March 19, 2018

By Paul Banta

Colossians 3:12-17 says, “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” – The Message

It’s incredible how some people try to justify their angry or their unforgiving heart. They wear a mask or wardrobe of foolishness, and they’re so far away from the message of today verses. They honestly believe the Lord understands why they have feelings of deep anger when the life doesn’t go their way. They give that a continued excuse staying on their disastrous path rather than the one the Lord designed for them. No question that God understands, but He’ll never approve of these unjustified behaviors, and the harmful use of a hardened heart and mind which is opposite from the Gods’ design in John 14:27 as a gift which Jesus left for us—peace of mind and heart.

Jesus faced appalling betrayal and abandonment. He knew human emotions inside and out. You will experience that the Lord knows you inside and out as well. He doesn’t agree with your unforgiving attitude or unnecessary anger. Our Savior had a God-centered view of forgiveness that withstood His horrifying torture. We have no clue. We should thank God for this every morning. Why? We’re the ones who betray the Lord every day. We’ve wronged Jesus in ways no one has ever hurt us. We’ve denied His rightful place in our hearts. We’ve doubted His Words. We’ve ignored His instructions. We’ve often abandoned Him and kicked Him out of our daily lives from time to time. We’ve sinned against Him and shamed Him by sinning against other people. What is Jesus’ response to this abuse? 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – NIV In Matthew 11:28, He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – NIV

Do you believe the Lord will justify and not forgive you under any circumstances?  No, He won’t.  When you look at God to excuse your unforgiving heart and anger, He’ll answer back, “Look at the Cross and what I did for you. Don’t you get it?”  You’ll discover the price He paid to forgive you of your thoughtlessness. Then, you’ll understand the solemn responsibility of Colossians 3:12-17 says, “Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Just as we have been forgiven, we must now become forgivers.” – NIV

What’s your next move?