We all like to think we are loving people. But I ask you, how are we doing in the real world when it comes to being kind and tenderhearted? Are we walking in the flesh, or living by the Spirit? Are the works of the flesh evident in our lives or the fruit of the Spirit? Eph. 4: 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.Jerry Bridges, in his book the Discipline of Grace, noted that it is easy to consent to the primacy of love and yet so difficult to practice it.... In an effort to help him truly understand the concept of love, he stated a couple of verses from the great love chapter, 1 Corinth. 13, as action statements from verses 4 and 5
Ask yourself how you are doing in your day-to-day practice of Love.... Is there any room for self-righteousness in the light of this practical standard of love?
- I am patient with you because I love you and want to forgive you.
- I am kind to you because I love you and want to help you.
- I do not envy your possessions or your gifts because I love you and want you to have the best.
- I do not boast about my attainments because I love you and want to hear about yours.
- I am not proud because I love you and want to esteem you before myself.
- I am not rude because I love you and care about your feelings.
- I am not self-seeking because I love you and want to meet your needs.
- I am not easily angered by you because I love you and want to overlook your offenses.
- I do not keep a record of your wrongs because I love you, and " love covers a multitude of sins."
My son Michael and I were climbing Precipice Rock in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor Maine, and after about a two hour climb, we reached the top of the mountain, hundreds of feet in the air, looking out over the Atlantic ocean, and I watched an eagle fly high above the clouds. It was an incredible sight. There isn’t anything that can represent freedom better than a beautiful American eagle soaring through the air. So may God help us to wait on the Lord. To sit quietly before him, praying that he will give us a new heart, one filled with compassion, courage, and forgiveness. And once we have forgiven, the chains that bind us to our carnal natures, and to the worst in our fellowman, will fall helplessly from our ankles, and we will truly be free, and we will mount up with eagles wings, we shall run and not be weary, we shall walk and not faint. It has been my privilege to serve as your pastor for three years. Now I must wait on the Lord and sit quietly before him for several months while I heal from Hip surgery. You will be in my prayers my beloved flock, as I hope I will be in yours. Have a blessed month in Jesus!
“Lord God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. Do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, heal us and infill us with your divine nature, converting our souls, and filling us with your Spirit. Make us like you, in character and in actions. Make us kind, tenderhearted and forgiving, as Jesus was. Help us, change us, and transform us we pray, In Jesus name, Amen, and Amen”.