I am going to deviate from my normal style of writing these blogs today, instead of expounding on Scripture I am going to expound on something one of my favorite authors has written.
Mat 6:12 `And forgive us our debts, as also we forgive our debtors.
Mat 18:21 Then Peter having come near to him, said, `Sir, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him--till seven times?'
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith to him, `I do not say to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven.
I have been thinking a great deal about this and other related passages in the past few weeks, you see, I have been the unfortunate recipient of UN-forgivness.
To make a long story short someone I have mistreated in the past has blasted me with those memories, and not just the memories but the emotions that went with them. It hurt, but the worst hurt is what I saw in what that unforgiveness is doing to that person.
In this episode, I actually did not retaliate which is something I can thank the Lord for as that has not been my pattern before. Not retaliating left me in a position to be able to observe how resentment affects us and why forgivness is such an important part of the Christian walk.
First let me say that as a man and one who didn't start walking with the Lord until fairly late in life I had developed some very bad character defects which included being hyper critical, filled with pride, and self centeredness. Jesus has been slowly working these things out of my life, but like most of us it has been a slow process. So the accusations fired at me were not unfounded and in the past I would have vehemently defended my position and blamed the other person. The other person is not at fault for their anger, but the other person is at fault for their resentment.
Let me clear that up a bit.
When someone offends we have two choices, forgive or not. If we forgive we let go of the anger and as the dictionary says we, "treat the offender as not guilty". If we do not forgive and still have a relationship with that person, we may stuff the feelings until the next time an offense takes place. When that takes place those feeling become a ticking time bomb, as those feelings (now resentments) accumulate.
The truly evil side of resentments is that they live just outside of our consciousness and color our experience with the other person and our world. If resentments are allowed to fester they will blind us to the good the other person is doing for us and to us. They will wait in ambush for the other person to slip up then explode into a rage that is inappropriate for the offense. Even worse those accumulated resentments will begin to seek outlet on other people that have nothing to do with the original offense. In other words someone else may use the tone of voice or the look that the offender had used in his offense and that anger will boil to the surface against the unsuspecting third person. Divorces, cheating spouses, misunderstandings, dissolution of partnerships are often the result of festering resentments.
So what is the solution for one who is "working out their salvation"?
The scriptural answer is simple:
Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Simple but not easy.
Here is how I deal with it. First I have to realize that the offense may be at least partly my fault. I need to ask questions of my self like, "did I say something or act in a way that was offensive?", " could I have stated or done something different?," what was the state of my mind when the offense took place?". The hardest part of this is being honest with yourself especially in the heat of the moment. Sometimes it is necessary to talk to a third person about the situation trying not to blame or accuse the offender so as not to damage their reputation.
When you see your own fault for the situation, it's time to go to God. Remember He is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9), next is to admit to the offender my part and, only my part, in the offense and ask if there is anything I can do to make up for my part of the offense. This is hard to do because it is natural to want to shift the blame, no one likes to admit guilt.
I know you are asking but what about.......?
There are times when this procedure may be inappropriate, those are rare and could be a subject for a book.
This procedure will prevent you from developing resentments and it is a great procedure for examining and eliminating old resentments that you may have been carrying for years. It also helps us to be more loving to all, even unlovable people.
If you are not familiar with the self examination process, I did write a book on that subject. It's called "The Ten Commandments a Guide to Holiness" and can be downloaded from the Download page of this site or a print or Kindle version ordered from Amazon at:
Jos_23:6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside from it to the right hand or to the left;
Good day all.
It has been about three months since I wrote last here and if I have any regular readers I apologize. The reason is because I have been facing some crossroads in my own life. We all face crossroads every day, some simple and some not so simple. The simple ones are easy to navigate and usually have some very obvious road signs, others are not so simple and involve choices where either direction may be the right answer.
One of the big crossroads I have come to is whether or not to continue writing for the Lord. My readership is poor, my books are not selling, I get no encouragement at home, and you folks that do read this don't comment, (except my two good friends Doris and Tom, thank-you). The road signs were obvious, my writing is not making an impact! I am embarrassed to tell you the conversations I have had with the Lord over this issue. They went something like this:
" I want you to write for me son", said the Lord.
