Work it out
God’s got a sense of humor. And, I had one of those moments this week, where I really felt like I had it all together. You know? Like, yes, I’m really understanding this. Really drawing closer to God. Felt the Holy Spirit and I really making strides. Just mmm, I got this. Then, the past snuck up on me. Came out of left field…. And, I just had to look up and laugh, because I knew God was giggling. Looking down on me, “Really got this all worked out, do you? Let’s see how you feel about this.” And, suddenly, I was all human again.
That happens though, doesn’t it? We feel like we’re really doing things, really getting tuned in, really growing. And then, something comes up where we have to apply what we’ve learned. Ugh! What?!? C’mon! But, that’s why we’re told, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Phillippians 2:12
We’re supposed to be working out our salvation. We’re supposed to be learning new things about our salvation, about the plan that God has for us and what that means in our lives. Then, we’re supposed to be applying it. And, He gives us a clue as well, “with fear and trembling” – doesn’t sound like it’s going to be easy, does it?
So, last week, I wrote on Mercy. First, we have to understand Mercy, to extend grace. We have to embrace the concept of being merciful, because even as the old antic says, “forgive and forget” – first we have to forgive – then, we can forget.
Many, many moons ago, I had someone in my life, who was a nightmare. Someone, who I went to school with, so it wasn’t like there was a lot I could do to avoid them, but for whatever reason, we did not get along, and lots of bad things happened because of it. And, I had told myself that I had forgiven them. I had let all of that go. But, then, this person had grown up, and is now involved with a relative of mine. And, in part of me saying that I had forgiven them, I had refused to tell anyone what had happened so long ago, since I didn’t want to skew anyone’s feelings about this person. Everyone has the capacity to change, so I was trying to give them a chance with everyone else. But, I personally, kept my distance. In hindsight, that sounds super-forgiving right? 😉 But, this past week, my relative was in dire trouble, and there was no way that I could help without having to talk to this person. And, I talked to them, very chill, conversation was very matter-of-fact, helping get the situation handled, and moving on. And, then, because they now have my phone number, they texted me…. Here’s where God started giggling. This person, couldn’t even remember what all had happened, but was very sorry for whatever it was, and was hoping that I would forgive whatever it was and genuinely hoped that we could have a relationship. This person couldn’t even remember what they had done, and I’m over here holding on tight. Oh mercy me, time to work on my salvation.
“If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:23 How can I hold onto someone’s sins, and condemn them, when they don’t even remember what happened? Why was I holding on so tight? I had done things far worse, remembered those things, and hoped that as I asked forgiveness they would find it in their hearts to forgive. Why am I acting differently? Because I’m human. But, more of you and less of me, God. Time to grow, time to apply what we’ve learned, and practice what I preach…. <— Ha, see what I did there 😉
So, I will be putting all of this down. Laying it at the feet of my Savior, and asking him to heal my heart, and let me grow. Let me know what it’s like to be more like him, and less like me.
Another thing that happened this week, and maybe you’ve seen it. Is this incredible video. This kid, who takes a moment to testify God’s mercy and grace to the world. Who publicly forgives his brother’s murderer, and says that it’s what his brother would want, and what God wants. As many comments state, we wish we could all be a little more like this guy, I challenge us to try.
God bless you and keep you.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for being such an incredible example for us. Thank you that we have the opportunity to continually work out our salvation. Thank you that You are the good Father who forgives all, and challenges us to do the same. That we may bless those around us with your eternal mercy and grace. That others may see your light through us. That this man’s testimony of your forgiveness and your grace may soften people’s hearts and lead people to you. And that it may have the ripple effect, that other’s may challenge themselves to be more like you Father, and forgive and forget and only want the best for all. More of you, and less of us. Every day of the week. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!
Going to take a short break from promoting Operation Christmas Child, to promote the Women’s Alive Conference! This is held in Brookings South Dakota, every year in October. A time for refreshment and renewal. A time for women to get together and encourage each other, and to soak in God’s word, and make lasting relationships with each other, and God. It’s October 18th & 19th.
If you would like to join us, please register with the Holy Life Tabernacle. (Click here) It’s only $20!
Or if you would like to donate, click here, and chose Women’s Alive Conference in the options.