Proverbs 21 11-21-22

“God is good,” means: He is compassionate, merciful, patient, abounding in truth and forgiving of sins yet leaving consequences intact.

The Lord God, compassionate, merciful, longsuffering, abounding in mercy and true, preserving righteousness and showing mercy unto thousands, taking away lawlessness, wrongdoing, and sins; and He will not clear the guilty, visiting the lawlessness of the fathers [consequences] upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation [until they recognize that lawlessness and correct it].” Exodus 34:6-7 LXX

The other morning, I received a response to one of my posts. The person is a friend of mine in a different city and has his own “flock” to which he tends. I asked his permission to share his response; he said yes, so here it is:

Amen, this is very much in line with what I’ve been praying this morning as well. To live in Agape to those around me. Loving them even when they are hating me. Lord Jesus, thank You that Your Spirit is in us teaching us and leading us.

Mission and Purpose
What is our mission and purpose as disciples of Christ? When I was in the Marine Corps I liked the term disciples of pain. Physical suffering and suffering in silence together with a team that fought through whatever obstacles to achieve the mission.
Translate that to living by the power of the Holy Spirit to love my wife and kids when they aren’t loving me. Loving my neighbors and people who curse me and hate me. Praying and allowing others to have their preference over mine, to will the good for others in a selfless love. Agape.
Mission, spread the good news. Shine in a world of darkness, be salt that adds a flavor that everyone wants, joyfully living in death so others will see only Christ through me. Yes Lord, I forsake all to follow you, but that doesn’t mean neglecting responsibilities, it means forsaking all my selfishness, fleshly desires and appetites for sin. Make me a warrior that can truly live in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Not just empty words and false pretense. Truly entering into this relationship with You that will transform my life and the lives of everyone around me because it’s just You.

As we can see, my friend has gained the understanding of 2 Corinthians 5:14-15,

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

There it is, “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him.” This phrase captures the very essence of the mission of Christ. He did the same for us so that we could reciprocate to Him. It’s a mutual submission. Yes, He is Lord, King of the universe, but He is also our Friend and Guide, our Comforter and Counselor. He is our Advocate,

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

My dad had an advocate when he was in the hospital. This advocate made sure he was receiving the best care, that his insurance was picking up the tab, and when the time came, saw that he was moved to Hospice. The Holy Spirit is all that and more! He guides us into all truth, He reminds us of everything Jesus said (whether we were there to hear it or not–we can read much of it in the Gospels), He warns us when we are thinking of straying, and loves us as His own. Why would anyone NOT want to live for Him?

Abba, I pray for us all that we would hear from You today. May You impress upon us the need to read Your Word and to commit it to memory (if not the exact wording, then the paraphrase version with the CIT*), not only perceiving what it means, but putting it into action in our lives. When we do, You take the initiative! If we want You to work in our lives so that we can perceive You (to feel You in us and know that You are really there), then the best thing for us to do is put Your Word to work in our lives. You will take it from there. May it be so in my life. Amen.

*CIT- Central Idea of the Text

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