Only about 3 more days until we start getting back into the "story." Stay with it.
5:6 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'When a man or woman commits any kind of sin against another person and thus breaks faith with ADONAI, he incurs guilt (The Complete Jewish Bible). I thought this verse was more interesting in the Jewish Bible. It appears that when we wrong another person, we actually break faith with God! Think about the implications. That is powerful stuff. What is the solution? Hiding? Pretending we're right? Ignoring the problem? Verse 7: "He shall confess the wrong that he has done and make restitution."
12:18-27 I see the Sadd-u-cees are still sad! Remember that their question is basically scoffing Jesus because they don't even believe in a resurrection from the dead (very sad), and here they ask a post-resurrection question, thinking they've outsmarted Him now. Not!
Another Millennial Psalm today.
Questions for reflection:
I think there's great value in the AA 12-step program for everyone! One step that is really beneficial is to make amends with others you have hurt, so long as it doesn't harm the other person further. So today is spiritual inventory day! Think long and hard. Is there anyone in your life whom you have intentionally wronged that you need to go to in order to make amends? Especially now that you know it has caused a broken place of fellowship with God? I personally believe this is a critical discipline in the surrendered Christian life! I believe whatever we do not make right here, we will have to make right "there," in front of a Holy God. I think it will be easier here. Not to mention, the spiritual vitality and freedom we will incur for being obedient! Why put it off? Make amends today (or at least make plans for amends)!
Okay, here's a cool thing that happened for me. A few years back, I was having a discussion with my oldest daughter (she was in middle school at the time). She admitted that she had treated one of her elementary school teachers, a Christian no less, with disrespect, and that she felt really badly about it.
I dived into my own dumpster of the past, after thinking about her admission, and realized I had done the same thing to one of my teachers in high school, many years back. I shared the incident with her and told her I understood how horrible she felt for being so mean to someone who didn't deserve it. So I had a great idea for both of us, to get rid of the guilt and restore relationships.
"How about if we both write a letter to our teachers, and admit our wrongs, and humbly ask for forgiveness?" She was willing, so we wrote our letters and off they were sent to our teachers.
About a month later, Danielle got a reply from her teacher. He was extremely gracious and sweet, letting her know he forgave her and appreciated her letter—a lot! It made Dani feel so great and so relieved of the guilt she had carried for so long.
A few months later, that teacher died of a sudden heart attack. I thought, what if Dani hadn't ever sent that letter? She would never have had the opportunity to make it right on this side, and she would have always felt bad. Now she had a clear conscience in her heart that she had obeyed God and set herself free.
Isn't God awesome how He gives us the opportunity to right our wrongs and set ourselves free of the weight of guilt and bad feelings? I have followed this pattern with many people that God has put on my heart that I have wronged in my life, and I am so glad I did. Will you join me?