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Monday, April 21, 2014

Not For Your Record Books!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

There are truly some incredible things that people have accomplished in this world. There are those that have swum the English Channel, climbed Mt. Everest, biked across America, held their breath underwater for over four minutes, pulled a semi-truck trailer over one block's distance with a chain and their bare hands, and on and on... There are many books written on amazing feats that people have accomplished.

There is one amazing feat that I know the Lord would like us all to be able to accomplish, and on an ongoing basis. It is stated in 1 Cor 13:5 "Love...keeps no record of wrongs." Now at first that statement might not even make you stop and think—so I suggest you do just that. Think about how many times you remember what someone did to you or said to you that made you mad, offended you, or bugged you. You might at first think, I don't keep grudges or a record of wrongs. I don't get offended. I don't get bugged easily. The truth probably is, you do much more than you realize. You very likely and all too often probably remember something that someone did that bothered you. When the right moment presents itself— flash...it will be right there before you!

If every person that we deal with closely in our life had a clean slate at each new encounter, our patience level with them would go so much further. We so want God to be like that with us, and He is! It is one of the awesome qualities of His character and it's a promise of His covenant that He has established with us. Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) says,  "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." 

The Bible tells us God is love and that love keeps no record of wrongs. It sounds impossible but it's not. It's supernatural! It's God's nature to forgive and not remember when someone repents saying their sorry. He removes it forever. That's what Jesus' blood has made provision for. It covers and washes our offenses and wrong doings from God's eyes. That should make you feel awesome. That is why God is so patient with us. His nature is in us as believers and because it is, it is within our nature to love like God does—not keeping a record of wrongs.

Are you and I that forgiving? Are we that overlooking and patient with people in our life? Not without God's help we aren't! But could we be? Only if we would continually reflect on God's merciful nature, love, and patience with us. So much more grace would flow from us toward others if we only remembered that the offense that is bugging us at the moment, is one that Jesus has forgiven us of.

A while back, a man was waiting on my parents. I was standing back watching. He was totally rude to them and I wanted to go chew him out. I didn't. I stewed instead. Every time I saw him from that point on, I remembered his wrong. I remembered that moment when he was rude to my parents. I didn't even want to talk with him. He didn't know that I felt that way. It was hurting me not Him. One day I heard the Lord tell me that I was keeping a record of this man's wrong and that I was stuck in unforgiveness toward him. I had to repent and totally forgive this man. The Lord instructed me to pray for him. As I did, the ill feelings left and I could finally feel the forgiveness that had given him by faith. What a burden to get off my back!

There are some people who have done some amazing feats that are fun to read about. Are you ready to try one of the greatest feats of all? Are you ready to practice keeping no records of wrong? Go for it! It is an amazing feat that will liberate you from carrying the list of wrongs and bad feelings toward others that have burdened you for far too long. Being merciful is love, it's freedom, and it's the character of God—and you!

1 Cor 13:5 Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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