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Taking Offense

Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult. Proverbs 12:16

This is the second rendition of today’s post.  When I started this blog over two years ago, I asked the Holy Spirit to speak through me.  If writing a particular post felt like I was pulling teeth I knew it wasn’t coming from the right source.  As a result, the post I wrote earlier went into the “delete” pile.  Each sentence I wrote was interrupted either by texts, my husband, timers going off, etc.  I now realize every time my mind wandered to one of those interruptions it was a tap on my shoulder to re-focus and re-write.

You see what was happening in the background of my original text was this very proverb.  I was getting annoyed and offended by problems surrounding an event I am hosting.  It only took me about a half a day to finally figure it out.  The Holy Spirit giving me a real life example of practicing what I preach!  


Being offended has risen to an artform these days. We are offended by other drivers, cashiers, politicians, neighbors, strangers, businesses, faceless people in our social media threads, our friends, our family, our spouses and on and on.  If “they” don’t conform to our wants and needs, it might ruin our day.  If “they” don’t act how we think they should we are hurt and insulted.  No grace and definitely no mercy.  

We take for granted that God won’t do the same to us.  Thank goodness because we all probably offend Him multiple times a day.  While He may allow our sinful actions to suffer the corresponding consequences, He isn’t sending down bolts of lightning to smote us each time we mess up.  He hasn’t washed His hands of us because He’s had it for the last time.

Friends, it’s time to step back and control our emotions.  We have in Jesus the perfect example for us today.  He was whipped, beaten, stabbed, spit on, forsaken by friends, and hung on a cross yet He still loved.  He still asked God to grant mercy.  Today, can’t we do the same with the brothers and sisters around us who are probably doing their best to make it through this day just like you?  I, for one, got this message loud and clear today.

Gracious God, thank you for your mercy.  Help me to deliver that same mercy and grace to those around me who might insult me or cause offense.  I thank you for teaching me how to seek peace throughout my days.  Amen

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Salvation

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

It seems there’s a lot of talk these days about “end times.”  Since the world received the words of Christ about eternal salvation and His return, people of all centuries have determined “this is it.”  And although I do agree with Christian teacher Joyce Meyer that “we are closer to the return than we were yesterday,” we can never know when that day  will actually arrive.   We can only prepare.  

During the last year I’ve enjoyed digging deeper into what the gift of salvation really means for us and what it doesn’t.  It isn’t something we can earn but it is something we must take action on to receive.   It isn’t something we can lose but it is something we are expected to behave like we have received.  It was given in blood by Jesus yet He gives us forgiveness and grace for having to shed it.  

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

When we recount the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, we can easily imagine the dirt and grime and blood. The sweat and the tears.  The pain and sadness.  A perfect man, our God clothed in flesh without blemish torn apart by the sins of those past, present and future. And as God always likes to do, He suddenly flips the script.  At Jesus’ last breath the veil between earth and heaven is torn wide open.  We who actively seek out the Lord and place Him as king of our lives now have an intercessor to present our dirty souls cleansed.  Not just our hands but our hearts will be spit shined for when we meet the King.   Sparkling creations meeting the glorious Creator.  Thank you, Jesus.