" I have to make a living Lord", said I
"Don't worry about that", said He
" I can't be any good, no one reads my stuff" said I
" Don't worry about that either, trust me" said he
On and on and on I would argue, but He patiently kept insisting, so here I am back at the computer and back at the blog. I most likely won't be posting regularly as I have tried to in the past ( I still have to make a living and have family obligations when I am at home) but will do the best I can.
Through this struggle, I had lost some of the Joy I had in the Lord and that was my big fish (like Jonah). It occurred to me that my pride had once again raised it's ugly head , that my motive had become subtly self-centered rather than God centered. At least in this part of my life I was not following God's will. When God places a call on your heart and you buck it, it is nearly always an issue of pride. It was for Jonah and it was for me too.
So what to do about?
Surrender! Give up, turn around, in short repent.
As I have said before, repentance is not a mere mumbling of I am sorry, anyone can be sorry and not really mean it, they are just trying to appease others and think they themselves have done no wrong. As C.S.Lewis says "It takes a good man to repent"
No, repentance is a real crossroad, it's a changing of direction.
Real repentance requires honesty and humility. Repentance requires you to be willing to admit that you played a part in the problem. That's hard because pride says it is the other persons fault, ie I blamed God for my stuff not being read or sold.
Even though our dictionary says that repent is a noun and describes a deep sorrow for wrongs committed, I think of it more as a verb, an action word. Emotions are fickle at best, but an action is a demonstration of what is in your heart. Consider Jesus words:
Mat_15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart.....
"How can I repair the damage done?" needs to be the question. The answers are not always easy but if you wish to experience forgivness and it's accompanying joy, then you do it.
As always, my written words are for Believers in Jesus as the Christ. You can live a moral and good life without Jesus, many do, but to experience the real Joy that God has created us for, the Nirvanah of other traditions, the pleasure that drug users try to duplicate (and fail at) then come to the cross! The door is open! All it requires is a true repentance before God of past wrongs and a belief that Jesus is the Christ, God does the rest and will grant you the Joy and peace that only He can.
If you are a believer and you're not having conversations with God like the one recorded here, there maybe a reason and you should get my book "Yahweh the God Who Speaks and How to Hear Him". My book is very practical and easy to understand. God is speaking to you right now, can you hear Him? You can get it by clicking on the title of the book above or search for books by Leslie Auger on Amazon, Thank-you
Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
I had an amazing experience last week that I would like to share with you today. I would have shared it last week but we had a very busy weekend preparing for the upcoming move.
I had had another wonderful day in the Lord, communing with Him, experiencing deep joy all day, not a single thing was "wrong", then it happened, someone criticized me and I began to build a resentment before I retired for the night. I didn't even recognize it as a resentment, I just got upset over the criticism and failed to stop and bring it to the Lord for forgivness for feeling anger towards another person. I didn't because I felt justified as the criticism was out of the other persons ignorance
Of course, I had a bit of trouble sleeping since my mind Kept going back to that criticism. I did finally fall asleep but when I awoke that morning, for the first time in years, my back and shoulder where in excruciating pain.. This went on for a few hours with the pain growing worse. No longer did I have any thoughts about the critical comment made to me only the pain.
Then came the lesson, a friend called and I began to tell him about my pain, he said, " you know when I am in pain it is almost always because I am in resentment." Then I saw it! Immediately I felt the muscles in my shoulder begin to relax and within a mere 2 or 3 minutes most of the pain was gone.
Resentment is a sin, it is the re-feeling of anger, the intentional effort to keep alive a wrong done to you or done by you. It is in opposition to forgivness and Love.
In my struggles with gluttony I have learned that resentment keeps us in sin and keeps us from accessing the power of God. I have worked hard at rooting out resentments but, in this lesson that the Lord taught me, showed me just how connected the two are and how subtle they can be. When a perceived wrong is not forgiven it becomes a resentment and that resentment will be "stored" in our body. It will find expression in some way. God never intended us to live in sin and when we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are causing Him pain which will manifest in some negative way.
I used the above verse in this post because resentment is a "stone " we wish to throw at another person. Resentment tries to justify itself, yet, when we honestly evaluate it, we find that we had some part in creating the condition that caused the angry feelings and we feel justified to condemn the other party. There are of course exceptions to this concept, but even then we are not justified in keeping the anger and not forgiving. Our Lord taught by example and on the cross He uttered these words, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34).
