A Springtime Vacation

The lady was enjoying her vacation time with friends who stayed by her side during a severe time of hurt and betrayal. It was Sunday morning and after coffee they decided to go to church. There she sat minding her own business listening to the sermon on the “New Commandment.”  She was through with church folks…they would never have the opportunity to hurt her again. Feelings, emotions, and thoughts unraveled as the minister read: new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Thoughts tumbled upon one another. “Lord, You have got to be kidding me! Love those who betrayed me? All I ever wanted for them was Your best, I spent hours praying for these people…we worshiped together in the house of the Lord! I may forgive them, but I want nothing to do with them ever!”  Aren’t you glad that God not only forgives us, but He also draws near to us? Suddenly, I heard The Voice: The time has come to cross over to the mainland. Everyone else faded and I was on my island looking across the water to the mainland. No, no, please don’t ask me to go back there! See there isn’t a bridge…then a bridge appeared. The bridge was Love demanding me to go back. The betrayal had almost destroyed me. My emotions raged, my thoughts would not be quiet and my soul was in conflict! I thought that I would literally die from the pain. But God! He helped me take my thoughts captive and instead of thinking how could they do this to me – I thought – how much God loved me while I was still His enemy. If He could love me and rescue me I knew that He loved them. I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal where I had failed in our relationships. Forgive me, Lord, for desiring to please them rather than You. It would be several weeks before I felt differently, but every day I began my prayer with: I chose to forgive them because You have forgiven me. Now I ask You to bless each of them with “blessings heaped upon blessings” from Your bountiful supply. As I prayed for them, my sadness was turned to joy and forgiveness became my reality. The forgiveness process was complete when I rejoiced that together we were receiving grace and mercy from the Throne of God…together we were being healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. Our every-day-walking-together relationships were not restored as before, but each of us grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have gone our separate ways and may not see each other often, but we are all on the same road marching to Zion!

In the name of Jesus, I pray for the Body of Christ. May our love flourish and I pray that we will love others appropriately. Help us to love one another sincerely and intelligently. May we live the life of a lover, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of; bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.  Teach us to love one another, and create a desire within us to exhort and encourage one another. In the name of Jesus we will hold fast to our confession of faith. Today Your love that has been shed abroad in our heart gives us the ability to reach across divides, shake hands and learn from one another. We are not an island but an assembly of believers loving one another as Jesus has loved us. Amen.

Scripture Reading
Philippians 1