Sunday, August 19, 2018

Choosing His Road to Love and Life

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Prov. 14: 12

I hate the feeling of anger rising up inside me. Hate it, hate it, don't know what to do with it most of the time. How about you?

Tonight that opportunity presented itself to me, and in my own estimation it seemed "right" to me to be angry with someone who hurt my feelings. In a moment of haste, I put on my tennis shoes and since it was a nice evening, hoped to work off my angry feelings while I took a brisk walk.

Somewhat like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, my blessed Lord somehow spoke to my spirit, reasoning with a poor fool like me as I walked along...

(Come, let us reason together, saith the LORD...) Isaiah 1:18

I really didn't want to feel anger the whole time I walked and so I tried to think of the Lord and His goodness, how He bore my sins on the cross and also the sins of the one who hurt me. Then I realized if I did that I couldn't stay mad at the same time. Still the temptation of retaliate was there and I didn't know quite what to do with it. For a minute or two I actually believed that giving in to the anger would be more satisfying than obeying God.

In my heart I cried, "Lord, You said I was dead to sin, but it sure doesn't feel like it,"  In the smallest way, however, I took a tiny step of faith and believed what God said He'd done to that old person that wanted to retaliate and get even. Some wonderful truths from Romans came to mind.

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" Rom. 6:1-2

From this teaching I remembered that: "There is NO advantage to sin." I can sin but there is no advantage to it. Ever.  Screaming, getting the last word in, "venting": all they really do is lead to carnal death. If I'm a believer, it will only bring a huge harvest of corruption. It will never bring peace or satisfaction.

"We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. " Rom. 6:6

In my flesh, when I've been hurt I want the offending party to know they've hurt  me and not just bear it silently. I think I might explode inside if I don't let them know how they've hurt me.  How "right" that seems! Someone hurts you, you hurt them back. All this talk about being dead to sin seems ridiculous in the heat of the moment...

But then another verse came in,  Romans 8:35, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"  I concluded that God's love for me is greater than all the hurts ever done to me. 

Suddenly, it was OK. God loves me, and will never stop loving me. This might not seem like such a big revelation, but it freed me tonight from sin's tyranny.

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ... II Cor. 2:14a