Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sons of Your Father

Do you ever wonder about whether you are growing as you should?
I have a tendency to think evangelism is the yardstick to measure by.
(Probably as a result of faulty something.)
I was thinking about it this morning -- asking the Lord about fruit.
Do I have any?
Am I healthy?

My mind drifted here:

'Love your enemies, 
bless those who curse you, 
do good to those who hate you, 
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...'

'...And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors...
For if you forgive men their trespasses, 
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses...'

'Now the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
longsuffering,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness,
self-control.'
The mark of sonship is love.

Will I exact revenge on my persecutors?
Will I demand payment of all I am owed by trespassers?
Can I pray for those who abuse me?

Jesus, hanging in agony on the cross,
used His breath to pray, "Father, forgive them."
He pitied His tormentors.

There is a precious promise in there.
If I forgive, He'll forgive me, too.
Because I am a debtor.
I have offended.
I have stepped on people.
I have looked past their pain and blamed them for their grimace.
I have forgotten them when I should have remembered.
I have been calloused when I should have been crying.
I have pointed my finger when I should have applied salve.
And I can't pay it back.

But I can forgive when it's done to me.

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