Friday, May 30, 2014

Choosing a Big Heart of Forgiveness

Lord, I am choosing to have a big heart of forgiveness, a heart without room for offense. How many times do I say something and then think, oh, my, that could have been taken another way and I sure hope they didn’t think that I really mean…… as another member of Your Body has opportunity to give me grace.
I am choosing to have that forgiving heart with no room for the heart of stone. Offense would turn that heart of flesh you gave me, the one you paid so dearly for, the one which is alive and feeling to a petrified little nub. I really do not want to hang onto that offense and let it do THAT work on me.
Lord, please keep me teachable and tender. Help me to walk beside You. Yes, right beside You in the middle of 1st Corinthians 13, in that path of choosing to love.  I think I remember part of it, that part about not envying, not parading myself, not being rude, not rejoicing in iniquity…. Yep, that is really where I want to walk.  I do so need Your help because it is easy to choose the wrong way.
Each time I choose the wrong way I glance up, the scoreboard says ENEMY 2 JESUS 0. My heart drops. Am I really making scores for the other side?
Back on that path where it says love is not puffed up, doesn’t seek its own, and is not provoked, Lord, I think this might be one of those times when there are one set of footprints, Yours, with me safely carried through in your arms.
And then there is the part about thinking no evil.  I have tried to learn that things aren’t always as they seem. Please help me to extend this grace to my brothers and sisters, my very own family in the Body.
Love rejoices in the truth.  That means I have to know the truth.  From your word, from listening and buttoning the lips, from not always believing things shared as “prayer requests”.  Yes, I could probably start with not listening to some of those either, couldn’t I Lord?
But that love path doesn’t stop there, as much as I sometimes wish it did.  Oh, Jesus, You and I get to walk farther on and bear all things, all Lord? And believe all things, and I do not suppose You are meaning the gossipy things. Then we get to hope all things, that doesn’t leave much out, does it? And endure all things. Lord, that word “all” it is really  being used a bunch there, isn’t it?
Yet that love path we are supposed to walk doesn’t stop yet. Love never fails, boy, I sure do!
Ah, Lord, this is most difficult. Calvary really was all about me but now I am supposed to grow up and WALK with and like You. Yet as I read this and feel the impossibility of it all, I know that You will never call a son or a daughter to something they cannot do.  Something they cannot do without You. Something they can only do WITH You.
Thank You and please help me? Please lift me into Your everlasting arms and carry me through?

1 Corinthians 13

 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
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