Emmanuel

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Settling accounts

Rembrandt_-_Parable_of_the_Laborers_in_the_Vineyard[1]This is an awesome painting giving Rembrandt’s perspective of the parable of the vineyard owner who is settling accounts for the day.

It is not really the direction I want to go but it makes for a great ending to my thoughts on how we can settle accounts with others and what that looks like if God is walking with us.

Forgiveness is where I am going with this, because it is here that emotions play a huge part of our lives and emotion drives even God away at the best of times.

I mean if I was sexually, emotionally, intellectually and/or physically abused, if someone hurt my wife or my child/children, if a close family member or friend needed my help to set things right regarding such abuses – I would be lying to you if I did not feel the need to do so.

It would be payback time if that option was available to me.  Yet, those are hypothetical and so my daydream ends and I realize that my inability to not forgive only hurts me and my life continues to be destroyed each and every day until I come to a place where I can forgive.

Is forgiveness something that has to be practiced every day in order to be ready to forgive when it is the hardest?

Jesus comment that one has to forgive seventy times seven suggests this ongoing process.  It suggests that forgiveness is a very powerful weapon of God’s love and truly represents what He looks like – “in that while we were yet sinners, He loved…”

We have not committed such hideous crimes as those who have harmed us – yet a crime is a crime and sin is sin.  There is no measure in the gap that separates us from God – we are just separated.  So the forgiveness that we receive from God is the same action of forgiveness we need to give to others.

Let me encourage some of you that have little or no room in your heart for forgiveness right now.  It will come – trust me – as you come before your almighty Saviour and ask for the ability to forgive and to love, it will come.  The Sermon on the Mount – all those extremes that talk about loving your enemies etc. it can and it does happen – through the power of the Holy Spirit and not by your might or in your denial.

For me it took, in extreme fashion, a year and a half.  For my wife it took forty-five years and the journey is still not over – but incredible to see the growth of strength and she has found that she can forgive an element here, an action there.

Walk with God through the dark days and enjoy His fellowship on the lighter days.  Forgive as often as you can, even when you are right.  Practice yielding to God even when it looks or sounds like you are being a doormat all over again.  Forgiveness actually empowers you to love and love is the most powerful weapon that enables the other to see Jesus in you.

At the end of the day, you know the owner of the vineyard will pay out what He has promised.  So enjoy the day of labour and look forward to receiving that promise, trusting in His faithfulness.

 

 

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“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emman′u-el” (which means, God with us)." Matthew 1:23 RSV
January 2013
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