Sunday, September 23, 2007

Treasured possession

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Malachi 1, 2, 3, 4

Malachi 3:16-18 (NIV)

16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name. 17 “They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

Good morning!

I have five treasures in my life. Their names are: Jett, Joshua, Emily, Madison and Andrew, our grandchildren. Every child has a unique and special place in my heart. Ranging in age from seven years to three months, these grandbabies bring great joy to my life. I realize that I must stay as young as I can, in order to keep up with them. Sometimes, they wear me out with their joyful exuberance. Most of the time, I’m up for the challenge.

Joshua and Emily have been staying with us periodically since their mommy had cancer surgery. Rachel is doing a little better each day. Thank you for praying for her. Last week, she became quite ill with what appeared to be a very serious post-surgical infection. A lot of prayer and little chicken soup made all the difference. Yesterday morning, Rachel felt well enough to ride to the soccer park to watch Joshua play soccer. We are seeing miracles unfold daily in the lives of our children, and for that, we stand in absolute awe of our great and mighty Jehovah Jireh.

This morning, Joshua and Emily were playing in the great room, and I heard Emily scream, and immediately, Joshua say, “I’m sorry, Emily.” Crying, Emily shouted, “I’m telling on you.” She came running into the study where I sat reading the Word. I knew she was coming. She crawled up on my lap and said, “Joshua hurt my arm.” I took a quick look and found no permanent damage. Holding her close, I said, “Emily, Joshua said he was sorry. I heard him say it. I don’t think he meant to hurt you.” I wiped the tears from her face and gently whispered. “And now, do you know what you need to do?” She shook her head at me. I said, “You need to forgive Joshua for hurting you. I want you to go back into the great room and tell Joshua that you forgive him and that you love him.” Furrowing her eyebrows, Emily looked at me and with great conviction said, “I don’t want to!” How many times are we hurt by another person, and when God calls us to forgive, we say the exact same thing! “Why should I forgive them? They don’t deserve it. Their words and actions really hurt me. I’d rather hang on to my pain and carry it around for awhile. I’ll just chew on it, spew it, and let that hard, crusty scar cover my soft and vulnerable heart.” We disobey God every time we choose not to forgive. There are times when it seems so much easier to bear a grudge than to let it go completely.

God didn’t have to forgive us either. He could have sent all of humanity away without even a second chance. He gave us the free will to choose whether to love and obey Him, or do our own thing. How many people do you know who perfectly obey the will of the Lord every day, without fail? Have you ever disobeyed God and failed to apologize for it?

The Lord Almighty listens to our prayers for forgiveness. On the Day of Atonement, when we are brought into “at-oneness” with our creator, redeemer and friend, God promises to keep His treasured possession. For those who seek His will, seeking His forgiveness and grace, we learn how to forgive those who hurt us along the way. It is then we become His treasured possession.

When Emily returned to the great room, I heard Joshua ask, “What did Nanny say to you?” Emily said, “Nanny says I love you, and I do.” When God says to love one another as Christ loves us, our answer should always be, “God says I love you, and I do.”

This is the perfect day to let go of the hurt that keep you from forgiving your brother completely. Confess your hurt to the Lord today, allowing Him to remove the thick shell of unforgiveness from your life, once and for all.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: forgiveness! If we want to receive God’s forgiveness and grace, we must forgive and love each other. You are a treasured possession to the Lord. He knows you by name. Won’t you let Him heal your heart today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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