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Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (Psalm 119:165 NIV)

#  Many, like myself, can look in the mirror and find a few things ugly that can be changed. The solution is not to throw away all the mirrors, but to do something about it. If nothing can be done, I must learn to accept it.

The Bible is our mirror for our soul. Will we open God’s word and face the ugliness that lurks within? Then will we bravely do what is needful to beautify our inner being?

Sadly, most avoid God’s “mirror”. They never open the Word or never have a friend who’ll tell them the truth.

Avoiding self-examination is like going to the fun-house and picking the distorted mirror of our choice.  Reading only favorite Scriptures or devotionals that pump us up and build our self-esteem, will never expose the ugly that needs changed. We may end up thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but rather think of yourselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given. (Romans 12:3b). Too high of an opinion is no better than too low.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:23-24)

#  Step 5 “…requires not only that we admit to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs, but that we embark on an honest self-evaluation of our faults.” AA’s 12 Steps.

#  Freedom to be you, is the best gift I can give. Helping you to be the best you can be is your best gift to me.

# Am I a Christ-follower? Better to ask someone who knows me well. “You will know them by their fruit?”  (cf. Galatians 5:22-23)

#  Love is never wasted. It may not be returned, but heaven’s reward comes not so much in the receiving of love as in its giving.

#  Am I teachable? Is the person I want to reach teachable? If the answer to both is “no”, then God and I are wasting our time.

Do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)  

#  The ultimate test for foolishness: “Do I fear God?” (Psalm 14:1, Proverbs 14:27)

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. (Proverbs 26:4)

#  I want to follow you, Lord.

  • Are you willing to carry your cross?
  • Are you willing to drink from my cup?
  • Are you willing to suffer injustice?
  • Are you willing to be despised?
  • Are you willing to forsake all?
  • Are you willing to be considered a sheep to be slaughtered?

Yes, Lord, I am willing.

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A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)

#  Hurt people, hurt people.

#  Subversion = Attacking the head; Undermining God’s established order; Discrediting or De-legitimizing the one in charge by spreading slander, innuendo and/or discontent.

#  Who is the enemy? The person we have in the cross-hairs, ready to shoot.

#  The problem goes way back. All the way back to the Garden and the Fall.

#  Love covers a multitude of sins. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love always protects, always trusts, and always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, then I’m only clanging brass (i.e. noise).

#  Commandment #4- “Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”

Commandment #5- “Honor your father and your mother so it may go well…”       (Dishonor= Causing grief, shame, tears and anguish)

#  Forgiveness?-  Yes, always. Unconditional. It’s there before the asking.

Reconciliation?-  Conditional. I’m all for it if there is an acknowledgement of past wrongs.

Restoration?-  It’s possible, but not the usual outcome. If there is restoration it has to be over time. Repentance, as in godly sorrow, has to be tested. Even with that, restoration will never match what could have been. Scars are a blemish on perfection. They evidence that there, indeed, was a wound at one time.

Forgive my I.O.U. I cannot repay.- Yes, absolutely, just as Christ forgave mine. It’s gone.

Reconcile?-  Maybe we can be friendly, but only if you sincerely admit your fault.

Restoration?- In time, we may possibly re-establish a small amount of credit, but only if there has been an effort to earn my trust. Our relationship may never be what it could have been. If you demand I believe in you to the fullest and ignore our past, then I see a red flag.

#  World views. We all have one. What’s my world view based upon? Is it truth and love?

Looking through my everyday prism, what do I see? Love or hate? Trust or distrust? Peace or fear? The content of a person’s character or the color of their skin? Do I see your heart?

#  Obedience is God’s love language. Love the Lord your God = Obey Him and keep his laws.

#  Gatherer or Scatterer? Uniter or Divider? Unity, peace and freedom must be fought for.

#  No individual is greater than the team. Fellowship with His family lives in God’s heart.

#  Accusations = The accuser of the brethren.  Condemnation = Who is he who condemns?

#  The devil is a deceiver (liar, father of all falsehoods) and a murderer (destroyer, father of all hate). It is a package deal. If we open our heart to one of his traits, we must accept both.

#  Love and hate are our inheritance as part of God’s image. Question is this: Does our love reflect His love and do we hate what our Lord hates? The devil perverts love and hate so we have it all wrong: He would have us love what God detests and hate what He deems good.

#  No wounds? No scars? Then I must not have upset the enemy. The devil leaves alone those who pose no threat. Are only good things said about me? Then I should be aware. I must not be any different than the false prophets who spoke only good things. The truth ruffles feathers. With conviction comes an angry look. Plans to meet are cancelled.

#  Battle-ready = Wearing the whole armor of God. (Don’t go anywhere without it.)

#  How many of God’s most trusted and tested servants have been attacked from within their own family? All of them? If so, it must go with the territory.

# # #  Next time, Part 2.

” And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him because it neither sees nor knows Him. But you know Him for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18, NIV)

As many throughout the world remember and honor their fathers today, we must thank and humble ourselves before the one who gave us life. Yahweh loves us so much that he offers us eternal life through Jesus. This sacrifice is the ultimate gift God gives. Moments before Jesus left the mortal realm, He cried out: ” Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” -which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 24:46, NIV)

Consider this monumental moment, because this was the only time in eternity that the Father and Son were separated. Jesus bore the sins of every generation and our Heavenly Father had to look away. That is Love and despite our unworthiness, Jesus did not leave us alone in this world. The Father gave us the Holy Spirit, who would be our teacher and comforter. Our Lord wants us to forever enjoy the new heavens and earth with Him.

So when we are tempted to fall away or when the anti-Christ deceives the world through demonically powered miracles, God the Father must reign in our hearts. There is no religion here, it is a relationship of love. We remember the one who gave up everything so that we may have an eternal inheritance. Our time has come to show that love by giving up all in our lives for the Greatest Father ever! EJ

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