I worked on a blog this week about the ‘church’ issues that continue to plague the saints. It was quite lengthy as I had a lot to say. As I said in my last blog, we all have our own opinions, don’t we? But this week I realized some things that are far more important, at least for me. And anyway, what difference does it make what my opinion is, you have your own.
I have a friend in London, a dear sister in Christ whom I have never met. We visit by email and we share Christ and His Gospel always. I realized I hadn’t taken the time this week to do that nor to share Gospel love with a sister in Christ who lives in Idaho. I’ve never met her either but oh how encouraging they always are in the Lord.
I’ve excerpted a statement by each from their emails to me. I wanted to share here the encouragement that they gave to me because I truly did need it this week. I was in bondage to the folly of answering a challenge but the Lord opened my eyes to that bondage, whew! Thank you Lord Jesus!
“Our fleshy instinct is to give back what we receive - keep on slapping each others cheeks till they bleed. But the Lord Jesus said NO to this - He taught us to break this vicious circle of revenging on and over again back and forth. Instead, He said, let them smack you on another cheek and let this mindless violence be stopped when it reaches His follower!”
“I was so amazed at the "church trial" situation you described on your blog! I've never ever experienced something like that before in the "church" setting! That must have been heart-rending. We are pretty darn good at "biting and devouring" one another....what we haven't learned very well is loving one another. I think it's the same in the body of Christ as it is in marriage....if you start with assuming the worst about the other person, you will eventually be bitter against them because you will interpret all of their actions and words through that lens. God, help us!”
I have limited spare time and I realized I didn’t spend much of it this week delighting myself in the Word of God or in Christ Himself; I was too intent on the challenge. I didn't spend time in encouraging the saints that the Lord has put in my life, and He calls us to encourage one another daily doesn't He? I hope I'll not waste my time like that anymore. I am truly pressing on and rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ, forgetting those things which are behind. I hope that someday you may be able to do that too!
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14
Grace and Peace!