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Wednesday, October 22 2014

Dear Friends:
 

In the news these days, there are a lot of opportunities to get stirred up about our enemies. ISIS and Ebola are two big ones we can name, but there are many more. It’s easy to rant, rave and judge about these events and also what should be done to fix the problems that our enemies cause. Whether it’s across the globe or in your own back yard from the person who hurt you or offended you, left you off of the party list, didn’t include your child on their team or even worse has abandoned you, God has instructions for us on how we are to deal with our enemies.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”…(Matthew 5:44)

Maybe your initial reaction is like mine…”WHAAAAAAT? What in the world, God? Love my ENEMY? I am not so sure about this. Why? My ego/pride does NOT want to do this.  Our brains say: “What good would that do? That is way too hard!” And the list of arguments goes on and on.

Why would the Lord ask us to do this? As we ask this, it is important to keep in mind that His instructions are set up for our benefit and His glory. In pondering that truth,  these conclusions come to light. Once we forgive…

  1. We gain freedom to move on. The pain of the offense does not have a hold on us and we are no longer affected by the mention of the name or presence of the one who hurt us. Love and forgiveness is a path to leaving the past in the past, and moving onto new opportunities and healthy relationships.
  2. We gain time and energy. When our minds are not constantly occupied with the person or offense, we can use our time and energy to accomplish more and move us forward.
  3. Forgiving our enemies draws us closer to God. The ONLY way we can forgive our enemy is to draw strength from Him. It illustrates our faith in God. That God will indeed take care of the offender in His time. He promises it will be handled and we do not need to give it another thought. At times our only motivation to forgive is our desire to be obedient and honor Him (which it doesJ).
  4. We ‘show off’ Jesus. It is through the Lord’s empowerment that we forgive and love our enemies. When we are able to do this, it shows the power and presence of our God to others.
  5. It validates the Cross. The Cross of Christ is all about forgiveness. His death was the payment for ALL sin. When we choose to enter into the forgiveness of our enemies, we are exhibiting to the world that what He did was ENOUGH.

These are just a few of the reasons He calls us to love and forgive our enemy.

The lyrics from the song, “Let There be Peace on Earth” written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson says it all: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”  It does begin with you and I.

If we desire peace for our nation, our workplace or homes, we must start with what we individually can control. We can choose to follow God’s directive to love and forgive our enemies. The rest is up to Him.

Who do you need to love and forgive today? Can you take a step toward it? Even if you are not ready to forgive, get honest with God about what you think about His directive. Take the first step out of the bondage of unforgiving. God promises you it will be life changing!

Blessings and Love~ Angel

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 08:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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