Holy Father continue to help me search out and forgive the sin of resentment in my life, I pray that this short share may help others in their walk with you to live the joy filled life you have for us not just in the future but here and now. Amen
Num 14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
Num 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
Num 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
Num 14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
This past thursday we here in the USA celebrated a day of Thanksgiving. Every school child knows the story of the Pilgrims but over the years the meaning of this simplified story has become watered down through commercialism and the simple fact that few of us have ever really suffered like the Pilgrims had and even fewer still having done so for their ideals.
But that is not what I want to talk about today.
Let me try to set the stage of what I want to talk about. The Israelites having lived in the land of Goshen in the country of Egypt for 420 years where they had become slaves to the Pharaohs, had been saved from that life by the mighty hand of God. They had lived through and seen the judgments brought upon Egypt. They had lived through and seen God, through Moses, perform miracles such as the Red Sea parted, poison water made fresh, food from the sky, quail flying into camp to feed them, a river pouring from a rock where there had been no water, they even heard the voice of God with their very own ears. Yet they still could not believe that God could and would take care of them , they forgot the grand miracles they had already seen. Now it was time for them to take possession of the promised land, spies had been sent out, and the report was back. All Moses had been telling them was true! BUT, and here was were they failed, they became full of fear based on the report that giants lived in the land and the cities were well fortified. They forgot what God had already done and were not grateful.
Had the Israelites been grateful for the miracles given already they would not have so quickly relied on their own strength to conquer the peoples of the promised land. And that is what I want to talk about. I call it the "Power of Gratitude".
A friend suggested that I send him an email every day of the things I'm grateful For. This simple, and at times redundant exercise changed something in me, especially when I started to use that list as the basis for my evening prayer time with the Lord, I began to see my world differently, I saw it bigger and better and I began to see God in a different light, not an unknown light, but one I had not experienced in some time. I began to see how God is in everything and everyone even those who do not believe in Him. I began to see just how much He really loves me and how much Love he has given me both for others and for Him. It is, I believe, the different spirit that God spoke of that was with Caleb. Caleb saw the giants too, but he also remembered how big his God is and saw that the giants were but fleas to God. My fears are even less than fleas to my God, my challenges nothing more than one more step closer to Him.
The Power of Gratitude is in remembering the miracles of God and being truly thankful for them.
Thanksgiving is not just a day for the Christian it is the way of life we have been called to.
Saint Paul said it this way:
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
May God richly bless you and yours
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Today is the day the we in the USA celebrate a successful year in remembrance of our forefathers who had struggled against religious and economic control.
Geting ready for the move from country to town. Tons of work to get done, no time for writing right now but always time for God.
I dedicate my life to Him each morning and strive to talk with Him no mater how busy I am.
I always try to remember that He gave Adam work and no matter how unpleasent that work might be He is in it with me just as He was with Adam.
Sewer pipe is calling so guess I better get it done before it snows.
Jon 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
I have been thinking about this and similar passages all week since I am often accused by some who are close to me of being a hypocrite. Most of the time I am able to not let this criticism bother me because I know the work that God has done in me and how very much different I feel and react towards life in general. The criticisms are sometimes (and more often than I care to admit) legitimate.
I am on the outside all too often not very loving by the worlds standards so sometimes when I am being criticized the person doing it is right. But sometimes they are trying to manipulate my behavior to conform to their standard.
It was hard to make a righteous judgment especially before I knew the whole word of God and studied it for His character. Sometimes God doesn't seem very loving either, especially when He appears to be letting bad things happen to good people. He sees a bigger picture than I could ever see so I have no right to judge those situations.
I am reminded in Matt 7:2 that it is with what measure..... what standard..... that I judge with, is the very way I will be judged, this is true for all of us, even those judging me. Oh how my heart should ache for those judging me so harshly, but it doesn't, I get mad. My pride is affected, Oh what a fool. God did the work in me not me, I just became willing to allow Him to do it.
Would you ever consider buying a book by it's cover? I sometimes do, in fact most of the time I do and am rarely disappointed. If it's a good book a great deal of information about it's content will be displayed on the cover, but sometimes I am disappointed because the cover oversold the content. It is my goal to allow our Lord to keep editing my heart so that my cover will reflect the authors content.
He has a big job ahead of Him but then He is a Big God.
May God keep you and bless you.
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