The Heart of the matter

Sometimes I battle against my past, it comes back to haunt me. My mind seems to recall every horrible, ugly, dishonest, painful and anti-Christian thing I’ve done throughout my life. I start to think there is no way God will forgive me. Then I read, Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 Do I truly think God would tell me to forgive others when they trespass against me seventy times seven times even if it’s the same thing they do every time, and then turn around and keep reminding me about my trespasses against him? I also read, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Do I also believe that God would tell me to be uplifting and encouraging when I speak to others, telling me to speak only life giving words of kindness, gentleness, peace, and love to my fellow man, but then He, Himself would do contrary and speak condemnation heaping heavy burdens of regret upon my shoulders? So why can’t I seem to get past all the wrongs I’ve done why am I not free from the nightly torture of playing it all over and over again in my mind? Why were the blood sacrifices of animals not sufficient to cover people’s transgressions? Why was Jesus death necessary? And why didn’t Jesus do what the disciples thought he would wage war on Rome, take back the land and establish his kingdom and rule on earth? He could have, he is God, why didn’t he? I believe the forgiveness of sin wasn’t the focus God had in mind. Yes sin is what cuts us off and must be dealt with. But if we think about it why make us suffer? Why not cause us not to sin? Why create us, allow us to live in a fallen corrupt world, seemingly setting us up for failure? Maybe we have been led to believe a lie within a truth? All though sin must be dealt with, it may not have been where we were supposed to direct our focus. Animal sacrifice for forgiveness of sin wasn’t sufficient, could it be, because it did not affect change in man’s heart? They followed routine and laws yet their hearts were still far from God’s Love. They may have feared God but did they love God? Did they desire to build a relationship with God? Could it be they saw God as the hardened mighty authority that required obedience and order but was too busy or mighty to get personal? To mighty to be bothered with everyday personal issues? Could it be they thought God didn’t care about their hairdo? I believe we have been deceived by the enemy to focus on the sin in which he knows we have no real control in an effort to distract us from understanding what God is truly after. Why did Jesus not just take His rightful place as King by force? Why did He choose to die a sacrifice instead as we know He was able to do whichever He chose? Without getting into the long answer, having to do with pagan rituals and beliefs in the day and Jewish tradition, I’m going to sum it up with a question. If Jesus came and took His kingdom by force would that cause a change in the hearts of man towards Almighty God? God is after our hearts! His desire is for us to love Him as He loves us. Although repentance is necessary and the acceptance of Jesus sacrifice for the atonement of our sin is also necessary, it is relationship God is seeking. Humble, loving, gentle, patient, kind, generous and understanding hearts. Something animal sacrifice and a force takeover would not obtain. As much as we crave the love and appreciation from the people in our lives we care so much about and how much we crave being noticed by them, God craves the same thing from us. The world means to harden our hearts while God sacrifices everything to soften them. Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.