Sunday, August 5, 2007

We deserve Death. . .

Did the title get your attention? ha ha! I know I didn't post on Friday about what we're learning in our Trusting God study, so I thought I'd share today a couple of my most recent thoughts. . .

It seems that everything in our Christian faith comes down to TRUST. Do we trust Him enough to. . .(insert here just about ANYTHING!)? Well, this Friday we spent the majority of the morning talking about perspective and forgiveness. Here are some of the quotes that got us started.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 says, "Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you-for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others." Jerry Bridges' paraphrase: "Do not resent other people who are the instruments of adversity in your life, for you know in your heart that you have sometimes been the instrument of adversity in the lives of others."
This brought us to a long discussion of "remembering our own forgiveness" (check out As for Me and My House by Walt Wangerin, the best chapter on forgiveness I have EVER read). This is the starting point in all perspective. Remembering that we ourselves have been forgiven MUCH. In fact, the Lord does not HAVE to give us anything. We deserve death and a fiery one at that! So, remembering our own forgiveness becomes the first step towards any kind of forgiveness or even just a good dose of perspective on any given situation. We tend to do the
"ranking" thing. "I'm better than them, and therefore can judge them". Now, we may not say this aloud, but every time we hold something against someone or judge them in our hearts, we are taking the place of God (or at least one pretty close to Him). Instead, if I spent most of my time consumed by how thankful I am to be alive today. I mean, I messed up yesterday. I am nothing without Jesus. Maybe, then, I would just be sad for other's sin. They are in the same boat as me. Now, considering myself on the same level, forgiveness comes much easier. Beth Moore says that unforgiveness is like "taking poison and hoping the other person dies". That's how harmful holding this stuff is!

So I ask you and I ask myself. . .are there any area of unforgiveness in my life or yours? Anyone I haven't yet "done the work" to forgive? Or maybe, do I view myself inappropriately? Am I realizing the depth of my forgiveness. There is not much I haven't done. . .have I been faithful to my Lord in ALL areas? have I judged (which Jesus likened to murder)? I know that in that realization I am not standing in the place to throw any stones. In the same way, in what area do I need a dose of perspective? What areas of my life do I lack faith in? In what areas do I not Trust? Where do I need to cast of my burdens?

I'll close with this today, Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. AND the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Only in Trusting Him can I WITH THANKSGIVING present my prayers and petitions minus the anxiety to Him. Hard work! However, after that, THE PEACE of GOD will guard my heart and mind. What a powerful promise!

I'm off to Beth Moore's Daniel now. . .so I'm sure I'll learn something amazing that I'll post about tomorrow!


Campbell's Hope said...

thanks Brandi for the encouragement.

Love ya sister,

Scott and Katy said...

Awesome post... thanks!
Also, I emailed you but not sure if it went through, let me know if you don't get it!

amber said...

Good stuff... Thanks for sharing.
I've definitely put the Jeff Bridges book on my "To Read" list!

As far as Fatima... isn't it a great story? I have prayed & donated and talked about helping them out with some of their building projects when we visit Liberia, but I haven't spoken with Patty about them yet. I've been planning to, but haven't had the opportunity yet. It would be great if you could incorporate it into your visit somehow.
How are things coming with your preparations? Do you have a date set? Can't wait to hear what God's doing!!!


jeff & katie said...

did you say your doing a beth moore study? I'm doing "living beyond yourself" and of course it is just rocking my world...well, of course I mean God is doing the "rocking" :)
praying for those visas,
Katie B.