and he wants us separated from God's forgiveness.  Jesus died for our sins.  He forgave them all.  So why shouldn't we forgive others?

     The heart of following Jesus is to forgive.  If you have a grievance with someone, go to them and make it right.  Forgiving someone does not excuse what they have done to you, it just means that you put the past behind you and let go of what they did.  We can't save others on our own merit, but God can.  In forgiving someone, it may change them, and they may get right with God.  You never know what an impact you can make with your actions, whether good or bad.  And if you forgive them, God will forgive you.

I hope you will be blessed with a forgiving heart today.