1999-05-07 - Turnabout is Fair Play
1 John 4:11 - "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 78:39, which reads, "For He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again."
In this passage, David is talking about the Israelites in the desert, and how many times they moaned and complained and rebelled, and how many times God grew angry at them for their actions.
In spite of the fact that He rescued them from slavery, even though He fed them manna freely, forgetting the miracles He worked in their midst (or perhaps not caring), still the Israelites grumbled, complained and rebelled. There were times when God wanted to just wipe them out. Yet, He remembered that they were just flesh -- humans.
So many times, we start our Spiritual journey, walking the path that He has set before us. Often He will give us someone to help along as we journey. Sometimes it's someone who has tasted the same bitter pill that we ourselves swallowed. Sometimes it's our kids. Sometimes our spouse. Never do we travel alone. We always have someone in front of us for us to follow and someone behind us for us to lead.
How many times are we frustrated because the person behind us is grumbling, complaining or rebelling? How often do we act on our frustration?
Are there times when the person ahead of us slips? Do we pray for them, offer a hand and help them up? Or are we shocked? Amazed? How could they behave like that? They know better!
How many times in our own walk do we complain about the circumstances, grumble about the "idiots" who bring us down, or just rebel in our hearts? Are we short-tempered with our children because we have told them over and over and over and …
And yet, we are all just flesh. True, if we have accepted Jesus Christ's death as our only payment for sin and if we believe and confess that He arose from the dead, we walk in newness of life and the Spirit dwells within us, guiding and directing. That is true. But there are still times when - in our flesh - we slip, trip or fall.
If we slip, trip and fall, then it is to be expected that other people around us on their journey will also. 1 John 1:7,8 & 9 are so beautiful! "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we decieve ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." What a promise!
What a delight to know that He will forgive me! All He asks is that I extend the same kindness to the people around me.
Father, thank You that You remember that I am just dust. I would love to be able to say that I have arrived. I would love to be able to declare that I have found that sinless perfection. I haven't, Lord, You and I both know that. I grumble, complain, rebel, hate, reach for the unclean, all the while forgetting that someone else is watching, following in my footsteps. Forgive me Lord. Help me to keep those steps safe to follow in. Lord, there are times when I see the people I admire act grumble, complain, rebel, hate and reach for the unclean thing. God, at those times, in my heart I begin to condemn them. Forgive me Lord. They're just flesh. Keep their steps safe to follow in, too. Thank You for knowing my frame. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank You most for Jesus. I love You Lord. Amen